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What Does The Average Marijuana Consumer Look Like In Colorado?


colorado marijuana legalization denver daI have a lot of conversations with people that wish to ‘re-brand the marijuana industry.’ I have heard that a lot lately, and re-branding the marijuana industry means different things to different people. But I am often left thinking at the end of those conversations that the people that want to re-brand the industry basically want to make marijuana more interesting to demographics that don’t represent the bulk of the marijuana consumer base. I have always felt that while yes, branding is a good thing in the marijuana industry or any industry for that matter, I don’t see any major shifts happening in the makeup of the marijuana consumer base.

I think that most marijuana consumers will always tend to look more like me than they will tend to look like the guy on Wall Street, despite the desires of people entering the business side of the marijuana world from corporate America. Attempts to re-brand marijuana often border on insulting to the average marijuana consumers, which is a lesson that more and more marijuana companies learn everyday. A report was recently released in Colorado which found what demographics make up the largest percentage of Colorado’s marijuana consumer base, and as I expected, it’s not older corporate types. Per Marijuana Business Daily:

Colorado cannabis business owners need to look no further than a recently released survey from the state to find their primary demographic: young males who haven’t attended college and are in lower income-tax brackets.

More than 17% of men currently use cannabis in the state vs. 10% of women, with the average at around 13% among all adults in Colorado, according to the survey, conducted by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

The survey also found that nearly 30% of 18- to 24-year-olds in the state currently use cannabis, by far the highest percentage of any age group.

Obviously, people from all walks of life consume marijuana. However, some demographics consume marijuana more than others, and in the case of Colorado, young males who have yet to attend college are by far the biggest consumers of marijuana in the state. Knowing facts like this is important, and can mean the difference between success and failure in the marijuana industry. People can spend all the time that they want targeting older demographics with Ivy League educations, and try as hard as they can make the marijuana industry all about that crowd, but at the end of the day those people miss their mark.


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Johnny Green


  1. Ok, I just read back through and noticed the link out to the info graphic communicating the results. It appears that roughly 30% of people over 25 use marijuana in Colorado. These percentages do not even indicate the population count within these age groups so it’s inconclusive in my eyes. However, my instincts tells me that there is a significant population of users over 30 years of age. Thusly, I feel these folks deserve a more respected branding of marijuana in which they can associate themselves with.

  2. I’m curious about the percentages of other age groups above 24 years of age. There’s only a total of only 30% user base within 18-24. But what about about the combined user base percentage of persons over 24? How did they break the age groups up? What were the total percentage of users within those other age groups? What’s the headcount in each age group?

  3. Norml Hastings on

    I am going to have to disagree with your hypothesis of your story. What; are the people on Wall Street somehow different looking than the average cannabis smoker? Once you take off those $3,000 suits and put them into a t shirt and jeans they look like the rest of the cannabis smokers. People in prestigious jobs do smoke; they just do not let just anyone know they smoke, snort their coke up their noses and drink to excess, like other Americans who do not make millions a year.

    Colorado is a 100% legal state and just how are these young men just enter college going to ruin the cannabis industry? These young men who are of college age and are of legal age to buy and use are not at any more disadvantage than those who do not. I know for a fact that many people have smoked throughout high school and college, graduating at the top of their classes. They go on to live productive lives with productive careers. You don’t know if the people who are buying in the dispensaries are “Wall Street Looking” customers are simply wearing regular clothes. Also just because someone walks in wearing Loui Vuitton and a Versace dress does not mean she is not regular American with good taste. Do you know how many closet smokers are out here? They are not letting people know they smoke because of living in an illegal state and their jobs could be in jeopardy because cannabis use is not federally legalized. Even if you are a medical cannabis patient you are not protected from losing your job.

    So what does the average cannabis smoker look like? They look like you and I and everyone else on this planet.

    As for the word Marijuana just a fact for those who read this post. Marihuana was first used in the 70’s with the Nixon era. Nixon wanted to make cannabis sound as dirty as possible. Spreading propaganda that only black people smoke it (to rape the white woman), along with the gays and communist. It was sometime later that the spelling changed to Marijuana. Calling cannabis marijuana is like calling people racist slurs.

    We now know that people of color do not smoke cannabis to rape the white woman, women are raped not because of cannabis but because the SOB that does that is a sick mother. Guess what rapist look like? Like you and all those men on Wall Street and as a matter of fact there have been Wall Street types who rape, kill, and commit crimes and look no different than anyone else.

    Money does not mean they look any different than the rest of us.

  4. Norml Hastings on

    Well, the truth is, there is always going to be college kids who do not get hired right out of college, that was going in the 80’s also. That people do what many of us do is 1, Do not just study just one field of study 2. Get multiple degrees 3. Do what many others have done before me and will continue to do after me; that is do all transferable courses at community colleges and work while going to school. There have been many mothers like myself who took care of their families, worked and took over 12 credit hours a semester. We finish with greater than A’s and top of our classes, I worked 4 part time jobs while going to school. This way we are not going to graduate with enormous debt. 4. Try not to take popular courses in popular fields because there are only so many jobs for everyone graduating there is just not jobs for everyone in every field.

