How to Conduct Market Research with Cannabis Consumers

The use of recreational cannabis has increased over the past few years as it has become more legal in several states across the country.

As a result, many questions are being asked to learn and understand purchasing behaviors of cannabis users

Common questions asked from cannabis distillery decision-makers often include:

  • What is the size of the market?
  • What are the most popular ways cannabis is consumed? 
  • How can we effectively advertise to our target audience?       

Conducting market research with cannabis consumers is a practical, thorough, and economical approach to answer these questions. 

For instance, our market research company recently conducted a successful cannabis consumer study for one of our clients.

The study was targeted and concise but provided several insights and data points for the client to leverage. Let’s see what it entailed! 

Market Research with cannabis consumers 

Challenges of the Cannabis Industry

Although the cannabis industry is growing rapidly, there are still many misconceptions that distillers must overcome to advertise and sell their products.

Herein lies the need for consumer market research.

For instance, the objectives of a recent market research study were to gather feedback and opinions of recreational and medical cannabis users from targeted regions in a particular state.  

The client conducted a similar study with us in 2020 and some of the results were measurable to 2021.

In addition, the 2021 study included new topics around cannabis preferences such as brands, marketing approaches, and delivery methods. 

The Solution: Online Survey with Cannabis Users

To address the objectives at hand, Drive Research recommended using an online survey to collect feedback.

It is often an approach we recommend for consumer studies because surveys offer high-quality results that are both quick and cost-effective.

If your brand is looking for measurable or benchmarkable data, a quantitative survey is your best bet compared to mail or phone surveys.

The target respondent was recreational and medical cannabis users in a specific U.S. state.

Respondents were above the age of 21 and were represented from different regions within the state.   

The Approach: How to Conduct Cannabis Market Research

We begin all studies with our clients with a kickoff meeting. This helps us understand the client’s expectations and introduce our project management style.

For this study, we recapped objectives from the proposal and discussed the timeline for the study. 

The survey included 29 questions and took an average of 4 minutes to complete

The topics discussed in the survey included: 

  • Attitudes surrounding the legalization of the social consumption of cannabis in the state
  • Cannabis dispensary/brand preferences     
  • Cannabis consumption methods and delivery preferences 

Like most studies, we drafted the survey based on our initial discussions and sent it over to the client to suggest any changes or answer any questions they may have.

Once they signed off on the survey, we started programming it into our software and had it tested among our in-house team. 

Additionally, we chose to partner with a third-party company to help us reach our targeted audience.

The study had a low incidence rate, meaning our targeted respondent was more difficult to find in the general population.

Therefore, we needed to utilize the capability of the external company to provide eligible respondents quickly to ensure we would reach our sample goal and stay on our initial project timeline. 

The Results of the Survey with Cannabis Consumers

The study recruited approximately 417 responses and reached its targeted number of responses of 400 after data quality checks. The margin of error was +/- 4.9%.  

We over recruited to ensure we would have enough quality responses to include in our analysis.

Responses that were removed contained untrustworthy data that could’ve compromised the integrity of the study.

We conduct several data quality checks throughout our projects to verify that the data we analyze and deliver to our clients is reliable. 

In addition to the market research report, our team joined the client in a webinar to reveal the findings. Watch that webinar below!

Final Thoughts - Clients Satisfaction with the Market Research

The client was very satisfied with the results and felt they could utilize the results to help their business in multiple ways.

Additionally, they were amazed by the comparisons they were able to make from the 2020 study. 

This client really took it to heart when we told them after their initial study that the data collected answered a lot of questions but raised many more.

They were determined to understand this industry better were invested in answering the next-level questions that most businesses and organizations are always trying to find.

Need Help Conducting Market Research with Cannabis Users?

Contact Drive Research

Drive Research is a full-service market research company located in Upstate New York. Our team partners with brands across the country to execute both quantitative and qualitative studies.

All industries, new or established, can utilize consumer studies to better understand key drivers such as preferences, attitudes, and trends. Market research is an effective way to learn what aspects are most prominent in any industry.   

No matter the size or scope of your next consumer study, we know how to provide you with valuable insights to help your business grow!    

Interested in partnering with our team on your next market research study? Contact us below.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040


Justin Eisenhauer

As a Research Assistant, Justin works directly with all team members on client projects. His intrigue in market research formed during his time at Marist College, where he studied business and entrepreneurship. He knows how to approach market data from a client perspective and provides valuable insights to help them be successful.

Learn more about Justin, here.

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