In 2020, cannabis consumers and the industry navigated the same tectonic changes facing all of America and the world: Covid-19 infections and the challenges of quarantine, massive demonstrations for racial justice, and a tense but watershed U.S. election that ushered in legalization in four more states. How did cannabis consumers respond to this year of crisis? Eaze, as California’s largest legal cannabis marketplace (with 6.5+ million legal deliveries under our belt), can offer unique insights into how 2020 impacted consumption, uncovering patterns that can be generalized to markets nationally and globally.
For context: With ~28 million residents age 21+ California is the largest legal cannabis market in the world. It is:
More than 2x the combined size of the four states (AZ, NJ, MT, ND = ~13M) that legalized in 2020
4.2 million larger than tristate NJ, NY and CT markets combined (~25M)
More than 4x size of NJ market (~6M)
Nearly 2x the size of NY market (~15M)
Los Angeles’ population alone age 21+ (~7M) is 1 million bigger than the NJ market (~6M) and 2 million bigger than the AZ market (~5M)
Eaze’s 2020 State of Cannabis report (1) aggregates our proprietary data to illustrate the behavior of the over 400 thousand customers who purchased via the Eaze platform in 2020. It holds important lessons for all cannabis regulators, businesses, and entrepreneurs about the road ahead.
Covid-driven consumer demand drove massive spikes in the number of new deliveries and order size. Stay-At-Home requirements and cannabis delivery’s designation as an essential service dramatically shifted the narrative about weed, moving it beyond the definition of a wellness tool into the category of an essential product.
2020 saw a greater demand for social equity products, underscoring increased consumer awareness – especially among customers over age 30 – about the importance of BIPOC- owned brands.
Edibles had a huge year, becoming the most popular product category across all major markets and age groups, except Gen Z. Cannabis-infused drinks gained an enormous market share as people stayed home from bars and Zoomed into happy hours.
Consumers used more cannabis over a holiday season where many celebrated Christmas, Kwanzaa and Hanukkah without their families.
Cannabis consumers increasingly relied on weed to increase their sexual satisfaction in quarantine.
Cannabis legalization made unprecedented gains in the 2020 election. Consumer anxiety, meanwhile, fueled a demand uptick as votes were tallied.
Download Eaze’s 2020 State of Cannabis report
Known for solutions that yield results, Seth Yakatan has completed or advised on acquisitions and corporate finance transactions totaling over $3 billion. He is CEO of Katan Associates International—a financial strategy and merchant banking firm specializing in commercialization and asset monetization—especially those within life-science and e-commerce sectors.