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What Does the Modern Cannabis Customer Look Like?

A look at key details of Weedmaps’ 2021 cannabis report with an assist from former NBA player and cannabis entrepreneur Al Harrington.

The late Nate Dogg famously Dr. Dre’s 2000 masterpiece “The Next Episode” with the iconic words “smoke weed every day”, a mantra that has resonated for more than two decades since. As part of Weedmaps’ in-depth exploration of the state of cannabis in 2021, many people are following Dre’s lead.

As part of an impressively comprehensive survey of 1,000 cannabis consumers, 40% said they consume their choice of cannabis or CBD every day, compared to 30% a few days a week, 13% weekly, 8% once a month, 7% a few times a year and 3% once every other month. 

“When you look at the industry and how we were labeled an essential business last year when everything else shut down, it makes sense,” Al Harrington, Viola’s founder and CEO, told Boardroom. “A lot of people support our mission at Viola, so when they find products they like, they tend to come back regularly.”

And just like our previous report on cannabis trends, millennials are leading the way in both daily consumption at 42% and a few times a week at 34%. But across every demographic, from the 21-24 Gen Z to the 67 and older senior Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation, the majority of those surveyed partake at least a few times every week. Our oldest Americans, not surprisingly, are also the most likely to consume just a few times a year.

When it comes to who Americans partake with, 66% say they prefer to consume alone or just with one or two other people rather than in larger groups. This sentiment applies to 69% of men and an overwhelming 83% of Younger Baby Boomers, defined by Weedmaps in the 57-66 demographic.

“For many,” the report noted, “this is a personal practice that has a lasting impact on how they live, work and play.”

How cannabis consumers live, work and play also applies to whether they prefer to combine flowers, edibles or CBD with anything else in an ideal scenario. Most people, the survey showed, are still purists, with 56% preferring to use cannabis only in their ideal imbibing scenario. A 21% minority prefers to use mostly cannabis with some alcohol, while 12% prefers equal amounts cannabis and alcohol.

“Some people choose to wind down after a long day with a beer or a glass of wine and others choose cannabis,” Harrington said. “With mass legalization becoming a bigger topic of conversation nationally, we’ve seen consumers are interested in new types of products from drinks and edibles to smaller pre-rolls they can take on the go.”

Weedmaps research showed that 30% of millennials see using cannabis as the same as drinking a glass of your favorite beer, wine or liquor, meaning that they view these forms of consumption as relatively interchangeable. It’s a fast-growing shift in the overall collective mindset among younger people, which is reflective in how the traditional beer, wine and spirits category now includes cannabis products when reporting sales and consumer trends.

“As more states make cannabis legal, the data trends suggest that consumer sentiment and usage will evolve, creating a dynamic and competitive marketplace,” the Weedmaps report said. “The fight for attention, relevance and preference will continue to be shaped by shifts in consumer sentiment toward ‘vice’ categories. As cannabis consumers and the canna-curious explore what’s right for them, we can expect to see this metric evolve over time.”

About The Author
Shlomo Sprung
Shlomo Sprung
Shlomo Sprung is a Senior Staff Writer at Boardroom. He has more than a decade of experience in journalism, with past work appearing in Forbes, MLB.com, Awful Announcing, and The Sporting News. He graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 2011, and his Twitter and Spotify addictions are well under control. Just ask him.