Location of Marijuana Stores Divides Views in British Columbia

Most residents are OK with pot shops in their city and neighbourhood, but not a block away from their home. 

Vancouver, BC [October 17, 2018] – As the use of recreational marijuana is about to become legal across Canada, British Columbians hold differing views on the future location of pot shops, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of British Columbians, seven-in-ten residents (70%) say they approve of establishments that would sell marijuana and marijuana-related products being located anywhere in their municipality.

More than half of British Columbians (56%) also approve of pot shops located anywhere in their neighbourhood.

However, when asked to ponder the notion of a marijuana store located a block away from their home, the numbers tighten considerably. Half of British Columbians (50%) approve of this scenario, while a similar proportion (48%) disapprove.

The level of “strong disapproval” of a pot shop located a block away from home is highest than the level of “strong approval” (32% to 24%).

“There seems to a NIMBY sentiment when it comes to the future location of pot shops in the province,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “Women, British Columbians aged 55 and over and those who reside in Vancouver Island are more likely to hold reservations on having marijuana stores close to their homes.”

British Columbians were also asked about the prospect of relying on the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) to grow cannabis. Across the province, 49% of residents are “definitely” or “probably” in favour of this idea, while 44% are “definitely” or “probably” against it.

Residents aged 18-to-34 are more likely to support growing marijuana on ALR land (55%) than those aged 35-to-54 (47%) and those aged 55 and over (46%).

On a regional basis, the idea of growing cannabis in ALR land is decidedly more popular in Southern BC (67%) than in Vancouver Island (48%), Metro Vancouver (46%), the Fraser Valley (also 46%) and Northern BC (39%).


Results are based on an online study conducted from October 4 to October 7, 2018, among 877 adults in British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.3 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

Photo Credit: JPatrickBedell

For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.
[e] mario.canseco@researchco.ca