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MJ Research: The 2015 Front Runner/MJBA Washington Marijuana Retailer Report

By Brian Yauger and Joe Armes
Front Runner

WASHINGTON: The story of recreational marijuana’s first fourteen months in Washington state is a story of supply and demand imbalances, with recreational price points impacted by competition from medical and black markets unfettered by high taxation and strict regulation.

By all accounts the first year of I-502 was successful, with retail sales now topping $35 million a month. Still, recreational marijuana only accounts for approximately 30% of the projected $1.3 billion industry in 2015, with the black market and medical marijuana representing the remaining 70%.  I-502 retailers have tried very hard to bring the out-the-door price of the recreational marijuana down to be competitive with the black and medical markets. However, those markets remain robust, in part because they have not been handcuffed by the high taxes and cumbersome regulations put in place for I-502.

Front Runner/MJBA 2015 Washington Marijuana Retailer Report

Front Runner/MJBA 2015 Washington Marijuana Retailer Report

When I-502 retailers were allowed to open in July of 2014, there was a major supply shortage resulting from an inadequate number of licensed producers and processors.  This caused the initial cost of a gram of recreational marijuana to be sold out the door for over $25 dollars, in contrast to less than $10/per gram for the medical and black market consumer.  However, over the course of the year, the number of licensed producers and processors grew at a much faster pace than that of I-502 retailers.  This caused supply to heavily outweigh the demand, as there simply were not enough retailers open for business to accommodate the increased amount of product in the marketplace. Over the course of the year, prices began to drop to under $4/per gram wholesale, allowing retailers to lower their prices to the end consumer.  Retail prices dropped quickly – more than a $1/per gram each month from August 2014 to February 2015 – before they began to stabilize, dropping less than $.50/per gram from February through June.

In June 2015, the average cost of a retail gram of flower was $12.66.  On July 1, a new law, HB 2136, went into effect replacing the existing 25% excise tax at all three levels of I-502 – producer, processors, and retailer – with a 37% excise tax applied at retail.  Producers and processors were no longer forced to give up 25% of their revenue to the state tax system.  The result: wholesale prices dropped 10%, to a low of $3.39/per gram.  Retailers followed suit, and the average cost per gram of flower at the retail level dropped to $9.22, under the magic $10/per gram price point.

The average cost per gram of flower at the retail level dropped to $9.22, under the magic $10/per gram price point.

The average cost per gram of flower at the retail level dropped to $9.22, under the magic $10/per gram price point.

 

The drop in prices starting July 1 caused the first drop in retail revenue since the opening of Washington’s recreational marijuana marketplace.  Dropping from $25 million in June to just under $24 million in July, revenues fell even while the amount of product purchased increased from 4.8k pounds in June to just over 6k pounds in July – thus showing that the drop in prices directly caused the drop in revenue.

The monthly growth rate of recreational marijuana retailers is an astonishing 29.5% a month.  This growth rate, due to an increase in the number of new retail stores opening monthly, will not be sustainable over the long term.  However, we do expect a high growth rate to continue throughout the rest of 2015 and most of 2016, as more recreational retailers come on line, and medical marijuana is integrated into the I-502 system.  Individual retailers have seen an average of a 5.63% growth rate each month.  This equates to each retailer increasing their revenue approximately $10 per day.

While recreational pot sales are robust 7 days a week, Fridays and Saturdays are the highest selling days, averaging just under $1 million sold each Friday statewide and just at the $1 million mark on Saturdays.  Mondays are the lowest-selling day of the week, at just above $600k, while Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are hover at ~$800k.  Retailers that are closed on Sunday may be missing out on a decent day of sales, and should consider opening on Sundays.

The number of recreational retail customers has increased dramatically, while the amount they are spending has stayed constant.  We saw a growth from 1,000 retail customers a day in August 2014, to a high of 40,000 customers a day in July 2015.  The average ticket price balanced at approximately $40 a day for several months until dropping to just over $30 a day after the implementation of HB 2136 and the subsequent drop in prices.

