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People Love Cannabis…But Not the Smell of It

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One of the worst side effects of cannabis is the plant’s signature smell, according to Civilized’s 2019 Cannabis Culture Poll. Civilized teamed up with PSB Research and Burson Cohn & Wolf to survey 1,000 Americans and over 600 Canadians about cannabis culture. And while a strong majority of respondents approved of cannabis legalization, they weren’t as supportive of the plant’s distinct aroma.

Over one-fifth of Americans said they either don’t enjoy or even outright hate it when they can smell marijuana in public. As you might have guessed, the majority of those respondents are people who don’t consume cannabis: 53 percent of American non-consumers said they either don’t like or even hate the smell of weed. Meanwhile, most Americans who are cannabis consumers either enjoy the smell of cannabis in public (45 percent) or really just don’t care either way (37 percent).

Canadians are even more opposed to the smell of marijuana: 57 percent of Canadians in general and 72 percent of non-consumers either don’t like or hate catching a whiff of cannabis.

But why do Canadians have such a hate on for the smell of cannabis? If we had to guess, we’d say it’s because legalization means that people are smelling it a lot more often that before — especially when they’re out and about. One quarter of Canadians (24 percent) and Americans (23 percent) think catching the smell of cannabis in public is a major problem.

Only time will tell if people will get used to the smell as cannabis consumption becomes more normalized and stigmas continue to erode. Meanwhile, consumers can reduce the nose pollution in their neighborhood by trying a scent-free approach to enjoying cannabis.

The Cannabis Culture Poll is an annual study commissioned by Civilized in partnership with PSB Research and Burson Cohn & Wolfe. In March 2019, the poll surveyed 1,602 adults from coast-to-coast in the U.S. and Canada. The research groups, consisting of both cannabis consumers and non-users, were asked a variety of questions about their views about cannabis as well behaviors, habits, and personal experiences.

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