The portrait of the “typical stoner” depicts a lazy, semi-conscious, and unambitious person who uses cannabis to a fault. But a new report suggests cannabis users are just the opposite.
“Cannabis consumers are far removed from the caricatures historically used to describe them,” said Linda Gilbert, who directs consumer research at BDS Analytics.
“In fact, positive lifestyle indicators like volunteering, socializing, satisfaction with life and enjoyment of exercise and the outdoors are highest among cannabis consumers, at least in Colorado and California.”
BDS Analytics, a market research group dedicated to understanding the legal cannabis market, has released a consumer data on regular cannabis users. To compare cannabis users to the rest of the population, BDS categorized survey participants into three groups: Consumers, Acceptors and Rejectors. The first group consists of regular cannabis users. The second group was made up of those who do not currently use cannabis but would try using it in the future, and the third group included those who never use cannabis and have no desire to try it.
The findings of the extensive study directly disproved some of the stereotypical traits of cannabis users.
Cannabis users are unsuccessful in their professional lives: False
Looking directly at California user households, Consumers earned an average of $93,800. Acceptors averaged $72,800 and Rejecters averaged $75,900. Consumers are also more academically accomplished, with 20 percent of Consumers attaining a Master’s degree, compared to 13 percent of Acceptors and 12 percent of Rejecters. In Colorado, 64 percent of Consumers are employed full-time, next to 51 percent of Acceptors and 54 percent of Rejecters.
Consumers are also more likely to volunteer their time to help others. In California, 38 percent of Consumers acknowledged they use their time to help others, compared to 25 percent of Rejecters.
Cannabis users are depressed or unhappy: False
Among Colorado users, almost half of Consumers reported they were happier with their lives compared to the previous year. Both Acceptors and Rejecters came in at 40 percent. Consumers in California identified as being “nurturing” at a rate of 60 percent, compared to 41 percent of Rejecters.
Cannabis users can’t maintain relationships: False
In California, 64 percent of Consumers had families, while 60 percent of Acceptors and 55 percent of Rejecters had families. In addition, 37 percent of Consumers had children under 10 years-old, compared to 23 percent of Acceptors and just 11 percent of Rejecters.
Cannabis users are loners: False
When asking Colorado participants if they labeled themselves as social, 36 percent of Consumers thought of themselves as “very social,” while 21 percent of Acceptors and 28 percent of Rejecters agreed they were social. Colorado Acceptors are also more likely to experience fine arts and identify as creative.
Cannabis users stay home: False
Consumers were more likely to experience nature and outdoor activities. Among Colorado Consumers, 50 percent enjoyed the outdoors compared to 36 percent of Rejecters. In California, 57 percent enjoyed the outdoors while 25 percent of Rejecters felt similarly.
The research from BDS Analytics also reveals information about the buying habits of cannabis consumers, as well as details about their lifestyle, families, and jobs. This data helps the cannabis industry focus on what exactly consumers want from their products. It can also help other industries relate to a new demographic of consumers who are cannabis users, but are also health-conscious, family-oriented and successful.
This post was originally published on June 19, 2017, it was updated on October 5, 2017.