Photo by Mathias Reding

Learn | 02.28.2024

Canada’s Legal Cannabis Market Blooms To $5 Billion Amid Illegal Competition

68% of Canadians opt for legal cannabis, favoring flower and edibles.

Canada embraced a monumental shift in its approach to cannabis by legalizing its recreational use on October 17, 2018, becoming the second nation worldwide to do so, following Uruguay’s lead.

Recent government retail sales data unveiled a remarkable surge in Canadian recreational cannabis sales, topping over $5 billion CAD (approximately $3.8 billion USD) in 2023. This uptick marks a 12.2% increase from the previous year, underscoring a consistent upward trajectory in cannabis consumption.

Brad Poulos, a leading figure at Toronto Metropolitan University with extensive studies in the Canadian cannabis landscape, shared insights with MJBizDaily. Poulos highlighted a significant trend: a considerable portion of these sales stems from consumers migrating from the illicit cannabis market, which still commands around 40% of the nation’s cannabis sales.

This persistent preference for the illegal market, according to Poulos, is likely tied to the higher potency of edibles available outside legal dispensaries, which is capped at 10mg of THC per package in the legal market.

With legal sales flourishing despite the allure of the illicit market, an estimated 68% of cannabis users reported getting some of their cannabis from legal sources in 2020, underscoring the preference for regulated, safe cannabis options.

The Paradox Of Prosperity: Canadian Cannabis Retailers Face Challenges

Photo by City Cannabis Co.

Despite the industry’s booming sales figures, Canadian cannabis retailers confront significant hurdles, including market oversaturation in certain areas and a patchwork of regulations varying by province.

As we stepped into January 2024, the landscape boasted over 3,600 legal recreational cannabis storefronts across Canada. The regulatory environment remains diverse, with some provinces endorsing private-sector stores and others opting for government-operated establishments.

The impact of these challenges varies regionally. Quebec, for instance, maintains a relatively sparse distribution of storefronts, offering a contrast to areas in Ontario, which is considered saturated.

Consumer Trends and Preferences

Photo by Kampus Production

The Government of Canada 2023 Cannabis Survey sheds light on cannabis consumption post-legalization, pinpointing the most favored products among users:

  • Dried flower leads with 60%,
  • Edibles follow closely at 54%,
  • Vape pens or cartridges capture the interest of 34%.

Cannabis-infused drinks are also on the rise, outstripping similar trends in the U.S., indicating a unique shift in Canadian consumption patterns.

Cannabinoid preferences are diverse; while THC products are widely favored, a significant portion of consumers, about one-fifth, lean towards CBD-only options. Yet, the majority prefer either a balance of THC and CBD or CBD-dominant products.

In the evolving narrative of legalization, Canada’s cannabis market has blossomed into a $5 billion enterprise, showcasing a collective shift towards legal avenues.

Herb Recommended Products:

Featured Brands:

Herb Recommended Products:

READ MORE

Top Shelf Hemp Introduces Their THCA Product Line
Learn |
22.02.2024
Top Shelf Hemp Introduces Their THCA Product Line
These Are The Best LED Grow Lights For Big Yields And Healthy Plants
Learn |
11.03.2021
These Are The Best LED Grow Lights For Big Yields And Healthy Plants
Bhang Ki Masala Chai
recipes |
12.07.2014
Bhang Ki Masala Chai
Delta Extrax Hydro Bubbler Review: What You Need To Know
Learn |
04.01.2022
Delta Extrax Hydro Bubbler Review: What You Need To Know
Italian Cannabis Dressing
recipes |
19.09.2012
Italian Cannabis Dressing
3 Freeze Pipe Products That Are Herbworthy Certified
Learn |
03.07.2023
3 Freeze Pipe Products That Are Herbworthy Certified
Who’s Got The Best Munchies: East Coast vs West Coast
Learn |
21.09.2021
Who’s Got The Best Munchies: East Coast vs West Coast
Cannabis Carrot Cake
recipes |
16.08.2008
Cannabis Carrot Cake
Guide To Buying Digital Weed Scales 2024
Learn |
16.04.2019
Guide To Buying Digital Weed Scales 2024
Herb’s Guide To Pairing Delta 8 And Caffeine
Guides |
13.01.2022
Herb’s Guide To Pairing Delta 8 And Caffeine