Study Shows Most Canadian Neighborhoods Are Located Within a 5 Minute Drive of a Cannabis Dispensary

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A recent study revealed how nearly 6 out of every 10 neighborhoods are located in close proximity of a cannabis dispensary.

Four years ago, Canada legalized cannabis for adult use. A recent study now shows that nearly 6 out of every 10 neighborhoods in the country are located within a 5-minute drive of a cannabis dispensary (1). By having such an abundance of dispensaries within reach, the study showed the high level of access accessible to users.

The study was published by Drug and Alcohol Review and was funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (2). Several universities and research institutions in Ottawa and Toronto helped gather the data needed. During the study, researchers found that over the four-year timespan, only 7% of retail cannabis stores closed.


“Over 4 years, per capita stores and per capita sales increased each year by an average of 122.3% and 91.7%, respectively, with larger increases in private versus public systems (4.01 times greater for per capita stores and 2.46 times greater for per capita sales),” the researchers said (1).

Several studies have shown encouraging signs in neighborhoods where legal cannabis dispensaries are established. The University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, New Mexico) performed a study in 2021 that revealed a fall in unemployment in Colorado counties where dispensaries opened post-legalization, compared to counties where dispensaries did not open (3).

Another 2021 study produced results that showed having more access through medical and recreational storefront dispensaries were associated with reduced opioid related death rates, especially with deaths involving synthetic opioids such as, fentanyl (4).