Cannabis Is A Major Economic Contributor In Canada
Canada was not the first country to legalize cannabis for adult use. That distinction goes to Uruguay which legalized cannabis for adult use roughly 5 years prior to Canada doing so in 2018.
However, Canada was the first G-7 country to legalize cannabis for adult use, and historically it is the only country on earth where anyone of legal age can purchase cannabis from storefronts, delivery services, and via the web. It has served as the ultimate public policy experiment, and according to the results of a new analysis from Deloitte, the experiment appears to be working.
Deloitte is the world’s largest consulting firm and offers a wide variety of services. One thing that the consulting firm does is economic analysis. Deloitte recently released its analysis regarding Canada’s emerging cannabis industry.
A number of firms and government entities have released Canada cannabis industry data on a rolling basis, however, Deloitte’s analysis is the most comprehensive to date. They looked at a number of economic statistics and indicators since the start of legalization in Canada over three years ago.
One of the major takeaways from the analysis is that the legal cannabis industry in Canada has created roughly 151,000 jobs. Jobs range from budtenders to cultivation staff to regulatory positions in government. To put that figure into perspective, it is estimated that the number of cannabis jobs in the U.S. is roughly 321,000.
A major selling point for a legalized industry is that it creates good jobs, and often in areas where it’s typically hard to create jobs, such as in rural areas. After all, an indoor cultivation center or processing facility can be located virtually anywhere, and people purchase cannabis nationwide regardless of local population size.
GDP And Tax Revenue
In addition to generating new jobs across Canada, the emerging legal cannabis industry is responsible for generating over $15 billion since legal adult-use sales launched in late 2018. It’s not enough money to solve every financial problem that Canada has, however, it’s still a significant sum that would otherwise be zero if the legal cannabis industry wasn’t allowed to operate.
The overall economic boost from Canada’s legalized industry is substantial. Deloitte estimates that the legal cannabis industry in Canada has contributed over $43.5 billion to the nation’s GDP since the start of legalization. Cannabis companies have directly invested roughly $4.4 billion into Canada’s economy, with the remaining boost to GDP coming from “indirect” economic contributions, and “induced” contributions according to Deloitte.