December 2020

Top takeaways from the wholesale cannabis industry’s data engine


Each month, LeafLink Insights will share data-driven insights into some key topics like category sales, state by state performance, and pricing analysis. These takeaways are meant to help you better understand where the industry is headed and what kinds of opportunities exist for your business.

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National View: The wholesale cannabis industry, as measured by LeafLink’s GMV (Gross Merchandise Value), grew 109% in November 2020 year-over-year (YoY).*


On a same-store sales basis, GMV grew 30% YoY in November 2020. The top-performing brands in November were:

  • Timeless Vapes (AZ) 

  • Pacific Stone (CA)

  • Monte Fiore (CO) 

  • Peregrine Manufacturing (MI)

  • Cannavative (NV)

  • HUSH (OR)


State View: Michigan grew the fastest at 146% compared with the same period a year ago.

Categories: Flower saw the largest drop in platform market share (-1.7 percentage points) from October to November 2020. 

Buyers and Sellers: During November 2020, average sales per seller grew 50% YoY, and average spend per buyer grew 46% YoY.


Michigan continues to experience triple-digit growth 














For the month of November 2020, wholesale cannabis sales as measured by transactions on LeafLink’s marketplace (GMV) increased by 109% YoY.

To help clients better understand state-level trends, we disclose market-specific information for six key states each month. Out of those disclosed this month, four states experienced accelerated growth from November: Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, and Oregon. Nevada declined YoY for the second month in a row. 


Flower’s lead position shrinks due to product shortages

Flower maintained its top spot during November 2020, with the Packaged Flower subcategory maintaining 18% of all marketplace sales. However, Flower also saw the largest drop MoM in market share ( -1.7 percentage points), led by Packaged Flower, which saw a 15% decrease in sales MoM. This is likely attributable to Flower shortages in MI, CA, and CO. Flower shortages are easing in December, particularly in CA.



Arizona’s Cartridge market was the least saturated in the state

Each month, we visualize the relative competitiveness of 7 categories in key states to help clients best position themselves for the future and take advantage of opportunities to capture market share. 

In November 2020, Edibles & Ingestibles in Nevada was the most competitive category, with 57% of brands selling the category while only making up 18% of sales. Conversely, in Arizona, Cartridges was the least saturated, with only 39% of brands selling the category while making up 42% of sales in the market.


Transaction volume is up by over 50% YoY

In November, we saw a 43/57 split between brands seeing an increase in sales, with the majority seeing a decrease during the month. Median brand growth was approximately 24% MoM, while those that declined saw a median reduction of 22%. Overall average transaction volume per brand decreased by 9% MoM during this month and increased 50% compared to the same period last year.

The top brands in terms of same-store sales growth in each core state were Timeless Vapes (AZ), Pacific Stone (CA), Monte Fiore (CO), Peregrine Manufacturing (MI), Cannavative (NV), and HUSH (OR). 



Retailers spent 46% more in November 2020 vs November 2019

We observed a similar distribution when analyzing November 2020 buyer spend. 48% of buyers increased spend at this time, and the median growth in 26% MoM spending. Those buyers who did reduce their spend decreased it by 25%. Average transaction volume per buyer decreased by 8% MoM and grew over 46% compared to the same period last year.


Concentrates prices are consistently increasing  

Average listed Flower prices*** peaked at $1,327 during November 2020, down from a 2020 high of $1,291 during the month leading up to 4/20. In California specifically, Flower prices fell during November, ending the month 13% off their October high.

Average listed Concentrates prices** rose consistently in November, increasing nearly 1.5% per week during the month. At the end of November, the average price of Concentrates was $47.44, a 2% increase over the previous high, and the first time this year, the index has crossed $47.


*In each of 2019 and 2020, we lock the number of brands on January 1st of each year and measure GMV for these brands only.

**Same store sales refers to the comparison of GMV for the same brands in the 2019 period to GMV for the same brands in the 2020 period.

***Flower pricing is in lbs and concentrates is in grams.

Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) is defined as unit price times quantity sold. This is a barometer for overall volume of activity on our marketplace.  

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About LeafLink Insights

LeafLink Insights is the intelligence engine of the cannabis industry. By connecting brands, retailers, investors, and other industry participants to real-time first-party data, LeafLink powers smart and rapid industry growth. To learn how our suite of customizable analytics products can help your business optimize sales performance, request a demo.

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