It’s Quarter Four: Why You Should Invest in Cannabis Market Research

The New Year is coming in at a record pace (at least it seems like it, doesn’t it?), and now is the time to make sure you use up the rest of your marketing dollars before the year closes.

For marketing analysts, brand managers, and product development professionals in the recreational and medical cannabis industries in California, 2022 promises to provide a wealth of opportunities. The cannabis industry in California is one of the most robust in the country.

But running an efficient business requires strategic planning. Right now is the time to invest the remainder of your marketing budget for 2021, on a quick turnaround study providing insight into valuable California cannabis consumer data, before it’s too late!

Use It or Lose It!
Here’s the thing about marketing budget allocations. More often than not, companies are under strict pressure to as closely forecast as possible how much funding will be necessary to research the market and develop products in a given year.

Those funds are allocated as necessary to business development – up to a point. It is commonplace for budget reassessments and reallocations to follow years in which the books closed on a surplus of funding.

That means marketing managers often lose their unused dollars – and worse, the next year they might only be granted a smaller budget, reflecting the loss of the funds failed to use the previous year.

You’re given those dollars to invest in products, market research, and advertising so you can generate higher sales for your company. Money spent well is well spent, and for players in the California cannabis market, market research is one of the most potentially valuable investments that can be made.

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know: California Cannabis Consumer Data and Strategic Planning for 2022
It’s important to keep in mind that there just isn’t that much historical data on medical and recreational marijuana use. In the United States (even in California) legalizing cannabis is a trend that has only relatively recently started to generate a head of steam.

Yes, cannabis sales are projected to grow, but that doesn’t answer any of the minute questions about the industry that offer up the details. There’s still a lot to know, and California cannabis consumer data is worth its weight in gold.

What Cannabis Businesses Need to Know
Guessing never pays off in business. Success is no accident, but the result of gathering accurate insights into a target market and making actionable decisions.

For businesses that operate in the industries for medical or recreational marijuana in California, using the remainder of a marketing budget to gather California cannabis consumer data via a study with ISA Corp can answer some of the following vital questions:

●Who are my customers, really? A study can help you gather direct insights into your target demographic; it might not be just who you assumed it to be.

●How familiar is my target audience with the specific products I sell?

●Is it worth investing in developing new products, such as edibles, tinctures, or cannabis drinks?

●Does my target audience have a preferred method of consumption? If so, is it worth my company’s time and resources to proliferate into additional product categories?

●How familiar are cannabis users with my company’s brand? Does my company’s brand align well with the expectations of my target audience?

●What marketing channels will be most effective at reaching members of my target audience? How much does my organization need to spend in the coming years to reach them?

●In what areas of the state will demand for cannabis products be the highest in 2022? Are there any areas projected to have higher than average growth?

●How price-sensitive are the members of my target audience? How often do they use cannabis products? Are their usage tendencies independent of price or does expense impact usage trends?

●Does my organization need to start offering free shipping or delivery services in order to remain effective?

●What other competitive moves are other players in the industry making that are either popular or effective with shared target customers?

●What are the reasons that my company’s target users consume cannabis? Is it to relieve stress, to combat cabin fever, or do they only habitually use when amongst company?

●Does my company need to adjust targeting or positioning in order to take advantage of a growing segment of the market that will not be effectively reached by our current approaches?

●Is it potentially worth investing in markets outside of my company’s home state (California), especially in light of burgeoning public support for legalizing adult use in neighboring states, like Oregon?

●What platforms does it make the most sense to advertise on, given both reach and the plausibility of advertising on platforms that may impose restrictions?

These are only a few of the questions that partnering with ISA Corp for a study to deliver California cannabis consumer data can answer. Ultimately, the questions are up to you to ask, but together we can help you answer them.

Partner with Us for a Quick Turnaround Study on the Cannabis Industry in Your Area
ISA Corp has developed the world’s first cannabis consumer panel – The Green Time – which consists of a panel of both cannabis users and industry professionals who are committed to answering questions about cannabis products, branding, and the overall industry.

Members of the panel are extensively vetted and qualified and must pass a rigorous screen process to verify their age and identity before being admitted to the panel.

