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.

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 18,481 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
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 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
Finished Inventories and Sales – Dried Cannabis (Kilograms)
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 1,941 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
Finished Inventories and Sales - Cannabis Oil (Litres)
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 4,533 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

Highlights for the period ending March 31, 2019

  • Total sales of dried cannabis in March increased by 14.3% compared to February (from 6,670 kilograms to 7,627 kilograms).
  • Total sales of cannabis oil increased by 8.9% (from 7,270 litres to 7,918 litres).
  • Total inventory of dried cannabis (finished and unfinished) held by cultivators, processors, distributors and retailers stood at 174,575 kilograms at the end of March 2019- 22.9 times total sales in the month of March 2019. Cannabis oil inventories totalled 98,055 litres -12.4 times total sales.
  • The total amount of finished dried cannabis products held in inventory at the end of March increased by 32.8% compared to the end of February (from 23,198 kilograms to 30,802 kilograms). The total amount of finished cannabis oil products increased 4.4% (from 59,541 litres to 62,188 litres).
  • Finished inventory held by provincial and territorial distributors and retailers increased 52.3% for dried cannabis. In aggregate, this inventory held by provinces and territories was 3.0 times non-medical sales in March 2019.
  • Finished inventory held by provincial and territorial distributors and retailers increased by 49.2% for cannabis oil. In aggregate, this inventory held by provinces and territories was 11.5 times non-medical sales in March 2019.
  • Finished inventory held by federal licence holders increased 13.0% for dried cannabis and decreased 21.8% for cannabis oil.
  • Unfinished inventory held by federal licence holders increased 19.2% for dried cannabis and decreased 2.5% for cannabis oil.

Table 1

Preliminary Summary of Fourth Quarter Data Collected under the Cannabis Tracking System (as of 2019-05-24)
  January 2019 Footnote * February 2019 Footnote *

March 2019

Dried (kg) Oil (litres) Dried (kg) Oil (litres) Dried (kg) Oil (litres)
Sales - medical 1,779 4,983 1,685 4,683 1,698 5,064
Sales - non-medical 5,534 2,931 4,985 2,587 5,929 2,854
Sales 7,313 7,914 6,670 7,270 7,627 7,918
Federal licence holders 10,303 32,882 11,528 37,526 13,025 29,349
Provincial distributors/retailer 10,016 20,032 11,670 22,015 17,777 32,839
Finished inventory (end of month) 20,319 52,914 23,198 59,541 30,802 62,188
Federal licence holders 117,483 30,873 120,660 36,770 143,773 35,867
Unfinished inventory (end of month) 117,483 30,873 120,660 36,770 143,773 35,867

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