By Eli McVey

A surge in the number of concentrates product lines in Washington State’s recreational marijuana market attests to the growth in popularity of alternative consumption methods and highly potent cannabis, a trend seen across the industry at large.

According to retailer point-of-sale information provided by Headset, a Seattle-based cannabis industry data provider, the number of distinct concentrates product lines in Washington’s recreational market currently stands at 175, up from just 59 at this same time last year.

Month-to-month growth in the number of concentrates lines has been uneven, but over the past year the state is seeing an average of 10 new ones hit the market each month.

This proliferation of concentrates brands is reflective of underlying demand for the product.

In June of 2015, sales of concentrates accounted for 5.1% of Washington’s total marijuana sales. Now, they account for 8.3%.

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Strong growth in concentrates sales is also being observed in Colorado, the nation’s largest recreational marijuana market. And now that Oregon is allowing recreational sales of concentrates – they were previously confined to the medical cannabis sector – look for a similar spike in this product category there.

Relative to traditional flower, concentrates have properties that are increasingly meeting a wide array of consumer preferences. High THC content attracts users that prefer dabbing, while their use in vape pens, perceived as a healthier and more discrete alternative to smoking, has wide appeal.

Jessica Henson, lead market analyst at Headset, points out that many concentrate brands produce their own artisanal concentrate with a consistency unique to their brand. She believes that as the consumer becomes more knowledgeable about extraction methods and terpene/cannabinoid profiles there will be a huge spike in these “house concentrates.”

Looking forward, the number of concentrates product lines is likely to continue to grow – both in Washington State and other markets.

Eli McVey can be reached at elim@mjbizdaily.com