You can also take advantage of our CANNApinion Poll, a bi-monthly survey of U.S. cannabis consumers. The CANNApinion Poll allows you to closely target your questions to the needs of your business and generate quick, accurate insights into your target user behavior, preferences, and more.

There’s never been a better time to take advantage of cannabis consumer insights, especially if you still haven’t used your entire marketing budget for 2021. Start off 2022 armed with answers to the questions that have plagued your organization most, and enter the New Year with a plan for sustained growth.

Start a conversion today.

Some Helpful Colorado Cannabis Consumer Insights

Colorado Amendment 64, passed just shy of a decade ago in November 2012, legalized recreational cannabis use in the Centennial State and paved the way for retail sales and market growth. Although California legalized medical cannabis many years earlier (1996), Colorado (along with Washington state) was one of the first states to legalize the drug for recreational use.

Since that time, the statewide cannabis market has blossomed and continues to grow, and many other states have followed suit. Colorado is still seen as a beacon of the movement to legalize recreational cannabis products, and its politically friendly atmosphere has attracted users, investors, and dispensaries.

But the keys to success in Colorado’s cannabis industry, as in so many others, lie in the precinct of effective, practical decision making, and without information, that’s an impossibility.

Let’s take a look at some helpful Colorado cannabis consumer insights.

Market Sizing

The market for legal cannabis in Colorado is one of the biggest in the nation. In 2021, the total industry for cannabis in Colorado cumulatively surpassed $10 billion in sales since the program began officially in 2014.

Through 2020, annual sales increased 25% from 2019. Whether this was due to pandemic-fueled isolation or simply growing, widespread acceptance, at the moment, is anyone’s guess. All the same, the figures don’t lie. 2021 has also been a record year.

When comparing retail (recreational adult-use cannabis) alongside the medical marijuana industries in the state, retail sales are, on average, larger. Per location, in 2019, retail sales were on average just shy of about $2.5 million, whereas medical channels sold on average just over $750,000.

As of 2020, Colorado has more than 400 cultivators. At the outset of 2020, Colorado had 438 licensed medical marijuana dispensaries and 572 licensed cannabis retailers. The latter figure is and has been growing consistently. By the end of 2020, there were over 590.

As for the number of users, that figure would appear to be fairly lucrative as well. Estimates of the number of recreational and medical users are both high and growing. By 2021, the state had over 85,000 users of medical marijuana. The estimated size of the recreational, adult-use markets are between 550,000 and 650,000, but of course, that number could be larger in actuality.

Takeaways:

  • Cannabis sales are growing in Colorado every year.
  • Colorado is consistently adding cannabis retail licenses.
  • Cannabis consumption (both medical and recreational) is rising, but growth among recreational users is stronger.

Market Demographics

Without performing a custom, targeted study of your local cannabis demographics, we can only offer national figures and splice them into what we already know about Colorado cannabis consumer insights.

Nationwide, there are both male and female consumers of cannabis products. Currently, around 60% of sales go to male users, but that trend is decreasing as more and more women officially begin participating in legal cannabis markets.

You might not expect it, but education appears to be correlated to cannabis usage. Those with college degrees or even associate’s degrees are more likely to purchase recreational cannabis than those with only a high school diploma.

Both employed and unemployed consumers exhibit demand for cannabis products. Nearly a third of unemployed consumers are users of marijuana.

Nationally, by far, the largest cohort of cannabis users are millennials. Estimates place the national recreational figures for millennials at anywhere up to 50% of the market. The next largest cohort is Gen X, at about 25%. Together, these two demographics constitute about 75% of the market for cannabis users. Interestingly, the next largest cohort is baby boomers – at around 15%.

Purchasing Habits

Colorado consumer insights regarding purchasing habits are also valuable. Knowing what to sell to your customers can be the difference between a sale and a lost opportunity. For these purposes, we’re going to defer to information gathered in 2019 and earlier.

In 2019, flower constituted 44% of cannabis sales in Colorado. It held a majority over concentrates (31%), while edibles consisted of 15% of sales. The remainder of sales in Colorado consisted of pre-rolls and other goods.

