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Top takeaways from the cannabis industry's wholesale data engine

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November 2021



Each month, LeafLink will share data-driven insights into key topics like category sales, state-by-state performance, and pricing analysis. These takeaways, from our suite of real-time data and analytics tools, are meant to help you better understand where the industry is headed and capitalize on the most effective opportunities to accelerate your business growth.

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



National View: The wholesale cannabis industry, as measured by LeafLink’s GMV (Gross Merchandise Value), grew 31% in October 2021 year-over-year (YoY).* 

When analyzing brands on LeafLink starting prior to January 1, 2020, GMV fell 11.5% YoY in October 2021. The top-performing brands for each of our six key states in October were:

  • Item 9 Labs  (AZ) 

  • Jeeter (CA)

  • Spherex (CO) 

  • Presto (MI)

  • CannaPunch (NV)

  • Grown Rogue (OR)


State View: Arizona grew the fastest at 84% compared with the same period a year ago. 

Categories: Concentrates saw the largest drop in platform market share (-29 percentage points) from October 2020 to October 2021.

Buyers and Sellers: During October 2021, average sales per seller fell 6% YoY, and average spend per buyer grew 4.3% YoY. 















Arizona continues to grow with speed

For October 2021, wholesale cannabis sales measured by transactions on LeafLink’s marketplace  (GMV) increased by 31% 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, Arizona, Michigan, and Nevada grew the most YoY in terms of GMV at 84%, 44%, and 19%, respectively. California was the only state to see a decrease in October compared to the previous year at -2.1%. 


Flower sales dip, Edibles & Ingestibles increase market share

Flower kept its number 1 spot with close to 35% of GMV during October 2021, despite a 12% dip in sales and a 1 percentage point dip in market share

Conversely, Edibles & Ingestibles saw the largest increase this month, gaining 2 percentage points month over month, the first time the category led in share growth since January 2021. The 17.7% overall market share is similar to the market share over the same period last year.



Comparing Buyer Audiences in Missouri vs. Alaska

Comparing states by their average order value quintile gives us a good view into how a more holistic understanding of a brand’s retailers can impact their business. Looking at either metric individually would give you the sense that each state presents the greatest opportunity, but it’s only when viewing both that we get a better picture.

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. Looking at either metric individually would give you the sense that each state presents the greatest opportunity, but it’s only when viewing both that we get a better picture. For example, although MO retailers in the 2nd quintile spend 8% more than those in the same quintile in AK, the difference in order frequency ends up making this group of retailers worth 205% more on a monthly basis in Alaska.


Opportunity-seeking producers should look at Flower in Missouri

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. 


October 2021 marked the third month in a row that a single state had both the most competitive and least competitive categories, with Edibles & Ingestibles in Missouri making up 23% of sales while being sold by 71% of brands in the state. Within the same state, Flower makes up 50% of sales while only being sold by 21% of brands making it the least competitive category on LeafLink in October 2021.

Looking outside of Missouri, the second most competitive category across all states was Pre-Rolls in Alaska. Pre-Rolls were sold by 56% of brands but accounted for only 11% of sales in Alaska.




Transaction volume per brand is down by 6% YoY

In October, we saw a 40/60 split between brands seeing an increase in sales. Median brand growth was approximately 21% month-over-month (MoM), while those that declined saw a median reduction of 19%. Overall average transaction volume per brand decreased by 11% MoM during this month and decreased 6% 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), Spherex (CO), Presto (MI), CannaPunch (NV), and Grown Rogue (OR). 



Retailers spent 4% more in October 2021 vs. October 2020

Buyer spend had a similarly balanced ratio when looking at increase/decrease in spend. 45% of buyers increased spend at this time. Those buyers who did reduce their spend decreased it by 24%. Average transaction volume per buyer decreased by 8.6% MoM and 4% compared to the same period last year.


Concentrate prices reach new high

Average listed Flower prices***  remained steady during October, averaging a 0.2% increase each week to end the month at $1,143, 0.7% below where it ended in September.  Colorado saw the largest increase during this period, ending the month 5% higher than September.

Average listed Concentrates prices** saw a more pronounced increase this month, averaging a 6% increase each week. The average price ended 4.7% higher than the previous high, continuing the trend seen in recent months.


*In each of 2019, 2020, and 2021, 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 2020 period to GMV for the same brands in the 2021 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

LeafLink is the unified B2B cannabis platform, connecting thousands of leading brands and retailers for streamlined cannabis commerce. Our suite of real-time data and analytics tools empower cannabis businesses to stay ahead of the competition and grow with speed. To learn how our customizable analytics products can help your business optimize sales performance, request a demo.