AROUND OREGON: Today’s cannabis consumers break the stereotype, survey finds

Ross Lipson, left, and Zach Lipson are the co-founders of Dutchie, a Bend cannabis sales software firm. (Bend Bulletin photo)

BEND – Cannabis consumers tend to be youngerand college educated, not unemployed drug users, according to a study done by Dutchie, a Bend-based online marketplace platform.

Dutchie, created by Bend residents Ross Lipson and his brother Zach Lipson, surveyed 5,000 cannabis users in April asking about their consumption habits. The survey showed that the stereotype of a cannabis user is false, said Ross Lipson, Dutchie CEO, in an interview.

“There is no data to support the assertion that cannabis consumers are simply out-of-work stoners,” said Beau Whitney, an Oregon cannabis economist. “The average cannabis consumer makes in excess of $50,000 a year in wages.”

In addition, Whitney said, cannabis consumers span multiple generations from Generation X to baby boomers.

Nearly half those surveyed were between 21 and 34 years of age, more than half were female and 54% were college educated, according to the survey results. Most said they used cannabis to relax and feel calm as the main reason for consuming.

“We wanted to understand who our consumers are,” Lipson said. “If we know who they are, then we have a better shot at understanding how to reach them. We found that the stigma of cannabis is false.

“We debunked the myth of cannabis. Cannabis consumers are not lazy or lower economic status. Cannabis consumers can be Olympic athletes, professional athletes and are very educated, very productive people.”

The results will be shared with Dutchie’s member cannabis companies who can use it for targeted messaging to consumers.

Dutchie is one of several online commerce sites for cannabis companies. For a flat fee, Dutchie — named after a 1981 song called “Pass the Dutchie” — provides an online platform for cannabis retailers to sell products linked to their point of sale systems and, at the same time, keeps track of inventory in real time.

The company has garnered venture capital from Thrive Capital to the cannabis industry’s leading investors, such as Snoop Dogg’s Casa Verde Capital and Gron Ventures.

The pandemic has fueled more online ordering than ever, and getting to know the customer helps Dutchie facilitate those sales. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 13.3% of all retail sales were online in the second quarter of 2021, a 7.8% increase.

Recreational marijuana is legal in 20 states plus the District of Columbia, according Norml.org, a cannabis advocacy organization. In 2020, Oregon sold more than $1.1 billion of cannabis products, according to the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission.

Online sales are favored by many shoppers. The survey showed that the baby boomers are the fastest growing demographic for cannabis sales, Lipson said.

“It’s been an illuminating study,” he said. “It will help reset the mindset.”

NOTE: This story from the Bend Bulletin is published with the permission as part of a collaborative of news organizations in Oregon sharing news content. Salem Reporter is part of the arrangement.

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