Statistics Canada is planning to study the impact of recreational cannabis from both social and economic perspectives.
The government agency has announced it will begin monitoring marijuana’s effects on Canadian society, including its contribution to the country’s GDP. Researchers will study both the current illegal market and the future legal market, which will roll out across the country on July 1, 2018.
This will also be the first time Statistics Canada has measured the effects of medical marijuana, which the country legalized in 2001.
Researchers will look at how cannabis affects health, crime, and social behaviors to get a grasp on its social impact. In terms of its economic impact, researchers will study production, distribution, sales, consumption, prices, employment, wages, corporate profits, and international trade.
At least part of this data will be gleaned from household health surveys, which will now include questions about cannabis use.
It's estimated that Canada's black market for cannabis is worth between C$7 billion ($5.77 billion) and C$10 billion a year.