December 14, 2022 – Today, Craig Worden and Mubashera Kothawala presented fresh Pollara Strategic Insights data at the Cannabis Insights Forever conference. The presentation provided a sneak preview of the areas of exploration in our upcoming subscription-based syndicated study Growing Green. Launching in February 2023, this study will be dedicated to testing the impact of a range of market, regulatory, product, retail, and brand levers upon current and potential cannabis users’ legal purchase patterns. Today’s presentation was primarily devoted to answering the question of whether lower prices and higher THC purchase limits can persuade illegal cannabis buyers to go legal.
Notably, past 12 month cannabis users are more likely to believe that legal prices are higher than illegal prices by a 2-to-1 margin (36% higher vs. 15% lower) – although almost half feel that pricing is about the same (21%) or are unsure (27%). Amongst Canadians who admitted to buying cannabis illegally in the past 12 months, six-in-ten (62%) indicated they would buy legally more often (25%), exclusively (26%), or for the first time (11%) if legal pricing was reduced by twenty percent. The impact was about the same for a twenty-five percent price reduction, but notably higher (70%) if prices are reduced by 30%. Lower price reductions of five percent (50%), ten percent (54%), and fifteen percent (59%) saw smaller, but not insignificant, proportions of illegal buyers increase their participation in the legal market.
Of course, in order for Canada’s cannabis companies to be financially able to reduce pricing, they would likely need to see a reduction in excise duties/taxes placed on their products by federal and provincial governments. On this front, half of general population adult Canadians express support for governments reducing their hidden taxes on cannabis products when presented with reasoning and arguments in favour of this proposal.
Turning to THC purchase limits, significant proportions of illegal cannabis buyers indicate they would increase their legal purchases if the THC limit on edibles was increased from 10mg to 100mg per unit (56%), if the THC limit on edibles was increased from 10mg to 100mg per container (53%), if the THC limit on edibles was increased from 10mg to 1,000mg per container (57%), and if the THC limit on drinkables, capsules, and vape pens was increased from 10mg to 100mg per unit (50%).
Moreover, half (54%) of illegal cannabis buyers indicated they would go legal more often if the purchase limits on drinkables were changed to be based on THC content instead of product weight, allowing them to buy more drinkables at the time of purchase than is currently allowed.
For more details, please see the presentation slidedeck.
Our upcoming Growing Green syndicated study will explore these topics and more, amongst a large N=2,500 sample of legal and illegal cannabis users. Stay tuned for our study prospectus. If you have any questions about this presentation or interest in subscribing to Growing Green, please contact Craig or Mubashera.