According to the data published by the Institut de la Statistique du Québec, one in five people over the age of 15 – 20 percent of the Quebec population – have used cannabis in the past year. That’s up from 14 percent in 2018, the year of cannabis legalization.
Use Among Different Age Groups
Quebec’s love for cannabis isn’t shared by all, however. While popularity is up among adults, among teenagers the opposite is true. For this age group, from 2018 to 2021, there was a decline from 22 percent to 19 percent.
The big winners were Quebec’s young adults, from 21 to 24 years of age. Men were more likely (23 percent) to consume than women (16 percent). But in general, 43 percent said they had used cannabis sometime in 2021.
Whether Quebec’s love for cannabis coincides with the covid-19 pandemic is questionable. While almost one in four reported increased use during the crisis, the data is from an observational study. And thus, correlation cannot establish causation.
Quebec’s Love for Cannabis – Both Legal and Legacy
If the goal behind Canada’s legalization was to keep cannabis out of the hands of teenagers, then Quebec’s love for cannabis has been a success. Adults are increasing their use but people under 18 are not.
However, Canada’s legalization also wanted to siphon profits from “organized crime” to government-approved channels. In this area, Quebec’s love for cannabis betrays them. Only 11 percent of respondents admitted they got their cannabis supply from the legacy market.
This is down from the 32 percent of customers who admitted to using the legacy market in 2018. However, according to the government’s cannabis retail monopoly, the SQDC, only 70% of cannabis consumers are purchasing from them. Indicating that the 30 percent of legacy market consumers remain, despite what they might admit on a survey.
Still, Quebec’s love for cannabis grows. The SQDC reported sales of $537.2 million for 2021. As well, 63 percent of Quebecers find it “socially acceptable” to use cannabis, compared to only 48 percent of people who believed this in 2018.