Marijuana Consumer Trends Illuminated in New Study

Marijuana Consumer Trends Illuminated in New Study

Washington D.C.’s marijuana analytics firm, New Frontier Data, along with Baker, a company that specializes in software and marketing, worked together to create a 400 page report detailing consumer trends in marijuana. The report was released to the Statesman Journal on Tuesday. It reviews shopping trends and the differences between the medical and recreational marijuana buyers, including how much was spent by buyers in each industry. The report is so thorough that it is able to create accurate forecasts of how the industry is growing and how many new jobs could be brought in as a result.

Medical Marijuana Patients Spending Significantly More

cannabis consumer report shows preference for concentrates and edibles
Consumers showed a marked preference for concentrates and edibles over herb.

Interestingly enough, the report shows that medical marijuana patients spend a lot more on marijuana than recreational buyers. They are likely to spend $136 per purchase on average whereas recreational users are more likely to spend approximately $49. Medical marijuana users also purchase cannabis on a much more frequent basis, averaging a trip to the local dispensary every 10 days, whereas recreational marijuana buyers purchase their goods every 2 weeks. Recreational users are likely to purchase marijuana on a Friday or Saturday whereas medical marijuana patients are more likely to top off their stash on a Thursday or Friday.

“The report is the first to reveal the growing discrepancy in spending between recreational and medical consumers in the fastest growing industry in the country,” says New Frontier.

Concentrates Are In

Another interesting fact was the decrease in recreational flower sales. In 2016, the demand for flower dropped from 85 percent to 64 percent in December. It also dropped in the medical sales from 87 percent to 65 percent. In this time the demand for concentrates skyrocketed from 10 percent to 21 percent in medical and 10 percent to 21 percent in recreational. Pre-rolled joint sales went up from 1 percent to 8 percent. This change in trends is reflective of how consumer’s needs have changed over time.

The Importance of Discretion

cannabis consumers opting for discretion in their purchases
Discretion is proving to be an important factor to cannabis consumers.

The availability of pre-rolled products, edibles and concentrates all reflect how consumers now have the option to engage in more discreet and mobile ways of consuming marijuana. Flower smoked in a pipe or bong can be smelt from a great distance while vaping and edibles can be consumed with discretion. Pre-rolled joints also give consumers convenience and mobility. All of these options are rarely offered on the black market and as people habituate to the legal industries, options like these can start to become more appealing.

New Frontier’s vice president John Kagia told the Cannabist, “Concentrate-filled vape pens and sophisticated, dosed edibles simply weren’t available in the illicit market.” He followed up saying, “you can smell a joint from a mile away, but vaping offers a discreet way to consume. Our society has also undergone a radical transformation in our views towards smoking tobacco, so the perceived benefits of vaping rather than smoking may also be one factor for the market shift.”

The report estimates that almost 18,000 jobs will be create in Oregon alone in the marijuana industry by 2020. This figure is likely to be reflective across the country in states with legal marijuana. Overall, the report gives everyone in the industry, a clear view of where things are at and where we are heading in the future.


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