Dalhousie University Study on Cannabis Use

The TDR Three Key Takeaways:

  1. Market Growth: Dalhousie University study and Statista estimates point to a significant increase in the cannabis acceptance, emphasizing the growing economic importance of the industry, particularly in the United States and Canada.
  2. Consumption and Preferences: The research highlights a high acceptance of cannabis legalization and a growing preference for edibles. It points to changing consumer habits and the need for safety measures, especially for children and young adults.
  3. Normalization and Regulation: The study illustrates the increasing normalization of cannabis use and the evolving public attitude towards it. It suggests the necessity for adaptable policies and public education to manage this changing landscape effectively.

A comprehensive study by Dalhousie University released on January 3, 2024, delved into the perceptions and use of cannabis in Canada and the USA. Surveying over a thousand residents from each country about their cannabis-related habits and views, the study conducted in May 2021 unveiled intricate patterns and attitudes towards cannabis in North America. The findings from this research not only reinforce the significant market potential but also highlight the shifting landscape of cannabis consumption and regulation across these influential regions.

Imagine the global landscape if the world mirrors the growing acceptance rate of cannabis seen in Canada and the USA. With this rising acceptance, the cannabis market is poised for substantial growth, potentially surpassing projections from Statista. According to Statistia, worldwide cannabis market is expected to reach a revenue of US$60.79 billion in 2024 and is forecasted to expand at an annual growth rate (CAGR 2024-2028) of 14.06%, culminating in a market volume of US$102.90 billion by 2028. The United States stands out, projected to generate the highest revenue in 2024 with an estimated US$39,850.00 million. On a per capita basis, it is anticipated that each individual worldwide will contribute approximately US$15.55 in 2024. These figures underscore the immense potential and growth within the cannabis market, with Canada experiencing rapid expansion due to the legalization of recreational use.

The study unveiled high acceptance rates for the legalization of cannabis, with 78% of Canadians and 75% of Americans supporting legal recreational use. Despite this broad approval, the consumption rates in both countries were similar, with 45% of Canadians and 42% of Americans confirming their use of cannabis.

Looking into the patterns of consumption, the study found that about one-third of American cannabis consumers reported daily use, compared to 25% in Canada. Furthermore, a larger percentage of Americans (62%) than Canadians (49%) reported using cannabis at least once a week. The dried flower or bud emerged as the preferred method of consumption, favored by 45% of Canadian and 47% of American consumers.

Attitudes towards local regulations of cannabis sales were also scrutinized. A significant portion of respondents from both countries felt that municipalities should not have the power to ban cannabis retail stores. In Canada, a majority of 56% held this view, whereas in the USA, a lower percentage of 44% agreed. This indicates a shift in sentiment, particularly in Canada, where opposition to local bans has notably increased post-legalization.

The study also shed light on the growing interest in edibles, with almost 25% of Canadian and just over 28% of American consumers indicating a preference for this format. However, there was a noteworthy difference in the non-consumption of edibles, with 28% of Canadian consumers versus 21% of Americans reporting they do not purchase edibles. Among those who do opt for edibles, gummies and other sweet confections lead in popularity, followed by chocolates, oils, tinctures, and baked goods. A higher percentage of Canadians (63%) than Americans (51%) expressed concern about the risks these products pose to children and young adults, highlighting safety as a significant concern.

Looking ahead, the study suggests a potential shift in the market towards edibles, with 21% of American consumers intending to increase their purchases of this product type. However, uncertainty remains among consumers in both countries, with over 28% unsure about their future consumption of edibles.

The Dalhousie University study challenges the belief that federal legalization is needed to change social perceptions of cannabis. It demonstrates that high social acceptance of cannabis is present in both Canada and the USA, despite different legalization approaches. Canadians, in particular, are increasingly comfortable with the nationwide legality of cannabis, as evidenced by their reduced concern about public acknowledgment of cannabis use and changing attitudes towards municipal regulations of cannabis sales.

The study led by Dalhousie University paints a picture of a North America where acceptance and use of cannabis are becoming increasingly normalized. It emphasizes the need for further research and adaptable policies to navigate the evolving landscape of cannabis consumption. The findings also highlight the importance of public education about cannabis, especially regarding the safe use of edibles and potential risks to vulnerable populations. As the cannabis market, particularly for edibles, continues to expand, understanding consumer perceptions and behavior will be crucial in shaping future regulations and public health initiatives.

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