The Latest Trends in Cannabis

Cannabis trends move fast! We track the latest consumer, brand, distribution, and market trends to keep you up to date on what's happening in the US cannabis market.

On this page:

Consumer Trends

New recreational cannabis consumers are using marijuana more frequently than previously surveyed new users. 

  • 50% of new recreational cannabis users in Q4 2020 used cannabis 5+ days per week. 


The gender balance of cannabis consumers has tipped.

  • The portion of female cannabis users steadily rose through 2020, reaching 51% in Q1 2021.
  • Women cannabis consumers skew younger and are heavier cannabis users than men.


Legalization Trends

Americans are ready when the federal government is. 

  • Cannabis is no longer a strictly partisan issue. Republican and Democratic voters are saying “yes” to legalize adult cannabis.
  • Increased cannabis use over the pandemic further normalized the plant, with recent reports showing 91% of Americans are in favor of at least medical cannabis. 
  • 10% of Americans report using cannabis in the past 3 months.
  • In October 2020, 81% of cannabis consumers said cannabis helped them deal with the stress of the pandemic.

The next step on the road to federal cannabis legalization in the US will likely be the SAFE Banking Act. 

  • Legal banking provides opportunities for major players to enter and expand in US cannabis.
  • Legal banking will encourage more states to legalize cannabis.

See all the insights with Brightfield’s Consumer & Legalization Trends Report




Brand Trends

We conducted a study on cannabis brands in the most mature markets in the world - Colorado and California. Here’s what we saw:

  • Cannabis shoppers are very satisfied with their purchases. Once a consumer buys from a brand, they are likely to repurchase it. 
  • Brands that only market themselves by attributes and functional benefits are starting to look the same to consumers. 
  • An emotional connection with customers is necessary for building loyalty and staying competitive once federal legalization opens the market to bigger competition. 

See all the insight’s with Brightfield’s The Next Chapter of US Cannabis Report



Distribution Trends

Distribution Trends for Canada and the US tracks the products hitting dispensary menus and shelves. Each month, we explore different product types for trending brands and attributes - like flavor, positioning, and dosage. 


June US Distribution Report: Cannabis Chocolates

Cannabis chocolates alone will surpass $3 billion in sales by 2025! Chocolates are a discreet and tasty way to enjoy THC. There's lots of room for flavor innovations in cannabis chocolates. Stay updated with Brightfield's latest Distribution Reports with the Inside Innovation Newsletter. 


Chocolate pairs well with a variety of fruits, nuts, and other sweet flavors like caramel. Plus the mainstream chocolate industry provides plenty of inspiration.






May US Distribution Report: Cannabis Candy

Cannabis candies saw the most growth on dispensary shelves in 2020. In mid-2021, we look at the brands and attributes on top in the category. Positionings move towards two use-cases: to unwind and activate - while ratios & flavors go in interesting directions.





April US Distribution Report: Baked Goods

Cannabis baked goods are ubiquitous. “Special brownies” hold a sacred place in cannabis culture, and though they’re not the most efficient or precise method of consumption, they may be the tastiest.


Baked goods may only take up 3.5% of the US cannabis market, but 39% of US cannabis consumers report eating a cannabis baked good in the past 6 months! There's an opportunity for brands to create exciting baked good options to appeal to these consumers.




Market Trends

Brightfield Group forecasts the US cannabis market will be worth $39.9 billion by 2025.

The US cannabis market has been optimistic since the 2020 election. Cannabis is on its way to legalization, starting with the SAFE Banking Act. The slow, incremental changes will allow companies to get involved at various points. 


Currently, acquisitions are heating up in the US cannabis space. Companies across the supply chain in various states are purchasing other brands. 


What do companies need to look for when acquiring or being acquired? Get the M&A Checklist


More on mergers & acquisitions coming soon!