Article by Armina Ligaya, Canadian Press via CityNews
Canada’s supply of legal cannabis at current production levels will meet just 30 to 60 per cent of total demand, according to a new analysis from a think-tank.
The estimated demand across the country is roughly 610.6 tonnes but the forecasted available marijuana supply in the fourth quarter of this year is just 146.13 tonnes, according to an upcoming report by the C.D. Howe Institute.
By the end of the first year of legalization, the amount of commercially produced legal cannabis will total about 210 tonnes, the authors said.
“The important policy conclusion is that there will not be enough legal supply, especially during the first half of the year following legalization, primarily because of the slow rate of licensing producers,” wrote University of Waterloo economics professor Anindya Sen and C.D. Howe policy analyst Rosalie Wyonch.
The report to be released next week forecasts that there will be 97 licensed producers during the fourth quarter 2018, up from 45 during the first quarter but less than the 144 expected by the third quarter of 2019.
Canada is preparing to legalize cannabis for recreational use on Oct. 17, becoming the second country after Uruguay to do so. The total cannabis market in Canada, including medical, illegal as well as legal recreational products is expected to generate up to $7.17 billion in total sales in 2019, according to a recent Deloitte report. Of that amount, legal sales are expected to contribute more than half, up to $4.34 billion, in the first year, Deloitte added.