USA Today Report: Cannabis Consumers Reduce Use of Pills, Booze
by Leafly Staff
A new report by Gannett, the publisher of USA Today and dozens of other publications, has found that cannabis use by new consumers correlates with a reduction in their use of painkillers and alcohol.
The study, conducted the company’s digital marketing arm, LOCALiQ, combined survey responses with mobile data to paint a picture of cannabis consumers in legal states. Researchers surveyed 8,805 cannabis consumers aged 21 to 64 across 21 states in which some form of cannabis is legal.
Among all surveyed consumers, 49% reported reducing their over-the-counter painkiller use since starting cannabis, and 52% reduced prescription drug use. Another 37% said they’ve reduced alcohol consumption since starting cannabis. And 60% said they consider a healthy lifestyle to be a priority.
The report splits subjects into two main categories: current consumers and so-called “acceptors,” or “those that would consider using cannabis but currently are not.” From there, the report profiles three groups of current consumers—affluent families with children, baby boomers, and frequent shoppers—and asks what it would take for the cannabis curious to actually consume.
Affluent families, which make more than $75,000 per year and account for 38.8 million US households, are “active cannabis buyers,” the report found. Their average spend on a visit to a retailer was $50, and their biggest factors in choosing a shop are the selection of products and strains (88%) followed by price and convenience (87%). Their top motivators for consuming cannabis included stress management (48%) and chronic or recurring pain (37%). And 71% say they value a retailer that grows and sells its own products.
Consumer behavior also depends on who in the family is doing the shopping. A majority of dads (55%) in the study, for example, shopped at an average of four or more dispensaries over the past three months. Moms on average shopped at only a one dispensary over the same period, “making them more loyal customers,” the report says.
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