The federal government legalized recreational cannabis on October 17th, 2018 and sales at cannabis stores in the first 15 days after legalization totaled $43 million according to Statistics Canada. Canadians spent $1.6 billion on legal cannabis in 2018, more than double the amount that was spent on solely medical cannabis in 2017, according to a new report “The State of Legal Marijuana Market”, released by Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics.
At September 30, 2016, there were almost 100,000 patients registered to access medical marijuana, with an estimated sales value of around $150mm annually, excluding oils and extracts. Sales are growing at 20 –30% each quarter, and the market is expected to reach $3bn by 2024, according to a recent Dundee Report.
Even more promising is the prospect of a recreational market, with base consumption of marijuana estimated at $5bn –$9bn, according to Deloitte. Other analyses support this, including a study by the Parliamentary Budgetary Office (also concluded a $5bn market), and bench marking consumption rates from states such as Colorado, which shows an average of 23 grams per person annually. A market of this size in Canada would require between 650 thousand and 1 million kilograms of annual production, or 5 mm –8mm square feet of production space.
When ancillary products and services are added in, the recreational market potential jumps to over $20bn annually. Perhaps the most intriguing of ancillaries is infused product manufacturers, which includes edible oils, topical products, edibles, and inhalation extracts. With such a large, emerging market, there will be plenty of opportunities for innovation and niche products to serve a wide variety of different consumers, which will also promote a diverse set of suppliers. In Washington State, ~14% of production is used for infused products manufacturing, which can retail for double the price per equivalent gram of marijuana content.
The government has announced that the holder of a Micro Cultivation Licence can apply for multiple licenses, raising the bar for 420 Pursuit’s business model, to have the ability to vertically integrate our activities cultivating cannabis. The government also does not plan to put a limit on the number of licenses that will be granted for Micro’s.
Historically, operating a large cannabis cultivation business has meant that the staffing and operational has made it a cost-prohibitive venture. Now, with a Micro Cultivation Licence, licence holders will have the ability to run a lean operation with minimal staff and security. It is expected to spark a new “revolution” in craft cannabis production in Canada.
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