According to Wikipedia, 420, 4:20, or 4/20 (pronounced four-twenty) is cannabis culture slang for marijuana and hashish consumption, especially smoking around the time 4:20 p.m., and also refers to cannabis-oriented celebrations that take place annually on April 20. From Statistics Canada, prevalence of cannabis consumption in Canada has been steadily increasing across all consumption levels. Now, Canada’s cannabis industry is operating at an annual run rate of about CAD $3.13 billion.
Let’s dive into how Canadians view cannabis in 2021, and whether they planned to celebrate the iconic 420 holiday during a pandemic.
COVID-19 Can’t Break Tradition
Caddle found out that 22% of Canadians who consume cannabis celebrated 420 last year, and 39% plan to celebrate this year. In actuality, some have gathered in small groups to celebrate 420, others moved the festivities online, but official numbers will likely be limited since official gatherings were cancelled due to safety concerns. As this is a holiday typically celebrated outdoors, perhaps the rise in interest is not surprising. This increase in participation may be attributed to COVID-19 coping mechanisms, or simply following the trend as we’ve seen in the past decade of increasing interest in cannabis use.
Cannabis Users Are Consistent
Due to COVID-19 restrictions this year, many 420 celebrations have been cancelled due to safety concerns. For example, Vancouver’s 420 protest and cannabis celebration with over 100,000 in attendance and over 500 vendors every year has been cancelled. In honor of 420 this week, we’re sharing some recent cannabis data.
Caddle found that for the general population, most are not participants of cannabis culture: Over 70% indicate they do not use cannabis at all.
How often do you use cannabis?
However, if we look at the data at those who do use cannabis, there is a clear picture that emerges when it comes to familiarity, usage, and participation in the celebration of cannabis.
Caddle found that of the Canadians who use cannabis, 56% use cannabis at minimum on a weekly basis, if not daily.
If we look further, we find that younger generations are more likely to use cannabis more frequently. When we look at gender differences, men are 11 basis points higher than women when we look at consumers who are daily to weekly users (61% vs. 52% respectively).
Why may this be the case? Younger generations are potentially more educated on cannabis and its medicinal and recreational uses. Millennials and Gen Z could also be more receptive to normalizing cannabis use, especially after its legalization in 2018. As for the gender differences, we can possibly look to the different societal pressures that may be put on men vs. women when it comes to cannabis use, and the possible stigmatization that is still present surrounding cannabis users.
Celebrating 420 Amidst COVID-19
When it comes to celebrating cannabis, around 61% of Canadians who use cannabis are familiar with 420, and their reasons for participating may surprise you.
How familiar are you with 420?
Why do you participate in 420? (select all)
The top reason for participating in 420 is its sense of community. Next is cannabis’ associated health benefits, followed by curiosity.
Consumers continue to show increasing interest in cannabis products. This is especially true among Millennials and Gen Z, and men.
Over 60% of Canadians who use cannabis are familiar with 420, and the top 3 reasons for participating are a sense of community, health benefits, and curiosity.
Over half of cannabis users are using cannabis products at minimum on a weekly basis. This signals to cannabis brands that these products are becoming a habitual part of consumers’ routines, indicating strong potential to cultivate loyal customers in the cannabis market.