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Top takeaways from the cannabis industry's wholesale data engine

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October 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 42% in September 2021 year-over-year (YoY).* 

When analyzing brands on LeafLink starting prior to January 1, 2020, GMV fell 5% YoY in September 2021. The top-performing brands for each of our six key states in September were:

  • Item 9 Labs  (AZ) 

  • Jeeter (CA)

  • Colorado Cannabis Company (CO) 

  • Platinum Vape (MI)

  • CannaPunch (NV)

  • CBDiscovery (OR)


State View: Arizona grew the fastest at 28% compared with the same period a year ago. 

Categories: Concentrates saw the largest drop in platform market share (-2 percentage points) from August 2021 to September 2021.

Buyers and Sellers: During September 2021, average sales per seller grew 1.7% YoY, and average spend per buyer grew 9% YoY. 















Arizona continues to see strong growth

For September 2021, wholesale cannabis sales measured by transactions on LeafLink’s marketplace  (GMV) increased by 42% 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, only Nevada and Arizona saw positive year-over-year growth, with the latter seeing 28% growth over these periods. Growth rates in this chart represent YoY growth of brands on the platform since January 2020.


Cartridges leads market share growth

Flower kept its number 1 spot with close to 36% of GMV during September 2021, despite a 2.7% dip in sales.

Cartridges saw the largest increase this month, gaining 1.4 percentage points month over month, the first time the category led in share growth since 2020. The 23.8% overall market share marks a .16 percentage point decrease over the same period last year.



Comparing buyer audiences in California vs. Washington

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.


For example, although CA retailers in the 5th quintile spend 64% more than those in the same quintile in WA, the difference in order frequency ends up making this group of retailers worth 142% more on a monthly basis in Washington.


Opportunity-seeking producers should look at Cartridges in California

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. 


California had the least competitive category in September 2021, as Cartridges made up 25 percent of sales and were sold by 27 percent of brands.

Looking outside of California, Pre-Rolls in Washington made up 13% of sales while being sold by 48% of brands - making this a very competitive category in the state.




Transaction volume per brand up over 1.68% YoY

In September, we saw a 40/60 split between brands seeing an increase in sales. Median brand growth was approximately 22% month-over-month (MoM), while those that declined saw a median reduction of 21%. Overall average transaction volume per brand decreased by 5.7% MoM during this month and increased 1.7% 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), CannaPunch (NV), and CBDiscovery (OR). 



Retailers spent 9% more in September 2021 vs. September 2020

Buyer spend had a similarly balanced ratio when looking at increase/decrease in spend. 45% of buyers increased spend, while buyers who reduced their spend decreased it by 23%. Average transaction volume per buyer decreased by 4% MoM and 9% compared to the same period last year.


Prices for Concentrates reach another new high 

Average listed Flower prices***  remained steady during September, averaging a 0.7% decrease each week to end the month at $1,139, 0.3% below where it ended in August.  Arizona saw the largest increase during this period, ending the month 12% higher than August.


Average listed Concentrates prices** saw a more pronounced increase this month, averaging a 4% increase each week. The average price ended 1.5% higher than the previous high.


*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.