LeafLink Reports Drop in May Vape Sales

Cannatech company LeafLink’s June Flash report indicated that the month of May was a mixed bag for cannabis category sales, state-by-state performance, and pricing analysis. The report analyzed data from Leaflink’s wholesale brand distribution and retailer platforms, with markets in Arizona, California, Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, and Massachusetts. 

The cartridge category saw the largest overall drop in market share, losing 1.5 percentage points from April to May 2022, though the overall wholesale cannabis industry grew 5% year-over-year (YoY) when measured by “gross merchandise value” (GMV). Edibles showed a 1% drop, month-over-month (MoM), with some markets saturated with products and experiencing decreased sales. Average concentrate prices saw a slight increase in May, at just under 1% for the month. 

Flower retained 34.6% of GMV for May, with continued top category status. LeafLink noted that in May, flower saw a 1% increase in sales and 2.2% increase in market share, the largest increase since June 2021. The average price of flower held steady throughout the month of May, at $1059 a pound, up 1.3% from the end of April. LeafLink noted that flower prices saw the greatest jump in Massachusetts, at a 14% increase up from April.

May Drops 19%

Overall transaction volume for May was down 19% YoY, LeafLink reported.

Brand growth saw 44% of brands with an increase in sales, and median growth of 25%. Brands that declined had a median reduction of 20%. LeafLink named the fastest growing brands per state, including Sublime Brands (AZ), Jeeter (CA), Leiffa (CO), Primitiv (MI), City Trees (NV), Grown Rogue (OR), and In Good Health (MA).

Retailers purchased a scant 1% less in May, YoY, according to the data. May percentages were split with 48% of buyers “increasing spend at this time,” the report said. Transaction volume per buyer decreased slightly, both MoM and YoY, at 4% and 1% respectively. Buyers that decreased their spending did so at an average rate of 24%.

Massachusetts Stays Strong

Measured by GMV, “Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, and Massachusetts saw positive year-over-year growth in May, with the latter seeing a 43% increase,” the report said. Massachusetts was followed by Arizona with a 32% increase in growth, and Michigan at 20%. Older, more established markets California and Oregon experienced a decrease for the month, at -13% and -7% respectively.

The data indicated that Massachusetts’ market was experiencing the most robust growth of the states in the monthly report. In comparison, Massachusetts retailers spent only 23% more than Nevada retailers, but with up to five times as many orders than retailers in Nevada. 

LeafLink added that wholesale vendors hoping to position themselves in the Massachusetts market might take advantage of the accessories category, with only 13% of brands selling cannabis accessories, while the category makes up 31% of sales statewide. Edibles and ingestibles were the most saturated category in Massachusetts, sold by 72% of brands but occupying only 22% of sales in May. In Nevada, the same trend emerged with 62% of brands offering edible products but representing only 14% of sales in the state. 


Joanne Cachapero

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