Thinking about launching your own branded line of cannabis products in Washington State? You are not alone. In fact, you would be joining hundreds of enterprising firms that have entered the market since legalization in 2014. Data gathered during our most recent survey of online menus of nearly 300 Washington dispensaries reveal over 360 manufacturers and over 640 product lines available to consumers throughout the state – a startling indicator of the market’s vitality. Especially when compared with surveys conducted early last year that detected fewer than 150 unique product lines, these numbers are an exciting insight into the evolution of the industry just over the past year, though certainly signal increasing competition in the space.
Let’s break down the numbers. Our most recent survey of online menus detected products from 369 different manufacturers and processors. In terms of product lines (for example, distinguishing the edibles and concentrates of a single manufacturer as different product lines), we found 645 unique brands. This represents a nearly 300% increase in the number of branded products available to the Washington consumer over the course of roughly one year. It’s clear that the industry in Washington is quickly adapting to meet the needs of its diverse customer base.
What’s also interesting and hints at future market trends is that while edibles and concentrates currently make up only a third ofstatewide marijuana sales, together they account for almost 60% of the state’s brands. Concentrates such as shatter, wax, and oils account for 31% of product lines, and infused drinks and edibles for just under 28%. It’s also worth pointing out that topicals, tinctures, pills, and other niche products make up 22% of all unique brands, despite making up only a tiny fraction of market sales. This shows that Washington processors have made tremendous progress in developing tailored, targeted products for the market’s numerous niches.
Our data also reveal the brands strongest distribution statewide. Leading the pack is Evergreen Herbal, found at 138 retail outlets. Closely following are Magic Kitchen and Zoots, which were found at 87 and 86 outlets, respectively. On average, products were found at roughly 20 outlets, though many were also exclusive to only a handful of locations in certain areas of the state.
What does this explosive growth in the number of available brands mean? While the market is still young it is growing fast and increasing numbers of entrepreneurs are seeking to capitalize on consumer demand for all types of infused marijuana products, from brownies and chocolate to waxes, vape pens, and even lip balm. This diversification of products available to consumers is expected to continue as the market matures, as is price segmentation and increased competition. As entrepreneurs enter an increasingly crowded space, they will need to employ highly strategic product development, branding, marketing and distribution plans in order to be successful in the space.