The typical marijuana consumer is often pegged as being young adults between the ages of 18 and 34, those ripe with reckless enthusiasm, who, perhaps, in their own naivety and inexperience, are almost always willing to throw caution to the wind in their pursuit of a life extraordinary. This wild-eyed demographic has been known to go off the deep end, at times, and even sell off pieces of their eternal soul to just prolong, what they perceive to be, a single life-changing encounter. So it would make sense that this is the part of the population that is destined to consume the most cannabis, right?
Well, not exactly. Some of the latest data shows that middle-aged dad-types will be the ones toking it up the most once Canada finally legalizes later this summer.
A new report from global network Deloitte LLP finds Canada’s legal pot market is going to pull the “conservative experimenter” out of the woodwork, putting more customers between the ages of 35 and 54 on the floors of retail dispensaries. These are the people who may have smoked pot back in college who, for the obvious reasons, put down their bongs for careers and the responsibility that comes with having a family.
The study finds that 74 percent of this old school demographic has had some experience with recreational marijuana in the past. Another 41 percent has consumed the herb for non-medical purposes within the past five years, the reported added.
“Legalization may provide some Canadians with the opportunity to occasionally return to their younger days — legally,” the report reads.
It makes sense that the older demographic is ready to find its way back to cannabis once it goes legal. Many in this age group now have children in college or out starting families of their own. This provides both mom and dad extra time to explore high activities in a legal setting. Researchers say this demographic will be making stops at their neighborhood dispensary at least once a month. And when they do, they will spend significantly more money than most — around 68 percent more than the average purchase.
The Canadian government is reportedly on track to legalize marijuana nationwide within the next few months. Although Senate lawmakers have done everything in their power to sandbag this movement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not the saboteurs stand in the way. The word on the street is that the Senate will approve legislation by the end of the week, putting the legal pot market on course to launch within the next 10 weeks.
Lawmakers say they are just trying to bungle an important issue.
“We’ve very much learned from the early mistakes made by some U.S. states and other jurisdictions,” Senator Tony Dean, who sponsored the bill in the Senate, told USA Today. “We know have a national challenge with cannabis. We have some of the highest youth consumption rates in the world, an illegal cannabis market worth upward of $6 billion annually, we know it’s harmful for kids, especially younger kids… and we had a government that wanted to tackle those issues.”
Although Trudeau has maintained that his dedication to bringing cannabis out of the black market is not financially motivated, the economic benefits are coming – ready or not.
Deloitte’s report shows the Canadian cannabis market (recreational, medical and the underground trade) will generate around $7.17 billion in 2019. Nearly $5 billion of that will come from the legal recreational sector. But don’t worry about medical marijuana. The industry is not expected to go anywhere right away. It will still turn in $1.79 billion in sales next year.
The latest report is consistent with previous analysis that shows Canadians could spend several billion dollars a year on legal weed — more than what they do right now on alcohol.
But eliminating the black market, the main reason Trudeau wants to legalize, is not going to happen overnight. The report shows that illicit sales will still rake in more than $1 billion a year once the northern nation goes fully legal. But the situation could end up working itself out if the government can provide the cannabis consumer with a fair price. Although the current market rate is around $8.24 per gram, most customers are willing to pay in upwards of $9.33 per gram, according to Deloitte.
“Our research shows that cannabis consumers expect—and are willing— to pay more after legalization. It’s also clear that price is an important factor influencing purchasing decisions, especially for likely consumers,” the report reads.
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