Hi Reddit,

On October 17th 2018 the Canadian Federal government legalized and regulated recreational cannabis in Canada. We're only the second country to do so after Uruguay. Since then its been a hell of a ride.

I'm Dr. Daniel Bear, and I'm a Professor at Humber College in Toronto. I've been studying drugs policy since 2003 when I started a chapter of Students for Sensible Drugs Policy at UC Santa Cruz, and since then I've worked at the ACLU on drugs issues, studied terminally ill patients growing their own cannabis, spent a year alongside police while they targeted drug in the UK, written about racial disproportionality in drugs policing, and worked on the worlds largest survey about small-scale cannabis growing.

Today my team is launching a new project to explore how young people in Canada engage with public education information about cannabis and I thought it'd be a great opportunity to answer any questions you have about cannabis and how legalization is working in Canada.

I'll be answering questions starting at 4:20ET.

You can take the perceptions of cannabis public education survey here. For every completed survey we're going to donate $0.50, up to $500, to Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy our partners on this great project. You can also enter to win a $100 gift card if you take the survey. And, we're also doing focus groups and pay $150 in gift cards for two hours of your time.

If you grow cannabis anywhere in the world, you can take part in a survey on small-scale growing here.

I've invited other cannabis experts in Canada to join the conversation so hopefully you'll see them chime in to offer their insights too.

If you like this conversation you can follow me at @ProfDanBear on Twitter.

EDIT 8:06pm ET: Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone for the great questions. I'm going to step away now but I'll come back to check in over the next couple of days if there are any additional questions. I couldn't have enjoyed this anymore and I hope you did too. Please make sure to take our survey at www.cannabiseducationresearch.ca or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram where we go by @cannabisedu_. On behalf of the entire research team, thank you for your support. Regards, Daniel

Comments: 1117 • Responses: 80  • Date: 

abcriminal848 karma

Am Canadian and would like to see more responsible packaging. It almost feels like a crime to buy from the gov’t because the plastic is hard and brutal on the environment. Any changes coming or should we go back to our back alley dealers who only use baggies?

cannabiseduresearch1453 karma

This is a huge issue! Part of the issue goes back to the fact the legislation took a very cautious approach, and new rules meant no one had a clear idea of how to meet them. Add that into concern about how to keep the product fresh and consistent, and you end up with plastic containers strong enough to be re-used ferrying coal out of the mines.

Some companies are starting to put up bins for recycling their containers, and this issue is at the forefront of many conversations I've been involved in or heard about. Unfortunately, it falls behind other concerns about getting the industry running efficiently and putting out good, price competitive products.

joewith216 karma

I wish it was sold in bulk, like when I go buy tea at the tea store. You could use any container you want.

DtheMoron270 karma

I just wanna go in with my mason jar and say “fill ‘er up”.

cannabiseduresearch134 karma

I mean, I go to Great Lakes Brewery on the regular with my growler... Or at least I used to.

David-Puddy46 karma

Add that into concern about how to keep the product fresh and consistent

they'd have a better time of this if they sold stock that's less than 4 months old (and that's the packaging date. no mention as to harvesting date)

SaintPaddy33 karma

I don’t know how many posts on Reddit I read about people finding their old stashes from years gone by and sparking them up.

I don’t think well preserved and packaged cannabis is gonna affect its effects.

cannabiseduresearch123 karma

There is some evidence that cannabinoids can break down over time and that CBN levels are higher in older cannabis.

TranquilAlpaca31 karma

What about a rebate on returned containers so that they can be reused? I’m not Canadian and I don’t even know what these containers look like, I just happened upon this, but a few US states do rebates on returning plastic bottles (it’s like 5c per bottle in Hawaii). Do you think that the same concept could be applied to these containers? Or if not a rebate, some other incentive to return bottles so that manufacturers can reuse them

mr_wilson318 karma

There is already a bottle/can deposit on drinks in Canada, so having it on these containers too could work well.

cannabiseduresearch126 karma

The Cannabis Act makes giving rebates pretty tricky. Plenty of cannabis lawyers getting hours billed to make sure clients walk a very narrow pathway.

canadianbacon-eh-tor5 karma

The company i work for changed their drug/alcohol policy to include random testing when it was legalized do you know of any ways I could still smoke and skirt that?

cannabiseduresearch19 karma

Cannabis sticks around. Always has, always will as far as I'm aware. Sorry.

Archmage_Falagar8 karma

Is there any advantage to the hard plastic packaging compared to, say, a thick, vacuum sealed flexible packing?

cannabiseduresearch16 karma

I'm not sure about the differences. Which do you prefer?

