Report Explores Consumer Preference Differences Among Men, Women

A new white paper by Canna Ventures is providing insight into the purchasing habits of men and women in the cannabis marketplace and attitudes toward legalization efforts in the United States.

Researchers sought to identify the differences in consumer attitudes between men and women as legalization continues to grow, analyze what it means for branding and marketing cannabis products and the industry’s aptitude in effectively reaching each gender.

The paper’s authors pointed out the market is still too new to the mainstream marketplace to have a fully clear picture of cannabis consumer profiles by gender, thanks to operating for decades in the shadows of prohibition. As such, research on the science, economic impact and demographic makeup of the cannabis market is limited.

Researchers evaluated data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Gallup, the Colorado Department of Public Health, Cannabis Consumer Coalition, New Frontier, Marijuana Business Daily, Forbes the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and others to develop an overview of the current market. The report shows the majority of cannabis business owners are male, but the number of women-owned businesses is quickly growing.

Then, they evaluated 1,700 responses to Canna Ventures surveys.

Numerous reports show females as one of the fastest growing demographics when it comes to cannabis acceptance. The authors noted, however, women’s support is rooted more deeply in social matters than consumerism.

“That is, they want legal weed to end the war on drugs for social justice, say, more than because they want to simply buy it legally.”

In all, 73 percent of women and 72 percent of men surveyed favor legalizing adult-use cannabis. When it comes to purchasing in the legal marketplace, men were more confident in their intention to visit dispensaries with the majority saying they were “somewhat” to “extremely likely.” Women, meanwhile, were less sure about their retail purchasing plans.

California ex-urbanite women more likely to buy retail

When it comes to support for legalization efforts among women, the data reveals a difference in opinion between those living in urban areas versus suburban or rural communities of California. The study’s authors designated those living outside urban areas as “ex-urban.” From a support standpoint, 68 percent of urban women are supportive of legalization efforts, compared to 75 percent of women living in suburban or rural areas.

And when it came to whether these same women would visit a retail location to purchase weed, 23 percent of women in urban areas said they were “somewhat likely” or “extremely likely,” the report states, versus 46 percent of ex-urban women.

Men, women want different weed products

When it came to those respondents who indicated they were likely to visit a retail location to purchase cannabis products, the data showed a distinct difference in the interest of product types. On average, men are interested in cannabis-infused food and pet products as well as those that enhance sex. For women, however, the interest lies primarily in candy, baked goods, skin care products and oils.

“Women on the other hand indicated less interest in new product formats,” the authors state. “Our interpretation of the data is that uncertainty about how food products consistency and quality will react is driving apprehension. The issue is then of consumer education.”

This conclusion echoes numerous cries from advocates who wish to see greater access to research and education about cannabis. In fact, Ohio regulators have committed $1.1 million to Direct Success to establish a medical marijuana call center, as reported by Marijuana Business Daily to answer consumer questions ranging from legal issues to medical applications of marijuana. And the state of California established an online resource called Let’s Talk Cannabis for consumers in the state to peruse information about the rapidly changing regulatory landscape.


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