National Cannabis Survey

Detailed information for 2023





Record number:


The main objective of the National Cannabis Survey is to obtain detailed information about the habits of people who use cannabis, including cannabis purchasing and usage behaviours. The survey aims to understand how many Canadians use and do not use cannabis. Health Canada and other organizations will use the data to monitor changes in cannabis use.

Data release - To be determined


The survey will be used to understand cannabis use and purchasing patterns in Canada since the legalization of cannabis, its impact on the Canadian economy, and to inform evidence-based national and provincial strategies, policies, and programs.

Reference period: The reference period in the questionnaire is the previous three months.


  • Economic accounts
  • Health

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The target population for the survey is non-institutionalized persons 18 years of age or older living in Canada's ten provinces, who are not members of collectives or living on reserves.

Instrument design

The content for the National Cannabis Survey electronic questionnaire was drafted in consultation with the System of National Accounts team within Statistics Canada as well as several other federal government departments and agencies, including the survey sponsor, Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Public Safety Canada and the Department of Justice of Canada.

The questionnaire was subject to cognitive testing in the form of in-depth interviews in both of Canada's official languages, conducted by Statistics Canada's Questionnaire Design Resource Centre. The goal of the qualitative study was to test the survey content.


This is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design.

Two different sampling frames were used for the survey. Youths aged 18 to 24 are covered through a person-level frame, while persons aged 25 and over are covered through a dwelling frame.

Stratification method:
The person-based frame was stratified by province, and a sample random sample of youths was selected independently within each province. Similarly, the dwelling frame was stratified by province, and a simple random sample of dwellings was selected within each province.

Sampling and sub-sampling:
A sample of 6,200 youths aged 18 to 24 was selected from the person-level frame and sent to collection. As well, a sample of 12,000 dwellings was selected from the dwelling frame; during collection, a person aged 25 and over was randomly selected from each sampled dwelling to participate in the survey..

Sampling unit:
The ultimate unit of analysis for both samples is the person.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 2023-07-14 to 2023-10-15

Responding to this survey is voluntary.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

Data are collected either through an electronic questionnaire or through computer assisted telephone interviewing.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

The metadata will be provided upon release.


The metadata will be provided upon release.


The metadata will be provided upon release.

Quality evaluation

The metadata will be provided upon release.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects that could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

In order to prevent any data disclosure, confidentiality analysis is done using the Statistics Canada Generalized Disclosure Control System (G-Confid). G-Confid is used for primary suppression (direct disclosure) as well as for secondary suppression (residual disclosure). Direct disclosure occurs when the value in a tabulation cell is composed of or dominated by few enterprises while residual disclosure occurs when confidential information can be derived indirectly by piecing together information from different sources or data series.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.

Data accuracy

Survey errors come from a variety of different sources. One dimension of survey error is sampling error. Sampling error is defined as the error that arises because an estimate is based on a sample rather than the entire population. Sampling error can be expressed through a confidence interval or coefficient of variation.

The following are approximate sampling error estimates for Canada level estimates. These are based on average results; these are not results for a specific variable.

- Approximate length of 95% confidence intervals for a proportion of 50% (Canada level): 4.3%
- Approximate length of 95% confidence intervals for a proportion of 10% (Canada level): 2.6%

Response rates
The response rate for 2020 National Cannabis Survey was 46%.

Non-sampling error
The first type of errors treated were errors in questionnaire flow. For skips based on answered questions, all skipped questions were set to "Valid skip" (6, 96, 996, etc.). For skips based on "Non-response", all skipped questions were set to "Not stated" (9, 99, 999, etc.). The remaining empty items were filled with a numeric value (9, 99, 999, etc., depending on variable length). These codes are reserved for processing purposes and mean that the item was "Not stated".

Non-response bias
The survey estimates are adjusted to account for non-response through the survey weights. To the extent that the non-responding households and persons differ from the rest of the sample, the results may be biased.

Coverage error
Coverage errors arise when there are differences between the target population and the observed population. The observed population is persons living in dwellings with mailable addresses on the frame. Approximately 95% of the dwellings on the frame had mailable addresses. To the extent that the excluded population differs from the rest of the target population, the results may be biased.

Report a problem on this page

Is something not working? Is there information outdated? Can't find what you're looking for?

Please contact us and let us know how we can help you.

Privacy notice

Date modified: