A report by market analysts at Deloitte indicates that federal legalization in Canada on Oct 17. is expected to create older, more risk-averse customers who will prefer lower-THC cannabis, according to the CBC.
New consumers are expected to be 35 to 54 years old and, while 75 percent will have had experience with cannabis use, only 41 percent will have used cannabis in the last five years.
“Today’s consumer is what we describe as a risk taker. They’re young, typically with a high school or college education. In their quest to live life to the fullest, they’re more likely to put their health or safety at risk, even going so far as to skirt or break the law. [The new] consumer is more of a conservative experimenter — typically middle-aged, with a university or graduate school education. They don’t tend to put their personal interests before family needs or other responsibilities.” — Excerpt from Deloitte’s report
VP of Marketing for The Green Organic Dutchman, Andrew Pollock, said many consumers are now asking for products with more of the non-psychoactive component of cannabis, CBD.
“What most consumers are looking for in this day and age is calm,” said Pollock.
The same is true of maturing legal markets in U.S. states. Some industry members refer to the trend towards lower-potency and higher-CBD products as the “Maureen Dowd Effect,” referencing the New York Times columnist who wrote a piece about her experience in Colorado just after legalization in 2014. She described the outcome of the edible as leaving her, “curled in a hallucinatory state,” for eight hours in her hotel room.
Many new cannabis users would instead prefer to “start low and go slow.”