The Cannabis Future is Female

Liz Filmer
05 Oct 2022

In the 1990s, the default marketing tactics for marijuana-related products were nameless plastic baggies, jars adorned with pot leaves, and sexually suggestive imagery. With recreational cannabis now legalized in 18 states and medical cannabis legal in 37 states, investment dollars have poured in. The most prominent players in the industry are putting out professionalized products.

The new trend is toward well-designed packaging, transparent and regulated information labels, lab-tested ingredients, standardized dosing and modern branding. Whilst all consumers benefit from safer, regulated products that are easier to use, women cannabis users seem to appreciate the evolved approach more than anyone.

No more meeting creepy guys in back alleys for a gram of unidentifiable, poor-quality weed. Now it's as easy as walking into a store and purchasing top-shelf, designer weed.

Amid lockdowns and Covid-19, legal cannabis sales grew 46 per cent in 2020, amounting to $17.5 billion. Gen Z consumers saw the fastest growth overall during the pandemic, driven by how many were turning 21, the age at which they can legally purchase cannabis. 

Destigmatization has a considerable role to play. Some younger cannabis consumers have spent their teens in states where adult recreational cannabis is legal and are more comfortable with it. But there was also a particular uptick in women over men.

Year-on-year sales for Gen Z women, those born in 1997 or later, grew the most in 2020 compared to any other cohort, at 151 per cent, according to Headset. Gen Z men followed, at 118 per cent. Gen X and Millenials round out the top four, with about 30 per cent and 50 per cent sales growth.

The future of cannabis is female. Shifting public attitudes and increasingly sophisticated design and packaging is helping to drive the trend. Overall, cannabis is appealing to women as it is becoming more acceptable, more compact and packaged in a more feminine way.

Liz Filmer