Maryland's cannabis industry is off to hot start since adult-use sales began on July 1st. Since transitioning from a medical-only market, sales more than doubled from $42.7M in June to $87.8M in July. This report is based on real-time sales data from participating retailers and provides insight into the success and challenges faced by this new adult-use market. Key areas of focus include sales growth, product category trends, top products, and how Maryland compares to other US markets.
Data for this report comes from real-time sales reporting by participating cannabis retailers via their point-of-sale systems, which are linked up with Headset’s business intelligence software. Headset’s data is very reliable, as it comes digitally direct from our partner retailers. However, the potential does exist for misreporting in the instance of duplicates, incorrectly classified products, inaccurate entry of products into point-of-sale systems, or even simple human error at the point of purchase. Thus, there is a slight margin of error to consider. In this report, we examine sales from US Headset Insights markets. This includes AZ, CA, CO, IL, MA, MD, MI, NV, OR, and WA.
After Maryland started adult-use sales on July 1st, total sales increased 105.6% from $42.7M in June to $87.8M in July 2023.
At the category level, Pre-Rolls saw the most growth during the first month of adult-use sales, more than doubling sales with an 160% increase. Flower and Vapor Pen products also more than doubled sales, showing 121% and 104% month-over-month growth respectively.
Wellness products such as Tinctures and Sublingual (-4%), Concentrates (-5%), and Capsules (-9%) saw total sales decrease month over month.
Maryland has the fewest number of brands out of Headset tracked US markets with 98 brands in market. For comparison, Illinois has the next lowest brand count with 128, while market leader California hosts 1,434 unique brands.
Maryland is one of the most expensive cannabis markets in the country with an average item price 65% higher than other US markets. High levels of vertical integration and few brands correlate to this.
When recreational sales began in Maryland, sales jumped 105.6% from $42.7M in June to $87.8M in July. In August, Maryland had a much more modest 4.3% month-over-month growth rate.
Compared to other states, Maryland’s 4.3% growth in August was the highest out of the eleven US markets tracked by Headset. Six of those markets saw negative growth between July and August, and the next highest growth rate was in Oregon at 2.3%. In August Maryland ($91.7M) was the ninth largest of Headset’s tracked markets behind Arizona ($102.5) and ahead of Oregon ($81.6M).
During the first month of adult-use sales, sales more than doubled for Pre-Rolls (+160%), Flower (+121%), and Vapor Pens (+104%) compared to June.
Wellness products that are more popular in a medical market like Tinctures & Sublingual (-4%), Concentrates (-5%), and Capsules (-9%) saw total sales shrink. It’s worth noting at this time that Concentrates products are only available to medical patients in Maryland.
Flower has been the most popular product category by far, capturing nearly 50% of total sales in the state this year. That market share is nearly 10 percentage points higher than the national average. Pre-Rolls however, have been significantly underrepresented compared to other US markets. Look for them to gain market share in the coming months stealing sales away from Flower.
Vertical integration occurs when a company owns more than one stage of the supply chain, like when a retailer offers their own “In-House” brand of products for sale. Not every US state allows this structure, but vertical integration is allowed in Maryland. With 27.8% of total sales going towards “In-House” products, Maryland has one the highest rates of vertical integration of Headset tracked markets only behind Massachusetts (30.2%) and Illinois (31.3%).
Maryland has the fewest brands of any of Headset’s tracked US markets with only 98 distinct brands registering a sale in 2023. This likely will grow as Maryland’s new recreational market expands but for the time being customers will have limited options compared to other states.
During August, Maryland had an average item price of $33.24 and an average EQ price of $13.36 per gram for inhalable products like Flower or Pre-Rolls.
Maryland’s high average item price rivals only Illinois and is more than $10 higher than the the third most expensive state Massachusetts. For comparison, Maryland’s average item price was 65% higher than the combined average of other markets. A new adult-use market, few brands, and high levels of vertical integration contribute to the noticeably higher-than-average prices.
Here, we look at the top Maryland products by category. For the latest information about the top brands by category, check out Maryland's Best Sellers, updated frequently.
With a 105.6% growth rate in the first month of adult-use sales Maryland’s recreational cannabis industry is off to an impressive start. However, they face a lot of the challenges that are seen in new adult-use markets all around the country. Maryland has the fewest brands available of any of Headset’s tracked US markets. Few brands combined with a high level of vertical integration contribute, in part, to higher-than-average prices.
As the industry continues to evolve we will likely see new brands enter the market, prices become more competitive, and rising categories such as Pre-Rolls capture more market share. Understanding these shifts and nuances in real-time, can help businesses position themselves for success in this expanding cannabis market. Headset Insights provides real-time SKU-level data, including sales by strain, package size, and consumer demographic. To explore the latest trends in Maryland and other legal cannabis markets, reach out to the Headset team here.