Report: Rec marijuana consumers use less alcohol, pain medications, sleep aids

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A new market research report has confirmed that marijuana consumers in states that have legalized recreational cannabis use less alcohol, over-the-counter pain medications and sleep aids.

The findings suggest that the cannabis market may be larger than many grasp. If some consumers are replacing alcohol or pain medications with marijuana, that indicates there may be millions more potential customers that cannabis companies have yet to reach.

The report, compiled by Chicago-based High Yield Insights, found that more than a fifth of rec MJ consumers use less beer, spirits, painkillers and sedatives than standard consumers.

More precisely, legal recreational cannabis consumers use 27% less over-the-counter pain medications, 22% less sleep aids, 21% less alcoholic spirits and 20% less beer than consumers in states that have not legalized adult-use marijuana.

“We are just starting to grasp how legalization has impacted consumer behavior, be it spending, usage occasions or shopping habits,” Mike Luce, co-founder of High Yield Insights, said in a news release.

“Understanding these changes will lead to new growth opportunities for cannabis and further disruption for other categories.”

According to Luce, the report “uncovered promising consumer niches for the industry as well.

“For example, many older consumers (55+) are re-engaging with marijuana, with 56% reporting a return to marijuana after having tried cannabis products at a younger age.”