Insights into the recreational marijuana market

Exploring opportunities and challenges

What opportunities and challenges will a recreational marijuana market provide for businesses and governments alike? We surveyed Canadian recreational marijuana consumers from coast to coast to acquire a better understanding.

When it comes to the potential legalization and regulation of recreational marijuana, Canadian businesses, governments and consumers alike are entering uncharted terrain.

While there is plenty of useful data to be gleaned from external markets ‐ most notably those in the U.S. that have already implemented similar legislation ‐ this information fails to take into account the unique nuances and behaviours of the Canadian marijuana consumer.

To accurately determine how recreational marijuana may ultimately be regulated, distributed, sold and marketed, one must first understand potential consumption patterns ‐ and yet, until recently, little was known about these consumers. That's why, in 2016, Deloitte sought to fill the gap in knowledge by conducting the very first comprehensive study of current and future marijuana consumers.

In partnership with Toronto's RIWI Corp., we surveyed 5,000 Canadian adults from coast to coast ‐ 1,000 of whom identified as current recreational marijuana consumers ‐ to acquire an understanding of how a recreational marijuana market could potentially unfold, and what opportunities and challenges may lie ahead, for businesses and governments alike.

  1. For businesses
  2. For governments

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For businesses

For businesses

A Canadian recreational marijuana market will likely feature a variety of product and marketing opportunities. Ground - floor entrants should consider how to build their brands so they will be positioned to lead should legalization occur. Additionally, understanding the likely consumer base - both seasoned and inexperienced - will go a long way, as strong customer service is sure to be a significant differentiator in this emerging market.

For governments

Preparing to retail cannabis

As the legalization date of recreational cannabis in Canada draws near, those involved in the retail and distribution of the product are working to find the right balance between public health, public safety, and being consumer-centric. To achieve success, and help erode the illicit market, businesses must provide engaging customer experiences online and in-store as well as offer the right assortment of products.

To help businesses prepare for cannabis retailing and distribution with customer-centricity in mind, Deloitte has developed an approach informed by relevant recent experience across Canada.

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