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Flower’s Market Share Evolves in Colorado, Oregon

Back in January of last year in Oregon’s recreational cannabis marketplace flower commanded a firm grip on cannabis sales, commanding 61 percent of the cannabis market compared to 19 percent for concentrates and just 8 percent for edibles. Smaller sales categories, like pre-rolls and topicals, filled out the rest of the sales.

The Oregon recreational marketplace for cannabis has evolved rather dramatically, according to data from cannabis market research firm BDS Analytics.

During the course of 2016, flower’s hold on market share, in terms of dollar sales, has shrunk as concentrates’ share has expanded.

By November of last year, flower’s share of the cannabis market declined to less than half, at 45 percent, while concentrates share rose to 26 percent and edibles market share nearly doubled, to 15 percent of sales.

Meanwhile, the medical market evolved as well, although not as sharply as the recreational sales channel. In January of last year, medical consumers in Oregon divided the cannabis pie into 53 percent of sales dedicated to flower, 23 percent for concentrates and 15 percent for edibles. By November, those numbers had shifted: 42 percent flower, 30 percent concentrates and 19 percent edibles.

In Colorado, however, which has a longer history of simultaneously supporting medical and recreational regimes, evolution between consumers has slowed down quite a bit. Consider: In January of last year, medical consumers spent enough on flower for the category to capture 51 percent of the market, with sales of concentrates representing 30 percent and edibles 11 percent. Eleven months later in November? Sales in the medical marketplace broke down to 52 percent of market share for flower, 32 percent for concentrates and 12 percent edibles.

The story is more dynamic within Colorado’s vibrant recreational market. There, in January of last year, consumers spent enough on flower for the category to capture 49 percent of the market, compared to 23 percent for concentrates and 16 percent for edibles. By November, those numbers had evolved into 44 percent for flower, 26 percent for concentrates and 16 percent for edibles.

The ratcheting-down of market share for flower, in terms of dollar sales, does not mean that consumers are buying less cannabis, however. More than anything, the numbers reflect falling prices for flower. In November of last year for example, dollar sales for flower among consumers in Colorado’s recreational marketplace fell by 5.3 percent. Yet by-the-gram sales rose 9.4 percent. In Oregon’s recreational market, dollar sales in November when compared to a year earlier rose by just 4 percent, but by-the-grams sales were up nearly 27 percent. And in Oregon’s medical marketplace, dollar sales in November were down by about 14 percent, but in terms of volume sales rose 6 percent.

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

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