Legal sourcing of ten cannabis products in the Canadian cannabis market, 2019–2021: a repeat cross-sectional study

Elle Wadsworth, Vicki Rynard, Pete Driezen, Tom P. Freeman, Marta Rychert, Chris Wilkins, Wayne Hall, Robert Gabrys, David Hammond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (SciVal)


Background: One of the objectives of cannabis legalization in Canada is to transition consumers from the illegal to the legal market. Little is known about how legal sourcing varies across different cannabis product types, provinces, and frequency of cannabis use. Methods: Data were analyzed from Canadian respondents in the International Cannabis Policy Study, a repeat cross-sectional survey conducted annually from 2019 to 2021. Respondents were 15,311 past 12-month cannabis consumers of legal age to purchase cannabis. Weighted logistic regression models estimated the association between legal sourcing (“all”/ “some”/ “none”) of ten cannabis product types, province, and frequency of cannabis use over time. Results: The percentage of consumers who sourced “all” their cannabis products from legal sources in the past 12 months varied by product type, ranging from 49% of solid concentrate consumers to 82% of cannabis drink consumers in 2021. The percentage of consumers sourcing “all” their respective products legally was greater in 2021 than 2020 across all products. Legal sourcing varied by frequency of use: weekly or more frequent consumers were more likely to source “some” (versus “none”) of their products legally versus less frequent consumers. Legal sourcing also varied by province, with a lower likelihood of legal sourcing in Québec of products whose legal sale was restricted (e.g., edibles). Conclusion: Legal sourcing increased over time, demonstrating progress in the transition to the legal market for all products in the first three years of legalization in Canada. Legal sourcing was highest for drinks and oils and lowest for solid concentrates and hash.

Original languageEnglish
Article number19
Number of pages10
JournalHarm Reduction Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this study was provided by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Project Bridge Grant (PJT-153342) and a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Project Grant. Additional support was provided by a Public Health Agency of Canada-Canadian Institutes of Health Research Chair in Applied Public Health (DH) and a Mitacs Postdoctoral Fellowship in partnership with the University of Waterloo and the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (EW). The funders had no role in study design, collection, analysis or interpretation of the data, report writing, or decision to submit the report for publication.

Availability of data and materials
The data that support the fndings of this study are available from the International Cannabis Policy Study ( but restrictions apply
to the availability of these data, and so are not publicly available. Data are, however, available from the authors upon reasonable request.


  • Cannabis
  • Legal markets
  • Legalization
  • Marijuana
  • Sourcing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Legal sourcing of ten cannabis products in the Canadian cannabis market, 2019–2021: a repeat cross-sectional study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this