Multi-state operator Cresco Labs (CRLBF -1.16%) reported Friday that a survey conducted by its Sunnyside dispensary unit, in collaboration with data specialist YouGov, indicated a significant rise in U.S. marijuana consumption recently.
The survey, in which nearly 5,000 Americans were polled about their cannabis habits, showed that roughly 25% of them have consumed marijuana over the preceding year -- 56% higher than the 16% of a similar poll taken in 2018.
Other findings from the survey show that 43% of people aged 65 and above tried cannabis, for the first time in their lives, in the past year. By a slightly higher percentage (44%), people with children under 18 also consumed it for the first time. Another finding is that men and women consume equally as often.
Numerous factors are at play here. Aside from the obvious ones -- the steadily increasing number of states that have legalized recreational sale and consumption, the search for boredom relief during the coronavirus pandemic -- U.S. consumers have become more accepting of marijuana and the culture that accompanies it. The stigma around weed is melting away.
These findings, of course, will serve as morale boosters to both marijuana consumers and the companies that serve them -- like Cresco Labs. The company quoted its senior vice president of customer experience Cris Rivera as saying that "the industry is ready to meet these new consumers to introduce them to its precisely dosed lab-tested products, safe and professional packaging, and welcoming retail locations."
But it'll take more than that to convince investors to put money into the typically loss-making pot industry. On Tuesday, despite the encouraging findings, Cresco Labs saw its stock price drop by 6.1%, while the S&P 500 index slumped by only 0.7%.