UBC Study Finds Dispensaries Have Better Weed, Higher Prices

Article by Scott Johnstone, Lift news.

UBC study finds dispensaries have better weed, higher prices

The study compares experiences of home growers, buyers from dispensaries, Health Canada’s licensed producer, and black market suppliers.

A public survey was conducted asking respondents to rate their sources for quality and availability of product, safety and efficiency of access, cost, and feeling respected while accessing. Of the 445 respondents, 215 accessed their cannabis through dispensaries, and 230 accessed other sources. Lift News breaks down the results:


Of all respondents, 96% rated the quality of products received from dispensaries as ‘good’ or ‘very good’, with home-grown following close behind (92% for cannabis grown by a friend, 89% for self-grown). In stark contrast, the Health Canada producers received the lowest quality rating at just 20%, edged out by street dealers at 21% approval.


The safest form of access reported by those surveyed was having a friend or third-party grower, with 94% having expressed approval. Dispensaries were hot on the heels of growers at 91%, and with buying from a friend, growing for oneself, and buying from a licensed producer all scoring in the range of 60-70%. Predictably, street dealers scored the lowest perception of safety, with less than 5% approval.


Another near tie between dispensaries and third-party growers, dispensaries topped the board at 94%, while growers came in at 89%. Buying from a friend, growing for oneself, and buying from Health Canada also landed in a similar cluster, this time ranging from 50% to 62%. Once again street dealers scored the lowest, with roughly 13% approval among respondents.


At 90%, dispensaries had the highest rate of approval in this category too. Reaching a tie for second place, both self-production and third-party growers received 83%. There was also nearly a third place tie between buying from a friend and buying from a licensed producer, at 46% and 45%, respectively.


In the one category where dispensaries suffered low approval, cost satisfaction was dominated by growers. Third-party growers received 75% approval, while growing for oneself received 71%. Health Canada’s producers had the next best pricing, with 55% approval. Buying from a friend also received higher ratings, at 42% compared to the 38% dispensaries received.

Feeling Respected

Yet another category topped by a narrow margin between dispensaries and third-party growers, 91% were left with a feeling of having been respected after visiting a dispensary, and 88% when dealing with a third-party grower. Growing for oneself and buying from a friend were not too far behind at 71% and 74%, respectively, while Health Canada’s producers came in at 55%, and street dealers at just 12% approval.

In all categories except cost, dispensaries and third-party growers consistently received the highest approval ratings, and in all categories except quality, street dealers received the lowest.

The survey also asked respondents to provide information about their social demographics, physical health, and typical cannabis use. Results showed that respondents who buy at dispensaries were older, were more likely to have discussed medical cannabis with their health care provider, and were more likely to have received CTP authorization from Health Canada under federal regulations.

Read full article, here.

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