VIDEO: High Society! Defining The New Marijuana Consumer
Welcome to my latest Weed Report. The article below is a condensed transcript; my video contains additional details and several charts.
Put aside the stereotypes. Cannabis consumers are not just stoners: They are high-achieving corporate leaders, investors, doctors, lawyers, mothers, teachers, creatives, Olympic athletes…you name it.
Whether you use marijuana or not is beside the point. Whether you think marijuana legalization is beneficial or immoral also is beside the point. The legalization train has left the station and no politician can stop it.
A new report released by the research group New Frontier Data assesses the latest consumer preferences and behaviors related to marijuana. Investors need to understand these distinctions, to pick the right investments. Let’s examine the salient details.
According to the report, 42% of U.S. adults say they have used cannabis and will likely use it again, and 37% are “current consumers,” those who use pot at least annually and plan to use it again in the future.
As of July 2023, 38 states and the District of Columbia allow the medical use of cannabis products. Adult (i.e., recreational) use is allowed in 23 states and DC. That means 48% of the total U.S. population lives in a state where recreational marijuana is legal, and 26% in states where only medical marijuana is legal. If you combine the two categories, it translates into 74% of the population living in a state that has some sort of framework for legal pot.
Flower is by far the most popular form of marijuana. “Flower” refers to the smokeable, leafy part of a cannabis plant. Flower derives its popularity from its versatility and ease of use. It can be rolled into a joint or blunt; it can be smoked using a pipe or bong. It’s even usable for cooking (think brownies).
For many marijuana consumers, flower confers greater pleasure because it’s tactile and a convenient vehicle for social situations and sharing.
Legal cannabis sales in the U.S. totaled $30 billion in 2022 and are projected to surpass $35 billion in 2023.
If the pace of state-level legalization continues in the absence of federal policy reform, legal cannabis sales are projected to reach $71 billion by 2030. If that pace stagnates, it would still reach $58 billion.
The biggest age group of cannabis consumers is ages 25-34; the percentages steadily get smaller after that age category. Among all current users, 57% are under the age of 45.
By racial and ethnic identity, whites constitute the biggest group of users, at 63%. However, blacks continue to be disproportionately arrested for breaking marijuana laws, with an arrest rate about 3.5% greater than for whites.
The breakdown by gender is 46% women, 54% men. Women are more likely to consume edible products, while men report more smoking, vaporizing and the use of concentrates such as hash and oils.
As you’d expect from a political standpoint, liberals are more commonly found to imbibe marijuana than conservatives, 36% to 29% respectively. What’s interesting to me is that use by conservatives has gotten as high as 29%. Pot has long been a political football in the blue state/red state culture wars. But apparently, the right side of the political spectrum is warming to marijuana.
Marijuana is increasingly a regular habit, like alcohol, coffee or tea, with 33% reporting that they use it once every day or two, and 21% once a week to once a month.
In a statistic that bodes well for future marijuana growth, 37% report their use has increase from a year ago and 13% say it has decreased. It’s also worth noting that as the state-level legalization of marijuana proliferates, consumers are publicly and unabashedly including marijuana in their holiday celebrations.
As cannabis and psychedelics enter the mainstream, some related equity investments are superb. But many others are not. You need to conduct due diligence.
That’s where my publication, Marijuana Profit Alert, comes in. By applying my proprietary screening methodologies, I pinpoint for subscribers the most attractive plays on the psychotropic revolution. To learn more, click here.
John Persinos is the chief investment strategist of Marijuana Profit Alert.