New data indicates that legalization works in Canada


Canada made history in 2018 when it became the first G-7 nation to legalize cannabis for adult use and the second largest country in the world to pass a legalization measure, just behind the law. ‘Uruguay.

Unlike Uruguay, Canada immediately implemented a nationwide adult use industry that was open to everyone of legal age, regardless of their state of residence (or lack thereof).

In many ways, Canada has served as an unprecedented public cannabis policy experiment, with international lawmakers and regulators watching from afar to see if legalization works.

According to new Canadian data, an important metric used to assess the success of cannabis legalization indicates that legalization is having a positive impact.

Regulated sales data

A sign that legalization is successful in any given country, including Canada, is whether regulated sales compete significantly with unregulated sales.

Unregulated cannabis sales will never go down to zero in Canada, or anywhere else that legalizes cannabis for adult use.

After all, unregulated cigarettes and alcohol are still sold everywhere to some extent despite being legal.

In accordance with data published in the journal Drug and alcohol addiction, 58% of consumers surveyed by researchers at the University of Waterloo’s School of Public Health indicated that they buy cannabis from regulated sources versus unregulated sources.

It is worth noting that not all of the remaining 42% necessarily buys cannabis from unregulated sources.

Some members of this subgroup may have legally cultivated their own cannabis or legally given it to friends and / or relatives.

Continuous improvement

The results of the study cited above are in line with the results of another study who also found that most Canadian consumers buy their cannabis through regulated sources.

Both the new study and the previous study found that regulated sales figures improved compared to the year before each study.

Over time, the data should continue to improve year after year until it reaches a plateau. As stated above, it will never go down to zero.

It will be very interesting to see where the data plateaus are and how Canada’s final market share for regulated sales compares to other nations as more countries move toward implementing their own regulated industry for use of adults.

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