Sales of cannabis edibles continued to expand in 2022 — outpacing the growth of the overall cannabis industry — thanks, in part, to new markets coming online.

Market research firm BDSA reported edibles brought in nearly $2.75 billion, up about $105 million from 2021. The edibles category experienced year-over-year growth of 4%, nearly doubling the overall industry year-over-year growth of 2.4%.

BDSA attributed the increase to the addition of new markets, particularly New Jersey’s medical and adult-use programs and New York’s medical program. Without those markets, edibles sales grew by 1% from 2021 to 2022.

Edibles also occupied a slightly larger share of total cannabis sales in 2022, up to 13.3% from 12.9% in 2021. BDSA noted nine of the 12 markets it released tracked sales for experienced year-over-year growth in edibles sales. They include:

  • Arizona – 15%
  • Florida – 30%
  • Illinois – 3%
  • Maryland – 2%
  • Massachusetts – 11%
  • Michigan – 27%
  • Missouri – 83%
  • Oregon – 3%
  • Pennsylvania – 24%

However, mirroring trends in their overall cannabis markets, edible sales in California, Colorado and Nevada dropped between 2021 and 2022. California’s edibles market declined by 7%, while Colorado’s edibles market fell by 18%. Nevada’s edibles sales dropped by 13% between 2021 and 2022.

Looking into 2023, BDSA projects newly established cannabis markets will continue to drive edibles’ growth. In addition to New York and New Jersey, the research firm pointed to Connecticut, which launched adult-use sales in January, and Missouri, which began adult-use sales in February, as well as New Mexico, Rhode Island and Maine.

“And though New York in particular is expected to contribute to the growth of the edibles category, the amount of growth may be somewhat less than would be expected if delays in getting more adult-use retailers opened continues,” BDSA wrote in materials prepared for Cannabis Products Insider.

Category performance

BDSA attributed the majority of year-over-year sales growth in the edibles category to the $2 billion candy subcategory. Overall candy sales represented 73% of total edible sales in 2022, with gummies accounting for 66% of total edible sales. 

Three of the seven edibles subcategories BDSA tracks experienced year-over-year sales growth in 2022. Candy was up 11.5%, while beverages sales increased by 3%. The other edibles category, which includes products such as infused protein bars, popsicles and certain concentrates intended for use as edibles, grew by 414%.

However, four other edibles categories experienced year-over-year declines from 2021. Chocolates dropped 21%, while pills dipped 6%. Infused foods, which includes baked goods, honey, ice cream, rubs/seasonings, popcorn, dried fruit, nuts, spreads and syrups, dropped 23%. The culinary category, which includes butter, cooking oils, infused sugar and infused condiments, fell 44%.

Looking at individual state markets, year-over-year candy sales dropped 2% in California and 11% in Colorado, which together accounted for more than 33% of total candy sales in 2022. BDSA said these declines were offset by double-digit year-over-year growth in candy sales in Arizona (22%), Florida (29%), Illinois (13%), Massachusetts (18%), Michigan (11%), Missouri (100%) and Oregon (14%).

Product trends

As newer markets drive growth in edibles categories, BDSA has identified two trends that will persist through 2023.

The research firm pointed to the rise in solventless products, given their unique flavor profiles and premium and natural positioning. While this largely applies to dab and vape categories, the trend has also influenced the edibles market.

Kiva Confections introduced its Lost Farm brand in 2020, featuring gummies and chews made with live resin. At the end of 2022, Kiva debuted two products made with solventless live rosin: Yuzu Fizz x Sour Dream Live Rosin Gummies and Cherry Lime x GMO Live Rosin Chews. 

The sativa-dominant gummies offer aromas of pungent gas and sugared grapefruit. Featuring 10 mg THC per gummy, they have a bright citrus flavor and yuzu tartness. The indica-dominant chews, also featuring 10 mg THC, have black cherry and tart lime flavors that pair with GMO live rosin.

In October, Wyld launched its Good Tide brand, which features three vegan gummy varieties made with solventless hash rosin. The rosin includes terpenes and minor cannabinoids that harmonize with tropical fruit ingredients to create a full-spectrum experience. Good Tide is available in Mango, Guava and Pineapple flavors.