IxbyWuff40 karma

Is insane for sure. Packaging weighs more than the product!

abcriminal31 karma

It’s so irresponsible. Can’t handle it

I_am_That_Ian_Power21 karma

Should be able to return it for a discount in store. Sent back to the manufacturer and sterilized for repackaging.

abcriminal14 karma

Eh-men! Would love to see a program in place like this ♥️

cannabiseduresearch110 karma

I know at least one producer has set up bins to drop off old containers. Wish I could remember which one. Somebody help me out?

corgiwizard516 karma

Where the pardons at?

cannabiseduresearch1551 karma

This is probably the most important question. The harms of prohibition are not in the past for those burdened by a conviction for cannabis. The system to move pardons forward has proven to be almost completely broken. Less than 300 people so far! FFS Bill Blair, get this fixed. But there's not a huge surge of voices calling for this. Plenty of people are happy enough to buy their legal weed, invest in their pot stocks, and see the move away from prohibition as complete. There is a great group called [Cannabis Amnesty](https://www.cannabisamnesty.ca/) that could use your help.

h00paj00ped46 karma

I don't suppose for profit prisons exist in canada? Could that be the reason they're not pardoning people?

cannabiseduresearch1239 karma

We don't have those here. Just bad governing, not profit motive I'm afraid.

Axes4Praxis114 karma

Will we ever get better packaging or higher strength edibles?

KinessaAutoLocker67 karma

I was going to ask the edible thing too.

I believe if people keep mentioning it everytime they're in a store it'll happen faster. I make it a point to mention it 9/10.

cannabiseduresearch1159 karma

I think we will. Anne McLellan and the Task Force she headed recommend that Canada start out with very strict limits across the board. They were, at least in some respects, right to be concerned about a transition away from 100 years of prohibition not going smoothly. But we haven't seen big issues so far, and a lot of people (especially medical consumers) need higher doses. We're in year two of regulation after 100 years of prohibition. It's gonna take time to get it right.

idontknow_am81 karma

career question: how do you like being a policy researcher rather than doing other science research? Is policy research more applicable to the real world and not as prone to getting lost into the world of academia? Would you say policy research has more real life implications rather than the other types of research? I do ackowledget hat research is after all, research so i know there are defs more similarities than differences

cannabiseduresearch1128 karma

Great Q!

I believe we each have a duty to make the world a slightly better place through our actions. Plenty of scientists achieve that goal, I just do it through this avenue instead of something different. I grew up in Los Angeles during the crack wars, saw my high school invaded by undercover cops making ticky-tack pot busts, saw racial injustices perpetrated regularly, and from there I just felt like something was wrong and I needed to understand what was happening. So I started studying drug policy.

Yeah, I like the applied side of the work, and I always have stuff to talk about at parties -remember those :( - but in the end, I just found what works for me and love that no matter how far down the rabbit hole I go I still have so much farther to explore.

oco019552 karma

Is there a large black market industry for Cannabis in Canada?

cannabiseduresearch161 karma

Yup. Several billion dollars a year.

aradil51 karma

As a Canadian, I know plenty of folks buying online from what I guess would be called a grey market.

Some people grow at home and share and sell, but it’s not “buy from a guy in a Canadian Tire parking lot” like it used to be.

I can say there is always a line in my local liquor store to buy weed though.

cannabiseduresearch120 karma

If you know people growing, we'd love to have them take part in our international survey on small-scale growing, www.worldwideweed.nl

Awesomeuser9049 karma

Have you noticed any shift in vocabulary from marijuana to cannabis much?

cannabiseduresearch190 karma

Most people that I interact with say cannabis. I make my students say cannabis. I hate the term 'marijuana' as it has a very racist history. Let's hope we keep moving away from it.

anti_crastinator61 karma

Can you expound on the racism? I'm completely ignorant as to why the term marijuana has a racist history.

cannabiseduresearch192 karma

It was created to demonize mexican's who used cannabis.

AlbertoMX32 karma

Mexican here... What about the spanish word marihuana or mariguana? That's how people call it here because... Well that's the common name of the plant.

Is marijuana a wordplay on the very common mexicans names María (Mary in short) and Juana (a common female name at the times you seem to be making a reference) to make it appear more "mexican"?

Amplify9124 karma

I believe it is just the Americanized version/spelling of the original Spanish word, no fancy word play. Calling it by its Spanish name had the effect of relating it to Mexicans in a derogatory way. I'm not a historian, but that's how I understand it.

cannabiseduresearch122 karma

That is basically correct. American medical texts of the time referred to cannabis. The US media started using marihuana to promote the idea that Mexicans were lazy and taking this weird drug that could turn them into violent killers. You should see what they said about black men and cocaine...

Storyteller_Of_Unn46 karma

So, how much do you tax it?

Is it fully legal or just decriminalized?

Can you grow it anywhere you like for any reason, or do you restrict its growth?

Are any of the people you have imprisoned for marijuana-related crime going to be set free, or are you barbarians like the US?

cannabiseduresearch1101 karma

Lots of great Q's.

We tax with an excise tax per weight for flower and per THC content for some extracts. At the local level, a provincial sales tax called HST (in most provinces) is added at the point of sale.

We're fully legal. Licensed growers, retail stores, the whole shebang.

