Tag: Canada


Canadian Study Finds Cannabis Products Effective In Self-Management Of Myofascial Pelvic Pain

Myofascial pelvic pain syndrome is a health condition involving pelvic pain that is often described by sufferers as ‘short, tight, tender pelvic floor muscles that can include palpable nodules or trigger points.’

While it’s unclear how many people around the globe suffer from the condition, it is estimated that 22% to 94% of cases of chronic pelvic pain involve myofascial pain. Chronic pelvic pain is one of the most common gynecologic conditions around the planet.

Treatments for myofascial pelvic pain vary from patient to patient, with many patients relying on their own regimens for treatment. Cannabis is a popular medicine for sufferers, and according to a recent study in Canada, there’s good reason to incorporate it into treatment strategies. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

Vancouver, Canada: A significant percentage of women suffering from myofascial pelvic pain (MPP) acknowledge using cannabis and/or cannabis-products as a way to effectively mitigate their symptoms, according to data published in the European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology.

Canadian investigators surveyed 135 female patients with MPP, 57 percent of whom acknowledged using cannabis. Among marijuana consumers, 79 percent said that they used cannabis products to treat their pelvic pain. Nearly eighty percent of those respondents said that they began using cannabis because conventional treatments were ineffective. Nearly half of consumers said that they used cannabis daily, and more than half did so via inhalation.

“On a scale of zero (totally ineffective) to 10 (totally effective), 69 percent of users rated the effectiveness of cannabis as 7 or higher at relieving pelvic pain,” authors reported. Among non-users, 64 percent said that they “would be willing” to try cannabis as an option to treat pelvic pain.

A survey’s findings are consistent with those of prior studies finding that an increasing percentage of patients with pelvic pain are accessing either cannabis or cannabis products, and that those patients who do so are consuming fewer opioids.

Full text of the study, “Cannabis use preferences in women with myofascial pelvic pain: A cross-sectional study,” appears in the European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology.


beer alcohol

Canadian Researchers Find Alcohol To Be Involved In More Crashes Than THC

Whenever cannabis reform is being proposed, it’s very common for opponents to ramp up scare tactics related to impaired driving. Don’t get me wrong, preventing impaired driving on public roadways is absolutely a worthwhile endeavor.

However, conversations and strategies regarding the mitigation of impaired drivers need to be sensible, and math and science need to lead the way, which unfortunately does not always happen.

The fact of the matter is that alcohol is much more problematic compared to THC, as demonstrated in a recent study out of Canada. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

Drivers treated for traffic-related injuries are more likely to test positive for high levels of alcohol (BAC ≥ 0.08 percent) than they are likely to test positive for elevated levels of THC (THC in blood ≥ 5 ng/mL), according to data published in the journal Addiction.

Canadian investigators quantified and reviewed alcohol and THC concentrations in a cohort of nearly 7,000 injured drivers.

They reported, “In this sample, there were over three times as many drivers with BAC ≥ 0.08% (12.6 percent) than with THC ≥ 5 ng/mL (3.5 percent), suggesting that alcohol remains a greater threat to road safety.”

Authors also acknowledged that drivers who tested positive for high levels of alcohol were more likely to be involved in single vehicle accidents as well as in motor vehicle accidents resulting in serious injuries.

Because THC can remain present in blood for extended periods of time, the study’s authors emphasized that at least some subjects who tested positive for cannabis may not necessarily have had recent exposure to it. They further emphasized that subjects testing positive for the presence of THC at levels below 5 ng/ml are typically not under the influence and likely do not possess a significantly increased risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident.

Driving simulator studies generally report that cannabis administration is associated with compensatory driving behavior, such as decreased mean speed and increased mean following distance, whereas alcohol administration is associated with more aggressive driving behavior. Nevertheless, cannabis exposure can influence certain psychomotor skills necessary for safe driving, such as reaction time and drivers’ ability to maintain lane positioning.

study conducted by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that drivers who test positive for any amount of THC possess, on average, a far lower risk of being involved in a traffic collision than  do drivers who test positive for alcohol at or near legal limits.

