Akerna Says Labor Day Cannabis Sales Jump, But Not That Much

Cannabis technology company Akerna (Nasdaq: KERN) reported that cannabis sales over the Labor Day weekend (September 4-7) exceeded a quarter billion dollars, however, the increase was lower than previous years. Purchases jumped year-over-year by 23% to $245 million. Akerna said this included both medicinal and adult-use sales. Separately, adult-use sales increased by 35% over the holiday weekend.

Friday (September 4) saw the biggest sales day, representing a year-over-year increase of 36%. Likewise, Saturday saw a 36% increase in sales, while Sunday saw the biggest uptick with a 43% increase. Labor Day itself, however, saw an 8% decrease in sales from the previous year. It should be noted that Massachusetts does not allow sales on holidays and dispensaries in the state were closed for the day.

“Though we saw a smaller increase in cannabis sales than in previous years, that was due in part to increased cannabis sales throughout the year,” says Ryan Ballman, Business Intelligence Analyst. “Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, people are purchasing more cannabis than in previous years. Consequently, we do not see as significant a rise in holiday cannabis sales.”

Akerna gave the following additional insights:

Product Sales by Category for Fri-Mon

Flower – 47.4%
Cartridges/Pens – 29.6% (down 2%)
Concentrates – 12.9% (up 2%)
Infused Edibles – 8.3%
Other – 1.8%

Order Sales by Age Group

Under 30 – 30% (up 3%)
30 to 40 – 30%
40 to 50 – 19%
50 to 60 – 12%
60+ – 9% (down 2%)

Overall State Data

As Ballman noted, states are continuing to rack up huge numbers for cannabis sales. Newcomer Illinois collected $19.2 million in tax revenue during August on recreational marijuana sales, up 38% from July, according to the Illinois Department of Revenue. So far in 2020, the state has collected a total of $86 million in taxes. Sales in August hit $63 million, beating July’s reported $60 million in sales. Out of state consumers purchased $17 million of cannabis in August.

The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) reported revenue numbers for cannabis sales for the 2nd Quarter of 2020. As of August 11, 2020, California’s cannabis excise tax generated $101.8 million in revenue reported on the 2nd Quarter 2020 returns due by July 31, 2020, and the cultivation tax generated $22.9 million. Sales tax from cannabis businesses totaled $83.7 million in revenue for the same period.

Total tax revenue reported by the cannabis industry is $208.4 million for 2nd Quarter returns due by July 31, 2020. Previously reported revenue for 1st Quarter 2020 returns was revised to $205.9 million, which included $107.4 million in cannabis excise tax, $26.9 million in cultivation tax, and $71.6 million in sales tax. The state noted that revisions to quarterly data are the result of amended and late returns and other tax return adjustments.

Colorado reported that it collected $40 million in tax receipts for August and $244 million year to date for 2020 or January through August.

Debra Borchardt

Debra BorchardtDebra Borchardt

Debra Borchardt is the CEO, Co-Founder, and Editor-In-Chief 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 Masters degree in Business Journalism from New York University.


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