Business and Sales Trends in the Headshop Industry

Whether they operate online, in-store, or both, headshops carry a variety of items. Typically, headshops stock a wide range of smoking paraphernalia. Depending on what headshop you visit, you might also find records, candles, incense, and similar items.

So, where is the headshop industry headed in the future? Find out as you discover the top headshop industry trends of 2023 and beyond.

1. Normalization Trumps Increased Competition

In the past 10 years, the movement to legalize cannabis has continued throughout the United States. While this plant remains federally illegal, 40 states currently allow the use of medical cannabis and 23 states passed legislation making recreational cannabis legal.

While most people support legalizing cannabis, there was a major fear forming. This fear was that dispensaries would start taking away customers from headshops. As you know, most headshops don’t carry cannabis, but many dispensaries stock both cannabis products and paraphernalia. As it turns out, the opposite thing happened. The rise of dispensaries in the U.S. is helping many headshop businesses stay afloat and even thrive since the legalization movement.

As states move toward medicinal and recreational legalization, the local demand for paraphernalia typically increases. Some headshop owners also feel that legalization helps dispel the stigma surrounding this plant and the use of paraphernalia.

As people gain more exposure to cannabis, they often explore the fun of finding, buying, and using their favorite smoking devices and accessories. Some headshop owners are expanding their companies by hand-making or carrying high-end smoking pieces not available at most dispensaries.

2. Growth in New Products and Wholesaler Options

There’s no denying that paraphernalia will remain staples for most headshops. However, marijuana isn’t the only way for people to unwind or energize themselves. Kava, kratom, and CBD are also skyrocketing in popularity.

The rise in popularity of these three herbal remedies is good news for head shop owners, who can offer herbal products to their customers without becoming dispensaries. Besides a rapid rise in sales for head shop owners, wholesalers now have a fast-expanding line of kava, kratom, and CBD products to offer their customers. Wholesalers also have better marketing and sales insights for head shop owners.

Here’s a closer look at three products becoming increasingly popular in head shops.

CBD


With a U.S. market value of $12.8 billion, CBD is quickly becoming a household name. Marijuana contains two substances: tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). When people consume this plant, its THC content causes users to experience a “high.” But the plant’s CBD can provide stress and pain relief without any psychoactive highs. With looser restrictions surrounding CBD products, it’s no wonder that there’s tremendous growth in new wholesalers and retailers willing to take the plunge with CBD products.

Kratom


Kratom refers to leaves on trees throughout the south and east parts of Asia. This plant comes in various veins and strains, providing a range of potential effects, including increased energy levels, relief from pain, and a boost in someone’s overall well-being. With kratom legal in over 40 states, an estimated 10 to 16 million people in the U.S. are regular kratom users.

One kratom brand that’s helping many head shops increase revenue is MIT45. Now available in over 10,000 stores including 7-Eleven, Circle K, and Nutrishop, MIT45 is a fast-expanding business with high-quality wholesale kratom and positive brand recognition.

Kava


With the rise of kratom, people in the United States began exploring other forms of herbal medicine. This popularity led to kava, which comes from roots or stumps of kava plants (called Piper methysticum), popping up in headshops throughout the U.S. Kava’s reported effects can include relaxation, stress relief, and increased sociability. Along with new wholesale opportunities, the recent kava craze is also responsible for many kava bars opening worldwide, offering an alcohol-free way for people to socialize and unwind.

3. Online Headshops and Women a Big Driver of Growth

With attitudes quickly becoming positive towards smoking devices and accessories, females are rapidly becoming head shop customers. Female shoppers are driving the popularity of vape pens and other mobile vaporizers. For instance, DopeBoo, an online head shop, reported vaporizers (responsible for 38% of its annual sales) overthrowing the popularity of glass pipes in 2019. Many head shop owners feel that the various vaporizer options and accessories are winning over female buyers.

With many states introducing pro-kratom, kava, and CBD legislation, the future looks bright for head shop owners. The continuing possibility of the U.S. federally legalizing marijuana could also provide a significant and steady rise in head shop customers.

Adam Hansen
 

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.