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 for the period covering October through December 2018. 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.

Total Inventories and Sales – Dried Cannabis (Kilograms)
Figure #. Text version below.
Total Inventories and Sales – Dried Cannabis (Kilograms) – Text Description

  Finished inventory Unfinished inventory Sales
Oct-2018 18,710 95,975 6,415
Nov-2018 19,719 98,640 7,360
Dec-2018 18,646 110,729 7,385
Jan-2019 20,161 115,941 7,313
Feb-2019 23,739 120,731 6,671

Total Inventories and Sales - Cannabis Oil (Litres)
Figure #. Text version below.
Total Inventories and Sales – Cannabis Oil (Litres) – Text Description

  Finished inventory Unfinished inventory Sales
Oct-2018 28,851 19,984 6,119
Nov-2018 35,221 24,044 7,309
Dec-2018 41,986 26,756 7,534
Jan-2019 52,908 30,868 7,921
Feb-2019 59,417 36,810 7,244

Finished Inventories and Sales – Dried Cannabis (Kilograms)
Figure #. Text version below.
Finished Inventories and Sales – Dried Cannabis (Kilograms) – Text Description

  Sales – medical Sales – non-medical Finished inventory - federal licence holders Finished inventory - distributors/retailers
Oct-2018 1,898 4,518 11,975 6,734
Nov-2018 1,774 5,586 10,228 9,490
Dec-2018 1,795 5,590 8,739 9,907
Jan-2019 1,779 5,534 10,138 10,023
Feb-2019 1,685 4,986 12,110 11,629

Finished Inventories and Sales - Cannabis Oil (Litres)
Figure #. Text version below.
Finished Inventories and Sales - Cannabis Oil (Litres) – Text Description
  Sales – medical Sales – non-medical Finished inventory - federal licence holders Finished inventory - distributors/retailers
Oct-2018 4,398 1,721 26,244 2,607
Nov-2018 5,089 2,220 26,091 9,129
Dec-2018 4,939 2,595 27,277 14,709
Jan-2019 4,983 2,938 32,883 20,025
Feb-2019 4,683 2,561 37,526 21,891

Highlights for the period ending February 28, 2019

  • Total sales of dried cannabis in February decreased by 8.8% compared to January (from 7,313 kg to 6,671 kg). However, this is largely due to fewer days in February and average daily sales of dried cannabis in February increased by 1.0% compared to January (from 236 kg to 238 kg).
  • Total sales of cannabis oil decreased by 8.5% (from 7,921 litres to 7,244 litres). However, average daily sales of cannabis oil increased by 1.3% (from 256 litres to 259 litres).
  • Total inventory of dried cannabis (finished and unfinished) held by cultivators, processors, distributors and retailers stood at 144,470 kg at the end of February – 21.7 times total sales in the month. Cannabis oil inventories totalled 96,227 litres –13.3 times total sales.
  • The total amount of finished dried cannabis products held in inventory at the end of February increased by 17.7% compared to the end of January (from 20,162 kg to 23,739 kg). The total amount of finished cannabis oil products increased 12.3% (from 52,908 litres to 59,417 litres).
  • Finished inventory held by provincial and territorial distributors and retailers increased 16.0% for dried cannabis. In aggregate, this inventory held by provinces and territories was 2.3 times non-medical sales in February.
  • Finished inventory held by provincial and territorial distributors and retailers increased by 9.3% for cannabis oil. In aggregate, this inventory held by provinces and territories was 8.5 times non-medical sales in January.
  • Finished inventory held by federal licence holders increased 19.5% for dried cannabis and increased 14.1% for cannabis oil.
  • Unfinished inventory held by federal licence holders increased 4.1% for dried cannabis and increased 19.2% for cannabis oil.

Table 1

Preliminary Summary of Fourth Quarter Data Collected under the Cannabis Tracking System (as of 2019-04-16)
  January 2019Footnote *
(31 days)
February 2019
(28 days)
Dried (kg) Oil (litres) Dried (kg) Oil (litres)
Sales - medical 1,779 4,983 1,685 4,683
Sales - non-medical 5,534 2,938 4,986 2,561
Sales 7,313 7,921 6,671 7,244
Federal licence holders 10,138 32,883 12,110 37,526
Provincial distributors/retailer 10,023 20,025 11,629 21,891
Finished inventory (end of month) 20,161 52,908 23,739 59,417
Federal licence holders 115,941 30,868 120,731 36,810
Unfinished inventory (end of month) 115,941 30,868 120,731 36,810

Note: Figures provided in this table reflect the data reported through the Cannabis Tracking System for the months of January and February 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.

Updated from previous report based on corrected and/or new data.

Return to footnote * referrer

Definitions

Sales – medical:
Refers to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)-stamped cannabis products sold directly to medical clients by holders of a federal licence for medical sales.
Sales – non-medical:
Refers to CRA-stamped cannabis products sold directly in the Canadian retail market (either online or in-person) for non-medical purposes.
Finished inventory:
Refers to any cannabis held in stock by a cultivator, processor, distributor, or retailer that is packaged, labelled, and ready for sale.
Unfinished inventory:
Refers to any cannabis held in stock by a cultivator or processor that is not packaged, labelled, and ready for sale.
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