Discretion Drives Green Wednesday's Sales

Traditional flower, concentrates saw the largest declines.

The joke about going for a walk with your cousin every Thanksgiving may be a thing of the past. With so many new forms of cannabis consumption, that “walk” to go smoke a joint with your cool cousin undetected could become Thanksgiving lore.

Beverages, edibles, and, in some cases, the convenient vape pen dominated Green Wednesday sales, as the day before Thanksgiving has come to be called.

Inflation also seemed to rear its ugly head this year. Sales transactions were up, but the amount customers spent was less. Data from both Headset and Jane Technologies demonstrate that Green Wednesday continues to be a winner for cannabis consumption.

Headset ran the numbers to see if Green Wednesday sales popped versus previous Wednesdays for dispensaries – and indeed they did. Combined sales data from California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington state saw sales jump by 48% compared with previous Wednesdays in November.

Headset also found that this year’s Green Wednesday was the third-highest grossing day of sales after 4/20 and the Friday before the 4th of July. Green Wednesday overtook Black Friday as the highest-grossing day during the Thanksgiving holiday stretch. In 2021, Green Wednesday saw a 61% increase in sales compared to a typical Wednesday.

As expected sales, fell on Thanksgiving Day as many dispensaries closed for the holiday, and Black Friday only experienced a slight increase of 1%. It looks as if consumers stocked up before heading out to relatives for the weekend.

Secret Stoners

Category Performance

The products that people could consume without Aunt Gertrude being any wiser grew. Headset noted that topicals (15.7%), beverages (13.2%), and edibles (6.1%) all experienced sales growth during the holiday stretch. Popular inhalable products, such as concentrates (-11.4%) and flower (-10.8%), took the biggest hit.

In Jane’s data, vape cartridges were the top-selling category, beating out flower by 20%. Vapes are easy to carry and not nearly as stinky as smoking flower.

Sales Lift

Jane Technologies looked at nationwide sales and in particular the new market of New Jersey. Jane found that Green Wednesday’s total sales increased by 77% compared to the previous four Wednesdays in a nationwide view. The average store saw sales increase by 20% over last year.

In New Jersey, sales increased by 100%. More mature markets saw sales fall or grow only slightly. California sales fell by 8%, Colorado fell by 7%, and Massachusetts dropped by 30%. Illinois’ Green Wednesday average store sales increased by 9%.

It seems consumers were on a budget this year. Transactions were up, but shopping carts weren’t full. Nationwide, Jane Technologies said that the average cart size fell by 8% from last year. In California, the cart size fell by 18%, in Colorado by 8%, Massachusetts carts fell by 17% and in Illinois, shoppers’ carts dropped by 14%.

Discounts

Headset noted that discounts increased across the board during the holiday stretch with the average discount increasing 7.3 percentage points to 21.8% across the three days of holidays.

While Green Wednesday was the largest sales day, it had the smallest average discount (19.8%), though an increase of nearly 6 percentage points from a typical Wednesday. Thanksgiving (22.2%) and Black Friday (23.7%) saw the largest average discounts both with an increase of more than 8 percentage points compared to a typical Thursday and Friday.

In Closing

Grabbing a beverage or munching an edible during the holiday may have replaced the annual walk with your cousin. It might lower the tensions that come with some family gatherings and even boost the munchies so that you can avoid insulting Granny by not eating that second piece of pie.

Ultimately, the cannabis industry, which has seen declining sales in some markets, must’ve been pleased to see customers pouring in on Wednesday. Let the holidays begin! And let’s keep that tradition of walking with your cousin; just bring them a gummy instead.

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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