The majority of all sales in Washington State are concentrated in only four counties.  Western Washington sells just under three times more recreational marijuana than eastern Washington.  Forty six percent of the weight sold comes from King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties, with Spokane County making up fourteen percent of all sales. The remaining 40% of sales comes from all other counties.

The outlook for recreational market remains strong.  With the medical market set to be folded into I-502 in 2016, we predict that the gap will start to close between the black market and the legal market.  As an added factor of prices rivaling that of the black market, we will continue to see large increases in the number of customers making purchases in I-502 retail stores.

As of early October 2015, there were 182 retail stores recording revenue in Washington. We project that by July 2016 that number will grow to between 288-294 retailers, ensuring that the high growth rate that we have seen will continue into 2016.

New MJ Research Report: Washington Canna-businesses Plan To Grow Organizations By 200% In 2015

Last month the Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) hosted the first ever cannabis job fair in Spokane, WA.  As part of our MJ Research’s effort to provide business intelligence to participants in the legal cannabis industry, we surveyed more than 110 hiring managers, employees and job candidates online and at the event.

From analysis of this survey, conducted by Analytically Correct and the MJBA, we learned that the Washington State companies who responded to the survey plan to grow their companies by 200% in 2015.  The majority of these positions will be operations positions such as growers, trimmers and bud tenders.  Over 50% of these positions will pay under $30,000 per year.

Washington State companies who responded to the survey plan to grow their companies by 200% in 2015.

Analytically Correct CEO Joe Armes presents the MJ Research Jobs Report to industry participants at the Marijuana Business Association

 

MJ Research Report: Washington State Rakes In Over $10M In Single Month From Pot Tax

By Joe Armes

WASHINGTON: The legal cannabis industry has been rapidly growing in Washington State since the implementation of recreational sales under I502, and along with them so too have the tax revenues due to the state. Washington’s hefty 25% excise tax, which is applied to each stage of the supply chain (, processors and retailers), has alone resulted in accrued tax obligations of nearly $10.4M due to the state from May.

 

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The excise tax is the largest of several revenue streams legal cannabis is bringing to the state.  Additionally, the state collects tax revenues from retail sales and business and occupation taxes generated from cannabis businesses.  All the while, the market continues to shift toward retailers capturing an increasingly larger portion of the revenues generated by the industry leaving many industry insiders pleading with the state to pass legislation to modify the excise tax structure to a retail tax that maintains the state’s tax revenues and provides relief for producers and processors.

Here are some other insights from the Washington State Recreational Cannabis Business Intelligence Dashboard:

      • Washington set a new record single day sales with $1.88M in Sales on May 29th.
      • The state now has 163 licensed retail stores with 146 recording sales as of May.
      • Combined Producer, processor and retailer sales were $215M through June 1st.
      • Average daily sales for the month of May were $1.31M, up 8.3% from April.

If you are a producer, processor or retailer who would like to be a confidential data provider for the dashboard and receive custom business insights or would like more information about business intelligence and analytics feel free to contact Joe at joe@analyticallycorrect.com.

About Joe Armes: Joe is the founder of Analytically Correct, a data analytics services company that provides custom analytics solutions that transform data into insights to allow decision makers to focus on what adds most value. His passion is to work with organizations with deeply rooted causes to help them gain access to the knowledge needed to make timely and informed decisions.

MJ Research Report: Washington’s Average Daily Pot Sales Jump To $1.21M For April

By Joe Armes

WASHINGTON: Legal marijuana sales in Washington State broke the $1M per day mark in April, averaging daily sales of $1.21M.  The expanding commercial market reached this milestone on track with Analytically Correct’s predictions.

Here are a few additional key insights from the forecast:

  • Washington set a new record single day sales with $1.84M in Sales on May 1st.
  • The state now has 153 licensed retail stores with 135 recording sales as of April.
  • Combined Producer, processor and retailer sales were $176.8M through May 3rd and are on track to surpass $200M by late May.
Combined Producer, processor and retailer sales were $176.8M through May 3rd and are on track to surpass $200M by late May.

