What are Cannabis Consumers Willing to Pay More For?

August 3, 2017

As the market for legal cannabis becomes more sophisticated, we are seeing an emergence of price segmentation across the board, not just in terms of more premium strains of flower but also higher end edibles, concentrates and other infused products. Many brands now tout their gourmet chocolate inputs, gluten free snacks or organically grown marijuana flower. Lab testing is still voluntary in some markets, but more companies are voluntarily submitting to this testing to align with customer demand. The legal market has led to a greater selection, which offers them the opportunity to choose which premium attributes they are willing to pay more for. 

So just what are cannabis consumers willing to pay more for?  To explore this topic and more, Brightfield Group surveyed more than 500 medical patients or adult consumers in recreational states.   


When it comes to features consumers consider worth a rise in prices, nearly half of respondents (43%; respondents were allowed to make multiple choices) indicated a willingness to pay more for products made with premium strains of marijuana, a preference that generally holds across different product categories and reflects an overarching desire for quality.  Respondents further indicated their preference for high quality products by indicating they would be willing to pay more for organic products (34% of respondents), gourmet edible products (32% of respondents), and lab-tested products (30% of respondents).  32% of respondents also indicated a willingness to pay more for healthier methods of delivery, suggesting consumers were not only interested in quality products but also maintaining their own quality of life while consuming marijuana.



In examining the data by demographic category, generational differences become apparent: in general, millennial consumers are concerned with healthier marijuana experiences: nearly 40% demonstrated a willingness to pay more for organic products, and 37% expressed a desire for healthier methods of delivery.  Millennials even expressed a slightly stronger desire for gluten-free products, with 14% expressing a willingness to pay more, compared with 11% overall.  In contrast, Baby Boomers (those 55 and older) were more concerned with consistency and safety, with 40% indicating willingness to pay more for laboratory tested products.

Differences also emerged between occasional and frequent users: over half of those who used marijuana at least 5 times per week were willing to pay more for premium strains, compared with just 27% of those who used marijuana only 1 to 3 times a month.  Frequent users were also stronger in their desire for organic products, with 35% willing to pay premiums of 60% or more.  However, occasional users were more willing to pay for healthier methods of delivery than those who used more frequently. 

Survey data reveals still other differences between edibles and concentrates users and between men and women, further reflecting the diversity of consumer demand within the market.  Generally speaking, larger percentages of concentrates users were willing to pay premiums for higher-quality flower and lab-tested products, illustrating a strong desire for consistent quality from makers of waxes, shatters, and similar products.  On the other hand, a third of consumers that preferred edibles were willing to pay extra for more discreet methods of delivery, reflecting a growing demand for edibles that can be consumed in public and social settings.  Additionally, in terms of consumer gender, slightly larger portions of female customers expressed a willingness to pay more for healthier products and for gourmet products, while a larger percentage of men were willing to pay more for premium strains.  Interestingly, more women were willing to pay premiums of 100% or more for organic goods (10% to men’s 4%) and for lab tested goods (15% to 6%), indicating women may be more concerned with the overall consistency and safety of the marijuana products they purchase.


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