• Jeffrey Harris

Flower, The King of Cannabis Retail

In an ever changing industry such as the cannabis industry, if you want to maximize customer spend then you’re going to have to keep up with the trends within the industry. Knowing what customers want before they walk in the door is the key to having a successful cannabis product marketing strategy and to running a successful dispensary in general.


Since the beginning, flower has dominated the industry, with concentrates, edibles, and tinctures making up the rest of the sales in the industry. Overtime, flower sales and prices have dipped and some have come to question as to whether flower is still the king of the cannabis industry. So.... is it?


In this article, we’ll be discussing this question as to whether or not flower still reigns supreme in the cannabis industry. In this, we’ll look at flower sales at large and recent trends in the uptick in popularity and sales of other products like concentrates and edibles in the industry.


In this, we will first look at recent trends suggesting that flower may be falling off in favor of other products such as concentrates and edibles. We’ll then move to looking at the numbers to see if flower has truly fallen off or if it is indeed still king. Then we’ll discuss how you can best leverage the insights in this article at your dispensary.


All in all, we’ll come to the conclusion that despite the ever changing trends and environment of the cannabis industry, flower is still king and isn’t going anywhere.


Who is the King of Cannabis?

So, who is the king of cannabis? Well, in the beginning there was no question that flower commanded the industry. When the sales of recreational marijuana to adults became legal in Colorado on January 1st, 2014, flower immediately dominated making up over 67% of the cannabis sales in the state according to BDSA.


But, as the cannabis industry matured and cannabis derivatives started to gain popularity, flower sales began to dip as sales of concentrates and edibles began to rise. Four years into the life of the legal recreational cannabis industry in Colorado, cannabis sales dipped to 44% as concentrates gained enormous popularity jumping from making up only 15% of the sales in the market to making up 31% of total sales in the market according to BDSA.


On top of this, during these four years the price of cannabis dropped significantly from an average of $7.12/gram during Q1 of 2014 to an average of only $4.94/gram in 2018.


On top of all of this, rising discourse regarding the rising popularity of concentrates and edibles and the benefits regarding effects and convenience of using these instead of flowers have spurred many to think that flower has lost its spot as top dog in the cannabis industry… but has it? Well, let’s just say you shouldn’t go changing your cannabis product marketing strategy just yet.


Flower, the king of cannabis

That’s right, regardless of the price drops and regardless of the rising popularity of other cannabis derivatives such as concentrates and edibles, flower still remains as the king of the industry.


For starters, it's important to understand that regardless of the popularity of their cannabis derivatives, flowers will always be a crucial part of the cannabis industry. Without flowers, there’s no industry, so if you’re a grower there’s no need to worry, flowers will forever be in demand.


On the retail side, flower continues to hold its place as the king of the cannabis industry, making up 54.21% of cannabis distribution in the American market according to American Marijuana. That’s right, despite a slight dip in its popularity as concentrate and edibles began to penetrate the market, flower has made itself a comeback as customers have begun resorting back to what they know best, flower.


A likely driver of this comeback is the novelty that comes with consuming cannabis in its natural state as a flower. Many, especially older consumers who have been using flowers since before it was legalized in the states, have become accustomed to the process and effects of consuming flower. In a sense, flower is a novelty, and one that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.


How to leverage flower at your dispensary

Seeing as flower still reigns king, it is important to leverage this knowledge in order to maximize sales and make the most out of your cannabis product marketing strategy. In doing this, it will be important to think about both the relationship between the purchase of flower and the purchase of other products as well as how buyer preferences have changed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.


Discount flower to boost sales of cartridges

Generally speaking, the sale of one product often affects the sales of the other products around it. This holds especially true in the cannabis industry, where many products are often used in tandem or frequently bought together.


Of these pairings, the relationship between the purchase of flower and the purchase of cartridges is extremely important to leverage if you’re looking to boost sales and increase average customer spend at your dispensary.


When customers come in to purchase flower, they often also purchase a cartridge. So, if you’re looking to boost sales, it would be wise to discount flower as to entice customers to come in. Once they’re in, they may take advantage of the sale, but they’ll also more than likely pick up some other products and acutely end up spending more.


Leveraging this relationship between the sale of flower and cartridges is something that not only benefits dispensaries, but it can also help to inform a cannabis brand marketing strategy as well.

Give the people what they want and discount bulk flower (COVID)

When it comes to leveraging flower in order to increase customer spending, it’s also important to pay attention to how the times have affected how people are purchasing cannabis.


COVID has had a large impact on the cannabis industry, but luckily not in an inherently negative way. According to Headset, bulk purchases of flower have been rising since the beginning of the pandemic. Similar to things like toilet paper, people are trying to limit how many trips they’re making to town which explains why they’re purchasing more cannabis in bulk.


According to Headset, the average daily sales of an ounce of cannabis have risen 41% across all US markets during COVID. With this, sales of 1g packages have decreased by 13%.

This trend was made especially apparent in Washington where according to Headset, where customers of Northwest Cannabis Solutions (NCS) were seen purchasing much more of NCS’s popular strain called “Hash Plant.” In fact, since the virus per ounce sales of this Hash Plant have increased by a whopping 233%.


Because of this trend, if you’re wanting to bring people into your dispensary or promote online ordering, discounting bulk cannabis is sure to get you the results you’re looking for.


Recap

Despite changes within the industry and one of the most complex times in history, flower still remains as king of the industry and as long as it remains that way, it is crucial to leverage flower as a means of increasing sales in all areas.

From discounting flower to promote the purchase of other products, to being aware of the times and discounting bulk flower to keep sales steady during COVID, leveraging flower is sure to benefit dispensaries for years to come.


Pair this with springbig’s suite of cannabis product marketing tools, and you’ll be on your way to increased sales across the board.


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