As is the case with any industry, cannabis consumer trends are always changing. There are a few trends that could impact your dispensary marketing. Here, we’ll discuss trend-based tips like optimizing your search, the fastest-growing cannabis demographics, and changing terminology, all of which can help take your online presence to the next level.
Searching for Trending Products
When it comes to SEO, it helps to speak the language of internet users who are searching for you. Some of these popular searches include in-demand strains and their names, as well as popular products like infused beverages and solventless concentrates.
No products are currently more popular than dessert strains. A way to capitalize on this trending search is to optimize relevant content for phrases like “Wedding Cake Strain in My Area” or “Best Cookie Strain Near Me.” Customers may be looking for dessert strain flower products, or they may be looking for infused food or drinks with that strain. As such, it’s a good idea to keep as much stock as you can of all similar products.
Another highly popular product and cannabis consumer trend are solventless concentrates. Solventless hash rosin may contain fewer trace amounts than the solvents used in traditional cannabinoid extraction, like butane and CO2. With this in mind, optimizing your online presence to rank highly for a phrase like “Solventless Hash Dispensary Near Me” is a good idea. Many dispensaries and cannabis businesses agree and are adding solventless to their product lists and stocking up on dessert strains.
Cannabis Consumer Trends: Evolving Demographics
The industry is experiencing a fundamental shift in its customer base, which is one cannabis consumer trend that comes as no surprise. Conscious cannabis consumers tend to be more educated, savvy, and they usually know what they want. This is a great thing for brands, so your marketing can reflect as such.
Right now, the two of the largest growing and evolving demos in the cannabis space include women and Millennials.
According to the cannabis trend research firm Akerna, women now make up one-third of the entire population of cannabis consumers in the U.S, and nearly half of them are under 40. As such, it’s clear that finding ways to reach the female Gen-Z demographic could pay dividends for any cannabis brand, not just dispensaries.
When it comes to women consumers in general, here are some cannabis trends being seen:
- Microdose or lower-dose (25mg or less) infused foods, beverages.
- Topicals, lotions, creams, and oils more than twice that of men.
- Those over 30 buy less flowers than men, but flower still sells more than any other product in general.
- Women in their 40s and older tend to prefer edibles with less sugar than typically found in dispensaries.
So for a dispensary owner, what does this mean? First, it means it’s a good idea to increase what’s often referred to as a “social tonic,” or a low-dose seltzer beverage with 5mg or less of THC and often high in CBD. It also means to stock up on topicals and infused skincare products, especially during winter in northern states. Finally, it is a good idea for dispensary owners to offer sugar-free cannabis foods like drinks, infused cooking oil, and other healthy choices.
Times and Terms are Changing
Now that the substance is becoming mainstream, a cannabis consumer trend is that calling it “weed” or “marijuana” is beginning to increasingly sound outdated. While search results for cannabis might still be less than that of weed, pot, herb, etc, the term is slowly moving out of the vernacular.
Cannabis is becoming more widely used by many state and local governments across the U.S as well. For instance, California’s landmark “Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act” being renamed the “Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act” was significant in both the legal world and in the industry as a whole.
If you hear customers using slang terms, you can educate them on why we use the term cannabis. Using neutral, science-based words like cannabis helps shed the industry from the baggage from the bygone era where “dope” and the archaic “marihuana” were mainstream.
It’s a good idea to review your language both off and online because consistency in corporate culture is important. You certainly don’t want to be the word police, but a friendly reminder to a staff member that “we aren’t calling it weed, it’s cannabis,” will help your entire organization call it by the right term as well.
Using better terminology will mean further legitimizing the cannabis industry and breaking stereotypes. Of course, it’s up to the brand to determine which terms to use, and those messages should be based entirely on how those customers speak. You will always want to try to speak their language, or they are going to the places that do.
Cannabis-Infused Beverages On the Rise
According to Grand View Research, the global cannabis-infused beverage market could be worth up to $3 Billion by 2025. In 2019 alone, some of the biggest state cannabis markets like California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington state saw a total of $67.8 million in sales, just of infused beverages.
The infused beverage market is still a relatively small portion of the cannabis industry. This means that forward-thinking dispensaries can carry infused beverages, provided doing so is legal in their state of course. Even THC-infused beverages aren’t legally permitted, there are plenty of CBD drinks your dispensary could carry.
According to data from the Pew Research center, 91% of American adults say medical cannabis should be legal, and 60% say adult-use should be legal. With new legalization bills being introduced frequently, it’s safe to say that legalization will continue at the state level. However, it seems unlikely that legalization will occur at the Federal Government level.
Cannabis Will Continue to Be Recession-Proof
With cannabis being deemed essential during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, the cannabis industry showcased its recession-proof. The demand for both medical and recreational cannabis has never been higher.
While other industries suffer due to the volatility caused by the pandemic, cannabis retail sales are expected to remain steady. Cannabis companies will certainly face challenges such as supply-chain problems and inflation, consumers likely will not stop frequenting dispensaries, especially as more state markets emerge and expand.
These 5 Types of Consumers Will Shape the Industry
When understanding which type of consumer will enter your dispensary, we can break them down into five consumer types. These types of consumers are based on age, the preferred method of consumption, how much they spend at dispensaries, and how often they seek out new dispensaries. These five types of consumers break down into the following groups:
Infrequent or Occasional Consumers
Occasional or infrequent cannabis consumers make up the majority of the cannabis market and tend to be 55 years or older. They are open to consuming cannabis and are okay if others do as well, but do not seek it out for themselves. They are the least likely type to visit a dispensary since they tend to get cannabis from a friend.
Older Generation or Classic Consumers
Like infrequent consumers, classic consumers or those from older generations tend to get cannabis from a friend or someone they trust. These types of consumers may not be interested in entering a dispensary. As such, targeting the first two consumer archetypes would not be very beneficial for most dispensaries.
Modern Medical Patients
This is a steady source of consumers that isn’t likely to change. And it’s crucial for state programs to always offer cannabis medicine to those who are qualified to receive it. However, it isn’t likely to grow as exponentially as the next two consumer types we will discuss.
The largest growth in dispensaries and retail locations will likely either come from engaged explorers or those with a contemporary cannabis lifestyle. This type of consumer actively seeks out new dispensaries to go to at least once a month and is interested in exploring new products.
These products especially include infused beverages and solventless concentrates, as previously mentioned. Many explorers are also seeking out the best vaporizer devices, which can prove to be money-makers if carried by dispensaries.
Contemporary Cannabis Lifestyle
This type of consumer is a smaller piece of the overall potential customer pie. However, catering to their wants can prove lucrative. These consumers are actively seeking dispensaries at least once a week, typically consume daily, and will spend more than most other consumers.
Take Your Dispensary Marketing to the Next Level
Are you ready to put some of these Cannabis Consumer Trends to use for your dispensary in 2002? Confused as to where to start? Clutch has got you covered.
Clutch offers custom website design, implementation, SEO services, copy and content writing services, social media recommendations, and much more. Get started now, get in touch with Clutch today and schedule an intake call!