Amid the green wave sweeping across Canada, it is necessary to pause momentarily and get a perspective on the growth of the cannabis community. As pioneers in the recreational cannabis world, Canadian cannabis companies have had their fair share of issues. Whether they have been financial, legal, or from the devastation of Covid-19, it seems there has been no shortage of hurdles. However, one of the most impacting remains the cannabis stigma and the subsequent bans on opening legal cannabis stores in Canadian municipalities. In this article, we’ll touch on some of the debates surrounding Canadian cannabis and what research suggests about its path forward.
The Effect of Legalization
Despite being legalized in 2018, many Canadians still have a negative perception of cannabis use, as well as cannabis consumers. In fact, a study in 2019 found that more Canadians viewed alcohol as acceptable than cannabis. While it is a complex issue that has a lot to do with the demonization of cannabis and the racist War on Drugs, the fact is these ideas have staying power with both young and older generations. Some parents are even vehemently against cannabis due to their concerns about their children using it while underage and veering off their life paths. However, research has shown that legalization and regulation of cannabis have helped reduce cannabis use among adolescents.
Although sales started off shakily, leading some to say the Canadian cannabis bubble had burst, current market numbers say different. In July alone, legal cannabis sales hit a new record of $286,000,000. Profits are up, and cannapreneurs are being rewarded for their early investments in the cannabis industry. As distribution channels expand and companies roll out new products, the legal cannabis market continues to grow and flourish around the country. Of course, money isn’t the only way to measure the impact that the Canadian cannabis market is having, there is also the question of data and how it relates to lawmaking.
Don’t Believe the Hype
As the opportunity to open up a legal cannabis store swept across the nation, so did the cannabis store bans. Unfortunately, many communities didn’t see the need for legal cannabis and only focused on the overhyped and highly speculative negative aspects of cannabis stores opening in their town. Nonetheless, new research conducted between 2018-2020 shows that allowing legal cannabis stores to open also increases the purchase of legal cannabis and reduces black market cannabis consumption. Furthermore, this research suggested that those purchasing legal cannabis were mainly existing users and not wayward youths, as many would like to believe. Notwithstanding, as a caveat, researchers cautioned against assuming that opening more cannabis stores means there is more demand, especially in areas where there are bans.
Time to Enjoy
While we are three years into the recreational legalization of cannabis in Canada, the path before us is certainly long and winding. Although more research will have to be done to calm the minds of many who are opposed to cannabis and legal cannabis stores, the data so far is in the cannabis industry’s favour. At Parkdale Brass, we continue to remain positive about the future of the Canadian cannabis community and hope to continue fighting the stigma associated with it! If you are looking for more information or infographics on cannabis issues, head to our Instagram. For more articles on cannabis education or history, check out the Parkdale Brass blog. While you’re there, stop by our shop to peruse our high-quality metal smoking accessories!