Cannabis tech company Akerna (Nasdaq: KERN) is predicting that U.S. cannabis shoppers will spend nearly $130 million on legal cannabis on April 20th, known as “420”, an unofficial but widely celebrated cannabis consumption holiday, which would become the largest sales day in legal cannabis history.
“We are approaching the biggest day for our industry, making it critical for dispensaries to plan promotions, staff, and space for these large upticks in traffic,” said James Ahrendt, Business Intelligence Architect at Akerna. “To help alleviate some of the traffic, cannabis retailers using Akerna’s MJ Retail POS solution can leverage the platform’s kiosk mode. In kiosk mode, the budtender gives the MJ Retail tablet to the customer, who can then shop the store’s offerings on the device, similar to how they would in an online order, allowing stores to serve more customers and ultimately complete more sales per hour.”
Compared to last year’s 420, which brought in nearly $112 million and became the industry’s largest sales day to date, this year’s 420 would be a 16% growth over last year’s sales. As more markets legalize cannabis and more Americans become comfortable with the legal cannabis industry, these year-over-year increases are expected to continue.
Akerna says to expect traffic to begin growing on April 15th, the Friday ahead of 420. Since tax day was moved to April 18th, that could work. Akerna thinks the overall Friday to Wednesday period is expected to see cannabis sales figures above the $400 million range.
To put that into perspective, the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division recently reported the state’s largest year of liquor sales ever – which surpassed $400 million for the first time. This means that the U.S. cannabis retail industry is predicted to bring in more sales in just six days than Iowa did for liquor sales in a record-breaking year.
While there is no federal tax due to the lack of legalization, if you were to compare that $400 million in sales to Colorado’s taxes, one of the first legal adult-use markets and where Akerna is headquartered, the sales taxes resulting from consumer spending in those six days would be nearly $90 million.