People working in cannabis spend a fair bit of time talking about vape pens, flower trends and gummies, and for good reason — together, these pieces of the cannabis puzzle represent a healthy chunk of sales. But dispensary shelves groan with the weight of other products, from bags of caramel corn to grams of live resin.
One category that does not get much love, although this might change during the next year, is tinctures. Between Colorado, Oregon, Washington and California, tinctures have seen enviable growth, with different states embracing the droppers and spray bottles with varying degrees of enthusiasm.
When we examine data from March through August of this year, one state stands out dramatically in terms of growth — Oregon. Sales of tinctures rose by 355 percent during the six-month period, compared to the same period last year according to cannabis market research firm BDS Analytics. But the growth comes with a big caveat — for much of that time period, tinctures in Oregon could not be sold at recreational dispensaries. This skews the data somewhat, but when we drill deeper into Oregon we understand that consumers in the Beaver State are especially crazy for tinctures.
Tinctures capture 16 percent of Oregon’s edibles, making it the No. 1 state in the nation among established recreational markets for tincture-adoration. Sales between March and August rose to $6.93 million, which approaches sales in Colorado during the same period of $8.89 million. Yet the $157.74 Colorado cannabis marketplace during that period is much larger than Oregon’s $72.94; more than double.
By comparison, tinctures in Colorado are just 9 percent of the edibles market, behind candy, chocolates and infused foods like cookies and brownies. Still, tinctures expanded by 26 percent during the time period in the Centennial State, which is healthy growth.
Californians approach Oregonians for tincture-love, with the category capturing 15 percent of the edibles marketplace on sales of $24.82 million. Meanwhile in Washington between March and July, tincture sales grew by 24.5 percent and grabbed 14 percent of the edibles market.
One interesting observation — consumers in coastal states have gravitated towards tinctures with more oomph than Coloradans. Trends that begin in Colorado in the past have spreaded to the coastal states, but tincture enthusiasm seems to have developed its own following on the coast, and it has yet to spread to Colorado with the same level of consumer support.
The good news for tincture-makers in all of the states under review — growth is strong. In all of the states, too, droppers were the more popular deliver system for tinctures, compared to spray bottles. In Colorado, spray bottles represented only 4 percent of sales, and in Oregon it was 7 percent. But spray bottles are more popular in California and Washington, where they grab 14 percent of the tincture market.
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 www.contacthighco.com
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