Nearly Half of Canadians Unsure the Government Ready for Legal Cannabis

Dec 14, 2017

An online survey done by the Angus Reid Institute November 14th-20th asked a randomized sample of 1510 Canadian adults what they thought about the looming legalization of cannabis set to occur for July 1, 2018.

The poll indicated that although two thirds of the respondents were for the legalization of cannabis more than half of the respondents, spread across several provinces, were not sure that their governments would be ready for the upcoming changes by the proposed date of change.

“I think it’s really interesting to note that we’ve got this timeline in place. July 1, 2018, is looming, and if you ask Canadians whether or not they’re confident about this, only 39 per cent, or four in ten, say that they are confident that their province will have a plan in place,” Angus Reid research associate Dave Korzinski.

The federal government has tasked each of the provinces to begin the process of organizing how they will deal with the licensing, sale and distribution of the product. Each province is dealing with this in their own way with some provinces releasing their plans over the last number of months. The processes being chosen include government controlled sales, dispensary based models as well as private business distribution; and some a mixture of more than one. The poll revealed that most Canadians would prefer a dispensary-based distribution model, rather than private business or government distribution.

How confident Canadians are that their province will be ready seems to have something to do with how much information that particular province has released with regard to how they will deal with the product. For example Saskatchewan has not released very much information at all regarding the distribution or sale of cannabis and their residents, not surprisingly, have some uncertainty about whether or not the infrastructure will be set up in time. It is apparent that some of the provincial leaders also question their ability to set things up in time as Brian Pallister, in Manitoba, and more recently Philippe Couillard in Quebec, have requested more time to set up the infrastructure and put the provincial regulations in place.

“The other outlier there is Saskatchewan where the government really hasn’t announced much of anything with respect to their provincial regulations and their method of sale. And they’re the highest across the country: 62 percent of them say they don’t have confidence in their governments to be ready when Canada Day rolls around,” Korzinski