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Cannabis sales revenue in France
A new direct estimate by expenditure



Tendances n° 137, OFDT, 6 p.
March 2020

Estimating the amount of cannabis sales revenue is important and provides a measure of the influence of this economic sector. However, this exercise faces two major obstacles, since both the quantities sold and the retail prices of an illicit product remain, by definition, unknown in public statistics.

In order to get around these difficulties, the OFDT has introduced in 2017 a specific module in two general population surveys (Health Barometer and ESCAPAD) which directly questions users on the frequency of their cannabis purchases during the year and the amount of their last expenditure. If the primary objective is to renew the estimate, it is also a question of testing a calculation method that is easily reproducible and comparable over time.

This issue of Tendances, which was first published in French in March, reports on the use of these new questions asked simultaneously in these two surveys and proposes a new estimate of the cannabis market in France’s sales revenue which reached 1.2 billion euros (1.3 billion $) in 2017. The relative simplicity of this method should facilitate the integration of the questions into other surveys, particularly those conducted in other European countries, and thus make international comparisons more reliable.

Authors : Stanislas Spilka (OFDT), Stéphane Legleye (INSEE)

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