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Top takeaways from the cannabis industry's wholesale data engine

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September 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 51% in August 2021 year-over-year (YoY).* 

When analyzing brands on LeafLink starting prior to January 1, 2020, GMV fell 1.2% YoY in August 2021. The top-performing brands for each of our six key states in August were:

  • DRIP Oils + Extracts  (AZ) 

  • Jeeter (CA)

  • Spectra (CO) 


  • CannaPunch (NV)

  • Grown Rogue (OR)


State View: Arizona grew the fastest at 15% compared with the same period a year ago. 

Categories: Accessories saw the largest drop in platform market share (-9.7 percentage points) from July 2021 to August 2021.

Buyers and Sellers: During August 2021, average sales per seller grew 8.5% YoY, and average spend per buyer grew 12% YoY. 















Arizona sees increased growth

For August 2021, wholesale cannabis sales measured by transactions on LeafLink’s marketplace  (GMV) increased by 51% 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 15% growth over these periods. Growth rates in this chart represent YoY growth of brands on the platform since January 2020.


Concentrates increases market share

Flower kept its number 1 spot with close to 35% of GMV during August 2021, despite a 4% dip in sales and a 1.4 percentage point dip in market share, the latter being the largest drop in share since the start of the year.


Conversely, Concentrates saw the largest increase this month, gaining 32 percentage points month over month, last leading in share growth in April. The 16.2% overall market share marks a 3 percentage point increase 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.


For example, although MO retailers in the 2nd quintile spend 87% more than those in the same quintile in AK, the difference in order frequency ends up making this group of retailers worth 49% 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. 


August 2021 marked the second month in a row where a single state had both the most and least competitive categories. Edibles & Ingestibles made up only 19% of the sales but were sold by 67% of brands in Missouri. Conversely, Flower is sold by 29% of brands but takes up 54% of all sales in the state.


Checking back in on Nevada this month, all categories besides Flower are remaining competitive. Flower in Nevada was the second least competitive category overall, right under Flower in Missouri.



Transaction volume up over 8% YoY

In August, we saw a 40/60 split between brands seeing an increase in sales. Median brand growth was approximately 27% month-over-month (MoM), while those that declined saw a median reduction of 19%. Overall average transaction volume per brand decreased by 6% MoM during this month and increased 8.5% compared to the same period last year.


The top brands in terms of same-store sales growth in each core state were DRIP Oils + Extracts (AZ), Jeeter (CA), Spectra (CO), CHOICE (MI), CannaPunch (NV), and Grown Rogue (OR). 



Retailers spent 12% more in August 2021 vs. August 2020

Buyer spend had a similarly balanced ratio when looking at increase/decrease in spend. 55% of buyers increased spend, while buyers reduced their spend decreased it by 22%. Average transaction volume per buyer decreased by 5% MoM and 12% compared to the same period last year.


Concentrate prices reach another new high 

Average listed Flower prices***  remained steady during August, averaging a 0.9% decrease each week to end the month at $1,151, 3.3% below where it ended in July.  Arizona saw the largest increase during this period, ending the month 2% higher than June.


Average listed Concentrates prices** saw another increase this month, averaging a 3.6% increase each week. The average price ended 7.5% higher than the previous high, another new high above the previous top set in July.


*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 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.