Data and market intelligence company Headset released a report on March 15, entitled “Understanding 4/20 cannabis holiday & consumer purchasing trends,” which projects that 2022 will be one of the biggest holidays yet for cannabis sales. The data is collected by Headset’s own software, which examines real-time sales from participating retailers. “April 20 has been the largest single day of retail cannabis sales each year since legalization (with one notable exception), so we understand that it’s a pretty darn significant day,” the report states in its introduction. “We also know that there are some consistent patterns on 4/20 each year: sales surge, customers enjoy massive discounts, and certain categories are more popular than others.”
The report analyzes data collected from various retailers in Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, as well as the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Ontario, British Columbia and Saskatchewan. Data is reviewed by analyzing sales that occurred during the last four weeks prior to April 20, 2021 (reviewing March 23, March 30, April 6 and April 13 of that year).
In the US, from March 2021 to February 2022, flower market share dropped from 46% to 41%, but saw an increase in market share for pre-rolls (25%), vape pens (14%) and edibles (11.9%). “Pre-Roll market share has been slightly more volatile, rising quickly through most of 2021, only to decrease during the end of the year and then increase again in the opening months of 2022. This is a great example of how much can change during a year of cannabis sales!” Between 2020 and 2021, major product categories that rose in percentage included Concentrates, Flower, Edible, Pre-Roll, Vapor Pens and Capsules. This excludes “Tincture & Sublingual” and Topical, which decreased by 4% and 33%. Beverages remained nearly constant between the two years, showing a 4/20 sales increase in 2020 at 184%, and in 2021 at 183%.
Gender and age group consumption data also shifted in the past year. Sales by female customers increased by 140% four weeks prior to 4/20, whereas male customers “had a slightly lower response” at 107%. In regards to age, Headset shared that younger customers were more excited about 4/20 than older customers. “Sales to the Generation Z group came pretty close to tripling on 4/20 last year, while sales to the Gen X and Baby Boomer groups didn’t even double. It would make sense that the continued caution of COVID may have influenced this trend,” the report explained. “Younger customers may have been more willing than older customers to risk exposure to the virus in order to celebrate 4/20 at a dispensary. However in our sales data we see a similar trend in 2019, which is before any of us had heard the word ‘coronavirus.’”
Headset concludes its report by offering advice to cannabis business owners who seek to benefit from the holiday. “Make sure you understand what your customers want and keep your shelves stocked appropriately, or you could risk losing loyal customers to the competition,” the report recommended. “You also want to make sure your strategy considers the potential of turning new or infrequent shoppers into loyalists and more frequent customers since the day sees significant lift in transaction volume by various customer groups.”
Another data company that covers the various intricacies of the cannabis industry, New Frontier Data, recently projected that cannabis sales could hit $51 billion by 2025. New Frontier Data Founder, Publisher and Executive Chair Giadha A. DeCarcer, explained in the introduction of that report that the past two years have shown immense growth in the industry across the board. “In just two years’ time, the number of countries having legalized some form of cannabis has increased from 50 to 70, and there are now 10 countries legalizing adult use, almost a twofold increase from 2019. As legal markets across the globe continue to evolve, we have found that regulatory structures and societal norms vary greatly, and each country, region and market require a nuanced approach to quantifying, qualifying and understanding them.”