Legal marijuana has added CA$43.5B to Canada’s GDP, report says

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(This story has been updated to reflect Deloitte’s revised report.)

Canada’s regulated cannabis industry has contributed 43.5 billion Canadian dollars ($34.2 billion) to the country’s gross domestic product between recreational marijuana legalization in 2018 and 2021, according to a new report.

That estimate by the Deloitte consultancy includes CA$4.4 billion of direct GDP contributions such as cannabis industry revenues and operating expenditures such as wages and salaries.

The report also cites CA$29.3 billion of indirect economic contributions “associated with supplier activity arising from the cannabis sector’s demand for goods and services” such as manufacturing, transportation, financial services and construction as well as CA$9.8 billion of induced economic contributions, defined as “the spending of wages and salaries earned because of cannabis-sector activities.”

Deloitte estimates the legal cannabis industry has resulted in CA$15.1 billion worth of tax revenue since legalization, including:

  • CA$1 billion in direct taxes.
  • CA$7.3 billion in indirect taxes.
  • CA$3.9 billion in induced taxes.
  • CA$2.9 billion in sales and excise taxes.

The taxation figures do not include cannabis licensing fees or revenue earned by provincial government cannabis wholesalers.

Deloitte revised its report after MJBizDaily found inconsistencies in the jobs figures.

According to the original report, legal cannabis “sustains” 151,414 jobs in Canada, including 43,479 direct jobs, 88,595 indirect jobs and 19,341 induced jobs.

Those figures were revised to 10,900 average annual jobs supported, 67,400 indirect jobs and 19,300 induced jobs.

The report calls out “a general lack of diversity among Canada’s cannabis workforce and license holders,” citing a 2020 study that highlighted the overall homogeneity of Canada’s corporate cannabis leadership.

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Deloitte also called on Canada’s cannabis sector to mitigate its environmental impact, including energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, water usage and waste production.

“As demand for environmental action grows,” the report noted, “we are likely to see cannabis license holders assess their production methods and carbon footprints, adopting or even developing sustainability and efficiency best practices to reduce the environmental impact of their facilities.”