VICE has always been at the forefront of the global Cannabis narrative, and on National Weed Day, we thought it only fitting to share a few snackable insights from our 5th online quantitative study on Cannabis shifts and perceptions, conducted on VICE’s proprietary insights communities, Mad Chatter and VICE Voices.

Our study found that while the majority believe Cannabis is established in mainstream culture, Gen Z still believes a social revolution needs to occur. In our article “It’s 4/20, So Support CBD Brands That Fight to End Cannabis Incarceration” we note millions of people in the US – and disproportionately people of colour – continue to serve time for cannabis-related possessions. A whopping 87% of our audience demand amnesty for people currently doing time or with a previous record of committing cannabis crimes. And alongside criminal justice reform, unsurprisingly the environmental impacts of Cannabis were also a hot button topic among environmentally conscious Gen Z. Over half expressed an urgent need to know more about exactly how our voracious appetite for all things green might impact the environment, and whether we need to act now to minimise adverse outcomes. 

High Hopes

The good news is that while there is an overwhelming appetite for social reform, this hasn’t stopped consumers from being excited by innovation in consumption methods and the growing intersection between Cannabis and other cultural spaces – 71% of respondents believe using Cannabis in many different industries (food, beauty, fashion, H&W) will become the norm.

​​Additional findings include:

Accessibility Around Cannabis Still Needs to be Expanded

– 72 percent want more open conversations about why people use Cannabis
76 percent want all types of people openly able to use Cannabis
– 70 percent want products and messages that are accessible to all different types of people
– 61 percent feared the Cannabis industry is evolving into a luxury category that isn’t accessible to everyone (vs. 69% BIPOC)

Cannabis is Competing with Alcohol for Gen Z Dollars

69 percent of Gen Z say the growth of the cannabis industry will cause a decline in alcohol and tobacco usage
92 percent of Gen Z say Cannabis is less harmful than alcohol

Motivations Have Evolved from Recreation to Health & Wellness

70 percent primarily use Cannabis as a medicinal tool for general health and wellness or to relieve health conditions – a +49 percentage increase since they first tried Cannabis
91 percent of Gen Z said they use Cannabis to relax 

The good news for marketers and Cannabis connoisseurs? VICE audiences have an appetite for content around weed that reflects the cannabis culture of today, with:

#1 asking for videos or articles reporting on current events in the cannabis industry
 #2 asking for videos or articles on how to use Cannabis for health and wellness purposes
#3 asking for recommendations on related products (e.g. to store Cannabis, use it, etc.) 

VICE Insights collected these results in the VMG Cannabis Survey (US), April 2022.