Canadian Agency Studying Pot In The Potty

By Benjie Cooper

IG: @nuglifenews

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For the past two years, Statistics Canada (SC) has been conducting a study to track the role of cannabis in Canadian society and economy. But during the agency’s research, they have encountered the issue of people under-reporting their marijuana use.

With under-reported cannabis use, the size of the black market is underestimated.

One of the primary objectives of the study is to use data to help reduce the black market, as intended by nationwide legalization, but inaccurate data can hinder those efforts.

From March to August 2018, SC conducted a study using a sewage analysis technique known as wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) in an effort to more accurately gauge cannabis consumption rates among citizens.

The WBE method is used in the reporting of drug consumption in large cities.

The pilot test was one of the largest of its kind to-date as it utilized 15 wastewater treatment plants in five large urban centers across Canada and represented 8.4 million citizens.

According to the study’s pre-legalization results, Halifax was the city with the highest cannabis consumption rate in the country, though the tests are unable to determine the quantity consumed or in what form.

In order to get an idea of how much cannabis is coming from the black market, SC is starting to measure economic activity within the GDP and compare it with illegal activity. The agency plans to expand the study to more Canadian cities in 2019.