With a Choom Cannabis Co. store set to open in Niagara Falls Saturday, the owner says a recent national survey is indicative of the “buzz in the market place” when it comes to the “positive effects of cannabis and CBD (cannabidiol).”
A Statistics Canada survey, which was designed to monitor cannabis consumption and related behaviours before and after legalization, shows that more Canadians began to use cannabis in the first quarter of 2019. Some of these new consumers were first-time users, while others were former users who tried cannabis again post-legalization.
About 5.3 million, or 18 per cent, of Canadians aged 15 years and older reported using cannabis in the first quarter of 2019. This was higher than the 14 per cent who reported using just one year earlier, before legalization.
During the first quarter, 646,000 cannabis users reported trying cannabis for the first time in the past three months. This number was nearly double the corresponding estimate of 327,000 people one year earlier, when non-medical cannabis use was not yet legal.
Results suggest that first-time users in the post-legalization period are older. Half of new users were aged 45 or older, while in the same period in 2018, this age group represented about one-third of new users.
“Those stats are pretty amazing,” said Lisa Bigioni, who owns the Choom Cannabis Co. business that will operate out of a 270-square-metre building in the Niagara Square parking lot, starting Saturday morning.
“I think that access to safe and legal options has a lot to do with that. While we certainly don’t sell medical cannabis —– we sell recreational — a lot of people might want to start on the recreational side to see how it feels before they flip over to getting an actual prescription. We’ll see what the future brings, but I know that those stats are reflective of an economy and a Canadian people that is really looking to understand this space better.”
The grand opening for the Choom Cannabis Co. store is scheduled for Saturday, with a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m.