The body of cannabis market research is still small, but growing rapidly—and research data is essential to maxing out the potential of your cannabusiness. We’ve gathered the top 7 cannabis statistics you’ll want to keep tabs on as you develop your business strategy for this young but promising industry.
Illinois became the 11th U.S. State to legalize the recreational consumption of cannabis in a law that went into effect on January 1st, 2019. The legal cannabis market is still young, on the whole, which means data is limited—compared to more established industries like alcohol—and always in flux, so it’s all the more important to watch cannabis market data closely.
The trends revealed in these 7 cannabis market research statistics are worth tracking as this burgeoning industry continues to grow. Insights into cannabis demographics, product interest, purchasing preferences, and more can help your cannabusiness to stay ahead of the curve.
1. Cannabis use among 55-64-year olds went up 455% between 2002 and 2014 (CDC).
Yes, cannabis use is seeing a significant increase among the older population (over the age of 50). Interestingly, teen usage has actually fallen in recent years. Keep tabs on cannabis market share and growth within each age group—which is still admittedly dominated by the younger crowd—for indicators about where and how to promote or position your brand.
2. From 2014 to 2018, cannabis tourism grew by 51% in Colorado alone (Forbes).
Many cannabis customers may be coming from out of town (or even out of state) to sample the local culture. Forbes reports that Colorado had 6.5 million cannabis tourists in 2016. It could be a strong differentiator for your brand to go after tourism interest by sponsoring or hosting social events and on-site workshops related to your cannabusiness. Keep tabs on tourism trends in your local cannabis market for ideas.
3. By product type, the cannabis buds segment had a revenue share of 62.9% (over oils and tinctures) in 2018 (Grand View Research).
The flower is still the most important market segment for legal cannabis, even as product lines diversify with topicals, edibles, and more. Track the progress of revenue share for these segments as even more uses and opportunities for the plant come to the forefront of the cannabis market. In the meantime, here’s how Grand View Research projects it will go (out to 2025).
4. 65% of cannabis users were men in 2017 (Statista).
The gender percentage trends among consumers have remained relatively consistent for many years (60-65% male, 35-40% female). You can leverage this data in your marketing and sales efforts by going after the larger male cannabis market, or setting yourself apart as the preferred feminine option.
Interestingly, women also prefer more variety in their cannabis products than men. The plant and cannabis concentrates dominate male purchasing habits, while women are more willing to purchase diverse options like topicals, beverages, and tinctures. You can use the gender breakdown of your brand’s customer base to better position yourself with products that will most appeal to them.
5. Most people spend an average of $25 to $50 per trip at a marijuana retailer (Fit Small Business).
The median ticket price checks in at around $33. Not many folks are spending more than $100 per trip. Use these insights while organizing your product lines for the perfect balance of profitability and customer demand.
6. As of October 2019, the average price for an ounce of high-quality marijuana in the U.S. was $320 (Statista).
If your cannabusiness deals with the plant itself—as opposed to ancillary equipment or technology—this is one of the critical cannabis statistics to track while calibrating your pricing model. But you should also note that it varies significantly by state, so check in on your local average. Some states can range as high as $600 an ounce, and others as low as $210 for quality buds. Of course, lower quality will also mean lower prices than these.
7. Approximately 1 in 3 recreational cannabis consumers are interested in buying products online, through approved retailers’ websites (Deloitte).
That’s a big chunk of your potential audience. Deloitte hypothesizes that this partially has to do with a desire for privacy and discreet purchases. It will be interesting to see how this figure evolves as public perceptions of cannabis consumption change, but the e-commerce infrastructure for cannabis simultaneously matures and grows more sophisticated.
At the very least, it suggests that it’s well worth investing in online channels for your business to engage its customer base.
Bonus Round! Two Cannabis Charts Worth a Look:
The Deloitte study behind the last of our cannabis statistics is chock-full of fascinating insights into the legal rollout of the Canadian cannabis market. While Canada and the U.S. will differ in some respects, these two charts from early research in Canada may provide worthwhile insights into trends we could also see stateside.
First, what factors are motivating the purchase and consumption of cannabis products? Deloitte’s 2018 cannabis report sought answers to this question, and here’s what they found:
Cannabis market statistics like these are numerical gold for cannabusinesses since they suggest the kinds of messaging and marketing material that will resonate the most with the cannabis audience. These are the needs that cannabis addresses, and the problems it solves, for your customers.
Finally, let’s take a look at the cannabis market for edibles. Not all cannabis consumers want to smoke the plant, so it pays to know what other forms customers expect (or hope) it will be offered.
Deloitte adds that 6 in 10 likely cannabis customers will choose to consume edible products, and 18% of the overall cannabis intake for your existing customers will be comprised of edibles. There’s a lot of untapped opportunities in the cannabis market for chocolate edibles, which only 35% of consumers have heard of, but 43% would like to try.
Cannabis market statistics and insights like the ones collected here can be incredibly useful for positioning and growing your cannabusiness. For instance, the data suggests that a dispensary in Colorado might be able to earn a major win with an event targeting female cannabis tourists with a chocolate edibles theme that’s packaged around the $25 range.
Make analytics the cornerstone of a data-driven go-to-market strategy, and you’ll maximize your cannabusiness’s competitive edge.