Canada's National Cannabis Survey says 40% of pot is illegal, men twice as likely to consume
Statistics Canada is that country’s national statistical office, and they recently released the results of a National Cannabis Survey that talks about how Canadians are consuming and purchasing weed up there. Perhaps the most interesting statistic is that as big as Canada’s cannabis inudstry is, it could be a lot bigger — a whopping 42% of people who bought pot in Canada over the last few months say they bought it from illegal sources. That means that it’s not packaged and sold with a license — it’s sold off on the illegal market, where cannabis can be cheaper and sometimes easier to obtain, but can also have a lower quality or even be harmful to smoke (if the grower has used pesticides or has mixed the drug with something else).
Three in four Canadians do say that quality and safety were their most important considerations when buy, but 42% (coincidentally) also say that price is important, and illegal cannabis, at least for now while regulations are being worked out, tends to be cheaper overall.
The survey also found that men were twice as likely to use cannabis as women in Canada (though you have to wonder, because it’s a survey, whether women were just less likely to admit it for some reason). About 8% of men used cannabis “daily or almost daily” while only 4% of women did. Younger people were more likely to use cannabis than older people, and more people in the northern territories reported cannabis use — Yellowknife reported that 30% of people were using cannabis, while Quebec reported only 10% use (BC and Ontario, two of the most populated areas, reported about 18% usage.
Canada is planning to run this survey every three months throughout 2019, so we’ll have to take a look at these stats again in November. The illegal number does seem high, but it shows, as mentioned, that Canada’s already impressive industry could be a lot bigger, if regulators were able to get prices under control and make legal cannabis more competitive.