This week we have taken a deep dive into Cannabis Market Research and list the trends for the marijuana industry in the U.S. for 2017.
With the Green rush well on its way after California, Alaska, Washington, Maine, Massachusetts, Colorado, Oregon, Nevada and D.C. are all fully legal marijuana states, over 65 million Americans now live in a state with access to either medical or recreational marijuana. That is one fifth of the population of the entire nation.
With legalization comes a change in behavior and interests regarding cannabis. A lowered stigma and legal market bring new interests in the possibilities of an industrial, consumer based market. Cannabis has the potential to become like sugar with treats, sodas and all sorts of goods produced to meet and drive consumer demand. Oregon, Colorado, and Washington have been legal for several years and show signs of a more mature development than cannabis markets in other states, but the American people are starting to show different trends in their online search behavior. California in itself is a behemoth of an economy and culture. Massachusetts is just a short train from NYC. The landscape has changed.
Here is a look at how cannabis and related searches are trending and showing the overall industry growth rates. Use it to improve your search engine optimization.
We also offer you to check out our complete guide to cannabis SEO for marijuana dispensaries.
Keyword trend: Cannabis
Cannabis keyword trends measure how the market is responding to recent legalization of recreational marijuana in over 5 states. Cannabis as a keyword itself has risen steadily over the past decade.
The pattern of searches within the United States is high in the west with Colorado, Washington, New Mexico, Alaska and California having the top five amounts of searches on a per capita basis, but Maine is just behind at sixth place with just 2% less searches than California.
The past 90 days (Dec ’16 – Feb ’17), however, show a slightly different picture with Alaska, Washington, New Mexico, Colorado, and Maine as the leaders. California is back at 9th place behind Vermont.
Recent trends in the past 90 days (Dec ’16 – Feb ’17) show a different environment with Alaska taking over the top spot and Maine getting to the top 5. The presumptive decrease in California´s interest in cannabis is surprising given the recent legalization and its historical relationship with its number one cash crop.
This decrease could be a result of increased knowledge and experience with cannabis. More specific searches, known as long tail keywords have seen higher spikes in interest since recreational legalization in California. Specific products such as vape pens, edibles, and wax are a few examples of searches that have spiked in the past several months.
Keyword trend: Vape pens
Vape pens are rapidly gaining momentum as the most searched for cannabis-related product. Having already gained a lot of momentum during the past few years, vape pens are industrializing rapidly to accompany the growth in public interest. Generally, they are searched for as wax vape pens to specify use for cannabis over the traditional e-cigarettes.
California has a much higher prevalence of searches for wax vape pens than any other state within the past 90 days (Dec ’16 – Feb ’17).
It is important to note that these comparisons of search prevalence are on a per capita basis. California has a population of 38 million and 9% more searches per capita then Florida who has just under 20 million inhabitants. That means that California has well over 2x the total number of individual searches for wax vape pens.
Keyword trend: Edibles
The edible cannabis domain has a huge potential to draw new consumers who want to avoid smoking. It has seen a very steady rise in interest over the past 5 years across the globe.
This is the kind of chart that investors like to see. Several countries across the world are starting to show an increasing interest in edibles such as Australia and even India.
The buyer specific search phrase, “edibles near me” has doubled in search volume over the past year. This shows that the market is looking for more than just information and reaching out to make a purchase.
Keyword trend: Wax
Wax, hash oil, CDB oil, and dabs have all been rising in popularity since 2014. It reached a peak in 2014 when “dabs” and vape pens were surging into the market. The discrete aspects and extreme potency of oil has made it a very popular and well-known item in the general public.
It seems that in the middle of 2014, hash oil reached its peak before having a slight decrease in interest. It is back on the rise, and should be seeing even more momentum into 2017 as the political and economic activity settles down.
Keyword trend: Dabs
CBD oil is, by far, the most prominent search term used. Several related searches are breaking out, such as “CBD vape oil California”, “benefits of CBD oil”, “CBD vape pen”, and “what is CBD”. New Mexico has the highest concentration of people searching for CBD oil with Idaho close behind. Many states that are less “cannabis-friendly” have a higher concentration of CBD oil searches. Utah, South Carolina, Wyoming, and even West Virginia are ranking close by the top states.
The short-term outlook
Regardless of current trends on search engines, there are thousands of cannabis businesses popping up to meet and create demand within the cannabis industry. Cannabis itself is not allowed to advertise within the Google Adwords platform, but many related long tail keywords have little competition.
Since November, the short-term picture is showing a decrease in popularity of cannabis related searches. This could be, in part, due to the elections. Once the outdoor spring rush comes, searches will likely begin to surge again.
This year shows to bring about a lot of changes in the cannabis industry. The fight for low-competition keywords has already started.
Stay tuned for more updates on how the market is looking.