By the Numbers: A legalized marijuana market

OTTAWA – A look at some of the numbers associated with a legalized recreational marijuana market in Canada as compiled by the parliamentary budget officer:

655 — The number of metric tonnes of marijuana expected to be consumed by Canadians in 2018, rising to 734 metric tonnes in 2021.

98 per cent — That’s how much of Canada’s current yearly marijuana consumption is estimated to be consumed by the 41 per cent of pot users who report daily or weekly use.

12.2 per cent — Proportion of Canada’s non-territorial population aged 15 and over that reported using cannabis at least once in 2011.

1.8 per cent — Proportion of population that reported using marijuana daily in 2011.

4.6 million — The midpoint of the PBO’s estimated number of Canadian cannabis consumers in 2018, rising to 5.2 million by 2021.

1.7 million — The midpoint estimate of 2018 cannabis users aged 15-24, more than a third of the total marijuana-using population. “In contrast, only 18.6 per cent would be in the age group 45 to 64, while seniors aged 65 and over would account for just 1.1 per cent,” says the PBO study.

36 — The number of licences issued to produce and sell medical cannabis as of Oct. 28, 2016. “Hundreds of other applications are ‘in progress’,” says the report.

4,000 — The number of kilograms of dried medical cannabis produced by licensed producers in the fourth quarter of 2015-16, representing only 2.5 per cent of estimated total quarterly demand in 2018.

5 — The number of North American jurisdictions that have legalized the production, distribution and sale of recreational cannabis. Canada would join Alaska, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Oregon and Washington as recreational pot markets, while five other U.S. states have ballot measures this month on legalizing recreational pot. Uruguay has also legalized, while the Netherlands allows retail sales, but has not legalized cultivation and distribution.

Source: “Legalized Cannabis: Fiscal Considerations” by the parliamentary budget office.