How Much of Washington's Cannabis is Produced by Big vs. Small Farms?
Jul 11, 2017
In many industries, a few top companies own the lion's share of the market. Coke and Pepsi, for example, own 60% of the global non-alcoholic beverage industry (source). Is the same true for Washington's highly regulated cannabis market?
Here's how much the top 10 producers of dry flower harvested in kg from July 2016 to June 2017 (we ignored trim for this analysis).
We exported this chart to Excel (just a single click on our site), and charted the dry flower harvested by the top 100 producers Notice how quickly the volume drops off.
The above chart hints that the topmost producers are more productive than the rest. But to dig in further, we asked how much of all dry flower comes from the top 25 producers?. To figure this out, we pulled a couple of key stats:
- 915 producers reported a 1 kg or greater dry flower harvest in this period (excluding trim).
- The total harvested dry flower was 198 thousand kg, or roughly 16 million grams per month.
- The top 2.7% of producers, 25 of them, harvested 26% of dry flower in Washington.
- The top 5% of producers, 46 of them, harvested 35% of dry flower.
- The top 10% of producers, 92 of them, harvested 49% of dry flower.
- The top 20% of producers, 183 of them, harvested 67% of dry flower.
It's clear that the big farms dominate flower production in Washington today. This makes sense, economies of scale encourage concentration. But it's also not so top heavy: unlike other industries, the power is split amongst dozens, not a handful, and hundreds of small farms still operate today.
Still, upcoming regulations that allow increased canopy for the largest producers, and plain old market forces will continue to make it harder to compete as a small farm. Is this better or worse for the Washington cannabis industry? The answer varies depending on who you ask, and what you think public policy in cannabis should aim to do.
See the raw data for the analysis above. Please cite TopShelfData.com as a source if you use it.