WHAT WE'VE SEEN AND WHAT WE CAN LOOK FORWARD TO
We’re one year into Canada’s recreational legalization of cannabis and what a year it’s been. Alberta’s cannabis market has been able to thrive, making us the largest cannabis market in Canada, while big players like Ontario and British Columbia have seen some struggles. We’ve seen national product shortages come and go, but now we’re about to embark on Legalization 2.0 and have a whole other set of opportunities ahead.
What’s gone on in one year seems like a decade. We’ve grown from one store to soon to be eight, which is an unheard of feat in most other industries. The cannabis industry has seen exponential growth, even in its infancy and despite the hurdles. According to BNN Bloomberg, Canada’s cannabis sector contributed $8.26 billion to the country’s gross domestic product as of July, a steady increase from the $7.02 billion last October when recreational cannabis was legalized, according to new data published by Statistics Canada on Tuesday The StatsCan figures also show Canada's legal cannabis industry has grown by a whopping 185 per cent in the first 10 months since recreational marijuana was legalized. The black market’s cannabis output has fallen by 21 per cent in that same time, according to StatsCan estimates.
While the Canadian market is far from their southern counterpart in terms of profitability and product innovation, this is definitely not a negative thing as posed by the media. Canada’s strict regulations have somewhat stifled growth, but they’ve enabled a safe and trustworthy cannabis network to be developed. While vape issues run rampant in the States and illicit markets, Canadians can ensure they will be protected when these items enter retail locations. Health Canada very strictly regulates what can be added to the products and means of production. Both of these factors are key to consumer safety, and something that is core to the issues surrounding illicit vape pen products. Edibles will be clearly labeled and limits will be placed on overall THC as a means of mitigating “overindulgence”, and retailers are working hard to educate consumers on these new products.
While there have been revelations as to what the cannabis market actually looks like in Canada, versus what was anticipated, overall we can firmly say we are happy in the Canadian landscape. We’ve created a trustworthy system, one that can grow in a socially responsible manner. Stringent regulations will likely loosen over the years, product quality is increasing at a rapid rate, and prices are already more competitive with the black market – all in a year’s time.
So, what can we look forward to in the coming months and years?
It will still be some time before edibles, vape pens, topicals and concentrates hit the market and many LPs are keeping their offerings under wraps until further confirmation, as new product applications will only start to accepted on the day of legalization 2.0. Cannabis producers have to notify Health Canada of their plans to sell these new products 60 days in advance. It may take until December, or beyond to legally purchase.
But, we do know we will see some prominent brands from the States entering the market, such as Goodship and Dosist. Team CBD and team THC will be equally satisfied, with LPs catering to both demographics in all product lines. But for now, we are just patiently waiting to see what exciting products hit the market! All we can say is, Christmas will be an exciting time.
Shifting away from government managed supply chains?
Ontario has been in talks about moving away from a government-managed supply chain. The OCS posted multi-million-dollar losses due to supply chain issues and consumer backlash. Could this be adopted by more provinces?
As we gain our footing in the new industry, while some things are still a bit hazy, we are confident in the industry's growth and the passion of consumers, which will push the cannabis sector further every day.
Regardless, happy legalization day and thank you for supporting FOUR20 on this journey!