Recreational marijuana in Canada - Statistics & Facts

Following a similar trend in the United States, the legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada has become a hot topic in politics and in the public realm. Canada has provided legal access to medical marijuana since 1999, and the country plans to establish the legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes in all provinces in July 2018. By doing so, Canada is set to become the first G7 nation to legalize marijuana nationwide for recreational use, and the second nation in the world after Uruguay.

Marijuana is produced from the dried leaves and flowers of the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. Cultivation of the hemp plant has become more widespread globally with the development of indoor technologies, therefore, it is no longer limited to growing in tropical climates. The primary active component of cannabis is delta-9-tetrahydro-cannabinol, more generally known as THC.

The majority of Canadian provinces are set to sell marijuana for recreational purposes through government supported online sales, with the federal government setting the legal purchase age at 18. Individual provinces can choose to raise this age, for example Ontario, the most populated province, is setting the minimum purchase age to 19.

Consumer prices of recreational marijuana in Canada have gradually decreased annually to 7.43 Canadian dollars per gram in 2017, with the lowest prices recorded in Manitoba in 2017. Before the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes, 21.7 percent of a surveyed Canadian population stated that they used marijuana recreationally in 2017.

The subject is not straight forward, and not everyone agrees with the legalization of non-medical marijuana in Canada, with differences in opinion recorded among age groups, genders and regions. There is also debate on whether Canadians should be allowed to grow their own marijuana when it is legalized.

Assuming that marijuana is fully legalized in Canada in 2018, the market size for medical and non-medical dried marijuana in 2020, sold at 7.5 Canadian dollars per gram and 2.6 dollars per milliliter for oil or extract, would reach 2.8 billion Canadian dollars.

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