Half of Canadian Cannabis Consumers are Millennials, According to Study

Published: January 22, 2019

Half of Canadian Cannabis Consumers are Millennials, According to Study

Just 13% of all Canadians report using cannabis frequently or occasionally, but almost half of them are Millennials. Canadian Millennials, defined as people between 22 and 39 years old, are the primary drivers of the newly legalized cannabis economy. And according to new data from Canada MONITOR, a study of Canadian consumer attitudes and trends, Millennial cannabis users represent a dynamic, digitally-fluent consumer group.

“Millennial cannabis consumers are far more tech-forward than Millennials who don’t partake,” says Casey Ferrell, VP and Head of U.S. and Canada MONITOR products at Kantar Consulting. “They are more likely to use smart watches, smart speakers, and mobile wallets. And they’re more involved in digital media like social networks and online streaming services.”

While understanding the digital ecosphere of Millennials is important to Canadian marketers, it is even more critical for a tech-savvy group like cannabis-using Millennials.

“These consumers enjoy online shopping more than non-cannabis-using Millennials,” adds Ferrell. “They’re comfortable engaging with brands on social media and posting online reviews, and more of them are Amazon Prime members.”

Despite lagging behind their non-using peers economically – they have less education and their median household income is around $15,000 CAD lower – Millennial cannabis users are leaders within their social groups in other ways: More than eight in 10 say they are usually one of the first people in their group of friends to accept new ideas or try new things.

They are also more status-oriented: The study found that 49% of Millennial cannabis consumers like to buy brands that show others they are successful, compared to 40% of Millennial non-consumers.

Additionally, Millennial cannabis consumers lead the way in interest in food and nutrition. Keeping up with the latest food trends is something 55% of them do, compared to 47% of Millennials who don’t use cannabis. However, overall wellness can be a challenge with this group – they’re twice as likely to have a disability of some kind, and less likely to say they’re managing their stress effectively.

“Although cannabis users are often portrayed negatively, the reality is much more complex and interesting,” said Scott Megginson, President of Kantar Canada. “Many millennial cannabis users are adventurous consumers whose curiosity and embrace of technology often makes them influencers within their social circles. It is worthwhile for marketers to look beyond the stereotypes and make an effort to further understand this group.”

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