Legal cannabis in Canada: Five years in, what’s the industry worth?

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s business and investing news quiz. Join us each week to test your knowledge of the stories making the headlines. Our business reporters come up with the questions, and you can show us what you know.

This week in business and investing: Five years after the Trudeau government legalized recreational cannabis, the early promise of Canada’s legal recreational market has largely gone up in smoke. The industry’s biggest companies – Canopy Growth, Aurora Cannabis and Tilray – are downsizing and grappling with a longer march to profitability than many once imagined. Other companies have folded, declared bankruptcy or been sold off. Deloitte once forecast a Canadian legal cannabis industry worth more than $22-billion – but what is the state of it now?

Meanwhile, two airlines made waves this week: One walked back its controversial bid to tweak its loyalty program, and another is experimenting with a new approach to boarding (for some, lucky passengers). Plus, more ads, more robots and more job cuts topped the business headlines.

Do you remember these stories? Take our quiz below to test your recall for the week ending Oct. 19.

1Legal weed celebrated its fifth birthday this week. According to Statistics Canada, how much is Canada’s legal cannabis sector valued at?

a. $10.8-billion

b. $6.4-billion

c. $22.6-billion

d. $42.0-billion

a. $10.8-billion. Canada legalized recreational cannabis on Oct. 17, 2018. Yet the early promise of the industry – Deloitte predicted it could be worth $22.6-billion – has gone up in smoke. In its place is a sobering reality: Legalization has fallen well short of expectations.

2Coming soon to a Netflix near you: more ads. The streaming giant recently announced the following:

a. Product placement customized to individual viewers

b. Additional ads for mobile viewers

c. Title sponsorship of programming

d. Cameo videos featuring the stars of Netflix shows

c. Title sponsorship of programming. Frito-Lay is on board to sponsor Netflix’s reality show Love is Blind. Other ad formats include the “binge” ad, which allows users to watch a longer ad, followed by several ad-free episodes. Meanwhile, the company’s shares rose 15 per cent Thursday – the biggest single-day gain since January 2021.

3The new CEO of a federal transit company said this about a potential transit project: “There is no way I could have a credible evaluation of the cost today because the scope of the project is not even defined.” Name the CEO and project.

a. Evan Cruise; an expansion of Ottawa’s LRT

b. Stephanie Driver; building of a PATH-style tunnel network in Regina

c. Kyle Jetson; building a Hamilton-Toronto ferry

d. Martin Imbleau; new rail line connecting Quebec City and Toronto

d. Martin Imbleau. The chief executive officer of the federal high-frequency rail team says target travel time for the Montreal-Toronto journey is less than four hours.

4Amazon is testing a service that would allow customers to get what delivered by drone to their doorstep?

a. Big Macs

b. Prescription medicine

c. Movie rentals

d. Household pets

b. Prescription medicine. The company announced that customers in College Station, Tex., can now get prescriptions delivered by a drone within an hour of placing an order. The drone, programmed to fly from a delivery centre with a secure pharmacy, will travel to the customer’s address and drop a padded package.

5This luxury condo development in downtown Toronto is now in receivership. Hint: It’s massively behind schedule, in debt $1.6-billon and facing litigation (including by its co-owners).

a. The Do-Well

b. The Luxe

c. The One

d. Views in the 6ix

c. The One. Under development since 2015, the One was marketed as Canada’s tallest commercial condo building. It is now in receivership after its senior lender asked an Ontario judge to put a third party in control of the project.

6A new report from the Competition Bureau says competition across Canadian businesses has ___ significantly in the last two decades.

a. Increased

b. Declined

c. Increased dramatically

d. Stayed the same

b. Declined. Focusing on the economy overall, the report from the independent competition watchdogs found competition has declined as industries have become more concentrated and less dynamic.

7Another study from the Business Development Bank of Canada found there are 100,000 fewer business owners than 20 years ago. Given that decline, how many Canadians started businesses in Canada last year?

a. 1 in 1,000

b. 1.3 in 1,000

c. 3.1 in 1,000

d. 30 in 1,000

b. 1.3 in 1,000. Just 1.3 out of every 1,000 Canadians started a business in 2022 – compared with three out of 1,000 in 2000, according to the BDC report.

8Loyalty programs are a hot commodity. After revolt by its customers, which airline rolled back controversial changes to its frequent-flyer program program?

a. Delta Air Lines

b. SkyLink Express

c. AirLines Inc.

d. Cross Ocean Lines

a. Delta Air Lines. “I have read hundreds of your e-mails, and what’s been most clear to me is how much you love Delta and the disappointment many of you felt by the significance of the changes,” Delta Air Lines chief executive officer Ed Bastian said in an e-mail.

9Still on airlines: United announced a pilot program to speed up boarding the aircraft by doing what?

a. Giving priority boarding to solo travellers

b. Giving priority boarding to people without luggage

c. Letting passengers board at random

d. Giving priority boarding to economy passengers with window seats

d. Giving priority boarding to economy passengers with window seats. The move is said to potentially speed up boarding by two minutes.

10One of Canada’s Big Six banks announced this week it would cut its global workforce by 3 per cent. Which bank?

a. Bank of Montreal

b. Scotiabank


d. Big Bank Inc.

11Social media platform X announced its latest change. What is it?

a. Charging $1 a year for new users

b. Every account now follows Elon Musk

c. X Premium lets you read blocked posts

d. Live streaming service for gaming

a. Charging $1 a year for new users. According to X (formerly Twitter), the annual charge is part of an effort to reduce bot and spam accounts on the platform and is “not a profit driver.”

12Canada’s inflation rate in September was 3.8 per cent. Is that above or below figures for August?

b. Below. The rate dipped from the previous month and came in lower than expected, which could alleviate pressure on the Bank of Canada to resume hiking interest rates on Oct. 25.

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