To say that, “the times, they are changing” is an understatement.
Then – 1931: Texas declared marijuana a “narcotic,” and started enforcing life sentences for its possession.
Now – 2016: California, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts all legalize recreational marijuana through a ballot initiative.
Then – 1969: A Gallup poll reveals that only 12% of the Americans were in favor of legalizing cannabis.
Now – 2017: The very same Gallup poll found that 64% of Americans support legalization.
But while everyone is talking about legalization regarding tax revenue and policy, at least one stone remains unturned: the personal budgeting of the cannabis consumer.
A new study, conducted by LendEDU, is shedding some light on the consumer habits of non-medical marijuana consumers. The organization surveyed 1,000 American consumers, age 21-and-over, all from states with a legal recreational market, to discover how the marijuana is affecting the financials of the individual cannabis user.
What they found was pretty surprising: most marijuana customers are not just mindful, but fiscally responsible.
The average legal consumer spends $111.05 per month on marijuana, and about half of them include that expense in their household budget. (Right alongside car payments, rent, and Cheerios.) Some will even eschew restaurant dining just to accommodate their marijuana purchases. Here are some of the most poignant findings from the survey.
Survey question: “In a month, do you spend more money eating out or on marijuana product purchases?”
> 27.6% of cannabis consumers admitted that they do.
Depending on where one eats, they can reasonably expect to spend anywhere from $10 to $150 for each meal. Those costs add up quickly over the course of a month, so it’s surprising that so many respondents can say that they spend more on cannabis than take-out and dining in.
Survey question: “Do you include marijuana product purchases in your monthly budget?”
51.1% of those polled must be disciples of personal financial guru, Suzy Orman because they think ahead and build their stash right into their budget.
Survey question: “In the last year, has the cost of your monthly marijuana product purchases increased or decreased?”
59% of legal cannabis consumers reported a decrease in cost, while 41 percent stated the opposite.
Survey question: “Did the legalization of recreational marijuana products increase or decrease the amount of marijuana products purchased each month?”
54.2% of the respondents reported making more purchases, while 45.8 percent who say their cannabis purchases have decreased in number.
The point to be made by this survey is that in states where marijuana is recreationally legal, its use becomes both a priority and lifestyle choice. Legalization is lifting the taboo, and it stands to reason that the more open consumers are—to themselves and anyone helping with their financials—about their cannabis purchases, the most honest their budget becomes.
Alana seeks to see cannabis from the perspective of politicians, advocates, entrepreneurs, and consumers. She got her start with a byline in the arts and culture section and crossed over into cannabis after using it medicinally. Current projects include investigations into cannabis and wellness; entrepreneurs of the Green Rush; cannabis for athletes; and the evolution of cannabis laws and culture in Canada.