By contrast, drivers who test positive for the presence of both THC and alcohol in their system tend to possess significantly higher odds of being involved in a motor vehicle accident than do those who test positive for either substance alone.

Full text of the study, “A comparison of cannabis and alcohol use in drivers presenting to hospital after a vehicular collision,” appears in Addiction. Additional information on cannabis and driving performance is available from  NORML’s Fact Sheet, ‘Marijuana and Psychomotor Performance.’


cannabis joint preroll

Premier Doug Ford Is Not A Fan Of Cannabis Clubs

Cannabis clubs are becoming more common around the world, particularly in Canada. Unfortunately, some lawmakers and regulators continue to seemingly act as if prohibiting social cannabis use venues will prevent them from operating. A recent example of that can be found via comments made by Ontario Premier Doug Ford after he heard a pitch for cannabis clubs provided by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.

“I don’t like the idea of having a lounge outside and they’re smoking or doobies or weed or whatever the heck they call it now,” said Premier Ford according to the Toronto Star. “If you want to do your stuff, do it somewhere else. That’s my opinion.”

The recent comments were unfortunate, although, they do not reflect the reality of what is happening throughout much of Canada. When consumers go “somewhere else” it’s often a cannabis speakeasy. Furthermore, people are going to consume cannabis at events such as concerts, just as they have for many, many years. Lawmakers like Premier Ford can choose to stick their heads in the sand and pretend like social cannabis use doesn’t already exist, however, that denial of reality comes at a cost to public health, safety, and revenue.

Common Ground

Whether Premier Doug Ford realizes it or not, contained in his recent comments is an argument for regulating social cannabis use and allowing venues to be licensed. Per Premier Ford’s own words, he doesn’t “like the idea of having a lounge outside and they’re smoking.” What is being proposed is private venues, where people can consume cannabis out of public view.

As responsible cannabis consumers will be quick to point out, they typically don’t prefer to consume cannabis on a sidewalk or in an alley. Speaking for myself, I’d much rather consume cannabis in a private social setting. When I am away from home and I don’t have a private setting to consume in, I’d gladly go to a regulated venue to smoke cannabis instead of doing so in a park or on the side of a building. If Premier Ford’s main argument is that he doesn’t want cannabis consumption to be a nuisance, then he should be advocating for cannabis clubs and not against them.

Accepting Reality

Cannabis consumers and patients want cannabis clubs, other private social venues, and consumption-friendly events. Just as some adults want to consume alcohol around their current friends and family, and/or want to make new friends, the same is true for cannabis. For patients specifically, they need to be able to consume their medicine wherever they are, and social cannabis businesses help facilitate that.

The unregulated cannabis market is going to fill any voids left by deficient public policy. If lawmakers like Premier Ford do not want to pursue sensible public policy and do not want to allow social use entities to legally operate, such entities will still surely exist, they will just be less safe and zero percent of any profits will go to public coffers. Lawmakers in Ontario, Canada, and everywhere else would be wise to embrace cannabis clubs rather than oppose them. Calls for social use reform are not going away, and will only get louder as the emerging legal cannabis industry continues to expand.


stethescope doctor medical hospital

Cannabis Sales In Canada Are Not Associated With An Increase In Crash Hospitalizations

Earlier this week we covered a report that was recently issued by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation titled, “Recreational Cannabis Consumption Spaces in Canada.” The report was published with support from the Canada Safety Council and DRIVE SOBER®.

In many ways, the report failed to provide proper context and seemed to try to portray cannabis in the most negative light possible, with a heavy focus on public roadway fearmongering. The results of a recent traffic-injury study are proving to be quite timely, as the findings of this new study seem to contradict many points that were recently offered up by cannabis opponents.

A new study based out of Canada examined traffic-injury hospitalization data in an attempt to see if the launch of legal adult-use sales in Canada was associated with an increase in traffic-injury hospitalization rates. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

Toronto, Canada: The implementation of adult-use marijuana sales in Canada is not associated with any increase in traffic injury-related hospitalizations, according to data published in the journal Addiction.

