In a first-of-its kind report on adult-use/recreational cannabis consumer behaviors and preferences, recreational users reported sharp declines in household categories such as over-the-counter medications (OTC) and alcoholic beverages in states where legalization has been instituted. Over 20% of recreational consumers report using lower amounts of over-the-counter pain medications (-27%), sleep aids (-22%) and alcoholic beverages, including spirits (-21%) and beer (-20%)
The report, published by consumer behavior experts High Yield Insights, is the first to shed light on the behaviors, product and format preferences, and demographics of the evolving cannabis consumer in the wake of legalization. Recreational consumers report using cannabis products for a variety of reasons, from relaxation to pain relief to sleep assistance, putting cannabis in direct competition with alcohol and pharmaceuticals. Consumers also express greater demand for convenient cannabis product formats such as edibles and “pre-rolls” (premade marijuana cigarettes).
“We are just starting to grasp how legalization has impacted consumer behavior, be it spending, usage occasions, or shopping habits. Understanding these changes will lead to new growth opportunities for cannabis and further disruption for other categories,” said Mike Luce, cofounder of HighYield Insights and a 15-year veteran in consumer and market research. “Our findings uncovered promising consumer niches for the industry as well. For example, many older consumers (55+) are reengaging with marijuana, with 56 percent reporting a return to marijuana after having tried cannabis products at a younger age.”
As debates on legalizing recreational marijuana continue at the federal, state, and local levels, decision-makers have been relying solely on high-level data from markets like California and Colorado. Fact-based insights on the recreational consumer’s everyday behavior, including detailed data on marijuana usage and product preferences, have been limited.
The Recreational Cannabis Consumer report provides proprietary intelligence based on exclusive feedback from current recreational marijuana consumers in states where recreational use has been legalized. By limiting results only to current users, the findings best represent the mindset of today’s recreational consumer. In addition to preferences on products, strains, and formats, High Yield Insights uncovered valuable data on consumers’ perspectives more broadly. While some express concern regarding issues such as underage usage, 65 percent view legalization as positive for their communities. The report points out this insight and other opportunities for the market as well as risks to ongoing growth.
High Yield Insights will delve into the patient’s perspective in its upcoming Medical Marijuana Patient report set for release this summer, followed by unique insights into cannabis product categories in reports on Vaping & Smoking, Edibles and Topicals.
About High Yield Insights
High Yield Insights is a Chicago-based market research firm fostering constructive discussions in the cannabis market that produce well-grounded strategic decisions. From consumer behavior and product design to market viability, High Yield Insights provides customers with actionable intelligence and strategic recommendations. Founded by leading executives with 30+ years of combined experience working with consumer brands, pharmaceuticals, retail, and financial services, the firm is the first of its kind to focus on micro-level consumer behaviors and preferences.