Exclusive: Tobacco consumers more likely to convert to smokable hemp in coming year

Entrepreneurs in the smokable hemp sector have reason to hope that tobacco consumers may convert at least partially to hemp products within the next year.

That’s because 29% of cigarette and cigar users have indicated they are willing to try these products, according to research by Nielsen Global Connect, which was highlighted in Hemp Industry Daily’s report, “Sector Snapshot: Opportunities & Challenges in Smokable Hemp.”

Hemp Industry Daily has partnered with Nielsen to provide exclusive data on hemp and CBD retail markets and consumer purchasing behaviors around these products.

Nielsen noted that nearly 1-in-4 cigarette or cigar smokers claim to have consumed a hemp-CBD product (24%) or e-cig or non-cannabis vape product (24%) over the past year. That compares to the aggregate of U.S. adults, of whom fewer than 18% have ever consumed hemp-CBD.

More specifically, 10% of tobacco cigarette/cigar smokers said they have used a hemp-CBD pre-roll or smokable flower in the past month, 8% have used a hemp-CBD pre-roll and 9% have used smokable flower.

Compared to the total U.S. adult population, cigarette and cigar smokers are 35% more likely to have ever consumed a hemp-CBD product and 157% more likely to have consumed a smokable hemp pre-roll or flower product.

Hemp-CBD pre-rolls are more popular among tobacco users, considering that these consumers are 191% more likely to have consumed pre-rolls and 155% more likely to have consumed hemp-CBD flower in the past month.

Compared to nonsmokers, consumers who currently smoke cigarettes or cigars are 164% more likely to consume hemp-CBD flower in the next year, while 195% of smokers are more likely to consume hemp-CBD pre-roll products.

Comparing current spending

According to CannaUse, a syndicated cannabis study released in early 2020 by Nielsen, 15.8% of U.S. adults (21 or older) said they use cigarettes and 9.3% consider themselves “regular” cigarette users.

Another 11.4% said they use non-cannabis e-cigarettes or vapes, and 6% consider themselves “regular” users of these products.

Consumers’ average yearly purchases of smokable-hemp product is currently 10% of the average annual U.S. household spend for tobacco products.

While the heaviest users of hemp-CBD lay out $300 annually, the least frequent users spend closer to $44 per year. On average, hemp-CBD consumers spend roughly $88 per year on smokable-hemp products.

Comparatively, consumers of smokable-hemp products outspend users of loose-pipe tobacco, who spend an average $63 annually, and loose-cigarette tobacco, who spend $84 per year. Meanwhile, average households spend $101 per year on cigars and more than five times that, approximately $546 annually, on cigarettes.

Get more insights about the smokable hemp sector by downloading the report here.

Laura Drotleff can be reached at laurad@staging-hempindustrydaily.kinsta.cloud