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Blue Dream Doesn’t Always Lead the Strain Parade

Blue Dream was the Big Kahuna among weed strains in Colorado the year recreational sales began in 2014, and it seized the top spot in Washington and Oregon as they launched recreational sales. It sits at the top of the marijuana mountain in California now, too, as the state prepares to enter recreational sales.

But consumer preferences for strains are shifting.

In September of this year, a strain beat Blue Dream in terms of sales for the first time since January 2014 — Gorilla Glue.

Consider Colorado. Blue Dream has ruled in the Centennial State since the second month of recreational sales in 2014, according to market research firm BDS Analytics, which tracks sales data for more than 13,000 strains. During 2016, Blue Dream was No. 1 by a large margin — consumers spent $23,152,298 on the sativa-dominant hybrid strain during the year; the No. 2 strain, Durban Poison, saw $11,110,773 in sales.

Blue Dream remains on top in terms of 2017 in Colorado, but in September the upstart and increasingly popular Gorilla Glue knocked Dream from its perch. The month saw $1.3 million in Gorilla Glue sales compared to $1.2 million for Blue Dream. And its dominance over the rest of the pack of strains is not nearly as profound as during 2016. For this year through September Gorilla Glue is No. 1, with $11,104,902 in sales. But the state’s No. 2 strain for the year, Golden Goat, had sales of $8,330,920. The race for the top spot is much closer this year.

Sales of Blue Dream in Washington are slowly declining.

In Washington, where consumer buying habits are slightly less volatile than in some other states, Blue Dream has ruled for the year. But in March consumers spent $1.7 million on Blue Dream compared to $925,600 for second-place strain Gorilla Glue. But by September Blue Dream’s dominance over the strain field had weakened. Consumers spent $1.3 million on Blue Dream compared to $935,300 on Green Crack, which holds the No. 2 spot.

Oregonians love their Gorilla Glue #4.

Oregon danced with Blue Dream early on, but it went its own way last year by crowning Gorilla Glue #4 as its No. 1 strain. In terms of 2017 through September, Gorilla Glue #4 sales were $3,923,653 while Blue Dream’s hit $2,307,083, with Durban Poison fast on its heels with $2,065,508.

Keep it up, Kosher Kush! You are chipping away at Blue Dream sales in California.

Finally, California. Blue Dream holds a commanding lead over the rest of the strains, with $16,139,621 in sales so far this year (through September) which is more than double the No. 2 strain, Girl Scout Cookies.

But in September we see a new competitor for the strain crown rise to challenge Blue Dream. The splendidly named Kosher Kush was relative blip on the strain map back in March, when consumers spent $284,000 on the strain compared to $2.8 million on Blue Dream. But it rose steadily during the past six months, and in September grabbed the No. 2 spot, with $1.3 million in sales compared to $1.9 million for Blue Dream.

The race for strain triumph is on in all states. Will Blue Dream’s dominance over the field persist through 2018? We will watch it closely.

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 www.contacthighco.com

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