Growing cannabis brings in billions

Published on November 25, 2020 by oz. staff

Cannabis growing indoors at Speakeasy's production facility in BC. (Photo: David Wylie/the oz.)

Cannabis is a serious cash crop in Canada.

There was a massive boost in farm cash receipts over the first three quarters of 2020, according to Statistics Canada data released Wednesday.

“Cannabis receipts rose 112.4% year over year to $3 billion in the first three quarters of 2020, accounting for just over two-fifths of the increase in crop receipts,” says StatsCan.

Overall, crop receipts were up 14.8% to $30 billion during the first three quarters of 2020.

Excluding cannabis, crop receipts would have risen 9.2%, says StatsCan.

Cannabis production was worth about $2.3 billion in farm cash receipts in 2019, a massive increase from $564 million in 2018. Growing weed is now worth about one-quarter of what farmers receive for canola—the country’s largest crop.

Overall, farm cash receipts for Canadian farmers totalled $51.6 billion over the first three quarters.

Over half of the increase came from Saskatchewan ($2.2 billion), while Ontario ($731.1 million), Alberta ($465.0 million) and Quebec ($387.9 million) also reported large gains in receipts. Receipts were down in two provinces: Nova Scotia (-$18.7 million) and Newfoundland and Labrador (-$11.5 million).

“Farm cash receipts represent the cash income received from the sale of agricultural commodities as well as direct program payments made to support or subsidize the agriculture sector,” says StatsCan.