Canada’s agriculture sector avoided the general economic decline caused by the COVID-19 pandemic because of a significant boost in cannabis sales.
Canada’s agricultural sector bucked the general economic decline caused by the coronavirus during the first half of the year due to strong cannabis sales, according to Statistics Canada figures outlined by Moose Jaw Today.
Farm cash receipts totaled $16.7 billion – an increase of 5.2 percent – but were driven by $685 million in cannabis, a 62 percent increase. If not for cannabis sales. Farm cash receipts would have increased just .8 percent, the report says.
In all, crop receipts totaled $1.3 billion but the nation saw a $629 million decline in livestock sales mostly due to lockdown restrictions imposed by the pandemic.
A report by Statistics Canada released last month found that Canada‘s cannabis sector is worth $1.7 billion but 54 percent of product sales still occur in the unregulated market. Cannabis was considered an essential service throughout most of Canada during the national response. Statistics Canada said cannabis sales increased by 19 percent in March as the country shut down non-essential services like bars and restaurants.
Like the agricultural sector, cannabis sales also bucked the 10 percent pandemic-related decline in the retail sector.
In all, since October 2018, legal cannabis sales have contributed $3.96 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product. Statistics Canada also reported that estimated illicit cannabis sales contributed $4.13 billion to the nation’s economy, down about 21 percent since the rollout of the regulated industry.