Last year's #1-selling strain in both Colorado and Washington was Blue Dream, a sativa-dominant hybrid of Blueberry indica and Haze, according to new data released by BDS Analytics.

The firm, founded nearly a year ago, gathers info about recreational and medical cannabis sales in both states, via participating dispensaries, and has a total of over 20 million transactions in its database. Founder and CEO Roy Bingham tells Civilized the popularity of Blue Dream can be attributed, in part, to savvy marketing.

"We have literally thousands of strains in our database, and Blue Dream is #1 in both Washington and Colorado," he says. "There's clearly marketing around individual strains, and budtenders point consumers in the direction of a particular product. I imagine that soon there will be less opinion, and more science, around that."

Bingham says the market is now becoming more sophisticated, in terms of how cannabis products are packaged and sold.

"We're now seeing the emergence of branded products in Colorado: people are packaging products similarly to any consumer product you'd get on the shelves at CVS or Walgreens," he says. "That started with ingestibles, and now it's also the case with concentrates, as opposed flower that is weighed in front of you by a budtender in the same way you would buy bulk in a health food store. "

He says this is also a flower which will be packaged and sold in the same way, but emphasizing its environmental qualities.

"There's an increasing trend toward branding, and that's beginning to happen with flower as well," he says. "I think we will see people branding flower as being better in different ways: more environmentally friendly, or closer to organic."

Bingham says customers will feel comfortable with the evolution of cannabis marketing and branding because it will more closely resemble the way they shop most products.

"The consequence is that consumers go into a dispensary with a particular product in mind, based on the advertising," he says. "It's becoming more like a normal market."

Another surprising finding? The percentage of overall revenue generated by infused food and drink, or ingestibles, market.

"In terms of the nature of the growth, 63 percent of the market in Colorado is flower, which is a declining percentage - concentrates are growing much faster," Bingham tells Civilized. "Ingestibles were 12 percent. I think there's a perception that edibles are larger than that. We expected from the initial data that it would be 10 to15 percent, and some believe that it's 30 to 40 percent of total revenue."

Bingham anticipates concentrates sales will continue to grow in Washington. And, as the uptick in vaporizer use continues across legal markets, growth in that category will continue across the board. That being said: hard-and-fast trends are difficult to identify given the nascent, and rapidly-changing, nature of the industry.

"This is a very immature market," he says, "and still very volatile: new products and brands emerge very quickly as people try new marketing campaigns and marketing structures. So there's a lot of significant change, but it's hard to say what that will be."

Read the full report from BDS Analytics here.

Click here to read about more popular cannabis strains like Blue Dream.

banner image: C.P. / Flickr