Waterloo, Canada: Canadian cannabis consumers are steadily transitioning from the unregulated market to the legal market, according to data published in the Harm Reduction Journal.
Investigators affiliated with the University of Waterloo, School of Public Health surveyed over 15,000 cannabis consumers regarding where they obtained their products. Researchers evaluated data for the years 2019 to 2021. (Canada instituted licensed retail sales of cannabis products in October 2018.)
Authors reported that the percentage of respondents legally sourcing their cannabis products increased year over year. Respondents were most likely to purchase cannabis-infused drinks, oils, and capsules from the legal marketplace. About 55 percent of respondents said they obtained cannabis flower exclusively from legally licensed retailers.
In 2019, fewer than half of consumers acknowledged obtaining their cannabis products from legal sources. According to separate consumer survey data published last year, that percentage rose to nearly 70 percent in 2020.
“Legal sourcing of cannabis was greater in 2021 than 2020 for all ten cannabis products [surveyed]. In 2021, the percentage of consumers sourcing all their products legally in the past 12 months ranged from 49 percent of solid concentrate consumers in 2021 to 82 percent of cannabis drink consumers,” investigators reported. “Transitioning consumers of all cannabis products into the regulated market is important for public health and safety. Future studies should continue to examine cannabis product sourcing in Canada over time, as well as ways to displace the illegal market for all cannabis products without also promoting the use of high-potency cannabis products.”
Full text of the study, “Legal sourcing of ten cannabis products in the Canadian cannabis market, 2019-2021: A repeat cross-sectional study,” appears in the Harm Reduction Journal.