According to the official data made public by the government of Canada, the black market for cannabis remained rock-solid in the fourth quarter of 2018, which saw over C$1.16 billion sales in striking contrast to a mere $307 million in legal sales.
Despite such a staggering figure, the black market sales are 8 percent lower than the third quarter, the first to follow post the complete legalization of cannabis for recreational purposes.
Another reason, though, for the poor performance of the legal cannabis market was the lack of availability of products as various provinces underestimated the high demand. As far as the statistics are concerned, the illegal sales made up 79 percent of the overall market, a whopping 11 percent down from the third quarter.
A recent Farm Journal survey of crop farmers conducted by MJBizdaily in the United States suggests that farmers and livestock producers are now becoming more accepting of cultivating cannabis, especially owing to its medicinal properties and the non-psychoactive ingredient CBC.
In the corporate space, Aurora Cannabis Inc. has successfully completed the acquisition of Whistler Medical Marijuana Corp. in a deal estimated at C$ 175 million in stock. Notably, Whistler, the first producer to obtain organic certification, has two licensed indoor production facilities, which boast of a combined production capacity of 5,000 kilos that can be expanded to an enormous 15,000 kilos.
The shares of CannTrust Holdings Inc., CTST, -4.35 percent TRST, -4.56 percent, fell 5.9 percent post the company’s announcement that it has filed a shelf registration for selling up to C$700 million of equity. On the other hand, Aphria Inc. shares, APHA, +2.76 percent APHA, +2.74 percent saw a rise of 2.1 percent after it revealed that Health Canada has granted them an extra 8,00,000 square feet of production facilities.