The growth in the contribution of cannabis to gross domestic product (GDP) eclipsed every major category of the Canadian economy in November 2019. That's according to data compiled by Statistics Canada, the federal government's official statistics agency, in an update published on Friday.
All told, cannabis industry production amounted to just over $7.4 billion Canadian ($5.6 billion) that month, which was 15% higher than the November 2018 result. It should be kept in mind, however, that the latter was the first full month that recreational use was legalized for most forms of the drug.
Even with the high growth rate and the many news headlines it's engendered, marijuana remains a tiny corner of the Canadian economy. The November 2019 figure comprised just 0.4% of national GDP for the month.
Nevertheless, that 15% was well ahead of the growth of some of the top segments of the economy. It well outpaced information technology, for example, as well as real estate and the content/media sector. (I should note that these sectors are, compared to cannabis, well-established and relatively mature; they're also much larger in terms of revenue).
Combined, total Canadian GDP rose only marginally (by 1.5%) over that one-year stretch.
Most Canadian marijuana companies are enjoying significant production and sales growth rates, although because of a wealth of challenges, many continue to post net losses.
Canopy Growth (NASDAQ:CGC) is a case in point; its most recently reported quarter was considered a disaster by many, still its top line rose by over 200% year over year. Those dynamics were similar with Aurora Cannabis' (NYSE:ACB) latest set of figures.
Both Canopy Growth and Aurora Cannabis stocks have fallen precipitously over the past year. On Friday, Canopy Growth's shares declined 3.4% on the day, while those of Aurora Cannabis slipped by 2.6%.