Investigators assessed nationwide rates of emergency department visits and hospitalizations in the years before and immediately following legalization.

Authors concluded, “Overall, there is no clear evidence that RCL [recreational cannabis laws] had any effect on rates of ED visits and hospitalizations for either motor vehicle or pedestrian/cyclist injury across Canada.”

The findings are consistent with those of a 2021 Canadian study that similarly “found no evidence that the implementation of the Cannabis Act was associated with significant changes in post-legalization patterns of all drivers’ traffic-injury ED visits or, more specifically, youth-driver traffic-injury ED presentations.”

Several studies from the United States also found no significant changes in traffic safety in the years immediately following the enactment of adult-use legalization. However, other assessments evaluating longer-term trends in traffic safety following legalization have yielded inconsistent results.

Full text of the study, “The effect of recreational cannabis legalization on rates of traffic injury in Canada,” appears in Addiction. Additional information is available from the NORML Fact Sheet, ‘Marijuana and Psychomotor Performance.


calgary alberta canada flag

Prime Minister Trudeau: Time To “Catch Up” With The Cannabis Industry

Canada remains the only country on earth where anyone of legal age can make a legal adult-use cannabis purchase regardless of residency status. The only country to legalize cannabis for adult use prior to Canada doing so in 2018 was Uruguay back in 2013.

Unlike in Canada, Uruguay limits adult-use sales to residents only. Malta is the only other country on the planet right now that has also passed an adult-use legalization measure, however, the only way to legally purchase cannabis in Malta will be via licensed non-profit cannabis clubs, and no licenses seem to have been issued thus far. Malta started accepting applications for clubs late last month.

Until legal sales to non-residents become a reality elsewhere, Canada will continue to be in a league of its own. Canada’s legalization model and related policies are obviously not perfect, although, they are still exponentially better than prohibition.

The industry has succeeded by many measures despite it operating on a playing field that is far from level compared to other legal industries of its size in Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made comments recently that suggest a leveling of the playing field may be on the horizon. Per excerpts from initial reporting by StratCann:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged the need for the government to “catch up” with the cannabis industry’s concerns around issues like high taxation in a recent public event.

In his response, Trudeau first brought up the government’s historical public-health focussed messaging around legaization, but noted that now that the legal system is established, the government has a need to take a look at ensuring those businesses who “stepped up” in this new industry can survive.

“Now that we’ve got the public health and safety stuff out of the way, or on the way, I think you’re absolutely right that we should absolutely take a much closer look at ‘okay, what do we do then to make sure that this is a beneficial industry?’

As we previously reported, the legal cannabis industry in Canada had created roughly 151,000 jobs as of February 2022. Additionally, the emerging legal cannabis industry is responsible for generating over $15 billion since legal adult-use sales launched in late 2018.

Deloitte estimates that the legal cannabis industry in Canada has contributed over $43.5 billion to the nation’s GDP since the start of legalization. Cannabis companies have directly invested roughly $4.4 billion into Canada’s economy, with the remaining boost to GDP coming from “indirect” economic contributions, and “induced” contributions according to Deloitte.

As impressive as those statistics are, they come from an era in which Canada’s cannabis industry faced needless hurdles, many of which are still in place today. Hopefully Prime Minster Trudeau puts actions behind his recent words and does everything in his power to help his nation’s emerging cannabis industry reach its full potential.


driving driver car dui road duii intoxicated

Society Deserves A Sensible Approach To Cannabis Clubs And Driving

An area of concern for many members of society when it comes to cannabis reform, and understandably so, relates to cannabis and driving. After all, no reasonable person wants to have impaired people operating motor vehicles on public roadways. However, reasonable people also want to let science lead the way when it comes to determining impairment and crafting public policies that help mitigate impaired drivers on public roadways, and unfortunately, hard science is often not part of the public policy process.

Often replacing hard science and a rational approach for mitigating cannabis impairment on public roadways is outright political scare tactics, which is truly unfortunate. ‘There will be terror and bloodshed on the roadways’ is a common theme of cannabis opponents when any type of cannabis reform is being considered. The latest focus of such anti-cannabis PR efforts is cannabis clubs.

