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Edibles preferences diverge in different markets

Edibles enjoy a healthy chunk of the cannabis marketplace — for all of 2016, for example, the category captured 12 percent of the $2.41 billion marketplace within Colorado, Washington and Oregon on $282.02 million in sales. That’s an increase of 61.3 percent, in terms of sales, compared to 2015 according to BDS Analytics‘ GreenEdge service, one of the leading sources of cannabis data in the world.

When we look at the mass of edibles purchased in the three states, the top three broad categories gunning for market share finished the year at 42 percent for candy, 20 percent for chocolate and 11 percent for infused foods.

But consumers in different markets go their own way when it comes to the cannabis-infused foods they eat.

Colorado consumers go crazy for candy.

During the first quarter of 2017 in Colorado, for example, consumers spent $55.64 million on edibles, up 50.4 percent from the same quarter last year. Nearly half of sales went to candy, at 46 percent. In fairly distant second place was chocolates, at 21 percent. Third place? Infused foods, at 8 percent.

Oregonians prefer chocolate, and they love tinctures.

Oregonians’ edibles purchased diverged significantly from those purchased by Coloradans during the quarter. Beaver State consumers preferred chocolate, which garnered 37 percent of the $11 million in edibles sales, to candy, at 34 percent. Tinctures captured third place, with 17 percent of the market. Infused foods stood at 7 percent.

Tinctures are popular in Washington.

Meanwhile, consumers in Washington during January of 2017 split the difference between Colorado and Oregon, with 30 percent of $5.7 million in sales going to candy, 21 percent to chocolate and 15 percent to tinctures.

One of the interesting differences between Colorado and the Pacific Northwest in general is the popularity of tinctures in Washington and Oregon, where tinctures grab 17 percent and 15 percent, respectively, of the edibles market. In Colorado, tinctures capture just 7 percent of the market. That is up from 4 percent of the edibles market during the first quarter of 2015 in Colorado, so the category is growing. But it still lags far behind Pacific Northwest market share.

Doug BrownDoug Brown

Doug Brown

Douglas Brown spent more than two decades in newspaper and magazine newsrooms around the country, covering everything from the White House and Capitol Hill to technology policy to crime in New Mexico. Now, he runs Contact High Communications, a leading cannabis public relations firm based in Boulder, CO. He can be reached at

This Post Has One Comment
  1. One of the differences between the CO and WA market is that gummies are not allowed in WA. They are the most popular candy (and overall edible product) in CO so their absence in WA may account for some of the differences that we are seeing.

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