Whoa! New report finds that many Americans use cannabis

One in four Americans currently uses cannabis and reports that they have tried some form of cannabis in the past twelve months. That’s a sharp increase since 2018 *, when just 16% of adults in the US reported current consumption, an increase of 56% in just two years. In addition, 23% of current cannabis users say they tried cannabis for the first time in the past year, suggesting that the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with expanded state legalization, has rapidly accelerated the uptake and acceptance of cannabis in America .

These results are part of a national study conducted by global opinion and data company YouGov in partnership with Sunnyside, the national retail brand of Cresco Labs. The study, conducted in March 2021, looked at the cannabis use, attitudes, and purchasing behavior of nearly 5,000 Americans representative of the U.S. population.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels

The main results of the study show that cannabis is attracting new users from different populations:

  • 44% of parents who use cannabis with children under the age of 18 tried it for the first time in the past year.

  • 43% of seniors (65+) who use cannabis have tried it for the first time in the past year.

  • Men and women use cannabis equally often during the year, month, week, or day.

  • 62% of women believe that the 420 is no longer just for stoners / heavy cannabis users.

  • 62% of parents who use cannabis believe that celebrating 420 has become more acceptable.

“We were curious to learn how current conditions have affected consumer attitudes and cannabis use behavior before we await an unprecedented 420 celebration,” said Cris Rivera, SVP of Retail Marketing and Customer Experience at Cresco Labs. “Whether it’s the stressors of a global pandemic or improved accessibility due to expanded government decriminalization, cannabis has become the leading CPG category for research as people flock to pharmacies to discover the range of novel formats and modern products available to them. “

RELATED: Why Cannabis Operators Expect a Record 420 Despite Coronavirus Concerns

Earlier this month, New Mexico became the 17th state to legislate adult cannabis use, shortly after the announcements legalizing adult use in New York, New Jersey and Virginia. A total of 37 states and the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have approved comprehensive, publicly available medical cannabis programs.

As cannabis legalization continues to sweep the US, beliefs and behaviors regarding 420, once considered a “stoner holiday,” are increasingly mainstream and inclusive. According to the YouGov study, 44% of cannabis users believe that 420 should be recognized as a national holiday.

ground cannabis on clear plastic bagPhoto by GRAS GREEN via Unsplash

How will America celebrate 420 this year?

  • 57% of cannabis users consider 420 a national day of rest, relaxation and wellbeing.

  • 50% of 21-54 year olds will try a new product on 420 this year.

  • 60% of young cannabis users (21-34) plan to try a new form of cannabis 420.

  • 57% of parents who use cannabis with children under 18 plan to try a new form of cannabis at 420.

  • 46% of men plan to try a new product at 420 while 25% of men plan to shop for deals.

  • 20% of women plan a wellness day.

  • 53% of cannabis users plan to celebrate 420 with others this year, either in person or virtually.

“As one of America’s leading retailers of medicinal and adult cannabis products, our mission is to normalize and professionalize the shopping experience so that consumers can feel comfortable and secure when adding cannabis to their daily wellbeing,” said Rivera. “We believe 420 should be a mainstream and inclusive holiday, and this dataset shows that people across America plan to use it in new ways this year.”

RELATED: How New York Just Got To Be The Newest Global Cannabis Tourism Destination

According to YouGov, people’s cannabis preferences vary by region:

  • The northeast is most likely (64%) to use cannabis to relieve anxiety and stress.

  • People on the south and west coasts use cannabis on social occasions more than the rest of the country.

  • The south is more likely (32%) to use cannabis for intimacy reasons than the rest of the country.

  • The Midwest (61%) consumes more food and drink than the rest of America.

  • 74% of Midwestern users and 64% of cannabis users believe the world would be a better place if more people accepted cannabis.

This article originally appeared in the Green Market Report and was republished with permission.

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