When Colorado first launched adult-use (recreational) sales in 2014, the existing medical market opened up to a wave of new consumers, including those from the sizable illicit market as well as new consumers who previously had little or no experience with cannabis.
Cannabis Ingestibles cover a lot of ground, including everything from pills to slices of pie to bottles of THC-infused cold-brewed coffee. But one style of ingestible dominates the market: the gummy.
--Updated August 2019--
They share plenty — western states with rugged mountains, lots of free spirits, a passion for craft brewing and loads of legal cannabis. But when it comes to marijuana, California and Colorado are not twins. California’s legal cannabis market is much larger (it’s the biggest in the world). And pot grows like a weed outdoors in much of the state; in high, dry Colorado outdoor cultivation is a tougher challenge.
With companies creating everything from sleep-enhancing pills to brownies, butters, carbonated lemon-lime drinks and bags of caramel corn, the edibles marketplace is the most dynamic marketplace within cannabis. It’s not the biggest — that’s flower — nor the fastest-growing – that’s concentrates, but no other large cannabis category competes with edibles’ range of product diversity. It’s a cannabis cornucopia.
A heavyweight battle. January-June, 2018. Two superstars itching to jump into the preverbal cannabis ring. But first, we need to size up our competitors.
Summer 2018 will bring more than warmer temperatures — the season will also turn up the heat on the cannabis market. As Colorado and Washington enter their fifth summer of legal recreational cannabis sales, and California prepares for its first, it is time to examine What’s Hot in Pot(TM).
Pre-rolled joints experienced huge growth during 2016, with sales of $158 million between Colorado, Washington and Oregon, representing growth of 149 percent compared to 2015. In Colorado, sales were up by 61 percent, in Washington by 278 percent and in Oregon by a jaw-dropping 282 percent.
The dispensary marketplace is a lively bazaar, with established brands and entrepreneurs every day coming up with new products — everything from chewing gums to nasal sprays to CBD-packed concentrates and massage lotions.
Cannabis with your cup of tea?
Increasingly, consumers are saying, “Yes, please.”
Cannabis-infused tea drinks are hot in the marketplace, and the thirst for pot tea is a fairly new phenomenon. According to data from BDS Analytics, a leading source of consumer data in the cannabis industry, it’s a 2017 thing.
But so far in 2017 (with data through March in Oregon, February in Colorado and January in Washington) we find tea capturing 8 percent of the $3.10 million beverage market, with $250,000 in sales. For all of last year, dispensaries sold just $351,000 worth of tea products — at this rate, sales of tea in 2017 will quickly surpass last year’s mark.
The tea trend has not caught on in Washington, where market share in January of this year of 2 percent (on sales of $140,000) is the same as tea’s market share for all of 2016. In the past four months, sales of coffee products have overtaken tea demonstrating Washington’s known affinity for coffee.
Compared to market behemoths like flower, candy and pre-filled vaporizer cartridges, tea remains a teacup amidst barrels. At the rate it is growing, however, the dainty cup might soon morph into something more like a thermos. One thing is for sure: the trend is warming the hearts of cannabis tea entrepreneurs in Colorado and Oregon.