Let’s contrast this with data from 2018, which estimates flower sales at 45%, concentrate sales at 33%, and edibles at 6%. It looks like there’s little change.

However, taking a step back in time to 2015 paints a clearer picture. In that year, flower constituted 65% of cannabis sales in Colorado, with 15% allocated to concentrates and 12% to edibles.

Flower sales, as a percentage of the total, have shrunk consistently over the years, losing ground to concentrates. Preference for edibles has grown consistently, albeit very slowly.

However, this is not at all to suggest that the market for flower is dwindling and that the future lies with concentrates. Since sales overall have grown considerably, the volume in reach category has also grown in kind. It simply means that if there was doubt regarding the future of concentrate sales, the figures tell a clear story.

Colorado Cannabis Consumer Insights: Projections

No one can say with any authority what exactly the future holds, but if the past is any presage, cannabis sales in Colorado will continue to flourish, even allowing for proliferation into additional product categories like cannabis drinks and the like.

According to Statista, Colorada cannabis sales in 2022 are expected to meet or exceed 2.5 billion dollars. That is a significant increase from 2021, which in turn exhibited strong growth from 2020, and when compared alongside 2019.

For entrepreneurs that are interested in investing in the cannabis market in Colorado – and even for retail locations looking to extract more value from their investments, Colorado cannabis consumer insights can help.

Revamp Business with Custom Colorado Cannabis Consumer Insights

Raw figures like the ones presented in this article only give a sense of where the cannabis market in Colorado is likely to go. They paint a positive picture of growth and buying habits, but they don’t answer the granular, targeted questions that business owners need to answer in order to secure the greatest success.

Questions associated with local buyers in your target market, what their purchasing habits are, how they like to pay, or what products might merit testing and development, all can’t be answered by vague national statistics.

These are the kinds of questions that can only be answered by purpose-driven, customized Colorado cannabis consumer insights – and we are ready to partner with you to help you drive business.

Get in touch with us today at 818-989-1044 or at hello@isacorp.com to learn more about how our customized research surveys and other data-collection services can help you gain actionable insights for your cannabis business.

Can a Cannabis Market Research Company in California Guide Strategy?

The national cannabis market is on the upswing, and in recent years several states have passed legislation decriminalizing marijuana possession or usage, or even legalizing it outright. What started with cautious legislation enabling doctors to prescribe medical marijuana has cascaded into overwhelming consumer applause that continues to grow in tenor.

Let’s take a close look at some statistics governing the greater market in the country.

According to some demographic analyses, 48% and 17% of recreational sales of cannabis products went to millennial and Gen Z users, respectively. How about in terms of national support? Apparently, in 2019, over 68% of participants polled were in support of cannabis legalization. That is an overwhelming majority, and it only promises to grow.

What about total users as a percentage of the current population? That’s estimated to hover somewhere around 12% of the current population. Apparently, slightly more men are current users, than women, but in the past three years, reported usage among female consumers has grown, leveling out at around 48% of users, splitting the market nearly 50-50.

These figures break up the market into actionable cohorts, but what about the promise of growth? What are estimates for legal cannabis sales in the United States?

Well, of course, figures will vary according to your source, but according to some figures, legal growth has been surprisingly high, no pun intended. You wouldn’t expect such overwhelming support from most consumers in the country without a corresponding increase in growth. According to some figures, cannabis sales through 2020 grew explosively. Whether fueled by the pandemic, stay-at-home orders, or ballooning public approval, 2020 cannabis sales grew by 60% – 67%, to be exact.

In 2020, the estimated value of the cannabis market was about 18 billion dollars USD – and it was and has been growing.

Now, how about consumer purchasing habits? What should we take a look at – frequency of use? Willingness to spend or budgetary considerations? Type of consumption method preferred? How about something else less predictable?

You’ll recall that many businesses were shut down during most of 2020. You may also remember – perhaps firsthand – that many people were forced to work from home or even, unfortunately, lost their jobs.

What else happened to cannabis consumer behavior during 2020, in addition to the fact that usage increased?

Well, buying habits shifted in a way that reflected similar changes in the greater market. Namely, consumers started relying on cannabis delivery services. Specifically, demand for cannabis delivery services inclined sharply. According to some figures, customer participation in cannabis delivery programs jumped by more than 50%.

