Are More Women Than Men Now Consuming Cannabis?


Findings in a new report from Cannabis Consumers Coalition suggest that more women than men are now consuming marijuana.

Today, more women may be using cannabis than men, according to a new study by the Cannabis Consumer Coalition (CCC). In its recent survey on cannabis user demographics, the organization reported that over 58 percent of cannabis consumer respondents were female, while 41 percent were male.

The cannabis consumer advocacy and protection organization created an anonymous survey and distributed it through cannabis organizations, internal lists, and social media contacts. It garnered more than 530 respondents from all states, although most came from states where marijuana is legal.

“Although there is a disparity among reports of the gender of the cannabis consumers, the importance of the female consumer is not negligible,” said Larisa Boliver, the study’s lead author. “The most profound finding in our report was that majority of respondents were women by over a 15% margin.”

This result is different than most other reports that usually find that men dominate the makeup of cannabis users. A Headset report last summer, for example, found that men accounted for 68.9 percent of marijuana customers. Boliver suggests that her findings could mean that women are now using cannabis more than many originally thought.

“When the data started coming in and more women were responding, I was trying to figure it out and thought maybe it’s that women respond to online surveys more than men,” Bolivar said. Instead, she found research showing men more likely to participate in online surveys.

The growing presence of women is also found among cannabis entrepreneurs. Earlier this year, a report from Marijuana Business Daily found that women make up 36 percent of executives in the cannabis industry, a notable higher ratio compared to the U.S. businesses average.

“It is well known that women make the majority of purchasing and family health care decisions and also that women have a strong leadership presence in the new cannabis industry,” Boliver said.

The CCC report also found that over 42 percent of cannabis consumers, which reportedly use marijuana for both medicinal and recreational purposes, spend more than $200 every month on cannabis. About 84 percent of consumers responded that they use cannabis one or more times daily, and more than 40 percent of respondents were between the ages of 21 and 35. Smoking marijuana flower was found to be the preferred method of consumption, used by about 90 percent of consumers, followed by edibles at 56 percent, and vaporizers at 47 percent.

Twenty-nine states and Washington D.C. have laws allowing cannabis for medical purposes, and eight states plus Washington D.C. allow marijuana for recreational use. Vermont could at any moment become the ninth state to legalize adult use cannabis, and market projections suggest that legalization could soon reach all 50 states.

The Cannabis Consumers Coalition report suggests that cannabis businesses hoping to make a space for themselves in the booming industry shouldn’t limit their marketing efforts to targeting just men.

“The fact that there are more women cannabis consumers than previously thought shows that women are a force to be reckoned with in the new industry on a multitude of levels,” the report’s executive summary reads.

You can access the entire “2017 Report on Cannabis Consumer Demographics and Consumption Habits,” via Cannabis Consumers Coalition.

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