Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction

A choice modelling study to explore Canadian consumer preferences for attributes of cannabis products and purchase experiences

Donnan, J., Bishop, L., Najafizada, M., Johnston, K. Curtins, D., & Janes, A.

This study examined the attributes cannabis users in Canada consider when making purchase decisions (e.g., product price, quality, and convenience). The three-phase study used a mixed-methods approach. Participants in each phase were at least 19 years old, had purchased cannabis in the last year, and lived in Canada. The first phase involved focus groups and interviews with cannabis consumers to identify attributes relevant purchase decisions, and the second phase used a survey to determine which attributes participants felt were most important. The third phase involved choice modelling to understand how different attributes influence cannabis purchase choices.

The researchers found that cannabis purchasing behaviors were driven by characteristics of the consumer, product, and retailer, as well as social influences, with product characteristics being the most influential. The most important product characteristics were strength or potency (THC and CBD), followed by type (indica, sativa, or hybrid), and the use of pesticides or chemicals. The most important retailer characteristics were store proximity, hours of operation, and good product selection. Consumers also value having well-informed and helpful staff at in-person retailers and the speed of delivery/cost of shipping for online retailers. The attributes that affected preferences for dried flower products included: price, packaging type, moisture level, THC potency, package information, and whether the product was regulated by Health Canada. The attributes that affected preferences for edible cannabis included: type of edible, price, amount of THC per package, cannabis taste, package information, consistency of THC across servings, product recommendations, and regulation by Health Canada. The attributes that affected preferences for cannabis vape products included: type of device, price, amount of THC, contents, and regulation by Health Canada.


Donnan, J., Shogan, O., Bishop, L., Swab, M., & Najafizada, M. (2022). Characteristics that influence purchase choice for cannabis products: A systematic review. Journal of Cannabis Research, 4(1), 9.

Donnan, J., Shogan, O., Bishop, L., & Najafizada, M. (2022). Drivers of purchase decisions for cannabis products among consumers in a legalized market: A qualitative study. BMC Public Health, 22(1), 368.

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