420 Expected To Be a Big Hit

Another April 20 is upon us as the holiday has become the single biggest day for sales. It doesn’t even seem to matter that the holiday falls on a Wednesday this year. People are sick of the pandemic and ready to party. They may even pass joints in a circle without wiping off the end. 

Headset has released its latest report about shopping patterns for 420. Some things remain consistent each year like discounts at dispensaries and a surge in foot traffic. Plus some categories jump in popularity for the holiday. Each year also brings new states online and with that comes even more new data. 

Headset is forecasting that total cannabis sales should increase by at least 100% in the US and at least 50% in Canada on 4/20 this year.

Age Excitement‍

The 420 report found that younger consumers are more stoked than older ones. Perhaps older customers are more jaded? They don’t need a special holiday to go shopping at the dispensary? Headset’s report found that sales to Gen Z customers increased by 168% on 4/20/21 over the previous four weeks compared to 91% for the Baby Boomer age group. “Sales to the Generation Z group came pretty close to tripling on 4/20 last year, while sales to Gen X and Baby Boomer groups didn’t even double.” Headset believes that older people may have stronger pandemic fears than younger people who may be more willing to go to a crowded dispensary. 


Dispensaries have begun to make 420 specials a regular thing and now the customers expect it. Headset noted that discounting has happened each year, but the increases in discounting have remained reasonable until the effect of COVID in 2020. That year, discounts jumped as sales growth was only so-so. 

Planet 13 (OTC: PLNHF) Las Vegas is offering an all-day 25% discount on participating brands and PAX is also offering 20% off site-wide, from 4/15-4/21. 22Red, founded by System of a Down’s Shavo Odajian, is putting up new strains at STIIIZY in addition to hosting a getaway giveaway (it’s gunna be bougie, methinks) on their socials on 4/22. 

420 Hits

Headset found that beverages are the consistent winners on 4/20. “We see this trend for Beverages on most holidays. Edibles, Flower, Concentrates, and Pre-Rolls also typically perform well while Tinctures, Topicals and Capsules do not see nearly the same level of sales growth. Interestingly, Vapor Pens are one of the lower growth categories on 4/20. This is surprising, as Vapor Pen products tend to be higher cost, so one might assume that customers would take advantage of 4/20 promotions to get a good deal.” Jumping on the barrage bandwagon, Planet 13’s restaurant is selling a themed “Up In Smoke” cocktail  for $15 vodka-based cocktail has hints of blackberry, cucumber, lime juice and simple syrup finished with dry ice to have the appearance that it’s smoking!

Sales Increase

The report said that sales increases on 4/20 are mostly caused by a massive increase in transaction volume. They expect nearly double the number of customers than is normally served in April.

“Additionally, 2020 was the only full year since cannabis legalization where 4/20 was not the largest single day of sales (New Year’s Eve took the crown that year). This was almost certainly caused by the early stay-at-home and social distancing precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this, customers probably were less likely to go shop in physical stores during this time.”


Cannabis companies are also using the day for publicity stunts. A cannabis dating site called SmokeandPoke.com is hosting a live event to ring in the holiday. They are rolling a 420-inch joint (equivalent to 35 feet in length). The new dating site was recently launched for pot smokers, weed enthusiasts, and cannabis connoisseurs to connect and build relationships.

Debra Borchardt

Debra Borchardt is the Co-Founder, and Executive Editor of GMR. She has covered the cannabis industry for several years at Forbes, Seeking Alpha and TheStreet. Prior to becoming a financial journalist, Debra was a Vice President at Bear Stearns where she held a Series 7 and Registered Investment Advisor license. Debra has a Master's degree in Business Journalism from New York University.

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