March 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 73% in February 2021 year-over-year (YoY).*

On a same-store sales basis, GMV grew 31% YoY in February 2021. The top-performing brands in February were:

  • Item 9 Labs (AZ)

  • Jeeter (CA)

  • Spectra (CO)

  • Platinum Vape (MI)

  • Stiizy (NV)

  • Pharmer's Market (OR)


State View: Arizona grew the fastest at 107% compared with the same period a year ago. 

Categories: Flower saw the largest drop in platform market share (-.5 percentage points) from January 2021 to February 2021

Buyers and Sellers: During February 2021, average sales per seller grew 22% YoY, and average spend per buyer grew 46% YoY.















Arizona continues to experience  triple-digit growth

For February 2021, wholesale cannabis sales measured by transactions on LeafLink’s marketplace  (GMV) increased by 73% 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, all but one grew at an accelerated pace year-over-year, with the laggard being Nevada, which declined 11% compared to February 2020. Growth rates in this chart represent YoY growth of brands on the platform since January 2020.


Edibles & Ingestibles sees continued share decline

Flower, our largest category, gained 0.7 percentage points year-over-year in share to end February 2021 at 30.3%. Packaged Flower gained 1.1 percentage points year-over-year. Concentrates gained nearly a full percentage point in share month over month, comprising 15.1% of GMV in February 2021. The third-largest category, Edibles & Ingestibles, continued its decline since 2019 and comprised 19% of our GMV in February 2021.



Comparing Buyer Audiences in California vs. Michigan

This month, we compared Average Order Value for Retailers in CA and MI. The 2nd 20% of retailers in CA spent $3,861 per order during the previous three months, a less than 1% difference than retailers in the same bucket in MI. While they tend to spend the same on average per order, CA retailers in this bucket are much more valuable to brands in the state, as they purchase with 33% greater frequency than their MI counterparts. Conversely, while retailers in the 3rd 20% of both CA and MI spend a similar amount per order, those in MI purchase with greater frequency, increasing their overall monthly value.

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

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Pre-rolls are competitive in Michigan, but not Arizona

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.

In February 2021, Pre-Rolls was the most competitive category in Michigan. 39% of brands sold the category, which only comprised 4% of the state's GMV. The same can not be said for Pre-Rolls in our other observed state. In Arizona, Edibles & Ingestibles had the best match between supply and demand, with 38% of brands having offerings in the category that made up 48% of GMV during the month.


Transaction volume is up by over 22% YoY

In February, we saw a 36/64 split between brands seeing an increase in sales, with the majority seeing a decrease during the month. Median brand growth was approximately 22% MoM, while those that declined saw a median reduction of 24%. Overall average transaction volume per brand decreased by 7% MoM during this month and increased 22% 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), Spectra (CO), Platinum Vape (MI), Stiizy (NV), and Pharmer’s Market (OR). 



Retailers spent 36% more in February 2021 vs. February 2020

We saw similar declines when analyzing February 2021 buyer spend. 44% of buyers increased spend at this time, and the median growth in 24% MoM spending. Those buyers who did reduce their spend decreased it by 23%. Average transaction volume per buyer decreased by 4% MoM and grew over 36% compared to the same period last year.


Flower and Concentrates prices are on the rise 

Average listed Flower prices*** rose consistently during February, averaging 1% growth each week to end the month at $1,269.  In California specifically, Flower prices rose during February, ending the month 1.5% above the previous high. 

Average listed Concentrates prices** also saw consistent growth during the month, increasing nearly 6% each week. At the end of February, the average price of Concentrates was $47.20, a 5% increase over its final price in January.


*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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