Article by Evan Duggan, Vancouver Sun
Nearly a year has passed since the Canadian government legalized recreational cannabis cultivation and consumption.
Zoocasa, the Toronto-based real estate brokerage house, surveyed more than 1,300 Canadians between Sept. 17 and 29, 2019, to learn how Canadians’ opinions have evolved since the law changed on Oct. 17, 2018.
The survey follows up on an initial poll by Zoocasa conducted a year ago, which displayed a lot of uncertainty surrounding the first days of legalization, said Penelope Graham, Zoocasa’s managing editor.
“When we checked in again this year, we found that (respondents) are starting to relax their perspectives and views in some regards, but not all,” she told Postmedia in an interview on Tuesday.
The survey covered consumption and cultivation of cannabis in homes, feelings about living near cannabis retailers and the awareness of landlords and tenants and condo dwellers of the rules and rights around cannabis in the home. Here are three takeaways from the survey results.
Comfort with neighbourhood dispensaries climbs
Last year, just 31 per cent of respondents said they would be comfortable with having a cannabis retail dispensary in their neighbourhood.
“This year, that went up to 43 per cent, so we’re starting to see there is a normalization among Canadians, that they’re starting to become more comfortable with the legal status of the drug,” Graham said.
It’s possible that after seeing the retailers operating for a year, neighbours are not perceiving problems arising from the retail business, Graham suggested.
Renters feeling more comfort than homeowners
The results also showed that renters were clearly more comfortable with cannabis retail in their areas than were property owners, Graham said.
“If you’re a renter and you don’t own real estate in that neighbourhood, you were more likely to feel more comfortable (with dispensaries),” she said. “So, 56 per cent of renters said they’d be OK with it, compared to just 36 per cent of homeowners.”