Canada’s Marijuana Sales Reach New High

Sales of cannabis products are beginning to take off after a slow start for Canada’s recreational cannabis market.

After a slow six month introductory period, Canada’s cannabis market is beginning to see an upturn. Total marijuana sales surpassed $91 million Canadian dollars ($68 million U.S.) in June, a new monthly record high.

New data from Statistics Canada reveal that total sales of dried cannabis in June increased by 4.7 percent, compared to the month prior. Market sales have gradually climbed throughout the entire year, as shown below:

  • January 2019: CA$54.88 million ($41.16 million in U.S.)
  • February 2019: CA$51.66 million ($38.75 million in U.S.)
  • March 2019: CA$60.94 million ($45.71 million in U.S.)
  • April 2019: CA$74.58 million ($55.94 million in U.S.)
  • May 2019: CA$85.81 million ($64.36 million in U.S.)
  • June 2019: CA$91.13 million ($68.35 million in U.S.)

As sales trends continue to increase, cannabis product manufacturers have responded to the growing demand. According to Canada’s supply and demand statistics, the total amount of dried cannabis products held in inventory increased by 22.5 percent in June compared to May. Cannabis oil products held in inventory increased by nearly 15 percent during that time.

Some point to limited access as the reason for the early stall on cannabis sales. On the first day of Canada marijuana sales last October, fewer than 150 retailers were operational. Although online sales are available, a backlog of license applications has kept a truly strong rollout from becoming possible.

As more store-front businesses have become available, sales have increased. Ontario finally opened retail shops in April, and a new report from the Vancouver Sun showed more than 60 cannabis dispensaries were open for business in British Columbia.

Further market growth is likely. With the passage of Canada’s Cannabis Act came a strict rule that only certain cannabis products, like cannabis flower and oil, would be available for the first year. In June, the Canadian government unveiled a plan to allow for the sale of cannabis edibles, extracts and topicals starting on October 17.

With the new products like vape pens available, market analysts are anticipating a billion-dollar boom. Some reports expect the new access deemed “Cannabis 2.0” will be slow to take off like the initial recreational legalization rollout, but ultimately will result in $2.7 billion Canadian dollars ($2 billion U.S.) in sales of marijuana edibles and other new products.

A Look at Canada’s Marijuana Laws

Adult-use sales, most commonly referred to as “nonmedical” in Canada, began on October 17, 2018, making the Great White North the second country (after Uruguay) to make recreational cannabis legal.

Under Canada’s Cannabis Act, residents 18 and over can legally purchase cannabis oil, dried cannabis flower, seeds, and plants from licensed producers and retailers.

The law allows for residents to possess and share up to 30 grams of cannabis, as well as to cultivate up to four plants at home for personal use.

Regulations are up to Canadian provinces and territories. These 13 individual regions are responsible for developing, implementing, maintaining and enforcing regulations and distributions on cannabis in their jurisdictions.

Qualifying Canadians have been able to gain legal access to medical marijuana since 2001. More than 340,000 Canadians are currently registered in the country’s medical marijuana program, some of which are covered by insurance plans.

Learn more about Canada’s marijuana laws.

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