By Debra Borchardt
The stereotype of the cannabis consumer is a young guy with long hair and for extra points a tie-dye shirt. The reality is that a majority of cannabis consumers are professionals and steady customers for the dispensaries.
A new study from the Cannabis Consumers Coalition found that only 20 percent of cannabis consumers were from lower-income households. 35 percent make between $26,000 and $55,000 per year. The report also discovered that 27 percent have combined incomes over $75,000 and that they are professionals from all walks of life. The couch potato slacker is only a small part of the cannabis community.
These elevated consumers spend a lot of money on cannabis products each year – 19 percent spend $100 a month and 21 percent fork over $200 a month for marijuana. Premium customers spend over $300 a month on cannabis products. The average cannabis customer spends $600 a year
Larisa Bolivar, the author of the study noted that in a Gallup poll from 2016, 13 percent of the U.S. population said they currently consume marijuana. She says that means if marijuana were legalized across the country, there would be roughly 41 million potential customers. If these consumers spend the minimum amount of $600 a year, that equates to $24-billion in marijuana sales.
These findings have a ripple effect. “Cannabis consumers are professional adults who vote and have considerable power with their dollars to impact business revenue,” Bolivar wrote in her report.
If the regulated market continues growing at this pace, it could become a $100-billion market and at that level becomes a large contributor to the Nation’s Gross Domestic Product. She noted that these are people that are contributing members of society and not the negative stereotype portrayed in anti-drug campaigns.
Headset, the cannabis intelligence company also did a deep dive into the consumer and specifically looked at customer loyalty programs. Their report from last year stated, “Most people spend between $25 and $50 per trip to a marijuana store, with a $33 median spend per trip. A third of all customers only stopped into the dispensary to buy one item like a pre-rolled joint or a beverage and spent less than $10.
They also found that the average customer spent $645 on pot every year and over 57% spend more than $500. There aren’t that many high rollers with less than 10 percent spending more than $2,500.
68 percent were men versus 31 percent for women. While the largest percentage of customers are young men, they also noted that the average age for male shoppers is 37.6 years and women are 38.2 years old. Men are also more frequent shoppers with a dispensary visit almost every 19 days, while women go about every 21 days.
While there may be more men in the loyalty programs, women shop more. According to Headset’s data, women buy 2 items per purchase and spend roughly $35 a trip versus the guys who only spend $33 per trip and usually put only one or two products in their basket.
If dispensaries know that they can count on their customers spending roughly $600 a year, they can make better business plans. This will also help investors in dispensaries to have a better idea of the level of sales they can expect for their business.