Although Cannabis has been legal for less than a year, and theoretically a new industry, it already has provided a major boost to our Canadian economy.
Imagine, according to Toronto Star article June 22, 2019, Canadians are spending as much on Cannabis as on wine. Even knowing that, consumption figures are surprising. Almost 18 per cent of Canadians older than 15 used Cannabis in the first few months of 2019, up 14 per cent before legalization. Canadians spent almost $2-billion on non-medical cannabis in the first quarter of 2019.
The Cannabis industry was responsible for $6.7-billion in GDP as of March 2019. Between January and March 2019 roughly 2.5 million consumers purchased Cannabis from a legal vendor, up from 954,000 over the same period the previous year.
These numbers may be even higher considering legal cannabis sales are still less than half of all purchases. One reason is that illegal cannabis cost an average of $6.37 a gram compared to $9.99 from legal outlets. Despite that, more than 260 companies are operating legally in the industry.
With the legalization of Cannabis edibles in October of this year, get ready for another economic explosion. It is estimated that an additional 1.5-million Canadians will be trying Cannabis, primarily those who do not want to smoke. Deloittte estimates that the Cannabis edibles market will be valued at about $2.7-billion a year.
Yet all provinces will not be on board. The Globe and Mail reports today that Quebec will be banning cannabis chocolates, jujubes and other sweets and products that appeal to minors. Quebec also is prohibiting additives that modify the smell, flavor of colour of Cannabis products.
All edible product will have to be submitted to Health Canada Oct. 17, 2019 and will have to be approved in a process expected to last between 60 and 90 days.Edibles will include favourites such as cookies and brownies and more, but this category also encompasses beverages, and topical products. There will be new beverage lines that include not only soft drinks and sports drinks but also non-alcoholic alternatives.
Look out for the next opportunity – the budtender.
Globe and Mail, July 25, 2019: Quebec unveils rules on the sale of cannabis edibles by Stefanie Marotta and a report from The Canadian Press.
The Toronto Star, July 12, 2019: In high-stakes world of pot edibles, cannabis companies aim to start small by Joseph Hall
The Star Business Journal, June 3, 2019: Canadian edibles, topicals market worth $2.7B; ramp up over 3-5 years: Deloitte by Armina Ligaya, The Canadian Press. Globe and Mail, June 22, 2019: Cannabis: the numbers behind the smoke by Bill Howatt (head of research, work-force productivity at the Conference Board of Canada) and Matthew Strewart, director of the National Forecast Research Group at the Conference Board of Canada)