Legal sourcing of ten cannabis products in the Canadian cannabis market, 2019-2021: a repeat cross-sectional study


Background:

One of the objectives of cannabis legalization in Canada is to transition consumers from the illegal to the legal market. Little is known about how legal sourcing varies across different cannabis product types, provinces, and frequency of cannabis use.


Methods:

Data were analyzed from Canadian respondents in the International Cannabis Policy Study, a repeat cross-sectional survey conducted annually from 2019 to 2021. Respondents were 15,311 past 12-month cannabis consumers of legal age to purchase cannabis. Weighted logistic regression models estimated the association between legal sourcing (“all”https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/”some”https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/”none”) of ten cannabis product types, province, and frequency of cannabis use over time.


Results:

The percentage of consumers who sourced “all” their cannabis products from legal sources in the past 12 months varied by product type, ranging from 49% of solid concentrate consumers to 82% of cannabis drink consumers in 2021. The percentage of consumers sourcing “all” their respective products legally was greater in 2021 than 2020 across all products. Legal sourcing varied by frequency of use: weekly or more frequent consumers were more likely to source “some” (versus “none”) of their products legally versus less frequent consumers. Legal sourcing also varied by province, with a lower likelihood of legal sourcing in Québec of products whose legal sale was restricted (e.g., edibles).


Conclusion:

Legal sourcing increased over time, demonstrating progress in the transition to the legal market for all products in the first three years of legalization in Canada. Legal sourcing was highest for drinks and oils and lowest for solid concentrates and hash.


Keywords:

Cannabis; Legal markets; Legalization; Marijuana; Sourcing.

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