Does Cannabis Cause Car Accidents?

A Canadian study provides the valuable data needed to answer this question...

Welcome to Four PM — a newsletter that provides the top cannabis industry news from Canada to California.


In Today’s Issue 💬

→ Cannabis & Car Accidents. 🚗

→ Clarity For Cannabis In New York. 🗽

→ The Cannabis Popularity Contest. 💨

Does Cannabis Cause Car Accidents?

A new study in Canada answers this all-important question.

One of the primary concerns associated with legalizing cannabis is that doing so will result in an increased number of road traffic accidents.

For years now, this concern has been a major talking point, however, moving forward activists will be armed with the data needed to debunk this claim.

Ohh Canada…

To answer this question, investigators analyzed weekly driver’s traffic injuries at all emergency departments in both Ontario and Alberta — the Canadian provinces with the greatest number of cannabis retailer stores.

Based on the data investigators analyzed starting in April 2015 (three years before legalization occurred) all the way through the end of 2019, Canada's decision to legalize cannabis did not increase the number of traffic injuries.

“Implementation of the Cannabis Act was not associated with evidence of significant post-legalization changes in traffic-injury ED visits in Ontario or Alberta among all drivers or youth drivers, in particular.”

International attention…

There’s no shortage of nations currently considering legalizing cannabis and earlier this year, a team of researchers at the University of Melbourne’s in Australia also examined this question.

Similar to the results published yesterday, the team in Australia arrived at a very similar conclusion.

“Road safety risks associated with medicinal cannabis appear similar or lower than numerous other potentially impairing prescription medications.”

Our Take

Research such as the above two studies are essential such that we can begin to understand the impacts, or lack thereof from legalizing cannabis.

Additionally, it’s important to recognize that cannabis can cause impairment and we should not use the above studies to justify anyone’s decision to get behind the wheel if they are impaired from cannabis.

Cannabis Gains Clarity In New York

Will the new governor of New York make cannabis one of her key priorities?

With over 19 million people living in the State of New York, there’s a great deal of excitement surrounding the state's decision to legalize cannabis.

“I'm very excited to see job creation throughout the state of New York… — I think this market's going to be enormous.” Emily Paxhia, Managing Director of Poseidon Asset Management said to Four PM.

In light of recent events, however, where the former governor of New York was forced to resign, the timeline for New York to legalize cannabis has become uncertain, to say the least.

Cannabis control board…

As previously reported by Four PM, the primary hurdle casting doubt on this timeline is deciding who will sit on the Office of Cannabis Management and Cannabis Control Board.

These appointments are necessary to set up and approve new rules and licensing for cannabis companies in the big apple.

A key priority…

A question that is top of mind for every company making moves in New York is exactly how much of a priority will cannabis be for the new governor?

Thankfully, we now have an answer courtesy of the new governor’s spokesman, Jordan Bennett;

“Nominating and confirming individuals with diverse experiences and subject matter expertise, who are representative of communities from across the state, to the Cannabis Control Board is a priority for Gov. Hochul,”

Future outlook 🔭

When New York does legalize cannabis, New York will charge a 13% excise tax on cannabis sales, with 9% going to the state and 4% to local governments.

With analysts expecting cannabis sales to exceed $2 billion in annual sales by 2025 there are HUGE financial incentives in place for the law markers in New York to succeed in resolving any & all issues.

Our Take

Incentives rule the world, and there are very few opportunities that rival the financial incentives of successfully creating a legal cannabis market.

Despite this, the odds of New York meeting its initial timeline of successfully creating an adult-use cannabis market by spring 2022 currently seem slim.

Cannabis Consumers Love Flower

New data from Headset highlights the most popular cannabis form factors.

With more and more consumers around the world gaining access to cannabis, a question that has sparked much conversation in recent times is which cannabis products will new consumers prefer?

In Canada, less than 28% of Canadians over the age of 18 reported having consumed cannabis in 2020, whereas some 78% reported having consumed alcohol during this same period of time.

Looking at this data, one could be very easily convinced that the solution to this problem is for cannabis companies to produce cannabis beverages, however, new data from Headset paints a very different picture.

Declining market share…

Despite a clear decline in the demand for dried flower, the most popular form factor of cannabis today remains dried flower by a significant margin.

From January through June 2021, dried flower was the most popular cannabis product category by sales in both the U.S and in Canada. 

Here’s the breakdown…

  • → Including pre-rolls, 69.9% of all cannabis sales in Canada was dried flower, whereas 54.5% of all sales in the U.S was dried flower.

  • → Vape pens came in a close second with 18.4% market share in Canada, and 20.8% market share in the U.S

  • → In 3rd place are edibles which accounted for 4.3% of total cannabis sales in Canada, and 9.9% in the U.S market.

  • → Cannabis concentrates accounted for 2.9% of total sales in Canada and 9.6% in the U.S.

  • → Lastly, products such as topicals, cannabis patches & beverages accounted for 6.7% market share in Canada & 4.1% in the U.S.

Our Take

Long term, I suspect cannabis beverages or edibles, will replace dried flowers as the most popular form factors of cannabis.

For the foreseeable future, however, this is far from the case as despite the decline in market share — this data paints one very clear picture:

Cannabis consumers love dried flowers.

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