Skip to Main Content

Private Retailers Winning Market Share

Cannabis Retailer recently commissioned Caddle Insights to survey 9,599 Canadians in April 2023 on their cannabis shopping habits, where they purchase cannabis from, the products they purchase, and their average spend. Consumer opinion varied widely based on age, gender, and location. Here’s what the survey found.

Cannabis Purchases in Past Three Months

18% of respondents purchased cannabis in the past three months. 14% of females purchased cannabis in the past three months, versus 23% of males.

Gen Z had the highest number of respondents that purchased cannabis in the past three months at 27% followed by Millennials at 24%.

Where Cannabis Purchases Were Made

Private retail stores were the top location choice for Canadians to purchase cannabis products, while unlicensed retail websites were the least popular:

·        24.7% of respondents purchased cannabis at a private retail store
·        21.3% of respondents purchased cannabis on a licensed retailer website
·        19.9% of respondents purchased cannabis at a government retail store
·        18.3% of respondents purchased cannabis on a government website
·        6.4% of respondents purchased cannabis on a licensed producer website
·        4.2% of respondents purchased cannabis on an unlicensed retailer website
·        5.2% of respondents purchased cannabis at other locations

Unlike the overall survey results, government retail stores were more popular among females. 24.6% of females purchased cannabis at government stores, followed by 19.6% at licensed retailer websites.

As shown in Table One, greatest gen veered the furthest away from the average Canadian. 65.3% said they purchase cannabis products from other locations, 25% purchase from a government website, and only 9.7% purchase from a licensed retailer website.

Private retail stores were most popular among millennials and baby boomers, while government retail stores were most popular with Gen X.

When it comes to online options, greatest gen and Gen Z favoured government websites over licensed retailer websites for their cannabis purchases, while all other generations purchased slightly more on licensed retailer websites.

Table One: Where most cannabis product purchases were made by age

Location Greatest Gen
(1900-1945)
Baby Boomers
(1946-1964)
Gen X
(1965-1980)
Millennials
(1981-1996)
Gen Z
(1997-2005)
Private retail 0% 27% 23.3% 27.2% 21.5%
Licensed retailer website 9.7% 25.1% 21.6% 19.6% 21.0%
Government retail store 0% 17.6% 22.9% 21.1% 17.4%
Government website 25% 14.2% 17.1% 17.9% 23.8%
LP website 0% 5.5% 5.7% 6.7% 7.8%
Unlicensed retailer website 0% 4.7% 2.8% 3.6% 6.4%
Other 65.3% 5.9% 5.6% 3.9% 2.2%

Factors Determining Where Cannabis Purchases Were Made

Price, product quality, and availability were the top three factors that determine where Canadians purchase cannabis products:

• 50% Price
• 43% Product Quality
• 30.1% Availability
• 17.8% Product Assortment
• 17.7% Ingredients
• 15.5% Shopping Experience
• 10.1% Privacy
• 9.5% Security
• 4.5% Packaging
• 7.8% Other

These top three factors were consistent among females and males.

As shown in table two, the top three factors were mostly consistent among ages with the exception of greatest gen. The majority of this generation (65.3%) said other factors determine where they purchase cannabis products, followed by price, product quality, and availability.

Table Two: Top three factors that determine where cannabis products are purchased by age

Factor Greatest Gen
(1900-1945)
Baby Boomers
(1946-1964)
Gen X
(1965-1980)
Millennials
(1981-1996)
Gen Z
(1997-2005)
Price 31.4% 53.4% 51.0% 51.4% 46.1%
Product Quality 31.4% 41.0% 50.3% 41.3% 39.3%
Availability 25.0% 32.7% 25.1% 29.8% 34.2%

Average Monthly Spend on Cannabis Products

The majority of Canadians spend an average of less than $20 per month on cannabis products:

·        28.1% spend under $20 per month
·        21.7% spend $60 or more
·        17.7% spend $20 to $29
·        15.5% spend $30 to $39
·        9.3% spend $40 to $49
·        7.6% spend $50 to $59

As shown in Table Three, slightly more females than males spend under $20 per month at 31.3% versus 26.2% males. Similarly, slightly more females than males spend over $60 per month at 23.2% versus 21.0% males.

