Roughly one year after the first vape-related death was reported in Illinois, marijuana vaporizer sales numbers have shown resilience despite additional concerns from the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on consumer behavior.
Vape sales across four key markets – California, Colorado, Nevada and Washington state – rebounded at the beginning of 2020, stabilizing at levels only a few percentage points under the peaks experienced in June 2019, according to the 2020 edition of the now-available Marijuana Business Factbook.
The continued economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, including high unemployment, could be contributing to the lower year-over-year market share, as flower tends to represent a more economical choice, the Factbook notes.
Market share represents how much of total cannabis sales are made up by sales in a specific category. As a result, it provides a snapshot of consumer preferences, regardless of overall sales trends.
For example, vapes are often used in circumstances that require more discretion or portability. Since the pandemic began, more people are staying home – meaning they do not require those elements.
Even with the change in where customers are consuming products, market share for vapes has been relatively steady in Colorado, Nevada and Washington state since the pandemic started shuttering businesses across the nation.
Washington state – which experienced a significant sales dip for vape products because of a four-month ban on flavored products in the state’s adult-use market – regained much of the ground lost in early 2020 and has held steady throughout the pandemic.
Massachusetts, which halted all recreational marijuana sales at the beginning of the pandemic, saw vape sales return to pre-ban levels as soon as sales resumed, according to data from the state’s Cannabis Control Commission.
Jenel Stelton-Holtmeier can be reached at [email protected]