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Legal pot sales could reach $1 billion in fourth quarter: StatCan

Last Updated Sep 21, 2018 at 3:40 pm EDT

Statistics Canada is estimating that as much as $1-billion will be spent on legal cannabis and $254 million to $317-million on the illicit market in the first quarter following legalization on Oct. 17, 2018. Various marijuana products are pictured at Eden marijuana dispensary in Vancouver, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

OTTAWA – Statistics Canada forecasts Canadians could spend more than $1 billion on legal cannabis between October and December this year once marijuana for adult use is legalized on Oct. 17.

The agency estimates that the amount spent on legal pot during the fourth quarter could range between $816 million and $1.02 billion.

It added that purchases of illicit cannabis during the same period could be between $254 million and $317 million, or 24 per cent of the total market.

Statistics Canada estimates there will be 5.4 million people who want to purchase legal cannabis in the fourth quarter.

Still, the agency estimates that 1.7 million will likely continue to buy illegal pot during the three-month period.

The estimates were derived using census population data and statistics from the quarterly National Cannabis Survey, an online questionnaire.