Original cannabis journalism for Canadians

Cannabis legalization six months in, by the numbers

Various types of cannabis on display at Garden Variety, a licensed store in Winnipeg. (Daniel Crump / Winnipeg Free Press)

Various types of cannabis on display at Garden Variety, a licensed store in Winnipeg. (Daniel Crump / Winnipeg Free Press)

Cannabis legalization in Canada turned six months old this week. Here's a look at legalization, by the numbers:

171 federal licences to produce, process and/or sell cannabis have been issued by regulator Health Canada, 39 more licences than when legalization kicked off on Oct. 17


12,110 kilograms of finished, ready-to-sell dried cannabis was in stock at those licensed producers as of Feb. 19.

11,629 kilograms of dried cannabis was in stock at licensed cannabis distributors and retailers as of Feb. 19.

6,671 kilograms of dried cannabis were sold in the legal market in February.


248 licences for bricks-and-mortar cannabis stores have been issued by provincial and territorial governments. (Some of those licences are for stores that have not yet been licensed by municipalities, or have not yet opened.)

75 store licences have been issued in Alberta, the jurisdiction with the greatest number of licences for physical cannabis stores.

0 store licences have been issued in Nunavut, which doesn't currently have any physical cannabis stores.


$49,893,000 worth of goods were sold by Canada's licensed cannabis stores in February.


0.5 per cent of all Canada's household spending in the fourth quarter of 2018 was spent on cannabis, both legal and illegal.


$9.99 is the average price paid for a gram of legal cannabis since legalization, according to Statistics Canada's crowdsourced cannabis price data tool.

$6.37 is the average price of a gram of illegal cannabis since legalization.


Roughly 4,600,000 Canadians aged 15 and older used cannabis in the last three months, as of the fourth quarter of 2018. That's about 15 per cent of all Canadians aged 15 and older.

55 per cent of Canadians aged 15 and older say they've never used cannabis.


184 days have passed since Oct. 17, when the Liberal government promised to expedite pardons for Canadians with previous convictions of cannabis possession.

49 days have passed since March 1, when the Liberal legislation to that effect was introduced in the House of Commons.


New on The Leaf

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    Hemp is a tough, versatile plant grown for everything from its edible seed kernels to fibre production. (Ryan Hermens / The Paducah Sun files)

    Hemp as a housing solution: Could hemp insulation help solve housing problems in Indigenous communities?
  • A double-header with Herb: Can Canadians with a licence to grow medical cannabis also buy medical cannabis? What about travelling outside of the country with medical cannabis?
  • More weed, fewer sales: Stockpiles of finished cannabis grew in February, but cannabis sales shrunk (partly because February is a short month).

Elsewhere on the Weed Wide Web

  • The National Institute for Cannabis Health and Education has found some Canadian minority cultures have a negative view of cannabis. (Graeme Roy / The Canadian Press files)

    The National Institute for Cannabis Health and Education has found some Canadian minority cultures have a negative view of cannabis. (Graeme Roy / The Canadian Press files)

    Profit sharing: Some Canadian mayors say their cities aren't getting their fair share of cannabis excise tax passed onto them from provincial governments.
  • Cross-cultural cannabis: The non-profit National Institute for Cannabis Health and Education is trying to boost the reputation of cannabis among Asian-Canadian communities, but it's an uphill battle.
  • Waiting their turn: Aspiring private cannabis retailers in the Northwest Territories are standing by for the opportunity to actually sell cannabis. (Right now, legal cannabis is only sold in NWT's liquor stores.)

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