New Consumer Study of Atlantic Canadians Reveals Legal Recreational Cannabis Considered a Key Driver of Regional Economic Growth

Published: February 22, 2019

New Consumer Study of Atlantic Canadians Reveals Legal Recreational Cannabis Considered a Key Driver of Regional Economic Growth

FIGR, Inc. released the results of the first-ever Atlantic Canada-focused consumer study gauging the opinions, behaviours, and concerns of Atlantic Canadians towards cannabis business and culture since recreational cannabis was legalized in Canada on October 17, 2018.

While the Atlantic Canadian provinces were considered to be among the most pro-legalization in the country prior to October 171, residents of Canada’s East Coast have only grown their support of legal recreational cannabis use since legalization day. The recent consumer study commissioned by the Canadian cannabis company, FIGR, Inc., reveals that 67% of Prince Edward Islanders and Nova Scotians feel recreational cannabis is more socially acceptable since legalization. They also believe that local, homegrown cannabis—and its role as an economic driver for the region—is important.

Grow a Strong Economy
Survey respondents recognize cannabis as an opportunity to grow the Atlantic Canadian economy, with more than half (53%) of respondents saying the cannabis industry will have a positive impact on the economy of Atlantic Canada. In addition, 57% of Islanders and Nova Scotians feel the legal cannabis industry will lead to economic opportunities for farmers in the region.

“Atlantic Canada has a tremendous pool of local, talent-rich individuals with transferable skills that can directly apply to the cannabis industry,” said Harvey Carroll, president, FIGR, Inc. “New employment opportunities drive the local economy and we’re dedicated to contributing positively to the communities in which we operate. At FIGR, we’re preparing to expand our workforce in Charlottetown from 30 to nearly 200, with a focus on attracting local talent—from farmers to quality assurance specialists to botanists and beyond.”

Buy Local
According to the recent survey, 74% of respondents indicated it is important to buy Canadian-produced cannabis. Taking the ‘buy local story’ to the next level, those Canadians living on Prince Edward Island and in Nova Scotia indicated that hyper-local product was preferred whenever possible, with three quarters (75%) of respondents citing the importance of buying cannabis that is locally produced in Atlantic Canada as the first choice.

“We are thrilled with the initial local reaction to our product. We pride ourselves on knowing our customers and what they want, in large part because members of our team live and work right here in Atlantic Canada,” said Carroll. “Part of that is education. Studies like this continue to show there is demand for an authentic customer experience.”

The Origin Story Matters
Beyond a strong desire for locally grown cannabis, Atlantic Canadian consumers are increasingly placing significant value on the right to more detailed information and transparency around the origins of their product from growing and harvesting to processing. Nearly half (49%) of survey respondents say it is important to know where their cannabis comes from and 52% say it is important to know how the cannabis they purchase is grown and processed.

“The survey results indicate Atlantic Canadians are seeking transparency. That added knowledge is reassuring on many levels,” said Carroll.

Using the SENTRISM track-and-trace platform, consumers can enter a lot number located on their FIGR product at FIGR.com/quality to track in-depth, individualized product information.

“Within Canada, licensed producers are required to track the chain of custody of the cannabis they produce, reporting the data to Health Canada,” explained Carroll. “SENTRI is utilized for this purpose, as well as its ability to share product-specific information, including where and when the cannabis plant used to create a product was harvested and how long the specific cannabis was cured.”

The Experience Matters
Consumers are depending on their regional in-store experience to learn about, explore, and purchase their locally produced cannabis. Survey respondents in both Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia cited a positive in-store experience as a fundamental component in their cannabis purchasing journey, with more than 81% of cannabis purchasers saying their in-store experience has been positive since legalization.

“Atlantic Canadians have embraced cannabis since legalization and have been patient as a brand new industry works to meet high consumer demand,” said Carroll. “To help meet that demand, we have increased production in our first three months and extended shifts that allow us to complete packaging more quickly. As we increase our Charlottetown footprint from approximately 30,000 square feet to approximately 325,000 square feet, we will increase our production capacity from 1,200 kg to an estimated 35,000 kg.”

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