U.S. Wholesale Cannabis Price Erosion Continues

CONNECTICUT: Cannabis Benchmarks, a division of New Leaf Data Services, LLC has released its Annual Review & Outlook: 2017-2018 Edition. The Report provides in-depth analysis of wholesale price movements in 2017 across legal cannabis markets, presenting an unparalleled picture of the supply side of one of the country’s most dynamic industries, and is now available for purchase at Annual Review & Outlook.

“2017 was marked by a continuation of generally low prices, relative stability through the first three quarters of the year, and a traditional fourth quarter decline driven by a favorable outdoor growing season and robust fall harvest in major West Coast markets,” said Jonathan Rubin, CEO of New Leaf Data Services. “The seasonal impact of the fall harvest remains undeniable, driving prices to their annual low in November the last two years.”

Despite the establishment of historically low wholesale prices on both the national and state levels, the rate of decline documented in 2016 was tempered in 2017. Over the course of 2017, the U.S. Spot Index declined 6% in 2017 as compared to a 20% decline in 2016, with the Index opening 2017 at $1,532 per pound and closing the year at $1,436 per pound. In 2017, the U.S. Spot Index averaged $1,562 per pound, off 12.7% from 2016’s full-year average price.

Other takeaways from the Report include continued growth in the total size of the country’s wholesale cannabis flower market to 3.7 million pounds, up 22% compared to 2016, but lower prices in states with mature adult-use legalization due to more licenses and expanded production. The result is that major markets are becoming increasingly competitive, with licensed businesses vying fiercely for market share and consumer attention, forcing producers to implement efficiencies in cultivation and product manufacturing to compete and stay afloat.