Medical marijuana in Canada - Statistics & Facts

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of regulations, the Access to Cannabis for Medicinal Purposes Regulations (ACMPR), were established in August 2016 and repealed and replaced the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR).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. Since October 2018, recreational use of marijuana is also legal in Canada.

Not (yet) as thriving as expected

The number of people registered to use medical marijuana in Canada reached a plateau in the last quarter of 2018, and even a drop in the first quarter of 2020. As of March 2020, there were some 329 thousand medical marijuana clients registered in Canada, nevertheless a high number compared to around 24 thousand 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 currently aiming at around half a billion dollars. However, projections for market growth were much higher, while now even a drop in market size is expected to be possible. This is, among other systemic barriers, mostly due to the small number of selling points and significantly higher prices in dispensaries compared to the black market.

Many producers and varying prices

As of September 2020, there were around 500 licensed medical marijuana cultivators and/or distributors across Canada, 193 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 more and more patients will choose to grow their own cannabis. The average price for a gram of medical marijuana varies by quality, producer and region, but can range from some 5 to 20 Canadian dollars in regulated dispensaries in larger cities.

Not everybody is ready

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.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 29 most important statistics relating to "Medical marijuana in Canada".


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