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Recreational cannabis 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 cannabis since 1999, and the country established the legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes in all provinces as of October 2018. By doing so, Canada is the first G7 nation to legalize cannabis nationwide for recreational use, and the second nation in the world after Uruguay. Currently, Canadians aged 18 years or older are able to buy cannabis for recreational purposes.

Market landscape

Global legal recreational sales (due mostly to legal U.S. state sales) have been steadily increasing and are forecast to reach 22 billion U.S. dollars in 2022. The Canadian market is increasingly playing a larger role in these sales. In 2021, sales reached 4.17 billion U.S. dollars, more than triple sales in 2019, the first full year of the legal recreational market. By 2026, the legal cannabis market in Canada is expected to double and exceed eight billion dollars in value. Flower or "buds" (the raw plant matter) are still the largest segment of the cannabis market but is expected to decline in the coming years as alternative ingestion formats such as vapes and beverages gain market share.

Consumption

Along with an increase in sales value, volume of legal cannabis consumption in Canada has increased dramatically as well. Total consumption in 2021 increased by 42 percent to over 300 thousand kilograms. The adult-use market increased its user base to 2.21 million in 2021. Much of its growth comes from illicit market users switching to legal channels. Interestingly, while the adult-use market is expected to grow, the number of medical users is expected to decline, presumably from users purchasing from the recreational market instead. While, the illicit market is expected to lose users it still possess quite a lot. Many consumers have not switched entirely to the legal market but instead purchase from both. The legal market has faced criticisms from users of being both more expensive and of lower quality than what can be found on the illicit market.

Interesting statistics

In the following 4 chapters, you will quickly find the 22 most important statistics relating to "Recreational cannabis in Canada".

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