According to the cannabis delivery clearinghouse company Eaze.com, “ consumers placed a cannabis order every 8 seconds in 2018. ” This information can be found in Eaze’s 2018 State of Cannabis Report. The report also tells us that many of those consumers were Baby Boomers.
Eaze’s report claims that “First-time cannabis consumers grew by 140% thanks to adult use legalization. While average consumer age is 31, Baby Boomers were one of the fastest growing segments, increasing by 25% over the past year.” Baby Boomers are also the biggest cannabis spenders. On average, they spend 53% more than Generation Z consumers. Veterans account for 3% of cannabis consumers; the disabled account for 11%.
Women also advanced in the cannabis market. The number of female cannabis consumers in 2018 nearly doubled over 2017, replicating a 3% market share growth for the third consecutive year. Females now make up 38% of cannabis consumers. Eaze predicts “equal gender representation among cannabis consumers by 2022.”
There’s no mention in the report whether the increases in consumption patterns represent a shift from the illegal to the legal market or whether they are the result of legal access alone—something I believe would be nice to know from a policy perspective.
Still, the legal market for the non-high-inducing cannabidiol (CBD) by way of extraction from marijuana or from hemp certainly is on the rise: from 2.6% of consumers in 2017 to 4.8% in 2018. At 8.4% of cannabis consumers, Baby Boomers lead the CBD pack.
CBD produces no high (or only a hint of one) but it appears to offer an array of wellness benefits connected with anxiety, sleep and pain relief. According to the report, “Overall, 71% of surveyed [cannabis] consumers reduced (53%) or stopped (18%) their over-the-counter (OTC) pain treatment.” Forty percent of respondents said they had reduced prescription pain medications.
At the same time, the report claims almost “60% of surveyed consumers have reduced (52%) or stopped (7%) their alcohol consumption.” In fact, the claim is that the drop in alcohol consumption applies across generations with cannabis consumers, ” with 63% of Millennials most likely to reduce their alcohol consumption.
If the non-high-inducing CBD shows the greatest rise in interest, I wondered how that trend relates to a reduction in high-inducing alcohol consumption. Eaze’s head of policy research, Peter Gigante replied: “The questions we asked were about consumer’s reduction in alcohol due to cannabis. Cannabis actually refers to anything including THC and/or CBD, not purely CBD.”
I still wonder.
A recent report claimed recreational marijuana use has not made an impact on alcohol consumption in the three largest legal cannabis states: California, Colorado and Washington. Gigante put me straight on that one with the following response: “The Spirits report data is based on tax revenue from sales and shipments. The Eaze data is based on survey responses from individuals about their personal consumption. There can definitely be a difference between overall sales versus personal consumption.”
While the proportion of pain medication and alcohol reductions that apply to CBD or to high-inducing tetrahydrocannabinol THC use remains unclear to me, Gigante says, “…there is no official distinction between medical and recreation, though 90% of surveyed consumers have cited their cannabis use is in some way medical.”
As an interesting aside, Eaze says 32% of Generation Z respondents either eliminated or reduced tobacco use.
Eaze Wellness delivers hemp-derived CBD to consumers in 41 states and the District of Columbia; Eaze.com is a cannabis delivery platform serving consumers in California. When asked whether or not the cannabis results of this survey applies to states other than California, Gigante said, “California is actually the largest legal cannabis market in the world. While findings likely wouldn’t be 100% the same in other places, the CA findings are a good indicator of the direction of the overall market.”
The Eaze report is based on behavior data from the company’s database of 450,000 cannabis consumers as well as attitudes and usage data based on nearly 4,000 survey respondents—all anonymous.