More than half of U.S. and Canadian consumers would try recreational marijuana if it were legal, and 41% would try it in food, according to a survey by A.T. Kearney.
The survey of 1,000 Americans and Canadians gauged attitudes toward legalized cannabis, for both medicinal and recreational purposes. It found that tolerance, where it exists, extends toward having a good or at least neutral attitude toward companies that might market cannabis-laden products.
Asked what the legal situation for cannabis should be, 52% of Americans said should be legal only for medical purposes; 23% said both medical and recreational uses should be allowed. For Canadians, the respective figures were 50% and 20%.
Support for cannabis as a therapeutic substance runs high. Asked if they believed it offers wellness or therapeutic benefits, 45% of respondents strongly agreed, and another 34% agreed; only 2% disagreed.
When presented with a variety of possible consumption options, food was the most popular at 41%, even exceeding smoking at 39%. The third was skincare/cosmetics, at 24%, presumably for strictly health benefits.
Asked if their perception of their favorite brand would change if it launched a product containing cannabis, 32% said it would improve, 54% said there would be no change, and 15% said it would worsen.
“The survey clearly demonstrates the viability of the market for cannabis across multiple consumer segments – CPGs and retailers focused on health and wellness, snacking, functional food and beverage, and beverage alcohol need to have a perspective on how they will approach the cannabis opportunity,” said Randy Burt, a partner in A.T. Kearney’s consumer and retail practice.
Recreational marijuana is legal in nine states and the District of Columbia. Canada is scheduled to legalize it on Oct. 17.