LeafLink Logo_FOR WEB_Purp_LeafLink Logo


May 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.

Featured Card.png
Group 122.png



National View: The wholesale cannabis industry, as measured by LeafLink’s GMV (Gross Merchandise Value), grew 113% in April 2021 year-over-year (YoY).*

When analyzing brands on LeafLink starting prior to January 1, 2020, GMV grew 48% YoY in April 2021. The top-performing brands for each of our six key states in April were:

  • Item 9 Labs (AZ)

  • Jeeter (CA)

  • Spectra (CO)


  • Cannavative (NV)

  • CBDiscovery (OR)


State View: Nevada grew the fastest at 288% compared with the same period a year ago. 

Categories: Cartridges saw the largest drop in platform market share (-2 percentage points) from March 2021 to April 2021.

Buyers and Sellers: During April 2021, average sales per seller grew 45% YoY, and average spend per buyer grew 53% YoY.















Nevada’s growth proves hopeful for industry as states reopen

For April 2021, wholesale cannabis sales measured by transactions on LeafLink’s marketplace  (GMV) increased by 113% 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 grew at an accelerated pace year-over-year with some seeing decreases compared to March. Nevada saw the fastest growth at 288% with Oregon lagging at 2% growth compared to April 2020. Growth rates in this chart represent YoY growth of brands on the platform since January 2020.


Concentrates gains most market share

Flower continued to dominate the space with 31% of GMV during April 2021. Concentrates saw the largest jump in share month-over-month, gaining 2.24 percentage points to make up nearly 17% of GMV, its highest share since 2019. 


Conversely, Cartridges dropped 2 percentage points in share to 24%, its lowest since 2019. This was largely due to the 510 Thread subcategory, which alone lost 1.5 percentage points during the month. Across many key markets, Cartridge products experienced an increase in popularity during March as retailers stocked up for 4/20. In April, demand for these products dipped back to a pre-holiday level. 



Comparing Buyer Audiences in California vs. Nevada

While California and Nevada largely align across metrics, they also both highlight well how better targeting of retailers can get you similar places with different operational implications. For each, the 2nd and 3rd quintiles have implied monthly values within 6% of one another, but in both cases, the 3rd quintile has nearly 40% fewer orders on a monthly basis. By targeting this group of retailers in each state, brands can see the same amount of sales while lowering things like transaction and shipping costs.

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



Opportunity-seeking producers should look at Cartridges in 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.

For the sixth month in a row, Cartridges in Arizona were the most heavily under-indexed category looked at, making up 43% of sales in the market while being sold by only 35% of brands in the state. Meanwhile, in Nevada Edibles and Ingestibles continues to over-index, making up only 14% of sales in the state while being sold by 52% of brands.


Transaction volume is up by over 45% YoY

In April, we saw a 48/52 split between brands seeing an increase in sales, a sharp decline from March. Median brand growth was approximately 28% MoM, while those that declined saw a median reduction of 19%. Overall average transaction volume per brand decreased by 1% MoM during this month and increased 45% 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), CHOICE (MI), Cannavative (NV), and CBDiscovery (OR). 



Retailers spent 53% more in April 2021 vs. April 2020

Buyer spend saw similar dips compared to March’s historic growth though maintained a positive ratio of 51/49 when looking at increase/decrease in spend. 51% of buyers increased spend at this time, and the median growth in 31% MoM spending. Those buyers who did reduce their spend decreased it by 22%. Average transaction volume per buyer increased by 2% MoM and grew over 53% compared to the same period last year.


Flower prices remained consistent

Average listed Flower prices*** remained consistent during April, averaging -.2% growth each week to end the month at $1,272, only .1% below where it ended in March.  In California specifically, Flower prices remained consistent in April, ending the month -.3% below the high in March.

Average listed Concentrates prices** fell consistently during the month, dropping nearly 1% each week. At the end of April, the average price of Concentrates was $45.51, a 1.4% fall from its final price in March.


*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.  

LL Insights Logo_ON WHITE.png
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.

Get the Flash delivered to your inbox every month.