California Cannabis Sales Grew 18% to Nearly $3 Billion in 2019

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Sales of cannabis from legal dispensaries in California approached $3 billion and grew 18% in 2019, according to market research firm BDS Analytics.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the two largest product categories in California were concentrates and flower, which accounted for nearly 70% of total dollar sales in the Golden State (or roughly $2 billion). Meanwhile, edibles made up 13% of statewide dollar sales – approximately $398 million.

The remaining 17% of sales from 583 active and licensed dispensaries, as well as 279 delivery services (as of December) included pre-rolls, sublinguals and other products such as accessories and apparel.

By comparison, cannabis sales in Colorado -- the second largest U.S. market tracked by BDS Analytics -- topped $1.77 billion last year.

Nevertheless, BDS Analytics' figures from California are mostly consistent with trends recently identified by Eaze, a California-based online marijuana marketplace and delivery service.

According to Eaze, vaping products were responsible for 32% of sales on its platform while flower accounted for 25% of sales.

Beyond specific product types, Eaze also shared a variety of demographic insights that could prove valuable to cannabis marketers as they seek to better identify emerging consumer segments.

“As the makeup of the cannabis consumer continues to grow and diversify, brands are responding with more targeted products to meet customer demands,” Eaze wrote.

Indeed, 40% of Eaze’s customer base are women, up from just 25% in 2015. The number of women using the platform grew 81% in 2019, the company added.

Female consumers also shop differently, Eaze said, noting that “men lean slightly more towards flower and concentrates while women lean slightly more towards edibles and prerolls.”

Meanwhile, older consumers are also gravitating to cannabis, as purchases from individuals age 50 and above increased 105%. Baby Boomers (54-72-year-olds) bought 67% more topical products compared to 2018 and the number of Boomers who signed up for Eaze also grew 91% versus last year.

And as cannabis mainstreams, the number of new cannabis consumers also appears to be growing. According to Eaze, first-time deliveries increased 74%. Meanwhile, the number of Generation Z customers (individuals born between 1997 and 2012) who signed up to use the site increased 144%.

Overall Eaze signups increased 97% in 2019, a fact that will no doubt please investors as the company continues to search for ways to grow profits and better manage cash flow.

According to TechCrunch, Eaze has completed for than 5 million deliveries to 600,000 customers while simultaneously growing the average transaction to $85. However, the company is reportedly “low on cash” and considering layoffs as well as a pivot toward selling its own cannabis brands in an attempt to boost profit margins.