Massachusetts Cannabis Market Passes $3B In Total Sales: May 19th Newsletter

boston skyline

This is the Full Spectrum Daily Cannabis Email–better name coming someday–where I look at the most interesting cannabis industry stories and tell you all the good parts.

Got some interesting stuff to share in today’s edition:

  • Massachusetts cannabis market is absolutely printing money
  • A company that provides marijuana DUI insurance (and how they are getting great coverage)
  • All cannabis companies eventually just pivot to be a Leafly clone (and that’s OK, because that’s where the money is)

Here it is:

The Massachusetts Cannabis Market is Printing Money

The 44th largest state (by area) is coming out swinging in terms of cannabis sales.

money bags 1

The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission just announced that the state has passed three billion dollars in gross sales since the first dispensaries opened in 2018. Not only that, but it took just eight months to go from two billion to three billion. Here’s a live look at the Mass state tax department:

I actually just discovered the Massachusetts CCC site from this announcement, and it’s amazing. It gives data on things like:

  • marijuana product categories sold in the last week (flower is the clear winner)
  • average retail price of flower
  • gross sales to date (by month)

A ton of data there that I’m excited to dig into. I’ll share some of the interesting things I find in a future update.

(Also, do you know if any other states that have an info dashboard like this? I’m hungry to find more of them. Hit reply if you know of one!)

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An Insurance Company Called Reepher is Providing Marijuana DUI Insurance


First of all, let’s talk about that brand name.

I get it, it’s a take on Reefer. A decent cannabis brand name, and they own the .com (which isn’t always the case). I like it a lot, but it doesn’t quite pass the radio test (meaning: if you heard an ad on the radio like “just go to,” would you know how to spell the URL? No. Anytime anyone talks about this URL, they’d have to spell it out).

That said, there’s a point at which a brand becomes ubiquitous and well-known enough that you don’t have to spell it out anymore in the context of the niche where they become known.

Reepher is well on its way to succeeding in that regard. They’ve been featured on Leafly, Norml, Forbes, and Benzinga, among other sites.

The takeaway from this?

This offering is still early, so who knows if it’ll be a success and a money-maker. I think it will be–their premise is solid: THC DUI testing is a mess, and doesn’t paint the whole picture. You could be, in theory, completely not intoxicated by THC and still have it in your system (from my half-assed googling of the matter, I’m not a doctor) and still pop positive on a test. Then you’re quite F-ed.

This is the kind of novel product that is irresistible to journalists. They can’t help but want to write about it (damn, they got me too!). It’ll be interesting to see if a service like this works, and what kind of competitors pop up from which insurance-industry giants.

Your Brand Either Dies In Obscurity, Or Lives Long Enough to Become Leafly

harvey started life as a “how to grow cannabis” resource that really seemed to find their footing (and big success) when they started focusing more on strain information and cannabis brands AKA the Leafly model.

When you visit the site today, you’re met with strain info, dispensary info, recommended products, industry news, etc. Growing advice is hard to come by on the site called ASK GROWERS.

Why the shift?

This is pure speculation, I have no “in” with the AskGrowers team, but if you look at these two very different keywords and the estimated search volume, you get a sense of which brings more traffic to a site when a site ranks well for it:

  • how to grow marijuana – 11k searches per month
  • wedding cake strain – 113k searches per month

So you can see… if you’re a site in the cannabis space with some serious authority that can rank well for most industry-relevant keywords, it makes more sense (and money) to target the keywords with hundreds of thousands of searches. Everybody’s gotta start somewhere, but when you can 10x your traffic by changing your focus, well, that’s what you do.

In the press release, they mention getting 250,000 visitors per month.

That’s a lot of eyeballs!

The new service they’re launching should provide some solid income from brands trying to get in front of all those eyeballs, but the biggest way they seem to be monetizing their site is through affiliate sales of cannabis seeds and nutrients attached to all those strain pages that are ranking so well.

As someone that used to have a few cannabis seed affiliate sites (and still owns one or two) — this is lucrative AF. One site I had was making $20k/mo easy from seed affiliate sales before I sold it.

Good for AskGrowers. It’ll be interesting to see how their shift to a Leafly competitor goes.

Quick Hits

Yes The Stock Market Is Rough At the Moment–But It’s Not As Bad As How Large Cannabis Publicly Traded Companies Are Doing (YTD):

  • Trulieve -42.8%
  • Tilray -28%
  • Alternative Harvest ETF -29%

Cresco Labs Revenue Dips (But Don’t Worry, They’re Still Gonna Own the Whole Industry Someday)

  • 1st Q revenue up 20% year-over-year
  • $95m wholesale revenue–making them the largest player
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Ed is a writer and marketer who has been involved with the cannabis industry since 2017. He is particularly passionate about helping small businesses succeed in the increasingly corporate-takeover environment of the cannabis industry, as well as helping people get started working with cannabis.

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