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BDSA’s top cannabis consumer insights for 2022

For cannabis brands and retailers, the stakes are higher than ever. According to BDSA’s recently updated market forecast, legal cannabis markets in the US are expected to reach $28 billion in 2022. Success in the increasingly competitive legal cannabis space will require a comprehensive strategy to attract and retain a dedicated base of cannabis consumers. To help you with that, here are our latest cannabis consumer insights: 

More Consumers are buying their cannabis from recreational dispensaries:

In Fall 2021, ~60% of Consumers in adult-use states bought their cannabis from a rec dispensary, compared to ~50% in Spring 2018. Even when looking at the California market, where competition from illicit sources has plagued the legal industry, purchasing trends lean towards licensed retailers. In Fall 2021, ~50% of California Consumers had purchased from a licensed dispensary in the past six months, compared to ~30% in Spring 2018. Use of licensed delivery services is also rising, with ~30% of California Consumers claiming to have bought from a licensed delivery service in the past six months, compared to just ~15% in Spring 2018.

Consumer penetration is rising rapidly in both mature and developing markets:

In Fall 2021, BDSA Consumer Insights data show that ~45% of adults in adult-use markets claim to have consumed cannabis in the past six months, up from ~40% in Fall 2019. 

BDSA is even tracking several markets that have already broken the 50% Consumer threshold. In Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, and Oregon, at least 50% of adults say they are past six month cannabis consumers. 

Co-consumption with alcohol is  on the rise:

BDSA’s Fall 2021 Consumer data show that ~20% of consumers claim to ingest cannabis along with spirits or liquor, up from ~10% in Spring 2018. Co-consumption of cannabis and non-craft beer has also increased from ~10% in Spring 2018 to ~15% by Fall 2021.

Inhalables are still king, but topical and edible consumption is on the rise:

Inhalables compose the largest segment of cannabis sales by a wide margin, with BDSA Retail Sales Tracking showing that inhalables made up ~80% of dollar sales across BDSA tracked markets in Q4 2021. However, the share of Consumers who report consumption of edible and topical products has risen significantly. BDSA Consumer data show the share consuming edibles has risen from ~60% in Fall 2018 to ~75% in Fall 2021, while the share who have used topicals in the past six months has climbed from ~30% in Fall 2018 to ~45% in Fall 2021.


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