Cannabis Taxes In 2022
By Matthew O'Brien
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Categorizing Cannabis Consumers
Breaking down the data on the different types of cannabis consumers…
There’s likely as many reasons to consume cannabis as there are cannabis consumers.
Nonetheless, as the cannabis industry continues to mature, it’s very valuable to categorize the different types of cannabis consumers around the world today.
Per BDSA, cannabis consumers typically fall under six main categories:
1) Medical Misgivings
This is a cannabis consumer who has recently turned to cannabis for general health and wellness. They’re willing to try new products and spend on quality.
This is a cannabis consumer who doesn’t consume often, usually only in social settings.
They rely on recommendations from staff to find what they need. Dispensaries should be ready to educate and make tailored product recommendations to the socializer.
Recreationalists consume for recreational and social reasons.
They are infrequent purchasers and more likely to inhale. They are sensitive to price and don’t have unlimited budgets.
4) Cannabis Advocate
This is a cannabis consumer who consumes cannabis as a major part in their overall health and wellness.
They consume frequently, are open to new products, and spend on quality. Targeting messaging around product loyalty and the benefits would be a good way to captivate this consumer.
5) Better Living Loyalist
The better living loyalist is an advocate for full legalization. They consume for recreational health and wellness. They’re frequent purchasers of cannabis.
6) Medically Motivated
This consumer might also be called a “medical purist” in some circles.
They’re a medically-focused consumer and they do not consume for recreational purposes. Dispensaries should carry an assortment of products to serve these customers, especially topicals.
Looking At Arizona’s Cannabis Consumers
This report also includes information about Arizona’s legal cannabis market and where these six consumer archetypes fall in:
- 17% are Socializers
- 17% are Medical Misgivings
- 16% are Recreationalists
- 8% are Medically Motivated
- 13% are Better Living Loyalists
- 29% are classified as the Cannabis Advocate
More Cannabis Consumer Archetypes
Additionally, a report from New Frontier Data and MJ Freeway breaks down the cannabis consumer into even more archetypes.
This report looks at the U.S. legal market as a whole, with the following figures representing American consumers nationwide.
1) Social Opportunists
17% of American cannabis consumers are Social Opportunists.
They consume a few times per year or less, often exclusively with others.
Interestingly enough, they’re the least likely to purchase their own cannabis and are “indifferent” to cannabis policy/issues.
2) Weekend Enthusiasts
11% of U.S cannabis consumers are Weekend Enthusiasts.
This demographic typically represents parents in their early 40s who consume cannabis “fairly often”, usually to relax and unwind.
Private dealers are often where Weekend Enthusiasts make their purchase. The report says this group cares “about quality, and most would not be satisfied with what they could get casually from friends.”
3) Silver Dabblers
Silver Dabblers represent 14% of cannabis consumers.
They are recreational consumers and partake a few times a month or less to relax.
4) Medical Purists
Medical Purists focus specifically on cannabis for medical ailments, and are estimated to represent 12% of American cannabis consumers.
Often, Medical Purists consume cannabis for pain management and reach for topical products, along with pills and edibles. They are less likely to be daily consumers.
5) Traditional Lifestylers
The report calls 14% of cannabis consumers Traditional Lifestylers. This demographic consumes cannabis daily.
According to the report, Traditional Lifestylers have typically low incomes but spend a lot on cannabis. They often live in illicit markets, and prefer smoking cannabis.
6) Modern Lifestylers
10% of cannabis consumers are Modern Lifestylers, and this group largely lives in recreational markets.
Modern Lifestylers consume the widest range of products over any other group and for a variety of reasons.
This consumer spends a lot and buys from the dispensary. They’re young, employed, and have high incomes. The report calls Modern Lifestylers the “ideal vision of the future” and “the cannabis consumer 2.0.”
7) Infrequent Conservatives
This group represents 9% of American cannabis consumers.
Infrequent Conservatives are usually older and lean politically conservative, often married and retired, too & they typically purchase cannabis from friends.
8) Discrete Unwinders
8% of U.S. cannabis consumers are Discrete Unwinders. This group consumes moderately and often for pain management or to relax.
The report says Discrete Unwinders are older mothers of children and started using cannabis younger than other cannabis consumers. “Yet, despite having a long history with cannabis, they never got comfortable being public about their use.”
9) Functional Dependents
5% of consumers are Functional Dependents. They consume a lot, spend a lot, and often drink heavily, too.
Functional Dependents often began consuming after the age of 20 and usually spend more than $100/month on cannabis.
It’s difficult to place cannabis consumers into different boxes because each of us consumes cannabis for different reasons.
With that being said, the different consumer archetypes do a great job of defining who consumers are in the industry today, which in turn helps cannabis companies produce products these consumers will love.
It’s also amazing to see conservatives, parents, and older consumers using cannabis as it highlights how far we’ve come with this plant and societal acceptance, but we also know there’s still a lot of work left to be done.
Check out the most active cannabis VC’s in 2021 in this Rows spreadsheet.
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