Poll Finds Largest Group of Canadians in Favour of Dispensaries for Legal Sales

A new Canada-wide poll has found that over a third of the country wants legal cannabis sold in dedicated dispensaries.

The Insights West survey found 36 per cent of Canadians want stand-alone businesses to be responsible for the sale of recreational cannabis products, while 29 per cent would rather buy from pharmacies. There were 16 per cent of respondents looking forward to buying from liquor stores.

Of those supporting dispensaries, the strongest favour came from Quebec (47 per cent), B.C. (38 per cent) and Atlantic Canada (37 per cent).

The majority of Canadians that are current cannabis users don’t buy their cannabis from a dispensary, currently, with 51 per cent responding that they get it “from a friend.” Almost 60 per cent of these cannabis users said, when  the plant is fully legalized, they would abandon their current way of obtaining it and shop at a licensed store.

Fourteen per cent are currently using dispensaries to get cannabis (that number jumped to 20 per cent for respondents aged 18–34), with 18 per cent in B.C. doing so. Four per cent are growing their own cannabis.

With dispensaries already open across the country, 74 per cent of Canadians want the government to allow them to continue to operate, with support highest in Atlantic Canada (84 per cent in favour of keeping the shops open).

The survey also asked how likely it would be be for Canadians who have never tried cannabis to do so once legalization is in place. Only 9 per cent said they would.

“The data suggests that Canadians who have not tried marijuana will not suddenly become interested in it if is legalized,” said Insights West public affairs vice-president Mario Canseco. “We saw a similar situation in Washington State, where only one-in-twenty adults tried marijuana for the first time after Initiative 502 came into law.”

Three-quarters of the country believe that taxing cannabis will create revenue that will benefit Canadians and 71 per cent thing legalization will allow police to focus on more important things, instead of cannabis production and sales.

Sixty per cent of the country don’t think it’s guaranteed that cannabis revenues will benefit taxpayers and 58 per cent believe legalization will lead to more cases of impaired driving.