Consumption of Legal Marijuana Rises in British Columbia

At least two thirds of the province’s residents are not ready to legalize other drugs, such as fentanyl, heroin and cocaine.

Vancouver, BC [July 17, 2020] – More residents of British Columbia are acquiring marijuana exclusively from licensed retailers than last year, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 51% of British Columbians who have consumed cannabis in the past six months say that “all” of their product was acquired at a licensed retailer. This represents an 18-point increase since a similar Research Co. survey conducted in October 2019.

About one-in-five marijuana consumers in British Columbia acknowledge that “most” (11%) or “some” (11%) of their cannabis was obtained at a licensed retailer.

Across the province, 16% of cannabis consumers (-8) say that “none” of the marijuana they have used since legalization has been acquired at a licensed retailer—including 25% of those aged 55 and over.

Just under half of British Columbians (45%) consumed marijuana in Canada before it became legal, while the same proportion (45%) have never tried it. One-in-ten (10%) only used cannabis after it became legal in October 2018.

Seven-in-ten British Columbians (70%, +6 since October 2019) agree with marijuana being legal in Canada, while 26% (-3) disagree. Public backing for the legalization of cannabis is highest among men (75%), British Columbians aged 35-to-54 (76%) and residents of Northern BC (80%).

Most British Columbians disagree with the notion of making other drugs lawfully available for adult consumption. Three-in-four respondents (75%, -4) are opposed to legalizing fentanyl. Similar proportions of respondents are against making methamphetamine or “crystal meth” (74%, -5), crack cocaine (73%, -6), heroin (72%, -4), powder cocaine (70%, -7) and ecstasy (66%, -6) legal.

“While we continue to see a large majority of British Columbians disagreeing with the legalization of other drugs, the survey outlines an immense gender gap,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “While 37% of men in the province are in favour of legalizing fentanyl, only 5% of women are in agreement with that course of action.”

In some countries, including the United States, a company can administer “drug tests” to employees, even if they do not operate machinery (such as pilots, truck drivers or crane operators).

Three-in-five British Columbians (61%, -6) think companies in British Columbia should be able to administer “drug tests” to any employee now that marijuana can be legally consumed in Canada.

Results are based on an online study conducted from July 10 to July 12, 2020, among 800 adult British Columbians. 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 plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

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

For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.