The future of cannabis: Trends to watch out for

The value (and fun) in data analysis is its capacity to help divine the future and ascertain where best to invest time, energy and money. A new year hints at what’s coming—giving a clearer view of things ahead.

For a decade, overall rates of cannabis use in the United States have significantly increased. Since 2009, the reported past-month usage of adults 18 years and older increased 38 percent, from 6.6 to 9.1 percent, representing 7.45 million more Americans regularly partaking. With nearly two-thirds of Americans supporting some form of legal cannabis, expect to see increased acceptance across all demographic groups. Those with the traditionally highest consumption rates (e.g., males, college students, the unemployed) will maintain them, but those with lower rates (females, Asians, full-time workers) will pick up some of the slack.

Nevertheless, certain trends bear closer examination. Men use at nearly twice the rate as women (11.7 percent versus 6.7 percent),…

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