Cannabis legalization: What has changed?

Release date: February 19, 2020
Infographic: Cannabis legalization: What has changed?
Description: Cannabis legalization: What has changed?

Cannabis legalization: What has changed?

An analysis using the 2018 and 2019 National Cannabis Survey

C-45 legalized the non-medical use of cannabis for adults

Cannabis Act enacted October 17, 2018:

  • Keep cannabis out of reach of youth
  • Keep profits out of the hands of criminals
  • Protect public health and safety by allowing adults access to safe, legal cannabis



Cannabis use by province – After legalization (2019)
Table summary
This table displays the results of Cannabis use by province – After legalization (2019). The information is grouped by Geographic region (appearing as row headers), Percentagein 2019 (after legalization) and Change since 2018 (before legalization) (appearing as column headers).
Geographic region PercentageCannabis use Note 1 in 2019 (after legalization) Change since 2018 (before legalization)
National 17 +2%
Newfoundland and Labrador 21 +4%
Prince Edward Island 19 No change
Nova Scotia 26 +5%
New Brunswick 20 +5%
Quebec 12 No change
Ontario 18 No change
Manitoba 16 No change
Saskatchewan 16 No change
Alberta 19 +3%
British Colombia 19 No change

After legalization:

4% of Canadians (1.2 million people) reported being a passenger in a vehicle driven by someone who had used cannabis within 2 hours of driving; lower than before legalization.

13% of cannabis users (620,000 people) with a valid driver’s license reported driving within 2 hours of using cannabis; unchanged from before legalization.

After legalization, more consumers reported getting cannabis from legal sources and fewer reported getting it from illegal ones or from family and friends.



Table 2
Table summary
This table displays the results of Table 2. The information is grouped by Source (appearing as row headers), Percentage of cannabis consumers in 2018 (before legalization) and Percentage of cannabis consumers in 2019 (after legalization) (appearing as column headers).
Source Percentage of cannabis consumers in 2018 (before legalization) Percentage of cannabis consumers in 2019 (after legalization)
Legal sources 23 52
Illegal sources 52 40
Family and friends 49 38

Did you know? After legalization…

6% of Canadians (1.8 million people) consumed cannabis daily or almost daily; unchanged from before legalization.

33% of 18- to 24-year-olds reported consuming cannabis in the 3 months preceding the survey; the highest rate among all age groups and unchanged from before legalization.

10% of 15- to 17-year-olds reported consuming cannabis in the 3 months preceding the survey; lower than before legalization (20%).

Source : National Cannabis Survey, 2018 (Quarters 1, 2 and 3) and 2019 (Quarters 1, 2, 3 and 4).

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