(MENAFN - Baystreet.ca) Canadians bought nearly 100 tonnes of legal recreational cannabis in its first year of availability, according to new figures released by Health Canada.
Health Canada said 88,676 kilograms of dried flower cannabis was sold in Canada in the first year of legalization, according to its Cannabis Tracking System. Overall sales of legal dried cannabis by weight have nearly tripled since October 2018.
Statistics Canada said Tuesday that Canadian household spending on cannabis totaled $1.27 billion in the third quarter of 2019, with the illicit market accounting for $860 million of that figure and the legal market estimated at $417 million.
While 100 tonnes may sound like a lot, the amount sold through legal channels was far below what analysts projected Canadian demand would be, a sign that the illicit market continues to weigh on legal sales. CIBC World Markets said in mid-2018 that the Canadian market would demand about 400,000 kilograms of legal pot annually, while the Bank of Nova Scotia forecast total cannabis demand in Canada will be 900,000 kilograms this year.
Health Canada also said that the total active cultivation area for cannabis in the country reached 1.78 million square metres at the end of September, a sizable jump from the 452,896 square meters of cultivation that was licensed for legal pot a year earlier. Nearly five million cannabis plants were being grown by producers at the end of the first year of legalization, Health Canada said.