September was good to the cannabis industry in Colorado, with record-high sales of $136.63 million according to cannabis market research firm BDS Analytics. September and strong cannabis sales go together — last year September was the No. 1 month for marijuana sales for the year, and so far September leads for 2017. The year still contains a few months that could knock September from its perch, however.
But growth, which has been slowing during the year, fell even further in September, down to 7 percent. During September of last year, sales rose by 35 percent compared to the previous September.
Expansion is not uniform across the categories of recreational sales. The biggest wedge of the cannabis pie — flower — saw a decline in sales compared to the previous September. Sales were stagnant, and in this case, even declining sales of flower are dragging down overall cannabis growth figures for the month. Flower sales of $65.14 million during September fell 8 percent compared to September 2016.
Edibles grew at a fair clip — 12 percent, on sales of $20.6 million. But the the big growth story in Colorado remains concentrates, which in September commanded 28 percent of the entire cannabis marketplace, up from 25 percent of the market in January. Growth was strong, at 41.4 percent. And within concentrates the march of the vape continues — will consumer demand for vapes ever flag?
They clearly are carrying the concentrates category. In September, sales of wax are down 3.2 percent compared to a year ago. Shatter is up by just 12 percent. But vape sales rose 88 percent.
And within vape things grow even more interesting. While vapes come in a variety of different styles, the two main types are filled with oil or distillate. In January of this year, oil was the clear leader with 45 percent of the vape market while Distillate sat at 29 percent. In September, however, distillate captured 52 percent of the vape market, and oil fell to just 22 percent.
Comparative growth numbers tell the tale – oil cartridge sales in Colorado during September fell by 35 percent compared to September of last year. But distillate sales rocketed up by 256 percent.
For now, at least, distillate cartridges for vapes in Colorado are hot, hot, hot.