Photographer: James MacDonald
business

Canada Will Crowdsource Pot Prices to Help Track Legalization’s Impact

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  • Agency seeking to gather information before drug is legalized
  • Government needs information for policies as market develops

Crowdsourcing is the latest tool Canada plans to use to assess marijuana’s role in the economy as the country gears up to legalize it for recreational use this summer.

A platform to collect voluntary information on pot prices and use will be part of the Cannabis Statistics Hub the government’s statistics agency will make available through its website, according to a notice Tuesday. A report called the Cannabis Economic Account, with data from 1961 to 2017, will be published Thursday at 8:30 a.m. from Ottawa.

“All levels of government will need information related to the production, distribution and consumption of non-medical cannabis prior to and following legalization to support the development of policies and regulations,” the agency said. “The hub will also include a voluntary crowdsourcing platform to collect information on the purchase price and use of cannabis.”

Statistics Canada released preliminary figures in December estimating Canadians consumed as much as C$6.2 billion ($5 billion) worth of marijuana in 2015, almost as much as they spent on wine. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has committed to full legalization of recreational use by around July, a move that’s created a surge in the share prices of producers.

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