Statistics Canada issues a challenge as non-medicinal cannabis becomes legal

Ottawa, October 16, 2018

Tomorrow, the use of cannabis for non-medicinal purposes will become legal in Canada. How long will health professionals, law enforcement agencies, policy makers, researchers, the media and Canadians have to wait to get accurate and timely information on the effects of this change?

That's up to Canadians, says Statistics Canada. The national statistical agency is issuing a challenge. If enough Canadians report their purchases on the StatsCannabis website, Canadians will be able to track in real time the changes in social and economic behaviour related to the legalization of cannabis.

If enough data is submitted, Statistics Canada will be able to measure such things as the difference between the illegal and legal price, the reason why some people choose to purchase illegal cannabis and the number of new consumers. Statistics Canada has created the StatsCannabis crowdsourcing platform for people to post their information.

Since the Government tabled legislation in April to legalize cannabis, Statistics Canada has been updating the national statistical infrastructure to capture and record the economic and social activities associated with the production and use of cannabis.

An important part of this infrastructure was the launch of the StatsCannabis crowdsourcing platform where Canadians are asked to anonymously submit information pertaining to the price they paid for cannabis along with information about their consumption patterns. As of October 1, 20,000 prices have been posted on the website.

Once cannabis is legalized the requirement for timely, high quality, comprehensive data is even more important to ensure that Canadians understand all the economic and social outcomes associated inherent to legalization. In order to ensure Canadians have access to timely, comprehensive measures, Statistics Canada recently updated the StatsCannabis crowdsourcing platform to ask a couple of new questions related to the purchase of cannabis.


Media Relations
Statistics Canada

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