As the cannabis industry grows and changes, so do the products and consumer preferences. To stay on top of what your customers want, studying cannabis consumer trends and insights is crucial. According to the latest YouGov poll, 52% of American adults have tried cannabis. Not to mention, MJBizDaily’s latest FactBook states that cannabis sales are expected to exceed $100 billion. Also, despite industry challenges, demand for cannabis remains solid.
We’ve gathered the latest data on cannabis consumer trends so that your dispensary or brand can make the adjustments to stay ahead of the curve. Use the following information and infographics when creating marketing and campaign strategies this year.
Millennials and Gen Z are Purchasing the Most Legal Cannabis in the United States
Millennials and Gen Z are the generations to target. According to Headset, these two generations make up 63% of all cannabis dispensary sales in the United States. Also, the total sales percent share for Millennials grew 11.3% year-over-year. And the percent share for Gen Z grew 6% year-over-year. However, neither generation spends as much per basket compared to Gen X or Baby Boomers. The average cart for Millennials and Gen Z is filled with $55 of cannabis products. But it’s not a huge difference than the older groups, as Gen X and Baby Boomers spend over $60 per cart.
So where should your marketing efforts go? Gen Zers are attached to their smartphones. Social media is huge for this generation, with TikTok continuing to soar in popularity. A quarter of Gen Z spends about five hours per day on TikTok. But that’s not all. A US Media Consumption Report shows that 60% of Gen Z streams music daily. Not to mention, 37% listen to podcasts weekly. Be where they are and grab some music streaming or podcast ads to raise your chances of boosting your dispensary sales. Of course, the advertising rules will vary by state. But as cannabis legalization continues to spread throughout the nation, advertising regulations will loosen up.
Purposeful Cannabis Consumption
Although the cannabis stigma isn’t completely out of the picture, it’s definitely on the ropes. And for those adults over the age of 21 who consume cannabis, a whopping 91% do so for health and wellness purposes. Most people use cannabis to improve their lives. Unlike what is depicted in media throughout the years, cannabis is very much used for health and wellness. The “lazy stoner” stereotype is melting away, as people are showing that they practice purposeful cannabis consumption.
One Jointly study shows that 23% of cannabis user consume marijuana to relax and refresh. Another 21% use the cannabis plant to relieve everyday stress. And 32% of cannabis consumers use marijuana for one of the following: improving sleep, easing everyday pain, and giving themselves an energy boost. There are also certain cannabis brands that people are using more than others for different purposes:
Relaxation: Klutch Cannabis, Kurvana, Claybourne Co
Stress Relief: Canndescent, Illicit Gardens, Klutch Cannabis
Sleep Improvement: Clutch Cannabis, Grow Ohio, Incredibles
Sticking to purposeful cannabis consumption marketing is the smart strategy. And it doesn’t look like it’s one of the cannabis trends that will fade. Learn from these brands to see how they position their products for meaningful use.
Cannabis Dosage Preferences for Edibles
A whopping 61% of cannabis consumers who have the dose information of their marijuana edibles or beverages consume 10 mg or less at a time. Looking further into a recent New Frontier Data report, 19% consume less than 5 mg of THC at a time. Many people are looking to go slow and steady with their edibles. However, not every cannabis consumer is made the same. Some who consume 2 mg may feel a significant wave of euphoric effects. And there are those who need 10 mg or more to feel high. And in the big picture, edibles are used by most cannabis consumers, as 58% of users picked edibles as their main form of consumption. Therefore, lower-dose cannabis edibles seem to be the most popular in the market.
Low-dose cannabis edibles can also be marketed to the canna-curious or those who have limited experience with marijuana. For those who have tried cannabis before and stopped, 37% said that they didn’t like the feeling of being high. There’s a chance that they took a high dosage of cannabis. Creating campaigns for low dose weed edibles may pique their interest in trying it again. Catering to this segment of former consumers can turn them into regular low-dose cannabis users. Try to segment your audience list further and pair dosage preferences with the proper dispensary products.
Pairing Cannabis with Activities
It’s not just about why people use cannabis. It also helps to look at activities people are doing while using it. Cannabis consumer trends go beyond dosage and type. The top three activities to pair with cannabis use are watching movies/TV, listening to music at home, and sleeping. Also, a massive 70% of cannabis users say cannabis helps them complete a specific goal. Here are the other popular activities: eating, socializing, browsing the Internet, spending time in nature, and cooking.
To reach your target audience, you also must assess their reason for use. The number one reason is no surprise: relaxation. Following this is pain management and reducing anxiety. And there is some connection with the activities and the reason for use worth noting. For example, cannabis may help people relax during social events if they are more introverted. Also, the objective of getting a good night’s rest and achieving relaxation thanks to cannabis is huge. Experts report that 50 to 70 million people in the U.S. alone have ongoing sleep disorders. Finding the connections between cannabis activities and reason for use can drive your campaigns and help you connect with different sectors of your audience better.
Medical Cannabis Trends in the Current Market
While the recreational cannabis market is popular, let’s not forget to look at medical cannabis trends. According to New Frontier Data, 75% of self-identified medical cannabis consumers say they are treating a medical condition diagnosed by a doctor. However, digging deeper into the research, 53% of medical cannabis users note they use cannabis for both recreational and medical purposes. Creating campaigns for medical cannabis users who also partake in recreational marijuana may prove to be worthwhile. For example, providing two choices as the “products of the week” with one being more geared toward medical use and the other for social use may make for an engaging campaign. This strategy caters to the paradox of choice marketing psychology—the more choices a person has, the higher their stress level gets when deciding. Keeping the choices to a minimum and having the choices address both preferred uses creates a unique experience.
For those who use cannabis mainly or exclusively for medical benefits, here are the top five issues they are addressing:
- Chronic pain
- Rheumatoid arthritis
There are also several symptoms medical cannabis patients are treating with marijuana. The more common ones many are aware of include pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and inflammation. However, there are others that don’t get mentioned as often. These symptoms include lack of appetite, nightmares, and spasms or seizures.
What are the Most Popular Cannabis Products?
It’s no surprise that flower is the most popular cannabis form. A whopping 60% of users say flower is the form they consume cannabis in the most. Rounding out the top five are edibles (21%), vape pens (10%), topicals (3%), and tinctures/capsules (3%). Although cannabis drinks seem to be gaining more popularity, they are at the bottom of the list. However, THC beverages are still new to the market, so they have potential to gain more attention in the coming years. According to experts, the cannabis beverage CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) is expected to increase by 17% in the next 10 years.
There are also plenty of new cannabis products emerging. According to the latest research, 44% of cannabis consumers have an interest in trying new items. Customers between the ages of 18 and 34 are the most eager to try new cannabis products. Here are some of the newest dispensary products on the block:
- Cannabis-infused drink additives
- Sublingual edible hybrid
- Cannabis-infused popcorn
- Cannabis click spray
Different age ranges favor different product types. Cannabis consumers ages 18-34 prefer prerolls, blunts, and edibles. Prerolls take the lead at 22%, but the other two options aren’t far behind. Looking at marijuana users ages 35-54, edibles slightly edge out prerolls 26% to 23%. And consumers ages 55 and over prefer edibles the most at 30% with prerolls following at 25%. Although cannabis beverages aren’t up there with the most favorite products yet, they are making noise. An astonishing 56.8% of cannabis consumers say they replaced part of their alcohol consumption with cannabis. Looking at preferred cannabis forms, infused drinks beat tinctures, spliffs, and pills.