What's big in Canada's legal market in 2021?

Liz Filmer
28 Oct 2021

In a fascinating insight into the legal market, new data has revealed that dried cannabis is still no. 1 in Canada's regulated recreational market. However, its dominance over other categories is beginning to wane.

Spending on all legal cannabis products hit CA$1.8 billion in the six months of January-June 2021. That's down from 80% in the last half and closer to 90% in early 2020. At which point, edibles and vapes hadn't been fully introduced onto the legal market. The share of the market broke down as follows.

Dried cannabis Flower sales reached CA$1.3 billion, or 73% of total expenditure.

Extracts and concentrates retail sales were CA$291.7 million, or 16.4% of total expenditure.

Edibles spending (excluding beverages) stood at CA$68.1 million, or 3.8% of total expenditure.

Drinks were at $23.6 million, or 1.3% of total expenditure.

Spending on Medicinal cannabis was also reported to have hit  CA$242 million in this same period.

It is no surprise that Flower's dominance is fading, given the emergence and growing popularity of products such as edibles and vapes.
As availability and understanding of vapes and edibles have increased, these products have begun to eat away at Flower sales. Dried Flower sales were initially high for the first few years after legalisation as edibles, and vape forms of cannabis were still not regulated. 

Once they became regulated, the idea that Flower could sustain 80-90% of total market sales was unsustainable. The level that Flower sales are falling to is still very comfortable, though, and the important thing is that the overall market is still growing.  It is expected that the Flower sector will continue to grow in terms of dollars, even if the percentage share of overall sales falls.

Sales of edibles and beverages may look low; however, they are steadily gaining market share despite the stringent packaging regulations. Currently, each package of cannabis edible product can contain no more than 10 milligrams of THC.

It is possible, however, that edibles are performing slightly better than the data would first suggest. This is because Quebec, the second biggest Canadian consumer market, banned the sale of cannabis edibles for recreational use before legalisation. Despite this, the general opinion is that the edible market will continue to be one of the regulated market's fastest-growing sectors. 

Cannabis Flower will always be a classic favourite with a place close to many peoples hearts. However, it is no surprise that edibles, vapes, and other newer forms of cannabis products are growing in popularity. As education about cannabis increases and the stigma of old starts to disappear, people begin to understand and trust these newer forms of ingestion. They can make informed choices about what fits best with their needs and lifestyle.  

Liz Filmer