Federal law says you can grow four plants per household, but two provinces have banned that, and plenty of municipalities, homeowners' associations, and landlords have thrown obstacles up. But most people can grow. There's now a great informal competition each year called the #4PlantsCup amongst amateur growers.

Unfortunately, people were not let out of jails and penitentiaries when cannabis became legal, and the program to remove past convictions is proving to be incredibly inefficient and almost completely broken.

BC_Trees16 karma

Have you followed the effects of vape taxes in BC? For those unaware, there is an additional 20% tax on all vape products in BC for no real reason. It has definitely driven me to smoke more rather than use cartridges.

cannabiseduresearch121 karma

Haven't followed it much, but the push against vaping seems shortsighted in many respects.

AlexMalhavok44 karma

What is the policy for curing(drying) the Cannabis Buds/Flower? Is there a policy or regulation related to the curing process? The legal nugs are always too crispy

cannabiseduresearch157 karma

If you're talking about nugs from an LP, then I can't speak to their exact process. What I can say is that they're dealing with lots of regulations about purity from Health Canada. So there's a big emphasis, from what I've heard from industry folks, about staying within the guidelines so they don't lose a whole lot of cannabis if it comes back from analysis as having illegal chemicals or mold or other problems. Add to that problem the fact that a lot of the early buds had sat on shelves for a year or more. I've seen the packaging dates drop to much closer to the buying date, but still an issue.

But hey, you can always #growyourown now... Unless you're in Quebec or Manitoba

haggusmapimus42 karma

Has there been any changes in Opiate usage or overdoses in the population since legalization? Or changes in anti anxiety medications?

cannabiseduresearch186 karma

Our overdose crisis persists and is getting worse. That is likely due to COVID impacting drug supplies and mental health. I don't have precise data beyond that at this time.

Tokestra42038 karma

What are you going to do to actually compete with the grey/black market? I smoke shatter, but the OCS has a gram going for $90 when I pay $20-25 illegally. I'd like to buy it legally, I really would, but the price difference is way too much.

Also, is there any chance (I know the answer is no) that the government will step back and just collect a tax, instead of the retarded middle man system we currently have? There is absolutely no reason for the government to middle man between growers and retailers.

cannabiseduresearch125 karma

I can't do much, but I think you'll see prices continue to fall. You echo what so many people are saying.

The idea of having the province as the wholesaler for all retail is to, frankly, keep the money coming back to the province at some level and to create stability in the market. Could the market work without it? Sure. But just like booze, the province wants to have control to ensure the public health and health public coffers. I get it, and I think there's a lot of great people working at the OCS to ensure it adds value to the whole system.

StirlingQ34 karma

What’s up with lotto system Ontario (maybe all of Canada?) went with? Why didn’t we go with most qualified over randomness?

cannabiseduresearch172 karma

Don't get me started on that craziness. I think the idea was to give everyone equal chances, but it was such a cluster that it hurt the overall market. The second round of the lottery was a bit better, but not great. This is what happens when you let people who are scared of cannabis make the rules around it instead of listening to cannabis policy experts.

SpaghettiLord10134 karma

I know you're based in Canada, but any ideas for predicting when it will be legalised in the UK? Asking for a friend

cannabiseduresearch184 karma

Tough question. I did my PhD at the LSE and miss that soggy but wonderful country. My guess is it'll be a long time. The pace of change towards medical cannabis has been painfully slow, and the seem to have not done a very good job there. Combine that with the cannabis warning system that means very few people actually end up arrested for possession offences anymore, and you don't see the crazy harms to people that drove many in the US and Canada to push for legalization. Also, there's so much stigma against cannabis in the UK. Like crazy amounts in government and the criminal justice system. An uphill battle at the very least.

But hey, come to Canada! We've got commonwealth sensibilities, and American sized parking lots and stores. But also systemic racism. So.... Not perfect, but at least we've got legal cannabis and our politicians make noises about combating the racism.

LovelyBeats22 karma

Why is the weed dry and shitty? I want that dank sticky icky u feel me?

cannabiseduresearch119 karma

I feel you. LPs are growing at a scale never tried before in a regulated system. That comes with testing, more stringent packaging, wholesalers, and other issues. It'll get better. Until then, you can always #growyourown.

TsundereSnail7 karma

Why can’t I grow in Manitoba?

cannabiseduresearch15 karma

Provincial rules that don't make much sense to me or many other policy folks.

