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Are Cannabis Demographics Changing?

According to a new report by Maru Public Opinion, those open to cannabis and those opposed are split right down the middle. The report says that 41% of Canadians already consume cannabis and 9% are open to the idea, while 50% of Canadians said that they didn’t consume cannabis and had no intentions to. Last year, Statistics Canada’s Canadian Cannabis Survey reported that only 27% of Canadians admitted to using cannabis. This isn’t the only thing that’s changed, though.

Prevalence of Use

The report indicated that cannabis use has increased in nearly every province. According to Statistics Canada data, in Q4 2020, Ontario, BC, and Alberta hovered around 23%, 25%, and 21.7% respectively when it comes to the prevalence of use by their citizens. Now, Maru reports that 44% of Ontarians, 43% of British Columbians and 43% of Albertans have admitted to using cannabis. Quebec has the lowest number of cannabis users, reporting that only 35%.

 

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Not only that, but 49% of overall users reported an income of over $100,000 and 44% said they had post-secondary education, further smashing the stereotype of the “typical” cannabis user, and while the majority of cannabis users are men (45% versus 37% of women), cannabis users are becoming more diverse in their sexuality and gender identities.

According to a new report by Brightfield Group, cannabis users are getting older, as well. In Q1 2020, Brightfield Group found that 33% of users were under 30, but in the first quarter of this year, only one-quarter of users were in that age group.

Product Preferences

As the cannabis market reaches a new stage in Canada, customer preferences are changing when it comes to products as well.

Normally, dried flower’s market share is much higher than the 35% of respondents who said they smoke cannabis, as opposed to ingesting edibles (26%) or vaping (12%). In fact, Brightfield Group’s report found that between the third quarter of last year and Q1 2021, flower use by newbies dropped from 47% to 25%, and seem to have settled on gummies as their favourite product.

During the height of the pandemic, edibles pulled to the front of the pack, even surpassing flower, with 46% of pandemic cannabis users saying they consumed edibles and 45% saying they used flower. Maru also found that while 31% of users surveyed said they stopped using cannabis during lockdown, 15% said they tried cannabis for the first time during the pandemic.

Consumers have been perusing the market for a few years now; it’s fascinating to watch their preferences emerge.