Cannabis-Related Hospitalizations Following Legalization in Canada What are the main findings?

Response: Over the whole study period, there were 105,203 hospitalizations due to cannabis. Hospitalizations due to cannabis were increasing across the country pre-legalization. Legalization with restrictions was not associated with an increase in hospitalizations due to cannabis.

However, during the commercialization period, during which time there was a large expansion of retail stores and types of products, hospitalizations increased. The largest increase was for hospitalizations for cannabis-induced psychosis, which were 40% higher in the commercialization period relative to the pre-legal period. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Our findings suggest that cannabis legalization with strict controls may not result in increases in rates of hospitalization due to cannabis. Cannabis legalization or decriminalization can have important public health benefits by reducing criminal justice harms for youth. Importantly, the results caution that commercialization including the rapid expansion of the legal cannabis retail market may cause increases in cannabis use and associated harms. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: As the COVID-19 pandemic closely corresponded with the cannabis retail market commercialization, it is difficult to separate these effects on the observed changes. Further research is needed to understand long term trends after the pandemic and as the cannabis retail market in Canada continues to evolve. Is there anything else you would like to add? Any disclosures?


Myran DT, Gaudreault A, Konikoff L, Talarico R, Liccardo Pacula R. Changes in Cannabis-Attributable Hospitalizations Following Nonmedical Cannabis Legalization in Canada. JAMA Netw Open. 2023;6(10):e2336113. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.36113,a%20modest%20decrease%20in%20hospitalizations.

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Last Updated on October 6, 2023 by