Industry Reports

What Does the Average Cannabis Consumer Look Like?

July 21, 2016

So what does the typical, recreational marijuana user look like today?

Marijuana pop culture has traditionally centered around the young male smoker and his high times. But the legalization movement has made marijuana more accessible than ever been before, and cannabis’s application as a painkiller is particularly appealing to senior citizens. 

So what does the typical, recreational marijuana user look like today? And how do the preferences and spending habits of groups like young men and senior citizens differ? 

At Headset, we have a massive dataset of cannabis retailer transaction data, and thanks to customer loyalty programs, we have information about customers’ age and gender. We decided to use to this data to learn more about who buys weed and what they smoke or consume.

The data suggests that smokers in the customer loyalty program are overwhelmingly male, accounting for about 70% of all members. And, while customers range from ages 21 to 95, over 50% of loyalty members are under 40.  

We also found that while Flower accounts for about half of the purchases made by each demographic, each group has its own quirks. Compared to the opposite sex, men prefer concentrates and women prefer pre-rolls and edibles. Older consumers prefer edibles to pre-rolls.

Who Buys More Weed, Men or Women?

We began our analysis by examining the the customer split by gender. Are men or women more likely to visit cannabis dispensaries often?

Accounting for 68.9% of customers, the ratio of men to women is well over 2:1. This disparity is not surprising given cannabis culture’s emphasis on the male pothead. Next we examined the distribution of customer age.

How Old Are Recreational Cannabis Users?

25- to 29-year-olds account for the largest percentage of customer loyalty members (20%), followed by 21- to 24-year-olds (16%). Yet the average customer age is 37.6-years-old, which is a higher than one might expect given stereotypes about marijuana users. The average age for female customers is slightly older at 38.2 while the average age for males is 37.4. People ages 65 to 95 make up less than 5% of customers.

We also wanted to look at customer spending habits. Below is the distribution of average dollars spent per trip to the store.

How Much Money Do People Spend on Weed?

Most people spend between $25 and $50 per trip to a marijuana store, with a $33 median spend per trip. 34.7% of customers spend less than $10 on average, usually picking up a single item like a half gram pre-roll or a carbonated beverage. Only 8.2% spend more than $100/trip.

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Team Headset

With extensive experience within the cannabis industry, Headset is comprised of a team of industry experts, data scientists and market analysts combining our abilities in technology, design and data to help push the cannabis industry forward.