A new class of Cannabis Consumers is reshaping marijuana culture. These individuals break the ‘out of it’ stoner stereotype in favor of feeling more ‘present’ and ‘mindful’ while they consume cannabis. They also actively seek out cannabis products that are high quality, high-end and often artfully branded and packaged.
According to a new study by Miner and Co. Studio, of 800 Cannabis Consumers surveyed (all of whom purchase the rapidly growing category of ‘branded’ cannabis products), today’s Cannabis Consumer looks decidedly different than the traditional ‘stoner’ stereotype.
88% consider themselves part of a new cannabis culture – identifying as social, sophisticated and professional individuals rather than lazy loners.
Based on survey responses, they are:
- 30 years old on average
- 65% male; 35% female
- 65% have a household income of $75K or more
- 84% employed full-time
- 63% married or living with a significant other
- 42% parents of children <18
- 49% Democrat; 45% Republican
Mindful, Present, Focused vs. Stoned
The overwhelming majority of these Cannabis Consumers are consuming cannabis and cannabis products to enhance their daily and social experiences. 95% prefer a high that allows them to be ‘present’, ‘mindful’ and/or ‘focused’ and less than 1 in 3 say they consume cannabis to feel ‘stoned’, ‘zonked’ and/or ‘out of it.’
Cannabis has become an integral part of their overall well-being, with 9 in 10 stating they include cannabis as part of their wellness program alongside diet and exercise. For many, cannabis is also seen as a healthier, less addictive and more natural alternative to substances like alcohol, OTC and prescription drugs.
Brand, Packaging, & Product Matter
These Cannabis Consumers are active buyers with money to spend. 65% make more than $75,000 per year and more than 90% are at least somewhat familiar with, and interested in, learning more about various products, strains and different types of highs, portions and dosages.
With 93% consuming cannabis at least once a week, they are actively shopping and are open to trying new products. The importance of good branding and packaging is now quickly growing – with 80% indicating that attractive packaging is important in their decision to purchase.
Having a celebrity-backed brand is also seen as a positive, especially when that celebrity has ‘cannabis clout’ like Willie Nelson, Snoop Dog and Whoopi Goldberg. 6 in 10 say that a celebrity association is at least somewhat important to them when choosing to try a new cannabis brand.
However, consistent quality is key for them to keep purchasing a cannabis product, with over 90% saying they adopt brands based on flavor, taste and the type of high.
Recognizing a New Consumer Segment
More than 20% of U.S. adults now have recreational access to cannabis. According to Robert Miner, President of Miner & Co. Studio, “understanding this new Cannabis Consumer isn’t just important for these new and growing cannabis brands that market to them. Almost every major brand will have a portion of their customer base who are Cannabis Consumers.”
“In the new political and social landscape, mass media’s portrayal of Cannabis Consumers will need to evolve as well. While TV and movies have unquestionably played a powerful role in driving awareness and acceptance of cannabis as a normal part of our lives and culture, media is still stuck propagating the stoner stereotype such that anyone who consumes cannabis becomes the modern equivalent of Otis, the town drunk in Andy Griffith’s Mayberry – hapless, bumbling and out of it. Just as drinking a beer doesn’t mean someone is a drunk or an alcoholic – simply consuming cannabis doesn’t make him or her a zoned out stoner. Media has an opportunity to present the new Cannabis Consumer in a more positive light to overcome the stoner stereotype that still casts a stigma on the consumers in this vast and growing market.”