1 minute read 6 Feb. 2023
EY - Cannabis plants growing in a greenhouse

Canadian cannabis: state of the industry

By EY Canada

Multidisciplinary professional services organization

1 minute read 6 Feb. 2023


Rami El-Cheikh - Partner and Leader, EY Consumer Markets | Americas Cannabis Centre of Excellence
Darrell Bontes – EY Canada Tax Partner | EY Canada
Fred O'Riordan - EY Canada National Leader, Tax Policy | EY Canada

Ups, downs and a long way to go: five years post legalization, Canada’s cannabis industry is punctuated by remarkable strides and ongoing struggles.

The first G20 country to legalize cannabis for adult use, Canada set a regulatory blueprint for the world to follow. The market in Canada has seen double-digit growth in the years since, as Canadians have access to safe supply through 3,000 licensed retailers. That’s a big deal.

Even so, the industry continues to wrestle with significant obstacles — from inventory buildups to supply chain bottlenecks and sector-wide structural challenges. That landscape is further complicated by government-mandated potency limits, and heavy tax and regulatory burdens.

Still, there’s only so much the cannabis industry itself can do to deliver on the Cannabis Act’s original objectives: keep cannabis out of youths’ hands and profits out of criminals’ pockets, all while protecting public health and safety. Future progress absolutely depends on collaboration.

How can industry and government work together to maximize the potential of legal cannabis?

Dive into fresh EY data, insights and recommendations to explore the possibilities now.

Read the State of Canada's cannabis industry report

Download now



The legal cannabis industry has worked hard to enhance its competitiveness, but there are limits to what industry can do on its own. The State of Canada’s cannabis industry report is intended to highlight the key issues facing the cannabis industry and provide supportive evidence.

About this article

By EY Canada

Multidisciplinary professional services organization