Canadians buying legal cannabis doubled one year since legalization: Statistics Canada

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The government has been wrestling with the underground market despite cannabis legalization expanding, but the newest numbers from Statistics Canada suggest that more users are looking to legal products.

The agency asked 5,452 Canadians where they got the cannabis they used in the past three months.

About half, 53 percent, of the respondents reported obtaining cannabis from legal sources in the second and third quarters of 2019 compared with corresponding estimates from the same period in 2018, in which only 23 percent used the legal market to purchase pot.

The percentages of consumers reporting only obtaining cannabis legally, from places like authorized retailers and online licensed producers, also grew, to 28 percent from 10 percent one year earlier.

And people in the poll are going to dealers and family less than last year, with a 10 percent dip since last year.

Despite the promising increase, legal products still aren’t the number one choice for most surveyed.

Fewer than one in three Canadians only buy cannabis legally compared to four in 10 Canadians who turn to the illicit market, with more than half of those aged 15 to 24 also buying unauthorized pot.

Where people sourced their marijuana differed across generations. Seniors were most likely to get their supply legally, while more than half of those aged 15 to 24 buy unauthorized pot. Every category besides seniors also reported getting cannabis from family and friends at higher rates.

While the results are fairly reliable, Statistics Canada cautions that the data relies on self-reported responses that can’t be verified.

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