Cannabis is for everyone. At least, that’s what consumer trends from Seattle, Washington are reflecting — marijuana use can be seen in all different groups of adults. The data from the Pacific Northwest are representative of national figures, reflecting other states that have both medical and recreational legalization.
According to the Washington Post, the state of Washington has sold more than $1 billion in recreational marijuana since its legalization in 2014, as of July 2016. The report also indicates that over $250 million has been collected through taxes, as seen in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. These figures, in turn, reflect that about twice as much money was made in sales throughout June 2016 compared to June 2015. The trends are clear: people are buying pot. But who?
Seattle’s demographics reflect an overarching trend across the United States; men purchase the most marijuana. Headset.com attributes roughly 70% of cannabis loyalty program memberships to male buyers. The same data suggests that marijuana is also ageless–customers are anywhere from 21 to 95 years old, though over 50% are under the age of 40.
The city itself has a population of about 686,800 people, and the 2000 United States Census credits the city to have more female residents (50.13%) than male (49.87%). These numbers suggest some compensation for men, as they keep trekking to dispensaries to buy weed. The study also concluded that the largest demographic in Seattle are adults aged 21 or older.
Age continues to be a contributing factor to the trends of cannabis consumers. Adults aged 25 to 29 make up the largest demographic for cannabis buyers at 20%, with the 21-to-24-year-oldd crowd at their heels with 16%. The average age for marijuana users, however, is 37.6 years old. When broken down by gender, the average age for female users is 38.2 while men come in at 37.4. Data suggests that people between the ages of 65 and 95 contribute to less than 5% of recreational cannabis buyers.
Also worth considering are the amounts of money spent on trips to the dispensary. For most adults, an in-store stop costs between $25 and $50, with a happy median of $33. Many–about 34.7%–spend an average of less than $10 every time they step into a smoke shop. These customers usually buy one thing at a time, like a pre-rolled joint or a quick pick-me-up in the shape of a cannabis-infused edible. Typically only 8.2% of all patrons spend more than $100 on a trip.
There are also limits on recreational purchases, which also have an effect on how much consumers buy in Seattle stores. For example, adults are allowed to purchase up to 1 ounce of marijuana flower–these harvested flowers are also referred to as bud, 7 grams of concentrates, 16 ounces of cannabis-infused solid foods, and 72 ounces of cannabis-infused liquids. Medical marijuana, in turn, has its own set of regulations and limits, listed here.
There’s value in mentioning that many surveys conducted are based on feedback from personal experience–there’s not a national registry that tracks cannabis consumers and releases their information. This data is a result of anonymous reflection; it’s possible that many people who do buy flower do not feel comfortable disclosing that information, especially as the cannabis counterculture is still shifting.
Seattle has over 35 recreational dispensaries alone, which does not account for medical marijuana shops and collectives. Though the trends show young men being the main powerhouse behind cannabis shopping, there’s no regulation on who can and cannot use cannabis in Seattle (sans children and anyone under the age of 21). Continue buying flower, and the stats will follow.