It’s impossible to deny the spending power of women. They are responsible for 70 to 80% of consumer spending in the United States and play a major role in influencing the buying choices of their friends and family. With the cannabis market in legal states projected to grow 150% by 2021, female consumers are also playing a major role in shaping the industry through embracing cannabis as a wellness product.
Women are increasingly turning to cannabis for health reasons with menstruation, menopause and sex listed as the top conditions they are treating. They are consuming cannabis at higher rates than before and boosting sales of items like infused candy, baked goods and skin care products. They look to companies that can reflect marijuana’s evolution in their lives and seek out ways to responsibly consume without disrupting the flow of their lives.
Kate Miller and Anna Duckworth are the cofounders of Miss Grass, a women-centered cannabis magazine that has been deemed the “Goop of Cannabis.” In their online publication, they focus on normalizing cannabis use through combining educational information with lifestyle content ranging from self-care and beauty to sex and smoking etiquette. They have been in the cannabis industry for years and have witnessed how women are embracing marijuana more than ever in a new way.
“Cannabis legalization is creating an insatiable appetite for information. Women are looking for alternative non-toxic, plant-based, holistic remedies for health and cannabis falls into all of those categories,” says Duckworth. “That’s why women are adopting cannabis as a wellness tool and making it a part of a much bigger approach to self-care.”
“There is a big shift happening around how people take care of themselves,” Miller adds. “Women, in particular, are really starting to invest in their health and understand how cannabis fits into that from fitness to food. ”
Yet, there are still some women who believe that consuming cannabis is stigmatized and feel the need to keep their use a secret. A survey found that 66 percent of women hide their usage out of fear of being judged by others which could prevent the type of word-of-mouth sharing that increases product sales. These women are not a lost cause, though. There are ways that cannabis companies can make sure they are reaching out to those women as well.
“The industry is starting to recognize that women consumers need high quality products that seamlessly fit into their lives in a way that can replace a bad habit like drinking too much alcohol to unwind or taking a pill to go to sleep,” Duckworth notes. “As the market matures, brand aesthetics and designs push consumer products into the mainstream and more dialogue around cannabis is possible. Women will feel comfortable accepting and talking about using cannabis the more that it becomes normalized.”
For those that have found peace with their cannabis use, their sights are set on products that can enhance their lives and an industry that hopefully continues to pay attention to the developing needs of their fastest growing consumer demographic.
“Now is the time when brands should be paying attention to how women are incorporating cannabis into their lives and figure out how they can keep up. If companies want to continue to reach more women, they need to have more women leaders,” Miller advises. “Knowing how to market to women means having people who represent and understand them in decision-making positions. That also helps to remove the stigma even more for potential consumers because it feels authentic.”