Americans Most Open to Legalizing, Trying Cannabis

Ahead of 4/20 Day, Ipsos offers new data on the future of “vices”

The author(s)

  • Matt Carmichael Vice President, Editorial Strategy, North America
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New York, NY — Americans are the most supportive of legalizing cannabis and most receptive to trying recreational cannabis if it were legal, according to a new study released today by Ipsos. But the interest in trying (35%) lags the interest in legalization (76% for medical and 53% for recreational). As legal barriers fall in many states, will consumer desire be enough to fuel the projected rapid growth of the cannabis industry? Can interest overcome stigma? Do people want to use what is currently a Schedule 1 narcotic for medicinal purposes or even for personal enjoyment? Do consumers want CBD oils in the wide range of products where that ingredient is now being offered?

Today’s report from Ipsos addresses these attitudes and more broadly the future of “vice” including cannabis, beer, wine and spirits, and sports gambling. Each of these industries is in the midst of major growth or disruption or both.

Ipsos asked a panel of experts including: former Massachusetts Governor William Weld; the CEO of one of Canada’s largest cannabis companies; the head of operations for the largest sports book in the world, and others, about the big questions their industries are facing. Among the topics covered in this ground-breaking study are:

  • What is a vice?In a study Ipsos learned what “vices” people think are the most and least moral in moderation. In some cases, it really depends on who, and where you ask. In others, there is widespread acceptance or condemnation. Find out which “vices” still have a stigma attached and which are predicted to have more acceptance in the coming years. 
  • Will CDB be cannabis’ biggest high?This non-psychoactive cannabis derivative is showing up in everything from bath bombs to pet treats sold at mainstream retailers and drug store chains. But what products do customers most want this ingredient in?
  • Why wouldn’t people use cannabis?The reasons people don’t want to use cannabis products are arguably more complex than the reasons they do. For marketers, learning how to overcome these mental and product hurdles will be key to growing the industry.
  • Will the term ‘authentic’ still have meaning for wine and spirits? New rapid-aging techniques mean you can get an “aged” wine or whiskey in a faction of the time. Will mainstream drinkers and connoisseurs accept these products as authentic?

All of the data from the U.S., Canada and 25 other nations as well as exclusive additional research and analysis can be found in this What the Future report online at

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Matt Carmichael
Vice President, Editorial Strategy, North America
+1 312 526-4786

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks fourth in the global research industry.

With offices in 89 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media; customer loyalty; marketing; public affairs research; and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,749.5 million in 2018.

The author(s)

  • Matt Carmichael Vice President, Editorial Strategy, North America