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Seven per cent of Haligonians have purchased legal pot since Oct. 17 and another 20 per cent intend to soon, a new poll shows.

The survey, conducted by Corporate Research Associates as part of a quarterly look at the Atlantic region’s four largest cities, found that actual trends mostly matched expectations.

Last fall, results from a CRA poll suggested that 9 per cent of adult New Brunswickers and 10 per cent of adult Nova Scotians intended to buy marijuana from a legal vendor after the legalization date.

The latest poll, released Wednesday, found that that 10 per cent of Moncton and Fredericton residents, 9 per cent of Saint John residents, and 7 per cent of Halifax residents have purchased cannabis legally since stores opened last month.

Furthermore, among who have not yet made a purchase, 19 per cent of Moncton residents, 18 per cent of Fredericton residents, 14 per cent of Saint John residents, and 20 per cent of Halifax residents indicate they would definitely or probably buy marijuana for personal use from a legal vendor in the near future.

“Previous research undertaken by our company related to purchase intentions of marijuana closely mirrors the actual behaviour in major urban markets in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, since marijuana has been legally available for sale,” CRA president and chief operating officer Margaret Brigley said in an a press release. “We intend to continue to track marijuana purchase behaviour to determine whether or not the market for this product will increase over time.”

The survey also found that younger adults (age 18 to 34) were most likely to avail of legal cannabis. In Fredericton, 28 per cent of adults in this age group made a purchase on or after Oct. 17, while in Moncton 26 per cent made a purchase, and in Saint John 22 per cent did so. In Halifax, however only 12 per cent of residents aged 18 to 34 purchased legal cannabis, compared to nine per cent of those aged 35 to 54.

Recent Statistics Canada numbers suggest 23 per cent of Nova Scotians over the age of 15 used marijuana in the third quarter of this year, more than any other province.

“I don’t know what this says about overall usage, we were simply looking at actual purchases since legalization,” said CRA’s Richard Foot.

“What people might be doing outside of legal vendor purchases, I can’t really speak to.”

The poll results are part of the CRA Urban Report, an independent telephone survey consisting of 400 adult residents in Halifax CMA, 400 in Moncton CMA, 400 in Fredericton CA and 300 in Saint John CMA. The survey was conducted from October 22 to November 10, 2018. Overall results are accurate to within ±4.9 percentage points for Halifax, Moncton and Fredericton, and ±5.7 percentage points for Saint John, 95 out of 100 times.

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