Female Cannabis Consumption Keeps Growing

Data from a January Headset report shows that female cannabis consumers are on a continued ascendant in the U.S., increasing 55% from Q1 2020 to Q4 2021. This growing consumer demographic is even more robust in Canada, where both Gen Z and Millennial females posted even higher sales than in the United States. In fact, female Canadian consumers contributed to 36.7% of cannabis spending in Q4 2021– 4.1% higher than in the U.S. Consumption among males has also grown, albeit at a smaller percentage, while the female market share has increased notably over the past two years. This reflects that the statistic that only a third of total cannabis sales are currently to women is changing at a brisk rate. 

Within the female demographic, Headset’s data shows that Female Baby Boomers are outspending their Gen Z counterparts, with average transaction sizes bigger by 41% in Q4 2021, even given nearly identical average item prices. Female Gen Z sales saw an accelerated boom in 2020 at 151%. In terms of product category, women showed a strong preference for topicals, with nearly half of their cannabis expenditures occurring within this subset. Women also claimed a higher wallet share than males in the edibles category.

Cannabis companies are sitting up and listening to this data and marketing their products accordingly in order to take advantage of the rising tide of female consumers. Women want safer, easier to use (and conceal), and more regulated products.  Petra’s microdose THC mints and Rhythm cannabis’ little black jars of evaporated bud led the charge back in 2021 and are experiencing both strong sales and widespread imitation for their efforts. Kristi Palmer, the co-founder of Kiva Confections, celebrates this fortuitous turn in the market. “Cannabis brands and companies are getting with the program and professionalizing in a way that welcomes women into the space, thank God.” This seems to be creating a feedback loop that serves both women and manufacturers, as new, female-driven products are consumed at higher rates for bigger returns and more women see themselves represented in what the cannabis industry has to offer.

Another influencing factor in the growing numbers of women seeking out cannabis may be the fact that, according to a study published by the Journal of Women’s Health, women are quicker than men to replace prescription pain killers with medical marijuana. Rising distrust in the pharmaceutical industry and its motivations for developing and promoting the products that it puts out, not to mention the steep rise in mental health concerns due to the pandemic could very well be fueling the rise of the female consumer, which looks set to endure throughout 2022 and beyond.

 

Julie Aitcheson

Julie Aitcheson is a freelance writer, author and educator. In addition to Green Market Report, her work has appeared in Vanguard Magazine, The Fresh Toast, Green Entrepreneur, Daily Press, The Baltimore Sun, LA Weekly and The Chicago Tribune. She received a full fellowship to the 2013 Stowe StoryLabs and won second place in the 2014 San Miguel Writers' Conference nonfiction writing competition. She has published two young adult novels and is currently at work on a piece of adult fiction.


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