For the first time since Colorado legalized adult-use cannabis in 2014, the holiday 4/20 will fall on a Saturday. To celebrate the occasion, the cannabis data intelligence firm Headset has partnered with Nielsen to release a report detailing how consumers respond to the annual holiday.
“No matter how you participate in the cannabis industry, you should pay attention to 4/20,” reads the report. “It is consistently the single biggest day in cannabis each year, with at least double the sales of an average day.”
The report utilizes data gathered from retailers in four mature cannabis markets: Washington, California, Nevada, and Colorado. In order to develop a baseline, researchers examined sales figures on 4/20 and the four same days of the week before and after 4/20 in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.
Researchers found that cannabis consumers respond much more strongly to 4/20 than alcohol drinkers do on similar holidays. For example, on the Fourth of July beer sales on average increase by 33%, whereas cannabis sales on 4/20 rise by approximately 111%. Although the Fourth of July is not a cannabis holiday, sales of the substance nonetheless increased by 5%.
Cannabis sales on 4/20 may fare better than alcohol sales on traditional holidays, but what about when compared to other cannabis holidays? To answer that question, researchers compared 4/20 sales to sales on Green Wednesday.
Taking place on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Green Wednesday is an emulation of Black Friday, where retailers offer deep discounts on products in the hopes of driving up sales. Although not quite as popular as 4/20, Green Wednesday brings in approximately $17.3 million and represents a 57% increase in sales. On the other hand, 4/20 brings in roughly $26.6 million.
When comparing 4/20 sales in different states, there seems to be little correlation between market maturity and sales increase. Overall, the state of Colorado saw the most significant increase in 4/20 sales with 128% ($9.1 million), followed by Nevada with 110% ($3.5 million). Rounding out the bottom two states were California with a 103% increase in sales ($6.9 million) and Washington with 100% ($7.1 million).
Given that there is little correlation between market maturity and the popularity of 4/20, researchers believe that the holiday’s popularity is due more to cannabis culture than the retail environment. Overall, retailers can expect to see their average sales increase by at least 100% on 4/20, little else is guaranteed.
While market maturity may not play a role in annual 4/20 sales growth, the actual day that the holiday falls on will play a significant role this year. On average, Friday and Saturday account for the most cannabis sales in a given week, garnering 18.8% and 16.6% of weekly sales, respectively. Bearing this mind, Headset expect this upcoming 4/20 is expected to be the biggest one yet
To read the full report, please click the following link.