It’s Political Orientation--not Income--that Underpins America’s Views Towards Cannabis Legalization

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New Study by Green Rush Insights Provides Insights on America's Cannabis Attitudes and Buying Habits

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“Income appears to play little role in whether or not marijuana should be legalized, whether it’s for recreational or medicinal use,” says Greg Alan, head researcher of Green Rush Insights.

Political leanings--not income--play a determining factor in America’s views toward marijuana legalization according to a new consumer study that has been released by Green Rush Insights, Inc. Only 37% of conservatives are in favor of legalization compared to 75% for progressives and 51% for moderates.

“Income appears to play little role in whether or not marijuana should be legalized, whether it’s for recreational or medicinal use,” says Greg Alan, head researcher of Green Rush Insights. “Every income level showed similar levels of approval and disapproval.”

The study also found that while males were more inclined to give a positive vote for recreational adoption than their female counterparts, this gap narrows for medical marijuana.

Additional finding include:

  • Respondents from states where cannabis is legal in some form have seen several benefits. Two-thirds reported it has provided access to effective medical treatments. Six out of ten noted the increase in revenues to their state. Other benefits frequently mentioned include an increase in jobs, creating an environment where adults can make informed choices, and a perceived decrease in crime.
  • Over half (51%), reported they have not observed any drawbacks from legalization. For those who did report perceived drawbacks – 25% mentioned the difficulty in regulating the industry and 24% believe it has promoted cannabis usage amongst minors.

The study also looked at consumer cannabis purchases. For those who do use cannabis, either recreationally or medicinally, flower (buds) was the most common form of cannabis purchased (84%), followed by edibles (54%) and concentrates (30%). On the low end, 38% reported they had made five or fewer purchases in the last year. On the upper end, 22% reported making 25 or more purchases during the last year. This equates to two purchases a month. The median number of purchases made by all respondents during the prior year was nine, with a median spend per purchase of $50, which equates to $450 per year with a range of $102 (casual consumer) up to $1,440 (engaged consumer).
Price and product selection were the most frequently mentioned choices when respondents were asked to indicate which factors were important to them when selecting a medical or recreational dispensary. The study also found that poor service and a lack of employee knowledge will send consumers to another dispensary.

“Interestingly, there was also a clear interest in the concept of purchasing cannabis from a big box retailer,” says Alan. “Over 40% indicated they would definitely purchase from a big box retailer, while 49% reported they would be willing to consider purchasing from them.”

Green Rush Insights studied product trends and preferences at the consumer-level. This differentiates it from other studies in the market that have focused on larger-scale macro trends. Data was collected via an online panel between July 21 and July 31, 2017. Overall, 1,500 individuals responded with two-thirds from cannabis legal states (either medical or recreational) and one-third from states where cannabis is not legal.


Green Rush Insights (GRI) offers comprehensive cannabis industry research reports and custom research solutions to help marijuana dispensaries, media companies, support firms, and government agencies understand consumers. Its most current report, The Cannabis Industry Overview, examined cannabis consumer segmentation, usage, purchase, and emerging trend behaviors as well as political views on the likelihood of legalization.

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Greg Alan
since: 08/2017
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