Canada was the second country to legalize cannabis for adult use and the first to implement a regulated, open-to-all, adult-use cannabis industry. Uruguay was the first to legalize cannabis for adult use, however, Uruguay’s industry is very limited.

The rollout of a regulated adult-use cannabis industry in Canada has experienced its ups and downs, which is expected considering that Canada was the first to ever tackle such a monumental undertaking. Some opponents have claimed that Canada’s public policy change was not worth it, however, the math does not back that up.

Statistics Canada put out new information this week about the cannabis industry’s economic impact, and the numbers are huge. Per BNN Bloomberg:

Canada’s cannabis sector contributed $8.26 billion to the country’s gross domestic product as of July, a steady increase from the $7.02 billion last October when recreational cannabis was legalized, according to new data published by Statistics Canada on Tuesday. The StatsCan figures also show Canada’s legal cannabis industry has grown by a whopping 185 per cent in the first 10 months since recreational marijuana was legalized. The black market’s cannabis output has fallen by 21 per cent in that same time, according to StatsCan estimates.

A lot of discussions about measuring Canada’s cannabis industry success focus on total sales figures, the amount of cannabis cultivated, and other direct measurements. Those types of measurements are worth noting, however, they don’t capture the full picture of the cannabis industry’s economic impact on the country.

Because the cannabis industry contributes billions of dollars to Canada’s overall GDP, it’s an industry that benefits all members of Canada in one way or another whether they consume cannabis or not. Canada’s adult-use cannabis industry is still very young, so the numbers put out by Statistics Canada this week should increase well into the future.

Canada has a very rich history when it comes to cannabis, which is one of the many reasons why we choose to host an annual event in Vancouver, British Columbia. The cannabis industry rules and regulations in Canada are obviously not perfect, however, they are better than full prohibition as the available math demonstrates.