New Report Targets Cannabis Clubs

Days ago the Traffic Injury Research Foundation released a report titled, “Recreational Cannabis Consumption Spaces in Canada.” The report was published with support from the Canada Safety Council and DRIVE SOBER®. While some of the points made in the report’s press release are valid, many of them involved typical reefer madness talking points and communication strategies.

The report relied heavily on convoluting the nuanced differences between confirmed cannabis impairment at the time of an incident versus someone merely having cannabis in their system but no proven impairment, or someone having several substances in their system, or someone having so little cannabis in their system that impairment was likely nonexistent. For example, the report states, “more than 7% of drivers had ≥ 2 ng/mL, and 3.5% had ≥ 5 ng/mL.” To put those ng/mL limits into perspective, the Olympics’ cannabis testing threshold is 150 ng/mL.

“The report underscores that any proposal to move forward with the implementation of cannabis consumption spaces in the absence of effective and well-developed prevention strategies to protect the public from recognized harm is premature.” the report stated, which if you ask me, is merely a delay tactic to try to stop the spread of cannabis clubs. If so, there’s a really big flaw with that tactic – it ignores the fact that cannabis clubs are far from a new thing.

Cannabis Clubs In Canada

Regulated cannabis clubs may be a relatively new thing from a public policy standpoint, however, in the real world they have existed for decades, including in Canada. Underground cannabis clubs have existed for years, particularly in British Columbia, and the last time that I checked, the sky was still intact over B.C. Despite unregulated cannabis clubs being somewhat common in parts of B.C., it’s worth noting that the province does not lead Canada in drug-related DUIs.

According to government data from Canada, “Newfoundland and Labrador had the highest rate of drug-impaired driving (52 incidents per 100,000 population), followed by Prince Edward Island,” with New Brunswick (36) coming in next. By contrast, British Columbia had 32 incidents per 100,000 population. If increasing the number of cannabis clubs in a jurisdiction automatically made the roadways unsafe, then it would be reflected in the data. Yet, that is obviously not the case.

A Rational Approach

One thing that the report noted that was absolutely correct is that there is a need for ongoing public education regarding cannabis use and operating a motor vehicle while impaired. No responsible cannabis consumer advocates for impaired driving, and the same is true of responsible members of Canada’s emerging cannabis industry. Clearly, there is a common goal between responsible cannabis advocates and opponents alike in that we all want public roadways to be safe.

The friction between the two groups begins when prevention strategies and detection are discussed. Cannabis advocates want to rely on facts to educate the public, and not fear-mongering. Cannabis advocates want science to determine impairment and not arbitrary nanogram thresholds that do not take into account a person’s tolerance level, individual biology, and other situational factors.

Unfortunately, the topic of cannabis and driving is such a hot-button issue with cannabis opponents that it makes it very difficult to have a rational conversation about what an effective prevention strategy looks like. People have consumed cannabis in social settings for many years, albeit in a non-regulated fashion, and a vast majority of people take precautionary measures such as walking, taking public transportation, or arranging private transportation.

Cannabis clubs are merely the latest boogeyman punching bag for cannabis opponents. Concerns about impaired driving are valid, however, they should not be used to derail further implementation of cannabis clubs in Canada, or anywhere else for that matter.


cannabis plant flower bud garden

Recent Cannabis Study Provides Hope For Tinnitus Patients

Tinnitus involves people hearing a ringing or other noise in their ears. Sometimes it is constant, and sometimes it comes and goes. However, as any tinnitus sufferer will be quick to point out, it’s annoying every time.

For people that do not suffer from tinnitus, it may sound like a mild annoyance. Yet, tinnitus can actually prove to be debilitating in extreme cases. Imagine trying to fall asleep at night and get a good night’s rest when you have a constant sound in your ear that you cannot stop. Now, imagine what life is like without proper sleep. It doesn’t take a medical professional to see the problem.

