The Green Wave: Cannabis Consumers Lead the Charge for Sustainability

The Green Wave: Cannabis Consumers Lead the Charge for Sustainability

The cannabis industry is riding a wave of sustainability, driven by consumer demand for eco-conscious products and practices. Brightfield Group's latest research reveals that cannabis consumers are not merely participants in this movement; they're leading the charge, setting a high bar for brands to meet their expectations.New call-to-action

Green Consumers, Strong Values 

Our 2023 data from 21,752 general population census-balanced U.S. consumers and 4,786 cannabis consumers paints a clear picture of the eco-conscious cannabis consumer:

  • Sustainability Enthusiasts: Across categories in food, beverage, and supplements, a remarkable 69% of cannabis consumers sometimes or often purchase products with sustainable packaging, with nearly a quarter (23%) frequently doing so. This significantly outpaces the general population, where only 19% report often buying sustainable products.
  • Specific Preferences: Among those prioritizing sustainable packaging, cannabis consumers over-index across all eco-friendly options, including plant-based materials, biodegradable, plastic-free, and compostable choices. Their top preferences are for recyclable (49%), reusable (46%), and plastic-free (32%) packaging.
  • Beyond Cannabis: This commitment to sustainability extends beyond cannabis products. These consumers are more likely to engage in environmentally friendly behaviors in other areas of their lives, such as reducing food waste and repurposing items.

    Sustainable Packaging Purchase Rate
    Sustainable Packaging Preferences
    Environmental Behaviors and Concerns

The Green Paradox: Price vs. Values

Despite this enthusiasm for eco-friendly products, a "green paradox" persists. A significant 65.3% of cannabis consumers believe that sustainable options are too expensive.

Environmental Cost Concerns

This perception, coupled with a slight decline in sustainable product purchases product purchases among cannabis consumers from 2022 to 2023, suggests a potential disconnect between values and affordability.

Sustainable Packaging Purchase Rate DeclinesHowever, brands shouldn't be discouraged. The data also reveals that consumers are willing to pay a premium for products aligned with their values. This presents an opportunity for companies to innovate and create cost-effective sustainable packaging solutions that resonate with environmentally conscious consumers.

Leading the Green Charge: Sustainable Cannabis Brands

Several cannabis companies are already demonstrating their commitment to sustainability:

  • Kiva Logo  Addressing the packaging challenge with 100% biodegradable cartons and fully recyclable metal tins.

  • Wyld Logo  Leading the industry as the first Climate Neutral Certified cannabis company, with a comprehensive approach to reducing its carbon footprint.

  • Flow Kana Logo Supporting regenerative farming practices to promote soil health and biodiversity.

  • Canopy Growth Logo  Pledging to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.

  • Patagonia Provisions Logo  Offering a hemp-based food line with a focus on regenerative agriculture.

The Path Forward: Challenges and Opportunities 

The cannabis industry still faces significant hurdles on its path to full sustainability. Energy-intensive indoor cultivation, water usage in drought-prone regions, and transportation emissions are all areas that require innovative solutions.

However, the growing demand for sustainable cannabis, backed by our data, is a powerful catalyst for change. Consumers are increasingly willing to pay a premium for eco-friendly products, and brands that prioritize sustainability are gaining a competitive edge.

As the industry matures, we expect to see continued investment in renewable energy, water conservation technologies, and sustainable farming practices. The green revolution is gaining momentum, and Brightfield Group will be there to track its progress and provide valuable insights to help brands navigate this evolving landscape.

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Brightfield Group: Your Compass in the Green Wave

At Brightfield Group, we're more than just data analysts – we're navigators in the rapidly evolving landscape of wellness and sustainability. Our unique vantage point at the intersection of consumer trends, market forces, and social values allows us to offer unparalleled insights into the cannabis industry and beyond.

By tracking consumer surveys, social media conversations, and predictive analytics across various industries, we identify emerging patterns and guide brands towards a future where wellness and sustainability are not just buzzwords, but essential pillars of success.

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Updated: 5/15/2024