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June 2021

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.

For a deep dive into our customizable, single-source analytics products, please request a demo.

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National View: The wholesale cannabis industry, as measured by LeafLink’s GMV (Gross Merchandise Value), grew 70% in May 2021 year-over-year (YoY).*

When analyzing brands on LeafLink starting prior to January 1, 2020, GMV grew 11% YoY in May 2021. The top-performing brands for each of our six key states in May were:

  • Item 9 Labs (AZ)

  • Jeeter (CA)

  • Colorado Cannabis Company (CO)

  • Platinum Vape (MI)

  • Cannavative (NV)

  • LTRMN (OR)


State View: Nevada grew the fastest at 130% compared with the same period a year ago. 

Categories: Concentrates saw the largest drop in platform market share (-1 percentage points) from April 2021 to May 2021.

Buyers and Sellers: During May 2021, average sales per seller grew 22% YoY, and average spend per buyer grew 26% YoY.


Nevada’s growth hits triple digits














For May 2021, wholesale cannabis sales measured by transactions on LeafLink’s marketplace  (GMV) increased by 70% 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, half grew at an accelerated pace year-over-year with the rest seeing decreases compared to April. Nevada saw the fastest growth at 130% with Oregon experiencing a 25% dip compared to May 2020. Growth rates in this chart represent YoY growth of brands on the platform since January 2020.


Concentrates sees a dip in market share

Flower kept its number 1 spot this month with 34% of GMV during May 2021, while also seeing a 3.4 percentage point increase in market share, the single largest month-over-month change since 2019. 


Conversely, Concentrates saw the largest dip this month, shedding just over a single percentage point of market share. This was led by the Crumble subcategory, which alone dropped 75% in sales month over month.



Comparing Buyer Audiences in Nevada vs. Michigan

Using the same states highlighted in the competition section also gives us a good view into how a more holistic understanding of a brand’s retailers can impact their business. While there are multiple groups that highlight this, the greatest relative difference comes when looking at retailers in the 4th quintile in our example. While retailers in this quintile in the state of NV see a 3% larger AOV on average, the difference in order frequency makes the retailers in MI in this quintile nearly 80% more valuable to brands.

To advertise to buyers in your state, please reach out to our Advertising team.

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Opportunity-seeking producers should look at Flower in Nevada

Each month, we visualize the relative competitiveness (as measured by the distance from the trendline in the charts below) of 7 categories in key states to help clients best position themselves for the future and take advantage of opportunities to capture market share.

May 2021 saw larger-scale shifts in product concentration than normal, yielding two completely new category/state combos taking the top and bottom spots. Pre-Rolls in Michigan were heavily over-indexed, with 45% of brands selling the category that only made up 5% of sales. On the flip side, Flower in Nevada was under-indexed, with 26% of brands selling the category making up 31% of sales in the market during May.


Transaction volume is up by over 21% YoY

In May, we saw a 35/65 split between brands seeing an increase in sales. Median brand growth was approximately 22% MoM, while those that declined saw a median reduction of 23%. Overall average transaction volume per brand decreased by 9% MoM during this month and increased 21% compared to the same period last year.

The top brands in terms of same-store sales growth in each core state were Item 9 Labs (AZ), Jeeter (CA), Colorado Cannabis Company (CO), Platinum Vape (MI), Cannavative (NV), and LTRMN (OR). 



Retailers spent 21% more in May 2021 vs. May 2020

Buyer spend had a similar ratio of 38/62 when looking at increase/decrease in spend. 38% of buyers increased spend at this time, with a median growth of 26% in MoM spending. Those buyers who did reduce their spend decreased it by 26%. Average transaction volume per buyer decreased by11% MoM and grew 24% compared to the same period last year.


Flower prices rise slightly

Average listed Flower prices*** increased during May, averaging 1.5% growth each week to end the month at $1,317, 4% above where it ended in April.  In Oregon specifically, Flower prices saw a spike, ending the month 12% above where it ended in April.

Average listed Concentrates prices** remained consistent during the month, also averaging 1.5% growth each week. Though it saw similar week over week growth, this category only ended the month just less than 2% above where it ended April.


*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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