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42% of Canadian Cannabis Consumers Still Use Illicit Market

New data from Statistics Canada shows that 42 percent of adult Canadian cannabis consumers still rely on illegal sources.

Full story after the jump.

Statistics Canada’s National Cannabis Survey has found that 42 percent of adults who use cannabis in the nation still use illegal sources to obtain cannabis and about one-quarter of users don’t pay for it, relying instead on family and friends. Nearly half of the respondents – 48 percent – said they purchased cannabis via legal sources.

Nearly 60 percent of females surveyed said they had never used cannabis, compared to 51 percent of males. 21 percent of men had used cannabis during the first six months of 2019, compared to just 12 percent of women. About one in three Canadians, both male and female, said they had tried cannabis but were not current users. Most men surveyed were not medical users, as 52 percent said they used cannabis for non-medical reasons, while 30 percent said they used cannabis for both medical and non-medical reasons.

Smoking remains the most popular way to consume cannabis, with 68 percent of male and 62 percent of female cannabis consumers preferring smoking; while 14 percent of women used cannabis through “other methods” including topicals and tinctures. It’s worth noting that flower is the most common cannabis product legally available in Canada as alternative cannabis products – such as edibles – are not yet legal but are expected to hit shelves in December.

The vast majority – 76 percent – of cannabis consumers surveyed said that safety was an important consideration when buying products, followed by price (42 percent), accessibility and potency (33 percent).

Nearly all non-cannabis consumers surveyed (99 percent) said they had no plans to use cannabis in the next three months, compared to 21 percent of current male users and 12 percent of current female users – however, 87 percent of daily users said they would continue to use cannabis at the same rate.

In all, the agency found nearly five million Canadians are using cannabis, which is unchanged from pre-legalization statistics.

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