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More than half of Canadians who use cannabis choose to obtain it through a legal source

Dec 29, 2021 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

This post is presented by our media partner The Growth Op
View the original article here.

According to the annual Canadian Cannabis Survey, 53 per cent of respondents said a legal storefront was their usual source, a 12 per cent increase from last year.

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The fifth edition of the Candian Cannabis Survey was released earlier this month, an annual survey designed to offer insight into how Canadians view and use cannabis .

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Running from April to June 2021, the data was collected from more than 10,000 respondents aged 16 years of age and older from each province and territory.

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Among the findings from the survey is that more than half of those who use cannabis choose to obtain it through a legal source. Fifty-three percent of respondents said a legal storefront was their usual source, a 12 per cent jump from last year, and another 11 per cent said they obtained cannabis from a legal online store.

The latest quarterly report from the Ontario Cannabis Store also found that, for the first time, legal sales were outpacing the illicit market in Ontario.

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Youth cannabis use

The survey found that the percentage of Canadians 16 years of age and older who reported using cannabis in the past 12 months fell from 27 per cent in 2020 to 25 per cent in 2021.

Frequency of daily or almost daily cannabis use among Canadians aged 16 and older who reported use of cannabis in the past 12 months remained virtually unchanged from the previous year (around 25 per cent). Daily or near-daily cannabis use decreased slightly among 16 to 19-year-olds, from 21 per cent in 2002 to 19 per cent in 2021, and increased among 20 to 24-year-olds, from 23 per cent to 29 per cent.

COVID-19 and cannabis

The survey found that the ongoing pandemic has also increased the amount of cannabis Canadians are consuming. About 29 per cent of respondents said they were using more cannabis, a seven per cent increase from 2020, while 49 per cent reported using the same amount of cannabis, down from 56 per cent in 2020. About the same percentage of people (22 per cent) said their cannabis use was unchanged in 2021 and 2020.

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Of those consuming more cannabis, younger age groups saw the largest increases. Twenty-five per cent of people 25 years and older reported using more cannabis, compared to 46 per cent of those aged 16 to 19 years and 40 per cent aged 20 to 24 years.

Other key findings

Smoking is still the most popular form of consuming cannabis, but it has slightly declined. The survey notes that the use of topicals, beverages and vaporizers have all increased from 2020.

Fewer Canadians are getting behind the wheel after cannabis use compared to last year, dropping from 19 per cent in 2020 to 16 per cent in 20201.

Lastly, the survey found that seven in 10 Canadians feel they have access to trustworthy information to make informed decisions about their cannabis use. It’s not clear who those sources are. A U.S.-based survey published in The Journal of Primary Care & Community Health last year found that just 18 per cent of respondents felt their physician was a good source of information regarding cannabis , despite the fact that 45 per cent said they had used cannabinoids in the past year.

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