August 31, 2021

Cannabis Hardware: An analysis of category data & performance

For the first time, we take a close look at cannabis hardware.
Written by
Liz Connors
Published on
August 31, 2021
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Interested in the vapor pen market? Read our comprehensive 2023 report. Get the low-down on which brands and form factors are gaining the most market share as well as demographics about the consumers doing the most purchasing.


In previous reports, we've always examined trends related to cannabis products, like Flower, cannabis Beverages, and Vapor Pens. For the first time ever, we're providing an extensive analysis on cannabis hardware. Hardware refers to products like Vapor Pen batteries, Lighters, Papers, Rollers, Grinders, and other accessories. While cannabis sales are growing quickly in many markets, non-cannabis sales (which include hardware) are also performing well. For example, in California, non-cannabis sales grew 19% from June 2020-June 2021, while cannabis sales in the same time period grew 10%. In Ontario, during the same time period, non-cannabis sales grew 184%, while Cannabis sales grew 176%.

Not surprisingly, we found a variety of valuable insights when we dug into the hardware category, and have highlighted a few interesting data points below. The full report, valued at $1,000, provides access to key insights into this unique category. We take a look at how these products have grown in the past year in the California, Washington, Ontario, and Alberta markets, examine hardware prices in these markets, and understand the opportunity that exists in the hardware space. To start digging into the complete hardware deep-dive, fill out the form below and a Headset representative will be in touch shortly.

Key takeaways

  • Non-cannabis sales are showing promising growth rates in some markets, similarly to cannabis sales.
  • Vape Hardware is more popular in US markets, particularly California. As we move to Canada, Ontario specifically, Vape Hardware share becomes smaller and Grinders, Papers, and Rollers pick up share.
  • Prices across hardware types in Ontario and Alberta are generally higher than in Washington and California. Also, the lower the average item price, the higher the percent unit share.
  • Vapor Pen Hardware was the largest identified segment of hardware. We found that the average store will carry between 14-31 different Vape Pen Hardware SKUs. Read the full report to learn more about the opportunities within hardware in cannabis.

Cannabis vs non-cannabis sales

As we can see in Ontario, non-cannabis products are growing faster than cannabis products. As a reminder, Headset data in Ontario covers only private establishment sales. From June 2020 to June 2021, cannabis sales grew 176%, while non-cannabis products grew 184%. This level of growth is not represented all markets, however. In Alberta for example, non-cannabis sales actually declined by 4.8%.

Hardware pricing in the US and Canada

When we look across the hardware types, we find that the shares of sales can be influenced by different average item prices. Unsurprisingly, prices for vaping paraphernalia are the highest. Prices in both Washington and California are fairly similar, with high-end dab rigs more common in California than in Washington.

When we look at Canadian markets, we can see that prices across hardware types are higher than the two US markets, but the price patterns are similar.

Vapor Pen hardware assortment

With stores carrying between 15 and 30 different Vapor Pen Hardware SKUs, there is a lot of room for varied assortment. Looking at pricing we find that the most unit volume occurs in products that are priced under $15 (over 2/3rds of sales in both AB and ON). However, there are more premium offerings with prices over $15 that are more common in Alberta. These are generally higher end devices, herb vaporizers (instead of pens that accept pods) or non-510 threaded devices.

Top Vapor Pen hardware brands in Alberta

While the most common "brand" of Vapor Pen Hardware in Alberta is actually a generic 510-thread branded with the store's logo, there are some major brands that stand out. In Alberta in the last 90 days, we see Yocan, Honeystick, and CCell being three of the major players each with >10% market share. Yocan is the premium option retailer at over $20, compared to both Honeystick and CCell which have an average retail price nearer to $15.

The full report, valued at $1,000, digs into the above in much more detail and provides more key insights into the hardware category. Fill out the form below and a Headset representative will be in touch with more details.

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