With legalization sweeping across the country, the cannabis category is evolving just like any other successful mainstream market—with scale and diversity. Consumer insights company MRI-Simmons reported 22 percent of the total population now consumes cannabis or CBD, a 38-percent increase from 2018 to 2019. The report also showed more than 56 percent of U.S. adults support legalization.
As more markets begin to roll out legal cannabis programs and attitudes continue to shift among the U.S. population, there will be an explosion of new cannabis consumers across the country. Two consumer groups stand out, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic: new-to-cannabis consumers and new-to-legal-cannabis consumers. While both enjoy cannabis, their path to purchase is different and likely requires tailored marketing strategies.
The first group, new-to-cannabis consumers, is composed of people just starting out on their journey into the cannabis and CBD market. This group generally has little experience in the space and tends to lack sufficient knowledge in the field to make informed purchase decisions. They want to experience all or specific benefits of cannabis products but might not be sure where or how to get started.
New to the category but excited about its potential, these canna-curious customers will be far less familiar with product offerings, dosage guidelines, and the dispensary shopping experience in general so will look to brands as the trusted source of guidance at the beginning of their cannabis journey.
Marketing Tip: Help new cannabis consumers confidently take their first step into the market by providing them with content that makes shopping feel simple, safe, and fun:
Plan a virtual activation or live stream event that invites consumers to learn first-hand about ease of access, convenience, and product offerings led by experts in the