Survey on cannabis health and safety

With new cannabis products coming to market this year, government is working to ensure Islanders are properly informed and well educated.

Recently, the Government of Canada announced amendments to their federal Cannabis Regulations, setting out the rules governing the legal production and sale of edible cannabis, cannabis extracts and cannabis topicals. The amended regulations will come into force on October 17, 2019, but it will be at least mid-December 2019 before new cannabis products are available for purchase.

“Islanders need to be aware of the health and safety risks associated with new and higher potency cannabis products,” said Health and Wellness Minister James Aylward. “I encourage adult Islanders who choose to consume cannabis to do so safely and responsibly, to store it safely out of the reach of children and youth, and to consult Health Canada's website or our provincial Just the Facts materials that can support you in making informed decisions.”

The Just the Facts campaign will expand over the next four months to include additional information on THC levels and higher potency products, health effects, keeping cannabis out of the hands of children and teens and information on lower-risk use and impaired driving.

In August 2018 the Chief Public Health Office launched a survey to better understand Islanders’ pre-legalization attitudes towards cannabis, current use of cannabis, and knowledge of lower-risk cannabis use.

“Over 4,300 Islanders completed the survey in 2018, including non-users of cannabis, former users and current users,” said Deputy Chief Public Health Officer Dr. David Sabapathy. “The results show us that cannabis use is common across PEI, is likely to increase, and is more commonly used among youth and vulnerable populations. It also shows that many of our current users of cannabis are engaging in higher-risk behaviors, such as combining cannabis with alcohol use, driving while impaired, and going to work or school still under the influence of cannabis.”

The survey also reported that current users of cannabis have a lower perception of cannabis-related health and social risks, and that there is a considerable knowledge gap regarding lower-risk cannabis use.

“Survey results help to inform health and safety policies, programs, and public awareness campaigns,” said Minister Aylward. “The survey will be repeated this year – so we can monitor cannabis use, attitudes and knowledge to ensure we are providing appropriate resources, so that Islanders are making informed choices.”

The 2019 cannabis survey will run from August 1st to September 16th. Any Island resident 16 years or older, regardless of whether or not they have ever used cannabis, can take the survey. Participants can win an iPad or a Confederation Bridge pass during weekly prize draws, and are encouraged to complete the survey early to be entered into all draws. 

The 2018 Cannabis Survey Report is now available online.

Media Contact
Autumn Tremere
Health and Wellness

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