Cannabis became legal in Canada a few weeks ago, making it the second country in the world (after Uruguay) to repeal the prohibition of marijuana. While the world watched with a mix of skepticism, interest, and humor, Canada got excited for a few hours, then carried on as usual. Sure, there were some long lines at cannabis shops, stock ran low and selection was limited. Legalization became water cooler talk around the country…but after the initial excitement, life continued as usual.
Legalization is a particularly interesting issue because of how divided Canadians are on cannabis; one-third (37%) say legalization is a good thing for Canada, another third (30%) say it makes no difference, and the final third (33%) believe it’s a bad thing. Men and younger people are more likely to be positive.
While Canada has not been covered in a smoky haze since October 17th, many Canadians (at least quietly) celebrated the legalization of cannabis. A poll conducted by Maru/Matchbox on October 27th found that, among all Canadians who have ever consumed cannabis, roughly one-third did so within the first nine days of legalization. This group represents about 14% of the overall adult population. Looking ahead, just over one-fifth of Canadians (22%) say they expect to consume cannabis in the next 12 months.
With legalization, we expect to see significant innovation and evolution in cannabis products. We are likely to see beverages, edibles, and other products introduced in the coming months and years, as the market stabilizes and matures. While some Canadians are excited about this potential evolution, a separate Maru/Matchbox study shows that cannabis beverages are unlikely to change consumption levels much—at least not right away. Our survey of Canadians and Americans asked about interest in descriptions of three cannabis beverages: Legal Sodas, Tinley Cannabis Margarita and Stillwater Blissful Black tea. Legal sodas and Tinley Cannabis Margaritas are currently available in California, and Stillwater tea can be purchased in Colorado. In Canada, just one-in-four said they were likely to buy any one of these beverages. In the U.S.A. where the markets are more mature, interest was considerably higher; fully four in ten were interested in buying these beverages.
The market for cannabis is evolving quickly. Already nine states and the district of Columbia have legalized it, and an additional 14 states have decriminalized its possession. Further loosening of prohibitions is likely to follow. Meanwhile, in Canada, the retail market is expected to expand as more licensed shops open, and edibles are expected to be made available next October. In this dynamic marketplace there is huge demand for insight into what consumers want. That’s why our sister company Maru/Blue created their Cannabis Community.
This Cannabis Community allow organizations interested in the cannabis buyers and intenders to reach this niche but lucrative consumer. Cannabis Community members from across the U.S. and Canada have been extensively profiled on their cannabis consumption and consumption intentions. Additionally, they are profiled on how they consume and wish to consume, including smoking, vaping, edibles and beverages.
The Cannabis Community also has all of the deep profiling information typically available on our Springboard America and Maru Voice Canada communities. There is no need for guesswork or asking unnecessary screening and demographic questions. This creates a better respondent experience and more room for asking questions that really matter.
The Cannabis Community can be used for quantitative and qualitative research, including mobile missions and video interviewing. Access to the Cannabis Community is available on an ad hoc basis, as well as for ongoing assignments. To learn more about how we can help you better understand the Cannabis Consumer, contact us.