The Canadian government aims to legalize the recreational use of marijuana by the summer of this year. Sales could reach more than $8 billion per annum according to estimates, but this will be determined by what price is set for the product.
To help assess the drug’s impact on the economy the government has turned to Statistics Canada and it, in turn, has turned to the crowd.
The government agency will be launching a crowdsourcing platform on the Cannabis Stats Hub that will be used to collect voluntary information on what people pay and how much they consume. This will help it to build up the clearest picture possible of how much weed is consumed in the country and how much it is costing people.
Currently, it relies on estimates. According to figures released in December 2017, Canadians consumed more than $6 billion worth of marijuana in 2015, almost as much as they spent on one of their favorite tipples, wine.
“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,” said a spokesperson for Cannabis Statistics Hub.
To get the information it needs the agency will also look at social media and at what online retailers are selling the drug for. And it will go to sites where buyers enter data about their recent sales transaction to help others in their region get a feeling for the cost of marijuana.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is looking to have the drug legalized around July.