Thankfully, recent research out of Canada suggests that the cannabis plant may be able to help people that suffer from tinnitus. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

Ottawa, Canada: Patients suffering from tinnitus (ringing in the ears) frequently report using cannabis products for symptom relief, according to survey data published in the Journal of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery.

A team of Canadian scientists surveyed 45 patients with the affliction. Over one in five identified as current cannabis consumers and 80 percent of them reported it to be beneficial in treating symptoms of the disorder, including dizziness, anxiety, pain, and sleep disturbances.

Over 90 percent of those surveyed said that they “would consider cannabis as a treatment for their tinnitus.”

Authors concluded: “This is the first study to assess perspectives and usage patterns of cannabis in patients experiencing tinnitus. The results of this study demonstrate an active interest amongst patients with tinnitus to consider cannabis as a potential adjunctive treatment for symptom management. Moreover, cannabis use is both common and can be beneficial in this patient population. … This data may lay the groundwork for future research and clinical trials on cannabis use for tinnitus alleviation.”

Full text of the study, “Cannabis use among tinnitus patients: Consumption patterns and attitudes,” appears in the Journal of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery.


Canadian currency money

Yukon Has The Highest Per Person Cannabis Sales Ratio In Canada

Statistics Canada released new sales data pertaining to the nation’s emerging legal cannabis industry for the period of April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022. During that time period, Canada’s legal adult-use cannabis industry generated roughly $1.6 billion for federal and provincial governments.

To put the $1.6 billion figure into perspective, Canada’s alcohol industry generated roughly $13.6 billion during the same time period. The figures for both alcohol and cannabis include taxes at all jurisdictional levels, as well as fees related to licenses and permits.

Overall, sales for adult-use cannabis products across Canada (provincial cannabis authorities and other retail outlets) totaled roughly $4 billion between April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022, which is “equivalent to $131 per person of legal age to consume cannabis” according to Statistics Canada.

Yukon, which is the smallest and westernmost of Canada’s three territories, had the largest per-person cannabis sales ratio at $291. Yukon was followed by Alberta ($210), Saskatchewan ($185), Nova Scotia ($125), and Manitoba ($107). Quebec had the lowest ratio at $89 per person of legal age. Data from certain jurisdictions is apparently ‘suppressed to meet the confidentiality requirements of the Statistics Act.’

Dried cannabis flower was by far the most popular form of cannabis sold during the specified time frame, accounting for 71.1% of all adult-use cannabis sales in Canada during the calendar year. Inhaled extracts made up 18.1% of overall sales and edibles gained 4.1% of the market share according to the available data. Below is a breakdown of market share by cannabis product, provinces, and territories according to Statistics Canada:

Canada cannabis sales breakdown 2021 2022

The data released by Statistics Canada comes around the same time findings were published from a very insightful survey analysis dealing with reported cannabis consumer spending habits.

According to the study, which was conducted by investigators affiliated with the University of Waterloo School of Public Health, “In 2021, the percentage of consumers sourcing all their products legally in the past 12 months ranged from 49 percent of solid concentrate consumers in 2021 to 82 percent of cannabis drink consumers.”

The growing success of adult-use cannabis legalization in Canada will not only benefit consumers within the nation’s boundaries but also consumers in other jurisdictions where lawmakers are pursuing legalization and keeping a close eye on Canada to see how things continue to develop.


canada flag

Cannabis Consumers In Canada Continue To Transition To The Regulated Market

Canada was the second nation to pass a national adult-use legalization measure back in 2018, with only Uruguay preceding Canada in doing so (2013). Yet, unlike Uruguay, Canada allows legal sales to anyone of legal age whereas Uruguay limits it to residents only.

As such, Canada provides the best example for international observers to monitor and see what is working with the nation’s regulated industry and what is not working. With other nations considering legalization, any insight Canada can provide is valuable.

One of the biggest measures of success for legalization is whether or not consumers transition away from the unregulated market into the regulated market. According to a recent study in Canada, that is exactly what is occurring, and at an increasing rate. Below is more information about it via a news release from NORML:

Waterloo, Canada: Canadian cannabis consumers are steadily transitioning from the unregulated market to the legal market, according to data published in the Harm Reduction Journal.

