Cannabis Demand and Supply

The Cannabis Act provides the Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction with the authority to track the high-level movement of cannabis across the country.

On October 17, 2018, the Government launched a national Cannabis Tracking System to prevent legal cannabis from being diverted to the illegal market and to keep illegal cannabis out of the legal market. Federal licence holders and provincial and territorial public bodies are required to report information to Health Canada on a monthly basis through a web-based application.

The deadline to submit monthly reports is the 15th of each month. Each report reflects sales of cannabis for medical and non-medical purposes during the previous month. These reports also reflect the inventory of cannabis held by federal licence holders and by provincially or territorially authorized distributors and retailers.

Given the significant public interest in understanding the demand and supply of cannabis since the coming into force of the Cannabis Act, Health Canada is making available a preliminary summary of recently submitted information. The summary table will be updated periodically, as reported information is verified and validated and as new data is submitted to the department.

In addition to providing this summary data, Health Canada has published a more detailed summary of data reported to the Cannabis Tracking System, as well as data pertaining to cannabis for medical purposes. This is consistent with the department's practice prior to October 17, 2018, where market-related data reported under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations was published on Health Canada's website every three months. Statistics Canada will also be publishing various cannabis statistics through its system of national economic accounts and via the Cannabis Stats Hub.

Figure 1. Total Inventories and Sales – Dried Cannabis (Kilograms)
Figure 1. Total Inventories and Sales – Dried Cannabis (Kilograms). Text version below.
Figure 1 – Text Description
no data Finished inventory Unfinished inventory Sales
Oct-2018 18,481 96,822 6,346
Nov-2018 18,724 99,007 7,285
Dec-2018 18,940 111,693 7,600
Jan-2019 20,319 117,483 7,313
Feb-2019 23,198 120,660 6,670
Mar-2019 30,802 143,773 7,627
Apr-2019 31,880 183,785 8,853
Figure 2. Total Inventories and Sales - Cannabis Oil (Litres)
Figure 2. Total Inventories and Sales - Cannabis Oil (Litres). Text version below.
Figure 2 – Text Description
no data Finished inventory Unfinished inventory Sales
Oct-2018 29,511 21,317 6,241
Nov-2018 35,466 25,203 7,393
Dec-2018 42,760 27,171 7,818
Jan-2019 52,914 30,873 7,914
Feb-2019 59,541 36,770 7,270
Mar-2019 62,188 35,867 7,918
Apr-2019 72,246 47,450 8,196
Figure 3. Finished Inventories and Sales – Dried Cannabis (Kilograms)
Figure 3. Finished Inventories and Sales – Dried Cannabis (Kilograms). Text description follows.
Figure 3 - Text Description
no data Sales – medical Sales – non-medical Finished inventory - federal licence holders Finished inventory - distributors/retailers
Oct-2018 1,941 4,405 12,310 6,171
Nov-2018 1,795 5,490 10,410 8,314
Dec-2018 1,816 5,784 8,789 10,151
Jan-2019 1,779 5,534 10,303 10,016
Feb-2019 1,685 4,985 11,528 11,670
Mar-2019 1,698 5,929 13,025 17,777
Apr-2019 2,129 6,724 14,001 17,879
Figure 4. Finished Inventories and Sales - Cannabis Oil (Litres)
Figure 4. Finished Inventories and Sales - Cannabis Oil (Litres). Text description follows.
Figure 4 - Text Description
no data Sales – medical Sales – non-medical Finished inventory - federal licence holders Finished inventory - distributors/retailers
Oct-2018 4,533 1,708 27,299 2,212
Nov-2018 5,122 2,271 26,305 9,161
Dec-2018 4,968 2,850 27,483 15,277
Jan-2019 4,983 2,931 32,882 20,032
Feb-2019 4,683 2,587 37,526 22,015
Mar-2019 5,064 2,854 29,349 32,839
Apr-2019 4,760 3,436 36,879 35,367

Highlights for the period ending April 30, 2019

  • Total sales of dried cannabis in April increased by 16.1% compared to March (from 7,627 kilograms to 8,853 kilograms).
  • Total sales of cannabis oil increased by 3.5% (from 7,918 litres to 8,196 litres).
  • Total inventory of dried cannabis (finished and unfinished) held by cultivators, processors, distributors and retailers stood at 215,665 kilograms at the end of April - 24.4 times total sales in that month. Cannabis oil inventories totalled 119,696 litres -14.6 times total sales.
  • The total amount of finished dried cannabis products held in inventory at the end of April increased by 3.5% compared to the end of March (from 30,802 kilograms to 31,880 kilograms). The total amount of finished cannabis oil products increased 16.2% (from 62,188 litres to 72,246 litres).
  • Finished inventory held by provincial and territorial distributors and retailers increased 0.6% for dried cannabis. In aggregate, this inventory held by provinces and territories was 2.7 times non-medical sales in April.
  • Finished inventory held by provincial and territorial distributors and retailers increased by 7.7% for cannabis oil. In aggregate, this inventory held by provinces and territories was 10.3 times non-medical sales in April.
  • Finished inventory held by federal licence holders increased 7.5% for dried cannabis and increased 25.7% for cannabis oil.
  • Unfinished inventory held by federal licence holders increased 27.8% for dried cannabis and increased 32.3% for cannabis oil.

Table 1

Preliminary Summary of First Quarter Data Collected under the Cannabis Tracking System (as of 2019-06-25)
no data April 2019
Source of cannabis sold and in inventory Dried (kg) Oil (litres)
Sales - medical 2,129 4,760
Sales - non-medical 6,724 3,436
Sales 8,853 8,196
Federal licence holders 14,001 36,879
Provincial distributors/retailers 17,879 35,367
Finished inventory (end of month) 31,880 72,246
Federal licence holders 183,785 47,450
Unfinished inventory (end of month) 183,785 47,450

Note: Figures provided in this table reflect the data reported through the Cannabis Tracking System for the month of April 2019. Verification and validation of this data is ongoing. As such, the data should not be considered as final. Non-medical sales of cannabis began on October 17, 2018.

For complete data covering previous quarters, refer to Health Canada's Cannabis Research and Data page.

Definitions

Sales – medical
Cannabis products sold directly to medical clients by holders of a federal licence for medical sales.
Sales – non-medical
Cannabis products sold directly in the Canadian retail market (either online or in-person) for non-medical purposes by a provincially or territorially authorized distributor or retailer.
Finished inventory
Cannabis held in stock by a cultivator, processor, distributor, or retailer that is packaged, labelled, and ready for sale.
Unfinished inventory
Cannabis held in stock by a cultivator or processor that is not packaged, labelled, and ready for sale.
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