According to a study published in harm reduction journalIn the first three years of cannabis legalization, more and more Canadian consumers have moved to the legal cannabis market, with legal sourcing highest for drinks and oils and lowest for solid concentrates and hash. is.
One of the goals of the Canadian Cannabis Act was to shift customers to the legal market. This is essential to ensure its other purpose of protecting public health, as the regulation has launched product standards, labeling and age verification checks.
Investigators from the University of Waterloo School of Public Health evaluated data from 2019 to 2021 and surveyed more than 15,000 Canadian cannabis consumers on where to get the product. The data covers most of his first three years of cannabis legalization in Canada, used as a retail license. Sales started in October 2018.
Steady shift since legal launch
according to Research in 2021 Published in International Drug Policy Journal, the share of legal recreational products in total cannabis consumption in Canada started at 7.8% in October 2018 and increased to 23.7% by September 2019, with large variations across provinces. In its first year, only dried flowers and some cannabis oils were legally available for purchase, and from December 2019 other products such as edibles, topical and extracts became available in retail stores. rice field.
“After the expansion of legal sales, including non-flower products, it is important to ask whether consumers are using legal markets to source not only dried flowers, but all foods, topical agents, and extracts. It’s important to look into it,” said the author.
Data from the International Cannabis Policy Study were collected from September-October 2019, 2020 and 2021 through a web-based self-complete survey of respondents aged 15-65.
All products saw a year-on-year increase in respondents saying that “all” products were legally sourced, with solid concentrates, hash and dried flowers ranking lowest, followed by oral oil capsules and oral Oil drops, and beverages were the most likely. legally procured. As of 2021, 54.3% of dried flower purchases were from legal retailers.
Variables that contribute to Canadian market procurement
The study also looked at consumer frequency of use, finding that frequent consumers were more likely to source “some” of their products from legitimate markets than occasional consumers. I found This runs counter to the researchers’ hypothesis, which believed that frequent consumers were less likely to source legally because of “low awareness of legal cannabis.”
The authors note that legal sourcing varies by product, with about half of solid concentrate consumers legally purchasing “all” products, and 82% of cannabis drink consumers. increase. The high rate of legal procurement of beverages may be because they are new products that are difficult to obtain in the illegal market.
Products commonly identified as “medical products,” such as oral oils and capsules, are increasingly being purchased by consumers legally for “all” products as well, they add. They also said that consumers of “medical” products may prefer legal products whose quality is regulated, tested and standardized to ensure better and more consistent dosages. is pointed out.
The authors examined differences between states, stating that all states were more likely than Quebec to legally source “all” edible foods, limiting edible products that might appeal to young people. , said it was the only state to remove some of the most popular edible products. Formats like candies and chocolates.
Conversely, consumers of dried flowers in Quebec are more likely than British Columbia or Ontario to buy “everything” dried flowers legally, with Quebec posting the lowest dried flower prices since legalization. It lists something to be proud of and may be preferable to buying illegal dried flowers. to other prefectures.
Need for more monitoring
“Legal procurement of cannabis was higher in 2021 than in 2020 for all 10 cannabis products. [surveyed]In 2021, the percentage of consumers who legally sourced all products in the previous 12 months ranged from 49% of solid concentrate consumers to 82% of cannabis drink consumers in 2021.” the investigator reported.
Investigators will look for other ways to eliminate the illegal market for all cannabis products “without promoting the use of high-potency cannabis products,” and will investigate the procurement of cannabis products in Canada over time. pointed out the need for future research to continue.
They also called for more research to find out how product consumption varies by state and whether these habits occur depending on price and availability from legitimate sources. .