NEW ROCHELLE – Green Horizons, a consumer insights firm for the cannabis and holistic health industry, is launching the second wave of its Cultivating the Cannabis Market study in September 2021. Since the first wave of the study was released in early 2020, the cannabis landscape has evolved substantially. Though marijuana remains illegal under federal law, a growing number of states have legalized cannabis, stay-at-home orders deemed cannabis essential businesses, and a growing number of Americans across the political spectrum are voicing their support for legalization.
The benchmark study, a comprehensive survey of cannabis users and non-users across the U.S., found that overall, four in ten (39%) U.S. adults report using cannabis, with 28% saying they use it at least weekly. Seven in ten consumers fully or somewhat support legalizing medical marijuana on a federal level, and nearly as many—six in ten—fully or somewhat support legalizing recreational marijuana on a federal level. Even among non-users, 6 in 10 support federally legalizing medical and 45% support legalizing recreational cannabis.
Moreover, Wave 1 of the study revealed:
- Over half (57%) of cannabis users said they shop for cannabis at a dispensary; among cannabis users who live in a state where both medical and recreational use is legalized (and therefore likely have the most options), 52% said they buy from a local, independent dispensary, vs. 39% who said they buy from a franchised or chain dispensary. A quarter of recreational-only users and nearly half of medical + recreational users still buy from an individual, signaling additional growth opportunity in legal states.
- There is a burgeoning market for new cannabis products and experiences. Four in ten cannabis users already consume edibles, drinks, or tinctures. A follow-up survey conducted by Green Horizons revealed that over half of cannabis users are interested in THC-infused adult beverages, going to restaurants with cannabis-infused cuisine, and participating in organized cannabis-themed events such as painting classes, yoga, and cannabis culinary classes.
- However, one of the biggest hurdles in the cannabis market has been differentiation. Three in ten cannabis users agreed that “all cannabis is pretty much the same” and, across all brands tested, only three — Leafs by Snoop, Cheeba Chews, and Marley Natural—were known by more than one in five cannabis users in the first wave of the study.
“The first wave of this study was fielded right before COVID wreaked havoc on our lives,” noted Adriana Waterston, SVP of Insights and Strategy for Green Horizons. “We know from qualitative research that cannabis consumption increased among users during COVID. The second wave of the study will assess the impact of COVID on attitudes and behaviors around cannabis consumption, dig into even more detail about the consumption of cannabis and CBD products like infused beverages and edibles, and measure market potential for new products and services. We are very excited to help our clients grow their business using consumer research and insights to drive decision-making.”
The 2021 survey will be fielded in the fall. Clients who pre-purchase the 2021 study have the opportunity to provide feedback on the questionnaire to ensure their key questions are addressed. There is also a free e-book based on the wave 1 survey available for download at www.greenhorizonsinsights.com.