Article by Scott Blacklock, Lift News
Canada’s cannabis industry insiders are warning that despite its claims to the contrary, Health Canada is underprepared when it comes to the supply — and demand — for cannabis after it’s legal on Oct. 17, 2018.
How much cannabis will Canadians want post-legalization? Three different studies offer some theories: a 2016 study by Health Canada and Deloitte picked the brains of 5,000 statistically average Canadians, and concluded Canadians will buy a minimum of 600,000 kg annually. In its Sept. 20. 2017 report, Mackie Research Capital one-upped Deloitte, forecasting that consumers will need around 800,000 kg. And a 2017 report from the Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer projects that we’ll need 655,000 kg – for the recreational market alone.
Whatever the true number turns out to be, it’s a formidable amount of cannabis to produce. And Canada is the new global king of producing pot – even now, months before the recreational use market opens its flood gates.
Licensed producers have been growing and selling medical cannabis strains since 2001, now in dried flower and oil forms — not just to Canadians with a doctor’s prescription, but to countries all around the world with their own medical marijuana programs, totaling about $1.2 billion in sales last year. We count Germany, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries among our international customers who value Canada’s medical grade bud.
We also grow more of it than anyone else. Look at our top three licensed producers: Aphria, Aurora and Canopy Growth. Aphria is on track to churn out 255,000 kg annually, while Aurora could top out close to 450,000 kg, especially given its state-of-the-art facility Aurora Sun in Medicine Hat, Alta. At more than 1.2 million square-feet, the mega-facility promises its endless rows of cannabis plants more than enough room to stretch their leaves. As for Canopy, after recently tripling its licensed production capacity to a whopping 2.4 million square-feet, and announcing plans to boost its peak capacity to 5.7 million square-feet, it commits to an annual delivery of more than a half-million kg of cannabis.