The Senate gave the go-ahead Tuesday for the legalization of recreational marijuana by passing Bill C-45, also known as the Cannabis Act.
Before the bill becomes law, it need to pass one more formality – royal assent from the Governor General. Legalization will come into force Oct. 17 in order to give provinces and territories more time to prepare.
But questions still remain over the amount of revenue the legal marijuana market will actually generate and how consumption habits may shift as cannabis enters the legal realm.
Here’s a look at some key numbers that have surfaced so far relating to the legal pot market.
-About 4.9 million Canadians used cannabis and consumed more than 20 grams of marijuana per person in 2017, spending a total $5.6 billion on the product, according to estimates from Statistics Canada.
-Canadians aged 15 and over will consume 734 metric tons of cannabis by 2021, which could generate upward of $618 million in tax revenue, according to a 2016 report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer.
-Legal cannabis sales could reach $6.5 billion by 2020, according to an estimate from CIBC analysts John Zamparo, Prakash Gowd, and Mark Petrie. In a report published last month, the analysts predicted cannabis sales could top sales of spirits, with the potential to yield $1 billion in EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization).
-63 per cent of current cannabis users in Canada plan to make purchases at legal retailers, according to a survey commissioned by Deloitte that polled 1,500 Canadians. By the survey’s estimates, the legal cannabis market could generate $4.3 billion in sales next year.
-The Deloitte survey also found cannabis users would be willing to pay $8.98 per gram through legal channels. The current average price per gram in the illegal market is $8.24 per gram.
-$81 million in federal funding can be accessed by provinces and territories over the next five years for law enforcement training to help with the transition to cannabis legalization.
-There will be an excise tax of $1 per gram or 10 per cent of the retail price, whichever is greater. Provinces will take 75 per cent of the revenue, and the federal government will reap 25 per cent of the profit from this tax. Ottawa’s piece of the pie will not exceed $100 million for the first two years of legalization.
-Canadian adults will be allowed to carry up to 30 grams of dried cannabis in public.
-Four is the maximum number of home-grown marijuana plants allowed per household under Bill C-45.
-Ontario’s goal is to have 40 stores operating in the province by the end of 2018.