NEW YORK – Despite the uncertainty bearing down on many industries, cannabis has provided some bright spots for the U.S. economy since the COVID-19 pandemic began. In its newest “Insights Flash,” a monthly report that provides data and insight into key areas of legal cannabis including category sales, state-by-state performance, and pricing analysis, LeafLink said the cannabis industry is showing impressive growth even as our daily lives have been disrupted.
“The wholesale cannabis industry, as measured by LeafLink’s GMV (Gross Merchandise Value), grew 112 percent in October 2020 year-over-year,” LeafLink said.
Dispensaries also are seeing higher sales than they were last year. Leaflink identified a 25 percent rise in GMV for same-store sales in October versus last year.
Due to a lack of federal guidance, cannabis operates almost as a series of individual markets. Michigan nearly doubled its overall industry growth with a GMV increase of 213 percent when compared to the same time period last year. This likely is due to a huge expansion of the state’s legalized cannabis industry. Michigan voters approved recreational use in 2018 and the state’s first recreational sales started in December of 2019. Sales really picked up during the course of 2020. California, which first legalized cannabis sales in 1996 for medicinal use, is still demonstrating impressive growth. The state’s GMV rose 65 percent over the past year despite already having the largest legal cannabis market in the United States. California’s neighboring states, Nevada and Oregon, actually saw the GMV drop compared to a year ago.
When it comes to overall month over month sales data from September to October, cartridges led the field in growth (1.78 percent). But despite rumors of its premature demise, flower continues to dominate. Packaged cannabis flower represented 20 percent of all legal cannabis sales from September to October 2020. Edibles experienced the sharpest decline (1.7 percent) mostly driven by a bottoming out of gummy sales (10 percent).
According to LeafLink the top-performing brands in October were Grow Sciences (Ariz.), THC Design (Calif.), Veritas Fine Cannabis (Colo.), Peregrine Manufacturing (Mich.), Cannavative (Nev.), and oreKron (Ore.).