National survey reveals new data on Canadian cannabis consumers

The results of a survey published by Statistics Canada last week reveal some interesting information about how Canadians are consuming

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The results of a survey published by Statistics Canada last week reveal some interesting information about how Canadians are consuming cannabis.

How many users?

According to the data, which was gathered earlier this year as part of the National Cannabis Survey, approximately 4.2 million or 14 percent of Canadians aged 15 and over have used cannabis products in the last three months. Of them, about 56 percent said their use occurred on a daily or weekly basis. (The information comes ahead of the federal government’s implementation of Bill C-45, an act that will legalize, regulate, and restrict access to non-medical cannabis.)

Will legalization increase use?

While senators currently discussing the bill in committee fear legalization will normalize cannabis use and lead to an increase in the number of users, 79 percent of respondents told Statistics Canada that, regardless of whether or not they were already consumers, legalization wouldn’t make them more likely to try cannabis or increase their consumption.

Just six percent of those who said they hadn’t used cannabis in the past three months said they would be more likely to try or increase their cannabis use after legalization.

Which province has the most users?

Breaking down cannabis use by province, Quebec had the lowest rate of past-quarter use at 10 percent, while Nova Scotia had the highest, at 20 percent. (Unsurprisingly, British Columbia had a higher rate of use than the national average, at 17 percent.)

How old is the average Canadian cannabis user?

Responses to the survey indicated that as Canadians get older, their prevalence of use generally decreases: while 22 percent of Canadians aged 15 to 44 said they used cannabis, just seven percent of those over the age of 45 said they were consumers.

It also showed that more men admitted to using cannabis in the past three months (16 percent) than women (12 percent).

How are Canadians consuming cannabis?

Cannabis users will appreciate that Statistics Canada asked respondents to indicate their preferred methods of consumption. The favourite, at 76 percent, was dried flower, followed by edibles (28 percent), hashish (11 percent), oil cartridges and vape pens (11 percent), liquid concentrate (10 percent), solid concentrate (8 percent), other (six percent) and “liquids” (three percent).

Where are Canadians getting their weed?

Just under a third of respondents (31 percent) said they obtained their cannabis products from family or friends, with over a fifth (22 percent) reporting that they shared their cannabis with people they knew. About 14 percent reported getting their cannabis over the internet from a licensed producer, and a mere six percent said they grew their own, or had someone grow it for them. While some respondents said they used multiple sources to access cannabis, 72 percent said they relied on a single source.

Do most Canadian cannabis users wait to get behind the wheel?

The survey also asked cannabis-using Canadians about their driving habits. Of those who said they used cannabis within the past three months, 14 percent said they had operated a vehicle within two hours of consuming cannabis. Among daily or weekly consumers, that number increased to 23 percent.

How much do Canadians spend on cannabis?

Spending on cannabis varied among respondents. One the low end, about one third of cannabis consumers said they didn’t pay anything for the cannabis they consumed, while just under one quarter said they spent more than $250 on products in the last three months.

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