Combined Producer, processor and retailer sales were $176.8M through May 3rd and are on track to surpass $200M by late May.

If you are a producer, processor or retailer who would like to be a confidential data provider for the dashboard and receive custom business insights or would like more information about business intelligence and analytics feel free to contact Joe at joe@analyticallycorrect.com.

About Joe Armes: Joe is the founder of Analytically Correct, a data analytics services company that provides custom analytics solutions that transform data into insights to allow decision makers to focus on what adds most value. His passion is to work with organizations with deeply rooted causes to help them gain access to the knowledge needed to make timely and informed decisions.

MJ Research Report: Washington State 2015 Legal Pot Sales On Course for $450M

By Joe Armes

WASHINGTON: After another quarter of legal recreational cannabis sales on the books for Washington State cannabis businesses are still faced with many unknown factors that will impact their businesses in the upcoming months. Legislative changes, surplus inventories and continuation of local bans and moratoriums are a few of the major factors that will be driving forces in how the market grows this year.

With so many pieces of this complex puzzle at play it is highly critical for businesses to understand the market performance, the current dynamics and the insights that can be gained from what we do know.  At the end of 2014 Analytically Correct conducted the only market forecast for the Washington State Cannabis Industry,  published in the MJ Research Report in January.  Let’s take a look at how the market has performed to this forecast through one quarter of the year.

Overall, the market has performed well on a strong, predictable growth trend.  Analytically Correct’s forecast for 2015 was for $350M to $495M in combined producer processor retailer sales and through the first quarter the state in on course for $450M.

First quarter 2015 sales actuals totaled $73.5M which is right in line with of the forecast range of $56.7M to $81.8M.  While actuals for the quarter came in well within the expected range the surprise for me is how well it performed in the first quarter coming off of fall harvest with surplus inventories, not enough retail stores and an expected down season cycle.  Given these factors it would be reasonable to have expected the quarter results to be towards the bottom end of the range.  These results give an optimistic outlook for the year could result in an upward revision of the forecast if it continues through the second quarter.

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It is important to note that he forecast assumes that sales continue on the current track within an unchanged state legal structure. Action from Washington State legislature or federal government, unstable/unobtainable pricing, change in the rate of license approvals from the LCB, prevention of business operations by counties or municipalities, etc. all could have an impact on actual sales (some of which could be positive impacts).  Here are some other key insights from the forecast:

  • The forecast predicted over $1M in average daily combined producer, processor and retailer sales by July 2015 (95% statistically confident).  March averaged ~$970K per day in sales and it is highly likely that by the end of April average daily sales will surpass $1M per day.
  • The forecast predicted approximately 250 active retail stores in operation by the end of 2015 (95% statistical confidence interval for the forecast ranges from ~225 to ~275).  With 137 licensed stores and 120 with recorded sales the state is on track for 250 by year end.
  • The volatility in daily sales has stabilized so far this year. We are seeing normal day of week sales swings following the pattern of most sales on Friday and least on Sunday and have not experienced drastic swings that were seen in 2014.

If you are a producer, processor or retailer who would like to be a confidential data provider for the dashboard and receive custom business insights or would like more information about business intelligence and analytics feel free to contact Joe at joe@analyticallycorrect.com.

About Joe Armes: Joe is the founder of Analytically Correct, a data analytics services company that provides custom analytics solutions that transform data into insights to allow decision makers to focus on what adds most value. His passion is to work with organizations with deeply rooted causes to help them gain access to the knowledge needed to make timely and informed decisions.

MJ Research Report: Washington Recreational Marijuana Sales Grow By More Than 20% In February

By Joe Armes

WASHINGTON: Combined Producer, Processor and Retailer monthly sales in Washington State grew at its fastest rate since November, growing by 20.5% from $18.5M in January to $22.7M in February, a month with 3 fewer days.

