Canada’s cannabis industry contributed C$8.26 billion to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in July, according to new data from Statistics Canada published on Tuesday (October 1).

The marijuana sector in the country has been growing steadily from the C$7.02 billion added to Canada’s GDP in October last year, when the drug was first legalized for recreational use.

The legal cannabis industry in the nation has grown an impressive 185 percent in the 10 months since legalization, according to BNN Bloomberg.

The black market hasn’t fared as well, however. The industry for unlicensed cannabis fell almost 22 percent in the same time span, the data shows.

The legal marijuana industry is set to get a boost later this year when edible cannabis products are made available to consumers.

A report from Deloitte released in June states that this next stage of cannabis legalization — dubbed “Cannabis 2.0” — will create a consumer market worth more than C$2.7 billion a year.

Though the sale of edible cannabis products will be made legal by October 17, Health Canada has said that federal license holders will need to provide 60 days’ notice of their intent to sell edible products, meaning consumers won’t be able to get their hands on anything until mid-December at the earliest.

A variety of marijuana producers have declared their intentions to launch a wide array of products, including gummies, chocolates and infused beverages.

Despite a slump in North American cannabis stocks, Canada’s marijuana space has been big business.

In its inaugural TSX30 list, the Toronto Stock Exchange confirmed that some of the top-performing companies in the country over the last three years have been marijuana businesses.

Cannabis heavyweight Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC,TSX:WEED) came out on top in the first position. Other cannabis players that made the list include Village Farms International (NASDAQ:VFF,TSX:VFF) in the third spot and Aphria (NYSE:APHA,TSX:APHA) in the sixth spot.

Village Farms holds a joint venture partnership for the management of a licensed producer with Emerald Health Therapeutics (TSXV:EMH,OTCQX:EMHTF).

Neptune Wellness Solutions (NASDAQ:NEPT,TSX:NEPT) made it into the top 10 of the list as well, securing the eighth spot.

Industry experts remain bullish on Canadian cannabis despite a shift in investment sentiment towards the US market, particularly to the multi-state operators that exist in the country.

Nawan Butt, associate portfolio manager with Purpose Investments, previously told the Investing News Network there is still a ways to go before Canada’s cannabis market settles.

“Once the big guys start getting it right, you’ll see a lot more efficiency in the Canadian markets, which will lead to a lot more consolidation as well once the industry matures,” Butt said.

Elliot Johnson, chief investment officer with Evolve Funds Group, is also optimistic about Canada, especially when it comes to international expansion from cannabis firms.

“Whether you’re looking at Europe or South America or Australia, you’re seeing Canadian names popping up all the time … I think that global opportunity justifies a lot of the valuation of Canadian companies.”

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Cannabis for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Danielle Edwards, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: The Investing News Network does not guarantee the accuracy or thoroughness of the information reported in the interviews it conducts. The opinions expressed in these interviews do not reflect the opinions of the Investing News Network and do not constitute investment advice. All readers are encouraged to perform their own due diligence.

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