It’s not the outlaw celebration it once was, but that was the goal all along, wasn’t it?
4 min read
Opinions expressed by Green Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
While many Americans may think of April 20 or 4/20 as a “stoner” holiday, that kind of thinking is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Cannabis is available for medical or adult use in more states than ever before and its stigma is steadily fading. In fact, according to Pew Research, a record-high 62 percent of Americans say the use of cannabis should be legalized. Consumers across the country are incorporating cannabis into their regular routines thanks to the wide variety of products available. 4/20 is now celebrated all year round!
2019 marks the start of the second year of legal adult cannabis in California, the world’s largest legal market, and yet significant hurdles remain for consumers and business owners.. While cannabis consumers want to support and purchase from the legal market, high prices, taxes, and lack of access to legal cannabis continues to fuel a thriving illicit market.
California has done a great job of telling consumers that cannabis is legal but has a long way to go to make it easy to get safe, legal and affordable cannabis. Several studies have shown that high taxes are the most common driver of illicit cannabis purchases; an Eaze Insights survey of cannabis consumers found that a 5 percent reduction in CA taxes on cannabis could drive 23 percent of illicit market buyers into the legal market. These are important things that other states looking to come online in 2019 can learn from.
Below are some key stats to know about the legal use of cannabis and where we are as a nation celebrating 4/20 this year:
1. Age groups are diversifying.
As more states allow cannabis for adults, new demographics of consumers are discovering the legal marketplace. Baby Boomers are one of the fastest growing segments, increasing by 25 percent over the past year.
2. Women are making their mark.
Female cannabis consumers nearly doubled over 2018 , and CBD is driving a new demographic of consumers who are turning to CBD for wellness needs. The growth of women entering the market outpaced men and continued the trend of increasing female participation, now making up 38 percent of cannabis consumers.
3. It’s a wellness alternative.
Cannabis products are used for a variety of wellness applications: overall, 71 percent of consumers reported they reduced (53 percent) or stopped (18 percent) their over-the-counter (OTC) pain treatment, and 60 percent have reduced or stopped their alcohol consumption.
4. It has holidays throughout the year.
Curious what the most popular cannabis holidays are? Hint: It’s not what you think!
The day before Thanksgiving, or “Green Wednesday,” was the most popular holiday for cannabis consumption in 2018 with 4/20 coming in second. Two Jewish holidays fall in the top 10 holidays list, including Sukkot and Hanukkah.
5. Social justice and inclusion efforts are critical.
Leaders in the cannabis industry are ensuring that social justice programs and diversity and inclusion efforts are a key part of the next phase of growth. We don’t want to leave behind those who have been affected by the “War on Drugs” prior to legal adult use in some states. As part of these efforts, Eaze is partnering with Code for America this 4/20 in a first-of-its kind partnership to help clear 250,000 criminal records through the nonprofit’s Clear My Record program.
6. Consumers across the U.S. can now access it.
Since the legalization of hemp-derived CBD via the Farm Bill earlier this year, we’re seeing the product sold in traditional brick and mortar stores like Sephora, CVS, and The Vitamin Shoppe and we only expect that to continue.
7. Women are the faces of CBD brands.
Eaze Wellness is an online marketplace that ships hemp-derived CBD to 41 states across the U.S. and more than 75 percent of the brands on the platform are female-led or have a female founder including Mary’s Medicinals, Kush Queen, Kana, and Hora Skin Care.
Whether you’ve been enjoying cannabis and its benefits for years, or are newly canna-curious, it’s important to be educated about the history of the industry, where we are today and what to expect in the future.