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Study Finds No Increase In Hospitalizations Following Legalization In Canada

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Canada became the first G-7 nation to adopt a national adult-use cannabis legalization measure back in late 2018. The only other nation to adopt a national legalization measure prior to Canada was Uruguay in 2013, however, Uruguay still does not permit legal sales to non-residents.

Malta, Luxembourg, Germany, and South Africa have all adopted national legalization measures to some degree since Canada adopted its measure. Yet, Canada remains the only country on the planet where adult consumers can make legal purchases across the nation regardless of their residence status.

A team of researchers recently examined hospitalization data in Canada before and after adult-use legalization was implemented. The researchers determined that there was ‘no increase’ in hospitalizations post-legalization. Below is more information about the study via a NORML news release:

Toronto, Canada: Policies legalizing the use and sale of cannabis products have not led to an increase in marijuana-related hospitalizations, according to data published in the Journal of Addictive Diseases.

Canadian investigators tracked rates of cannabis-related hospitalizations in Alberta in the years prior to and following legalization. Canadian lawmakers legalized the use and sale of cannabis flowers for those ages 18 and older in October 2018. Retailers began engaging in the sales of cannabis concentrates and edible products in 2020.

Researchers identified an increase in hospitalizations among those ages 18 to 24 in the period immediately prior to legalization, but they acknowledged that there were no increases in hospitalizations following legalization among representatives of any age group.

“Legalization was not significantly associated with immediate or ongoing changes in hospitalization rates … for either younger or older adults,” the study’s authors concluded.

Separate Canadian analyses have failed to identify an increase in either traffic-related hospitalizations or ER visits attributable to cannabis-related psychosis following legalization.

Full text of the study, “Cannabis legalization and hospitalizations in Alberta: Interrupted time series analysis by age and sex,” appears in the Journal of Addictive Diseases.