The legalization of cannabis represents a transformational shift that will effect many aspects of our society. While attention usually focuses on social considerations such as health care, crime, and dependency, no sector will be impacted more dramatically than agriculture where legalization has brought a major commodity into legal trade with what amounts to the stroke of a pen. How big an impact will cannabis have? No one knows for sure, but Stats Canada estimated that in 2017, before legalization, Canadians between the ages of 15-64 spent about $400-million on legal medical Cannabis and an additional $5.3-billion on illicit cannabis. To put this in perspective, the value of the Canadian agriculture/agri-food industry, as a whole, is about $108-billion per year, and in 2016 the most valuable crops were canola ($8.6-billion), wheat ($7-billion), lentils ($2.6-billion), soy ($2.6-billion), and corn ($2.4-billion). Based on these numbers, the domestic cannabis market alone would make it the third most economically important crop in Canada.
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