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How Many Registered Medical Cannabis Patients Did Canada Have In 2023?

Canada first legalized cannabis for medical use in 2001. For many years, the nation’s medical cannabis industry largely operated in legal grey areas. Medical cannabis was overhauled in 2018 when Canada became the first G-7 nation to adopt a national adult-use legalization measure, including permitting adult-use sales.

As with every market that first legalizes medical cannabis and later recreational cannabis, Canada’s registered medical cannabis patient base has declined in recent years, with presumably many suffering patients choosing to make purchases through the regulated recreational market versus the medical cannabis market for various reasons.

The newest figures from Health Canada show that the number of medical client registrations fell 2% from 188,301 in September 2023 to 183,909 in December 2023. The number of people who registered with Health Canada for personal or designated cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes decreased by 9% from 14,944 in September 2023 to 13,672 in December 2023.” StratCann stated in its original reporting.

“The majority of the decreases in registrations for personal/designated production were in Ontario (564), BC (145), and Quebec (143).” StratCann also stated.

Canada’s emerging legal cannabis industry sold C$414.1 million worth of cannabis products in March 2024, up 7.1% compared to February 2024. Canada continues to dominate the legal global medical cannabis export sector, with Canadian cannabis companies exporting a reported 218 million Canadian dollars ($189 million) worth of medical cannabis products to other nations in fiscal year 2023/2024.

According to data that was recently published by Statistics Canada, “In 2023, more than one-third of adults aged 18 to 24 years (38.4%) and 25 to 44 years (34.5%) reported using cannabis in the previous 12 months, compared with 15.5% of adults aged 45 years and older.”

Statistics Canada also found that 8.7% of adults aged 18 to 24 years and 10.3% of adults aged 25 to 44 years report consuming cannabis daily or almost daily.

Additionally, “over two in three” cannabis consumers bought their cannabis from regulated sources according to government data. Statistics Canada estimates that the nation is home to “more than 3,000 legal cannabis stores.”

According to survey data, Statistics Canada found that “the main reasons reported for buying cannabis from a legal source were product safety (38.0%), convenience (16.9%) and a desire to follow the law (12.9%).”

Cannabis flower is the top selling product in Canada’s legal market, accounting for 64.9% of total industry sales. Total sales of recreational cannabis by provincial cannabis authorities and other retail outlets increased 15.8% in the 2022/2023 fiscal year, reaching a total of $4.7 billion in sales. The sales of ‘inhaled extracts,’ or concentrates, increased by 59% during the 2022/2023 fiscal year.

“Canadians of legal age spent on average $150 per year per person on cannabis in 2022/2023.” stated Statistics Canada.

Canada’s emerging legal cannabis industry is generating a consider sum for public coffers, which benefits all of Canadian society, not just cannabis consumers. Statistics Canada has determined that, “Federal and provincial governments received $1.9 billion from the control and sale of recreational cannabis in 2022/2023, up by almost one-quarter (+24.2%) from a year earlier.”