Although cannabis consumption is still frowned upon, the millennial generation are changing the stigmas. They’ve been seen as the pioneers of recreational consumption, and have played a massive role in the legalisation of cannabis in the US.
As opposed to baby boomers, millennials have shown a tendency to be more open to new experiences which can further turn into genuine drivers of social change. It’s not all about complaining and changing social climates either, they’re actually contributing to the growth of a brand new industry. In 2018, the global cannabis market was valued at $10.6 billion, and has been projected to reach $100 billion by 2026 – which is absolutely mind blowing!
Who are Millennials?
For those who don’t know, the millennials are those born between 1980 and 2000. In South Africa, we have 14 million millennials, which is 27% of our population.
They also tend to display their own set of traits across the board. They tend to be more tech savvy, making more use of social media and other digital tools to explore and understand the world around them. They communicate more and learn quickly, meaning they’re flexible and adaptive.
Education is also something they’ve taken seriously, meaning most of them are educated professionals who are more open to different and new behavioural patterns. Rather than sticking to rigid traditions or routines, they act independently and do away with many old school or pointless values.
It’s factors like these that make millennials so much more open to the notion of cannabis. A number of reports, largely based in the US to be fair, have shown this trend:
- Up to 55 million American adults consume cannabis, 35 million of them on a regular basis.
- The millennial age group makes up 50% of cannabis consumers.
- Even 76% of millennials believe cannabis should be legalised.
- 90% of millennials believe that weed is safer than alcohol.
Why do Millennials Love Cannabis?
What is it that is actually motivating this age group to consume cannabis and engage in the industry? Nothing is concrete, as every individual is different and will have their own personal reasons for being involved in cannabis. Whatever their ideas, causes and intentions are, we do have some of them on hand here:
- No hangovers: No one really likes a hangover, and millennials, in particular, seem to hate them. This is why they prefer cannabis as it isn’t associated with a terrible hangover. No suffering the day after, and the next day is more clear and memorable.
- Cheaper than booze: Cannabis, depending on the quality of your product, tends to be cheaper than alcohol. A night out in South Africa will cost you anywhere between 500 to 1000 rand, while hanging out with friends and some bud will cost you around 200 to 300 rand.
- Weed is chilled: The millennial generation seems to be more aware of the stress in their lives, so opt for something that helps them relax. Many report that cannabis works wonders for self-managing stress, anxiety and depression.
- Health conscious: Millennials are a healthy bunch, which pushes them in the direction of cannabis. Bud is not as toxic for the body as alcohol, as well as having a calorie count of zero. It is less harmful on the body in many ways when compared to booze.
- Crime focus: A legal cannabis industry would hopefully mean that local police will stop wasting their time on small time weed dealers. They can then focus their attention better on more important issues.
- Investment opportunity: Cannabis is a budding industry, so millennials are seeing it as a fantastic investment opportunity. This is contributing greatly to the success of the industry so far.
What Obstacles Stand in the Way of Cannabis?
Although business is booming in the world of cannabis, it does come with its own roadblocks and obstacles.
Although stigmas are changing, a large majority of people are still very much against it. It will take a bit longer for them to change their minds. Even though the world is becoming more open and accepting of cannabis, it’s a slow process. People have to move past the stigmas before, and then it’s the slow legal process that follows.
It’s also still a controversial topic. Many still roll their eyes when someone talks about smoking weed, so many still aren’t all that open about their consumption.
Debates on the health effects are still ongoing. Although more evidence is showing the positive impact this plant can have on people’s lives, there’s still a lot we don’t know about cannabis. So some are very much hesitant to fully accept it just yet.
At the End of it All
Global cannabis acceptance isn’t here yet, but millennials are working to make it happen. They are doing what they can to break the stigmas and start the conversation.
We can only judge their success in the years to come, but the CN team have confidence that they will be the drivers for change in this industry – as they have been for so many other aspects of the world we live in.