Canadians are less enthusiastic about the prospect of legalized edibles than they were in 2017, a Dalhousie University study has suggested.

The researchers polled 1,087 Canadians back in 2017 and 46% of respondents said they would purchase cannabis-infused foods if they were made legal. Cannabis was legalized for recreational purposes last year and edibles are set to be authorized later in 2019, so the researchers decided to run the survey again to examine how opinions have shifted.

This time they polled 1,057 Canadian adults over four days last month and found that just 36% said they would purchase edibles when they were legalized. “We were surprised to see that Canadians are actually less enthusiastic about edibles since cannabis became legal last fall,” said Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, senior director at the Halifax-based university’s Agrifood Analytics Lab.

In 2017, 68% of the Canadians surveyed were in favour of recreational cannabis being legalized. In 2019 the number in favour dropped to 49%, and the researchers attributed the decline to media stories about children or pets suffering adverse reactions after inadvertently ingesting marijuana, while arguing that Health Canada has not done a particularly good job of educating the public about cannabis.

Three-fifths of the people that completed the survey said they worried that edibles make it too easy to consume too much cannabis, 64% said they were concerned about the threat edibles pose to children and 54% cited pets ingesting cannabis as an area of concern.

Only 26% of respondents said they would purchase edibles in a restaurant, down from 39% in 2017. Of course, it is worth noting that the researchers did not poll the same people and the survey size could be a lot more robust.

Thirty-seven percent of those polled said they use cannabis, while 6% said they have started since it was legalized. Of those that said they consume marijuana, almost half said it was for medicinal purposes.

Of those that consume it, 60% said they have continued to purchase from the same dealer that supplied them before legalizing, citing quality, price, and convenience for their loyalty.

Since legalization, Canadians who have purchased dried cannabis from legal sources have paid an average of $9.99 per gram, while those buying on the black market have paid an average of $6.37 per gram, according to Statistics Canada.

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