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5 Wellness Opportunities for Cannabis Businesses | Cannabis Business Executive – Cannabis and Marijuana industry news

A new research report from New Frontier Data, Cannabis and Wellness, a New Consumer Paradigm, challenges the existing framework of the cannabis market and expands it from a two-segment medical and adult-use (recreational) market to a three-segment market. In keeping with changing consumer perceptions and lessening social stigmas related to cannabis across age groups, the…
The post 5 Wellness Opportunities for Cannabis Businesses appeared first on Cannabis Business Executive – Cannabis and Marijuana industry news.

A new research report from New Frontier Data, Cannabis and Wellness, a New Consumer Paradigm, challenges the existing framework of the cannabis market and expands it from a two-segment medical and adult-use (recreational) market to a three-segment market. In keeping with changing consumer perceptions and lessening social stigmas related to cannabis across age groups, the researchers identify a new “wellness” segment positioned between strict medical-only use to treat specific conditions and solely recreational use.

The reason for this shift comes directly from consumer data. In its research, New Frontier Data found that nearly one-quarter (23%) of current cannabis consumers use cannabis to improve their overall health and wellness rather than strictly to treat specific conditions. Younger consumers are even more likely to use cannabis for overall health and wellness than older customers. This finding is highly significant to businesses because younger consumers’ use preferences will directly affect their buying decisions and the shape of the cannabis market in the future.

The growing trend to use cannabis for overall health and wellness is unlikely to stall given the fact that 79% of all consumers believe cannabis has had a positive impact on their lives according to the research, and less than 1% say it has had a negative effect on their lives.

Businesses should be watching the changing cannabis market and the new consumer paradigm because they will drive many new opportunities. Let’s take a closer look at five of those opportunities as identified by the research.

1. Medical Use Opportunity

In the new consumer paradigm, New Frontier Data defines medical use consumers as those who use cannabis only or primarily for medical purposes. They could buy from the legal medical market or adult-use market as well as the illicit market, and they may or may not also consume cannabis recreationally.

In 2021, 42% of the total survey respondents identified as medical consumers (34% as only medical and 24% as primarily medical). Of those medical use consumers, 95% believe their conditions have improved with cannabis while less than 1% believe their conditions worsened.

The opportunity for cannabis businesses is to develop products and align marketing messages to the medical conditions consumers buy cannabis products to treat. The top five conditions among medical cannabis consumers based on the research results are:

Anxiety disorders: 41%
Arthritis: 29%
Pain: 29%
Insomnia: 18%
Migraine: 17%

2. Wellness Opportunity

Consumers in the wellness segment of the cannabis market under the new consumer paradigm use cannabis primarily for relaxation (67%), stress relief (62%), reducing anxiety (54%), improving sleep quality (46%), pain management (45%), and falling asleep (44%). While many wellness uses are similar to medical uses, the key difference is that wellness consumers use cannabis for overall mental and physical wellbeing and support, but medical use consumers consume cannabis to treat specific conditions.

The opportunity for cannabis businesses to reach the growing wellness consumer segment is to develop targeted products, brand experiences, and ad placements that align with the activities consumers partake in while consuming cannabis. For example, businesses should consider the top five activities that wellness consumers do while (or after) consuming cannabis and align their marketing and product development strategies accordingly:

Watching TV/movies at home: 55%
Listening to music at home: 52%
Sleeping: 48%
Socializing at someone’s house: 38%
Browsing the internet/scrolling social media: 38%

3. Fitness, Exercise, and Training Opportunity

Across all age groups, an average of 8% of cannabis consumers use it to improve their exercise and fitness training, and 13% regularly use cannabis before exercising. The percentages are higher among consumers under the age of 45, which means businesses have an opportunity to capture a share of that market now and retain their loyalty over time.

Furthermore, businesses have an opportunity to increase brand awareness and sales by targeting consumers based on the fitness activities they prefer in messaging, ad placements, and brand experiences.

According to the research, the top fitness activities consumers participate in after consuming cannabis differ by gender. For women, the top five fitness activities after consuming cannabis are yoga/Pilates, hiking, running, dancing, and weightlifting. For men, the top activities are weightlifting, running, hiking, cycling, and team sports.

4. Alcohol Replacement Opportunity

A staggering 81% of current cannabis consumers believe cannabis is safer than alcohol. As cannabis becomes more accessible across the country and social stigmas continue to lessen, more people will try it and likely, many of them will come to the same conclusion. Today, cannabis is replacing alcohol consumption among a growing number of consumers with more men replacing alcohol with cannabis than women and more people under age 55 doing so than those 55 years of age and older.

In fact, New Frontier Data found that nearly half of cannabis consumers who also drink alcohol (47%) have replaced some of their alcohol use with cannabis use, and 16% have entirely replaced drinking alcohol with using cannabis.

The opportunity for cannabis business owners who develop cannabis products to replace alcohol consumption is significant. Infused beverages, cannabis experiences, and cannabis lounges are just a few categories that will grow when laws change to allow greater access to them across the country.

5. Merger and Acquisition Opportunity

Shifting consumer preferences, reduced social stigmas, and changing consumer preferences are driving big opportunities for cannabis businesses to develop new products, expand into new markets, and experience significant growth over time. As a result, mergers and acquisitions to capitalize on those opportunities will become more common.

Already, companies like Constellation Brands have made strategic cannabis acquisitions to ensure they have a place in the alcohol replacement industry. More recently, Canopy Growth announced plans to acquire Wana Brands, known for its highly popular edibles products. This acquisition gives Canopy Growth more ways to create innovative products to leverage the opportunities the new cannabis consumer paradigm presents.

Key Takeaways about Cannabis, Health, and Wellness

Cannabis businesses have many opportunities to capture market share and expand into new categories if they understand and prioritize the changing consumer paradigm and recognize the market has three distinct segments today: medical use, wellness, and adult use.

Focused strategies and messaging that educate consumers about the health and wellness benefits of cannabis as well as the product choices that align with many use cases will be critical to gaining market share among existing cannabis consumers and future consumers.

The post 5 Wellness Opportunities for Cannabis Businesses appeared first on Cannabis Business Executive – Cannabis and Marijuana industry news.

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