Stats Canada to include cannabis in this year’s Agriculture Census

Statistics Canada will be collecting statistics on licensed cannabis cultivation in Canada for the first time this year as part of the Census of Agriculture

The census, which takes place every five years, will be from May to August of this year. Cannabis cultivators will be contacted by telephone for their input. 

In a memo from Health Canada to licence holders, the regulator says that ensuring participation by every cannabis cultivation licence holder in Canada is critical to making sure the statistics are accurate. The Government of Canada encourages all cultivation licence holders to complete the mandatory 2021 Census of Agriculture to best represent this growing industry. 

The Census of Agriculture collects a wide range of data on the agriculture industry such as the number of farms and farm operators, farm area, business operating arrangements, land management practices, livestock inventories and crop area, total operating expenses and receipts, farm capital and farm machinery and equipment.

The information collected in the coming four-month survey will be then made available to industry by May 2022, for both domestic and international purposes, as well as various governments.  

Any person responsible for operating a farm or an agricultural operation, including a cannabis farm, should complete a Census of Agriculture questionnaire. According to the Census of Agriculture, the word operator is defined as a person responsible for the management and/or financial decisions made in the production of agricultural commodities. An agricultural operation can have more than one operator, such as a husband and wife, a father and son, two sisters, or two neighbours.

In addition to now including cannabis, the survey includes traditional crops like vegetables, hay, fruit, berries and nuts, poultry, livestock, animal products, mushrooms, bees, maple products, and much more. The survey will look at the total farm area and the total inventory of all crops, livestock and other agricultural products in Canada. Under the Statistics Act, agricultural operators are required to complete a Census of Agriculture form. All published data are subject to confidentiality restrictions, and any data in which an individual or agricultural operation could be identified are not disclosed.

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