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Olga Boiko

Earlier this month, Statistics Canada released its National Cannabis Survey (NCS) for Q4 2018. Here, it was reported 15% of Canadians (4.6 million people, aged 15+) used cannabis in the last three months. Seven per cent of those Canadians used cannabis for non-medicinal purposes.

The NCS was conducted from mid-November to mid-December in an attempt to “monitor cannabis consumption and related behaviours before and after legalization of cannabis.”

A lot was learned in this survey, including the fact that a similar percentage of Canadians used cannabis prior to its legalization on October 17, 2018. It was also discovered that 19% of Canadians believe they will use cannabis during the next three months. As encouraging as that latter stat could be to those in the cannabis business, the reality is that this figure doesn’t really include new consumers.

“Whether a person thought they would use cannabis in the first part of 2019 largely depended on whether they currently use or have formerly used cannabis, and at what frequency,” read the NCS report.

For instance, a stunning 98% of Canadians who have never used cannabis don’t plan on starting up in the next three months. However, those loyal to daily (93%) and weekly (84%) cannabis consumption will keep their trains rolling throughout the next quarter.

When it came to product preference, 74% of recreational cannabis users sought out dry cannabis, versus 26% for oils.

As part of this survey, Canadians were also asked to indicate “the three most important factors they considered when selecting a source” to purchase their cannabis from. The most prominent factor was quality and safety (76%), followed by lowest price (38%) and accessibility (33%). Meanwhile, more than 25% of cannabis buyers noted the significance of location, as well as “a preferred potency or formulation.”

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