The legal cannabis industry is still young, so there isn't a substantial amount of data available to map out specific buying trends. That being said, looking at 2018 alone offers a number of interesting insights that can help cannabis sellers plan better for the future.
Headset’s latest analysis looks at data from Colorado, Nevada and Washington with a focus on Colorado and Washington, where we have several years’ worth of sales data. In Nevada, where recreational cannabis was only legalized in 2017, we still do not have enough market data to determine any substantial seasonal trends. We’ve compared the month-over-month growth of the category in question to the rest of the total market. California has been excluded from this study due to volatile 2018 data from changing regulations.
In both Colorado and Washington, pre-rolls tend to outperform the market in spring and early summer, then underperform in the fall and the heart of winter. On the other hand, Nevada data has more sporadic peaks and valleys. Pre-rolls tend to underperform in January, July, and November, but do well in February, May, August, and October.
This data set seems to suggest that climate and seasonal tourism may play a role in cannabis sales in these states. In Colorado and Washington, where it can be unpleasant to smoke outside in the cold, pre-roll sales dip during the colder months and surge in the warmer months when people gather outside and socialize more.
In Nevada, frigid temperatures aren’t an issue, although heat certainly is in July. November and January are typically months where family time is favored over gambling trips or bachelor parties, suggesting that perhaps seasonal tourism plays an even stronger role in Nevada than weather does.
In Washington and Colorado, beverages have consistently outperformed the market in December, indicating that they are a popular item for gifts or holiday parties. Interestingly, in Washington, they always have underperformed in January but, in Colorado, they slightly outperform the market. Perhaps visitors to Colorado for ski vacations are turning to cannabis beverages for their après-ski?
July is a good month for beverages in Washington and Colorado, but average in Nevada, indicating that sales may be centered around summer celebrations in places where it’s pleasant to be outside during summer.
As the cannabis market grows, more robust data will become available, allowing state market trends to become even clearer. Throughout each stage of growth, Headset will continue to provide the astute analysis our customers need to plan well and stay ahead of the curve.