Canadians love cheap weed – and retailers are noticing.
Since legalization came into effect in October 2018, the average price of whole dried flower has decreased from C$10.40 per gram to $8.67 per gram by October this year, despite the recent price rebound of whole dried flower in the wake of the summer sell-off.
The caveat? Deals and discounts tend to be applied to products approaching their sell-by date, so consumers will want to take their frequency of consumption into consideration before stocking up.
One thing is certain – regardless of where they live, it’s becoming increasingly easy for Canadians to get the best bud to suit their budgets.
Discounted cannabis seems to be taking the province by storm. Last year, four Alberta stores from the popular Nova Cannabis chain rebranded as Deep Discount Cannabis. With 16 other locations following suit in 2021 to form Value Buds.
“This is about value”, Darren Karasiuk, a director of Value Buds’ parent company ALCANNA, told StratCann earlier this year. “It’s not about selling cheap weed, it’s about selling good weed cheaply.”
Value Buds shoppers can generally expect discounts of about five to 15 percent. For example, a 3.5-gram bag of 7 Acres’ Wappa flower is priced at $28.47 (compared to $32.95 at most other retailers), whereas 3.5 grams of Boaz Sour Berry Boogie costs $36.47 (versus the usual retail price of $43.99). A 3.5-gram bag of Broken Coast’s Amnesia Haze is slightly less discounted at $33.97 (compared to $35.95 at sister store Nova Cannabis).
Private retailers have recently expressed concerns over having to compete with government-run BC Cannabis stores – but as the latter lacks a section for discounted products, there may be a gap in the market.
With a plethora of independent retail stores, B.C. residents shouldn’t have too much trouble finding the occasional discount – but they may have to visit a few locations to find what they’re looking for at an exceptional price.
Embattled provincial retailer Cannabis NB seems less keen on slashing prices, but there are still deals to be had. Promotions and discounted products are clearly labelled with red tags, and they are numerous. However, deals tend to skew towards buying additional units or additional discounts with purchase, versus simply lowering prices on individual products.
For example, Tweed Green Crush Pre-Rolls are currently 2 for $60 (packs sold individually at $34.99), with similar products like Stewart Farms’ Daytime Glue Pre-Rolls at two for $70 (individually $39.99) and offers of discounted gummies with purchases of certain products.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Provincial retailer Cannabis NL has included several dozen products including edibles, oils, and dried flower in honour of its Black Friday (or, as the store has dubbed it, Green Wednesday) promotion, despite a lack of regularly discounted merchandise.
Items such as Bhang Caramel Chocolate at $4.80 per pack (usually retails between $5 and $7) Tweed 20mg CBD Capsules at $32.99 (regularly about $43) along with nearly 30 other products will be available on the retailer’s website until next week.
Scoring cheap, legal weed in Nova Scotia requires the purchaser to do some digging. While the Nova Scotia Liquor and Cannabis Store (NSLC) website allows customers to sort products by strain profile, terpenes, brand, and flavour, there is no specific section for discounted products. While consumers can always sort products by price.
Fortunately, Nova Scotians in search of a deal can take solace in the fact that the price of cannabis products has been steadily dropping in Canada’s Ocean Playground. The average price per gram of whole dried flower decreased by 13 percent during the second quarter of 2021, and by 40 percent since the drug was legalized, according to the retailer’s Second Quarter Financial Results.
Nunavut, NWT and Yukon
Provincial retailer Cannabis Yukon allows consumers to shop products by “Grade/Quality,” with a choice of Core, Value, or Premium prices. While the Nunavut Liquor and Cannabis Commission and the NWT Liquor and Cannabis Commission will have to put some more work into finding deals and discounts.
A study from researchers at the University of Waterloo is currently in progress to learn more about various aspects of cannabis consumption in NWT, Yukon and Nunavut. Researchers are collecting data including retail environment, price and purchasing, and public perception, with the goal of better understanding and catering to the needs of Northern cannabis consumers.
Unlike many of its government-run counterparts, the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) devotes an entire section of its website to so-called “value picks,” including discounted products, price drops, bulk flower and pre-rolls, and flower priced under C$5 per gram.
Ontario consumers looking to stock up on a budget can try products like Eve & Co.’s Indica or Sativa blends for a mere $3.57 per gram (although a bag of 28 grams must be purchased at $99.95); Smaller bags at a similar price can also be found, such as Simple Stash’s Indica or Sativa Bud, which is available in five, ten, and 28-gram bags at $3.57 per gram. The shop also carries a variety of value vapes and cartridges, with a selection of cartridges under $50, including this (recently price-dropped) O.pen Reserve Tropicanna Cookies 510 thread cartridge at $39.99 (formerly $54.95).
PEI Cannabis makes it easy for consumers to score discounts, with a prominently-displayed section devoted to price-reduced pot. The dozens of products on the discount list range from dried flower to hash to edibles and more – but most importantly, the original price, discounted price, and the amount of money the consumer saves are listed side-by-side.
Heavily discounted products include 3.5 grams of EcoTone’s Polar Kish flower for $20.77 (originally $30.77); 3.5 grams of Cove’s Rest flower for $21.99 (down from $32.99); and Kolab Project’s Cherry Cola Pop Rocks infused edibles at $3.61 per pack (originally $6.95).
At the Société Québecoise du Cannabis (SQDC), Quebecers can narrow their search for affordable options by specifying a price range in the search bar to find affordable value brands. But in a province that puts the same enthusiasm towards selling weed as it did towards legalizing it, Quebecers have limited options on the legal market when it comes to searching for cheap cheeba.