Quebec’s Health Ministry released a report Wednesday on the implementation of the Act Surrounding Cannabis, which has been in effect since Oct. 17, 2018.
While it is still early to draw definitive conclusions on the effects of cannabis legalization, the report reflects some findings, including the faster-than-expected initial transition to the legal market by Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC) establishments.
According to the information provided in the report, the supply from illegal purveyors is decreasing and 70 per cent of people who consumed cannabis in 2021 obtained it from an SQDC establishment.
In addition, regular daily use has remained stable in Quebec, although the prevalence of use has increased somewhat among people over the age of 25.
As was the case prior to the legalization of cannabis in Canada, use among 15- to 17-year-olds continues to show a downward trend. Hospitalizations and emergency room visits due to cannabis use have not changed significantly since legalization, with the exception of a one-time increase in the summer of 2020.
“I am very pleased to see that the prevention measures adopted as part of this law, as well as those we have deployed to regulate the legal use and sale of cannabis, have borne fruit,” said junion health minister Lionel Carmant, in a statement.
However, the report showed that cannabis use increased during the COVID-19 pandemic in Quebec and Canada, according to a related survey by the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ).
The report concluded that the encouraging results of the law’s implementation and the model for the sale of cannabis in Quebec continue.
Launched a few weeks ago, the Quebec Cannabis and Health Research Initiative, with a budget of up to $10 million, aims to support new research and position Quebec as a leader in this field.
– This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Oct. 27, 2021.