Cannabis consumers have evolved, some say even matured, since the days of illegal, sometimes risky gatherings where friends imbibed in secret – with doors locked and blinds closed.
Fast-forward to today’s $20 billion cannabis industry, based in the 2018 legalization of hemp and, more recently, the more controversial recreational weed. Since the election in November alone, eight states have joined the adult-use group. And over the past decade, the percentage of U.S. adults supporting legalization has risen from 41 percent to 67 percent, writes John Kagia, chief knowledge officer of New Frontier Data, the cannabis industry analytics company.
“The tide of legalization has been driven by dramatic shifts in popular attitudes about cannabis, waning public support for its prohibition and accelerated marketing, normalization and social acceptance of the plant and various products featuring it, Kagia wrote in an introduction to his company’s new report, 2021 U.S. Cannabis Consumer Evolution: Archetypes, Preferences & Behaviors (with the full report available to subscribers). A free online panel discussion on the topic of consumer dynamics in the U.S. market will take place on April 29 at 2 p.m. EST.
One topic sure to come up is that of cannabis approval. This is “one of today’s fastest-changing public policy issues in America,” Kagia wrote, adding, that, not surprisingly, this cultural change has fostered changes in consumption habits: Since 2002, the number of adults consuming cannabis (in this context meaning high-THC cannabis ) at least once a month has doubled from 6 percent to 12 percent, the report said. In addition, there are now more monthly self-identified cannabis consumers – 29.7 million – than there are residents in 14 of the country’s 14 largest cities, combined.
With all the new data coming in from its regular national surveys, New Frontier compiled a list of what it called the 10 consumer “archetypes” of cannabis use:
Along with the archetypes, New Frontier included findings about changes that cannabis businesses have seen as a result of changing consumer behaviors:
Frontier Data also included findings relative to company product decisions and marketing surrounding medical versus adult use:
Also likely to interest cannabis companies are findings around flower versus non-flower preferences:
Finally, New Frontier Data offered useful findings on purchasing habits:
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