Eaze Insights | State of Cannabis 2022

Elizabeth Ashford
Feb 7, 2022

All About Equity: What Brands, Investors, and Regulators Need to Know About Cannabis Consumers and Social Equity Brands

Executive Summary

As we roll into 2022, Eaze has crunched the numbers on 12 months of consumer data to bring you our annual State of Cannabis report. In 2021, we saw massive changes in consumer support for products produced by entrepreneurs negatively impacted—by virtue of geography, family history, and lived experience—by the War on Drugs. As the nation’s largest legal cannabis marketplace (with 8 million legal deliveries to-date), this year’s State of Cannabis Report offers unique insights into social equity product trends, uncovering consumer patterns that can be generalized to markets nationally and globally.

Eaze’s social impact programs reflect our mission to deliver good with the goods. Our work includes the award-winning Momentum business accelerator; Eaze Compassion, our patient program that provides free medicine to low-income medical cannabis consumers; and our Social Equity Partners Program (SEPP).

We always believed Eaze customers would welcome Social Equity brands with open arms. Now we know for sure. Here, for the first time, we are providing a year-over-year comparison of consumer sentiment and purchase behavior toward social equity brands.

TL/DR: Consumers are incredibly enthusiastic about these brands and are putting millions of dollars into them. These results hold important lessons for brands, investors, and regulators.

This year we’ve also done a deeper dive into concentrates—high potency products whose rising visibility and popularity reflects the ongoing normalization of cannabis. Who’s using them, how much, and at what potency? Read on to find out.

This report also includes our annual analysis of purchasing choices by age, geography, gender, as well as other consumer trends we’re seeing in California and Michigan. One big trend we’re noticing: consistency in product choice across ages and geographies. Consumers know what they like and are sticking with beloved products, year over year! We’ll have more standalone data on the Mitten State next year, so stay tuned. Eaze’s 2022 State of Cannabis report aggregates our proprietary data to illustrate the behavior of the more than 380,000 customers who purchased from Eaze between January 1 and December 31, 2021.

Social Equity in 2021

What is Eaze’s Social Equity Partners’ Program (SEPP)?

social equity, eaze delivery, california cannabis trendsSocial Equity (SE) Total Sales
social equity sales california 2021, 2022

Consumers are socially conscious, and this desire to support underrepresented communities means they’re making an effort to purchase cannabis from diverse founders. In 2021, Google search interest in “black owned shops near me” spiked 590%.

Eaze saw an incredible 72% year over year (YOY) increase between 2020 and 2021 in the dollar value, and an accompanying 51% increase in the number of products sold, from our SE Menu.

increase in social equity sales year over year, eaze, cannabis social equity, trends in cannabis, cannabis insights

What kinds of SE products are most popular? Here’s what customers ordered more of in 2021:

social equity sales 2021, cannabis insights report, cannabis trends, social equity sales california

Worth a note: We introduced SE vapes onto the menu for the first time in 2021, and their sales increased 145% over the year. Check back next year for a deeper dive on SE vape brands.

Top SE Sales Months

Since 2019, Eaze has expanded our social impact campaigns to promote brands and industry leaders from the BIPOC, LGBTQ+, veteran and other communities. Our top 2021 SE sales months by quantity, and the Social Impact marketing campaigns that ran alongside them, reflect consumer response to greater education about how their dollars can support these communities. It’s worth noting that although February (Black History Month) didn’t make the top five, it was the biggest sales month for Black-owned brands in 2021.
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Top SE Sales By City

Starting with a caveat: Eaze has expanded its social equity menu geographically over the past two years, meaning that jumps in cities reflects both consumer preference and availability. With this in mind, what can we learn from the cities where Eaze saw the biggest upticks in SE sales in 2021? Some things jump out. The prevalence of smaller, inland communities in California’s San Joaquin Valley in the Top Five (Tracy, Manteca, Lodi, and Stockton) is interesting, as this area is more politically moderate and less economically affluent than the Bay Area and Los Angeles—where the overall majority of SE sales occur.

Another grouping of four communities south of Long Beach (Hawaiian Gardens, Villa Park, Laguna Woods) is more politically liberal than their San Joaquin Valley counterparts, though similar in average median household income. The outliers? San Diego, Monrovia and Rolling Hills estates fall outside the two geographic groupings and are, on average, more affluent.

Social Equity Sales by City, California, Eaze
The takeaway? SE products gained significantly in popularity across a diverse group of customers; this is not a Northern California or Southern California trend, it’s not limited to bigger, liberal, or more-affluent areas of the state. This is good news, because it shows SE
products have traction across a diversity of communities.

gender breakdown cannabis consumption

Men were less likely to buy SE products in 2021 versus 2020, although in greater numbers than women, who increased slightly YOY. We anticipate that as more vapes and edibles become available on the SE menu – product categories that are especially popular with women, we’ll see ladies purchasing from the menu more frequently.
*Note: We recognize that Eaze customers fall into a broader set of gender identities than represented here. At this time, because of how data is made available and gathered from customers, we cannot capture this important diversity in our analysis.

