Even for the eternal optimist, finding any bright spots in 2020 has proven extremely difficult. Fortunately, the cannabis industry has a habit of persevering through adversity. This year, the industry found a way not only to endure the COVID-19 pandemic but to thrive.
Recently released cannabis data indicates the industry is poised to take its growth and momentum into 2021.
In its most recent “Cannabit,” report, an overview of the cannabis industry for 2020, New Frontier Data noted the November elections provided good news for the industry, even in areas not traditionally associated with the cannabis movement.
“In the fall elections, five new states mandated new legalization programs, including traditionally conservative stalwarts Mississippi and South Dakota,” New Frontier said.
New Frontier found 42 percent of cannabis consumers increased their rate of usage as 2020 progressed. This also led to significant increases in consumer spending at dispensaries. For instance, in the long-established Colorado market, shops experienced a 72 percent rise in consumer spending from August to October of this year. In Massachusetts, New Frontier identified a 56 percent rise in consumer spending during the same time period.
In fact, the cannabis industry’s perseverance through the coronavirus pandemic seems to be paying dividends across the nation. In LeafLink’s newest “Insights Flash” report, the cannabis wholesaler found the industry grew 109 percent from November 2019 through November 2020. This could have been partially boosted by Michigan which experienced the largest growth of any state with recreational sales coming online at the very end of 2019. In 2020, Michigan’s cannabis industry experienced a 146 percent increased in gross merchandise volume.
LeafLink also identified a 50 percent rise in average sales per seller from November 2019 through November 2020. Consumer spending and product preferences were diverse but flower again led the way. Cannabis flower accounted for 18 percent of all purchases but also experienced the sharpest drops when compared month-over-month, a development LeafLink suspects could be linked to flower shortages in Michigan, Colorado, and California.
According to LeafLink the following brands were November 2020 top performers:
As mentioned above, the cannabis industry is not simply running up the score in established markets like California or Colorado. New states in some of the most conservative regions of the U.S. greenlit cannabis programs in November. But Oklahoma is showing the most encouraging signs that cannabis is poised to thrive across the board. Almost 10 percent of all Oklahoma residents have registered to become medicinal cannabis patients.
“Within two years, Oklahoma’s medical cannabis market reached the highest patient saturation rate (9 percent) of any state in the U.S., more than two times any other state medical-use market,” New Frontier said.