A Summary of Deloitte’s Recreational Marijuana Study

A Summary of Deloitte’s Recreational Marijuana Study

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Deloitte, the leading US audit firm, surveyed 5000 Canadiens on cannabis consumption between March 13 and April 3, 2016. The survey was nondiscriminatory of race and included adults aged 19 to baby boomers. Of the people studied 1,000 of them were current regular consumers.  The goal was to get an idea of the typical person’s cannabis habits. Their results provided excellent insights into the cannabis market.


This chart breaks down the preferred method of consumption per the frequency of the user.  We conclude that 42% of the market prefers smoking joints or prerolls to any other method. Edibles seem to be the least preferred option. Vaporizing, although a lesser harmful method than smoking but also a consistent consumption method, is not as popular as traditional options. The increasing trend of concentrate cartridges may soon change this.

The motivation to consume chart is compounded by votes for motivations which are not exclusive per person or category. Those surveyed had the option to select multiple categories. Relaxation, sleep, and reduction of stress and anxiety are the most common motivations to consume. It is likely that many who voted in these top two categories were the same people. There are many overlaps in motivations showing that cannabis provides many different benefits to a variety of different people. Even the lowest category accounts for almost 1/5 of people surveyed. Understanding the consumer’s motivation is the first step in tailoring a successful strategy to meet their needs.

There is much debate on both sides arguing cannabis is completely separate from alcohol and many people want to say they are one in the same. According to the data collected 80% of the people surveyed consume the substances together. The top motivations to consume cannabis are strongly similar to the most popular motivations to consume alcohol, albeit that cannabis has a broader spectrum for motivations. These correlations can deduce that looking for marketing guidance from the alcohol industry might not be a bad idea.

Canada plans to rollout legal recreational marijuana by July 2018. Provinces are preparing for the influx but most have not yet passed laws to regulate the market and setup the infrastructure. If you would like more information concerning Deloitte’s study, you can view the entire PDF here.