Study shows 38 percent year over year increase in U.S. cannabis consumption

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190508005431/en/MRI-Simmons-Launches-Sales-Catalyst

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Cannabis has emerged from the shadows of its past and is now looking more vibrant and radiant than ever. Sweeping legislation has led to the mainstream infiltration of cannabis-based products which, in turn, has had an impact on the consumer demographic.

This was proved in a recent poll conducted by MRI-Simmons, which claims that a whopping 22 percent of adults in the United States are cannabis consumers. Titled, “the National Cannabis Study,” the statistics provided by MRI-Simmons a leading provider of American consumer insights paint a colorful picture of cannabis consumer behavior in the U.S. 

A primary takeaway from the MRI-Simmons cannabis study was that 17 percent of the total U.S. population consumes the plant at least once monthly. On a daily basis, seven percent of American adults use cannabis. Of that amount, one in five consumers are opting strictly for cannabis products containing the non-psychoactive compound CBD (cannabidiol). It is this specific cannabinoid that has contributed to the plant’s rebirth; constituting a $553.7 million market in the U.S. alone this year.

MRI-Simmons study: Researchers set out to compare cannabis consumption with the use of alternative substances

To get a clearer view of what other substances come out on top as the most frequently used among U.S. consumers, MRI-Simmons researchers asked respondents how often they tend to use cannabis, caffeine, herbal supplements and vitamins. The results showed that cannabis and herbal supplement consumption grew from the years 2018 to 2019. Caffeine and alcohol consumption, on the other hand, sunk a little.

Here is an overview of the statistics gathered in this area:

  • 16 percent of respondents used cannabis in 2018, while 22 percent used the plant in 2019; representing +38 percent year-over-year (YoY) growth.
  • 36 percent of respondents used herbal supplements in 2018, while 43 percent used them in 2019; +19 percent YoY growth.
  • 74 percent of respondents used vitamins in 2018, while 76 percent used them in 2019; +3 percent YoY growth.
  • 67 percent of respondents consumed alcohol in 2018, while 65 percent enjoyed a drink in 2019; -3 percent YoY growth
  • 90 percent of respondents used cannabis in 2018, while 87 percent used the plant in 2019; -3 percent YoY growth.

MRI-Simmons cannabis study: Attitudes on cannabis legalization are changing in the U.S.

Back in 2018, 56 percent of Americans were in support of full cannabis legalization in the U.S. Since this time, more people have warmed up to the prospect of legalizing the green plant, with the results of this MRI-Simmons study revealing that six in 10 Americans are now in favor of legalization.

The median age of pro-cannabis Americans was 44, whereas 34 percent of supporters were aged between 18 to 34. Individuals aged 50 and above were the least supportive of cannabis legalization in the U.S. this age group constituted 54 percent of votes.

MRI-Simmons cannabis study: Cannabis consumers think legalization could reduce black market activity and boost economy 

Although most older Americans opposed the idea of cannabis legalization in the U.S., the MRI-Simmons study confirmed that all age groups are supportive of legalization. Below, we highlight the key takeaways from this section of the study:

  • 64 percent of adults aged 18 and above/84 percent of cannabis consumers think cannabis will be legal nationwide within the next five years.
  • 66 percent of U.S. adults/86 percent of cannabis consumers say that cannabis legalization would minimize illicit drug trafficking.
  • 70 percent of U.S. adults/91 percent of cannabis consumers think that a legal cannabis market in the U.S. would boost tax revenue.
  • 36 percent of U.S. adults/73 percent of cannabis consumers say they closely follow new developments regarding legalization
  • 37 percent of U.S. adults/29 percent of cannabis consumers say communities are less safe with legalized cannabis.
  • 40 percent of U.S. adults/87 percent of cannabis consumers say they would try cannabis if it was legal in their place of residence.

MRI-Simmons cannabis study: Consumers are interested in cannabis-infused products

The findings of this MRI-Simmons study also showed that innovations in cannabis products are enticing more consumers to the market. Based on the results of this cannabis consumption study, U.S. adults were more drawn to infused teas, whereas self-confessed cannabis consumers didn’t really have a preference over teas or coffees; they liked both.

Let’s take a closer look at some consumer product preferences:

  • 29 percent of adults aged 18 and above/54 percent of cannabis consumers preferred infused teas
  • 28 percent of U.S. adults/41 percent of cannabis consumers preferred infused edibles
  • 28 percent of U.S. adults/47 percent of cannabis consumers preferred infused skincare products
  • 27 percent of U.S. adults/54 percent of cannabis consumers preferred infused caffeinated products, e.g. coffee
  • 25 percent of U.S. adults/50 percent of cannabis consumers preferred infused soft drinks
  • 23 percent of U.S. adults/45 percent of cannabis consumers preferred infused beauty products
  • 23 percent of U.S. adults/47 percent of cannabis consumers preferred infused bedding 
  • 21 percent of U.S. adults/46 percent of cannabis consumers preferred infused beer or cocktails 
  • 20 percent of U.S. adults/45 percent of cannabis consumers preferred infused liquor
  • 16 percent of U.S. adults/36 percent of cannabis consumers preferred infused dog treats.

Summary

In summary, cannabis is growing in popularity as a favored consumer product in the U.S. This is according to senior vice president of Innovation and Insights at MRI-Simmons, Karen Ramspacher, who believes that the CBD-only segment of consumers will likely see the most growth. Ramspacher says that this type of consumer will usually be young, multicultural, have a higher household income and be female; or all four.

“As consumer attitudes and behaviors continue to shift, MRI-Simmons’ National Cannabis Study will continue to provide perspective on cannabis within the broad range of product consumption, attitudes and lifestyle insights that marketers have come to trust,” Ramspacher concludes.

The 2019 MRI-Simmons cannabis study was carried out using a nationally representative online sample of more than 5,000 respondents.