For a very long time, the quest in cannabis growing for the recreational market has been centred around reaching maximum potency. With flavour and effect considerations coming in a very close second. The benchmark, however, was always about potency. Even as legal consumers, it is not rare for someone to ask, “What’s the strongest stuff you have?” Clearly there is a strong voice in the market demographic for the highest high test.
There is a new voice starting to be heard now that the stigmas are fading away. Perhaps they were always there, but as a minority were well drowned out. My first realization that we are not paying enough attention to the wants and needs of the whole market came through the voice of another and initially surprised me. The more I thought about it, however, the more I realized there is a massive market not being catered to; incredibly massive!
While sharing the different flowers from last years harvest, I did as most might do: I offered up my best first. Somewhat deflated when the response was just ok, I went to the next best. Still the reaction was lackluster. Now I was getting really confused. I was proud of these two flowers, but fully understanding that everyone has their own preference in the type of effect, I offered up my 3rd best.
The reaction to this third choice was much more favourable. For the next round came my least favourite and, ironically, the largest amount I harvested. The response shocked me: “We love it! That’s the best one yet!” Puzzled, I sat down and asked myself, “Why is this one so good over the others? It’s my least favourite.”
The reply was simple and clear. “This one is a lot closer to the stuff we used to smoke when we were young. We get a nice buzz that we enjoy, but it’s not so strong we feel stupid or debilitated. We don’t want to get wasted, just relax and feel good”. These are folks in their 60’s who wanted an effect like they remember from their youth.
It makes great sense. In those days if you wanted to go full wasted, you could just smoke one after another until you got there. I was one of those types as were many others then labelled ‘pothead’. Today the softer ‘chronic’ is far more palatable.
When we look at legal recreational use in Canada, for the most part the focus seems to have been capturing the legacy market and converting them. Potency is a solid strategy to that end with price coming in a very close second. But massive potential is being left on the table.
There is a very large number of Canadians in the aging population, some continued to use cannabis, but many left it behind with their youth. Now facing the ills of age, aches and pains and medical treatment becomes a necessary normal along with prescription medications. More and more of this demographic are going back to cannabis, not only for it’s recreational and nostalgic value, but because of the understood benefits that can come with it.
An entire line of products geared to the 40+ crowd would do extremely well with a mid-to-low THC-, mid-to-high CBD-content flower of varying phenotypes. Unlike the youngest cannabis consumer demographic, the 40+ market has far more disposable income available to them.
Perhaps a tamed down White Widow would work. How about “Grey Bearded Widow” or “Geriatric Kush”? All kidding aside, this is where the next big market push should be geared. There are millions of Canadians who, unhindered by legal ramifications, would very much enjoy partaking in some great tasting flower that does not leave them couch locked or drooling while wondering what their name was.
If you really want to cash in on the growing Canadian cannabis market, look to your elders.