A little boost with that joint? The question isn’t common in other states with big legal cannabis marketplaces, like Colorado, Washington and Oregon. But in California it might be the budtender equivalent of the cafe question, “Cream with your coffee?” Cannabis enthusiasts in the Golden State, far more than consumers in other states, are simply crazy for pre-rolled joints that come infused with THC-hiking concentrates like keef, caviar and oil.
Pre-rolls are not a huge chunk of the California market, regardless of the state’s consumers’ fondness for infused joints according to cannabis data analytics firm BDS Analytics, which this week released comprehensive data about the California cannabis marketplace. They capture five percent of the California cannabis market, which is roughly in line with Colorado and Oregon (in Washington, however, pre-rolls represent 11 percent of the market).
But Californians stand far apart from the other states when it comes to infused pre-rolls. In California, the pricier infused pre-rolls (averaging $14.08 per joint, compared to $5.12 for joints without the added oomph) command 31 percent of the market.
Coloradans, on the other hand, only buy enough infused pre-rolls to capture 7 percent of the pre-roll market. In Oregon, infused pre-rolls share is down to 2 percent. Washingtonians are more receptive of infused pre-rolls — the extra-strong joints capture 19 percent of the market. Still, California love for infused pre-rolls far exceeds the ardor shown by Evergreen Staters.
Pre-rolls have been a part of the legal cannabis marketplace from the very beginning, when California first started letting people seeking medical help purchase cannabis in dispensaries. Back then, more than 20 years ago, the state’s marketplace was small and fixed entirely on people in need of medical attention. Over the years, California’s medical marketplace has evolved dramatically, and resembles recreational marketplaces in Colorado and Oregon more than medical markets.Last November California voters approved the creation of a legal recreational marketplace, which is set to launch within the next year. Will the fondness for pre-rolls decline after full legalization? Don’t count on it — infused pre-rolls are a hallmark of recreational marketplaces. In Colorado, for example, infused pre-rolls capture 8 percent of the pre-roll market within the recreational channel. In the medical channel, however, infused pre-rolls represent less than 1 percent of the market, with only $8,000 in sales during Q2 2017.