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The Brand Builder’s Blueprint

Segmentation Analysis

6 Consumer Personas Shaping the Future of Cannabis

Our segmentation analysis of the U.S. cannabis market combines attitudinal, demographic, psychographic and occasion-based insights based on first-hand feedback from a universe of consumer experiences and backgrounds. These results offer a foundational framework for brands and retailers to uncover opportunities in the market, inform product development, build effective marketing strategies, and ultimately create more customer-centric businesses.


There is more than just one type of cannabis consumer. Building a product for “everyone” is no longer possible in the new era of cannabis.

To understand a myriad of perspectives and experiences, we interviewed consumers from across the cannabis eco-system, from the occasional topical CBD user to the daily consumer who views THC as a way to enhance life’s everyday experiences.

everyday enhancers

“Everything in life is a little better with weed: chores, sex, art. You name it, cannabis makes it better.”

escape artists

“I can’t wait for the end of a long day on the jobsite when I can kick my feet up on the recliner and spark up a bowl to unwind and relax.”

trendy tokers

“It’s important for me to be up on the latest trends…”

self-care seekers

“To live a healthy lifestyle, you have to care about what you are putting into your body and how you connect to the Earth.”

practical partakers

“I’m looking forward to some ‘me’ time.”

mature medicators

“Try anything once and if it works, try it again.”


Medical and recreational, acceptors and rejectors – these designations only scratch the surface. Going beyond behaviors and opinions, we examined consumers’ underlying needs, values and experiences including their comfortability shopping in dispensaries, historical relationship with authority and the law, and whether they seek cannabis for additive benefits (to enhance an experience) or subtractive (pain relief or stress relief). Additionally, we recognize that the binary categorization of consumers as either medical or recreational overlooks a critical segment of the market – wellness consumers who are seeking the health benefits of cannabis, but not necessarily to treat a diagnosed medical condition.

Here are just a few of the inputs we considered when designing this engagement.

Usage Occasions


Subtractive or Additive
Benefits Sought

Relationship with
the Law

Previous Experiences
with Cannabis

Solitary vs. Social
Consumption Habits

Comfortability Shopping
for Cannabis

alignment chart

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You may think you know your customers,

but what the data reveals may surprise you.

Our experts are ready to walk you through these findings and what they mean for your brand or category. We’ll tell you how you can develop your own custom personas, based on the habits, preferences, and lifestyle of your target audience.


We are known for providing quick turn, high impact, custom research solutions. Built upon a multi-decade history of accessing niche populations, ISA has developed products specifically designed to serve the cannabis industry including The CANNApinion Poll, a bi-monthly survey of 1000 US cannabis consumers. ISA was the first research firm to launch a cannabis-specific research community, The Green Time, providing brands with reliable and targeted access to cannabis consumers.

Presented in Partnership

This initiative was born out of a strategic partnership between ISA and ISA’s parent company – Material. ISA tapped into their proprietary panel of cannabis consumers, The Green Time, to survey the participants. Hilary DeCamp, Material’s Chief Research Officer, led the team that conducted this segmentation analysis.


Hilary DeCamp
Chief Research Officer, Material

A renowned expert on segmentation research, Hilary trains, guides and inspires hundreds of Material business strategists to execute top-notch research in a rapidly changing world of evolving marketing and measurement methods. She is passionate about collaborating with brilliant people (inside and outside her company) to solve many challenging problems in a wide variety of different industries while always keeping her “marketer” hat on.

An industry veteran, Hilary has spent over half of her life designing primary research solutions to meet the unique needs of clients. Most of her career has been in business-oriented Marketing Science teams applying sophisticated (or sometimes simple) methodological and statistical tools to maximize the learning gleaned from consumers. Her primary focus has been market segmentation and brand strategy, plus general
problem solving.