Cannabis is now legal for recreational use in 11 US states, with another 33 allowing cannabis use for medical purposes. As more states legalize its use, it appears that the number of American adults who consume cannabis products – including marijuana and CBD – is on the rise. A full 22% of the 5,000 US adults surveyed for a study [download page] by MRI-Simmons report that they used cannabis in 2019, compared to the 16% who said the same a year earlier.
Although cannabis consumption has increased in the past year, its usage is still low compared to the consumption of other products. About 4 times as many adults consume caffeine (87%), 3 times as many drink alcohol (65%) and twice as many use herbal supplements (43%).
Cannabis consumption may be having an effect on alcohol consumption, though. Not only do 9 in 10 (91%) cannabis consumers think that cannabis is a healthier option than alcohol, but two-thirds (68%) have cut back on alcohol in favor of cannabis.
But who are these cannabis consumers? The study found that while cannabis users are more likely than average to be young (median age of 37), gender does not play a significant role, although CBD consumers are slightly more likely to be female (55% of the total). And, despite years of being depicted as counter-cultural “stoners” in movies and on TV, it turns out that today’s cannabis users are actually 30% more likely than average to be parents. The median household income of cannabis consumers is $73K – a figure which is almost exactly the US average.
These users are also active and social, being more likely than the average US adult to frequent bars or nightclubs, play basketball and dance. They are also more likely to think herbal supplements are effective and to eat organic.
For those brands targeting this niche group of shoppers, it turns out they are more likely to be spenders than savers (indexing at 16% above average), are more likely to let their children impact the brands they buy (16% above average) and expect brands to support social causes (12% above average). And, keeping in mind the importance of online reviews, cannabis consumers are also more likely to like sharing opinions by posting reviews (23% above average).
The full report can be found here.
About the Data: Results are based on a nationally representative online sample of more than 5,000 respondents.