BigDaddyZ17 karma

What's your take on legalization being reversed or regulations being increased the next time the conservative party is in power? I know that the party strongly opposed the move to legalization, and have been nothing but critical of it, and I can see it being an election issue again next go around.


cannabiseduresearch137 karma

Great question. I think it'd be pretty hard to get rid of this industry now, and why would they want to? It brings jobs, it helps rural areas, and more than 50% of conservative voters approve of legal cannabis. That said, I can imagine that we'd see further restrictions put into place with a Conservative government. But there's not a ton of room to get more restrictive. The Liberals specifically went as tight as they thought possible to, in my opinion, avoid being outflanked on the right by the Conservatives.

tolerablycool12 karma

I work in an industrial setting that has a zero-tolerance policy concerning intoxicants. I have no problem with this approach on paper, except that cannabis lingers in the system long after its intoxicating effects are gone. Is there any case law or precedent for what an allowable amount of THC in your system might be? Is there a metric similar .04 to .08, like we find with alcohol, but for mg of cannabis? Thank you.

cannabiseduresearch111 karma

The driving rules are set at 5ng/L and 2.5ng/L. Talk to your employer about meeting the standards of the driving legislation maybe?

iymcool10 karma

Given that cannabis is legal, can businesses originally not licensed to sell it (i.e. bakeries, bars, etc.) able to easily get licenses fo sell edibles and infused beverages?

cannabiseduresearch112 karma

No. The licensing process for retail is pretty strict, and the production side of things is also quite tough. It'd be near impossible to have a bakery make fresh weed brownies and sell them. But that is the situation now. We'll see what happens in the future. We're two years into regulating cannabis after a century of stigma and prohibition; we're literally in the infancy of legal cannabis. Or maybe legalization is now a toddler? You get my analogy either way.

RockstarCowboy110 karma

I’m curious if the government would enforce legislation for residential grow operations. I’m told there’s a four plant limit per household, but they can vary vastly in size, I know my two plants will output as much as my neighbors 4 plants. Is this okay with the government? It’s all personal obviously.

My second question is will law enforcement investigate a theft if my plants are stolen? Can I file a police report and make a claim? What about my insurance? I have homeowners insurance, can i include my plants in my insurance plan so that they’re covered in case of loss? Weather, theft etc.

Lastly, I’d like to see some legislation about growing plants to exclude males. This year I’m fine, but a friend of mine had his plants go to seed, because one of his neighbors decided to let a male pollinate. What are your thoughts on that? Do you think the government should step in to protect homegrowers?

cannabiseduresearch114 karma

First, you sound like exactly the person who should take part in the survey on small scale growing I'm working on. Www.worldwideweed.nl . Second, sea of green beats four of a kind most every time. And yes, provided you were growing legally, you can call the police. It is your property and it was stolen. Insurance might be a different story.

myDucklingIsTheBest10 karma

Why government cannabis of a lower quality (very dried and joints feel like you smoking paper)?

cannabiseduresearch112 karma

The cannabis produced by big LPs tends to go through a lot of testing, so that takes some time, and they're growing at a commercial scale never seen before, so it'll take time to get it right. A lot of the early stuff sat on shelves for almost a year before it ended up in pipes, so that didn't help.

madsnorlax9 karma

What do you think about the effects weedmaps and other stuff like that are having on the market? For anyone living an inconvenient distance from dispensaries it's way easier to find a delivery place (which to be frank I'm not even sure how legal it is). IMO the white market just doesn't compare convenience-wise.

cannabiseduresearch119 karma

You hit the nail on the head. Access is key to the success of the legal market. One of the biggest mistakes made during legalization was by Premier Doug Ford in Ontario when he blocked retails stores for the first six months. That left weedmaps as the best option for many people, especially those hesitant to give their credit card info to the Ontario Cannabis Store.

Weedmaps and other delivery services are keeping the legacy market alive from what I can ascertain. Convenience is key here, and safety isn't too high on peoples' minds with cannabis. You get some shitty weed, you just cough too much, barring some crazy paraquat type situation. So the testing and regs of the legal market seem less important to cannabis consumers than say a bad batch of heroin which might kill you.

Awesomeuser908 karma

About that credit card information. It is also incredibly important that absolutely nothing ties you to a record of cannabis use getting to the United States and their border guards. This includes credit card records, so always pay with cash or other means that never have your information on it.

cannabiseduresearch19 karma

I spoke with a former colleague who is at the OCS now and she says there's nothing to worry about with credit cards on their site. I can't vouch for that, but she's a very trustworthy person with lots of cannabis experience.

Schar838 karma

How is the tax money being spent by the government? Is there somewhere we can check to see how it is being distributed around the country?

cannabiseduresearch19 karma

Hard to say. I really should look into that more, and it was on my list, but... COVID man. There were significant increases in money going to police discussed as part of the legalization plan, and that was to curb criticism of the move towards legalization from the right.

Neveah_Hope_Dreams8 karma

  1. What are the rates of Cannabis use, Cannabis addiction, deaths to Cannabis, drug driving from Cannabis, and imprisonment to Cannabis since the legalization? Has it grown or dropped?
  2. Is Cannabis addiction treated as a medical issue and not a criminal issue?
  3. Was Education on Cannabis more or less one sided and unhelpful before the legalization? And has it improved and become more effective since the legalization?
  4. Do you think Cannabis legalization is the main way we can fight the addiction problem of Cannabis?

Answering questions at 4:20. LOL! I think I see what you did there!

