Emsi uses StatCan’s Canada Business Counts (CBC) dataset to help estimate industry employment for cannabis industries because these industries are suppressed in SEPH, Emsi’s primary source of employment data. CBC shows very few businesses in the Cannabis industries. As a result, Emsi data shows few businesses and low employment for these industries.
We asked StatCan about the low CBC establishment counts for the new Cannabis industries, and their response was that many Cannabis businesses that need new NAICS assignments had not yet received them at the time data for the December 2018 CBC release was collected. Many of these businesses still have NAICS classifications consistent with the NAICS structure before Cannabis NAICS were introduced.
StatCan is currently working to update NAICS assignments for these businesses. CBC will show higher establishment counts in subsequent releases, and these higher counts will in turn increase both establishment and employment counts for Cannabis industries as shown in Emsi data.