Gen Z & Cannabis

For Gen Z, cannabis is normal. No different than alcohol.

Only they’re much more likely to consume cannabis on a consistent basis, posing a major threat to alcohol sales. 

With the inevitable legalization of marijuana, it is only a matter of time before the group barely legal to consume becomes the most frequent user. 

(let’s be real, your 18-year old that drinks fireball & UV blue is not going to have any trouble getting his/her hands on cannabis. Oh and that always lingering smell in your basement that only appears on the weekends is probably not a dead rodent.)

For other generations, cannabis will certainly play an increased role in the daily lives of frequent users but the stigma that lasts will likely prevent older generations from cannabis use at the same rate as Gen Z.

What becomes a Saturday night joint on the back porch for ambitious Gen X will likely be the equivalent to a dab pen used 5-10 times/day by Gen Z. 

If you employ Gen Z it’s likely already happening. As someone employing several Gen Zs, I can tell you firsthand from the complaints we’ve received from our former coworking office. (sorry Plexpod!)

Consumer Experiences Will Evolve

What makes going to get a drink the norm for what to do socially? While it’s not in our DNA, it’s been integrated into our culture for so long that it is without a doubt THE social norm. 

With friends, with family, with co-workers, whether it’s dinner, a cookout, or a party, you’re likely having conversations with a drink in hand. 

For a less social setting, what do we settle for?


Regardless of where we’re going, if it’s social it likely involves some sort of drug (caffeine and alcohol are in fact drugs). 

So is it crazy to think unique consumer experiences (outside of Wiz Khalifa concerts) will soon integrate cannabis? 

Cannabis will take it’s own experience place in the market the same way coffee and alcohol have. 

Creative Juices (and smoke) Will Flow

Employees will be high at work. Period. 

Likely, you won’t even notice.

Because unlike alcohol, cannabis is closer to caffeine in that it can be an inhibitor for greater focus, productivity, and creativity. 

While sales reps, ops managers, and finance leaders likely won’t dabble in cannabis consumption at work, creative and strategic roles will likely give it a try. And of course, HR. 

Truth be told, I have zero clue how this will play out. 

What I do know to be true is that you need to be aware of it now, have a clear policy on it, and be ready to enforce that policy!

Stigmas Will Shift

The stigma that has stuck with cannabis for older generations for decades will shift. 

Cannabis will and is currently being used by more than just hippies and potheads.

Athletes, entrepreneurs, and executives will all find new uses and consumption of cannabis to improve their performance and recovery. 

We don’t stigmatize others on whether they had a few beers over the weekend, or the # of coffees they’ve had just today. So why should we do the same regarding cannabis? 

Cannabis consumption will become the norm, new experiences will be created, employees will be high at work, and stigmas will shift. 

Cannabis will introduce yet another disruption to the market. Will you be ready?

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