SE Sales By Age

TikTok Generation is wide awake and hearing equity’s social justice message loud and clear, with Gen Z and young Millennials accounting for the biggest share of purchases.

social equity sales cannabis, weed industry california 2022

Who is the Modern Cannabis Shopper?

“Wedding cake” and “Glue” saw a meteoric rise in the past year. Both strains are indica-dominant, meaning they produce full-body effects like deep relaxation.

most popular weed strains, wedding cake, glue, cannabis, weedWedding Cake is a hybrid known for its calming effects on the body and mind, and demand has soared as consumers are looking for mental health and stress relief.

Original Glue (formerly known as Gorilla Glue) is a hybrid strain (60% indica, 40% sativa) that “delivers heavy-handed euphoria and relaxation, leaving you feeling “glued” to the couch.” (Leafly) It’s another strain known to deliver a strong dose of relaxation during a stressful year.

Top 2021 Holidays

420 sales, cannabis industry trends

cannabis consumption demographics, eaze, cannabis trends

The takeaway: Consistency. New customers in 2021 were identical by generation to 2020. Generations are based on categories established by the Pew Research Center. All Eaze customers are verified age 21+
• Baby Boomers: Born 1946-1964 (57 – 75)
• Generation X: Born 1965-1980 (41 – 56)
• Millennials: Born 1981 – 1996 (25 – 40)
• Generation Z: Born 1997 – 2012 (21 – 24)
cannabis and age breakdown, generational consumption of cannabis
In 2021, edibles ranked #1 for everyone except Gen Z, who kept vapes at #1 year over year. Baby boomers vaped more in 2021, increasingly substituting vapes for flower purchases. Drops raised in popularity with Boomers, Millennials, and Gen Z; and topicals were last across all generations.
gender breakdown, cannabis consumption
Again, consistency is the name of the game. For the first time, rates of new male and female consumers held steady year over year.

Location, Location, Location

Consumer Favorites Across California’s Top Markets

Eaze delivery covers ~80% of California’s age 21+ population, and our five biggest markets align closely with the largest population centers. Across the state, we’re seeing consistency and stability in most-sold products, an important take-away for manufacturers considering what to produce. Who’s the outlier? San Diego. In a break from the top categories in California’s five biggest markets, America’s Finest City embraced flower and concentrates with more enthusiasm and frequency than the rest of the Golden State.
consumption per market, california cannabis industry
cannabis neighborhood consumption

All the Way Up

Trends In Product Sales

Again, more consistency. Consumer preferences were static in 2021 with the top-selling product categories the same, every month, for all 12 months. For the first time, we’re providing a percentage range of sales for the year.

category sales, cannabis consumption

edibles categories california

2021’s big edibles winner: Mints cracked the Top 5, oral strips jumped up three places to #9, and tinctures made a showing at #12. The biggest losers? Licorice and hard sweets.

cannabis consumption genderWomen had a greater preference for edibles and prerolls, while men gravitated to flower and concentrate. We saw the greatest similarity in preference for vape products.

Deep Dive: Concentrates

Consumer Favorites Across California’s Top Markets

Concentrates appeal to customers seeking a potent, tasty high. With their popularity and visibility increasing, we wanted to better understand the trends behind concentrates.
Gen Z likes potency: Gen Z-ers are comfortable with concentrates that pack a punch. Of all age groups, Gen Z is the generation that purchased the concentrates with the highest average THC content. Millennials came in a close second, followed by Gen X.
But Baby Boomers don’t shy away from potent flower: This group actually purchased the flower products with the highest average THC, in every month of the year.
cannabis concentrates, potency, eaze delivery, concentrates, resin

concentrates potency sales
‘Tis the season for high THC: The proportion of users purchasing “very high” potency THC concentrates was highest from October – December, reaching 54.7% at the highest point in November.

The trend held for flower: October – December 2021 was peak season for “very high” potency – but interestingly, there is another spike between January – March.

michigan cannabis trends, cannabis consumption, concentrates

Oh high, pleasant peninsulas. We found the highest potency concentrates sold best in Michigan, while Californians enjoyed lower potencies overall. What surprised us? That the Bay Area market was much more conservative consumption-wise than our friends in the Mitten State.
And, that’s a blunt wrap! Questions about our findings? Send them to [email protected]
The 2022 State of Cannabis Report is dedicated to Keeon Tabrizi, Michael Wityk, Peggy Fan, and Peggy Jr.

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