Did legalizing cannabis disrupt the illegal cannabis market ?

Canada legalized marijuana in 2018, how did it affect the illegal cannabis market?

I’d like to discuss the changes we’ve experienced in Canada since marijuana became legal. Before legalization we all had a pusher or a number of someone we knew that would deliver the weed directly to our door.

We are now in a different world…

Things have changed, each province has their own rules but it’s now very easy to order marijuana online or go into a store and walk out with pre rolled joints. Depending on your province you might have drinks, amazing edibles, vapes etc… the list goes on. The point is that there are now so many ways to consume cannabis, the landscape has changed dramatically. We now have organic growers, specialty growers and of course the mass produce cannabis growers. Each cater to a different crowd.

Since legalization what changed?

Are more and more people getting cannabis from legals business? Well if take the Canadian Cannabis Survey (CCS) and the National Cannabis Survey data. It really show’s an increase in the number of consumers who report accessing cannabis from legal sources and decreasing numbers who report access from illegal sources.

Data shows there is a clear visible growth in the legal cannabis market. The decline is also palpable in the illegal market and its not almost half of what is used to be before the legalization of cannabis. We are seeing the clear demise of the illegal market. This makes us realize that the illegal market will not disappear overnight but it will slowly become irrelevant.

The stats clearly shows something is changing with habits

Additionally, Statistics Canada’s Household Consumption Expenditure table suggests that he legal share of the value of cannabis consumed has steadily increased. It has risen to 66% in the fourth quarter of 2021, compared to 9% prior to legalization. 

Estimates at the provincial level show a consistent trend. In 2021, following a review of its provincial cannabis legislation. Quebec’s Ministry of Health and Social Services estimated that as much as 70% of people who consumed cannabis in the past 12 months purchased it from a legal source. 

Similarly, a recent Ontario Cannabis Store Quarterly Report highlights that the legal share of the non-medical cannabis market in Ontario increased from 54.2% in the previous quarter to 58.5%.

Fun stats about marijuana in Canada

  • Smoking remained by far the most common consumption method.
  • Approximately 3,200 cannabis retail stores opened across Canada.
  • The average price per gram of legal recreational cannabis had fallen to CA$5.66 as of December 2021.
  • Only six cannabis licenses have been suspended, while three were revoked.
  • As of December 2021, just under 300,000 patients were registered to access medical cannabis.
  • Micro license holders account for 38% of all federal licensees. The number grew from 20 at the start of 2020 to 340 as of July 31, 2022.

420ave take:

This is fantastic news and should be used as proof that legalizing cannabis in Canada was the right thing to do. I hope other countries can follow, I am sure there are a lot of good data coming from the USA with over 20 states that legalized marijuana (probably even more soon).

Ultimately cannabis was on the naughty list for far too long and it’s about time we change that. It’s so much safer and better to have it legal, it’s been really fun discovering legal marijuna in the last few year.

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Thomas Bernier

Thomas Bernier is the Editor-in-Chief and the founding members of 420ave. I mainly do reviews, news and I write blogs about the cannabis industry.

1 Comment

  1. […] I am really happy about the results of yesterdays vote, it’s a step in the right direction. Yesterday there was 19 states where marijuana was legal and this morning we wake up to 21 states. It’s a move in the right direction and for that I am very happy. Of course we could talk about the other states where the votes did not go in the direction I was hoping for. But I decided to only look not he right side this morning! Now we need the federal level to wake up and smell the weed. It’s about time they change their stand on weed and see it for what it is. Its just a plant!! Please follow Canada in making it legal. We know that in Canada legalizing cannabis did reduce the black market. […]

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