The recent “710 Day” in the United States highlighted the rising popularity of cannabis concentrates in cities where cannabis has been legalized for recreational use. Each year on July 10, cannabis consumers flock to dispensaries in states where recreational marijuana is legal and purchase concentrated extracts and oils. This year was no exception, with reports indicating that business was booming at retail marijuana stores in Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, and throughout the United States.
What Is 710 Day?
The most famous and celebrated cannabis holiday is 420 Day, which falls on April 20th each year. A close second, however, is 710 Day on July 10th. This is the recognized holiday for cannabis oil products, called 710 Day because “710” looks like “OIL” when reversed and turned upside-down. Each year on July 10th, cannabis enthusiasts celebrate by smoking cannabis concentrate and extract products such as shatter weed, crumble weed, and hash oil wax. These cannabis concentrates tend to be popular among consumers because they offer a more potent high than traditional marijuana products.
Cannabis Concentrates & Oils Rising in Popularity in Colorado
Among all cannabis product categories, cannabis concentrates are one of the most coveted by recreational pot users. This is particularly true in Colorado, where demand is so high that dispensaries can’t seem to keep cannabis concentrate products on the shelves for very long.
Cannabis concentrates are part of the fastest-growing product segment in the cannabis industry. According to the most recent annual report released by the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division, more than 40,000 pounds of cannabis concentrate products were sold in both the medical use and recreational use markets in Colorado in 2019. This represented a 128% rise from 2016, when just over 17,600 pounds of concentrate products were sold in Colorado. To put these numbers in perspective, consider that cannabis flower products saw just a 4.4% increase in sales during the same time period.
Of course, it is worth noting that cannabis flower is still the most sought-after product among both recreational and medical marijuana users: more than 350,000 pounds of flower products are sold annually in Colorado, or around nine (9) times as much as cannabis concentrates.
High Demand for Cannabis Concentrates in Both U.S. and Canada
Although sales of cannabis concentrates are not quite so strong in a newer market like Massachusetts, where recreational marijuana was legalized at the end of 2016, sales have still risen sharply. Data shows that retail sales of cannabis concentrates in Massachusetts increased by roughly 17% from June 2019 to June 2020.
The demand for cannabis concentrates is also strong north of the border in Canada. Health Canada is the department that oversees the country’s national health policy, and data from Health Canada shows that retail sales of concentrated extracts of marijuana increased by 154% in a period of just six (6) months. By contrast, sales of marijuana flowers on the recreational cannabis market in Canada actually decreased during that same time period.
Cannabis Companies Focusing on Marijuana Concentrates Market
The increased demand for marijuana concentrates has certainly been noticed by cannabis companies, especially those companies that are looking to expand operations into Colorado, California, Michigan, and other states where recreational marijuana is legal. Curaleaf, the largest multi-state cannabis operator in the country, recently acquired Select, a dominant wholesaler that provides cannabis products to more than 900 retailers throughout the U.S. Part of the reasoning behind the acquisition was that Curaleaf wanted to build a national cannabis concentrate brand, as well as to gain direct access to an experienced marijuana concentrate manufacturer for future research & development.
After the deal was completed, Select president and co-founder Cameron Forni issued a statement noting that there has been “an evolution [among cannabis consumers] in appreciation for hardware and oil quality.” One of the brand’s most popular cannabis concentrate products is Select Elite Live, which combines THC oil and high-terpene extract (HTE). Products like these tend to generate even more interest on 710 Day, when cannabis concentrate sales typically see a huge bump as consumers look for alternatives to more traditional marijuana flowers at dispensaries. Additionally, observed Forni, the people who are most excited about cannabis concentrates tend to come from “a small subset of super-enthusiasts.”
Curaleaf’s acquisition of Select in February 2020 was the first major deal made by the cannabis retailer, but it certainly was not the last. In July 2020, Curaleaf completed another major transaction by finalizing its merger with Grassroots Cannabis.
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