That paints a picture for markets in which there were sellers that offered those services. Imagine what would have happened if all cannabis vendors offered those services? Likely, participation would have increased even further.

That being the case, not every vendor serves the same market – and since laws vary considerably from state to state, and since marijuana is still federally illegal, these national statistics might be of particular interest to most sellers operating from a specific state – which begs the question:

But What about Your Corner of the Industry?

The purpose of cannabis market research, specifically cannabis consumer statistics in California, is to learn as much as possible about your target customers. If you operate a cannabis dispensary, for example, in California, what consumers in Colorado or New York prefer may not matter too much to you. That solidarity might leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling, but in terms of actionable insights, there may not be much they can offer you.

This is why there is so much value in precision targeting and performing the right research, seeking the right answers – in the right places. Let’s consider some quick facts about the market for cannabis products in Califonia.

Cannabis Consumer Stats and Facts – California

  • In 2017, cannabis sales in California accounted for 34% of legal sales in the United States.
  • In 2020, California’s cannabis retail sales totaled around 4.4 billion dollars, up 50% from 2019.
  • This figure accounted for 27% of all legal sales in the U.S.
  • The cannabis market in California is expected to reach or exceed 5 billion dollars by 2022.
  • California is the single largest legal market for cannabis products in the United States.
  • According to some studies, around 20% of adults in California used cannabis recreationally in 2019, up from around 13% in 2011.

So does this mean it would be lucrative for you to invest in or open a dispensary in California? Are you currently employed by a dispensary and tasked with strategic growth?

The short answer is a resounding “possibly.”

Though the figures above are compelling in their own right, they are too raw to put to use for the purposes of devising strategic marketing positioning or making decisions about product research and development.

They just don’t paint a close enough picture about your own target consumers, perhaps because general statistics simply can’t do so. In order for you to effectively market your cannabis products, you need first to define your target audience, before a cannabis market research company in California can help you answer some of the following questions:

  • How often do my target users use cannabis products?
  • What types of cannabis products do they prefer to use?
  • Are there any opportunities for marketing or developing new cannabis products? (Such as edibles, drinks, tinctures, etc.)
  • What type of discretionary spending is my target market comfortable with?
  • Do I need to start providing delivery services?
  • Are there any seasonal trends I need to observe?
  • Are there any product lines I should stop supporting or continuing?
  • And many other similar questions.

If you’re looking for help making strategic decisions from a cannabis market research company in California, ISA Group can help. We offer a number of unique research products, including our bi-weekly CANNApinion surveys that can lend you tailored market insights to guide your strategic decision-making process.

Need a Cannabis Market Research Company in California?

You can’t answer questions until you ask them. Give us a call at 818-989-1044 or email us at hello@isacorp.com if you have any questions about how we can help you tailor your marketing strategy with custom insights.

How Professional Cannabis Consumer Insights Can Help Guide Strategic Decisions

States across the country have taken steps in the direction of cannabis legalization and decriminalization. Some states have legalized sales and; depending on the source you trust, as many as two-thirds or up to 68% of Americans believe that cannabis products and their associated consumption should be legalized. Consequently, the legal cannabis industry has consistently grown.

Whether you operate a successful dispensary and have been in business for years or you’re just looking into the financial implications of running one, there is value in cannabis consumer insights. Business leaders base much of their strategic planning around forecasts developed from extensive consumer opinion polling and other objective research.

But how can it benefit your business? Much of it comes down to how well you understand your consumers, what they do, why they do it, and what they want.

When historical sales data is insufficient, sometimes the answer lies with gathering the data proactively. Here are some of the key questions that cannabis consumer insights, consumer polling, and market research can help you answer.

How Do Customers Prefer to Buy?

Though this question, on the surface, looks like a high-level “cash or credit?” type of question, its implications run much deeper. Consider the shifts in purchasing habits that have taken place over the past two years or so.

More and more online and local shoppers are increasingly desirous of free shipping that is also stipulation-free; that is, customers who buy online want free shipping or free local delivery. Is your dispensary prepared to handle that?

