Can Confirm - Cannabis Christmas Sales Were High

Cannabis data providers have weighed in on the 2021 holiday sales for dispensaries with some surprising results. The data included the Thanksgiving holiday and then tracked sales through to the end of Christmas. Most agreed that sales increased in 2021 despite the resurgence of the new Covid fear with the variant Omicron. Consumers upped their cannabis shopping throughout the month of December causing Christmas week comparisons to be less strong than in the past. Still, sales remained elevated leading up to Christmas in both the Canadian and U.S. markets.

Increased Sales

Headset said that its data showed that Canada saw a rise in sales of more than 26% while the US saw an increase of 17% during the holiday month. Headset reported that in Canada, sales were up by 8.9% versus the previous four Fridays. In the US, sales increased by 6.0%. In Canada, Saskatchewan had the largest increase in sales, up 12% over the previous four Fridays. In the US, Michigan had the strongest showing with a 13.7% increase in total sales. 

LeafLink is a wholesale cannabis platform and as such has visibility into orders that licensed retailers place from the brands they carry. In December, sales through LeafLink increased by 6.8% when compared to the average growth rate over the prior three months – signaling that the holiday season positively impacted sales this year. 

Cannabis delivery company Lantern said it saw consumers start stocking up their holiday stashes earlier this season. Specifically the company noted that sales started to increase the second weekend of December with a +56% increase in daily order volume. “That trend continued through December, a +26% lift in order volume and +7% increase in AOV the week before Christmas, peaking the day before Christmas Eve with a +51% lift compared to our daily average. Lantern reported a +110% lift in order volume the three days before New Year’s Eve vs. three days prior, peaking three days before NYE with a +56% lift in daily order volume.

Springbig reported that starting from a week before Christmas and going into New Year’s Day, it saw (excluding Christmas day) $276 million in total sales with a daily average gross of $20.82mm. This was an 11% increase over the same period last year.In terms of how big the increase was, as compared to normal days of the year, we see that last year had a roughly 50% increase over normal while this year we only saw 21%. This could be due to the major Covid outbreak that has occurred recently. Another hint that this may be the cause is the fact that last year Jan 1st saw $15 million in sales while this year only saw $13 million.”

Flower Power

While some of the ingestible categories got big lifts, flower continues to command the market. Leaflink said that flower was the most popular category, making up around 32% of sales through LeafLink in the month prior to the holidays. Cartridges were the second most popular, at around 24% market share. Leaflink said that both were relatively consistent with the previous month, showing that buyers did not significantly change their purchase habits into different categories for the holiday season. The most popular Flower subcategory in the month leading up to the holidays in 2021 was Packaged Flower at 15% of sales, and the second most popular was Bulk Flower at 14.7%.

Jushi (OTC: JUSHF) also reported that Flower remains the number one category leader in demand and interest from patients and consumers. “However, we saw an aggressive uptick trend in disposable and edible sales in 2021,” said the company. 

Discreet products were also big winners. Perhaps consumers wanted to have their cannabis but not be obvious about it when visiting friends and relatives. Lantern said, “What’s interesting about our trending products in Boston for the holiday season, was that our most popular products were discreet and designed to share – predominantly edibles, drinkables, and pre-rolls (typically flower products are our best-sellers). Similarly in Detroit, pre-rolls were our most popular holiday product (party-ready for individual sharing and more discreet).” 

Headset’s data seemed to agree. Their data from Canada showed that the categories that saw the largest sales increase on New Year’s Eve were: Tincture & Sublingual (+30%), Concentrates (+23%), and Beverages (+21%). In the US, the categories with the largest sales response were: Beverages (+18%), Flower (+8.5%), and Concentrates (+7.8%).

Jane Technologies noted that edibles online sales were up over 10% in December 2021 compared to the previous three months and topicals online sales were up over 9% in December 2021 compared to the previous three months. They noted that Airo Black Mamba Specialty Pod online sales were up over 290% in December 2021 compared to the previous three months and Incredibles Cookies & Cream 100mg chocolate online sales were up over 200% in December 2021 compared to the previous three months

Christmas Coupons

With so many shoppers, it was a wonder why anyone would offer a discount, but then people love a bargain. Plus competition is heating up in some markets. Flowhub said that dispensaries were discounting for the holidays, but the discounts themselves weren’t huge.

Flowhub reported the following discount data:

  • Typical Day = 18% of transactions include a discount 
  • Christmas Eve = 39% of transactions included a discount 
  • Christmas Day = 40% of transactions included a discount 
  • New Years Eve = 39% of transactions included a discount 
  • New Years Day = 38% of transactions included a discount
  • Across the Christmas and New Years’ holidays, the average discount amount stayed consistent at $5.00 off their total amount. 

Headset’s discount data found a modest increase in discounting on New Year’s Eve in both Canadian and US cannabis markets. Noting that tThe average discount in Canada on New Year’s Eve was 4.0%, up by about 10% over an average of the previous four Fridays(3.6%). The average discount in the US on New Year’s Eve was 21.1%, up by about 13% over the previous four Fridays (18.6%).

Cali Sober

After all that holiday drinking, many people look at January as a month to sober up and give their bodies a break from all that alcohol. Lantern said, “As we head into the new year, we’re seeing consumers really embrace “Dry January” with our record-best Monday, +29% lift in daily order volume.”

 

 

Debra 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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