The new “2021: Cannabis in America” report from online cannabis marketplace Weedmaps shows a decrease in stigmatization, an increase in brand awareness and the importance of social equity programs in an industry continuously becoming more and more professional.
Among the findings in the wide-ranging, 72-page report is that cannabis users are consuming more than ever before, with half saying their usage is up during the pandemic. Weedmaps data also shows that orders over the first half of 2021 increased by 55% over the same time period in 2020, with a “significant shift” to delivery, which increased 97% year-over-year from 2020, particularly among Gen Z shoppers.
The data also shows that while demand is remaining consistent, edibles are gaining in popularity and millennials are driving demand, though that demographic shows a slight preference for concentrates. However, according to the report, the increase in consumption is driven mainly by men as women were more likely to say their usage decreased during the pandemic.
Cannabis is also becoming more like a classic consumer packaged good as consumers are showing more brand loyalty, with a majority (52%) saying they have a favorite brand and half saying they believe branded products offer the best results. Nearly half of consumers (48%) say they only buy branded products.
Social equity remains at the front of mind for cannabis consumers, with 57% saying everyone should have access to the industry and that everyone benefits from a more inclusive industry. Nearly half of shoppers also say they want to patronize woman-owned (46%) or minority-owned (44%) businesses. However, only 13% of consumers say they actually know if their cannabis retailer reflects a specific ownership group.
There is also a “disconnect” in the data, in that while 44% of consumers say there is an opportunity to create a more fair and equitable industry, only 27% say they support social equity programs, with Generation X leading the social equity charge.
Generation X also holds the most positive view of legalization, with 36% believing the cannabis industry is a good way to raise tax revenues and cut down on illegal trafficking.
The insights in the Cannabis in America report were derived from Weedmaps’ orders data as well as research from four separate online surveys.
“Ultimately, this report represents the first steps of Weedmaps beginning to make its unparalleled levels of cannabis industry data available to policy makers, cannabis business holders and industry investors to help them make more informed and accurate decisions,” Chris Beals, CEO of WM Technology, said in a press release.
— Brian Beckley