The Female Cannabis Market

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Case Study - Cannabis Brands Targeting Women

After conducting an in-depth search, we were not able to determine the cannabis brands or companies that are successfully targeting women. However, we established that 48% of women in the United States are more likely to engage in cannabis, and 39% of new cannabis users are women. Nine states in the United States have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes.

Methodology

First, we began searching through case study publications on cannabis brands targeting women. We looked through credible sites like the Hubspot Case study directory, McKinsey, NCBI, and Cannabis Med with the intention of finding case studies about cannabis. However, this yielded no helpful results. Most of the information found was about the legalization of cannabis and the online directory of cannabis. We then expanded the search to cover the whole cannabis marketing. This again yielded no helpful result as no case study about cannabis brands was found.
We extended our search and looked for any advertising, marketing or campaign conducted by cannabis brands or companies specific to women as well as showing the result of the advertising, marketing, & campaign conducted. We searched through Forbes, Crowd Spring, Wick and Mortar, The Guardian, High Times, and Thearcane. This research did not yield any helpful results. Most of the information found was on campaigns conducted by cannabis directory listing companies, cannabis advertising agency, cannabis branding, and content company. Nothing specific to the cannabis brand itself. We gathered helpful information including the restriction provided by the tech companies such as Google, Facebook, and some federal restriction in the United States as presented in the key findings. The only cannabis brand that conducted a campaign targeting women was Apothecanna, in which the company created a blog article on the benefit of cannabis during menstruation for women. But unfortunately, no success rate in terms of social media followers or sales were provided.
Given that there were none case studies, articles, reports, or blogs found from a trusted database to follow up on, we broadened our search and looked for the top Cannabis brands in the United States. From the list of top Cannabis brands such as Caviar Gold, Marley Natural, Wana Brands, and Apothecanna, we searched each of the cannabis brands marketing campaign targeting women through their company websites. Unfortunately, this research strategy did no yield helpful results as well.
The possible reason as to why the requested information can not be found on the public domain could be because of the restriction in the Cannabis industry. Facebook, Instagram, Google, and other social forums have strong policies that prevent cannabis-related material and marijuana advertising.

CANNABIS MARKET SIZE

The cannabis market was estimated to be at $7.2 billion in the year 2016. The market was projected to grow at a CAGR of 17%. This implied a decline of 28% growth rate in the year 2016. The medical market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13% up to 2025. The market will grow from $4.7 billion in 2016 to a projected $13.3 billion in the year 2020. The adult use sales are also projected to grow at a CAGR of 25% around the same time, from $2.6 billion in 2016 to a projected $11.2 billion in 2020.

Cannabis MARKET SPECIFIC TO WOMEN

According to Havard Business Review, it is observed that women decide on a majority of purchases. This constitutes 94% of home furnishings, 51% of consumer electronics, 91% of homes, 60% of automobiles, and 92% of vacations. Around 74% of the Americans who consume cannabis are men and 26% are women. Around 48% of women are more likely to engage in cannabis. Around 39% of new cannabis users are women. This is according to white paper research released by the Green Market Report.

LEGALIZATION AND RESTRICTION OF CANNABIS INDUSTRY

A majority of traditional advertising avenues restricted cannabis advertising. This includes Google, Facebook, print, radio, and billboards. It is technically illegal to advertise marijuana at the federal level. Advertising agencies do not sell ad spaces to business in the cannabis industry. Nine states in the United States have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes. Around 30 states in the United States have legalized marijuana for medical usage. Since the product is illegal at the federal level, there are restrictions and regulations that limit the cannabis businesses from advertising on social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Google, Facebook, and YouTube are platforms that dominate online advertising. The companies have banned any advertising that could promote drug use. The ban applies to even the legal substances. Facebook launched a campaign in shutting down cannabis-related products. The company deleted and suspended a big number of accounts that were operated by marijuana brands. Facebook also deleted the profiles of the users running those pages. Instagram has its policy clearly stated out that providing sexual services, purchasing or selling of illegal/prescription drugs, and promotion of recreational drug use is not permitted.

CANNABIS BRANDS TARGETING WOMEN

Apothecanna created a blog that addressed the benefits of cannabis to menstrual health. They targeted women with their $40 Calming Body Creme. Apothecanna has 5,762 followers on Facebook, 1,739 followers on Twitter, and 22,500 followers on Instagram.
Part
02
of two
Part
02

Demographics of Female Cannabis Buyers

While the limited amount of publicly available information did not permit us to answer all the items of the research criteria, we were able to address a significant number of the it fully answer the research question, we According to the findings of a survey that was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, in the United States, the racial segmentation of women who consume cannabis products is largely composed of Caucasian women. Additionally, the survey reported that the average age of women who use cannabis products in the United States is 29.9 years. Further details of our research methodology and findings follows below.

