December 28, 2018

U.S. Cannabis Spot Index — December 28, 2018

U.S. Cannabis Spot Index — Published December 28, 2018

U.S. Cannabis Spot Index up 2.5% to $1,175 per pound.


The simple average (non-volume weighted) price increased by $46 to $1,341 per pound, with 68% of transactions (one standard deviation) in the $549 to $2,133 per pound range. The average reported deal size was nominally unchanged at 4.1 pounds. In grams, the Spot price was $2.59, and the simple average price was $2.96.


The relative frequency of trades for greenhouse flower grew this week, by 1%, while that for outdoor product decreased by the same proportion. The relative frequency of transactions for indoor flower was unchanged compared to last week. Warehouse-grown flower’s share of the total reported weight moved nationwide increased by 1% this week, as did the relative volume of greenhouse product. Consequently, the relative volume of outdoor flower contracted by 2% week-over-week.

The U.S. Spot Index finished 2018 with three consecutive weeks of positive movement, rising this week by 2.5% to settle at $1,175 per pound. For December, the national volume-weighted rate averaged $1,136 per pound, up by 5.7% from November’s mean monthly Spot Index of $1,075 per pound. Despite the recent upward momentum exhibited by the national composite price, however, a broader view demonstrates that this year saw significant price erosion. The U.S. Spot sank by 21.8% from the opening to the closing week of 2018. Additionally, for Q4, the national composite rate averaged $1,094 per pound, off by 32.8% compared to the quarterly average price of $1,417 per pound, documented in the same period in 2017. Yet, Q4 2018’s mean going rate is off by only 2.2% from Q3’s quarterly average price of $1,119 per pound. Rising rates in California, Colorado, and Oregon in the wake of the fall harvest period worked to mitigate the quarter-over-quarter downturn.

The national volume-weighted price for flower to be sold in adult-use markets jumped this week. Increases in California’s adult-use sector, as well as in Colorado and Nevada, outweighed marginal declines in Oregon and Washington. Sinking wholesale rates in the medical portion of California’s market, as well as in Arizona, were primarily responsible for pushing down slightly the national price for product designated for registered patients.   

January 2019 Forward closes up $25 to $1,150 per pound.


The average reported forward deal decreased to 55.8 pounds. The proportion of forward deals for outdoor, greenhouse, and indoor-grown flower was 54%, 29%, and 17% of forward arrangements, respectively. The average forward deal size for monthly delivery for outdoor, greenhouse, and indoor-grown flower was 63 pounds, 49 pounds, and 43 pounds, respectively.


At $1,150 per pound, the January 2019 Forward represents a discount of 2.2% relative to the current U.S. Spot Price of $1,175 per pound. The premium or discount for each Forward price, relative to the U.S. Spot Index, is illustrated in the table below.

Sample Headlines From This Week’s Premium Report:

  • California

    State Spot Index Falls by Almost 18% Over Course of 2018, Even as Compliance Costs Increased With Imposition of Licensing and Regulation

  • Colorado

    Weekly Composite Price Sees Smallest Proportional Decline of the Major Western Markets in 2018

  • Oregon

  • Composite Price Ticks Downward Slightly this Week, Off by 60% From Opening Week of 2018
  • Washington

  • State Spot Index Slides Over 55% from Beginning to End of 2018, Down Nearly 20% from Start of Q4

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Cannabis Benchmarks®, a division of New Leaf Data Services, LLC

28 December 2018.  Copyright © 2018 New Leaf Data Services, LLC.  All rights reserved