Dosage decisions are important for edibles companies, particularly in medical marijuana markets. Marijuana offers a unique opportunity for patients to be able to enjoy their medicine in the form of a snack, but no one wants to try to try and measure out 1/16th of a brownie every day or have to eat 50 gummy bears to make their pain or nausea go away.
Patients have widely differing needs in terms of dosage, and a recent survey of 1,200 California medical patients shows that nearly 20% of patients purchasing edibles specifically select their brand based on the dosage of the product. A previous survey of more than 500 medical patients and recreational users nationwide showed one of the key reasons that 52% of edibles consumers stick with their favorite brands is because the dosage suited their needs.
The dosage a brand offers goes a long way toward carving out the consumer group it will appeal to. Leading edibles brands vary significantly in potency, but the role of dosage size in driving business remains important whether they focus on the low end like Kiva, the high end like Korova. For example, Kiva's low dosage, high quality ingredients and refined positioning have made the brand popular with women, particularly those who are affluent, single and use infrequently. Korova's average consumer, on the other hand, are college-educated, middle income patients in their late 20's to early 30's who use at least five times per week and in heavy doses. It is of course possible for companies to offer a wide range of potencies but too much variation here will make it difficult to carve out a target consumer group, which can adversely impact branding and marketing strategies.
Some manufacturers on the medical side, such as Korova, have had success with targeting high potency consumers but the market is increasingly moving towards products with lower THC content. A recent analysis of California marijuana dispensaries and delivery services shows that nearly half of edibles products carried have 100 mg of THC per pack or less, and just over one in five have a THC content of more than 200mg per pack.
This is in line with consumer demand as well. Our survey of California medical patients indicates that more than half of medical marijuana patients purchased edibles with 100 mg of THC or less per pack, and three out of four purchased packs of 200 mg or less.
Companies focusing on lower dosage products are well situated to transition into recreational markets as well. Existing recreational markets in Colorado and Washington require edibles in these states to have serving sizes of 10 mg of THC or less. Companies that offer lower dosages to begin with have the benefit of being able to easily transition into these markets without having to adjust their formulas too drastically. On the other hand, a brand like Korova, whose tag line is “Unrivaled Potency”, will have a harder time transitioning to adopt recreational rules without sacrificing its brand identity. With momentum gaining towards recreational legalization in more key markets, edibles brands with their eye on expansion would be wise to consider focusing on the lower end of the dosage spectrum.
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