Use of Medical Marijuana Is Soaring in Canada

  • Registered users jump 40% over the past six months, data show
  • Recreational use on track to be legalized nationally by July

Enthusiasm High for Legal Pot Sales in California

Canadian marijuana stocks can surge on the slightest hope -- from legalization in California where most don’t even have exposure -- to forecasts for explosive sales growth. But here’s a concrete reason for support: use of the drug for medical purposes is surging in Canada.

People registered to use medicinal marijuana reached 235,621 by the end of September, up 40 percent from the end of March, according to quarterly figures released Thursday by Health Canada, the nation’s public health agency. About 0.6 percent of the country’s almost 37 million population use pot for pain and other afflictions.

Easing the Pain

Medical marijuana use in Canada is taking off

Source: Health Canada

Canadian pot stocks have been on a tear of late. Canopy Growth Corp. has become the world’s biggest pot stock with a market value of C$6.2 billion ($5 billion) as the government gets ready to legalize the drug for recreational use by July. The stocks took a tumble on Thursday after news emerged that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions plans to rescind an Obama-era policy that allowed recreational use to flourish in many states. U.S. attorneys in states where pot is legal will now be able prosecute cases where they see fit.

— With assistance by Natalie Wong

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