Article by Solomon Israel, Leaf News
About 18 per cent of Canadians over age 15 used cannabis at least once in the first quarter of 2019, according to Statistics Canada’s latest National Cannabis Survey.
That figure, which represents about 5.3 million people, is a bump up from the 14 per cent cannabis use rate in the same period last year. It doesn’t distinguish between Canadians who use cannabis for medical purposes, for recreation, or both.
The national survey is meant to track rates of cannabis consumption among Canadians and suss out attitudes towards the drug, and kicked off in February 2018, well ahead of the legalization of non-medical cannabis in October of that year. The new data cover the first three months of 2019, and represent Statistics Canada’s first complete quarter of comparable cannabis data since legalization.
Changing cannabis use habits among Canadians aged 45 to 64 are part of the reason behind the increase in national cannabis use rates, wrote Canada’s national statistics authority in its Thursday release. Rates of cannabis use in that age group increased to 14 per cent, up from nine per cent a year earlier.
That finding doesn’t surprise Mike Babins, co-owner of Vancouver’s first provincially-licensed cannabis store, Evergreen Cannabis. In his experience, customers in that age bracket are especially keen on cannabis products with CBD, which is non-intoxicating.
“We do get a lot of people in that age group who come and say, ‘I can’t keep drinking every night, I want to try something different,'” said Babins.