Legal pot market to grow fast says Statistics Canada

Published: September 23, 2018

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Next month, the federal government’s Cannabis Act will come into effect, making cannabis consumption for recreational use legal. According to Statistics Canada, consumers across the country will waste no time in embracing the new law.

Once the legalization starts on Oct. 17, Statistics Canada forecasts Canadians will splurge to the tune of $816 million to $1.02 billion during the fourth quarter of the year. This will be the amount Canadians will spend on legal pot during the three-month period.

However, the agency points out illegal cannabis purchases will continue and will sit at around $254 million to $317 million through Q4. That would represent 24 per cent of the total cannabis market. Estimates suggest 5.4 million people will embrace the legalization by purchasing marijuana before the end of the year.

However, 1.7 million people will continue to purchase illegal pot. Reasons for this vary but include being able to buy cannabis cheaper through illegal channels or the ability to purchase more than the legal caps.

Statistics Canada says its data was compiled from the latest census population results from the quarterly National Cannabis Survey.

Despite being less than a month from the legalizations, many provinces are still finalizing their regulation plans for marijuana.

Last month, the recently elected Progressive Conservative party in Ontario revised Cannabis rules put in place by the previous Liberal government. Ontario says it will allow cannabis to be sold online as soon as the Cannabis Act is started, but pot will not be available in private physical retail stores until early in 2019.