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It's Canada's 4th Cannabis-versary & The Feds Want To Know How High You've Been Getting

Health Canada wants data from cannabis users and other industry stakeholders.

MTL Blog, Associate Editor
SQDC sign in Quebec.

SQDC sign in Quebec.

Canada baked recreational cannabis use into law exactly four years ago on October 17 — now the country is taking stock of exactly what that means. The federal government has launched an economic analysis of legal cannabis sales and a social review of the impact of marijuana-related policies on youth and Indigenous communities, among other demographics. The national assessment was delayed by a year, due to the pandemic, but is now expected to last around 18 months. During that time, the government is calling on Canadian cannabis users to share just how high they've been getting.

"To ensure the functioning of the Cannabis Act is continuously improving, Health Canada has launched an independent review of the legislation to examine the progress made towards achieving the Act's objectives, and to help identify priority areas for improvement," said Health Minister Jean Yves Duclos on Thursday.

"As an initial step, an online engagement process has been launched and is open to all Canadians," he said, asking people to participate in an online questionnaire that's open until November 21.

Health Canada is using the form to gather input from the general public, cannabis consumers, industry stakeholders, and researchers, who are "encouraged to submit any evidence that you may have to support your responses."

Since legalization in 2018, consumption habits have largely stabilized in the country with about a quarter of Canadians now using cannabis products regularly. The 2021 Canadian Cannabis Survey (CCS) found edibles are the second most commonly reported product in all provinces/territories (with dried flower/leaf taking first place), except in Quebec where cannabis oil for oral use remains more popular.

Legalization has also undermined the illegal market. Around 69% of cannabis users reported having obtained at least some of the cannabis they consumed from a legal source in the 2020 National Cannabis Survey. That's three times higher than either before legalization (23%) and higher still than just after legalization (47%). In the past four years, the number of legal cannabis stores has gone up nearly eightfold across the country, making cannabis much easier to purchase legally.

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