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Cannabis store openings in Canada only slightly affected the number of users

Despite Canada approaching its third anniversary of cannabis legalization, some municipalities still ban licensed shops. Other countries talking about legalizing cannabis also seem inclined toward minimizing legal access. But my research suggests those policies are probably counterproductive.

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Canada legalized recreational cannabis on Oct. 17, 2018. After initial product shortages eased in spring 2019, store openings and retail sales soared. Monthly sales hit $339 million in July 2021 and the national store total now exceeds 2,600.

User numbers have also grown. In 2018, 14 per cent of the population aged 15 and up admitted to using cannabis. That reached 20 per cent in 2020, equivalent to 6.2

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