For example, our research indicates that 33% of cannabis users in select markets relied heavily on delivery services during coronavirus lockdowns. Is that trend going to continue or will it falter? Past sales figures can’t tell you – only current polling and other research.

The bigger question is: is your dispensary poised to adapt to changing consumer preferences such as these?

What Are Customers Cannabis Consumption Habits?

Does your dispensary sell only flower? Or does it sell a range of different cannabis products, such as edibles, tinctures, concentrates, cannabis drinks or other unique products? More importantly, does this matter to your customers?

If your target buyer smokes flower, then you’re set for success. But what if your buyers only purchase flower incidentally, then decarb it themselves in order to make their own edibles? You might serve them better by expanding your product portfolio. Consumer data can yield insight into this consumer data.

Conversely, a product line expansion might be a wasted expense if it doesn’t result in sales and conversions. How and what your target buyers consume can help you grow strategically, making informed decisions that can justify that growth with sales – not just with a larger, costlier enterprise.

How Frequently Do Your Target Consumers Partake?

The prices you set and the type of buyer you want to attract will both affect and be affected by the consumption habits of your target market. Profitability will be affected by sales, and you might need to adjust prices accordingly to reflect projected sales forecasts.

As a very simple, high level, but reasonable example, if your target market only partakes occasionally, you might want to sell in larger or bulk quantities in order to meet that demand and expand profitability at the same time. Selling in smaller quantities might not make sense.

It all comes back to what your buyers do and when they do it – how often do your target consumers use cannabis, and can your dispensary meet that demand?

What Type of Budget Does Your Target Customer Set?

Similarly, you need to understand your target buyers’ budget as closely as possible. Other questions such as those related to price sensitivity are equally important to answer. If your branding appeals to a price-insensitive audience, a price scale or adjustment might be in order. The same could be said if your brand was not well-aligned with the actual visitors that came to your dispensary.

The key takeaway is that your price model might be inefficient, but you wouldn’t know it unless you can answer some key questions about how much your target audience intends to allocate to discretionary purchases of cannabis products.

What Types of Incentives Will Your Target Buyer Respond to?

Another basic but surprisingly relevant question revolves around strategic growth. It’s been shown time and time again that effective loyalty programs can improve customer satisfaction, boost customer engagement and retention, and increase sales. The operative word in that statement is “effective.”

What type of loyalty program will appeal to your target buyer? Why? What other strategic positioning incentives can you undertake in order to reach more consumers more effectively? Our consumer research shows that over 70% of dispensary shoppers would spend more if the dispensary offered a loyalty program.

What other questions about strategic growth do you need to be answered before you can justify the expense associated with rolling out new programs? You may be the only one to be able to ask those strategic questions, but our cannabis consumer insights can help answer them.

Basic Cannabis Consumer Insights: Your Buyer Persona

Reflect on what you’ve read so far. You’ll notice that we used the terms “target audience” and “target buyer” several times throughout this article. Before you can answer any of the other questions we posed with cannabis consumer insights, you need to define your target buyer – surprisingly, target buyers are not just the people that come into your dispensary to purchase. These are just buyers. Target buyers fit a profile defined by habits, preferences, and demographics that you must define in order to launch successful marketing campaigns.

Luckily, cannabis consumer insights can also help you define your target audience. To learn more about how you can get started making wiser marketing moves, visit our pages on Cannabis Market Research and CANNApinion Polling, or get in touch with us directly at 818-989-1044 or at hello@ISACorp.com.

4/20 Celebrations Rebound After Covid

Poll results from ISA indicate significant boosts in dispensary visits, gifting and trying new products for 4/20/2021

There’s a dramatic shift in the way cannabis consumers across the U.S. will be celebrating the 4/20 cannabis holiday this year, according to poll results from insights firm ISA, a Material Company. This year more consumers plan to host friends at home, visit dispensaries and celebrate in public places, such as live events or restaurants. This comparison is based on survey results from another ISA study fielded in April of 2020.

The percentage of cannabis consumers who say they will celebrate the holiday in some way has now outpaced pre-COVID-19 levels. In 2019, 70% of cannabis consumers said they would celebrate the 4/20 holiday. That percentage has jumped to 78% in 2021.

