Study: Legal Cannabis Boosted Canadian GDP by $43.5B

A new study found that since Canada federally legalized cannabis in October 2018, the crop has boosted the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) by $43.5 billion.

Full story after the jump.

A recent study by Deloitte Canada and provincial cannabis distributor, the Ontario Cannabis Store, suggests that cannabis has boosted Canada’s gross domestic product by $43.5 billion since it was legalized in October 2018, the Canadian Press reports. The report professes that for every dollar in revenue or capital expenditures, the industry adds about $1.09 to Canada’s GDP.

The study suggests that the legal cannabis industry has had more than a ten-fold greater impact on the GDP than the $3.96 billion estimated by Statistics Canada in their May report.

“In the span of three years, the Canadian cannabis sector has found its footing and emerged as a thriving new source of economic growth, creating and supporting tens of thousands of jobs in communities countrywide. As the sector grows and matures, realizing the return on its significant capital investments to date, we should expect it to make an increasingly strong and positive impact on national and provincial economies.” – Deloitte Canada, Ontario Cannabis Store, “Insights into the recreational marijuana market,” via the Press

The report found that the legal cannabis industry is responsible for 151,000 jobs and that for every million dollars in revenue or capital expenditure, the sector sustains about four jobs in Canada. The report also found that consumer purchases alone generated $2.9 billion in sales and excise taxes for government coffers.

The report does outline the staggering lack of diversity in the nation’s cannabis industry, finding that 72% of cannabis industry executives and directors in Canada were Caucasian men, 12% were Caucasian women, while 14 % were racialized men and just 2% were racialized women. Among that portion of cannabis industry leadership in Canada, 40% were of South Asian descent, 15% were Indigenous, 12% Arab, and 7% each for those identifying as Black and Hispanic.

“Before legalization in October 2018, nearly all the 45 federally licensed cannabis producers were run by Caucasian men, some of whom had prior experience in the cannabis ‘grey market,'” the report says. “The situation hasn’t changed much in the years since legalization.”

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