New Study Uncovers Surprising Access to Marijuana in Canada

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New Study Uncovers Surprising Access to Marijuana in Canada

Exploring the Impact of Legalized Marijuana in Canada"

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The legalization of adult-use marijuana in Canada has led to a surge in the number of cannabis dispensaries throughout the country. According to a new study, nearly 60% of Canadian neighborhoods are now located within a five-minute drive of a cannabis dispensary. The research team also found that only 7% of retail cannabis locations permanently closed over a four-year period.

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The Study

The study was a collaborative effort between investigators from various universities and research institutes in Ottawa and Toronto. They collected longitudinal data regarding the status and location of “all legal cannabis stores in Canada” and cross-referenced dispensary location data against “dissemination areas” as defined by Statistics Canada. The study examined per capita stores and sales and analyzed store closure rates and consumer retail accessibility.

Results

As of October 2022, there were 3,305 retail locations operating in Canada. Over a four-year span, per capita stores and per capita sales increased each year by an average of 122.3% and 91.7%, respectively, with larger increases in private versus public systems (4.01 times greater for per capita stores and 2.46 times greater for per capita sales). This demonstrates the enormous expansion of Canada’s legal cannabis market during the first four years following the launch of legal adult-use sales.

The research team also found considerable variation in access between different Canadian markets. However, the study showed that nearly six out of every ten neighborhoods in the country are located within a five-minute drive of a cannabis dispensary, demonstrating the level of access afforded to consumers.

Positive Outcomes of Legal Cannabis Dispensaries

Multiple studies have found positive outcomes in neighborhoods where legal cannabis dispensaries are located. For example, a study conducted by the University of New Mexico in 2021 found that unemployment fell in Colorado counties in which dispensaries opened post-legalization, compared to counties in which dispensaries did not open.

A separate study from 2021 found that “higher medical and recreational storefront dispensary counts are associated with reduced opioid-related death rates, particularly deaths associated with synthetic opioids such as fentanyl.”

A study from 2020 examined crime rates in Colorado before and after the state’s enactment of legalization and the researchers “observed a substantial reduction in certain types of crimes, namely, property crime, larceny, and simple assault, in border counties in the Colorado region.”

New Study Uncovers Surprising Access to Marijuana in Canada

Access to Cannabis in Canada vs. Access to Alcohol

Leading up to the launch of legal adult-use sales in late 2018, Statistics Canada estimated in a report at the time that roughly 90 percent of Canadians lived within 10km (or about 6 miles) of a liquor store. By comparison, only 35 percent of Canada’s population was expected to live within the same distance of a planned cannabis store when legal adult-use sales launched according to the same analysis. However, the new study shows that nearly 60% of Canadian neighborhoods are now located within a five-minute drive of a cannabis dispensary.

Conclusion

The legalization of adult-use marijuana in Canada has led to a significant increase in the number of cannabis dispensaries throughout the country. The new study shows that nearly six out of every ten neighborhoods in Canada are now located within a five-minute drive of a cannabis dispensary. The positive outcomes of legal cannabis dispensaries, such as reduced opioid-related deaths and lower crime rates, demonstrate the benefits of legalizing and regulating the sale of marijuana.

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COMMENTS

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    Laura P 1 year ago

    I honestly love the experience at a dispensary over a liquor store, I’m happy to be closer to my local pot shop! Open more!