The legal cannabis industry has contributed $3.96 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product since the nation’s adult-use legalization reforms in October 2018 – an increase of 215 percent, according to Statistics Canada data outlined by Bloomberg News. The agency also reported that estimated illicit cannabis sales contributed $4.13 billion to the nation’s economy, down about 21 percent since October 2018.
According to agency data, 16.7 percent of Canadians used cannabis over the last three months. In all, that represents about five million people, a figure that remains unchanged from pre-legalization statistics.
In February, Canada reported cannabis tax revenues totaled $18 million during the first full fiscal year of legalization in the Great White North, falling short of the $35 million expected by government estimates. The shortfall prompted officials to cut their cannabis-related revenue forecast this year from $100 million to $66 million. Officials are still betting on cannabis tax revenues to reach $135 million next year and $220 million by 2023.
Canada’s cannabis industry has also seen employment numbers nearly quadruple from 2018 to 2019 – from 2,630 jobs to 9,200 jobs, according to Statistics Canada figures. In 2017, the industry employed about 1,438 people.
Statistics Canada figures from August 2019 found that 42.7 percent of Canadian cannabis consumers still obtained some cannabis products illegally.
Cannabis companies reported to Statistics Canada that, while their revenues rose 92 percent in the fiscal year 2018 and another 52 percent by April 2019, all companies reported overall losses.
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