Retail sales grew at 22.2% from $12.7M in January to $15.52M February while Producer/Processor sales grew by 16.6% from $5.77M to $6.73M.  Both are great news for producer/processors sitting on surplus inventories left over from last fall’s big harvest and are indicators surplus inventories will continue to burn down over the coming months.

Here are some other insights from the Washington State Recreational Cannabis Business Intelligence Dashboard:

  • Year-to-date combined producer, processor and retailer sales as of March 9th have totaled $49M, resulting in $12.3M in excise taxes due to the state.
  • There are currently 127 approved retail stores in Washington State and as of March 9th 107 of these retail stores had recorded sales.
  • A new single day sales record was recorded on February 27th with $1.55M in combined producer, processor and retailer sales.

If you are a producer, processor or retailer who would like to be a confidential data provider for the dashboard and receive custom business insights or would like more information about business intelligence and analytics feel free to contact Joe at joe@analyticallycorrect.com.

 

About Joe Armes: Joe is the founder of Analytically Correct, a data analytics services company that provides custom analytics solutions that transform data into insights to allow decision makers to focus on what adds most value. His passion is to work with organizations with deeply rooted causes to help them gain access to the knowledge needed to make timely and informed decisions.

MJ Research Report: Washington State Legal Pot Sales Reach $100M

By Joe Armes

WASHINGTON: The recreation cannabis industry has surpassed $100M in sales in the first 33 weeks of legal sales in Washington State. Two months into the year the market is on track to hit Analytically Correct’s 2015 forecast published in the MJ Research Report’s Market Outlook. According to the forecast there is a 95% likelihood that it will take only another 12 to 18 weeks for the industry to quickly rake in another $100M in sales, reaching $200M between the weeks of May 17th and June 28th.

If you are a producer, processor or retailer who would like to be a confidential data provider for the dashboard and receive custom business insights or would like more information about business intelligence and analytics feel free to contact Joe at joe@analyticallycorrect.com.

 

About Joe Armes: Joe is the founder of Analytically Correct, a data analytics services company that provides custom analytics solutions that transform data into insights to allow decision makers to focus on what adds most value. His passion is to work with organizations with deeply rooted causes to help them gain access to the knowledge needed to make timely and informed decisions.

MJ Research Report: New Retail Stores Continue To Fuel Marijuana Sales Growth

By Joe Armes

WASHINGTON: With less than 7 weeks of recorded sales in 2015, Washington State’s recreational cannabis industry has already inked sales of nearly half of what it recorded in 2014. So far this year combined producer processor sales have totaled nearly $30M compared to just over $65M for 2014. Opening of new retail stores continues to fuel healthy sales growth even with a lingering surplus of cannabis deflating prices.

Here are some other insights from MJ Research’s Washington State Recreational Cannabis Business Intelligence Dashboard:

  • There are currently 119 approved retail stores in Washington State and as of February 3rd 98 of these retail stores had recorded sales.
  • Combined Producer, Processor and Retailer monthly sales grew at 7.7% from $16.95M in December to $18.26M January. Retail sales had its slowest monthly growth in January at 8.8% from $11.47M to $12.49M. Producer/Processor sales recovered with 5.3% growth from $5.48M to $5.77M after a sharp drop in December following the fall harvest and recorded the second highest Producer/Processor monthly sales in January.
  • On a weekly basis sales continue to grow on a very healthy trend and for the week of February 28th combined Producer, Processor and Retailer sales shattered the week of January 11th’s record of $4.2M with sales for the week coming in at $5.9M.

If you are a producer, processor or retailer who would like to be a confidential data provider for the dashboard and receive custom business insights or would like more information about business intelligence and analytics feel free to contact Joe at joe@analyticallycorrect.com.

 

About Joe Armes: Joe is the founder of Analytically Correct, a data analytics services company that provides custom analytics solutions that transform data into insights to allow decision makers to focus on what adds most value. His passion is to work with organizations with deeply rooted causes to help them gain access to the knowledge needed to make timely and informed decisions.

