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Doped up: Canada has a high shopping problem

Canadians dish out $1 billion on purchases while under the influence

Calm, at peace, floating on a cloud. You might feel this way after smoking a joint, but what are the chances you still feel this way when you sober up and the realization hits: I’ve gone high shopping again.

According to a recent survey conducted by, nearly one in five (18%) Canadians admit to shopping while high at least once in their life, with an average spend of $187. That tips the national spend to a whopping $1 billion. So what are we most likely to purchase? And who are the worst offenders? Let’s unpack the data.

What’s the most popular item to purchase while high?

We’re all familiar with the idea that smoking weed can induce a pang of hunger, or “the munchies”. It’s no surprise then that food is the number one category high shoppers dish out their dough for, with 60% of high shoppers saying they’ve bought food while high.

‘Clothing and shoes’ was also a popular category, with just over a quarter of high shoppers (27%) making this purchase while their decision-making abilities were impaired. Sharing the totem for third place is cigarettes and (cough cough) more weed, with 23% of high shoppers admitting to these purchases while high.

Other popular purchases include gambling (17%), DVDs and movies (16%), and tech products (13%). A few smokers even admitted to buying a pet (5%). 10% of high shoppers went on to purchase other narcotics. Perhaps weed really is a gateway drug, as they say?

Who are the worst offenders?


When it boils down to the sexes, more men have shopped while high than women. Nearly a quarter of men (23%) have shopped while high, compared to just 14% of women. Men spend slightly more, too. On average, men spend $190 on their high shopping escapades, while women spend $184.


High shopping is most rampant among millennials, with 36% admitting they’ve gone high shopping at least once in their lifetime. This is followed by gen Z (28%), gen X (14%), and finally baby boomers (7%).

Millennials have also spent the most across their high shopping purchases ($247), followed closely by Gen Z ($224). Baby boomers spent the least overall, at just $64.


You’ll find the highest proportion of high shoppers in Alberta (26%), Saskatchewan (21%), and Quebec (20%).

However, in terms of the amount, British Columbians actually spent the most while under the influence ($390), followed by Nova Scotia ($279), and Quebec ($236). Albertans ($143), Ontarians ($114), and Manitobans ($88) spent the least.


This data is from a consumer survey of 1,213 Canadian adults commissioned by and conducted by PureProfile in October 2019. Northwest Territories, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, and Yukon were not included in the geographic breakdown due to not having enough responses. Where responses given were “less than $25” or “$5,000+”, we assumed values of $14.50 and $5,000 respectively.

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