Quebec introduced legislation that would initially funnel retail sales through 20 government-run stores and ban consumers from growing marijuana at home.
There are still opportunities for:
- Micro-cultivation license holders, who could be licensed for the same activities as standard cultivators, but on a smaller scale.
- Nursery license holders, who could be permitted to produce seeds and seedlings, including clones, for sale to other licensed producers and researchers.
- Micro-processing license holders could produce cannabis oil for sale to other LPs and researchers.
- The same license will also allow for packaging and labeling product sales to the public.
The province has major advantages for local cultivators, including low costs for electricity, water, land and highly trained people, as well as Quebecers preference for locally-made goods.
Currently there are six cannabis producers licensed to operate in Quebec; Agri-Médic ASP, Agro-Biotech, Aurora Cannabis Enterprises, Hydropothecary, IsoCanMed, and Vert Cannabis. The province announced these first licensed producers in February of 2018. Though not yet licensed in Quebec, MYM and its subsidiaries are deep in the process of acquiring licensed producer status.
The companies will supply an aggregate of approximately 325,000 kilograms (359 tons) of cannabis over the life of the deals.
The province has by far the lowest number of patient registrations in Canada as a ratio of its population – just 75.8 registrations per 100,000 people. By contrast, Quebec’s recreational market could explode into Canada’s second largest come legalization this summer.
A report produced by the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) in November 2016 paints a rough picture of what the legal cannabis market in Quebec could look like after adult-use legalization is implemented.
Aggregate cannabis consumption in the province in 2019 could fall between 100,000 kilograms (110 tons) to 200,000 kilograms, according to a PBO estimate — the second-most in Canada.
When adjusted for the province’s working-age population, Quebec could see annual recreational cannabis sales of around the 150 million Canadian dollars in 2019 – but that will boil down to how much the regulated market wrestles from the black market.
Estimates of recreational cannabis users in Quebec after legalization range from 1 million by the PBO to over 3 million in 2019 based on polling data.