Latest Flowhub News
Jan 6, 2022
Kathy Hochul announced the fund during her Jan. 5 State of the State address. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced during her Jan. 5 State of the State address that officials will create a $200 million fund to support social equity cannabis businesses, according to a Syracuse.com report . Andrew Cuomo signed the state’s Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) into law last year, and the statute mandates that 50% of the state’s adult-use cannabis licenses go to social equity applicants, Syracuse.com reported. Those eligible for social equity status include applicants disproportionately harmed by the war on drugs, minority- and women-owned businesses, distressed farmers, and service-disabled veterans, according to the news outlet. Until the new fund was announced, it was unclear how state officials planned to fulfill these social equity requirements. “This type of funding is groundbreaking and demonstrates the governor’s commitment to provide social equity applicants an equal opportunity to participate in this innovative new industry,” Denise Lyons and Cindy Gillespie, who are pursuing an adult-use cultivation license for their business, LG Growers, in Liverpool, told Syracuse.com. “This type of innovation is essential for New York State to meet its equity participation goal of 50 percent of approved licenses.” Hochul’s office has proposed a funding mechanism based on licensing fees and taxes, a model that has faced pushback from some industry stakeholders, according to the news outlet. “I love the spirit; $200 million sounds good, but if it comes after the market has already opened, then it has come too late,” Amber Littlejohn, executive director for the Minority Cannabis Business Association, told Syracuse.com. Cannabis Sales Spiked During Holiday Season Post-holiday data from Headset, LeafLink, Flowhub and others show increased sales in the weeks leading up to Christmas and New Year’s Day. From Headset Headset data demonstrates increased sales in the U.S. and Canadian cannabis markets in the week leading up to Christmas (Dec. 18 through Dec. 24) when compared to previous weeks’ sales. The U.S. saw an increase of 17% in sales, while sales in Canada rose more than 26%. In both markets, topicals saw the biggest increase in sales during the week before Christmas, with beverages taking second place and edibles ranking third. Headset data from California, Colorado, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon and Washington in the U.S. and from Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and Saskatchewan in Canada illustrates increased sales on New Year’s Eve when compared to the previous four Fridays. In the U.S., sales jumped 6%, compared to an 8.9% increase in Canada. Michigan had the largest rise in sales on New Year’s Eve with a 13.7% increase, while Saskatchewan had the largest increase in Canada with sales up 12% compared to the previous four Fridays. There was a slight increase in dispensary discounts on New Year’s Eve in both the U.S. and Canadian cannabis markets, Headset reported, with the average discount in the U.S. clocking in at 21.1%, up by about 13% when compared to the previous four Fridays, which saw an average discount of 18.6%. The average discount in Canada on New Year’s Eve was 4%, up by about 10% over the previous four Fridays’ average of 3.6%. In the U.S., beverages, flower and concentrates sold the most on New Year’s Eve, according to Headset’s data, while tinctures/sublinguals, concentrates and beverages saw the largest increase in sales in Canada. From LeafLink Post-holiday data from LeafLink shows a 6.8% increase in sales through the platform in December when compared to the average growth rate over the prior three months. Flower was the most popular product category in December, according to LeafLink, and made up 32% of sales through the platform. Packaged flower sold the most, making up 15% of total flower sales, while bulk flower was the second most popular subcategory, making up 14.7% of total flower sales. Cartridges were the second most popular product category with 24% market share in December, LeafLink reported. Both flower and cartridges performed relatively consistent with the previous month, according to LeafLink’s data, which shows that consumers did not significantly alter their purchasing habits during the holiday season. From Flowhub Flowhub data shows that Christmas Eve was a big sales day, marking the second most busy Friday of 2021 in terms of number of transactions. Christmas Eve sales in 2021 were down 10% from 2020 in terms of pre-tax sales, however. In contrast, sales slowed on Christmas Day as they were 73% lower than a typical Saturday, according to Flowhub. The average order was $17 lower than the average order value, and sales on Christmas Day 2021 were 23% lower than those on Christmas Day 2020, which fell on a Friday. Flowhub also reported that New Year’s Eve sales were nearly identical to a typical Friday, although the average order value was $2 lower than average. Sales on New Year’s Eve 2021 were 18% lower than New Year’s Eve 2020. On New Year’s Day, sales were about half of a typical Saturday, according to Flowhub’s data. The average order was $10 lower than average, and sales on New Year’s Day 2021 were down 31% when compared to last year. Many dispensaries had discounts for the holidays, Flowhub reported, although the discounts themselves tended to be small, averaging roughly $5. On a typical day, 18% of transactions included a discount, according to Flowhub, but on Christmas Eve, 39% had a discount. Forty percent of transactions on Christmas Day included a discount, as did 39% on New Year’s Eve and 38% on New Year’s Day. Additional Holiday Data At Jushi , sales the week before Christmas (Dec. 18 through Dec. 24) were higher than the previous four weeks, and the week of Dec. 11 through Dec. 17 was the second biggest week of sales leading up to Christmas. The week of Nov. 20 through Nov. 26 was the third biggest week of sales for Jushi during the holiday season due to Green Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, which was Jushi’s biggest sales day of the