Australia was the largest market for Canadian medicinal cannabis exporters last year according to new figures from Health Canada shared with MJBizDaily.
Canada exported 59,986 kilograms of flower in the financial year from April 2022 to March 2023, with Australia importing 26,424kg – or 44% – of that volume.
Israel was the next biggest market for Canadian flower at 35%, followed by Germany (16%).
Australia was also the top importer of cannabis extracts from Canada, accounting for 8,392 litres – or 93% – of the total 9,042 litres sent overseas.
Aurora Cannabis CEO Miguel Martin told MJBizDaily the better margins on medicinal cannabis exports made them an attractive long-term proposition compared to the domestic recreational market.
“It’s a big opportunity,” he said. “The margins are about 2.5 times what they are in Canadian rec, and not declining.”
Martin added regulatory certainty was an important consideration when identifying export markets.
“One of the things for us is we want to be in markets where the regulatory framework is predictable – even if it’s slow,” he said.
Canada-based industry consultant Deepak Anand said while Australia is licensing more cultivators, the slow pace of approvals is insufficient to meet local demand, meaning imports will still be needed to fill the gap.
However, he warned reforms to TGO93 from July 1 could make life more difficult for Canadian exporters.
“I think that will result in a little bit of a limiting of how much product actually is going to continue to go into Australia,” he said.