Active cannabis marketing and adolescent past-year cannabis use

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2019 Nov 1;204:107548. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2019.107548. Epub 2019 Sep 4.


Methods: Data are from an online survey of 482 adolescents (aged 15-19 years) living in states with legalized retail cannabis. Youth were asked about their engagement with cannabis promotions, including whether they liked/followed cannabis businesses on social media (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), had a favorite cannabis brand, or could see themselves owning/wearing a cannabis-branded product. Youth also self-reported cannabis use in the past year. We used logistic regression with a Bonferroni correction to compare the odds of cannabis use among youth with different levels of engagement with cannabis promotions and brands after controlling for demographics.

Results: After adjusting for several possible confounders, youth who liked or followed a cannabis business on at least one social media platform had 5 times higher odds of past-year cannabis use (aOR = 5.00, 95% CI: 2.47, 10.09, p < 0.001). Youth who thought it was likely that they would own or wear cannabis-branded merchandise (aOR = 6.93, 95% CI: 4.45, 10.78, p < 0.001) or who had a favorite cannabis brand (aOR = 7.98, 95% CI: 4.90, 13.00, p < 0.001) had nearly 8 times greater odds of past-year cannabis use.

Conclusion: Youth who engage with cannabis promotions and brands had higher odds of past-year cannabis use. Jurisdictions with retail cannabis may want to consider restrictions to limit youth engagement with cannabis promotions.

Keywords: Adolescence; Cannabis; Marijuana; Marketing; Social media.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Commerce / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Marijuana Use / epidemiology*
  • Marijuana Use / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Marijuana Use / psychology
  • Marketing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Social Media / statistics & numerical data*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult