Digging Deeper Into StatsCan’s Latest Weed Data

Article by The Leaf Cannabis News.

Digging deeper into StatsCan's latest weed data

The big headline number from Statistics Canada’s latest cannabis data shows Canadians used cannabis at about the same rates before and after legalization (roughly 15 per cent), but that’s not the only worthwhile finding from the fourth-quarter National Cannabis Survey.

Statistics Canada’s survey also asked cannabis consumers about what they’re considering when they buy cannabis. The number one concern was “quality and safety,” cited by 76 per cent of respondents, far outweighing the 38 per cent who cited “lowest price.”

That could be an encouraging indicator for the legal Canadian cannabis industry, which is trying to build a reputation on quality and safety even though legal cannabis is generally more expensive than black market cannabis.

The new data also reveal some important details about how Canadians use medical marijuana.

The latest figures from Health Canada show 342,103 registered medical cannabis users in September 2018,  but Statistics Canada’s survey estimated about 479,100 self-reported cannabis users who have a medical document that authorizes them to use.

Statistics Canada warns “there is no standard definition of a medical cannabis user,” and that its figure shouldn’t be considered a measure of how many medical cannabis users access the drug through Health Canada’s system, but the discrepancy merits further investigation: how many Canadians have a doctor’s note to use medical cannabis, but aren’t actually accessing it through Health Canada’s regime? Why not?

Read the full article here.

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