New trends observed amongst Canadian cannabis consumers
Older, higher and fewer newbies: Four new trends in Canada's cannabis market
As Canada's cannabis market reaches another level of maturity, industry consultancy Brightfield Group sees a significant shift in how Canadian consumers engage with the product. Product usage and demographic profiles have shifted considerably since Canada legalized cannabis, offering producers and retailers alike a different perspective in what items could be a success or what could be deemed a failure. Here's a look at four trends observed by Brightfield in the Canadian market following a quarterly survey of 3,000 adult cannabis users released by the consultancy on Friday:
- More older users: While there was a presumption during the early days of legalization that older Canadians were a mostly "canna-curious" group, and that most sales would occur from a younger demographic, Brightfield found that the average consumer age has increased over the past year. Roughly one-quarter of cannabis users are under the age of 30 in the first quarter of 2021, down from 33 per cent observed a year earlier. And a majority of users are more likely to be male than female, a trend which has strengthened over the past year, Brightfield found.
- High demand for high THC: Canadian cannabis users who prefer their products with THC were found to be the most frequent consumers, with 48 per cent of those so-called "THC-dominant consumers" using marijuana at least once daily, while 28 per cent of them said they consume multiple times a day. Those same users are also seen to consume highly potent THC dried flower products, while spending on products with greater than 35 milligrams of cannabinoids rose three per cent in the first quarter of the year from the prior quarter.
- Fewer newbies: The amount of new people entering the cannabis market is trending down, a sign that the total consumer base may be plateauing in the Canadian market. Brightfield found that only 25 per cent of Canadian consumers who have used cannabis for less than two years consumed dried flower in the first quarter of the year, while 34 per cent consumed edibles. That's down from 35 per cent and 43 per cent from the prior three-month period, respectively, Brightfield found.
- Illicit market shift: Ontario cannabis consumers are increasingly moving away from the illicit market and engaging more with legal retail options as they become more widely available and convenient, according to Brightfield's data. Nearly one-quarter of Ontario survey respondents said they obtained their cannabis from an "informal dealer or delivery" in the first quarter of the year, while 34.5 per cent said they get their pot from a "friend". That's down from 38.4 per cent and 48.2 per cent, respectively. "This confirms that Ontario’s move to provide greater access is paying dividends by driving illicit market consumers toward legal channels, rather than keeping them incentivized to stay on the legacy market," said Jamie Schau, senior insights manager at Brightfield Group.
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“Marijuana, as I understand it, is less addictive than alcohol. So why is alcohol legal and marijuana isn’t?”
- Billionaire and major Republican Party donor Charles Koch on why he's investing $25 million to help legalize cannabis in the U.S.