U.S. Cannabis Update – Sweeping Changes and Positive Consumer Anticipation

Following the legalization of recreational cannabis consumption in Canada this past October, cannabis activity in the United States may be reaching a critical level of momentum. On Wednesday January 9th, bill H.R. 420 was filed in Congress by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). If passed, the bill would have the effect of deleting cannabis from the Federal Controlled Substances Act, thus removing a key impediment to full Federal legalization. Other notable developments this past year include:

  • New states legalizing recreational cannabis use bringing the total to 10 plus Washington D.C.
  • New states legalizing some forms of medical use of cannabis bringing the total to 33 plus Washington D.C.
  • Approval of the first cannabis derived drug by the FDA.
  • Unprecedented levels of investment and acquisition activity in the sector.
  • The percentage of Americans who are in favor of legalization efforts passed the two-thirds mark nationally.

Recently, Research Strategy Group international used our Crowd Intelligence platform to ask American consumers a few questions about cannabis.

We asked Americans if they thought in states where recreational cannabis use was legal, whether consumers would buy product through regular retail channels such as brick and mortar retail or online stores, as opposed to buying from a traditional private supplier as they had done in the past. The results showed a very strong probability (86%) that consumers would purchase through formal regulated channels. Reasons for assigning a high probability centered on the feeling of security, safety, convenience, and guaranteed quality standards associated with buying cannabis in the new channels that would be established post legalization.

The analgesic qualities of certain cannabis components are now the focus of extensive study and considerable hype. Many consumers are already using CBD based products for pain relief. Our Crowd Intelligence results indicated an 80% percent probability that CBD containing analgesic products would replace more traditional OTC (over the counter) pain relief products. Consumers see these new CBD based products as more natural, safe and potentially more effective than traditional analgesic formulations.

Finally, beverage producers from brewers to distillers to carbonated beverage giants are all working to understand the potential of consumer demand for CBD and THC infused beverages. Our research indicates that there is a substantial probability that THC infused alcoholic beverages (65%) and CBD infused non-alcoholic craft beers (62%) will be hot sellers over the next few years. Consumers are clearly drawn to the novelty of such products and many are keen to give them a try. Americans who are less inclined to see beverages like these as hot sellers are more likely to be concerned about issues related to legality and possible addiction.

Research strategy group international is at the forefront of Crowd Intelligence research and is also an internationally recognized leader in consumer-focused cannabis research.

For more information, please contact Pam Harrison pamharrison@rsginc.net or Brian Cash briancash@rsginc.net

Please visit our website at www.rsginc.net