Millennial cannabis trends: What do they like?

Jan 17, 2020

Retailers are constantly trying to crack the code of millennial spending, and this is especially the case in the cannabis industry where millennials make up a significant portion of the customer base -- over 50%.

Overall, our data reflects that more convenient and discreet products like vapes and pre-rolls are experiencing the greatest gains in market growth. This trend suggests that millennials are more likely to seek out cannabis products for recreational and social purposes.

This post examines in more detail trends in millennial spending, outlining which products are falling in and out of favor among this demographic. 

Popular cannabis categories for Millennials 

Average number of cannabis products per 100 baskets
Average number of cannabis products per 100 baskets

Millennials purchase an average of about two items per basket - primarily flower and pre-rolls. There are an average of 56 flower products and another 55 pre-rolls in a random sample of 100 millennial baskets. The least commonly bought products by millennials are capsules, topicals, and tincture & sublinguals, with only one of each product per 100 baskets. 

Top 3 category trends

Millennials’ cannabis category market share trends
Millennials’ cannabis category market share trends

Here we see the market share for three prominent categories for millennials: flower, pre-rolls and vapor pens. Flower is the most popular category for all generations, however it is experiencing a decline in market share among millennials.

Vapor pens are growing in market share, increasing from 10% two years ago (Q3'17) to 22% now (Q3'19), slowly replacing flower demand. Pre-rolls have been stable at around 12% of sales for millenials over the past two years. 

Market share trends by Gender (2018-2019)

Change in millennials’ cannabis market share 2018-2019 per gender
Change in millennials’ cannabis market share 2018-2019 per gender

Males make up a majority of sales across all generations. For millennials, there are similar trends among male and female consumers across categorical market share changes from last year. 

Vapor pens have the most significant growth with a 4.7% and 4.0% market share increase among females and males, respectively. Interestingly, the market share for flower and vapor pens are inversely correlated; as flower is decreasing at the same percentage rate that vapes are increasing for both genders. Concentrates and capsules have also decreased in market share this past year. There’s also been minimal growth in all remaining categories. 

Understanding what Millennials what to buy helps retailers appeal to this lucrative segment of the market. While Millennials may not have the disposable income that older demographics have, they certainly have the enthusiasm and will continue to drive the market.

To learn more about Millennials and other customer segments insights, check our latest Demographics Market Report.