Medical marijuana in Canada - Statistics & Facts

Published by Matej Mikulic, Apr 8, 2019
Following a similar trend in the United States, in recent years medical marijuana has become a much discussed and ever-evolving topic in Canada. Public support for medical marijuana in Canada has grown in recent times, as has the corresponding industry and market potential. Although Canada has provided legal access to medical marijuana since 1999, laws and regulations continue to change and develop. The latest set of regulations, the Access to Cannabis for Medicinal Purposes Regulations (ACMPR), were established on August 24, 2016 and repealed and replaced the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR). The ACMPR allows for licensed producers to produce and sell cannabis products for medical use and allows individuals to grow their own cannabis for medical purposes.

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 September 2018, there were more than 342 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 2015 stood at some 40 million Canadian dollars and is projected to grow to over two 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 October 2018 there were 132 licensed medical marijuana cultivators and/or distributors across Canada, 69 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 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.

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Medical marijuana in Canada

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