MJ Research Report: After Slow Start For 2015 Washington Legal Pot Sales Rebound With Record Week

By Joe Armes

WASHINGTON:  After a record sales day with over $1.2M in sales on New Year’s Eve the beginning of 2015 seemed to have been off to a sluggish start for recreational cannabis sales in Washington State.  That was until last week when sales growth perked up with a new record sales week with $4.2M in combined producer, processor and retailer sales between January 11th and the 17th.

Here are some other insights from the Washington State Recreational Cannabis Business Intelligence Dashboard:

  • Comparing month-to-month sales for the first 19 days of the month, January combined producer, processor and retailer sales continue on a slower growth trend for a second straight month and are trending at ~3% growth for the month.  In a couple weeks we will have the breakdown with more details but we expect a repeat of December with producer/processor sales declining and healthy growth for retail sales.
  • Overall, sales are on a healthy growth trend for the first 27 weeks of legal, recreational cannabis sales in the state.  This growth has been primarily driven by new retail store openings.
  • Washington State now has 110 issued retail licenses.  In a couple weeks we will have the details on how many of these stores have opened for business.

If you are a producer, processor or retailer who would like to be a confidential data provider for the dashboard and receive custom business insights or would like more information about business intelligence and analytics feel free to contact Joe at joe@analyticallycorrect.com

 

MJ Research Report: Washington State Ends 2014 With $65.3M In Legal Pot Sales, 86 Stores in Operation

By Joe Armes

WASHINGTON: The final numbers are in from the Washington Liquor Control Board (LCB) for 2014 and we have the key insights from the year for your cannabis business.  Washington State ended 2014 with $65.3M in combined producer, processor and retailer sales.  In comparison, Analytically Correct forecasts sales for 2015 between $350M and $495M.

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Month-to-month sales growth in December slowed to just under 5% compared to the nearly 52% monthly average growth between July and November.  The stall was fueled by the ~22% drop in Producer/Processor sales from $7M to $5.5M from November to December.  However this was offset by healthy retail growth of over 25% for the month from $9.1M to $11.4M. The fall in Producer/Processor Sales is an insight to watch over the next couple months and something that needs further analysis.  Initial observations indicate that the decline is in part a result of outdoor harvests in October and November which created a spike in inventory in the market, generating larger sales in November but now has driven down prices in the market with a surplus of product still available.

Here are other insights from 2014 in the Washington State Recreational Cannabis Business Intelligence Dashboard:

  • 2014 legal cannabis sales generated over $16M in excise taxes due to the state.  Additionally, the state will also bring in a generous amount of revenue from Sales and Business and Occupation (B&O) taxes from the industry (we have not calculated state revenues from these taxes).
  • With 86 retail stores recording sales in 2014, 62.4% (~$40.8M) of the combined $65.3M cannabis sales were generated from retailers.
  • After a slow start for the first several months, King County ended the year with the most combined producer, processor and retailer sales with $9.4M folled by Clark County at $6.3M and Spokane County with $5.1M.
  • Local acceptance of cannabis business still varies greatly.  At the end of 2014, 27 counties had retail stores with approved licenses and 25 had stores in operation. Twelve counties still have no approved retail stores.
  • King County had the most stores in operation at the end of the year with 12, followed by Spokane County with 10.
  • Klickitat and Cowlitz Counties had the highest percentage of allotted stores in operation with 75% and 71% of allotted stores operating.

If you are a producer, processor or retailer who would like to be a confidential data provider for the dashboard and receive custom business insights or would like more information about business intelligence and analytics feel free to contact Joe at joe@analyticallycorrect.com.

About Joe Armes: Joe is the founder of Analytically Correct, a data analytics services company that provides custom analytics solutions that transform data into insights to allow decision makers to focus on what adds most value. His passion is to work with organizations with deeply rooted causes to help them gain access to the knowledge needed to make timely and informed decisions.