COMMENTARY: Canada’s legal pot market is gaining strength, but still has far to go

Canada’s cannabis legalization has had its problems. For example, last week the Ontario and federal governments blamed each other for the shortage of legal retailers in that province. This week, a producer was caught growing cannabis in unlicensed facilities. And Statistics Canada reports most users still buy from illegal suppliers.

Fortunately, other government data shows the legal industry has made progress over the past year. Further success, however, will require improvements in product supplies, retail convenience, and pricing.

Looking back

Until last October, only registered medical patients could legally use cannabis. As of September 2018, 342,103 cannabis prescriptions were registered with licensed producers. Those purchases averaged 6.7 tonnes monthly.

Another 25,447 patients were growing their own plants. Assuming similar usage, they might have consumed one tonne per month.

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