Relationships between increases in Canadian cannabis stores, sales, and prevalence
Author's accepted manuscript
Detailed linear regression results
AuthorArmstrong, Michael J.
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AbstractBackground: This study estimated the relationships between increases in legal cannabis stores, legal cannabis sales, and cannabis prevalence in Canadian provinces between 2018 and 2020. Method: Government data were used to calculate changes in licensed store numbers, retail sales dollars, and past-three-month users in 10 provinces across six time periods. The resulting N = 60 observations were standardized per million residents aged 15 and up, and then analyzed via linear regression. Results: Store growth explained 46.3% of the variation in provincial sales growth; each added store was associated with added quarterly sales of $305 (95% CI: $208 to $402) thousand. By contrast, store growth explained only 7.7% of the variation in provincial user growth; each added store was associated with 696 (95% CI: 58 to 1334) added users. Conclusion: From 2018 to 2020, Canada’s rapid cannabis retail expansion was strongly related to legal sales growth but only weakly related to prevalence growth. This implies prevalence growth during that period was related more to legalization’s other aspects and/or to the continuation of already-existing trends.