Current Data

The U.S. Cannabis Spot Index decreased 4.9% to $1,161 per pound.

The simple average (non-volume weighted) price decreased $56 to $1,419 per pound, with 68% of transactions (one standard deviation) in the $618 to $2,220 per pound range. The average reported deal size increased to 2.5 pounds. In grams, the Spot price was $2.56 and the simple average price was $3.13.

The relative frequency of transactions for indoor flower fell 1%, while that of deals for greenhouse flower rose 1%.Outdoor flower’s transaction frequency was unchanged.  

The relative volume of indoor flower fell 1%, while those of greenhouse and outdoor flower were unchanged.  

“Green shoots” refer to the environmental signs that winter is fading and spring is on the way. In economics, signs of recovery in a weak economy are often referred to as “green shoots.” Typically, signs of recovery are taken from GDP inputs – pieces of data about consumption, investment, government spending, and the net of imports and exports. 

The California cannabis market is starting to show “green shoots,” and, while not a perfect replication of GDP calculation, there are signs of economic recovery in the cannabis sector in government spending, consumption, and investment.

Bills currently under consideration in the California legislature that affect government receipts – lowering the cannabis excise tax from 15% to 5%, eliminating the cannabis cultivation tax, and the cannabis equity tax credit – fit in the government spending category. 

A Los Angeles County Health study shows steady year-on-year increases in the number of people using cannabis – a broadening consumer base.  The California Department of Taxation and Fee Administration show broad increases in per capita expenditures year-on-year, despite significant price erosion. Both demonstrate increasing consumption.

The number of local governments that allow legal cannabis operations continues to expand – with San Bernardino County supply coming on line over the past few years and dozens of cities pushing to open doors to businesses in the next few years – representing opportunities for investment. 

While Cannabis Benchmarks does not collect data on the illicit market, there is anecdotal evidence suggesting the California cannabis market has a robust “export” business. Exports surely exceed imports, representing an increase in overall GDP.  

So, while California cannabis prices are causing some degree of pain in local markets, from a broad perspective the cannabis industry is showing “green shoots” in each GDP input. Viewed through a long lens, the California cannabis market is continuing to grow, with government spending, consumption, investment, and yes, exports, suggesting the industry has all the inputs in place to begin a broad-based recovery in the world’s largest legal cannabis market.