64% of cannabis consumers believe that if more people embraced the herb, the world would be “a better place.”
By Javier Hasse
One in four adults in the United States currently consume cannabis — or have tried some form of it in the last twelve months. That is according to information from a soon-to-be-released study conducted by market research and data analytics firm YouGov and cannabis company Cresco Labs’ Sunnyside retail brand among roughly 5,000 Americans “representative of the U.S. population.”
The 25% consumption number implies a sharp surge (56.25%) from the 16% rate reported in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health of 2018. What’s more, 23% of the self-declared cannabis consumers disclosed they had tried it for the first time over the past year. According to the study, this suggests the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with a slew of new states legalizing cannabis have accelerated the acceptance and adoption of cannabis in the U.S.
“We were curious to learn how current conditions have impacted consumer attitudes and cannabis consumption behaviors ahead of what we expect to be an unprecedented 4/20 celebration,” said Cris Rivera, senior vice president of retail marketing and customer experience at Cresco Labs, said. “Whether it’s the stressors of a global pandemic or increased accessibility due to expanded state decriminalization, cannabis has become the leading CPG category for exploration as people flock to dispensaries to discover the range of novel formats and modern products available to them.”
Other Key Findings
The YouGov study includes a number of interesting data points around cannabis. A curious one relates to the upcoming 4/20 holiday — the unofficial day of marijuana. Per the research firm, 44% of American cannabis consumers believe April 20 should be recognized as a national holiday.
Beyond oddities, some other important findings of the study include:
- 44% of the parents with children under 18 who declared having used cannabis said they had tried it for the first time in the past year.
- 43% of seniors (aged 65 or more) who use cannabis also gave it a shot for the first time in the past year.
- Consumption frequency is the same among men and women.
- 64% of cannabis consumers believe that if more people embraced the herb, the world would be “a better place.”
The report also looked into the reasons behind America’s cannabis use:
- 56% of respondents said they use cannabis to relieve anxiety and/or stress.
- 48% said they use it to help with sleep.
- 48% consume it to enhance moods.
- Anxiety and stress are the top reasons for cannabis consumption across all different age groups.
Preferences by region:
- People in the Northeast are the most likely (64%) to consume cannabis for anxiety/stress relief.
- People in the West Coast and the South consume cannabis socially more often than the rest of the country.
- People in the South are more likely (32%) to consume cannabis for intimacy
- People in the Midwest are consuming more (61%) edibles and beverages than the rest of America.
Some 4/20 Data
“I think this year’s 4/20 is shaping up to be a perfect storm with increased consumption over the last year, more people being vaccinated and comfortable being around others, as well as a significant number of new consumers entering the cannabis market,” said Jason Erkes, CCO of Cresco Labs.
Back to 4/20 celebrations, the study showed that:
- 57% of cannabis consumers believe 4/20 is a day for rest, relaxation, and wellness.
- 50% of people aged 21 to 54 said they will “try or will consider trying” a new product on 4/20 this year.
- 60% of cannabis consumers aged 21 to 34 disclosed plan to try a new form of cannabis on 4/20.
- 25% of men said they plan to try find deals and sales on 4/20.
- 20% of female respondents said they are planning a day of wellness.
- 53% of cannabis consumers plan to celebrate 4/20 in company this year, either virtually or in person.
- 11% of Americans aged 21 or more anticipate celebrating 4/20 this month.
“Our study with YouGov showed that 25% of all cannabis consumers tried cannabis for the first time this past year which means there are a lot of new consumers to celebrate and partake in observing the day. In addition, more than half of those surveyed said they would try a new product or form in their observance of 4/20 which should certainly help fuel retails sales,” voiced Erkes.
Rivera concluded, “We are on a mission to normalize and professionalize the shopping experience so consumers feel comfortable and confident adding cannabis to their everyday wellness. We believe that 4/20 should be a mainstream and inclusive holiday, and this data set shows that people all over America are planning to embrace it in new ways this year.”