Gen Z women are the fastest growing legal weed users
Pot went to retail.
In the 1990s, unnamed plastic bags marked with an X for potency, jars adorned with pot leaves and sexually suggestive images were the default marketing tactics for marijuana-related products. As legalization grows, with recreational marijuana legal for adults in 18 states and Washington, DC, and medical marijuana in 37 states, investment has poured in – and the biggest players in the industry offer professional products.
The new trend is for well-designed packaging, clear and regulated information labels, laboratory-tested ingredients, standardized dosing and a modern branding.
Packaging considerations are inspired by traditional consumer brands. The MX live resin cartridges from Moxie, a California-based cannabis brand, are presented in a plastic and metal cylinder inside a colorful and modern zebra-print box that wouldn’t have the air moved on a perfume counter in a department store.
Kiva Confections’ line of weed edibles use contemporary packaging techniques. The Kiva cannabis chocolate bars, with an embossed brown wrapper, could fit on the checkout at Whole Foods. Her 2.5 mg THC microdose Petra Mints come in a container that could fit in a jacket pocket and has been dubbed the ‘Mommy Mint’. Its makers say it takes advantage without becoming overwhelming.
The Rythm cannabis brand sells an eighth of an ounce of flower, the dried green bud that is evaporated and inhaled, in a black plastic jar with a shimmering label, similar to a beauty or hair product, and can fit in a purse or a sports bag.
While all consumers benefit from safer, more regulated and easier-to-use products, female cannabis users say they particularly appreciate the advanced approach.
“I don’t have to run into a scary guy in an alleyway to get a gram of unnamed weed anymore.”
“I don’t have to run into a scary guy in an alleyway to get a gram of no-name weed anymore,” said Meagan Tyler Shreve, 35, who owns a restaurant business in Virginia. “Now I can walk into a retail store and buy premium brand name weed.”
“The changes are astronomical,” she said.
Amid the lockdowns and angst over Covid-19, legal cannabis sales rose 46% in 2020, reaching $ 17.5 billion, according to BDSA, a cannabis sales data platform, gaining ground in the more than $ 250 billion US alcohol market. Several cannabis operators estimated that sales had doubled or even tripled during the pandemic.
Gen Z consumers have experienced the fastest growth overall during the pandemic, due to the age of 21, the age at which cannabis can be legally purchased, where permitted.. De-stigmatization also plays a role. Some young users have spent their formative years in states where adult recreational cannabis is legal and more comfortable with it.
But there was also a particular rise in women over men.
Year-over-year sales for Gen Z women, defined as those born in 1997 or later, grew the fastest in 2020 compared to any other cohort, at 151%, according to data from Headset, a cannabis analytics company that collects aggregate information from point-of-sale records. Gen Z men followed at 118%. Generation Y and Generation X round out the top four, with sales growth of around 50% and 30%, respectively.
“The future of cannabis is female,” said Bethany Gomez, Managing Director of Brightfield Group, a cannabis market research agency. “An order of magnitude more.
Changing public attitudes and increasingly sophisticated design and packaging are helping to spur the trend, Gomez said.
“It’s more palatable, more compact and packaged in a more feminine way,” Gomez said.
Flower dominates sales for both men and women. Gen Z consumers slightly overindex pre-rolled joints, edibles and beverages, according to data from Headset.
“This consumer wants to be low-key, wants to have something that isn’t right to blow your mind,” said Tessa Adams, director of marketing at Moxie.
Users cite the quality, convenience, portability and ease of use of the products in the new product line.
“I don’t know how to roll the joints, so I take the cones,” or pre-rolled papers filled with ground marijuana and sealed, said Danielle Jordan, a 21-year-old who is studying to become an EKG technician. . “They are so easy to stuff.”
She said the lab-tested product she got from a legal dispensary was very effective and didn’t make her cough or hiss, compared to brands unknown to street vendors.
Jordan enjoys the euphoric sensations of marijuana. She recalled a recent time when she and her friends went boating and used cannabis.
“I just got super high, I was floating and having fun. We were all relaxed, we had food, tan. Everything felt great,” she said. When Jordan smokes, she says, “I just feel calm come over me … I don’t feel like I have to move.”
The users also said they used cannabis to self-medicate for diagnosed illnesses, including anxiety, anorexia, attention difficulties, pancreatic cancer and post-traumatic stress disorder. Some said they had little success with the prescribed pills or therapy and preferred to use marijuana instead.
Sydney Cheney, a 21-year-old customer service rep, said she recently used cannabis to deal with the stress of shopping. “It has helped relieve the anxiety of large crowds of people,” she told NBC News in an online message. She said she suffers from ADHD and also finds that cannabis products help her focus and meet deadlines.
Doctors say more research needs to be done to back up these claims.
“Self-medication with cannabis is commonly reported in patients with a variety of psychiatric disorders, including anxiety disorders and PTSD,” said Dr. Sachin Patel, director of psychiatry at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, who studied the effects of cannabis on the brain. “However, it is not clear whether this approach has real therapeutic efficacy or has negative long-term consequences.”
The negative effects could include desensitization of some of the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, involved in feelings of well-being and pleasure, which could actually increase anxiety over time, while increasing tolerance and use. , Patel said.
On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., introduced a bill to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, but allowing states to impose their own bans. Overall, the hopes of cannabis operators for federal decriminalization are growing.
The opportunity to operate at a truly national level offers the opportunity to share a product they believe in with a wider audience and increased profits, but also increased exposure and risks. The industry is keen to focus on becoming like any other common consumer good and building brand awareness and trust.
“Using bikinis and being offensive is a thing of the past,” when that combines with marketing marijuana products, said Kristi Palmer, co-founder of Kiva Confections. “Cannabis brands and companies are embracing the program and professionalizing in a way that welcomes women into space, thank goodness. “