Post-COVID Cannabis User Demographics Explained for Those with a Cannabis Retail License

With a cannabis retail license, Canadians working in the industry can focus on a variety of different aspects of working in a dispensary. For a person to be successful in their work, they need to know their client base. 

Within Canadian cannabis user demographics, many media publications have been reporting an increase of consumer demand for cannabis due to the spread of COVID-19. However, is this the whole picture? Read on to understand in what ways the pandemic could be influencing cannabis user demographics. 

General Canadian Use Demographics 

Between 2014 and 2018, the number of Canadians who regularly use cannabis has significantly increased, from 621,000 to 718,000. Professionals in possession of a cannabis retail license should be aware of other Canadian demographic statistics.

Cannabis consumption has been increasing in recent years

Cannabis retailers should know that Statistics Canada’s 2019 report found that: 

  • Slightly more men than women use cannabis, 18.4% contrasted with 15.1% 
  • Nova Scotia reports the highest overall cannabis use, with 27.5% reporting having used cannabis in the three months prior 
  • Quebec reports the lowest overall cannabis use, with only 14.3% reporting having used cannabis in the three months prior 
  • Overall, 16.7% of Canadians reported having used cannabis in the three months prior 

Cannabis Use During the Coronavirus Pandemic 

Due to the impacts of isolation from family and friends, economic precarity, and the unsureness of the future, consumption patterns could have changed. An increase in use of alcohol among Canadians, for example, has been reported. As of April, 25% of Canadians between 35 and 54 reported an increase in how much they drank during isolation. 

The research on whether the pandemic is influencing consumption patterns is unclear

Statistics for cannabis use, however, are not as clear-cut. There are some conflicting statistics. In mid-March, government-owned cannabis retailers in Ontario and Quebec reported sharp increases in sales.  

However, as of April, cannabis consumption under lockdown was reported as remaining largely unchanged

  • 90% of users reported unchanged habits 
  • 6% of users reported an increase in consumption
  • 4% of users reported a decrease in consumption

During the spring, the United Nations did report a surge of worldwide demand for cannabis due to the impacts of the global pandemic. 

Trends Cannabis Retail License Holders Should Be Attentive Towards 

Whether or not the coronavirus pandemic will have an impact on cannabis consumption, holders of a cannabis dispensary license may see consumption trends change over time. Between 2014 and 2018, cannabis consumption increased exponentially, with nearly 700,000 more Canadians aged 15 and older reporting some amount of use. Canada is also seeing a shift in the types of people who use cannabis

    • Seniors are less likely to use cannabis than other age groups, but their consumption is growing at a faster rate: 27% of seniors who use cannabis are new users 
    • Seniors are most likely to obtain their cannabis from a legal source 
    • Those aged 45 to 64 have also become larger consumers of cannabis over the last few decades, as cannabis-using baby boomers continue to age.

      The cannabis consumption of Canadian seniors is growing at a fast rate

Remaining attentive to the trends of cannabis consumption in Canada can help those involved in cannabis retail improve at their jobs. 

Do you want to start working towards your cannabis retail license in Ontario

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