Having a data-based strategy is a must for brands and retailers looking to make the most of the rise in infused pre-roll sales. So let’s break it down. Looking back at 2022, infused pre-rolls saw some of the strongest growth of any cannabis subcategory. As of Q4 2022, infused pre-rolls made up a ~4 percent share of total cannabis sales (across BDSA-tracked markets), making the category larger than most edible form factors, including chocolates and beverages. And the growth last year was significant. BDSA Retail Sales Tracking data shows that infused pre-rolls went from a ~29 percent share of total pre-roll sales to a ~35 percent share of total pre-roll sales between Q4 2021 and Q4 2022. The boost seen in infused pre-roll sales happened across the country, providing opportunities across multiple markets.
Infused pre-rolls see stronger performance in mature markets
Infused pre-rolls saw strong growth across the country in 2022, but the subcategory saw even stronger performance in mature cannabis markets compared to the aggregate of BDSA-tracked markets. Four mature markets, Arizona, California, Colorado, and Nevada, all saw infused pre-roll bring in more than one third of total pre-roll sales in Q4 2022. The infused pre-roll category saw ~10 percent dollar sales growth across these markets between Q4 2021 and Q4 2022, far outperforming the pre-roll category as a whole, which saw a ~7 percent decline across this period, and candy edibles, which saw an ~8 percent decline in dollar sales.
Infused pre-rolls made up a ~40 percent dollar share of the pre-roll category in Colorado in Q4 2022, and a whopping ~58 percent share of quarterly dollar pre-roll sales in Arizona. In California, the largest legal market in the country, infused pre-rolls made up a ~56 percent share of pre-roll sales in Q4 2022, and a ~9 percent share of total dollar sales, making the infused pre-roll segment only slightly smaller than candy, the largest edible category by dollar sales. With the strong performance seen in the subcategory across the most established markets, infused pre-rolls offer a bright spot in challenging markets, many of which saw their first-ever sales declines in 2022.
Half-gram joints are the leading infused pre-roll size
When looking across all BDSA-tracked markets (AZ, CA, CO, FL, IL, MA, MD, MI, MO, NV, NJ, NY, OR, PA), half-gram joints made up the largest share of any of the infused pre-roll category in Q4 2022, bringing in ~41 percent of infused pre-roll dollar sales. The next largest infused pre-roll size by dollar sales was full gram joints, which made up ~29 percent of sales in Q4 2022, followed by two-gram joints (~7 percent) and 1.5-gram joints (~7 percent).
Some markets see full-gram joints dominate the infused pre-roll sector, particularly more mature markets with low average retail prices,. Full gram joints made up ~40 percent of infused pre-roll sales in Michigan, where infused pre-rolls held an EQ ARP (equivalized average retail price) of ~$15.54/gram in Q4 2022 (compared to ~$18.57/gram across the aggregate of all BDSA-tracked states). Colorado, which saw infused pre-rolls hold an EQ ARP of ~$15.75/gram in Q4 2022, saw full gram joints make up ~41 percent of infused pre-roll dollar sales in Q4 2022, with 1.5-gram joints being the next best-selling infused pre-roll size, driving 34 percent of infused pre-roll dollar sales.
Single joint packages make up the largest share of infused pre-roll sales
Looking at package characteristics in the infused pre-roll category, single joint packages are the most popular, making up ~52 percent of dollar infused pre-roll sales across all BDSA-tracked markets in Q4 2022. After single joint packages, the next best-selling pack size is five joint packs (~33 percent of dollar infused pre-roll sales), followed by three joint packs (~7 percent).
Drilling down into single joint packs, we see that ~55 percent of single joint infused pre-roll packs are full gram pre-rolls. By contrast, multi-joint packs are most likely to be half-gram pre-rolls, with BDSA Retail Sales Tracking showing that ~89 percent of five-joint infused pre-roll packs are half-gram joints, while ~81 percent of three-joint infused pre-roll packs are half-gram joints.
Top brands in the infused pre-roll category
Looking at the list of top brands across the aggregate of BDSA-tracked markets, four out of the five top brands for Q4 2022, Jeeter, Stiiizy, Presidential Rx, and Kingpen, have a strong presence in California. This makes sense, given the sheer size of California’s adult-use market, as well as the strength of the infused pre-roll category in the state. The one exception to this is Glorious Cannabis, which was able to crack into the top five by dollar sales by dominating the Michigan cannabis market; Michigan saw infused pre-rolls make huge gains in 2022.
- Presidential Rx
- Glorious Cannabis
Infused pre-rolls have grown to become a sizable piece of the legal cannabis landscape, big enough that any brand looking to dominate an inhalable cannabis market can’t overlook this hot product category. Understanding the growth and potential of the infused pre-roll category is just one piece of the puzzle. Understanding which markets have seen the strongest growth, where products are priced to move, and which form factors and pack sizes are winning at retail are key insights for any brand or retailer looking to capitalize on one of the fastest growing categories of the past year.