Cannabis Pre-Rolls: A look at category data & performance

November 8, 2021
Time to Read:
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Introduction

For many cannabis consumers, there is nothing quite like the experience and ritual of smoking a well-rolled joint. Pre-Rolls give consumers easy access to this ritual by cutting out the labor and sometimes offers some extra add-ons as well, like oil and kief. In this report, we take a close look at the success of the Pre-Roll category by examining market shares, segments, and package sizes in the US and Canada.

Executive summary

When we look at market share trends over the last few years, we notice that market share of Pre-Rolls in Canadian markets is much higher than in US markets that are tracked in Headset Insights. Between August 2020 and August 2021, market share of Pre-Rolls in Canada had an average of 18.6%, while in the US, market share of Pre-Rolls was an average of 9.5%. When we look at market share by individual states and provinces, we see that Pre-Roll market share in Canadian provinces is much higher than in most US states, with Massachusetts as the one exception. Segment sales share of Pre-Rolls differ significantly between the US and Canada. For example, the second best-selling segment in US markets is the Connoisseur/Infused segment, which makes up 32.4% of sales. But within Canadian markets that same segment makes up only 0.1% of sales. The number of servings sold, or count of Pre-Rolls per package, is also quite different in the US and Canada. For example, Single Pre-Rolls (1 serving) made up 60% of sales in US markets, but they only made up 11% of sales within Canadian markets.

Methodology

The time frame for this analysis is from January 2021 through August 2021. Unless otherwise indicated, Canadian cannabis sales are from AB, BC, ON, and SK and United States cannabis sales are from AZ, CA, CO, IL, MA, MD MI, NV, OR, PA and WA. All data is sourced directly from Headset Insights.

Market share of Pre-Rolls in the US & Canada

Cannabis pre-roll report image 1: Pre-roll market share in the US and Canada

First, let's look at market share of Pre-Rolls over time in the US and Canadian markets that are tracked in Headset Insights. Pre-Roll market share in the US stayed between 7-11% over the last 3+ years and reached a new high in August 2021 at 10.9%.

Pre-Roll market share in Canada is much higher than in US markets. Between August 2020 to August 2021, monthly market share of Pre-Rolls in Canada was an average of 18.6% while in the US, the average was 9.5%.

COVID-19 had an affect on Pre-Roll market share in both countries. Between March and May 2020, market share in the US decreased to 7.5% (the lowest it has been since March 2018), and Canada's market share decreased down to 15.0% (the lowest since it entered the market in March 2019).

Both countries have experienced steady Pre-Roll market share growth so far in 2021, which shows a lot of promise in the future success in this category in the ever changing cannabis industry.

Market share of Pre-Rolls in states & provinces

Cannabis pre-roll report image 2: Pre-Roll market share in different states and provinces
*= includes medical sales

When we breakdown market share by different states and provinces from this year through August, we see that individual Canadian markets have a much higher market share than most US markets, with Massachusetts as the notable exception.

British Columbia has the largest Pre-Roll market share out of all markets that Headset tracks. Pennsylvania has the lowest market share to Pre-Rolls (0.0%), because sales of Pre-Rolls are prohibited within that market.

Maryland, Colorado, Illinois and Arizona markets all have a Pre-Roll market share around 7%.

Sales share of Pre-Roll segments

Cannabis pre-roll report image 3: Pre-Roll segment sales share in the US and Canada

There are noticeable differences between US and Canada when looking at Pre-Roll segment sales mix. The second best selling segment within Headset's US markets is the Connoisseur/Infused segment, which makes up 32.4% of sales. But within Canadian markets, that same segment makes up only 0.1% of sales. Pricing is a possible reason for the large difference in Connoisseur/Infused market share between the two countries. In Canada, they are priced 57% higher than the average item price of the other segments, while in the US they are priced only 18% higher than the other segments.

Market shares of the Indica and Sativa Single Strain segments in Canada were more than double the size of their market share in the US where Hybrid - Single Strain has more category share than Indica and Sativa combined. We also find that the Cannagars/Blunts segment owned 4.2% of the Pre-Roll market in the US, while it only held 0.1% within Canada.

Pre-Roll serving sizes sold in the US & Canada

Cannabis pre-roll report image 4: Number of Pre-Rolls per package sold in the US and Canada

Along with Pre-Roll segments, the number of servings (or count of Pre-Rolls in one package), is vastly different between US and Canadian markets. Single Pre-Rolls (1 serving) made up 60% of sales in US markets when they only made up 11% of sales within Canadian markets. 34% of US sales from single packed Pre-Rolls are from the Connoisseur/Infused segment, which isn't as popular within Canada. The majority of Canadian Pre-Roll sales are 3 servings and the segment that makes up the most of those sales is the Hybrid-Single Strain (42%).

Canada, overall, is more successful at selling larger packs of Pre-Rolls than US markets. 28% of Canadian Pre-Roll sales came from 10+ serving sizes of Pre-Rolls, while that only made up 9% of US Pre-Roll sales during the same time period.

Conclusion

Whether you're interested in something infused with oil, rolled with kief, or a big fat blunt, as we can see from the data above, the future of Pre-Rolls is lit bright. Need to learn more about Pre-Rolls? Headset Insights equips you with everything you need to stay ahead of Pre-Rolls and other cannabis categories, such as sales dashboards to keep track of category performance, demographic insights to understand the consumer landscape, and metadata dashboards to dive into flavors and strains. Sign up for a demo to learn how you can keep an eye on opportunities in the cannabis industry.

Key takeaways

  • Pre-Roll market share is higher in Canadian markets than in US markets. Between August 2020 to August 2021, Pre-Roll's monthly market share in Canada was an average of 18.6% while in the US the average was 9.5%.
  • So far in 2021, both the US and Canada have experienced steady Pre-Roll market share growth, indicating future success in this category.
  • The Connoisseur/Infused segment is popular in the US and makes up 32.4% of sales, but this segment only makes up 0.1% of sales in Canada. This might be due to pricing, since in Canada, these items are priced 57% higher than the average item price of other segments (and only 18% higher than other segments in the US).
  • The Cannagars/Blunts segment is more popular in the US and owned 4.2% of the Pre-Roll market, while it only held 0.1% within Canada.
  • Large packs of Pre-Rolls sell more frequently in Canada than in the US. The majority of Pre-Roll sales in Canada come in packs with 3 servings, while 60% of Pre-Roll sales in the US come in single servings. 28% of Canadian Pre-Roll sales came from 10+ serving sizes, while that only made up 9% of Pre-Roll sales in the US.

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