The most significant variance from 2020 poll results has been among people who say they are planning to celebrate 4/20 with friends at home. In 2019, before the pandemic, 58% of consumers who planned to participate in the holiday said they would celebrate at home with friends. That number dipped to 29% in April of 2020, and has now rebounded to 55%, indicating a return to normalcy for cannabis consumers who celebrate by hosting private events.

The findings could indicate the cannabis industry will experience a significant uptick in sales on and around April 20th, with more people venturing out to their local dispensary. The percentage of cannabis consumers who say they will visit a dispensary to celebrate 4/20 rose from 13% in 2020 to 30% in 2021, coming in slightly above the 2019 percentage of 26%. Additionally, more consumers plan to purchase 4/20 gifts for friends and family in 2021, compared to 2020. The 2021 poll revealed that 37% of consumers who celebrate 4/20 plan to buy gifts for others, while 16% reported doing so in 2020. Another positive sign for dispensaries and cannabis brands is that a significant number of consumers (40%) are planning to try a new product as part of their holiday celebration, up from 21% in 2020.

“The cannabis industry grew steadily throughout the pandemic,” said Adriana Hemans, ISA’s VP of Demand. “What’s exciting about the early poll results from 2021 is that cannabis consumers are coming together again for 4/20, seeking novel experiences with new products. Those products could potentially become part of their regular cannabis routines, providing additional growth opportunities for brands.” ISA will continue to gather data and insights from cannabis consumers in the days leading up to April 20th, providing business analysts, industry experts and media outlets with ongoing updates on consumer behaviors related to the 4/20 holiday. Figures presented in this press release are based on three studies – a nationwide poll of 1,001 cannabis consumers fielded April 26th through April 29th of 2019, with a 3% margin of error at a 95% level of confidence; a nationwide poll of 420 cannabis consumers fielded April 18th through April 20th of 2020, with a 5% margin of error at a 95% level of confidence, and a nationwide poll of 420 cannabis consumers with a 5% margin of error at a 95% level of confidence. To qualify for inclusion in all of these studies, participants indicated that they are over 21 years old and had purchased or consumed cannabis in the last 90 days. Participants in the 2021 study were gathered through ISA’s proprietary cannabis research panel – The Green Time.

 

Cannabis Consumers 4/20 Celebration Plans

ISA conducts 2020 Police and Community Relations Survey for StudyLA at Loyola Marymount University

ISA conducts 2020 Police and Community Relations Survey for StudyLA

This survey was conducted to measure public opinion toward the Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) policing in Los Angeles, California

The Study

In the fall of 2020, Interviewing Service of America (ISA) conducted a survey on behalf of The Center for the Study of Los Angeles (StudyLA) at Loyola Marymount University to better understand the public’s opinion toward policing in Los Angeles. The questions asked in this survey covered topics such as trust in the police, community engagement efforts by the local police, race relations, and personal experiences with the police. The reason for the study was to gauge how residents feel about the job the LAPD is doing in relation to their mission: “to safeguard the lives and property of the people the LAPD serves, to reduce the incidence and fear of crime, and to enhance public safety while working with the diverse communities to improve quality of life.”

Methodology

The survey was conducted from August 21 to October 25, 2020 and administered in English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Korean. It utilized a mixed methodology to ensure representation of the diverse LA population, consisting of a 20-minute telephone interview, online surveys, and face-to-face interviews with 1,753 adults who reside in the city of Los Angeles. A minimum of 400 residents from each of the four LAPD bureaus were surveyed.

Results

When residents were asked how things were going in the city of Los Angeles, only 48.8% said it was going in the right direction. The level of optimism has been steadily dropping since 2017. Residents have more trust in their neighbors (64.6%) than the LAPD (51.2%) to do what is right. A huge number of Angelenos support community policing (88.2%), which focuses on having officers build ties and work closely with community members. Even with the overwhelming number of those who support community policing, only 9.8% say the LAPD’s role is to work with and be part of the community. A large number say that their role is to serve, protect and enforce laws (71.1%).

To learn more of the results of this study, visit StudyLA’s full article here.