Investigators affiliated with the University of Waterloo, School of Public Health surveyed over 15,000 cannabis consumers regarding where they obtained their products. Researchers evaluated data for the years 2019 to 2021. (Canada instituted licensed retail sales of cannabis products in October 2018.)

Authors reported that the percentage of respondents legally sourcing their cannabis products increased year over year. Respondents were most likely to purchase cannabis-infused drinks, oils, and capsules from the legal marketplace. About 55 percent of respondents said they obtained cannabis flower exclusively from legally licensed retailers.

In 2019, fewer than half of consumers acknowledged obtaining their cannabis products from legal sources. According to separate consumer survey data published last year, that percentage rose to nearly 70 percent in 2020.

“Legal sourcing of cannabis was greater in 2021 than 2020 for all ten cannabis products [surveyed]. In 2021, the percentage of consumers sourcing all their products legally in the past 12 months ranged from 49 percent of solid concentrate consumers in 2021 to 82 percent of cannabis drink consumers,” investigators reported. “Transitioning consumers of all cannabis products into the regulated market is important for public health and safety. Future studies should continue to examine cannabis product sourcing in Canada over time, as well as ways to displace the illegal market for all cannabis products without also promoting the use of high-potency cannabis products.”

Full text of the study, “Legal sourcing of ten cannabis products in the Canadian cannabis market, 2019-2021: A repeat cross-sectional study,” appears in the Harm Reduction Journal.


court decision hearing gavel

Canadian Banks Sued By The Cannabis Industry Over ‘Financial Discrimination’

One of the most hotly-debated topics in the cannabis industry relates to banking access for companies. Many companies over the years have experienced banking issues related to cannabis prohibition around the world, and yet, many other countries have had no issues.

Understandably, there are people in the cannabis industry that think banking reform is a top priority, while others don’t seem as concerned about it for one reason or another. Many advocates are not necessarily opposed to banking reform, but rather, do not want to see it tied to social justice and equity efforts and simply decided on its own merits. Conversely, there are also others that do wish to tie the two together.

Certain members of Canada’s cannabis industry are apparently no longer interested in debating in the ‘public square’ and have taken their fight to the court system. Below is more information about it via a news release from Groupe SGF:

Groupe SGF (Cannabis Legal Advisors and Consultants) announces the launch of a class action lawsuit on behalf of Mr. Gabriel Bélanger (Founder of Origami Extraction Inc.) against the Desjardins Federation, National Bank, Royal Bank, Bank of Montreal, TD Bank, and CIBC. The lawsuit alleges that the named banks have engaged in financial discrimination against actors in the legal cannabis industry in Canada.

The legal cannabis industry in Canada faces financial discrimination

The plaintiff, Gabriel Bélanger, is determined to expose to the Superior Court all he has suffered as an actor of the legal cannabis industry in relation with the defendants. The main allegations involve denials of opening bank accounts, sudden closures of current bank accounts, and denials of access to various financial tools such as mortgage loans and credit lines for legal cannabis industry businesses.

Class Action: Justice for industry actors

The class action includes all individuals or corporations that, directly or indirectly, do business with the major defendant banks and who are involved in the legal cannabis industry since October 17th, 2018.

For more information on the class action, please visit Groupe SGF’s website at


“For far too long, Canadian banks have treated the cannabis industry like pariahs, as if it was still completely illegal. By doing so, they are depriving the Canadian, but especially the local economy of developing a promising market.”

Me Maxime Guérin, Lawyer, Groupe SGF – Cannabis Legal Advisors and Consultants

About Groupe SGF – Cannabis Legal Advisors and Consultants and the Plaintiff

Groupe SGF is a Quebec law firm specializing in the cannabis industry. The company represents the interests of industry actors facing legal and financial challenges.

The plaintiff, Gabriel Bélanger, engineer, is the founder and main shareholder of Origami Extraction Inc., a cannabis micro-processing company located in Beauce.

