The number of people registered to use medical marijuana in Canada continues to grow and will likely endure as the regulations of the ACMPR take effect. As of July 2017, there were more than 200 thousand medical marijuana clients registered in Canada, a significant increase from around 24 thousand that were registered as of June 2015. It is estimated that the total market size of medical marijuana in Canada in 2016 stood at nearly 50 million Canadian dollars and is projected to grow to over one billion dollars by the year 2020.
The average price for a gram of medical marijuana varies by strain, producer and province, but can range from some 6 to 13 Canadian dollars. As of the end of 2017 there were 76 licensed medical marijuana cultivators and/or distributors across Canada, 43 of which were based in Ontario. Previous regulations prohibited medical marijuana users from growing their own marijuana, but as the ACMPR allows for such, it is reasonable to assume that in the future some patients will choose to grow their own cannabis.
Naturally, not everyone agrees with the regulation and use of marijuana for medical purposes. Furthermore, regulators and health care professionals can have difficulty keeping up with the industry and vice versa. A recent survey of hospital pharmacists in Canada found that only a small portion of respondents considered themselves knowledgeable about medical marijuana. The same study found that almost half of surveyed hospital respondents did not feel comfortable giving advice to patients or other health care professionals on the use of medical marijuana.