Is Flower Losing Its Power?

It’s that time of the month again when cannabis industry wholesale marketplace LeafLink releases LeafLink Insights Flash—a roundup of data-driven insights regarding category sales, state-by-state performance, and pricing analysis designed to help businesses identify new opportunities and accelerate growth. Every month brings its own set of highlights that point to important trends, market shifts, and recommendations for what it all means for businesses. This time it could be that the category winner flower is losing its market share power.

The August 2021 Insights Flash yielded some key takeaways, including the fact that the wholesale cannabis industry grew by 43% in July 2021 YoY (Year over Year), with top-performing brands like Item 9 Labs, Jeeter, Spectra, Platinum Vape, CannaPunch, and LTRMN leading the charge. Average sales per seller grew 1% year over year, with the average spend per buyer increasing 6%. But all was not rosy for cannabis’s most popular consumable. Flower took a hit this summer, seeing the largest drop in platform market share (25%) from June 2021 to July 2021. Despite a 6% dip in sales and a .74% drop in market share, flower held its dominant position for the month of July with 36% of GMV. Pre-rolls saw the largest increase during July, gaining .84 percentage points month over month and making it the first time the category led in share growth since 2020.

Within the US, Nevada gained the top spot as the fastest-growing state in Gross Merchandise Value (i.e., the volume of goods sold via customer-to-customer or e-commerce platforms), with a 25% increase in GMV compared to the same period a year ago. LeafLink gathers market-specific information and conducts comparative analyses for key states each month, with Alaska, Oregon, California, Arizona, Colorado, and Michigan joining Nevada for inclusion in the data collection. This analysis showed, among other things, that although Nevada retailers in the 2nd quintile spent 27% more than those in the same quintile in Alaska, the difference in the order of frequency ends up making this group of retailers worth 171% more on a monthly basis in Alaska.

LeafLink’s Insight Flash also charts consumer trends to create a visual representation of the competitiveness of seven categories of cannabis products (flower, cartridges, pre-rolls, topicals, accessories, concentrates, and edibles/ingestibles). This information, which this month demonstrated that (for the first time) a single state (Nevada) had both the most and least competitive categories. Ingestibles in Nevada made up 14% of sales while being sold by 54% of brands in the state. Flower made up 36% of sales while being sold by 26% of brands. This type of data helps industry professionals to position themselves to capitalize on where the market is headed based on current trends, as well as painting an overall picture of the cannabis industry’s current overall trajectory.

Julie Aitcheson

Julie Aitcheson is a freelance writer who has had articles published in Echo Quarterly, Communities Magazine (formerly Talking Leaves Magazine), Isabella, and All Things Girl. She received a full fellowship to the 2013 Stowe StoryLabs and won second place in the 2014 San Miguel Writers’ Conference nonfiction writing competition. She has published two young adult novels and is currently at work on her next book.


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