Canadians Increasingly Choose Legal Cannabis

The TDR Three Takeaways for Legal Cannabis:

  1. Nearly 72% of Canadian cannabis users buy exclusively from legal sources, prioritizing product safety.
  2. The shift towards legal cannabis purchases is attributed to safety concerns and the convenience of the legal market.
  3. As cannabis sales rise, surpassing alcohol, the importance of safety and regulation in the legal market is underscored.

Nearly six years following the legalization of cannabis for sale in Canada, a significant shift in consumer behavior has been observed. Data from the national cannabis survey of 2023 reveals that an overwhelming majority of Canadians, approximately 72%, who have used cannabis in the past 12 months, opted to purchase their products solely from legal vendors. This notable preference for legal sources underscores a growing concern for product safety among Canadian consumers, with 38% of respondents citing it as their primary reason for choosing legal over illicit sources.

The convenience of accessing marijuana legally also plays a role, with 17% of users favoring legal purchases for this reason. Moreover, a conscientious adherence to law contributes to this trend, as highlighted by 13% of the surveyed individuals. These insights reveal a collective move towards a safer and more regulated marijuana market in Canada, reflecting consumers’ increasing reliance on legal sources for cannabis products.

According to Global News, Matthew Greenwood, a board member of the Retail Cannabis Council of British Columbia and a marijuana store owner, expresses enthusiasm over these findings. He emphasizes the value of transparency in the legal cannabis market, which allows for direct knowledge of product origins, thereby ensuring quality and safety. This shift towards legal sources is mirrored in the broader market trends, with Statistics Canada reporting a decline in alcohol sales and a significant increase in recreational marijuana sales, indicating a preference for marijuana over traditional alcohol.

However, the increasing normalization of cannabis raises concerns among health-care advocates, who call for more rigorous studies on its effects and advocate for stronger regulatory frameworks. Ken Weisbrod, a licensed pharmacist, stresses the importance of clear guidelines and education, especially for young consumers, to understand cannabis consumption in a safe manner.

Despite these concerns, the trend towards legal cannabis purchases is clear, driven by safety, convenience, and a commitment to adhere to the law. This shift not only highlights the success of Canada’s legal cannabis market but also points to the ongoing need for education and regulation to ensure consumer safety. Want to keep up to date with all of TDR’s research and news, subscribe to our daily Baked In newsletter.   

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