It is an exciting time for cannabis-based businesses. More than 62% of U.S. citizens support the legalization of cannabis, with medical and recreational cannabis use becoming legal in more and more states. Legalization coupled with growing mainstream popularity has pushed sales of legal cannabis to a new level with both medical and recreational sales exceeding that of all organic produce revenue in the U.S. and a market forecasted to reach a whopping $23.4 billion by 2022.

To help cannabis businesses shed more light on cannabis consumers, we recently conducted a study of 8,000+ consumers that looked at key audiences driving market share growth, including detailed personas, lifestyle attributes, shopping behaviors and consumption motivation. Specifically, the study pinpoints two key segments – current cannabis consumers and a potential cannabis consumer group known as “Acceptors.” We’ve already talked about current cannabis consumers, so now let’s dive into the Acceptors.

Who are the Cannabis Acceptors?

Acceptors are non-users that would consider using cannabis and represent a market potential of $2.1 billion. Half of non-users would consider consuming cannabis in established states and are comprised of Millennials, Baby Boomers, and Affluent Families. While Acceptors cross various age groups and demographics, the large majority across all sectors (77%) would use cannabis for a medical condition, with the top usage motivator being pain management (63%).

Acceptor Cannabis Consumer Stat

Within the Acceptor segment, Baby Boomers (age 55-64) represent the largest percentage of potential growth with an estimated additional spend of $1.1 billion. Surprisingly, Baby Boomers that are not currently purchasing marijuana are 60% more likely than millennials to consider it. This is a far departure from previous research that touted Millennials as the largest demographic both in usage and growth potential. This rapid market shift underscores just how quickly the cannabis market is evolving, which means that the most coveted cannabis consumers out there today could represent a flat market tomorrow.

Getting in Front of the Acceptor Segment

Equally important to knowing Acceptor demographics is understanding how they’re getting their information. Acceptors turn to news websites the most for cannabis-related information; relying on these platforms three times more than doctors.

What does this mean for cannabis brands looking to capture Acceptors’ attention? Together with the detailed Acceptor demographic information and knowledge of trusted sources for information, we now have the tools to help our cannabis clients effectively tap into the fast-growing cannabis market. For example, knowing that Baby Boomer Acceptors have the biggest market potential, we have worked with clients to craft pain management or medically driven stories and strategically placed those stories in the places we know Baby Boomers are most likely to turn ““ like news websites. These carefully designed content pieces placed on the news websites that matter most to Acceptors are monumental to engagement and building trust and loyalty, two critical components to success in a nascent and controversial new market segment like cannabis. From showcasing real life use success stories, to creating educational pieces about the many benefits of cannabis use, we have helped clients create branded content to help achieve their marketing and sales goals.

At LOCALiQ, marketing experts and proprietary technology give our cannabis clients the tools and strategies they need to carve out a unique position in the market and truly connect with current and prospective cannabis consumers ““ including Acceptors.

Want to learn more about this key demographic of potential cannabis consumers? We have even more insights and information about frequent shoppers that we’d love to share with you. Email one of our experts, Claire Will, at for more information.


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