The toilet bowl.
According to a tender issued today, February 12, Statistics Canada will look to municipal wastewater to detect patterns and levels of cannabis usage:
Statistics Canada has a requirement to collect statistics on the production and consumption of cannabis, medical and non-medical, both before and after the expected legalization of cannabis this summer. In particular, the Agency will be collecting information on cannabis consumption through the analysis of municipal wastewater.
Cannabis can be detected up to five days after consumption in the urine of infrequent users, while it can be detected up to 15 days after consumption in heavy users, or those with a high percentage of body fat.
So when cannabis consumers flush, the levels of various metabolites associated with marijuana will rise in the city’s wastewater system. The idea will be to perform monthly wastewater analysis for 15-20 municipalities.
Given the stigma that still exists regarding cannabis, the data will ideally paint a clearer picture of cannabis use than self-reporting and surveys.
Here’s hoping that Statistics Canada will be flush with data following this initiative.