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HIGHLIGHTS
  1. Canada Cannabis Spot Index tracks weekly average wholesale prices
  2. Average price at $7.79/g on Dec. 14
  3. Despite shortage, retailers did not capture higher margins

Cannabis is on track to begin trading like the agricultural commodity that it is.

Cannabis Benchmarks, a division of U.S.-based New Leaf Data Services, launched the Canada Cannabis Spot Index (CCSI) on Tuesday to track wholesale prices of the legal product at the national level, with plans to offer provincial indices for Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia in the first quarter of 2019. The index will be updated weekly to show the average price of dried cannabis flower as reported by Licensed Producers that have supply agreements with provinces.

The company said it also gathers prices from dispensaries, Statistics Canada and quarterly filings by LPs.

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Last week, the CCSI was up 0.8 per cent at $7.79 per gram, after prices ranged from $6.66 per gram to $8.23 per gram since recreational cannabis was legalized in mid-October, when a country-wide supply shortage sent retailers scrambling for legal product, the company said.

Unlike in the United States, most Canadian provinces are the sole wholesalers within their jurisdictions where retailers must buy their supplies. Wholesale prices established by provincial governments are not publically available.

“Despite supply shortfalls, which could have been used as an opportunity to capture higher margins, our research and data indicate that short-term windfalls by retailers were not pursued,” Cannabis Benchmarks said in a release.

“Rather, retailers seemed disposed to securing new customers and creating a positive experience in the legal markets.”

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