Legal vs Illegal Cannabis Market Share in Canada
Starting on October 17th, 2018, us Canadians had the fortunate opportunity to work in the Cannabis industry.. Legally! Prior to October 17th it had been almost 100 years of prohibition which had pushed the majority of cannabis operations underground into what is now known as the "legacy market" or "black market" if you want to call it what it is.
We all knew the legal market wouldn't stamp out the black market right away. However, after 2.5 years it is still surprising how the black market seems to be thriving now more than ever. Particularly mail order and delivery models which the majority of consumers have become so accustomed to. This is where I can't help but scratch my head and question. Why would regulations not allow for easy access to cannabis? I mean I get that we want to take a cautious approach to legalization, but it's clear after 2.5 years of legalization who is going to be picking up the slack. And the group that benefits most from these slowly changing regs is not the consumer, it's the black market who will keep doing what they do best, service their customer! Business 101, right?
So it peaked my interest to see a stats Canada graph stating that the legal market had overcome the black market in terms of total expenditure in Q3, 2020! Great news, however I digress to further inspect where these numbers from the black market come from and their validity... But I'll take it at face value for what it's worth.
According to stats Canada, spending for non medical cannabis products increased to $824 Million in Q3, 2020. Whereas spending on unlicensed cannabis was estimated to have decreased to $754 Million.
Huge news, for an industry in such a juvenile stage. I remember reading it took over 10 years for the legal alcohol industry to squash the illicit market back in 1933 following the end of prohibition. So we got some work ahead of us and time is on our side.
Another huge positive with these stats is that it's just the beginning. You have to think this will only be expedited as regulations ease up for legal retailers and producers to better highlight their brands and service their target market.
But don't forget to look at the big picture, this is only accounting for the migration of illicit consumers over to the legal market through a change in regulations. I believe what will really put the jets on increasing the legal market share is to expand the market size through education along with access. We have to remember that there is still the majority of people stuck in the reefer madness mindset, programmed from many years of government propaganda. Once we break through this barrier, that is when we will really see the legal market thrive. With education comes the desire to know exactly what is in the cannabis that an individual is consuming and that's where the black market cannot compete.
It's our mission at Instaleaf the help provide the necessary education to help expand the legal market and help drive this movement forward through Canada, and beyond! Our team has seen the benefits of this plant and we'll do whatever we can to help these benefits be heard.
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