We are lucky to work in such a dynamic industry. Every category of products—from flower to tinctures to edibles—experienced robust growth during 2016 in Colorado, Washington and Oregon.
Of course, some categories grew with more oomph than others.
It was a tight race for the lead, but tinctures — yes, tinctures — grew with the most muscle, vaulting by 85.8 percent beyond last year’s dollar sales to $27.62 million.
Tinctures were awarded the medal for 2016, and we should cheer the category; but it is a relatively small category within the $2.33 billion cannabis marketplace. Most impressive is the No. 2 category: concentrates. With $495.94 million in sales last year, it is the second-largest sales category, behind flower. Yet it still managed to grow by 84.8 percent last year compared to 2015, when sales also were exceedingly strong. Impressive!
Next, topicals sold $26.53 million in 2016 and represented a boost of 84.1 percent over the previous year. Close behind topicals were vaporizers, which impress nearly as much as concentrates. This large and booming category raked in $158.82 million in sales last year, an 80.6 percent increase from 2015. By vaporizers, we are referring to products sold with THC (versus devices that can be bought anywhere because they are not sold with THC). This includes disposable pens that come pre-loaded with THC, pens sold with cartridges filled with THC extract, and the individual THC-oil cartridges used to replenish pens that use cartridges.
Edibles experienced impressive growth during 2016 — up by 62.5 percent, on $277.79 million in sales. And in last place comes flower, the industry’s sales-generating behemoth. Consumers in the three states spent $1.4 billion on flower last year, which was 41.3 percent more than they spent on flower in 2015. Given the size of the flower market, it is unlikely growth in the category will ever dwell at the top of the mountain. But with sales well more than double the next category in the cannabis marketplace, now is not the time to lament flower’s last-place finish in the growth race. Instead, growth of that magnitude in such a large category is something to trumpet.