Statistics Canada says cannabis sales topped $43 million during the two-week period following legalization. (Black Press File).

Statistics Canada says cannabis sales topped $43 million during the two-week period following legalization. (Black Press File).

Cannabis sales topped $43 million in first two weeks after legalization

Overall retail sales remained sluggish

Figures Statistics Canada released last month show that cannabis sales topped $43 million during the two-week period following legalization.

Statistics Canada said differences across provinces and territories shaped sales figures. Some provinces (such as Ontario) have monopolized the retail of recreational cannabis, while others (British Columbia) use a mixed model of public and private stores, with the proviso that the number of private retail stores remains small.

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Overall, retail sales rose 0.3 per cent to $51 billion in October. Higher sales at motor vehicle and parts dealers and gasoline stations mainly contributed to the gain. Excluding these two subsectors, retail sales declined 0.4 per cent.

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Figures from Stats Canada also show employment in cannabis-related jobs rose 266 per cent to an estimated figure of 10,400 in November 2018. The increase reflects Canada’s legalization of non-medicinal cannabis on Oct. 17, 2018. By comparison, cannabis-related industries employed 1,829 individuals in July 2017.


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wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com