Concentrates Outselling Flower in California’s Cannabis Market
The legalization of cannabis across North America has triggered a new era of innovation in the industry, including the emergence of cannabis concentrates and extracts.
While many consumers are comfortable with smoking as a means of consumption, a growing number of consumers are turning towards concentrates and other derivative forms of cannabis such as edibles, extracts and oils to enhance their cannabis experience. As the North American cannabis market continues to evolve, leading cannabis-friendly jurisdictions are establishing dominant consumer trends that are informing legal cannabis operations across the continent.
In the US’ largest cannabis market, California, cannabis concentrates outsold traditional flower for the first time ever in 2018. According to BDS Analytics, concentrates represented 37 percent of cannabis sales in California in 2018, while traditional flower made up only 33 percent of sales. As the legalization of cannabis continues to enable the creation of concentrates and other cannabis derivative products, cannabis companies capable of offering new cannabis consumption methods have an opportunity to take advantage of a growing marketplace. According to Marijuana Business Daily, the California cannabis market is expected to generate US$3.1 billion in 2019, making the state the largest legal North American cannabis jurisdiction by a considerable margin.
Concentrates, extracts and vaporization
Cannabis concentrates, oils and extracts are all derived from processing cannabis flower. There are a number of cannabis concentrates that offer unique benefits over smoking cannabis, depending on consumer preferences. For example, cannabis concentrates such as shatter, wax and dab-friendly oils involve an extraction process that removes the plant matter from the extract, preventing lung irritation in smokers. The resulting extract is made up of the terpenes and cannabinoids that deliver the flavor and euphoric high that cannabis consumers traditionally seek out. The extraction process often involves a solvent such as butane or CO2, which is burned off to produce a pure concentrate that is higher in THC than the input flower. For cannabis consumers in search of a more flavorful or powerful cannabis product, concentrates and extracts offer an experience that transcends what is possible with only dried cannabis.
Published: November 18, 2019
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News