When the nation’s first legal marijuana shops open in Washington and Colorado, they will be selling a product with a special flavor. Lots of flavor.
A new national study about pot legalization has found that 50 percent of respondents nationally preferred “cannabis flowers or buds” as a product name, even more than marijuana-infused edibles like cookies and gummies.
The preference for cannabis buds, the kooky names and the elaborate packaging that brewers and distillers have played with, adds a whole new dimension to the marijuana experience for consumers. The sector is showing remarkable growth that may eventually reach the point where local cities, towns and counties can’t decide who can sell where.
The national study, to be released Monday, is based on phone interviews of 1,250 residents of the 37 states that have legalized some form of recreational marijuana. “This survey informs a national conversation and begins to determine how marijuana should be defined and defined differently at the federal and state level,” its authors write.
The study, by the National Cannabis Industry Association, Harris Poll and Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, found, however, that in the debate about selling marijuana, consumers clearly are picking favorites.
Among the different types of marijuana available, “wet flower, or cannabis flower” was chosen by 79 percent of respondents. “Edibles and beverages” attracted 33 percent, followed by “weed — as in product — 61 percent.”
“Organic bud” and “Hemp oil” got 8 percent and 4 percent of votes, respectively.
Despite the increasing popularity of pot, the survey found that the phrase “legal marijuana” still is not widely accepted among a majority of Americans.
Some 53 percent of Americans didn’t know the term “legal marijuana” when asked about it. “Legal” was the most common response (79 percent) for people who said they knew the term.
When respondents were asked what the correct term should be for the product, the results were mixed. Thirty-two percent of respondents wanted marijuana as it is now. Only 6 percent wanted to make the product legal so that it could be sold in every state (instead of in states that legalize it).
Forty-five percent thought the product should be made legal so that it can be sold in all states. “Legal” was the second-most popular choice, followed by 39 percent of respondents who wanted the product to be made legal in all states.
Respondents’ views may vary from state to state. In Oregon, the state that made recreational marijuana legal more than two years ago, “wet flower” was the top choice for name, followed by “edibles and beverages.” In Colorado, there was strong support for edibles and beverages but even stronger support for marijuana as it is now, chosen by 42 percent of respondents.
When asked what the right name should be for marijuana, more Democrats supported the name “eds and fuels” (37 percent) than Republicans did (31 percent). More Republicans favored the term “marijuana” (55 percent) than Democrats (42 percent).
In Nevada, where an initiative to legalize recreational marijuana was put on the ballot in 2016, a majority of respondents wanted “eds and fuels” as the name (64 percent), followed by “marijuana” (51 percent). But 60 percent of respondents favored making the product legal in all states, with 12 percent opposed.
Washington and Colorado, the two states where recreational marijuana is legal, were asked to choose from different categories.
When respondents were asked to choose from the oldest and youngest generational groups, those most likely to smoke marijuana were younger respondents in the oldest demographic: 18- to 29-year-olds, 32 percent; with the oldest respondents: 65- to 74-year-olds, 45 percent.
When respondents were asked about responses from racial and ethnic groups, Asian respondents said weed should be legalized so that it could be sold in all states (43 percent); with African-Americans, it should be made legal for sale in all states (26 percent); and with whites, it should be made legal for sale in some states (34 percent).
Twenty-nine percent of respondents said they do not smoke marijuana.