Are more B.C. tokers finally looking to legal cannabis over the illegal market?

A recent poll suggests 51 per cent of British Columbians are buying all product legally

(Black Press Media files)

B.C. has had a difficult road to getting cannabis users interested in purchasing from legal retailers over their neighbourhood dealer, but a recent poll suggests that the province may finally be winning the battle over bud.

A Research Co. poll released earlier this month found that 51 per cent of B.C. respondents who have consumed cannabis in the past six months have bought all of their products from licensed retailers. That’s an 18-point increase from a similar survey conducted in October 2019.

About 20 per cent of the 800 respondents surveyed said that “most” or “some” of their cannabis was obtained at a licensed retailer, while 16 per cent admitted to purchasing only through illegal dealers or unlicensed retailers.

It’s been just shy of two years since cannabis became legal and nearly a year since edible cannabis products hit store shelves.

Premier John Horgan has acknowledged that the black market is still here, and the “grey market” that worked through medical dispensaries and compassion clubs, is greatly endangered.

One disadvantage is price, with Statistics Canada estimating that legal cannabis is running close to $10 a gram, while illegal product is selling for half that.

Through the last several months, licensed private and public cannabis retail sales have continued to steadily rise in B.C.

Forty-five per cent of respondents said they have never tried cannabis, while 10 per cent said they used it only after it became legal.

Twenty-six per cent still don’t agree it should be legal in the country.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

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