Table Three: Average monthly spend on cannabis products by gender

Average Spend Males Females
Under $20 26.2% 31.3%
$60 or more 21.0% 23.2%
$20 to $29 18.7% 16.1%
$30 to $39 15.8% 14.5%
$40 to $49 10.5% 7.4%
$50 to $59 7.8% 7.6%

Average monthly spend also varied by age. As shown in Table Four, the majority of greatest gen spend $40 to $49 per month (33.8%), while the majority of baby boomers spend under $20 (27.4%).

Gen X is quite divided, with 25.7% of respondents spending under $20 versus 22.5% spending $60 or more per month. A similar pattern is seen with millennials: 27.3% spend under $20 while 23.3% of respondents spend $60 or more per month. The majority of Gen Z spend an average of less than $20 per month (33.2%).

Table Four: Average monthly spend on cannabis products by age

Average Spend Greatest Gen
(1900-1945)
Baby Boomers
(1946-1964)
Gen X
(1965-1980)
Millennials
(1981-1996)
Gen Z
(1997-2005)
Under $20 25.0% 27.4% 25.7% 27.3% 33.2%
$60 or more 6.4% 17.7% 22.5% 23.3% 22.4%
$20 to $29 25.0% 11.0% 15.6% 22.0% 19.1%
$30 to $39 9.7% 22.3% 14.9% 14.7% 11.8%
$40 to $49 33.8% 12.7% 10.4% 6.6% 8.2%
$50 to $59 0.0% 8.9% 10.9% 6.1% 5.3%

Top Cannabis Products Purchased

Edibles, flowers, and pre-rolls were the top products purchased by Canadians in the last three months:

·        34.2% purchased edibles
·        30.0% purchased flower
·        23.4% purchased pre-rolls
·        20.0% purchased vapour pens
·        16.5% purchased oil
·        13.7% purchased beverages
·        11.1% purchased capsules
·        9.9% purchased topicals
·        9.7% purchased concentrates
·        4.0% purchased other

Edibles, flower, and pre-rolls were the top three categories among females, while flower was slightly more popular among males, followed by edibles and pre-rolls.

There was wider variation among ages, as shown in Table Five. Baby boomers, millennials, and Gen Z were consistent with the Canadian average, with edibles, flowers, and pre-rolls as the top three categories they purchased over the last three months.

Gen X saw slight variation: 38.9% purchased edibles, followed by 35.7% flowers and 19.8% vapour pens. Pre-rolls were a close third at 19.7%.

Consistent with other survey questions, greatest gen saw the biggest deviation from the Canadian average. 33.8% of respondents purchased other categories, followed by 34.7% oils, and 25.0% flowers and capsules.

Table Five: Cannabis products purchased in the last three months by age

Product Greatest Gen (1900-1945) Baby Boomers (1946-1964) Gen X (1965-1980) Millennials (1981-1996) Gen Z (1997-2005)
Edibles 6.4% 33.5% 38.9% 37.5% 25.3%
Flower 25.0% 19.7% 35.7% 33.6% 27.0%
Pre-rolls 0.0% 21.9% 19.7% 25.3% 27.3%
Vapour Pens 0.0% 12.0% 19.8% 21.9% 25.1%
Oil 34.7% 17.8% 15.9% 17.6% 13.4%
Beverages 6.4% 12.6% 11.6% 20.2% 7.1%
Capsules 25.0% 9.5% 10.6% 9.9% 14.1%
Topicals 0.0% 11.0% 8.9% 9.4% 11.5%
Concentrates 0.0% 5.3% 9.3% 11.4% 11.9%
Other 33.8% 6.0% 2.8% 3.6% 2.8%

Photo credit: Sevenpoint Interiors

Tags: Boomers (6), cannabis consumer (9), cannabis consumption (25), cannabis purchases (8), consumer data (26), consumption lounges (7), Gen Z (20), illicit market (21), millennials (19)