Sewage to reveal pot consumption, says Statscan

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One way of figuring out how much pot is being consumed by Canada is researching our sewage.

Statistics Canada will spend up to $600,000 a year for a contractor to regularly test waste water from 15 to 20 municipalities across the country for traces of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, and other drugs.

Statistics Canada believes it will be able to get their hands on this very important data which will help the government plan their policies accordingly and even figure out which regions are filled with regular pot users.

After cannabis is metabolized by the body, traces of THC are left behind in human waste. Samples of waste water from sewage treatment plants can then be collected and tested for the substance.

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The waste water would be collected over the course of one week every month for at least one year with the possibility of expanding to three if the results are useful, according to Statistics Canada’s contract proposal.

Six municipalities covering a combined population of nearly eight million people are already on board with the survey. But Statistics Canada would not say which municipalities have signed on.

Waste water tests will accurately reflect the actual consumption amount while legal sales data only reveals the amount bought officially. That’s the operational word- officially.

The technology used to track marijuana consumption in waste water can also be used to detect other drugs like cocaine and methamphetamines.

It is amazing how much can be learnt from sewage, traces of just about everything can be analyzed for keeping up with trends and creating the right policies designed to keep us all safe. It is safe to say that a country’s sewage can reveal a lot about its mental and physical health. – CINEWS

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