Intercept Group, a Toronto and Boston-based marketing agency, conducted a survey of 3000 millennials in North America to better understand their attitudes towards cannabis.
Of the 1000 Canadian respondents, over 50% demonstrated some interest in the emerging cannabis market.
Key trends focused on edibles, skin care , and the workplace.
Baked goods take the cake on cannabis-infused products millennials want to try, with 52% responding positively and 40% said they want to try cannabis-infused candy.
“Parents were more likely to try edibles than people without kids,” Andrew Au, President of Intercept Group, told Daily Hive over the phone.
“When you think about why, outside of the novelty, it really makes consuming cannabis easy and it’s discrete.”
Au also notes that there is a tertiary market developing around cannabis, such as Oh Henry! developing a product to satisfy the “munchies.”
“Cannabis is finding its way into existing services and business models,” said Au, which may be crucial to a company’s survival, particularly in the alcohol sector.
Just under half of respondents (49%) want to try cannabis-infused skin lotions or oils.
“Skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis affect about 10% of the population and cannabis looks like a promising treatment,” said Au.
Current and upcoming regulations prohibit cannabis infusions but Au noted that companies like L’Oréal and Aveda have publicly expressed interest in creating lines that capitalize on the plant’s therapeutic and beauty benefits.
The majority of millennials agree with legalizing recreational cannabis, but they also voice some concerns. 46% believe that cannabis brings higher risk for car accidents and 39% believe it may lead to poor performance at work.
“You have to outline appropriate use and find ways to enforce the policies uniformly, the same as you would with other prescription medicine,” said Au.
He also said updating existing scent and smoke-free policies to include cannabis and cannabis-complaints will be important in the workplace, noting that some “people think employees are just going to start lighting up at work.”
Setting clear regulations will hopefully ease concerns.
Drug testing policies that focus on intoxication rather than THC levels are also important, but valid tests do not currently exist.
Au said that medical cannabis should be covered under health benefits plans that unambiguously state what will be covered on an annual basis, as well as conditions and eligibility for coverage.
“What’s unique about the time right now is the convergence of many different changes. You’re seeing cannabis regulations, millennials in the workplace at an accelerated rate, and you’re seeing digital transformation,” said Au.
“The main message is ‘you have got to embrace it.’ This gives employers a chance to redefine their culture and operations.”