METHODOLOGY

After performing an exhaustive search using a distinctive set of research strategies, we were unable to find information on the income and marital status of the women that buy cannabis products. However, we were able to present some broad data on income and marital status that was derived from surveys and research studies. A distinction of the demographics for women that buy cannabis products legally and those that buy the products illegally was also not available in the public domain. Our research strategies follow below.

Our first strategy entailed consulting federal government websites and databases in our search for any available national surveys, research studies, and statistical data that could be useful in providing information on the demographics of women cannabis buyers in the United States i.e. consumers that purchase cannabis products legally and those that purchase the products illegally. With this strategy, we searched the websites of the CDC, the Census Bureau, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Center for Biotechnology Information, among others. However, in the end, we were not able to find any relevant resources in regard to the demographics of women cannabis buyers. There was also no information that could help us differentiate the demographics of women who buy cannabis legally and those who buy cannabis illegally. This strategy yielded general information that included the health issues associated with marijuana abuse, what drives people to buy marijuana, and the growing numbers of pregnant women that are using marijuana in the United States.

Next, we consulted industry sources, consulting firms, and cannabis/marijuana associations such as the Cannabis Consumers Coalition, Reuters, Deloitte, and Eaze. Our aim was to find any available information in these sources that we could use to address the specifics of the research criteria. However, after extensive use of this strategy, we were only able to provide some of the demographics of women cannabis buyers including age, race, and education using surveys and research studies. Information on marital status, income, and distinctions on women who legally buy cannabis products and those that illegally cannabis products still unavailable.

In our third strategy, we focused on press release and media resources in our search for relevant information on the research items that were still unaddressed. With this strategy, we were able to find broader classifications of the marital status, income level, and education level of cannabis users including women. We opted to use this data as proxy findings to address some of the unaddressed items of the research criteria.

Next, we tried to expand the research scope to North America and include Canada in the hope that we could find some additional proxy findings. However, this strategy also did not provide any relevant information that we could use to address the research criteria as what was available was general information on cannabis use.

In our fifth strategy, we tried to look for any proxy representation of the requested demographics based on the biggest market states of the cannabis industry such as California, Colorado, and Arizona. However, the only data that we found using this strategy was a survey study that was conducted in California, whose findings we have presented in the findings section below. Lastly, we were not able to perform any successful triangulation in reference to the unavailable information due to a limited amount of relevant data points that we could use to draw credible insights and conclusions.

DEMOGRAPHICS OF WOMEN WHO BUY CANNABIS

According to a research study that was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, 60% of women who are buying cannabis products in the United States are Caucasian. The study also noted that the average age of women who buy cannabis products is 29.9 years and 80.4% of the women participants reported at least a high school education. Additionally, in the last decade, marijuana use among pregnant and reproductive-aged women increased by 62%.

In reference to a report by High Yield Insights, women form the largest consumer base for edible cannabis products. The report noted that when it came to edible cannabis products, consumers were more likely to be "lighter users (using one time or less per month), newer to using (less than 5 years), female, college educated and high-income earners."

A California-based survey reported that the methods that women prefer to consumer cannabis flowers by percentage included joint - 37%, water pipe - 24%, vaporizer - 18%, pipe - 14%, and 7% do not smoke or vape i.e. women that exclusively consume edibles, tinctures, and topicals.

A survey of 800 cannabis users that was conducted by Miner & Co Studio reported that:


Duby, a social network for cannabis enthusiasts conducted a survey on its 125,000 users and reported that:

ADDITIONAL FINDINGS

According to a research study that was done in California, 59% of women consume cannabis daily.

A reader survey that was conducted by Marijuana Business Daily reported that in 2015, 36% of the executive level positions in the cannabis industry were held by women. However, the study reported that this number fell to 27% in 2017 and although the number reduced, it still remains higher than the national average for all other United States industries in which women hold 23% of executive-level positions.

Lastly, in reference to a survey by the Cannabis Consumers Coalition (CCC), more women consume cannabis than men. This is because the CCC's survey reported that 53% of women consume cannabis versus 42% for men.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "Cannabis marketing is challenging especially since Google, YouTube and Facebook, the three mediums that dominate online advertising, don’t allow to advertise in any market, even if it is legal to do so. These social media platforms have banned advertising anything that could promote drug use - irrespective of whether the substance is legal in the local market"
Quotes
  • "Facebook has recently launched an aggressive campaign to rid its sites of some cannabis-related material, deleting or suspending dozens of accounts operated by marijuana businesses, most of which had operated for years without so much as a warning about offensive material"