7 Statistics Entrepreneurs Need to Know About Legal Cannabis and CBD

Public opinion and consumer preference for cannabis over Big Pharma are powerful forces shaping the cannabis market.
7 Statistics Entrepreneurs Need to Know About Legal Cannabis and CBD
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Guest Writer
Head of Policy Research at Eaze
4 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

How fast is the stigma of cannabis fading? Consider the numbers: Cannabis, whether for medical use or recreationally by adults, is legal in 33 states, Washington, D.C. and the U.S. territories of Guam and Puerto Rico. An estimated 73 million Americans live in the 10 states that have legalized for adult use. A record-high 62 percent of Americans agree cannabis should be legalized.

2019 marks the start of the second year of legal adult cannabis in California, the world’s largest legal market, yet consumers and business owners still must overcome significant hurdles. Cannabis consumers want to support the legal market but high prices, whopping taxes and impeded access to legal cannabis drives them to thriving illicit market. California has done a good job of telling consumers that cannabis is legal but has a long way to go to make it  easy to get safe, legal and affordable cannabis.

Several studies have shown that high taxes are the most common driver of illicit cannabis purchases. An Eaze Insights survey of cannabis consumers found that a 5 percent reduction in California taxes on cannabis could lure 23 percent of illicit market buyers into the legal market. States looking to legalize should learn from California's experience.

Below are some key stats to know about the legal use of cannabis and where we are as a nation right now:

Age groups are diversifying

Image Credit: Eaze

As more states allow cannabis for adults, new demographics of consumers are discovering the legal marketplace. Baby Boomers are one of the fastest growing segments, increasing by 25 percent over the past year.

Related: A Plea to Our Elders: Consider Medical Marijuana Before Opioids

Women are making their mark.

Image Credit: Eaze

Female cannabis consumers  nearly doubled over 2018, and CBD is driving a new demographic of consumers  who are turning to CBD for wellness needs. The growth of women entering the market outpaced men and continued the trend of increasing female participation, now making up 38 percent of cannabis consumers.

Related: Move Aside, CBD: New Data Finds THC Is the Real Medicine in Medical Marijuana

Cannabis is a wellness alternative.

Image Credit: Eaze

Cannabis products are used for a variety of wellness applications: overall, 71 percent of consumers reported they reduced (53 percent) or stopped (18 percent) their over-the-counter (OTC) pain treatment, and 60 percent have reduced or stopped their alcohol consumption.

Related: Will Medical Cannabis Sales Eventually Surpass Recreational Sales?

It has holidays throughout the year.

Image Credit: Eaze

Curious what the most popular cannabis holidays are? Hint: It's not what you think! The day before Thanksgiving, or “Green Wednesday,” was the most popular holiday for cannabis consumption in 2018 with 4/20 coming in second. Two Jewish holidays fall in the top 10 holidays list, including Sukkot and Hanukkah.

Social justice and inclusion efforts are critical.

Leaders in the cannabis industry are ensuring that social justice programs and diversity and inclusion efforts are a key part of the next phase of growth. We don’t want to leave behind those who have been affected by the “War on Drugs” prior to legal adult use in some states. As part of these efforts, Eaze is partnered with Code for America on 4/20 this year in a first-of-its kind partnership to clear 250,000 criminal records through the nonprofit’s Clear My Record program.

Related: Cannabis Social Equity Programs Are Imperfect but Critically Important

Consumers across the U.S. can now access it.

Since the legalization of hemp-derived CBD via the Farm Bill earlier this year, we’re seeing the product sold in traditional brick and mortar stores like Sephora, CVS, and The Vitamin Shoppe and we only expect that to continue. According to research by NORML, , 15 states have specifically legalized CBD for therapeutic purposes

Women are the faces of CBD brands.

Eaze Wellness is an online marketplace that ships hemp-derived CBD to 41 states across the U.S. More than 75 percent of the brands on the platform are female-led or have a female founder, including Mary’s Medicinals, Kush Queen, Kana and Hora Skin Care.

Whether you’ve been enjoying cannabis and its benefits for years, or are newly canna-curious, it’s important to be educated about the history of the industry, where we are today and what to expect in the future.

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