Meanwhile, Wana Brands launched the Wana SPECTRUM Live Rosin Gummies in Colorado in March 2022. They were developed using first-press live rosin made from fresh-frozen flower. Featuring 10 mg THC per piece, available varieties include:

    Tropical Smoothie: These gummies pop with fruity, floral terpenes

    Citrus Sorbet: Bright, citrusy terpenes are the star of these refreshingly tart gummies

    Watermelon Slushy: Earthy, pine-dominant terpenes are complemented by a watermelon flavor

    Berry Gelato: These gummies are designed for lovers of funky, gas-like terpene profiles found in many cannabis strains

 “Advances in cannabis research and development are opening new opportunities to create products designed for specific consumer tastes,” said Nancy Whiteman, CEO of Wana Brands. “Our Quick SPECTRUM Live Rosin Gummies are designed with exploration in mind, allowing adventurous consumers to enjoy the nuanced, full-spectrum effects of the living cannabis plant in a familiar gummy format.”

In addition to highlighting terpenes, edibles brands are including in their products minor cannabinoids such as cannabinol (CBN), cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabichromene (CBC). BDSA reported in a recent edition of Essential Cannabis Insights that callouts of “sativa” and “indica” are fading in favor of claims surrounding combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes.

“More brands are making mood and effect benefit claims on product packaging and other consumer-facing materials, and backing those claims up with terpenes and minor cannabinoids to strengthen the value proposition,” the report reads. “Terpene-focused marketing is gaining traction in mature markets, with some brands providing terpene content on testing labels, and others producing ‘buyers guides’ explaining the breakdown of terpenes across their product portfolio, tying these terpenes to repeatable, consistent experiences.

Sleep is one of the most popular need cases brands aim to support. Since March 2022, Cannabis Products Insider covered at least a dozen new sleep-promoting product launches. Most of these products contain CBN, which is believed to support rest and relaxation. 

Kiva Confections, which has the “Dream Team” — a range of sleep-supporting CBN products across its brands — recently conducted a study that revealed 76.5% of respondents who currently use cannabis with CBN found it helped them “not just fall asleep and stay asleep,” but to improve their “overall quality of sleep.”

Products made with CBG are also hitting the market. In December, Sunderstorm introduced its Kanha 2:1 Harmony gummies, featuring 20 mg CBG and 10 mg THC per piece. They’re available in an Acai Blueberry flavor.

Last month, Wana Brands launched its Wana Classic Passionfruit Pineapple 1:1:1 CBG/CBD/THC gummies in Colorado. Each gummy contains 10 mg CBD, 10 mg THC and 10 mg CBG, known for its power to elevate the stress-relieving neurotransmitter GABA. 

Earlier this month, Wyld CBD debuted a Grapefruit sparkling water with 20 mg CBD and 10 mg CBG for a boost throughout the day.

Edibles manufacturers have also introduced products with THCV, which can support energy and focus, as well as serve as an appetite suppressant. 

Coda Signature introduced Raspberry Lift Healthy Body Fruit Notes in Colorado in July. In addition to 1 mg THCV per piece, the Fruit Notes feature 0.1 mg THC, 10 mg CBD, natural raspberry ketones known for boosting metabolism, chicory to promote gut health and hints of green tea to enhance cognitive function.

In December, California-based Garden Society debuted its Kiwi Lime Sauvignon Blanc gummies, featuring 10 mg THCV and 10 mg THC per piece.

“While THCV is a lesser-known cannabinoid and frequently eclipsed by its more familiar siblings THC and CBD, with the release of our new THCV gummies, we’re hoping to shine a light on all its goodness,” said Karli Warner, co-founder and CMO for Garden Society. “Our THCV rosettes have been a fast favorite, and we expect our new edibles to be the same. These refreshingly tart Kiwi Lime Sauvignon Blanc gummies are meant to leave you feeling joy-filled and in the moment, even on your most hectic days.”

Rick Maturo, director of insights and analytics for BDSA, is set to give an overview of edibles performance during a free webinar on April 26. Register at this link.