Cannabis Black Market Now 30 Percent Smaller, Official Says

- March 11th, 2020

Health Canada official Michelle Boudreau said that the black market has seen losses of C$2 billion since legalization took place in Canada.

Despite the challenges currently seen in the cannabis marketplace and capital markets, Canada is touting the positives of its legalization process on the global stage.

During a meeting of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs on Monday (March 9), Michelle Boudreau, director general for Health Canada’s controlled substances department, provided an update on the status of the unregulated market compared to the legal space.

A report from Marijuana Moment indicates that the commentary from Boudreau came after the UN International Narcotics Control Board showed concern about cannabis legalization efforts.

More and more countries around the world are now looking at the possibility of legalizing cannabis in some form or another.

According to Boudreau, the unregulated marijuana market has shrunk by nearly 30 percent since legalization came into effect in Canada. By the estimation of the Canadian government, the unregulated market has lost about C$2 billion worth of sales in that time.

Canada legalized cannabis for adult use in 2018 following a campaign promise from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. A year later, the country introduced legal edible products into the mix.

However, health organizations are starting to wonder whether current cannabis regulations make sense. Boudreau said Canada will continue to track progress in the marketplace and impacts on health.

Following the legalization of cannabis, the country has seen a rush of interest in legal products followed by repeated demand-related issues in the supply chain.

In addition to supply challenges, the capital markets have faced a depression that is indicative of the state of the cannabis market in Canada.

Over a one year period, the Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF (TSX:HMMJ), an index containing a basket of leading cannabis names, has dropped in value by over 70 percent.

“We will continue to collect data and evaluate the impact of Canada’s new regulatory framework and will ensure that any future decisions are well informed by this data,” Boudreau said.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Bryan Mc Govern, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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