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This New Class of Marijuana Consumer Wants High-End, Not Just High

  • “Just as drinking a beer doesn’t mean someone is a drunk or an alcoholic – simply consuming cannabis doesn’t make him or her a zoned-out stoner.”

The 420 lifestyle may be getting a makeover.

Defying long-held stereotypes of those who use marijuana, a recent survey of 800 cannabis consumers showed that they overwhelmingly identify themselves as “social, sophisticated and professional individuals,” according to a recent study by consulting firm Miner & Co Studios.

Far from being ‘lazy stoners’ or ‘deadbeats’, individuals surveyed were in their 30s, employed full-time with an income of over $75,000 per year, and 42% were parents with children under 18 years of age. This group also overwhelmingly stated that they use marijuana in order to enhance social experiences, as well as viewing it as a more natural, healthy alternative to pharmaceuticals or alcohol.

These consumers have more discretionary income and are interested in learning new information about different hybrids of cannabis, and open to new ways of using it. They’re also image-conscious; with 6 in 10 indicating that branding associated with celebrities somewhat important them. These products; like Leafs by Snoop offered by Snoop Dogg, or Willie Nelson’s new line, Willie’s Reserve, are examples of these celebrity products, with discrete, professionally designed packaging.

President of Miner & Co. Studio, Robert Miner, recognizes that this is a new consumer segment, and how cannabis brands should learn how to market to them.

New Cannabis Consumer from Miner & Co. Studio on Vimeo.

He states; “In the new political and social landscape, mass media’s portrayal of Cannabis Consumers will need to evolve as well. While TV and movies have unquestionably played a powerful role in driving awareness and acceptance of cannabis as a normal part of our lives and culture, media is still stuck propagating the stoner stereotype such that anyone who consumes cannabis becomes the modern equivalent of Otis, the town drunk in Andy Griffith’s Mayberry – hapless, bumbling and out of it. Just as drinking a beer doesn’t mean someone is a drunk or an alcoholic – simply consuming cannabis doesn’t make him or her a zoned-out stoner. Media has an opportunity to present the new Cannabis Consumer in a more positive light to overcome the stoner stereotype that still casts a stigma on the consumers in this vast and growing market.

An Infographic about this new type of ‘cannabis consumer’ is seen below:

(Image via Miners & Co Studios)

(Image via Miners & Co Studios)

The results of the study, while small, do jive with a trend toward more upscale, sleek, modern marketing of cannabis by edible companies like Kiva, Whoopi Goldberg’s line of cannabis products (Whoopi & Maya) and on-trend dispensaries like San Francisco’s Harvest. One Bay Area company, Octavia Wellness, is even starting exclusive Tupperware-style home cannabis education and sampling parties — targeting mature users in a comfortable home environment.

What’s your take on the new cannabis user?