The sales environment for all cannabis products other than flower is unusual in Oregon. When recreational shops first opened at the end of 2015, they could only sell flower. Beginning in June of last year recreational shops began carrying things like concentrates and edibles, but regulatory snafus hobbled sales in Oregon dispensaries — particularly among edibles.
But now, a year after recreational shops began selling non-flower cannabis products and six months past the regulatory hurdles, we can better understand how Oregon cannabis consumers are engaging with the wide range of products on the shelves.
With fresh Oregon data from April, we see a telling shift in the edibles market. The data all comes from BDS Analytics, a premiere cannabis data analytics and market research firm.
Prior to recreational sales of non-flower items in Oregon, edibles sales in the Beaver State (all of which were through medical shops) were fairly consistent, with sales of candy (things like gummy bears and hard candy) slightly leading the rest of the pack (chocolates, beverages, tinctures, etc.), all of which were close to one another in terms of sales.
Once recreational sales of products other than flower launched in June, sales of candy rose rapidly, with a concomitant rise for chocolate and infused foods. In October, both candy and chocolate, the market leaders, began declining; the fall is probably related to the regulatory problems. But from October until March, chocolate rose and rose and rose. By January, it had surpassed candy and it further cemented its lead over candy in February, with $1.3 million in sales compared to candy’s $927,000 in sales.
But things changed dramatically in March. During the course of one month, candy sales in Oregon doubled the February number, with $1.8 million in sales. Chocolate sales reached $1.4 million in March. April sales show the same division of market share between candy and chocolate, with candy now commanding 47 percent of the market, compared to 27 percent for chocolate. The triumph (so far) of candy over chocolate in Oregon roughly mirrors what happened in Colorado, where chocolate once led the pack. In March of this year, however, candy sales captured 46 percent of Colorado’s edibles market, and chocolate held 22 percent. The race is tighter in Washington. In February of this year, candy held 31 percent of the edibles market, with chocolate fairly close behind at 21 percent.
Meanwhile in Oregon, tinctures continued their long, slow climb from the middle of the pack to firmly in third place, with $724,000 in sales in April. Infused foods, things like cookies and brownies, held fourth place in Oregon, with $236,000 in sales in April, less than half the sales figures infused foods garnered in August of last year.
As 2017 ripens and Oregon’s recreational regime becomes more established, tracking sales trends in the Beaver State will undoubtedly remain interesting — and useful for companies and entrepreneurs looking to enter the state’s different cannabis markets.