Our Canadian friends completely legalised cannabis on October 17 2018. So has the country fallen to pieces? Are people neglecting their responsibilities en masse?
No and no.
In fact, according to figures released by Statistics Canada, the number of tokers has not even increased post legalisation.
The report shows that about 15% of canadians (around 4.6 million people) over age 15 reported using cannabis in the previous three months.
That is a similar percentage to what was reported before legalisation, according to Statistics Canada, the national statistical office for Canada.
The national cannabis survey also found that nearly half of Canadians who reported using cannabis said they did so for non-medical reasons, while one-quarter said they used it for medicinal purposes.
Black market still flourishing
Despite the total legalisation and regulation of a Canadian cannabis market, it was found that non-medical cannabis users were more likely to buy their product form the black market, with only 26% of them saying they bought the drug from authorised retailers or online producers.
42% of of the non-medical users said they had bought cannabis illegally, such as through drug dealers, compassion clubs, unlicensed dispensaries or storefronts, and unlicensed websites, the survey said.
Black-market weed is cheaper
Statistics Canada also keeps an eye on usage, prices and sales in order to quantify this world’s-first market.
The agency had found that the average price of a legal gram of medical or non-medical cannabis was $9.70 (£5.64), compared to the black-market price of $6.51 (£3.79).
And according to the latest findings, nearly a third of consumers in Canada reported they didn’t spend anything on cannabis they consumed, presumably thanks to the growing and gifting allowances in many provinces.
About 8% of those asked said they spent about $40 (£23.26) a week, which Statistics Canada said was consistent with previous findings.
Increase in demand
With reports of cannabis shortages appearing often since legalisation, the agency said nearly one in five Canadians, or 19%, reported plans to use cannabis in the next three months, meaning a potential increase in demand.