year. Patients and adult-use consumers tend to gravitate to online pre-orders at Jushi, and the company experienced an increase in online reservations this year compared to the same time period in 2020. Flower remained Jushi’s most popular product category during the holiday season, although the company reported an uptick in disposable vape and edible sales in 2021. According to data from Lantern , consumers started stocking up for the holidays during the second weekend in December, which saw a 56% increase in daily order volume. That trend continued through the month, with a 26% rise in order volume and a 7% increase in average order value the week before Christmas. This peaked Dec. 23 with a 51% increase in average order value. Lantern also saw increased sales leading up to New Year’s Day, with a 110% increase in order volume in the three days before New Year’s Eve compared to the three days prior. Data from Jane Technologies shows that online sales spiked 5.7% in December compared to the previous three months. Online sales of dispensary merchandise, such as branded t-shirts and hats, increased 65% in December compared to the previous three months, and online sales of edibles and topicals were up 10% and 9%, respectively. Finally, data from springbig demonstrates an 11% increase in sales the week before Christmas through New Year’s Day when compared with the same period last year, which equates to $276 million in total sales. Montana launched its adult-use cannabis program Jan. 1, and dispensaries sold more than $1.5 million in product during the first weekend of legal sales, according an AP News report . The 20% tax on adult-use sales generated over $313,000 in revenue for the state, the news outlet reported. The governor’s budget office estimates that there will be $130 million in adult-use cannabis sales this year and $195.5 million in 2023, according to AP News. Montana voters approved adult-use cannabis legalization in the 2020 election. The Legislature then passed a bill in 2021 to implement the program on Jan. 1. Under the current law, only the state’s licensed medical cannabis businesses are eligible to serve the adult-use market through July 2023, when additional businesses can be licensed, according to AP News. Adults may buy and possess up to an ounce of cannabis or up to 8 grams of concentrate or edibles containing up to 800 mg of THC. The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) will begin accepting applications for certain adult-use cannabis business licenses next month, according to a department press release . The launch of the licensing process comes after the Social Equity Council’s final approval of technical assistance plans on Jan. 4. “This work by the Social Equity Council is a critical step in the licensure process for the emerging adult-use cannabis market in Connecticut and will be instrumental in ensuring the equity goals established in the law are met,” DCP Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull said in a public statement . DCP will start accepting applications for Disproportionately Impacted Area Cultivator and Retailer licenses Feb. 3. The department will then begin accepting licensing applications for Micro-cultivators Feb. 10, Delivery Services Feb. 17, Hybrid Retailers Feb. 24, Food and Beverage businesses March 3, Product Manufacturers March 10, Product Packagers March 17 and Transporters March 24. The application period for each license type will remain open for 90 days. An equal number of licenses will be available to social equity and general applicants. To qualify as a social equity applicant, at least 65% of the ownership or control of the business must be held by individuals who meet the income and residency requirements outlined in Connecticut’s adult-use cannabis law. There will be 12 Retailer, four Micro-cultivator, 10 Delivery Service, four Hybrid Retailer, 10 Food and Beverage, six Product Packager, six Product Manufacturer and four Transporter licenses available in the first licensing round. “The initial number of available licenses is not a cap, but a starting point for opening the adult-use cannabis market in an effective, measured and thoughtful way,” Seagull said. “We know people are anxious to apply and see this market open, and we are hopeful that making this information available will help applicants as they begin to prepare for the lottery process.” Applications will be available here , and interested applicants can see a description of each license type here . “We encourage applicants to be thorough, and complete their applications carefully and thoughtfully,” DCP Drug Control Director Rod Marriott said in a public statement. “Applications for most license types will be entered into a lottery. There is no advantage for applicants who submit their lottery applications first. Applicants should prioritize submitting the best application they can.” Winning applications will be randomly selected through a lottery process, with DCP holding multiple lotteries on an ongoing basis. The department will hold two lotteries for each license type, a social equity lottery and a general lottery. The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) will switch cannabis licensing software providers later this month, according to a Tulsa World report . Regulators will begin using Thentia on Jan. 18 in an effort to provide a more user-friendly interface, reduce turnaround times and decrease the chance of errors, the news outlet reported. Jan. 7 will be the last day for cannabis licensees to use the current software, Complia, and then the licensing system will be down for a week, from Jan. 10 through Jan. 17, while the OMMA transitions to the new software provider, according to Tulsa World. Applications that have been started in the current system but left incomplete by Jan. 10 will not be transferred to the new system, the news outlet reported. Licensees will receive an email from OMMA by Jan. 18 with Thentia login credentials, according to Tulsa World, and license holders will then be able to update their information directly on the website after the switch to Thentia. With the Complia system, licensees had contact OMMA to update their information.