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Gen Z Purchasing Less Cannabis

Cannabis Retailer recently commissioned Caddle Insights to survey 9,065 Canadians in August 2023 on their cannabis purchasing habits.

Cannabis Purchases in the Past 3 Months

17% of respondents purchased cannabis in the past three months. 14% of females purchased cannabis, versus 21% of males. This is relatively consistent with the survey results from the last five months.

In August, Gen Z and millennials had the highest number of respondents that purchased cannabis in the past three months at 20% and 23% respectively. Greatest Gen and Gen X had the lowest number of respondents at 14% and 16% respectively while 17% of baby boomers purchased cannabis.

These numbers have changed slightly since April 2023. More respondents in the oldest generations (Greatest Gen and baby boomers) have started to purchase cannabis, while the youngest generations (millennials and Gen Z) have seen a decline.

April 2023 May 2023 June 2023 July 2023 August 2023
Greatest Gen (1900-1945 4% 8% 7% 9% 14%
Baby Boomers (1946-1964) 12% 11% 11% 11% 17%
Gen X (1965-1980) 18% 17% 16% 16% 16%
Millennials (1981-1996) 29% 24% 24% 24% 23%
Gen Z (1997-2005) 28% 24% 25% 26% 20%

Preferred Way to Use Cannabis Products

Most respondents prefer to inhale (44.2%) or eat (29.9%) cannabis products with fewer respondents saying they like to apply it to their skin (10.9%) or drink it (10.5%).

Similar responses were seen when broken down by gender, but results varied when broken down by age group. However, inhale and eat were still the top preferred ways to use cannabis products across all age groups.

Inhale Eat Apply to Skin Drink Other
Greatest Gen (1900-1945 20.6% 73.0% 0.0% 6.4% 0.0%
Baby Boomers (1946-1964) 39.6% 28.2% 13.3% 7.4% 11.5%
Gen X (1965-1980) 43.8% 30.9% 7.8% 12.5% 5.0%
Millennials (1981-1996) 45% 31.7% 8.8% 12.8% 1.8%
Gen Z (1997-2005) 49.7% 23.3% 18.4% 6.6% 2.0%

In June, respondents were asked about the cannabis products they purchased most often and the results are consistent with those found in August. Flower and edibles were the most popular cannabis product purchased while beverages, capsules, and topicals were the least.

Reason for Using Cannabis

Relaxation and medical were respondents’ primary motivation for using cannabis products, while boredom and inspiration were the lowest. Similar responses were seen when broken down by gender.

However, when breaking down the results by age, a significantly higher number of baby boomers (33.4%) said their primary motivation for using cannabis products is medical while social motivation was higher than the average among Gen Z (22.9%).

Always going ‘against the grain,’ the majority of Greatest Gen respondents chose anxiety (38.6%) and inspiration (38.3%) as their primary motivations for using cannabis, while relaxation was the top motivation among millennials (34.0%).

Information Provided by Retailers

86% of respondents felt there is enough information provided to them by retailers when purchasing cannabis products while 14% said they seek additional information elsewhere.

Gen Z had the highest number of respondents likely to seek out additional information (21%) while the Greatest Gen had the lowest (5%).

Online Purchases

The majority of respondents purchased cannabis products online in the past three months from a licensed retailer or licensed producer.

Fewer female respondents (12.7%) said they purchased from an unlicensed website or producer compared to 21.8% of male respondents.

However, when broken down by age group, the oldest and youngest generations had the highest number of respondents that purchased cannabis in the past three months from an illicit source.

This is consistent with trends seen earlier this year; 84% of Greatest Gen and 46% of Gen Z respondents said they purchased illicit cannabis in the past three months.

Tags: Boomers cannabis purchases (8), cannabis consumption (25), consumer data (26), consumption lounges (7), Gen Z (20), illicit market (21), millennials (19), millennials cannabis consumer (8)