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3 million new consumers on horizon with next wave of cannabis products

Canada could see 3 million new consumers enter the cannabis market following the legalization of edibles, extracts, and topicals.

According to a survey by EY Canada and Lift & Co., 12 percent of non-users look forward to the arrival of new cannabis products.

“New product offerings will open the doors for experimentation among current and non-consumers giving cannabis companies the opportunity to capture a larger market share,” said EY Canada Cannabis Leader, Monica Chadha. “But companies should keep in mind that these consumer segments will have very different attitudes towards cannabis and product formats, ultimately driving the need for differentiated customer experiences.”

Currently, 17 percent of Canadian adults consume marijuana. The survey found that quality, intended effects, and potency are some of the most important criteria for consumers calculating purchases. The brand is not a priority to new consumers.

Canada’s 7 types of cannabis consumers 

  • Versatile connoisseur – 10 percent of the Canadian adult population consumes cannabis on a daily basis and many self-identify as connoisseurs.
  • Wellness inquisitor – The preferred consumption method for 3 percent of the population is vaporizing dried flower. 
  • Social enjoyer – Nearly 5 percent of Canadian cannabis consumers prefer balanced THC to CBD dried flower products.
  • Approval seeker – 23 percent of Canadian’s haven’t ruled out trying cannabis, but want more information from health care professionals. 
  • Skeptic – 27 percent of the population is unlikely to consume cannabis based on concerns about long-term impacts.
  • Unconvinced – Nearly 35 percent of Canadians think cannabis is a narcotic that contributes negatively to society. 

“Understanding the nuances of your customers’ values and interests, and having the right tools to determine these, are key,” said Lift & Co. CEO, Matei Olaru. “The right data will allow companies to continually innovate, create value for consumers and build customer loyalty.”

“Budtenders play a pivotal role in educating consumers at the point of purchase.”

Matei Olaru

Nearly 35 percent of non-consumers said they did not know enough about cannabis to consume it.

Contrary to current consumers, non-consumers less concerned with potency and price. They are more interested in clinical research and recommendations from health care practitioners to make purchasing decisions.

“Deciphering through online information for what’s credible can be a challenge, said Chadha. “Companies will need to determine the best way of building awareness and educating targeted consumer segments as one way to help inform the purchasing decision and build brand loyalty.”

Canada is expected to legalize next-generation cannabis products on Oct. 17, 2019 with edibles, concentrates, and topicals trickling into the market by December.

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