By Roland Sebestyén
A new report reveals that Canada seemingly hit a home run with legalising cannabis as the ever-growing legal industry has contributed to the economy significantly over the last three years.
While the process hasn’t been always smooth, Deloitte’s new report shows Canada has made the right decision when it liberated the country’s cannabis market in October 2018.
BNN Bloomberg reports that Deloitte, one of the so-called Big Four accounting firms, found that the cannabis industry has contributed an astonishing $43.5bn to the economy since legalisation.
Even more importantly, the industry has generated more than $15bn in direct and indirect tax revenue while creating more than 150,000 new jobs in the country.
Rishi Malkani, a partner at Deloitte and head of the consultancy’s Canadian cannabis practice, said: “Our hope with this report is that people would realise that the industry’s done a lot more than simply provide [licensed producers] with $4 billion of retail access.
“It’s loaded government coffers and it’s been a boon to the construction industry.”
According to Deloitte, the total amount of $43.5bn figure is the combination of direct investment of $4.4bn, $29.3bn worth of indirect economic contributions and $9.8bn “induced” contributions.
In excess of 43,000 people are reportedly employed directly in the cannabis industry. Meanwhile, more than 88,000 people have found employment indirectly due to the legal sector. On the flip side, BNN Bloomberg mentions, more than 6,000 people lost their jobs in the industry in 2020.
Mr Malkani added: “We’ve read so much about the volatility of employment in cannabis.
“There was that period in Canada when it seemed like every [licensed producer] was laying people off, which was all taken into account in these numbers.”
In other, rather welcoming news, the black market has been shrinking since legalisation in the country – since adult cannabis use was legalised in 2018, those operating in the black market have reportedly lost more than $400 million in sales.
Canada’s approach is seemingly a success, and now it is ready to take the next step and open its market for psychedelics (for medical use), according to a new report.
The change to federal regulations through the Special Access Program makes restricted drugs like psilocybin (“magic mushrooms”) and MDMA more realistic alternatives to patients suffering from serious mental illnesses and mental health problems who have exhausted other options.