New research from Kadence International has found that, 18% of Americans over the age of 21 have used cannabis in the last year. However, as cannabis becomes increasingly legal and destigmatized, more adults in the U.S. are willing to try it. Though 81% of American adults are not current cannabis users, 71% reported that they would be highly likely to try it in the next 12 months. In other words, only a mere 7% of adults living in the United States say they are unlikely to use cannabis in the next year.

Marijuana use has long been thought of as a recreational substance for a small portion of the population, which may be one of the reasons people have been holding back. This study identified a significant connection between wide-spread cannabis legalization and general attitudes about the substance. 41% of non-cannabis users stated that they’ve avoided marijuana because it’s illegal, but 70% of those stated that they would be likely to try cannabis if it were legalized where they live. As marijuana becomes less stigmatized due to the removal of legal barriers over the next few years, the large number of interested non-users are very likely to enter the fast-growing market space.

For those adults currently using cannabis, many are sticking to traditional methods. 2-in-3 cannabis users prefer to smoke marijuana compared to only 12% who prefer consuming edibles. They tend to prefer to smoke because they feel it is more convenient, but that may be an accessibility issue. Regardless of their method of consumption, over a third of adult cannabis users surveyed consume cannabis to help them relax and unwind after a long day.

While now recreationally legalized in a number of US states, discussing cannabis and its benefits is often done in hushed tones. The study we have conducted tries to demonstrate the role that cannabis has in modern society. This research study helps us understand the drivers of cannabis use in the United States, and while there is still a stigma attached to usage, a surprisingly large portion of the adult population is either using cannabis or strongly considering it in the coming year
— Miriam Konz, managing director at Kadence International

Given the overwhelming level of interest, it is easy to believe industry reports that say that the North American market will grow from $9.2 billion in 2017 to $47.3 billion a decade later.