California Cannabis Brands Battle for Market Share Ahead of Legalization

william-honaker-brightfieldCalifornia Monthly Brand Roundup

Guest post by William Honaker of the Brightfield Group

California is home to some of the strongest and most well-known brands of cannabis products, and as the referendum on recreational use draws near, all eyes are on the state.  But how do the top manufacturers size up against each other and who is leading in each category?

Results from Brightfield Group’s new monthly brand tracker show that September was characterized by continued dominance of popular edibles brands Cheeba Chews, Kiva, Korova and Bhang, concentrates brands Moxie Seeds & Extracts and West Coast Cure, and prerolls brand Presidential Rx.  The market for concentrates consolidating, with the number of actively distributed brands down to 428 from 507 in August.  Among makers of topicals, patches, prerolls, and other subcategories, top brands continue to enjoy sizeable leads over competitors, with some dynamic movement among some of the newer and returning brands.


Among edibles manufacturers, Kiva (7.22%, +0.45%) edges out Cheeba Chews (7.15%, -0.02%) for the top spot in September, with market stalwarts Korova (5.41%, +0.1%) and Bhang (3.2%, +0.03%) rounding out the top four. In addition, each of the top four brands continue to dominate their respective subcategories: Cheeba Chews among sugar candies (30.36%, +0.08%), Korova (24.43%, -1.13%) in baked goods, and Kiva (34.11%, +0.75%) and Bhang (12.72%, -0.21%) in chocolates.   Venice Cookie Company (3.00%, +0.25%) maintains its position as the fifth-ranked brand overall, although its market share has expanded by over 0.2%.  In terms of subcategories, however, Venice Cookie Company places in the top ten for a relatively wide variety of products, including chocolates (4.16%), baked goods (1.86%), oils and sprays (0.52%), and drinks (16.38%), where its Cannabis Quencher line leads the market.



In the concentrates category, Moxie Seeds & Extracts (2.58%, +0.69%) widens its lead over the competition, expanding its lead over second-place West Coast Cure (0.99%, +0.35%) to over 1.5% percent.  Overall, the market continues a gradual trend towards consolidation, with 4 out of the top ten brands now showing market shares over 1%, compared to only one brand with a market share over 1% one month earlier.  Gold Coast Extracts (1.01%, +0.21%) exhibits strong growth, climbing from sixth to third place, while brands such as Delta 9 (0.77%, -0.13%) and Tetra Labs (0.65%, -0.13%) maintain positions in the top ten. Bhang, who once was among the top five concentrates manufacturers prior to the Med-West raid, has fallen out of the top ten again, reaching only 13th place in concentrates for September.    Terra Tech’s IVXX brand jumped into 3rd place in waxes, though their shatters and cartridges still fail to make the top ten statewide though have stronger distribution in the Bay Area.  The California concentrates market continues to be a crowded and competitive venue, with 428 actively distributed brands identified in September 2016.



Our analysis of other subcategories shows the continued pattern of one or two dominant brands per field.  Pure Ratios (12.85%, +3.56%) continues to be ranked as the state’s largest maker of transdermal patches, Tetra Labs (16.93%, – 0.34%) continues to lead capsule manufacturers, Emu 420 (16.00%, – 1.38%) maintains its dominance of the topicals category, and Presidential Rx (29.68%, +8.47%) continues to be the state’s top-ranked maker of pre-rolls.   Caviar Gold (1.40%, -.77%) stumbles, falling out of the top ten in Others entirely, and falling from 6.32% of pre-roll in August to only 2.15% in September.  Market share for Care By Design (.97%, +.51%), a CBD rich producer of tinctures, pills, cartridges and oils, has more than doubled, bouncing back from the company’s June raid.  Common to leading brands is a wide distribution among state dispensaries and a variety of available products.













Data is based on our multi-source methodology, which includes surveys with thousands of California medical marijuana patients, menu audits of hundreds of dispensaries and delivery services across the state, and in depth interviews with dispensary owners, among other sources.  For more information on our methodology, for additional brand, market and consumer insights in the cannabis industry, or for custom research needs, visit us at or reach out at  


About the author:

William Honaker is an analyst with Brightfield Group. He holds a Master’s degree from UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy and a Bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University. Since 2015, he has been analyzing the distribution and market shares of branded cannabis products across the United States. He has also researched the statistical relationship between recreational cannabis dispensaries and criminal activity in Washington and Colorado.

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