Observations on Cannabis Legalization in Canada / Observations sur la légalisation du cannabis au Canada

Observations on Cannabis Legalization in Canada

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addition (CCSA) conducts research, brings together knowledge and provides targeted materials to support evidence-based decisions about and actions for cannabis policy and practice. They are pleased to share their latest publications: Cannabis Legalization: Year One Observations and Composition of Boards Overseeing Retail Cannabis Sales and Wholesale Distribution across Canada.

Cannabis Legalization: Year One Observations offers a preliminary summary of Canada’s experience in the first year of retail sales after cannabis legalization, with a focus on the public health and safety objectives of the Cannabis Act.

Important findings from the report include:

  • The impact of legalization on Canadians’ consumption of cannabis and related health, safety and criminal justice measures will not fully be realized until Canadians have consistent access to regulated product.
  • Since legalization, more people are trying cannabis for the first time. They are more likely to be 45 years old and older compared to those who tried it for the first time before legalization.
  • The number of Canadians getting cannabis directly from the illegal market or from friends and family has significantly decreased since legalization.
  • Revenues from cannabis sales have been significantly lower than anticipated.
  • Challenges continue with ensuring the availability, diversity and quantity of cannabis products to meet consumer demand.
  • The introduction of edible cannabis products, cannabis extracts and cannabis topicals will further impact market stability.
  • Additional collection and timely analyses of data are needed to identify emerging trends and inform policy and practice.

Read the full report at www.ccsa.ca.

Canada is well positioned to establish best practices in promoting public health and safety through effective oversight of the cannabis retail market. In many provinces and territories, responsibility for retail sales and distribution has been delegated to an authority governed by a board of directors. Composition of Boards Overseeing Retail Cannabis Sales and Wholesale Distribution across Canada describes the composition of boards overseeing retail sales and distribution of cannabis across Canada.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Eight out of 13 provinces and territories have established a board of directors to oversee retail sales and distribution of cannabis.
  • The majority of board members have strong backgrounds in business or finance.
  • Overall, the number of board members with professional or educational backgrounds in health or public safety is low.
  • There is an opportunity to examine how board composition and subject-matter expertise impact the implementation of cannabis policy from a public health and safety perspective.

Read the full report at www.ccsa.ca.

CCSA is also pleased to announce the update of its online mapping tool, Summary of Provincial and Territorial Cannabis Regulations. The tool is a valuable resource for policy makers and researchers and to help the public understand the regulatory landscape across Canada. For this version, we have updated the data, improved its presentation, and optimized features and functions to improve usability.

If you have any questions about these publications, please send your inquiry to Rebecca Jesseman (rjesseman@ccsa.ca), Director of Policy at CCSA.

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