As the legal cannabis market continues to grow and mature it brings with it new business trends and opportunities—no division of the cannabis-based products segment has experienced the sort of developments seen with marijuana concentrates. Looking at the U.S. cannabis industry as a whole, there are literally countless new businesses springing up offering oils, waxes, distillates, crumble, edibles, vaporizers, dab equipment, and extraction machines. There are a number or reasons for this expansive infusion of start-up companies into the market, but they mostly have to do with technological advancements and convenience.
Legal marijuana markets, whether medical or recreational, have opened the doors for tech companies to comfortably invest time and energy in the cannabis space. The confluence of modern cannabis culture and the tech industries has spawned a number of innovative technologies related to marijuana extracts. Not only have these innovations given rise to healthier, more regulated products like solvent free extracts, they have also lead to sheik, convenient “smoking” methods seen with today’s vape pens. These vape pens, generally used with concentrates, are easily utilized in public spaces and within homes without the nuisance of excessive smoke. Furthermore, with less product required to burn in order to achieve a healthy buzz, modern cannabis aficionados are turning to the vape pen and concentrate combination as the staple of their marijuana consumption.
Related Story: Hawaii Aims To Be First State To Go Cashless For Cannabis
It should be noted also that “dabbing” has become a massive trend in current marijuana culture—in this practice smokers use complex glass water pipes to take “bong-like” hits of cannabis concentrates. Dabbing is not for the novice marijuana consumer.
To gain some more insight into the current concentrates market, The Fresh Toast contacted Head Set, a frontrunner in marijuana business analysis and statistics. Head Set used the Washington State marketplace as a sample population for this study. Here is what they found:
Head Set’s findings represent data collected from POS systems in cannabis dispensaries around Washington State. However, they admit that these systems are not without error, concerning both human and mechanical data input and interpretation. Furthermore, this study wholly neglects any information concerning black market cannabis demographics and consumption. Nonetheless, both legal and black market marijuana consumerism often follow similar paths in both trends and pricing.
Total Market Share
A July 2017 sampling by Head Set appropriates the cannabis marketplace into several categories: flower, concentrates, pre-roll, vape pens, edible, beverage, tincture & sublingual, capsules, and topical. In these findings, flowers hold the market share with 57.9% of all sales while concentrates demand 11.7%. However, this findings are a bit misleading concerning concentrates as vape pens, edibles, beverages, tinctures, capsule, sublinguals, and topicals more often than not contain concentrates themselves. With this notion in mind, the actual amount of concentrates being purchased at dispensaries in WA State probably demands something closer to 30% of all sales. Moreover, in States where marijuana is still completely illegal the consumption of concentrate products is experiencing exponential growth, as the use of these cannabis products is generally far more discreet than traditional smoking methods.
Concentrates Market Trends
Perhaps the most informative element of Head Set’s findings is contained within the 11.7% of the market which they have dubbed as concentrates. This subsection presents specific forms of raw concentrates (not contained in other products) sold over the counter at dispensaries—highlighting the consumerist nuances of this sub-culture within a sub-culture. Head Set’s findings show that wax is the market leader with 60% of sales with shatter following in second with 12%. Following behind these two market staples are more novel forms of concentrates which are gaining in popularity like live resin, rosin, distillates, and RSO/WPE.
Related Story: The Secret To Treating Chronic Pain With Cannabis
As far as market growth is concerned, the RSO/WPE category far exceeds any other form of concentrates with 768.7% spike in sales in the last year. Head Set attributes this growth to recent legalization of both products. RSO stands for Rick Simpson Oil while RSE is short for Whole Plant Extracts.
Kent Gruetzmacher M.F.A. is a Colorado based freelance writer and the Director of Business Development at Mac & Fulton Talent Partners (www.mandfconsultants.com), a recruiting firm dedicated to the indoor gardening and cannabis space. He is interested in utilizing his M.A. in the Humanities to critically explore the many cultural and business facets of this youthful, emergent industry by way of his entrepreneurial projects.