  1. Was that on purpose?

cannabiseduresearch120 karma

There is no such thing as death from cannabis, and there is no information to suggest increases in cannabis use disorders. There has been no evidence that I've seen to suggest an increase in driving while high, and in fact, research shows that about the same percentage of cannabis users report driving within two hours of consuming cannabis now as did before legalization.

Cannabis education efforts ran the gamut but had been improving in recent years. My work is going to try and assess how well some of that messaging was being engaged by young people.

You keep talking about cannabis addiction. That's not the language I would use. There is dependency issues for some people, and yes, a legal regulated market is safer and potentially less stigmatized against cannabis consumers of all levels.

Yup, I started at 4:20 because, well, why not.

IxbyWuff6 karma

What's the temperature nationally on recreational substance decriminalization?

cannabiseduresearch124 karma

Higher than the Liberal government seems to understand. I haven't seen good polling data recently, but my sense is that people are not keen to see the criminal justice system take the lead on drugs issues. I've seen cannabis polling that shows that basically 75% of Canadians are happy with or tolerate legalization, but there's a 25% group that is just still totally opposed. With those numbers for cannabis, I'd suspect you still get majority support (or at least close) for decriminalization of some kind if it was pitched well.

gillsaurus6 karma

Will there be any efforts on increasing the maximum amount of THC in edibles? I feel like people are still going to the “unlicensed” or grey area shops that have larger quantities of THC. Like, if I can get a $25 bar with 200mg, I would get that over a $7 10mg bar.

cannabiseduresearch16 karma

In time we'll probably see increases. The government started with very low levels to see how things work, but many people, especially those who consume for medical purposes, need higher levels.

dragonreborn5676 karma

As someone who doesn't smoke weed at all, I was asked on Reddit a while ago about the fact that you still can't typically smoke weed at work, or show up to work high. Is it actually reasonable/possible to enforce such a workplace rule, considering unless you catch them smoking weed, it'd be pretty hard to prove they were intoxicated while working? From the little I understand (which really is little, because again, I don't partake so I'm not personally invested), it's hard to test for "being high", you'd typically only be able to detect the presence of THC or CBD in someone's blood or urine, which can be detected long after the high itself wears off. Is this all misinformation? Can a workplace punish someone who smoked Friday night coming into work Monday morning and testing positive for marijuana use?

cannabiseduresearch19 karma

The amount of cannabis, measured in ng/L is very detectable. Most pee tests of times gone by were just concerned about any use, because any use indicated participation in illicit activity. And cannabis users were getting busted weeks after the fact while cocaine users had maybe three days where they could test positive.

But we have systems that use an oral swab to detect amounts of cannabis and can reasonably detect recent use. They're good down to about 5ng/L, and blood tests are even more accurate. So an employer could set a limit and say you can't test above this limit. It would be hard for a place like Initech to justify a zero-tolerance testing regime, but some roles in the Canadian military and other orgs require abstinence or long intervals between consuming and working.

your_dope_is_mine5 karma

How is it that dispensaries are not allowed to deliver yet? Why do you think retailers have such tight restrictions and cannot advertise/market effectively (merchandising being a whole other thing)?

cannabiseduresearch19 karma

The system is set up on a public health approach, not a consumer-first approach. Just think about the fact that Bill Blair, ex Toronto police chief, was the parliamentary lead on this. I realize delivery issues are provincially regulated, but I think that Mr. Blair's involvement gives a sense of how this was handled.

aradil4 karma

Why don’t you care about people older than 30?

cannabiseduresearch19 karma

Cannabis use is highest amongst the 18-25 age group and we are partnered with a student drug policy organization. So we want to understand younger people as we think that helping them make better choices for the rest of their lives will have a greater impact than say helping an 85-year-old decide whether to buy a convection or conduction vape.

obiru3 karma

Do you guys have what we commonly call : "the dank kush", how is the quality there ?

cannabiseduresearch19 karma

Depends on who you ask. Some people aren't fans of the stuff produced by the big cannabis companies. Some people really like it. I think your frequent long-term consumers are going to judge it very differently than the majority of consumers who are just happy they can pick it up easily in a swanky store-front and get airline miles when they pay with a credit card.

Killerkoyd3 karma

Do you make any distinction between BHO and CO2 extraction methods?

cannabiseduresearch15 karma

Not really my area, but I'm keen to hear your thoughts?

IAmTheMindTrip3 karma

Did the legalization have a significant effect on overall crime or cancer rates?

cannabiseduresearch13 karma

Hard to say. Crime data is very delayed and I haven't seen anything about cancer. I don't think we'll see any crime go up, and I hope we see massive drops in cannabis offenses.

PrudentExtension3 karma

I have a question that is not related to Canada, answer if you feel like. I noticed that in many Asian and African countries cannabis is popular and even grows in wild. How would the legalisation (IF) in the south affect western countries?

cannabiseduresearch13 karma

Great question. I really don't know. We've seen Uruguay legalize without much impact on the rest of the world, but that's South America, not Africa or Asia. I suspect if we started seeing widespread legalization across those areas we'd see the three UN treaties governing drugs policy quickly collapse and a new drug control order come into force, hopefully with a bit more sense to it.

