May 11, 2017

A new study by Canna Ventures reveals expanding legalization is changing consumer attitudes and clarifying who will be the cannabis consumers, and who won't. Knowing who these consumers are and what motivates their decisions will assist cannabis marketers as they enter this new and growing marketplace to build their brands.

"Our first analysis of this market defined four main groups and their distinct views on life, marijuana and consumer brands," said Eric Layland, Canna Ventures founder. "In this new report, we expand on that understanding and explore how these groups and their views have changed as legalization has spread. While our primary objective is guiding and informing cannabis-focused businesses, we think our latest report provides important and interesting insights for anyone working to understand this social revolution."

In response to the emerging industry, Seattle marketing firm Canna Ventures initiated the first of its kind qualitative brand study of the cannabis consumer in 2014. As legalization of recreational or adult use cannabis loomed in California, a new round of data collection was fielded to understand the how the consumer mindset had changed. In addition to an update of previous data, California and medical marijuana users were queried about their specific views on emerging brands.

Cannabis Consumer Personas

  • INDIES at 26% of the national market comprises the connoisseurs, tastemakers and vocal advocates for legalization. This segment size increased 11-points from the first study.
  • OUTSIDERS comprise 23% of the national market and include users who are often price sensitive but seeking an escape from the hardships of modern life.
  • IDEALISTS now represent 10% of the market and are driven more by social change than support for cannabis. In California this small group consumes but turns away from brand messaging.
  • TRADITIONALISTS grew in size to 41% representing the largest segment nationally. The segment's worldview is that legal cannabis is not to be celebrated and should maintain illegal status. Their main motivation is resistance to changing values in society.


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