Sales of cannabis edibles climb in at least four states amidst vape health crisis

Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

It seems that the recent outbreak of vape-related health problems has led to a surge in sales of cannabis edibles. Four cannabis-friendly states have seen a noticeable increase in retail sales of edibles, whereas retail sales of vaping products have sunk. 

People in 49 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands were affected by the vape-lung crisis that rapidly emerged in August.

Considering this, as well as the fact that thousands were hospitalized following the scare, it’s not really surprising that cannabis consumers are seeking out alternative methods of consuming the plant’s active cannabinoids.

Edibles producers haven’t revealed a major impact on their sales just yet, but cannabis retailers are observing growth in sales of infused ingestible products.

Industry analysts reveal growth in edibles sales

The news comes after Seattle-based Headset recently published data spotlighting the growth in cannabis edibles sales in the midst of the vape health scare. Analysts at Headset discovered that, between August 23 – the date of the first vape-related death – and October 6, sales of cannabis edibles increased in four states.

An overview of cannabis edibles sales growth in each state is listed below:

  • California: 13.6 percent growth from 10.9 percent
  • Colorado: 15 percent growth from 12.7 percent
  • Nevada: 14.9 percent growth from 10.9 percent
  • Washington: 10.6 percent growth from 8.9 percent

Edibles producers are scoring new retail agreements

A week in mid-October saw Manzanita Naturals score six new retail accounts. Collectively, the new accounts will increase the company’s monthly sales revenue by approximately $30,000. This is according to the CEO of Mantenida, Andrew Amend. The company specializes in natural THC-infused craft sodas and is headquartered in San Francisco.

“People are starting to wake up and ask questions about what’s in their product,” Amend explained. “Stores in San Francisco are dumping their vape cartridges and preparing for a ban and talking to me about beverages now.”

A different company called Binske, which is based in Denver, is increasing edibles production. Binske specializes in the creation of both vaporizer pens and edibles. The company is bolstering edibles production as a precautionary measure.

“Customers are starting to ask more questions and be more concerned about the products,” said the executive Vice President of Binske, Alex Pasternack. “But the trickle-down effect hasn’t gotten to the brands yet.”

Vaporizer product sales are plummeting following the vape-lung crisis

While sales of cannabis edible products are increasing, vape sales are down in the four markets mentioned above. However, they are slowly starting to regain momentum in California and Nevada.

Back on August 23, when the vape crisis initially erupted, Colorado’s product sales made up 19.4 percent of all legal weed sales in the state. By September 23, sales sunk to 12.4 percent. It should be noted, however, that vape sales increased 13.9 percent by October 6.

Vape sales should regain growth if consumers are educated. Retailers ought to inform their customers of the differences between regulated brands and the brands that have been featured in the news due to contamination issues.