How do consumers feel about legal cannabis?

A survey shows where consumers might prefer to buy pot and how it could impact sales of products in other industries.
Medical Marijuana/ Cannabis And Accessories

The majority of Canadians support the legalization of recreational cannabis, and now a survey by Kantar gives a glimpse of where they’d like it to be sold and how much demand there might be.

According to the report, 56% of Canadians say legalization will lead to people using cannabis more, although there was some variance between demographics: 71% of 19- to 24-year-olds and 53% of 25- to 54-year-olds said the same thing.

Among those who support legalization, 8% of the respondents believe it will lead to less alcohol consumption, a number that climbs to 15% for those between legal drinking age and 24-years-old (several reports from U.S. jurisdictions where cannabis has been legalized have shown alcohol sales drops as high as 13%). For tobacco, 24% of occasional and 18% of regular smokers say legalization will lead to less cigarette consumption.

When it comes to other drugs, 35% of cannabis legalization supporters say it will result in the consumption of fewer illegal drugs, compared to 7% who say it will lead to more. Among those who don’t support cannabis legalization, those numbers were flipped: only 7% say it will lead to a decrease in illegal drug consumption, with 34% saying it will lead to more.

When first asked questions around where legal cannabis should be sold, 67% of respondents initially said it should only be available in government-controlled stores. However, they were open to other options once they were presented: 61% said they would accept cannabis being sold behind the counter at pharmacies, 47% said anywhere alcohol was sold, 30% said wherever cigarettes are sold and 13% said any retailer. Only 8% were open to all four, with 24% still saying it should only be sold by the government after being shown the additional options.

For packaging, 42% prefers it to be branded, with 35% preferring generic packaging (which will be what consumers will be buying) and 23% saying they were unsure.

Support for legalization is highest in Ontario and the Atlantic provinces (65%), followed by British Columbia (63%). Support in the prairie provinces is 57%, with support dropping below a majority in Quebec at 47%. Support differs between towns and cities with varying populations: 61% in communities with populations over 500,000, 63% where the population is between 30,000 to 499,999, 51% where the population is between 1,000 to 29,999 and 48% where the population is under 1,000.

Levels of support were nearly unaffected by household income or education level, though support was highest among millennials (67%) and lowest among Gen X (54%).