Headset Report Says Millennials lead Consumer Market

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Washington State data outlines generational demographics’ buying, spending habits.

SEATTLE–Washington State-based industry market research firm Headset this week released its report, Who’s Buying All That Pot? A Look at the Demographics of Cannabis Consumer. Statistics indicate Millennials lead the consumer cannabis market in purchases, though their older counterparts spend more on the cannabis products they buy.

Study results also indicated that numbers of Millennials purchasing cannabis increased slightly from 2016 to 2017, from 49 percent to 51 percent of the total consumer market. Headset said the marijuana-friendly Millennial demographic has been a mainstay for sales, and have statistically topped sales ever since data has been collected. The under-35 age group is followed by Generation Xers (35-53 years old), Baby Boomers (54-75 years old), and the Silent Generation (76 and older) in purchasing numbers.


Overall, sales have declined slightly over the last 12-month period; an 18 percent drop for Millennials, while Generation X and Boomer sales declined 25 percent. The largest drop in sales was noted for the Silent Generation at 40 percent.

Statistics analyzed in the report were collected from participating Washington State dispensaries via their POS systems. Regular sales, as well as frequent buyer programs and other store registries were used to track customer behavior and trends. Numbers were crunched using analytic software, and cross-referenced with 150,000 products in Headset’s database.

Other results highlighted in the report included:

  • All generations preferred flower, the king of cannabis products. After flower, product preferences varied by generation: Millennials preferred concentrates, while Gen Xers were split between concentrates and vape pens. Boomers went for vape pens and pre-rolls, while the Silent Ones liked vape pens.
  • Hybrid strains were highly preferred across demographics at 61-62 percent, leaving indica and sativa strains to almost evenly spilt the remaining 38-39 percent.
  • Silent Generation elders, not surprisingly, bought CBD strains three times as much as their younger cohorts. At only six percent of overall purchases, CBD strains are still a fraction of the flower market.
  • Older cannabis consumers also differed from younger demographics, preferring sativa to indica strains. They also purchased three percent of the shake and trim available.
  • Several brands stood out in statistics from Washington State dispensaries including Phat Panda, Artizen Cannabis, and Northwest Cannabis Solutions, among others. Brand purchases were fairly consistent across age groups; older consumers skewed slightly from the norm, with Project M, Sticky Frog, Fairwinds, and Liberty Reach standing out.
  • Purchases declined overall; Millennials showed the least drop at 18 percent, while Gen Xers and Boomers purchases dropped 25 percent. The steepest drop came for those over 76-years old, at 40 percent.
  • While Millennials make up the most purchases, they also spend the least, at an average of $13.87 per item. Items purchased increased in price along with the age of consumers, with Silent Generation customers at $21.09 per item.
  • Elders also purchased a greater percentage of higher-priced items (over $40), while Millennials purchased fifty percent of $10-or-less items.