5 Years After Legalization, Canada’s Rec Weed Market Booms to CA$5 Billion (And We Ain’t Even Counting the Black Market)

5 Years After Legalization, Canada's Rec Weed Market Booms to CA$5 Billion (And We Ain't Even Counting the Black Market)Yo, peep this – back in the day, the first legal sale of recreational cannabis went down in Canada at 12:01:01 AM on October 17th, 2018. The big boss man Bruce Linton from Canopy Growth was the one who made it happen at the Tweed store in Newfoundland. Cannabis.net was there to capture that historic moment live, you know what I’m saying?

Fast forward almost 5 years and Canada’s cannabis game is off the charts – they’re selling a crazy $5 billion CA a year, and that’s just on the legal side! The government spilled the beans on Thursday, revealing that recreational cannabis sales in Canada hit a whopping 5.07 billion Canadian dollars ($3.8 billion) in 2023, showing a 12.2% growth from the previous year.

The Canadian cannabis industry has been maturing like fine wine since adult-use cannabis got the green light back in October 2018. Customers used to have mad access to all kinds of goodies from unlicensed sellers, but now Canada’s got more product categories and legit dispensaries getting in on the action.

But hold up, there’s still one area where the black market is holding it down – edibles’ strength. Canada regulates how much THC can be in edibles to keep the public safe, capping it at 10 mg per packet.

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Now check this out – pre-rolled joints are blowing up in Canada! Data analyst Mitchell Laferla from Headset said pre-roll sales shot up to 31.4% of total sales in 2023, which is a big 19% jump from before. Pre-rolls are almost neck and neck with flower sales now at 35.2%, showing that folks are changing up how they consume their bud.

There’s also this new wave of “connoisseur/infused” joints hitting the scene, packing extra punch with cannabis concentrates. And even though overall cannabis prices dropped in 2023, pre-roll prices held steady thanks to high demand for those bad boys.

The numbers for December are out too, with legal adult-use cannabis sales raking in CA$441.2 million. That’s a 3.6% increase from last year, showing peeps are still into those legal goodies. December also saw an 8.2% boost from November 2023, sparking renewed interest from customers or maybe some seasonal shopping vibes.

Ontario was all about that growth, scoring a big 19.3% increase month-over-month. But British Columbia and Quebec weren’t as lucky, dropping by 5.2% and 12.6% respectively.

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Taxes and the black market are still holding the Canadian cannabis industry back though. High excise taxes are making it tough for legit producers and retailers to compete while the black market keeps snatching up customers.

But there’s hope on the horizon – forecasts are predicting a 10% increase in cannabis sales next year as more peeps shift to legal channels and more retail stores pop up. Companies are gearing up to offer new products and better customer experiences to keep those dollars rolling in.

In the end, Canada’s cannabis industry is looking mighty fine with all this growth and innovation happening. Despite some hurdles like taxes and competition from the black market, the future looks bright for Canadian bud lovers. With proactive measures and a focus on creativity and innovation, the Canadian cannabis game is set to keep on thriving.

So keep your eyes peeled for what’s next in this booming industry, ’cause Canada ain’t slowing down when it comes to blazing new trails in the world of weed!

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