Many of us couldn’t imagine what it would be like to grow up in a world where cannabis was socially accepted. Almost everyone reading this article has grown up in a society that stigmatizes and demonizes a plant that offers us hope, medical benefits, and many other positive aspects. Individuals however that are classified as Generation Z have not seen a time where cannabis wasn’t legal in some form somewhere in the U.S.
Who is Gen Z?
Generation Z is classified as anyone born between 1995 in 2010. The same individuals have grown up with social networks, and the internet that is burgeoning with information. Many Gen Z are also very environmentally aware as having the internet at your fingertips allows individuals to know much more about this plant. In combination with the social atmosphere that Gen Z has seen, it is no surprise that cannabis is a topic of conversation that’s just as socially acceptable among Gen Z.
Gen Z Cannabis Consumers Are Rapidly Growing
As you can see this puts Generation Z in a very interesting demographic. While the oldest of Generation Z are only 22, only a handful of them can legally purchase cannabis in states where it is legal. Although, this demographic made up for an entire percent of the overall cannabis market in the United States. However, it is estimated that roughly 4% of sales in the legal market are through Gen Z purchases.
So just how many Gen Z’s are toking up? According to a study conducted earlier this year which was published in Business Week, 11,003 adults over the age of 18 were polled regarding their use of CBD, hemp oil and cannabis and the report concluded that Gen Z in the U.S. was twice as likely to utilize cannabis than the national average.
Where will this leave the next generation? According to some, it is this next generation that will genuinely see cannabis freedom and see a time where the stigma surrounding the plant is far and few between. Gen Z grew up in a time where cannabis was regaining acceptance but many still grew up with stigma from older generations. Adults who before them had grown up in the ” just say no” era or lived amid Reefer Madness.
Cannabis is Becoming Normal Again
A prime example of just how far cannabis has come can be seen with over 60% of individuals in the United States now have access to some form of legal cannabis and coincidently, 60% of adults also believe that cannabis should be legal at least for medical purposes.
In states where adults do have a choice for their recreational pleasure of alcohol and/or cannabis, many are choosing cannabis. This is evident in the continuously declining beer sales in states with recreational markets in place. Managing director of Brightfield Group, Bethany Gomez recently told Bloomberg that cannabis is “ becoming much more palatable. It’s not crazy to think the usage rate could eventually be similar to alcohol.”
With Gen Z coming into adulthood each day it is quite likely that one-day cannabis could be just as socially acceptable as alcohol has been and continues to be today.