USA Market Figures for 2021 

Liz Filmer
01 Mar 2022

Flower remains the most sought-after product in the U.S. cannabis market. Still, that dominance is slipping as other adult-use products gain in popularity. Flower prices are dropping, too, across the six recreational cannabis markets tracked by Seattle-based Headset: California, Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon and Washington state.

Although popular Flower-buying habits are shifting, consumers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in more established state markets. There is less focus on potency and more on other plant characteristics like terpenes and minor cannabinoids. According to retail sales data from the six states, Flower sales grew from $4.92 billion in 2020 to $5.49 billion in 2021. However, Flower's overall market share did fall. Headset analysts noted that last year's 11.5% increase in flower sales was smaller than the 18% increase in overall cannabis sales.

Pre-roll sales shot up from $1.02 billion in 2020 to $1.42 billion in 2021, an increase of 38.9% across the six tracked states. Edible sales increased from $1.14 billion to $1.37 billion or 20.4% over the same period., up 20.4%. Topicals were up 2.5%, and tinctures and sublinguals were down 7.5%. Prices for Flower persisted in dropping as more products hit the market. Data shows that the price per gram of FlowerFlower dropped throughout 2021,  from $6.78 in January to $5.82 in December. In the six adult-use markets, the firm tracks.

 According to cannabis retailers, consumer purchases of Flower vary from market to market. On the East Coast, flower consumers in newer markets continue to shop based on the potency of THC. Flower testing at 25% THC or higher is flying off the shelves. The obsession with potency is expected to drop off as this new market matures and consumers become more knowledgable and advanced in their buying decisions.

This is precisely what is happening on the west coast, where flower consumers have become more refined in mature markets like California and Colorado. 

As the markets mature and more competition comes on, there's more differentiating between products when quality comes into play. Shrewd consumers who shop for more than THC content will pay a premium for terpene and cannabinoid content.

The reason why Flower remains so popular? Well, it's down to its inimitable qualities."At its heart, Flower delivers a social experience that other products don't. Every other new product is attempting to replicate what Flower offers.

Further north in Canada, Flower still wins out too. However, it was noted that consumers are concentrating more on quality. This includes freshness, terpenes, traceability and cannabinoid content on labels. This kind of data points toward a market shift toward a "second wave" of cannabis cultivators. Brands that focus more on the 'craft' side of things rather than the large companies controlling the majority of the market. Prices in Canada have fallen across all categories of products. Flower has slid from a low of CA$2 a gram in 2021 to around CA$1 a gram this year.

However, THC potency still acts as a big draw, and if you have Flower labelled at 29%-30%, you can be sure that it will beat all the other competitors.

Liz Filmer