The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit has released eight key findings from its 2018 Community Cannabis Survey.

The survey, which was conducted in the fall of 2018, received 961 responses from people aged 16 and older living in the Nipissing and Parry Sound districts.

The goal of the survey was to learn about respondents’ recreational cannabis use, attitudes towards cannabis, and knowledge of harm reduction messages related to cannabis.

All the survey data was collected before recreational cannabis was legalized in Canada on October 17, 2018, meaning these results can be used to evaluate the impact of cannabis legalization and inform local groups involved with current cannabis-related initiatives and resources.

Auburn Larose, Epidemiologist with the Health Unit says, “The report’s results will help to drive public health activities, including increased community education around cannabis and its effects”.

These are the survey’s eight key findings:

1. Survey respondents reported higher cannabis use than the local population.
2. The majority of survey respondents who reported using cannabis first tried it at a young age.
3. Many of the survey respondents who reported cannabis use in the last year were daily or almost daily users.
4. Few survey respondents would give cannabis to a person under the age of 19.
5. Several survey respondents reported either driving under the influence of cannabis or being driven in a vehicle by
someone who was.
6. Nearly one-third of cannabis users reported using cannabis and tobacco or e-cigarettes at the same time.
7. A large number of survey respondents were limited in their knowledge about cannabis.
8. The majority of survey respondents had not heard of Canada’s Lower Risk Cannabis Use Guidelines.

The full report can be found on the Health Unit’s website or for more information contact the Health Unit directly at 1-800-563-2808.