Chief_Kief3 karma

Can I participate in the survey if I live in the US?

cannabiseduresearch13 karma

Sorry. No. But I'll ask anyway; where do you go to get information about cannabis, and which methods are the safest for your consumption needs?

thedude28883 karma

hi i am a canadian living in california, cannabis oil saved my life but from what i understand few places in the world know how to make good quality hash oil. what is it like in canada? do tou guys have diamond crystal sauce? asking because its important for my health and i have family there so id like to know when i could visit but id need to have access to some dank sauce

cannabiseduresearch13 karma

We switched spots! Can't speak to quality of the oil but hope you're enjoying Cali. Some In-N-Out would certainly make this whole COVID thing a lot better.

Magicman01813 karma

As an United stated citizen would getting a job in the Cannabis industry make me eligible for work visa?

cannabiseduresearch16 karma

Not sure. The Canadian government has a great page where you can put in all your info and see what visas you qualify for. I'm a US citizen as well and I did it!

Tree-house12 karma

What has the impact of legalization been on the black market? Are most dispensaries truly legitimate, or are some still funnelling money into organized crime?

cannabiseduresearch12 karma

The legacy market is still going, and I don't think will ever fully dissolve. It's there for booze and cigarettes, so no reason to suspect it'll fully drop cannabis. But people are moving away as the products get better, the price drops, and access becomes easier. We'll see what happens, but the data point towards a continued reduction in the legacy market for a time, but not total elimination.

tonoocala2 karma

How is the winter affecting cultivation? Or is it all indoor grown?

Is the country open to importation deals with other nations such as Uruguay? Or perhaps places with more tropical climates including Cuba, Colombia, Puerto Rico....?

cannabiseduresearch12 karma

Most production is in greenhouses. There's 1,965,437 sqm of indoor growing space, plus another 300k in processing, and about 487 hectares of outdoor.

Right now I think there's no appetite to undercut or weaken the struggling producers.

Chanson_Riders2 karma

There are many benefits to society of decriminalising the possession and production of some drugs, including cannabis. There is no denying, however, the harm cannabis can cause to a person and ultimately to society such as: increasing the effects of mental illness; cannabis-induced psychosis; impaired memory over the long-term etc. How can legalizing the drug help to mitigate these effects? Isn't there the risk that the effects on society will be worse or the same?

cannabiseduresearch130 karma

Thanks for your question. There is zero doubt in my mind based on 15 years of studying cannabis and cannabis policy, that the harms of prohibition far outweigh any potential harms of cannabis legalization. And so far we have not seen any significant increase in problematic behavior. Interestingly, the percent of cannabis consumers who report driving a car within two hours of consuming cannabis has stayed exactly the same since we legalized cannabis. Cannabis is minimally harmful, and things like cannabis-induced psychosis are extremely rare and in most cases lacking a clear causality.

But, let's assume all the things you mention are potentials. A legal product is a regulated product. It can be monitored to ensure it doesn't contain harmful elements that exacerbate the things you described. A legal product is regulated as to who can buy the product, making it harder for young people to obtain. And we've seen that occur in Canada since legalization. There are more points to make but for the sake of time, I'll just add one more and say that when cannabis is legal it isn't nearly as cool. Young people may be less inclined to consume or hide their problematic consumption patterns if their parents have picked some up at the shop on the way home.

Heathhh2 karma

Since it's nationally legalized, how is the stigma around it? In the US, it's still federally illegal so some jobs still test for it. We can't really ask the company if they have thc on their panel, as that immediately shows that it's smoked and, for a non-smoker, instantly labels you as a lazy pothead in their eyes.

Also, what are your thoughts on users thay partake every evening? Drinking every day is unhealthy, but what about pot? Helps you fall asleep but you have less dreams due to less REM sleep, etc.

cannabiseduresearch13 karma

Stigma has certainly decreased, but not gone. I did some research with young people last year who were very cognizant of people looking down on them for using cannabis.

Frequent use can be problematic, but it is hard to say exactly how it might impact people. About 1/3 of cannabis consumers in Canada are using daily or almost daily. Would I suggest inhaling burning vegetable matter every single day? There's not a clear link to lung cancer or COPD, but I don't think that's great for you. Evidence does suggest higher risks of chronic bronchitis and other conditions. As to the neurological impacts, that is hard to say. Some evidence suggests problems, but often those are related to how early you began consuming heavily. Like all things in life, moderation seems a good idea.

oviforconnsmythe2 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA. I'm a molecular biologist who wants to work in the cannabis industry (in the r&d/research side). how can someone like me score a job in the industry? Do you have any tips for getting into the industry and networking?

cannabiseduresearch12 karma

Tough to say. It is a hard market now. But there are lots of companies doing testing and other work associated with the industry. Might be easier to get into those places than an LP. Good luck!

