67% of Cannabis Fans Say It Makes Them Better Parents

Study commissioned by THC-infused drink Mad Lilly finds popularity will continue after quarantine

By T.L. STANLEY | Adweek | May 11, 2021

Back in the 1960s, The Rolling Stones sang about a poorly kept secret in their hit single “Mother’s Little Helper.” Hint: Suburban housewives were popping tons of tranquilizers.

Since the pandemic broke out last spring, Instagram has been rife with posts tagged with “#daydrinking” and captions like “Chardonnay o’clock,” with multi-tasking parents sharing their boozy coping suggestions, along with cocktail recipes.

But there’s a different tool in some people’s arsenals now, as more states legalize cannabis and make it accessible to broader swaths of the American population, with women emerging in 2020 as the fastest-growing consumer segment in the industry, per Akerna.

So is weed mom the new wine mom?

A recent study from the Harris Poll found that more than half of canna-friendly parents used cannabis during the Covid-19 health crisis. Three in five (61%) said they plan to continue the practice as communities reopen, and 44% report they’ll use the same amount of cannabis in the future as they did in 2020. (Just 16% said they will use it more.)

A few other takeaways:

  • 64% said they used cannabis to help them deal with sheltering-at-home issues like Zoom school.
  • But only 28% reported that they used cannabis openly.
  • 67% believe their cannabis use helped them to be better parents.
  • 78% said they would try swapping out alcohol for cannabis.

Putting numbers to the trend

The poll of roughly 2,000 people included 605 canna-friendly parents with kids under 18. The total group was evenly split among cannabis users and non-users (48% and 48%, with 4% declining to answer either way).

The female-targeted THC-infused beverage brand Mad Lilly commissioned the research as a way to put hard numbers to anecdotal evidence.

“The study confirmed a lot of things we’ve been hearing,” said Judy Yee, CEO and co-founder of Mad Lilly maker K-Zen. “There just isn’t enough data out there on this topic, and the lack of information available makes it harder to destigmatize cannabis use.”

A boom bringing in billions

Los Angeles-based Mad Lilly is part of a surging category, with sales of THC-infused drinks projected to top $8 billion globally by 2027, according to Fortune Business Insights. In five U.S. states alone, spending went from $67.8 million on the products in 2019 to $95.2 million in 2020, per Headset, and BDSA predicts that sales in legal dispensary channels across the country will reach $1 billion by 2022.

Low-dose THC-spiked beverages have become an entry point and go-to for cannabis newbies and microdosing fans, coveted demo groups that skew female.

Yee likened cannabis use to putting on your own oxygen mask before helping your kids. “I believe that responsible cannabis use is a form of self-care that leads to being a better partner and parent,” she said.

Not everyone agrees, with 46% of the study respondents (likely the non-cannabis users) saying they would perceive parents “more negatively” if they consume cannabis than if they drink alcohol.

In the run-up to the study, timed around Mother’s Day, Mad Lilly launched a community called Moms for Mary, which has become an online hub for women to talk about the mix of parenting and cannabis.

“Moms need support from other moms right now,” Yee said. “Everyone is looking for ways to cope with the stress of parenting, and no one wants to be judged for their personal choices.”

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