Cannabis has been legalized for recreational or medical use in 28 states plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. In states like Colorado, Oregon and Washington have had a recreational marijuana market for over a couple of years now with sales surpassing a billion dollars in Colorado and Washington. Soon California, the sixth largest economy in the world, is going to be implementing a recreational program and there are already multiple states looking to legalize in one form or another during the next election cycle. Consumer data has never been more valuable, and up until this point, has been hard to collect because of self-reporting fears related to prohibition. To collect data we used an anonymous survey via internal lists and social media contacts, and also with the help of these organizations, BioTrackTHC, Marijuanomics, Humbolt’s Finest, Salar Media Group, Merry Jane, The Grow Division, The Daily Leaf and Magnetic Magazine, we were able to gather demographic and behavioral data from 537 consumers over two months with 72.85% living in states with a legal Cannabis program and 27.15% who live in prohibition states.
Yielding more information than from point-of-sale systems that do not collect demographic data and also reaching an audience that has up until recently refrained from self-reporting, we found a treasure trove of behavioral and demographic information that will be useful for policymakers, market analysts, and businesses when making important policy decisions and in business planning. We found that 63.52% have been consuming cannabis for over 10 years and that 84.28% of Cannabis consumers use cannabis daily. The three data points that we found most interesting were related to gender, cannabis spend and edibles preferences.
The most profound finding in our report was that that majority of respondents were women by over a 15% margin. When compared to other online behavior studies, which we show in the report that men are more likely to participate in online surveys. It is well known that women make the majority of purchasing and family healthcare decisions also that women have a strong leadership presence in the new Cannabis industry. There are a multitude of reasons why there are more women respondents, which we cover in the report. Regardless, the fact that there are more women Cannabis consumers than previously thought shows that women are a force to be reckoned with in the new industry on a multitude of levels.
Combined, over 42% of cannabis consumers spend more than $200 per month on Cannabis. Economists are trying to determine the potential value of the Cannabis industry over the next decade and beyond. Some predict the industry will reach $50 billion by 2016. Our data shows that Cannabis consumers, which currently make up 13% of the population, spending $200 per month could yield $89 billion per year, while spending $300 per month could yield up to $149.2 billion in sales and potential of $8 billion to $14.9 billion in annual revenue if taxed at a rate of 10%. These numbers represent purchases and do not reflect the total value of the Cannabis industry when considering the ancillary market, which shows that the Cannabis industry has a potential to be well over $150 billion.
We also discovered that there is a large market for edibles that are 10 milligrams or less. Combined, almost 30% of Cannabis consumers prefer edibles that are up to 10 milligrams, followed by 25 milligrams at around 18%. Other data in the study shows that Cannabis consumers do not consume edibles as frequently as other products, which can contribute to lower tolerances. There is also a growing trend of microdosing cannabis edibles. Microdoses are also a safe and effective way of introducing Cannabis edibles to new Cannabis consumers.
All of the data in the report is very useful and paints a story of a Cannabis consumers as regular “everyday” people who are habitual consumers and use Cannabis for both medical and social reasons. The data tells us that Cannabis consumers are contributing members of society who now comprise the age groups of voters and household decision makers, the same age group that makes the majority of purchases who also happen to be women. The data also shows that many Cannabis consumers continue to purchase Cannabis on the black market, which is related to a variety of issues that can be solved by making Cannabis more easily accessible since the demand exists.
Finally, the data in the report also show that Cannabis consumers use Cannabis for both medicinal and recreational purposes. This underscores the policy quagmire of how to schedule or legalize and regulate cannabis, specifically as a medical or as a recreational substance. Cannabis consumers will continue to use the plant as both regardless of how policies are created, and Cannabis cannot be made to fit into one existing regulatory box. This report brings Cannabis consumers to the table as major stakeholders in all aspects of the emerging Cannabis industry and will have a major impact on business and policy decisions as the industry matures and standards are set in place.
 Kaplan, j. (2016). Cannabis industry expected to be worth $50 billion by 2026. Bloomberg. Retrieved May 1, 2017 from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-12/cannabis-industry-to-expand-to-50-billion-by-2026-analysts-say
 One in eight U.S. adults say they smoke marijuana. Gallup Poll. Retrieved April 14, 2017, from http://www.gallup.com/poll/194195/adults-say-smoke-marijuana.aspx
 Robinson, M. (2016). ‘Microdosing’ is the future of marijuana. Business Insider. Retrieved May 3, 2017, from http://www.businessinsider.com/marijuana-microdosing-2016-10