Consumption Patterns of the Recreational Cannabis Market

Consumption Patterns of the Recreational Cannabis Market

The cannabis market is poised for a trajectory of major growth within the next five years. From a $6.7 billion market size in 2016, it is expected to reach an estimated $20.2 billion in 2022. The two market segments making up the cannabis market are medical marijuana and recreational marijuana.

Medical marijuana accounts for about three-fourths of the market. Meanwhile, recreational marijuana commands the remaining one-fourth of the market. This skew is not surprising in view of the fact that there are only a handful of countries in the world where ingesting recreational marijuana is legalized. In order to understand where investors can look to propel growth, it is best to look at the consumption patterns of the recreational cannabis market.

Trial Rates and Usage Levels of Recreational Marijuana

According to the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, only 4% of the global population have used marijuana for recreational purposes at least once. In the United States of America, despite the fact that rising usage rates are monitored, usage levels in 2009 are still much lower than those monitored in the 1970s. Of the 10 people who ingest recreational marijuana on a regular basis, at least two ingest recreational marijuana daily. Recreational marijuana users spend an average of $1,869 per year.

Demographic Picture of Users
Marijuana users are both male and female. Several studies show that the young adults in their mid-twenties to their mid-thirties are the more active users of recreational marijuana.

Usage rates taper down as the age group gets older. A possible reason could be that older people still tend to equate marijuana with hard drugs. A majority look at recreational marijuana as a substance positioned in between alcohol and hard drugs in terms of health benefits and social impact.

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Reasons for Using Recreational Marijuana

Consumers of recreational marijuana claim that they use it to help them sleep and relax. It is also ingested as a stress reliever and helps minimize anxiety and panic attacks. This contributes to an overall feeling of fun and well-being after ingesting recreational marijuana. Some users claim that it helps improve moods and disposition. Recreational marijuana also helps the user concentrate and meditate.

Purchase Habits

Users usually purchase recreational marijuana legally through pharmacies and dispensaries that are either government owned or privately owned but government supervised. The usual form of marijuana purchases is dried flower buds. The second popular variant is the pre-rolled joint, followed by vapor pens, various edibles, and concentrates. It is remarkable to note that marijuana users do not drink alcohol while “high” on the drug.

Findings show that marijuana is ingested recreationally primarily to help the user relax and feel good. For whatever it is worth, a number of mindful cannabis users claim that marijuana is their substance of choice over alcohol to unwind with after a long hard day while hanging out with friends. Based on the consumption patterns of the recreational cannabis market, it appears that drivers for market growth is to appeal and be relevant to the young upwardly mobile adult’s lifestyle.


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