Americans think their cannabis is safer and greener than it actually is, according to a new study by the Harris Poll.
The nationwide study reveals consumer confusion around U.S. standards for cannabis product safety and quality, showing a widely held but inaccurate assumption that cannabis products have the same basic protections that exist for food, pharmaceuticals and personal care products in the United States.
According to the results, 72% of Americans and 80% of cannabis consumers think cannabis products are grown and produced using consistent product safety standards (regardless of which state they are legally purchased in). In addition, 81% of Americans and 84% of cannabis consumers think that no matter where they are located, the businesses licensed to grow and produce cannabis products must meet consistent environmental standards. And 77% of Americans and 81% of cannabis consumers believe cannabis employers are held to the same health and safety standards for their workers as every other industry.
The online survey of more than 2,000 adults — 1,220 of whom have used cannabis products — was conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of SICPA, a leading provider of regulatory compliance solutions, and the Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards (FOCUS).
“Our new survey shows Americans are wholly misinformed about the lack of basic safety and quality protections for cannabis products in many states,” said Karen Gardner, chief marketing officer of SICPA US. “Even cannabis consumers themselves aren’t aware that in states where products are legal, there are no uniform standards, leaving lots of room for unsafe, poor-quality products on the market.”
Other results from the poll found that 84% of Americans overall and 84% of cannabis consumers support setting federal standards for product safety and quality for cannabis products produced or sold in the U.S. Similarly, 83% of Americans overall and 83% of cannabis consumers support the federal government setting standards for environmental protections that must be met by the U.S. cannabis industry. The poll also found that 74% of those surveyed support federal decriminalization and 78% support legalization.
Among cannabis users, the poll found that 77% would rather buy organic products and 63% support buying from “historically disadvantaged groups.” Also, 58% of consumers are “overwhelmed by the variety of choices” in cannabis products at retail stores.