It’s been almost one year since marijuana became legal for sale in Canada. Prior to the commencement of the long-awaited legalisation, many were concerned about the impact it may have on businesses, the youth, car accidents, crime, and the country as a whole. Now, just under a year later, we can look back at what happened and where we are now.
In regards to the country as a whole, marijuana has been a rousing success, at least in terms of the tangibles. The first month that weed was legal in Canada, October 2018, it accrued $53.68 million in sales. In July of 2019, some nine months later, the recreational drug generated over $104 million in sales, doubling its revenue. July’s results mean that marijuana sales hit a five-month consecutive high, and, on its current trajectory, the overall money generated should be around the $1 billion mark for the first full year of sales.
Therefore it’s all been sunshine and roses in regards to money, at least. And things are probably only going to increase and improve as edibles become available now in October. Meaning this time next year we could be looking at a $2 billion industry. Not too shabby, but it does fall short of Wall Street expectations and projections.
Health Canada was basically in charge of how weed was regulated in Canada, and it faced a lot of struggles in regards to reviewing applications from sales, cultivators, and more. Meaning many companies were unable to sell the product until long after the legalisation date. And that was compounded by distinct provinces in Canada dealing with the legalisation in different ways. Even the manufacturers were slow to get off the starting line, meaning they were immediately scrambling to meet demand and thus many users just resorted to their pre-legalisation means.
All of which is to say there have been a lot of growing pains but overall, the country has adapted quite well. The steady growth of the drug is encouraging from many perspectives, both financially and culturally. Canada has not descended into high chaos, nor has it been overwhelmed or seen a mass decrease in productivity. Things are moving in the right direction but they’re moving perhaps a smidge slower than users and sellers would have liked.