With restrictions disappearing more and more each day, cannabis entrepreneurs and manufacturers have seen acceptability becoming a normal occurrence in the cannabis world.
Negative connotations are slowly becoming a part of history (despite the consistent efforts of Jeff Sessions and co.), and as such, the cannabis industry has seen its first real chance to turn into a legitimate business industry, with lucrative opportunities awaiting all those who join in.
The industry structure isn’t the only thing that’s changed by the disappearance of negative connotations. Cannabis customers are also seeing a change in their demographic structure, which has been a twist that might seem sudden, but it has been slowly in the works for years.
In this article, we will analyze the ever-changing trends in the cannabis industry. We will also cover the topic of what does the customer demographic change mean for sales, marketing, and everything else-cannabis related.
The new demographic
There was a time when the cannabis industry was not an industry in the truest sense of the world. Due to government crackdowns and legislative blocks, it had been reduced to a clandestine practice. That practice was thought to involve only young males who usually identified themselves as liberal on the political spectrum.
Those times, however, are long gone. With the burst of cannabis onto the scene of popular culture and legislative changes, we have seen a broadening of the customer spectrum.
What have been the biggest additions to the growing list of cannabis customers?
The 55+ group: The so-called Baby Boomer generation is still abundant in the United States, clocking in at over 70 million people. Many of them have been exposed to cannabis in a recreational sense during the clandestine years.
However, this change in the legal outlook towards cannabis has turned them into perhaps the most lucrative cannabis group. We’ll focus on them in particular in the following section.
Athletes: With many universities, clinics and institutes researching the topic of cannabis as a means of coping with post-surgery pain, chronic pain and other maladies, cannabis is slowly entering the sports world.
For instance, former NBA players Matt Barnes and Al Harrington have become cannabis activists and entrepreneurs upon retiring, thus shedding a light of the “public secret” of athletes partaking in cannabis use.
Women: Due to long-standing stereotypes, cannabis was connected mostly to young men, but more and more women are seeing the benefits of cannabis. A particularly interesting group are women who have recently had kids.
Because the baby is crying all the time, they have difficulties sleeping, and many of them opt to use medium to strong indica strains to help them fall asleep more easily.
Business(wo)men: Once considered a habit of mainly college students and unemployed young people, cannabis has started to become a choice of professionals from many industries.
This is perhaps the single most important addition to the evolving cannabis customer body, as these eminent individuals have shown that using cannabis and having a successful career do indeed go together.
Why Baby Boomers?
People over the age of 55 have been through all of the stages of cannabis legality or lack thereof. An independently conducted survey in California has shown us that most of these Baby Boomers have been regular users ever since their teenage years. Also, there is the financial factor.
According to statistics, people aged 55+ have much more discretionary income and wealth at their disposal. This financial potential is the main reason why baby boomers are perhaps the customer group of the future for cannabis entrepreneurs.
In addition to Baby Boomers purchasing cannabis, one must not omit their influential role. As many of them have families, children, and grandchildren, they can provide empirical evidence to their loved ones and testify the beneficial effects of the cannabis plants.
What does this mean for cannabis entrepreneurs and marketers? According to most experts whom we’ve consulted on this matter, it will most likely result in a need for less aggressive marketing. Cannabis will slowly stop being considered a cultural symbol and more of a staple of the medical world. People over 55 generally prefer less aggressive promotion and more diversity.
This means we will likely see a rise in the number of medicinal strains, tailor-made for different conditions. Of course, this goes hand in hand with ongoing medical research.
Delivery – the future of the cannabis industry
While the broadening of the customer body means much more income for cannabis entrepreneurs, it also signifies a need for the modification of business practices. Methods of servicing have also experienced significant growth in the last few years.
One of these methods is the door-to-door delivery of cannabis and cannabis-related products. While already being significantly used in Oregon, California, Nevada, and other states, it will see a rise in other parts of the country even more.
Cannabis delivery has been voted as the most important aspect of the industry at a recent panel in San Bernardino. Marketers and entrepreneurs also have to become more versed in online marketing and the ways they can increase their conversion numbers, improve their outreach and much more.
Even though dispensaries as a tradition will never die out, there is much attention to be paid to online cannabis transactions.
What does this mean for the job market? Not only will the cannabis industry open the door for more and more people to participate, but it will also create more specialized employees. Customers will want their products to be delivered by a driver who is not only on time but also knowledgeable on the subject.
Everyone in the cannabis industry hierarchy, from growers all the way to dispensary workers will have to have sufficient medical knowledge. Significant advancements are upon us.
The bottom line
With a culture change and legislative trends also experiencing fluctuations, the average cannabis customer is evolving. They are acting more freely to partake in cannabis use. Baby Boomers are especially significant, as a focus group. This increase in customers and revenue also means demand for improved service methods. We will see more and more dispensaries delivering their products door-to-door.