Since the legalization of cannabis in Canada in October 2018. Statistics Canada has been conducting a survey every three months to collect data on the cannabis use of Canadians.

Despite the inherent limitations of reporting, these data provide insight into the effects of legalization on Canadians.

Cannabis Use by Age

Thus, after one year of legalization, more than 5.1 million Canadians aged 15 years or older reported using cannabis in 2019 . In the 3 months before the survey, a higher percentage than in 2018 (4.5 million people).

Thus, cannabis use increased statistically between 2018 and 2019, particularly among those aged 25 years and older and among men. Use remained constant among 15- to 24-year-olds and women. And decreased from 19.8% to 10.4% among youth aged 15 to 17.

Daily or near-daily (DDD, every day or almost every day) drinking increased from 5.9% to 6% of Canadians. The statistically highest proportion of daily/almost daily drinkers were males between the ages of 18 to 44. The only age group in which GAD use increased was those aged 65 years and older, although they are the least numerous, 2.6% of the Canadian population.

Sources of Supply

About 29.4% of Canadian cannabis users reported legally purchasing all cannabis consumed in 2019, three times more than before legalization, which allowed only medical use. In contrast, 52% of users purchased cannabis from a legal source at least once during the year.

The source of supply tends to change according to the amount spent on cannabis every 3 months. For people who did not buy their cannabis before legalization (self-cultivation or via donations), the regulation of the cannabis market has not changed.

For high spenders on the other hand (+250 CAD in 3 months), who represent 20% of all consumers. The proportion of those who purchase all or part of their cannabis legally increased between 2018 and 2019. From 16.6% to 24.3% for exclusively legal buyers and from 39.3 to 59.4% for others.

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