TurpitudeSnuggery2 karma

Will provinces and growers be trying to further compete with street/illegal prices? Most articles I have seen over last year shows the prices are still not in line and street sales are still going strong

cannabiseduresearch110 karma

Legal prices are dropping pretty quickly these days, and a majority of people get at least some of their cannabis from legal sources. I think the price will continue to be a big factor, but one thing we've seen from the data are that access remains really important. Look at Alberta with more than 500 stores and a small population. Each town has a cannabis store now, so it's easy to get your cannabis legally. Compare that to Ontario with just over 100 stores and something like 37% of the country's population. Very hard if you're not in TO to get access to cannabis without mail ordering it. Sales jumped massively with Ontario legalized retail stores in April 2019, and the province has seen growth continue to rise as more stores open.

Welovec4ke2 karma

how long is the survey or focus group???? wat kinda questions

cannabiseduresearch14 karma

The survey will take between 15-20 minutes to complete. We ask about how often you consume, what you're consuming, how much you know about cannabis, and where you get your information from. We will donate $0.50 to Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy for every completed survey, and you can enter to win a $100 gift certificate if you complete the survey.

The focus groups are about two hours long and we pay each participant $150 in gift certificates. We're going to be discussing what you like about different public health public education messages you've seen about cannabis, and what you'd like to learn about in future campaigns.

Some1inreallife2 karma

I'm an American.

Do you believe that medical cannabis is beneficial for COVID-19 patients? If so, in what ways?

cannabiseduresearch14 karma

I have no way of answering this specifically about COVID-19, and I'm not a physician. I can say that there has previously been a lot of research into CBD and inflammation issues, so I'm sure there's experts looking to see how that impacts COVID-19 and the Dublin-Boston test which has become an important measure to assess the risks facing a covid patient.

I'm a dual US/Canadian citizen. Hang in their friend.

P.S. [Here's an interesting paper to read.](https://cannabisresearch.mcmaster.ca/docs/default-source/knowledge-syntheses/cannabidol-safety-knowledge-synthesis---june-13-2019---final.pdf?sfvrsn=109f317f_2)

zombiekiller212 karma

What is Canada doing to combat a flood of big business in the market and how are they protecting their small business owners? In California there were no such restrictions and have made it next to impossible for the people who had small local business before the legalization of recreational cannabis to even attempt to become compliant under the new laws.

cannabiseduresearch13 karma

Not a lot, unfortunately.

Rigidez2 karma

With alcohol, tobacco and marijuana being legal, what would be the next drug being legalized?

Do you see any paradox or connection in that tobacco have been in decline over the years since people have been more informed of the dangers with it and at the same time marijuana is being more accepted and in some places legalized?

cannabiseduresearch14 karma

Interesting question. Tobacco sucks, but nicotine is, for many people, an amazing stimulant. I think we've seen the decline in tobacco happen due to a lot of overlapping efforts like taxation, social pressures, and restrictions on consumption. But people having access to safer forms of nicotine has also helped. That said, the prevalence of nicotine vaping amongst young people is problematic and we still don't entirely know the long-term impacts of vaping. How that ties to legalization remains unclear. I think if anything the worries about tobacco have hampered legalization efforts for cannabis as the method of ingestion is seen to be similar despite the products being vastly different.

Next drug? I think psilocybin for therapeutic purposes will be the next big wave.

jlx322 karma

What are your thoughts on CHS and what should we do to better educate the public on this condition that so so so so many weed smokers are now contracting?

cannabiseduresearch14 karma

Cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome remains thankfully pretty rare. The data are unclear of an exact cause, but it seems like high potency of THC and the ability to ingest a lot in concentrates might be part of the problem. Thankfully it is easily cured if it happens and people understand what is happing to them. As with all drugs use, start low, go slow.

themollusk1892 karma

Are there any studies that are either ongoing or planned to uncover the exact cause of CHS?

cannabiseduresearch13 karma

It's not an area I've followed closely. Sorry I don't have more info.

fe_ursus1 karma

Can someone on an avarage income afford legal cannabis regularly and have you seen a change in the illegal market? And are companies changing drug testing policies regarding recreational use?

cannabiseduresearch14 karma

Legal cannabis prices have been dropping, especially in the last four months or so. So has the legacy market as they try to compete and retain business. We're well south of $10 per gram, and many places have $4-5 gram accessible now. More and more people are purchasing at least some of their cannabis from the legal market now that the full range of edibles and concentrates are available. Those were banned during the first year of legalization.

As to drug testing, I don't know about each company, but all of them had to account for the legal change. Some are just banning use totally, as was the case for a few police services and certain military roles. Others are putting in crazy long periods like you can't consume for 14 days before work. Many others have been more sensible than that.

lazarus_moon1 karma

My neighbor said their grandson got warts from eating the devil's lettuce, and it was just second hand. Is this true?

cannabiseduresearch11 karma

I have no reason to believe it's true.

