2016 Oregon Cannabis Market Synopsis – Top Selling Categories, Biggest Opportunities Ahead, Consumer Preferences
By Claire Kaufmann | February 20, 2017
Last year, the legal cannabis industry in the United States grossed $5.8 billion (medical and recreational channels combined.) Oregon dispensaries sold $393 million in legal cannabis in 2016 ($292 million adult-use.)
What happened in the Oregon market?
It was a big year for cannabis in Oregon. Not only was it the first full year of adult-use cannabis sales, Early Start gave sales a big boost in the summer, and testing challenges resulted in a market slowdown Oct-Dec 2016.
Oregon cannabis consumers were quick to adopt concentrate products. While Colorado saw concentrate sales at 19%, a share gained over months of growth, Oregon concentrate sales were 17% right out of the gate in June 2016. Why? A more sophisticated consumer? Repeat exposure to products they couldn’t buy? By the end of the year, concentrates sales grew by just 2%.” Oregon cannabis consumers were quick to adopt concentrate products. While Colorado saw concentrate sales at 19%, a share gained over months of growth, Oregon adult-use concentrate sales were 17% right out of the gate after Early Start in June 2016. Why? A more sophisticated consumer? Repeat exposure to products rec customers couldn’t buy? Medical program drop out? The catalyst remains unclear, but in Q3 and Q4 of last year, concentrates comprised 19% of total sales, on par with Colorado!
What kinds products performed the best last year?
Last year Oregonians bought a total of $67 million in cannabis concentrate products. Of that $67 million, almost $38 million of it was in the adult-use channel. (A feat considering consumers could only buy products for half of the year.) By far the biggest sub-category was vape, which made up almost 50% of total concentrates sales. Out of $30 million in vape sales, almost $20 million came from adult-use.
While edibles are still a small portion of Oregon adult-use sales (only 8%), there was still some interesting growth in this category last year. Across the state, dispensaries sold over $27 million in edibles last year ($13.5 million of that coming from adult-use). In the chocolates category we saw a strong performance from chocolate bars and in candy a strong showing for taffy and gummies. Why are these items so popular? We shall see, but one idea could be that these products better allow the consumer to control dosage. Expect “dosable” or “microdose” products to be big in the coming year.
Pre-rolled joints grew aggressively all throughout last year. During the summer months, even when adult-use customers could have finally chosen concentrates or edibles, they continued to increase their spend on pre-rolled joints. Further, roughly 85% of all pre-rolled joint purchases were made by adult-use customers in 2016.
What were the most popular strains in Oregon 2016?
In a huge upset ;), Gorilla Glue #4 overtook Blue Dream in total sales last year in the adult-use channel. While Blue Dream remained the most popular in volume (606,092 grams sold for Blue Dream versus 541,773 grams for Gorilla Glue #4), Gorilla Glue #4 overtook Blue Dream when it came to revenue ($5,600,999 for Gorilla Glue #4 and $5,302,050 for Blue Dream.) The flower market remains very saturated, with only 15% of total flower sales coming from the top ten strains last year.
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Until next time, stay classy Oregon.
Claire Kaufmann, MBA
Northwest Regional Director for BDS Analtyics
The leader in cannabis business intelligence.
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