Survey shows Canadians are opting to buy cannabis through legal avenues

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Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

On December 21, 2020, Health Canada rounded up the year’s events by sharing industry insights in its Canadian Cannabis Survey. A key takeaway from the survey suggests that legal cannabis storefronts are gaining popularity among Canada’s consumer demographic.

Based on the data compiled for this study on legal cannabis purchases in Canada, 41 percent of consumers are seeking out legal sellers; as opposed to black market dealers. When compared with data released by Health Canada in 2019, the latest figures demonstrate an increase of 17 percent.

It’s possible, the survey notes, that the reduction in black market popularity could have been stimulated by public health concerns that have circulated amid the COVID-19 pandemic price and product safety were the main factors steering consumers down legal paths.

Furthermore, the Canadian Cannabis Survey revealed that 70 percent of the Great White North’s cannabis consumers rarely or never acquired cannabis from illegal avenues within the last year. More than 1,000 legal and licensed cannabis retail stores had opened countrywide as of July 2020, with hundreds more awaiting approval.

Survey assessed impact on Canadian cannabis consumption amid COVID-19

The primary goal of the Canadian Cannabis Survey was to analyze the implications of COVID-19 on the nation’s cannabis consumers. Researchers hypothesized that, among 22 percent of consumers, Canadian cannabis consumption was further ignited by the pandemic. 

Although 22 percent of consumers used the plant in greater quantities once the pandemic had broken out, another 22 percent reduced their usage. The outstanding 56 percent of respondents affirmed that their frequency of cannabis usage had not been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Researchers were also able to dig up the reason(s) why the consumers who upped their cannabis intake decided to do so anxiety, boredom and/or relaxation.

Health Canada has been monitoring cannabis use in Canada

Governmental organization Health Canada which is responsible for carrying out the Canadian Cannabis Surveyhas been making a solid effort to understand the general public’s perception on legal weed in recent times.

The department discovered that, among Canadian cannabis consumers, 54 percent were self-proclaimed monthly users. In most cases, these consumers were enjoying the plant around three times per month. 

To further understand the public’s ever-changing attitudes, behaviors and knowledge regarding cannabis, Health Canada also asked survey participants to disclose if they were daily consumers. What they found was that 18 percent of surveyed individuals used cannabis on an everyday basis.

On top of that, Canadians seem to prefer smoking their weed. Comparatively, there were more cannabis smokers in 2019 than there were in 2020. Then again, the number of edibles consumers climbed between 2019 and 2020.

Although a handful of respondents reported driving soon after consuming cannabis, the figures represented a reduction from 2019.