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A new nationwide study reveals consumer confusion around US standards for cannabis product safety and quality, showing there is a widely-held, inaccurate assumption that cannabis products have the same basic protections that exist for food, pharmaceuticals and personal care products in the US.
The national study was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of SICPA, a leading provider of regulatory compliance solutions, and the Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards (FOCUS) among over 2,000 U.S. adults. Results include:
“Our new survey shows Americans are wholly misinformed about the lack of basic safety and quality protections for cannabis products in many states,” said Karen Gardner, Chief Marketing Officer, SICPA US. “Even cannabis consumers themselves aren’t aware that in states where products are legal, there are no uniform standards, leaving lots of room for unsafe, poor-quality products on the market.”
Also surveyed in the SICPA-Harris Poll were sentiments around support for having the federal government establish standards for cannabis products. An overwhelming 84% of Americans overall and 84% of cannabis consumers support setting federal standards for product safety and quality for cannabis products produced or sold in the U.S. Similarly, 83% of Americans overall and 83% of cannabis consumers support the federal government setting standards for environmental protections that must be met by the U.S. cannabis industry in the U.S.
The poll showed large support among Americans also exists for decriminalization and/or legalization of cannabis products. Nearly three in four (74%) Americans overall and nearly four in five (79%) cannabis consumers are in favor of decriminalization and over three in four Americans (78%) and a large majority (86%) of cannabis consumers support the legalization of cannabis at the national level.
“The US has a plethora of consumer protection laws and organizations, at both the federal and state level, that regulate consumer affairs. So, it is understandable that Americans expect these same consumer protections in cannabis, like they do for everything they purchase,” said Lezli Engelking, President & Founder of FOCUS. “Unfortunately, as these and other findings continue to show, nothing could be further from the truth. Americans want safe, reliable, and quality cannabis products. The lack of protections for cannabis consumers, is simply one more example of the extreme risks to public health and safety Americans are exposed to given the lack of action around cannabis at the federal level.”
FOCUS was, in fact, founded in 2014 to combat the lack of consumer protections, as a non-profit cannabis-specific health and safety organization whose mission is to protect public health, consumer safety and the environment within the cannabis industry.
The SICPA-Harris Poll survey also measured cannabis use among Americans, finding 55% of Americans have used cannabis products at some point in time, with more than two in five (42%) stating they’ve used cannabis products in the past 12 months, and 16 percent saying they consumed cannabis products for the first time in the past 12 months.
This is the third SICPA-The Harris Poll survey on cannabis; in February, the second survey showed overwhelming support among cannabis consumers for more in-depth information about the products they use. The first poll, released last Fall, showed broad support among Americans for securely labeling cannabis products to verify their legitimacy and safety in the marketplace.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of SICPA between April 26-28, 2022 among 2,069 adults ages 18+, among whom 1,220 have ever used cannabis products. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, contact securitysolutionsUS@sicpa.com.
About The Harris Poll
The Harris Poll is one of the longest running surveys in the U.S. tracking public opinion, motivations and social sentiment since 1963 that is now part of Harris Insights & Analytics, a global consulting and market research firm that delivers social intelligence for transformational times. We work with clients in three primary areas; building twenty-first-century corporate reputation, crafting brand strategy and performance tracking, and earning organic media through public relations research. Our mission is to provide insights and advisory to help leaders make the best decisions possible.
To learn more, please visit www.theharrispoll.com.
SICPA is a trusted global provider of authentication, traceability and verification solutions, protecting the majority of the world's banknotes and identity credentials and billions of regulated products from counterfeiting and fraud. SICPA currently provides secure labels with authentication and traceability solutions to 44 U.S. States and more than 20 countries for regulated products including cannabis, tobacco, alcohol, and pharmaceuticals. True to its purpose of Enabling Trust through constant innovation, SICPA aims to further an Economy of Trust worldwide, where transactions, interactions and products across the physical and digital worlds are based on protected, unforgeable and verifiable data. Founded in 1927, headquartered in Switzerland and operating on five continents, with U.S. headquarters in Springfield, Virginia, SICPA employs about 3,000 people. To learn more, visit www.sicpa.com and us.sicpa.com/cannabiscontrol.
Established in 2014 as The Cannabis Health and Safety Organization, FOCUS is an independent, unbiased, 501c3 non-profit that addresses the many shortcomings in quality, safety, and consistency that have become evident with the explosive growth of the global cannabis industry. FOCUS exists to help assure the rapidly growing global cannabis industry has the necessary protections in place for the health, safety, success, and welfare of everyone. Our autonomy fosters a principled, objective organization that protects end-consumers, and acts as the much-needed neutral, nonpartisan bridge between industry and regulatory. Since 2016, FOCUS has partnered with AFDO to educate regulators about challenges in the cannabis industry and has served on the AFDO cannabis committee for 3 years.
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