22nd June 2021
By Emily Ledger
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A recently published study found that cannabis use among women is on the rise in the US, with users in this demographic often younger and use more heavily than male consumers.

According to the ‘U.S. Cannabis Consumer Trends Report’, the proportion of female cannabis users rose steadily throughout 2020 across the US as a whole. The data was collected by the Brightfield Group – a Chicago-based CBD and cannabis-focused market researcher.

However, the proportion of male to female cannabis users still varied significantly from state to state. For example, Forbes reports that women represented 59% of cannabis users in Michigan over the last year, compared with only 43% in liberal California.

The surge in cannabis use among women in the US are part of what Jamie Schau, senior insights manager at Brightfield Group, considers an expansion of diversity in the cannabis consumer sector. In addition to a surge in female users, the report showed that 22% of those surveyed were Gen Z’ers (people born between 1997 and 2015). Further, 6% of those involved in the study considered themselves new users.

Senior Insights Manager, Jamie Schau, commented: “This is an important departure from the classic cannabis consumer profile and those participating in the space will benefit from adapting to the evolving marketplace.”

The report concludes that cannabis brands in the fast-developing US legal cannabis sector should “account for women’s distinctive approaches to cannabis” in order to successfully appeal to the demographic.

For example, the research demonstrates that women use a wider range of cannabis products than their male counterparts and choose more specific occasions to use these products.

Further findings of the study

The SAFE Banking Act

The “U.S. Cannabis Consumer Trends Report” also examined federal legalisation and the implications of the SAFE Banking Act in the US – a proposed bill that would allow national banks to work with legal cannabis businesses without fear of prosecution.

The report predicts that, while cannabis reforms have become more likely since the inauguration of President Joe Biden, “the road to nationally legal cannabis will be long and winding”, with the passing of the SAFE Banking Act likely being the next major milestone.

According to the Brightfield Group, the SAFE Banking Act would encourage more states to legalise cannabis as “legal banking provides opportunities for major players to enter and expand in US cannabis.”

More voters support legalisation than ever before

While traditionally, Democrat voters have been more likely to support cannabis reforms, including legalisation, than their Republican counterparts, the report finds that this divide is disappearing.

In fact, four states with Republican governors – Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, and South Dakota – saw their voters opt for cannabis legalisation in November 2020 alone. In Montana, the same percentage of voters (57%) voted “yes” to cannabis legalisation as voted for the former Republican president, Donald Trump.

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