A survey by the Saskatchewan government has found strong support for cannabis sales to be conducted both in retail stores and online once legal sales begin in the country, and 45 percent of respondents want those stores run by the government.
The survey received 34,681 responses – the most of any survey previously conducted by the province, the government said in a press release. Just 9.9 percent of respondents supported online-only cannabis sales, while 22 percent preferred only retail shops. Thirty-seven percent of respondents support allowing private businesses to run retail stores, and just 10.2 percent prefer pharmacies to conduct cannabis sales.
The majority of respondents, 57.9 percent, either disagreed or strongly disagreed that municipalities should “be given the option to pass bylaws to more strictly regulate cannabis”; compared to 29.3 percent who supported giving local governments such power and 10 percent who neither agreed nor disagreed.
A majority also supported prohibiting cannabis consumption in public – 53.7 percent to 28.5 percent – with 16.8 percent “neutral.” The majority of respondents, 80.4 percent, supported some form of home grow, compared to just 18 percent who do not want citizens to grow cannabis products.
Prohibiting minors’ access to cannabis ranked first among the respondents’ priorities for regulation. Ranked second were concerns about permitting sales near “schools or anywhere youth and young children frequent, followed by security requirements, accessibility, hours of operation, and market saturation.
According to Justice Minister and Attorney General Don Morgan, the government plans to use the study to promulgate the provincial rules for the legal cannabis industry, which is expected to roll out in Canada in July.