Philclab1 karma

Did you see a rise in misinformation on cannabis in Canada from specific groups like businesses or political affiliated associations ?

kent_eh2 karma

There was in the run-up to legalization.

But I haven't seen much in the last year, with the exception of when a few small bible-belt type towns had referendums on allowing a retail store to open in their town, and even those naysayers mostly shut up after the town voted to allow it.

Every time I see a police chief interviewed they report no new problems caused by people smoking weed.

cannabiseduresearch12 karma

I agree with you. We're not seeing a lot of push back. Recent polling suggests about 25% of people are opposed to cannabis and some of them spout the normal 'sky is falling' type stuff you'd expect. We're never going to change their minds no matter what research we conduct. I think there is plenty of bad information, but I don't see a ton of intentional misleading as we see in the US.

DrBootsPhd1 karma

I have a question about how it's affected driving laws, more specifically into large/commercial vehicles.

In Colorado it's but my government job still tests, and any job requiring a CDL still does random tests. My question is if you have similar cases where some profession can't partake of a legal substance because of further federal regulations? Or does having it be legal country wide stop the need to test in higher drivers licenses?

Unless Canada doesn't have a comparable system to our DOT or CDLs, then nevermind!

cannabiseduresearch13 karma

I'm not entirely sure how the trucking industry is dealing with this. Some professions, like military pilots, are banned from consuming. But many police are able to consume, but just have to have long periods between consumption and work. Not really my area, but I'll send an email to some folks who know and try to get back to you.

RideFarmSwing1 karma

I started home growing as soon as legalization hit, big fan of it. I'm wondering if there has been any neat correlation you've found between provinces that do allow for home growing vs Manitoba and Quebec?

cannabiseduresearch12 karma

Not yet. But we're running a survey on small-scale growing and if you help out by taking the survey we'll soon have answers! [www.worldwideweed.nl\](www.worldwideweed.nl


Fuck_A_Suck1 karma

Are you bearish or bullish on CGC?

cannabiseduresearch115 karma

I don't own any pot stocks and I don't follow that side of the cannabis world. When in doubt, there's always money in the banana stand.

Rusty_Charm1 karma

What is the long term plan for the legit industry to gain >50% share of consumption? This number may be outdated, but didn’t the latest estimates suggest that 80% of cannabis consumed in Canada is still of the illicit variety.

cannabiseduresearch15 karma

The legal side of the market is competing against the legacy side quite strongly these days. Prices have come down, the product is much better, edibles and concentrates are available now, and the biggest improvement has been access. That is the key. Sales jumped when Ontario started allowing retail stores to operate, and that has been growing since. More than 50% of people get at least some of their cannabis from legal sources now.

I'd also just add that we need to make it easier to let people move from the legacy market to the legal market. Lots of talented people with great ideas and the ability to help make the market work well started their careers when cannabis was prohibited. Too often they're kept out of the market and that hurts the overall sector.

madeamashup1 karma

It's legal to do now, but if I grow four plants in my back yard will my Karen neighbour complain to my landlord again? Thanks

cannabiseduresearch16 karma

Karens gonna Karen. That said, if your landlord didn't previously prohibit you from doing so when you signed the lease, you should be okay. I'm not a lawyer and I'd double-check this before you tell either of them to piss off. My advice, get a small grow tent. Your neighbour might still smell the bud, but it's a bit less obvious and maybe she'll be less upset if she doesn't actually have to see it. That said, there's something to be said for a good outdoor grow kissed by the sunshine.

BluePanther17-2 karma

Which next-gen consoles is going to sell more Xbox or PlayStation??

cannabiseduresearch13 karma

PlayStation. I have no evidence to support this but I have never really liked Xbox for some reason, and I'm gonna let my biases dictate my answer here.

DWiB403-8 karma

How did the Canadian government come up with such stupid laws to frustrate retailers and drive up costs to consumers. One example: retailers forced to keep and return cardboard boxes.

Second, are you proud of how many in cannibis industry are struggling under regulation? Example: rules against brand advertising.

Third: it seems to me the biggest beneficiaries are hoards of government bureaucrats created in the wake of legalization. Producers are not profitable, retailers have had mixes success, and law enforcement claims the legalization has driven up costs. Convince me otherwise.

cannabiseduresearch11 karma

Legalization in Canada is not about letting people get high. It is about a public health approach to regulating a previously illicit drug, with rules written by an ex-cop. Brand advertising is kept tight so as to limit the proliferation of funky labels enticing people to consume and to avoid cannabis becoming a 'cool' commodity. At least that's the intention. Are some of these limitations too strict? Probably. But the policy leaders in this area weren't looking to the consumer's benefits of legalization, they were looking at population level stuff and kept things on a very short leash.

While there have been a lot of bureaucrats working on this issue, there have also been many jobs created and a new tax base for social programs.

My frank opinion is that we've done an okay but not great job with legalization, and too many people who didn't give a damn about cannabis got to make the rules about it. But, I sincerely believe things will get better. Until then, we press for better policies and to undo the past harms of prohibition.