Cannabis business with marijuana leaves and stock graph charts on market

The new trend of well-designed packaging, clear and regulated information labels, lab-tested ingredients, standardized dosing, and modern branding takes its marketing cues from traditional retailers and brings it to the cannabis world.

Marketing and packaging trends from the ‘90s traditionally included ubiquitous plastic bags marked with an X for potency or jars illustrated with cannabis leaves, or sexually suggestive imagery are being exchanged for a cleaner, more retail-friendly look. This shift in cannabis product marketing and branding indicates the deeper changes taking place with market demographics. 

As legalization continues to become more widespread, a greater number of businesses and individuals are eager to invest in the industry- especially in companies that are focusing on releasing professionalized products.

What The Trend Reveals

While the trend towards clearer, safer, and regulated products benefits all consumers, women cannabis users seem to have been particularly appreciative of this new approach. 

Women feel more secure ingesting cannabis now that they no longer have to put themselves in a vulnerable position and trust dubious vendors to get a gram of cannabis- with unknown and untested ingredients inside. Instead, they can now go to a licensed café and know precisely what they’re getting in their product.

The Data

Data supports the claims that the market has shifted more towards encouraging and supporting women consumers. For example, studies during lockdowns in 2020 revealed that legal cannabis sales grew 46 percent during the pandemic.

Particular growth was noted among the younger female demographic, especially Gen Z (defined as those born in 1997 or later). Year-over-year sales for Gen Z women grew 151 percent in 2020, according to data gathered by Headset, a cannabis analytics firm.

What Created the Shift in Demographics

Some of the growth in sales among this demographic can be attributed to the fact that many members of Gen Z are simply turning 21, the age at which it becomes legal to purchase cannabis in the U.S. However, other factors contribute to the phenomenon.

Shifting public opinion and growing acceptance of cannabis use, especially among younger generations, is another possible driver leading to the growing popularity of cannabis among young women. In addition, the sexist stigma associated with cannabis use has greatly decreased.

New marketing tactics and packaging designs are also helping erase the public opposition to cannabis use. Several cannabis companies are taking their packaging design cues from cosmetic companies to encourage female patronage. Compact, feminine and professional packaging means that young women are more open to considering purchasing new products.

Additionally, the variety of products available for cannabis ingestion allows women more freedom to choose their preferred method of cannabis use and gives women the option of remaining discreet. Finally, the added convenience and ease of use mean that even inexperienced cannabis consumers have access to accredited and lab-tested products they can use.

Young women are also more open to using marijuana to self-medicate and manage mental conditions such as anxiety disorders and PTSD. But, it is essential to note that users should always consult their doctor or psychiatrist before trying any medication.

With women becoming an increasingly powerful force in the cannabis market, it’s clear that the future is also female. As a result, brands will need to shift their marketing to target a new and growing demographic.