Lineups at this regulated cannabis outlet on Prince Edward Island were typical across the country on the opening days of legalisation in 2018. Supplies ran out in many places in the first weeks, a situation that was not uncommon in legal outlets across the country. A 2018 report says higher prices for legal pot is causing more users to seek out illicit or unlicensed sellers..(Steve Bruce-CBC)

Pot tax: Figures are in on cannabis revenue for governments

Statistics Canada, the federal statistics agency is reporting on revenues that governments in Canada have gained since recreational use of cannabis was legalised.

In round figures Provincial governments took in $79 million in excise taxes, and the federal government $19 million, while generalised goods and services taxes brought in an additional almost $53 million to the provinces and almost $36 million to federal coffers.
This $186 million figure encompasses the first five and a half months since legalisation on October 17 last year.

Expecting legalisation, a multitude of commercial cannabis operations have sprung up across Canada, which has become a multi-billion dollar industry. (The Canadian Press)

Analysts say that the revenue is lower than expected but that was due to the less than smooth start to government regulated sales due to a brisk demand which outstripped supply.

Statistics Canada also noted that some 4.6 million Canadians aged 15 and over reported using cannabis in the last three months of 2018, a figure relatively similar to that in a survey prior to legalisation.

However the study also found that one in five thought they might use cannabis in the next three months.
The Statistics Canada study showed people buying cannabis for non-medical use still spent vastly more buying it from illicit sources than from the legal outlets.

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