National Cannabis Survey

Detailed information for 2020





Record number:


The main objective of the National Cannabis Survey is to better understand the frequency of cannabis usage in Canada and to monitor changes in behaviour as a result of the legalization of cannabis for non-medical use.

Data release - Scheduled for March 17, 2021


The survey will be used in conjunction with other data sources to understand how the legalization of cannabis for non-medical use could impact the Canadian economy as well as other health and social services.

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 15 years of age or older living in Canada's ten provinces.

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.

The frame is the Dwelling Universe File. Institutions, collective dwellings and dwellings on Indigenous reserves were excluded.

Sampling unit:
The NCS sample has a two-stage design: the sampling unit for the first stage is the dwelling, and the sampling unit for the second stage is the person.

Stratification method:
The NCS frame was stratified by province, and a simple random sample of dwellings was selected independently within each province.

Sampling and sub-sampling:
Sufficient sample was allocated to each of the provinces so that the survey could produce provincial level estimates. An initial sample of 12,000 dwellings was selected and sent to collection.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 2020-11-10 to 2021-01-02

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) .

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