Marijuana Edibles are Dominating Canada’s Legal Cannabis Market
After a slow start in 2019, the cannabis market in Canada is taking off, in large part thanks to marijuana edibles. Canada legalized adult-use marijuana in October 2018, but it wasn’t until a year later that marijuana edibles entered the marketplace.
Canadians are cannabis curious
Data from Mintel, a Canadian market intelligence agency, shows that the Canadian cannabis market has a large number of potential users. Six in 10 (59%) of Canadians report that they are currently using and/or interested in using cannabis.
27% of Canadians used cannabis within the first six months of legalization.
Cannabis edibles entice new consumers to the marijuana marketplace
Marijuana edibles are of huge interest to Canadian cannabis consumers and non-consumers alike.
“Edibles and drinkables can be a great introductory way for new users to familiarize themselves with cannabis and better understand the cannabis experience, potentially leading to using other forms of the product,” said Scott Stewart, Senior Research Analyst at Mintel.
32% of non-cannabis users said that they are ‘open to trying it.’ That number jumps when it comes to marijuana edibles. Among potential cannabis users, 66% of non-users said they are interested in edible and drinkable cannabis.
When it comes to age demographics, potential cannabis users showed similar levels of interest in marijuana edibles, with 47% of 20-34-year-olds, 49% of 30-50-year-olds, and 48% of those aged 55+.
“The key to future growth for many consumer industries will be to convert more of the consumers who are open to but not current users of cannabis; their hesitance to try cannabis was a contributor to the relatively low sales in 2019, but the legalization of edibles and drinkables in October 2019 will play a major role in 2020’s success,” said Stewart.
Canadians look to marijuana for health and wellness benefits
According to Mintel, Canadians are more interested in the health and wellness benefits of cannabis over its recreational uses.
- Nearly half (46%) of cannabis consumers said that they use it to have fun, but an even higher percentage said that they use cannabis as a wellness product.
- More than half (62%) of cannabis consumers said that they use it to relax and relieve stress and anxiety (54%).
- Additionally, 42% of cannabis consumers said that they use marijuana to improve sleep, and 39% use it to improve their mood.
- 42% of non-cannabis users said that they would consider using cannabis to relieve pain, while 25% said that they would use it to improve sleep.
- The four biggest barriers for non-cannabis users were the smell (37%), smoke (36%), health concerns (28%), and lacking knowledge about how to consume cannabis (41%), all of which could potentially be overcome with time, education, and support of brands.
“New product innovation in the cannabis market has already begun to tear down some of the barriers related to wider cannabis consumption. In addition to edibles and drinkables that do not involve smell or smoke – two of the main complaints cannabis non-users have about the product – devices like vaporizers or vape pens, which create a vapor instead of smoke, serve to minimize these unwanted byproducts.
“Our research shows that many Canadians view cannabis as a very complex and intimidating product, and the lack of understanding leads many to avoid it entirely. Brands can navigate this by using online platforms and in-store employees to help educate consumers about cannabis. Strict laws around marketing cannabis mean that brands have to be very careful about their approach, but using factual statements to help educate and familiarize potential consumers with cannabis is a good way of establishing a trusted position in the market,” said Stewart.