It should come as no surprise that acceptance of medical and recreational cannabis is growing rapidly, both here in North America and around the world. A couple of recently published studies, however, have shed some interesting light on the commercial aspects of this burgeoning industry.
Advocates have long been stressing the economic benefits of legalizing cannabis, and this new information should help strengthen their cause.
Here are four fascinating behavioral patterns uncovered by the researchers behind these studies:
- The pop culture image of the lazy stoner, sprawled on the couch chain-smoking joints and watching TV is not a fair stereotype of the typical medical cannabis user. Rather, one study showed the majority of their survey participants incorporate cannabis into a largely healthy lifestyle; for instance, 42% participate in yoga or pilates classes, compared to only 21% of non-users. Medical cannabis users are also 20% more likely than non-users to regularly attend the gym.
- Despite the fact that most dispensaries seem to direct consumers to their often extensive supplies of dried cannabis flower, or “bud”, the sale of concentrates like oils and tinctures is quickly outranking the dried plant. Don’t assume this means smoking is decreasing in popularity, though: the purchase of pre-rolled joints has also increased in recent months. This data could mean more and more medical cannabis users are turning away smoking, which raises some health concerns, or it could simply indicate an increase in availability of these alternative cannabis products. Either way, dispensaries are keen to expand their offerings beyond bud, often providing their customers with edibles, concentrated capsules, shatter, topicals – and of course cannabis seeds!
- Wondering how much stock your medical cannabis dispensary needs? According to the study, medical cannabis users visit their dispensary more often than recreational users, and purchase more product while they’re there – they spend an average of $136 per visit, compared to the $49 spent by recreational users. The larger amounts make sense because, unlike recreational users who tend to take cannabis to relax at the end of the day – and not always every day – medical cannabis users often need to medicate on a regular basis throughout their day, in order to keep their pain or other symptoms at bay. (This could also explain the increase in concentrates, which offer subtler ingestion methods.)
- According to the study, medical cannabis sales in the US are expected to reach 5.3 billion dollars this year. That’s 55% of the total legal cannabis sales, which shows that while medical use is on the rise, there are still plenty of recreational users taking advantage of the general legalization offered in eight of the country’s more liberal-minded states.
Do any of these statistics surprise you? What’s the latest news you’ve heard that makes you hopeful for the continued success of medical and recreational cannabis? Share your stories with us by joining the discussion on Twitter or Facebook; we look forward to chatting with you!