The Base Effect and increases in growth in Washington

Published on 
May 27, 2021
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The Base Effect is a concept where there is a mathematical distortion in comparing numbers where the base is either extremely high or low. We can see this happening during periods of rare economic events such as 2020 (shout out to global pandemics, business closures, panic buying, wildfires, etc.), as the base of year over year calculations. When we look at this graph, we see that the YoY growth rates in 2019 when compared to 2018 were relatively stable (i.e., the blue line), but the jumps in growth comparing 2020 to 2019 were 3x to 4x larger. So what? This means we have a HUGE base of sales in 2020, so we need to be particularly mindful of what we are working with when looking at YoY comps during 2021.

Track cannabis sales and market performance

Key metrics defined

These six key metrics from the previous month will provide you with a pulse check on legal cannabis markets. Below, you'll find data on year over year growth, basket size, and more.

Total Sales

Total monthly sales for the previously completed month.

YoY Sales Growth.

Year over year growth of sales (For example, November 2022 compared to November 2021).

Avg Item Price

The average price of a cannabis item in the most recently completed month.

Avg Basket Size

The average size (in sales $) of a retail basket in the most recently completed month.

Median Store SKU Counts

The number of distinct SKUs sold in the median store in the most recently completed month. Median was used instead of an average to remove the effects of outlier stores.


Median store Like-Store-Sales-Growth MoM - The month over month growth in sales for the median sample store (for example, January 2022 vs. December 2021). “Like stores” are filtered to exclude any newly opened stores or recently disconnected stores.

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