Statistics Canada released new data on home cultivation in mid-September that examines its impact in Canada before and after legalization.
The study shows that those most likely to grow their own cannabis at home have remained relatively unchanged since legalization, with some demographics showing a slight increase or decrease.
Those most likely to do so are men, aged 35 to 55, who live in the Atlantic provinces, followed by British Columbia and Ontario. Registered home cultivation is least common in the Prairies. Home cultivation is not permitted in Manitoba and Quebec. Both provinces are facing legal challenges to the ban.
Although men are more likely to grow cannabis at home, the number of women who have reported doing so has increased since legalization. The number of Canadian men over the age of 55 who reported growing their own cannabis at home has actually decreased since legalization.
Home growers are more likely to use cannabis for medical reasons (or a combination of medical and non-medical reasons) every day or almost, and report “smoking” as their main method of consumption.
Data previously available in 2019 shows that nearly 10% of Canadians who use cannabis either grow it themselves or have it grown by someone else, which would include people who are part of the medical cannabis program in Canada.
Specifically, recent data covered by this research shows that approximately 5.2% of people who use cannabis reported growing it at home after legalization. This percentage is slightly higher than that of people who said they did before legalization (4.8%).
While the researchers behind the report aren’t sure why Atlantic Canada has experienced higher rates of home cultivation, they speculate that a lower number of legal cannabis stores in the region could be a determining factor compared to other provinces that allow home cultivation.
Home cultivation is also linked to cannabis use at work, but not to cannabis-impaired driving. Interestingly, according to a recent study, home cultivation laws are associated with a reduction in workplace fatalities.
While the researchers found that home cultivation is associated with workplace use, they also note that this does not necessarily translate to a greater risk of harm, arguing that it is possible that cannabis is being used. for medical purposes by workers who consume low-THC products.
The report concludes that future research is needed to examine how and why home growers are at increased risk of using cannabis in the workplace.
The impact of home cultivation of cannabis is also part of Health Canada’s mandatory three-year review of cannabis law, which was due to begin in October 2021. The federal agency has not yet published this review, but she is expected to do so later this month.