Par Astrid Van Laer

15,2% of Canadians smoked weed this last trimester.

A young man who just purchased cannabis on the 17th of October 2018. © Photo by Alice Chiche/AFP

On the 17th of October, Canada legalized retailing, possession and use of recreational cannabis with a control and regulation of its culture, distribution and retail, through the creation of a diploma for the commercial production of cannabis.

It was one of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s promise during his campaign. When the Senate gave its approval last June, the Canadian minister of health Ginette Petitpas Taylor happily declared: "We’re one step closer to a sensible, responsible policy on cannabis – taking profits away from criminals and protecting our youth."

Annual benefits of the market are expected to reach between 6,5 and 7 billion dollars since the legalisation in October, and a 1,1 billion in profit could be made by the end of the year. Indeed, more than 15% of Canadians smoke weed this last trimester.

But the country is now facing a shortage, as the offer is inferior to the demand, so Canada’s stock was quickly sold out. A consequence that was predicted early on by a number of analysts. On the 18th of October, the Quebec Cannabis Society had published a report online indicating that production and licensing were ramping up to meet demand, forcing some of its stores to close:

"Some of our products are displayed as unavailable on our website. Because of the demand generated by the legalisation of cannabis and the rarity of the product on the canadian territory, we expect difficulties to renew our stocks in our stores."