The majority of cannabis consumers said that legal cannabis was more convenient to buy (59.2 percent) and safer to purchase (56.1 percent) than its illegal counterpart, according to a University of Waterloo School of Public Health study published last month.
The study examined consumer perceptions of legal versus illegal cannabis sources in Alaska, California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington state.
One in three respondents (30.6 percent) said they believed legal cannabis was more expensive and just slightly more (37.6 percent) said legal cannabis is higher quality than that from illicit sources.
Another 40.3 percent of respondents from Wave 1 of the International Cannabis Policy Study, an online survey conducted in 2018 among 5,530 16-65-year-olds, said legal cannabis is safer to use than illegal products.
“With the notable exception of price, consumers reported generally positive perceptions of the legal cannabis market, with more positive perceptions in US states with more ‘mature’ legal markets.” – “Consumer perceptions of ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’ cannabis in US states with legal cannabis sales,” July 17, 2020, Addictive Behaviors
The study’s authors note that consumer perceptions varied according to how long legal cannabis has been available in the state.
“Respondents living in more ‘mature’ legal markets were more likely to perceive legal cannabis as higher quality,” the authors wrote.
An April 20 YouGov poll found similar approval for the legal cannabis industry, with 45 percent of respondents in that poll calling recreational legalization “more of a success than a failure” or “success only,” with 19 percent saying that it was “more of a failure than success” or “failure only.” Twenty-six percent of respondents said they didn’t know.
Do you work for a cannabis brand? Take our 5-minute survey to help us report on the industry: Click Here