October 17, 2018. Remember that day? That’s the day weed was legalized across Canada!
The cannabis industry has transformed since it debuted four years ago. Now, anywhere you go in Winnipeg, you see cannabis stores lining the streets. Not something you would have imagined back in the early 2000s—but here we are.
So, how have things changed since weed became legal? We’re taking a look back at the first few years of legalization:
When cannabis was first legalized, it wasn’t always easy to come by. The first stores had lineups that stretched around the block. And depending on where you lived, you’d have to travel quite the distance just to find a store that sold it (and wasn’t sold out already!).
Today, it’s a different story. Anywhere you go, you’ll see cannabis stores. With over 155 licenced cannabis stores in Manitoba, they’re more abundant than Tim Hortons coffee shops!
When cannabis was first legalized, you’d be hard-pressed to find anything other than dried flower available. Now, not so much; you can take your pick! In 2019, edibles and extracts became legal. And since then, the selection has only increased.
New products that have exploded in popularity include:
Legal Vs. Illegal Market
One of the biggest reasons why weed was legalized was to regulate it to make it a safer experience for everyone involved.
For consumers, this was great news. They could buy cannabis and learn about it in a safe environment. On top of that, they could trust that the products they were buying were tested for safety and grown in sanitary conditions.
A few years after legalization, legal cannabis sales have exceeded the illegal market. According to a Stats Canada study from 2020, 68.4% of cannabis users obtained it from a legal source. In the last two years, other studies suggest that this number has gotten even larger. The legal market is growing, and the illegal market is shrinking.
Looking at the data, it’s clear that the primary goal of legalization has been a success. The illegal market still exists, but as more stores open up, we expect that legal sales will continue growing.
This last point is hard to measure, but it’s worth bringing up:
Cannabis has become far more socially acceptable. Instead of being seen as taboo, it’s legal, just like other recreational substances.
Before, cannabis users felt like they had to hide their usage. Now, it’s no big deal. You hear people talking about it at work, at social events—even at family gatherings!
Before weed was legalized, how did you think Canada would change? And how did those expectations compare to the cannabis industry today? We’d love to know your thoughts—feel free to reach out and tell us about it.Looking to find a cannabis location near you? At The Joint, we’ve got all your favourite products (and more!). You can find them at our stores across Winnipeg. Visit The Joint today!