    Now for the second part of your comment it would be great to have our government and our elected officials audited. With reports on where our tax money is going; and are they doing criminal activity. If they break the law or the constitution they need to be dealt with as the rest of us and/or thrown out of office with no severance pay. American made is just that American made and it should be made illegal for any business to outsource jobs when there are unemployed in this country. It is just like the American flags shipped to our military bases that were made in Japan. Just like Good ol’ Americans those flags were promptly returned to the American company distributing them. I hope they never use that distributor again. Companies who outsource jobs and/or hiring illegal aliens from all boarders will be a crime.

    We need to have a solid military and as far as their wars, do you even know what these men and women vow to uphold? Their jobs are to uphold and protect both domestic and foreign lands. Which has stopped many others terrorist from coming over here. But if you think this country is safe you are sadly mistaken, there are terrorist groups on our soil, including ISIS. It is just a matter of time before these sleeper cells awaken and cause havoc like they did on 9/11.

    Let’s legalize cannabis and create jobs that will only improve our country. Hemp is a bumper crop that could give millions of people jobs, dispensaries create jobs, growers are needed, lawyers are needed for the cannabis business, it is a no brainer for everyone but the politicians who refuse to legalize.

  5. I q­ui­t m­­y office work a­nd since then I have a profit of eighty five bucks every hour. …Wonder how? I work online at home! My last work was making me unhappy ,so I made a decision to take my chance on something new… After two yrs…I can say in great confidence it was the smartest decision i ever made! Here is what i do

  6. well we could do one on predefines but most republicans would be on the list! Where are you Speaker Haster

  7. If I’m so clueless why are you so upset? A lot of hard working Americans like me lost a lot of our retirement nest during this time. I lost my saving of money I worked hard for and yes I do blame the two dumbasses.

  8. You sound like a typical clueless left wind “blamer” that’s riding the no responsibility/we deserve free stuff for life train.

  9. Graduating from college has never been a job guarantee.
    And don’t blame the military for the economic mess, look at the myriad of broken promises from White House!

  10. Victoria Dawn Matlock on

    There doing it now though Mk ultra now always have its just lasted

  11. Victoria Dawn Matlock on

    No not here most have girlfriends and Jobs from what I see and thy grow it

  12. How many horror stories have you heard of young people graduating from a college/university with a very high debt from student loans, just to end up working at some low-playing job that doesnt require a diploma at all. This new generation is smart, colleges are a rip off.

    They need to do a study on the government and how they are outsourcing american jobs overseas, spending billions on the military and their wars. Who cares about our economy and our homeless people?

  13. That data is skewed because the older users are still buying on the black market like they (we) have been doing for decades. We don’t want to be seen in the stores. After all, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that you can be fired for marijuana use outside of work. I can tell you for a fact that the majority of “older” users out there still keep it hidden. We’ve been doing it since the 60’s and 70’s, why stop now? Also, we get great weed at lower prices than you can buy them legally. We have done this our whole lives. Old habits die hard with us older folks in more ways than one. For your demographics, I am 62, a small business owner for 35 years. My buddies that I grew up with are doctors, lawyers, accountants, etc. We have too much to lose to let it out of the bag that we love our weed at this juncture.

  14. PTSD. My guess is that most regular cannabis users have undiagnosed PTSD. If you look at the stereotypes of cannabis users and compare that with the symptoms of PTSD there is quite a bit of overlap.

    People in chronic pain chronically take pain relievers.

    Now why aren’t there any major studies on this (Lonny Shavelson did one on sexual abuse and heroin)? How would it took to be making war on the traumatized? So no studies will be done until “after”.

  15. One more thing sex after a puff or two is fantastic. You really let loose and feel extremely relaxed unlike the shoot my wad in two minutes or can’t get it up drunks.

  16. The side line waiting will be over sooner than most people think. Cannabis has gone mainstream. We just need to make more political gains to change the entire system. Go Vote CO, Alaska, Oregon, Washington and DC have already made the change and by the looks of the Colorado model things are great. Plenty of cash, new young aggressive entrepreneurs moving to the state and the state is now thriving. Move on USA support new cannabis legislation and law reforms.

  17. …and George Bush is god, Dick Chaney is an angel, I loved 4.50 gas, it is okay if I lost half of my retirement savings and if the conservative republicans feed you shit you would imagine it is chicken dumpling and eat it too but enough ferry tails….(fact) There are more alcoholics on foods stamps and welfare than hard working folks that toke every once in a while. Most people that use cannabis do it responsibly and is normally one or two puffs on a Friday night. So it is out of the system and undetectable by Monday morning on the job. We hate the smell of liquor on folks breath when they are at work. Finally we don’t like going to jail or prison (especially private republican owned prisons) over a few grams of cannabis. Go get a live and do keep track of your kids the new generation is pro-cannabis.

  18. So you are NOT an average marijuana consumer? An above-average one, perhaps? Or maybe just another beer-swilling redneck with a computer but no working TV?

  19. The “average marijuana consumer” is a high school dropout living with his parents, has no job, gets free government money (welfare/food stamps), has no girlfriend and is a virgin.

  20. I believe this study accurately reflects the industry today…one recently coming out of the shadows of illegality and social stigma. Go to most marijuana retailer these days and the main selling point is primarily potency of the high (THC%) with a secondary nod to the type of high (uplifting vs relaxing.) These points and the market in general are catering to the heavy user crowd, but do little to entice the potentially largest new market for the new legal market: the returning smoker/users. This group is largely still sitting on the sidelines because of the social stigma which will dissipate eventually and because today’s weed is intimidating / super strong. This group will embrace marijuana again in time and when the industry starts to cater and market appropriately to them.

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