They know what you blazed last summer.
The cannabis industry is trying to figure out who you are. More specifically, the companies that make up this multibillion-dollar business sector want to get inside the heads of the consumer so they can squeeze as much money from us as possible in the coming years.
But there's no need to get all paranoid over this — certainly no reason to start crafting tin foil hats and using a burner phone. It's not like the industry has teamed up with some super-secret government agency and in a ploy to use modern-day spy technology to study your cannabis consumption habits.
At least, we don't think so.
Jokes aside, now that marijuana is fully legal in a handful of states across the nation, companies that sell weed are eager for any and all information about their customers. They want to know how much money we earn every year, the kinds of cars we drive, whether we have 2.5 kids and a house with a white picket fence or whether we're slumming it in the welfare district of our neighborhood gutters. All of these details are invaluable to those who sell pot.
A report published last year by New Frontier Data and MJ Freeway suggests there are nine kinds of cannabis users presently on the scene. All of them have different product preferences, quirks, income levels and purchasing habits.
Find out exactly where you fit in on the list.
1. Novelty Tokers
These are the occasional smokers, the people who will purchase bud a couple of times a year with a group of friends and get into open discussions on wildly entertaining topics like, "What if we had an orgy?" These are not the stark-raving mad, ride or die cannabis advocates who fought for legal weed over the past several decades. These people likely have no idea how grass even became legal in their neck of the woods — and they don't care, either! But they are all about getting stoned from time-to-time and laughing it up with their besties. Interestingly, this group makes up the most significant chunk (17 percent) of cannabis consumers. You might see a bunch of these folks later this year when the Weedmaps Museum opens up!
2. Grey and Trying to Forget
This classification is representative of the "occasional indulgers" who will purchase cannabis "a couple times a month or less to relax." Research shows that they are mostly men of a certain age who are divorced, broke and live alone. This group, which ranks second on the list of top spenders (14 percent), is apparently still skeptical about making their pot purchases at their neighborhood dispensary. They still have a tendency to rely on friends and weed dealers for their buys. They may also play with toy trains.
3. Weed Is Everything
Members of this group are more likely to be hardcore cannabis advocates. This slightly younger demographic has a tendency to use marijuana daily, even though they're broke as well. Research shows that these people have a relatively low income, yet still throw a large portion of their earnings into weed purchases. They make up 14 percent of the weed customers in the country, but most still frequent the black market and prefer to smoke weed over edibles. You might find members of this group playing video games in their parents' basement.
4. Medical Marijuana Only
This is the group that believes something has to be wrong with them to use marijuana. But don't worry, they always find a reason to consume. Why else do you think chronic pain became the leading health condition for patients participating in statewide medical marijuana programs? Research shows that these people are not regular users, nor do they lean on traditional consumption methods. They make up roughly 12 percent of the cannabis consumer population and are more likely to use pills, oils and topicals, the report finds. They are also the first to insist that people call it cannabis as opposed to weed, pot or even marijuana.
5. Weekend Warriors
This group, which makes up 11 percent of the user population, can most accurately be described as a snobbish social user. They make a good living and tend to live in areas where recreational marijuana is legal. They pay close attention to weed quality and even have their favorite strains. But this group, which research finds consists mostly of parents in their early 40s, still frequents the black market for their purchases. These are the people who, even though there is a dispensary down the street, still call their kids and ask them if they have a joint they can "borrow."
6. We're Cool, and Will Try Anything Once
This group consumes large amounts of cannabis in all forms — they'll smoke it, eat, drink it, it doesn't matter. These people, which the report refers to as the "cannabis consumer 2.0," are in a higher income bracket, and are said to be the best opportunity for the cannabis industry. These folks are eager to hit the dispensary every chance they get and will surely drive the budtenders crazy with all of their questions — but unfortunately for legal pot bigwigs, they only comprise 10 percent of the pot-consuming populace.
7. We Like Weed, Just Don't Know If It Should Be Legal
This group doesn't consume nearly as much marijuana, and when they do, it comes from some guy who knows a guy who knows another guy. They are an older demographic, around the age of retirement, and they have conservative views. These people (9 percent of the market) use marijuana no more than a couple of times of year with friends, but they are not likely to stand up for in favor of legalization. Or they might. It really just depends on what Fox News has to say at the time.
8. Closet Potheads
This is the group that doesn't like to publicize their pot use, and perhaps even makes excuses for it: It's the only thing out there that makes my back feel better.They are likely mothers and fathers who have been smoking pot since the Nixon administration, yet they have never felt comfortable discussing it in public. It's easy to recognize this 8 percent slice of the weed using pie, however, by the large stash of dry ass weed they keep in the same sandwich bag they've used since 1982.
9. Let's Party, No Seriously!
Although they're the smallest consumer base (5 percent), this group spends more money on cannabis products than any other. They are considered partiers, as they are also known to drink to excess and raise hell at every turn. These people, these are my kind of people. They do not care about finding out if weed cures cancer or how it might prevent kids from having seizures. Instead, they are out on the town, moving and shaking to the beat of life, living every day to the fullest. Look for these people hanging out at dispensaries late at night… and also in the country drunk tank.
TELL US, what kind of marijuana user are you?
This article first appeared on Cannabis Now.
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Clarice, a Melbourne-based writer, began her career covering the technology industry and now writes, edits and interviews subject matter experts in the Cannabis Industry.