SOURCE Groupe SGF – Conseillers juridiques et consultants en cannabis

For further information: Maxime Guérin, Lawyer, 418-476-2906 (dedicated line), 1-866-782-5910 (toll-free),



Review Of Longitudinal Studies Concludes Legalization Associated With Less Use Of Opioids

One of the most promising areas of cannabis research hinges on the cannabis plant’s ability to treat pain. Researchers around the globe are conducting studies, reviewing data, and surveying patients to gain a better understanding of how cannabis can be effectively used for pain management.

Pharmaceutical painkillers are commonly prescribed to pain patients, and while they can be effective in some cases at treating pain, in many other cases the patient becomes significantly addicted to the medicine that they were prescribed.

Researchers in Canada recently examined data to gain more insight into the cannabis plant’s ability to replace the use of opioids. Below is more information about the study via a news release from NORML, the results of which add to a growing body of evidence that cannabis is a preferable alternative to pharmaceutical opioids:

Montreal, Canada: The adoption of state laws regulating the sale of cannabis to adults is strongly associated with reductions in the use of prescription opioids, according to a review of longitudinal studies published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry.

Canadian investigators reviewed data from 32 longitudinal studies evaluating public health outcomes in states that legalized adult-use cannabis sales compared to jurisdictions that did not.

Consistent with prior analyses, researchers identified “robust associations” between the enactment of adult-use legalization and decreases in the public’s use of prescription opioids.

“Most research articles included on this topic were evaluated as having high-quality evidence,” they acknowledged. “As such, the evidence is sufficient to establish a potentially beneficial association between recreational marijuana legislation and prescription opioid patterns.”

Though researchers acknowledged “moderate increases” in adults’ past-month use of cannabis following legalization, they identified “no increase in [use among] adolescents or young adults.” They also failed to identify any uptick in incidences of problematic marijuana use among young people – a finding consistent with prior data.

Authors reported inconsistent findings with respect to the potential impact of adult-use legalization on traffic safety or upon the public’s use of alcohol. They identified no increases in the public’s use of tobacco following marijuana legalization, and they failed to draw any conclusions regarding legalization’s impact on either crime rates or suicides due to a lack of sufficient data.

Full text of the study, “The clouded debate: A systematic review of comparative longitudinal studies examining the impact of recreational cannabis legalization on key public health outcomes,” appears in Frontiers in Psychiatry. Additional information is available from the NORML Fact Sheet, ‘Relationship Between Marijuana and Opioids.’

Canada, opioids

cannabis flower bud nug

Legal Outlets Are The Most Common Source For Cannabis In Canada Since 2019

Canada still serves as the largest legal, national cannabis adult-use market, with sales originally launching in late 2018. The nation serves as the largest national cannabis public policy experiment, and industry and policy observers around the globe are keeping a close eye on any and all data coming out of Canada.

Every year Canada conducts a survey to gauge, among other things, the rate at which consumers purchase their cannabis from legal outlets versus the unregulated market. One of the most important stated goals of governments that pass legalization measures, including Canada, is to transition cannabis sales away from the unregulated market into the regulated system.

According to the most recent survey out of Canada, more and more people are making their purchases via regulated sources, a growing trend that has occurred for multiple years now. Per Toronto Sun:

The results of the 2022 Canadian Cannabis Survey were released last month. It found that a greater proportion of respondents reported a legal source as their usual source of cannabis compared to 2021, with legal storefronts being the most common source since 2019. A smaller proportion reported illegal storefronts and illegal online sources in 2022 compared to 2019.

The proportion of those who purchased cannabis in the past 12 months from a legal storefront did so 61% of the time, according to the survey, up from 53% in 2021. Only 2% said they purchased products from an illegal website, 1% from an illegal dispensary and 1% from a cannabis dealer.

The unregulated cannabis market will never be 100% eliminated in Canada or any other jurisdiction that is home to large populations. Just as there are still people selling unregulated alcohol and tobacco products in Canada, so too will the same occur with cannabis.

The name of the game is to mitigate unregulated sales as much as possible, and Canada is doing a great job of that so far. Transferring a decades old unregulated market into a regulated one is not an easy task, and takes time to fully materialize.


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