Will CBD sales and use overtake legal cannabis sales in Canada?

Published Sep 4, 2019 11:00 a.m. ET
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The cannabis industry is booming economically, and since the legalization of recreational cannabis in Canada, there has been a significant increase in cannabis use.  The revenues from the sales of marijuana in Canada has also increased. Although there isn’t any federal legalization of cannabis in the United States, some states have legalized cannabis for medical and recreational use.

Since the legalization of hemp-derived CBD, there has been a large sum of money earned from CBD sales in America. The growth of the CBD market is due to several factors. Farmers in America have already started to plan to grow more hemp plants in Colorado and other states. Investors are also investing in cannabis plant facilities for the extraction of CBD. Thanks to the health and therapeutic benefits associated with CBD, many items from beauty products to animal foods are now being infused with CBD. Despite the lack of concrete evidence, CBD is marketed as a component of cannabis that can help to alleviate pain and anxiety among other ailments. There is a huge demand for the CBD market.


The 2018 Farm Bill allowed for the legalization of hemp-derived CBD. The hemp plant usually contains little THC, and federally regulated products may only contain less than O.3% THC. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant. The FDA has recently approved Epidiolex, a cannabis infused drug containing CBD to help with patients suffering from epilepsy. The studies conducted so far on CBD and its benefits are limited and inconclusive and so more clinical trials needed. Nonetheless, the demand for CBD is ever growing, and CBD sales are estimated to increase significantly over the years.

America CBD sales vs Canada cannabis sales

Before the legalization of CBD in US, the illegal cannabis market thrived for years without competition. However, since the passing of the Farm Bill, there has been a reduction in the profits of the black market.  Experts and analysist have estimated that CBD sales will reach close to 24 billion dollars by 2023. Contrastingly, by 2023 cannabis sales in Canada may reach roughly $5 billion. Based on information from BDS Analytics, last year sales were reported to amount to around $570 million. By far, this is lesser than the amount CBD sales is expected to generate in the United States.


Possible reasons for CBD sales overtake of Canada’s cannabis sales

The high CBD sales projections are because there is a bigger market for CBD in the United States due to its demand. Another reason is that CBD is flexible and adjustable, so it can be infused or incorporated into many different products that have nothing to do with smoking. By-products such as CBD oil and edibles are becoming more popular than dried cannabis.

In Canada, the market for cannabis-infused products is not large as it is in the United States. Cannabis products that are available are dried cannabis flower and CBD oil, but edibles are still not on the market legally yet. The legalization of edibles will take place in October, so when that takes place then we may see a substantial increase in the legal cannabis sales in Canada. CBD sales and use are expected to overtake cannabis sales in Canada, especially if recreational marijuana is legalized under federal law.

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