CAN: OCS says legal cannabis sales continues to hamper illicit market

The legal cannabis industry continued to make inroads against its illicit counterparts, as one-quarter of all sales took place among regulated players in the first quarter of the year, according to new data from the Ontario Cannabis Store.

The provincial pot distributor's quarterly review showed that the province controlled a 25.1-per-cent share of the cannabis market in the fiscal first quarter of 2020, a slight uptick from the 24.7 per cent share observed in the previous quarter. The number lagged behind the national share for the legal market, according to OCS and Statistics Canada calculations.  

The market share gains indicate that Canada's approach to legalizing pot for recreational use is gaining traction amongst consumers. Additional data showed household spending on legal cannabis in the second quarter of 2020 outpaced the illicit market for the first time 

"The growth of the market in terms of the volume of product sold and percentage of the illegal market captured are both inching upwards as a direct result of the collaboration between the OCS and its commercial partners – licensed producers and authorized cannabis retail stores," Cheri Mara, chief commercial officer of the OCS, said in a letter published with the agency's quarterly review.


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