Canada Destroys Record Quantity of Weed

Stephen Andrews
03 Aug 2022

Canadian growers destroyed a whooping 425 million grams of weed last year, or 468 tons of unsold, unpackaged dried cannabis, to give that a better perspective. The widespread destruction of unsold cannabis in Canada is rooted in the country's regulation. Vast amounts of cannabis have been obliterated every year since Canada legalized recreational use in 2018. Analysis shows that the record quantity destroyed in 2021 also far exceeds the product sold that year.

Latest data suggests that some Canadian mass producers may need to curb production further to meet forecasted sales after years of right-sizing capacity so they don't grow more than what they can sell.

According to Health Canada, which provided the data to MJBizDaily, Canada's federally licensed marijuana operators destroyed a record 468 tons of unsold, unpackaged dried cannabis in 2021. The number is up 50% from 2020 when 279 million grams of produce were destroyed. In 2019, 155 million grams were destroyed. 

Seattle-based analytics firm Headset projects that dried and pre-rolled cannabis sales topped 293 million grams last year, indicating that destroyed supplies once again exceeded the sale of this product. 

Headset monitors sales in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Saskatchewan, which together generate close to three-quarters of all legal sales of adult-use pot products in Canada. 

Data from Health Canada further reveals that more than 7 million packaged cannabis goods were also sent for destruction in 2021, in addition to the unpackaged dried cannabis.

As reported by MJBizDaily, the quantities of destroyed cannabis include:  

  •  3,576,232 dried cannabis packages, 
  • 1,118,148 packages of extracts, including vapes.
  • 2,421,823 packages of edibles, including beverages.
  • 15,359 packages of topicals.

In 2021, Canadian dispensaries sold approximately 104 million packaged goods of weed, suggesting that at least the sale of packaged merch exceeds the quantity of that what is being destroyed. 

The Health Canada data does not include the weight of packaged production. 

In the U.S., a significant right-sizing capacity problem has been observed in California

Stephen Andrews