Cannabis helped Canadian farmers get into the green for the first time in three years. (Black Press Media File)

Cannabis responsible for higher incomes among Canadian farmers

Without cannabis sales, national crop revenues would have dropped in 2019

Cannabis has turned out to be a saviour for Canadian farmers, according to a report from Statistics Canada.

Had it not been for cannabis sales, national crop revenues would have declined 1.1 per cent, according to the report tracking the net income of Canadian agricultural producers in 2019.

The report defines net income as the difference between a farmer’s cash receipts and operating expenses, minus depreciation, plus income in kind.

In terms of the big picture, the net incomes for Canadian farmers last year rose for the first time in three years with cannabis-related receipts accounting for a significant increase.

RELATED: North Saanich’s agricultural commission ‘not opposed’ to proposed cannabis facility

RELATED: Cannabis cultivation: Former North Saanich chicken farm goes into pot

Cash receipts — which include receipts from crop and livestock sales as well as program payments — rose 5.7 per cent in 2019 to $66.1 billion. But if sales of cannabis are excluded, the increase would have been only 2.9 per cent, so almost 50 per cent lower.

Breaking down the sales of crops, they totalled $36.6 billion in 2019, up 3.9 per cent from the previous year. Much of this gain though came from a $1.7 billion increase in licensed cannabis receipts during the first full year of legalized recreational use.

The report also includes what one might call a geographic surprise as Ontario and Alberta alone accounted for more 56 per cent of the national increase in crops sales. So British Columbia, the self-styled centre of cannabis in Canada, finds itself behind stodgy Ontario and conservative Alberta when it comes to profiting off marijuana.

RELATED: North Saanich targets recreational pot on ALR land

RELATED: North Saanich politician calls for pot impact trust fund

Farmers are certainly betting on weed, based on their investments into equipment. Farm operating expenses (after rebates) increased 5.7 per cent in 2019 to $53.1 billion, with cannabis production accounting for just under 50 per cent in operating expenses.

According to the report, indoor growing areas of licensed producers almost tripled in the year following the legalization of recreational cannabis use in October 2018. Licensed outdoor production also began in 2019.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Ojibwe man marks completion of five-day ‘healing walk’ from Hope to Saanich

Claremont Secondary students join celebration in Cordova Bay

MISSING: Saanich police search for 18-year-old last seen Sept. 9

Robyn Coker-Steel has short purple hair, frequents downtown Victoria

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Saanich police encourage safe driving habits as rain leads to pooling on roadways

Slow down, inspect vehicle ahead of driving in wet autumn weather

Victoria police seek suspect in parkade break and enter

Cycling gear, tools reported stolen from vehicle, storage locker

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Money laundering inquiry delayed over of B.C. election: commissioner

Austin Cullen says the hearings will start again on Oct. 26

Most Read