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Survey Finds 7 in 10 Canadians Buy Cannabis from Legal Sources

A recently conducted survey has determined that the number of Canadians purchasing marijuana legally has increased. Data published by Statistics Canada earlier this month shows that more than two-thirds of marijuana consumers are buying the drug legally. The survey received responses from 5,185 adults 25 to 44 years of age and 2,251 individuals aged 18 to 24.

It determined that within the last 12 months, almost 72% of those surveyed exclusively purchased marijuana from legal markets.

When queried why they bought from legal sources, 38% of respondents stated that they did so because of product safety, nearly 13% wanted to follow the law, and almost 17% did so because it was convenient. The willingness to purchase legal products was confirmed by a separate report published earlier this month, which highlighted that recreational marijuana sales by provincial authorities rose by 15.8% annually, totaling about $4.7 billion in spending.

The latest survey also observed an increase in the number of individuals who admitted to using legal marijuana in the past 12 months, with the figure moving from 53% two years prior to 61% in 2023.

These findings demonstrate the ongoing success of the country’s marijuana policy and the legal market’s consolidation since recreational marijuana was legalized in 2018. They also indicate that most consumers buy primarily from legal shops whose products are tracked and are safer, which displaces the illegal market.

The survey also examined marijuana consumption, determining that roughly 34% of individuals aged 25 to 44 and 38.4% of those aged 18 to 24 years admitted to using the drug in the past year. This is in comparison to more than 15% of individuals aged 45 and above. Additionally, about 10% of individuals aged 25 to 44 and 8.7% of individuals aged 18 to 24 years reported that they used marijuana almost daily or daily in the same period. This is in comparison to almost 5% of individuals aged 45 and above. This suggests that daily or almost-daily use of marijuana is more common in younger populations.

Interestingly, the survey also determined that while there were no gender differences among those below 45 years of age, men aged 45 and above were more likely than women to admit to daily marijuana use. The findings also demonstrated different purchasing habits based on gender, with 62.7% of women buying edibles, compared to nearly 52% of men.

With regard to popular product groups, the survey found that cannabis flowers and edibles were the most popular across age groups surveyed in the last 12 months.  Additionally, nearly 71% of men preferred purchasing cannabis flowers. This is in comparison to about 48% of women.

As more people in Canada shift from buying black-market products, the cannabis industry is set to grow even more in a way that U.S.-based companies such as Green Thumb Industries Inc. (CSE: GTII) (OTCQX: GTBIF) can hope to enjoy once legal reforms become instituted at the federal level.

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