Headset's Annual 420
Cannabis Sales Analysis

420 2024 By The Numbers...

Although the origins of 420 still remain a mystery, one thing is for sure: it is the unequivocal leader in cannabis shopping days.  420 is akin to black Friday for mainstream retail giants.  Every year cannabis retailers see huge spikes in sales, and Headset gets to dig into the data and find interesting patterns.  Unlike a regular shopping day this is a day of big discounts, larger baskets (hopefully), and shiftng consumer behavior.

Through our retailer partners we have a front-row seat into one of the most exciting markets around.  On 4/20/2024 we gathered receipts that accounted for $83.6M in sales across the US and Canada, over 6 million units sold.  Below we take a dive into markets and categories to give you the highlights (and some lowlights) on every stoner's favorite day.

Same-Store Growth vs. Average Saturday

Our data sample from thousands of retailers gives us quick access to see trends and patterns. In the charts below we compare sales at individual retailers with their averages from the prior four weeks. This gives a good picture of the magnitude of the 420 effect in an "average" dispensary.

Welcome to the party! New York's discounts grew significantly, up 3.5x from it's normal rate. Given it's a new market with limited 'legal' competition, discounting is generally low.

Similar to New York, on the lower end of growth, but also an overzealous first timer for 4/20. With strong discounting going into effect vs. average Saturday's.

Oregon tops the leaderboard in percentage of overall growth coming in at 189%, just ahead of Florida's 185%. Given Oregon's already low prices this made for some killer deals.

Beverage takes top growth spot

Beverages a big winner

The breakout category of the year with largest growth in units at 206%, that's over a 3x increase!  While still an overall small category, beverages are seeing increased adoption in both the regulated adult-use cannabis channels as well as hemp-derived THC.


The biggest percentage decrease in average item price due to specials and discounts, yet in the bottom 3 for sales growth implying discounts were perhaps too heavy handed. In 2023, edibles saw a 142% increase in sales.

Vapor Pens

Vapor pens are one of the fastest growing categories in most markets. On a day like 4/20 it was surprising to see them with the lowest increase, perhaps consumers are looking for more novel methods of consumption.

Concentrates comes in second

Concentrates lost the top spot in 2024

While still showing incredible sales growth at +148%, Concentrates have typically held the number one rank in previous years -- now coming in at second place.  This category traditionally targets an enthusiast, core consumer. Are newcomers taking over with more accessible categories like Beverage?

Flower: "That's cute"

Still the undisputed king of the dispensary shelf when it comes to total sales. Although its popularity is giving way to more convenient form factors like vapes and pre-rolls (especially among Gen-Z), flower still commands a massive amount of revenue.

On the Hunt for Discounts

Discounting varied widely across states and individual dispensaries. With most customers expecting good deals, some dispensaries delivered in a big way, perhaps too big at times.

Maryland Beverages
While the unit sales increased by 4.5 times, the dollar sales only increased by 2.5 times. This discrepancy suggests that even though more units were sold, the lower price point did not proportionally increase revenue. Essentially, the price cut was effective in moving more units but less effective in boosting overall revenue.  The strategy to significantly reduce prices might have been aimed at achieving objectives other than immediate revenue growth, such as increasing market share, introducing new customers to the product, or clearing out inventory. It could also be a promotional strategy to attract more customers to the dispensary for cross-selling other products.  You can dig into this data as well as cross shopping and basket analysis with Headset Insights.

The concentrate category is driven by the most THC-seasoned consumers. These enthusiasts want as little to come between themselves and cannabinoids as is humanly possible. They need no excuse to celebrate the plant, and will still show up for 4/20. Dispensaries appear to be keen on this fact and offered some discounts, but kept it tight. With average item prices only decreasing by 8%, they still managed to drive a 148% increase in revenue. Our Retailer platform assists in monitoring sales and discounting, if you aren't using it you may be missing out.

Nevada Pre-Rolls
The increase in average item price for pre-rolls in Nevada definitely caught our eye.  When drilling in within Insights, it seems like consumers took the opportunity of sales to "trade up" to a more premium product.  The Connoisseur/Infused segment of the category jumped a full 10% in its share of sales.  This led to customers actually walking out of the store spending more money per item than they otherwise would have.  A winning strategy for any retailer!

Year-over-Year Growth: It's Complicated

Various markets have their share of challenges, and when looking at the macro trends of 4/20 it looks like a sales contraction over 2023. Even with the entrance of Maryland and New York their small size was not enough to push total sales numbers over last year's.  

The Weekend Effect

A 4/20 hasn’t landed on a Saturday since 2019 and a lot has changed in the industry since then. On a typical week about 35% of total sales comes from Friday and Saturday with Friday being the most important day for cannabis retailers. A strong Friday on 4/19 and a monster Saturday 4/20 saw the holiday capture almost half of the weeks sales on just these two days. This boost on the prior day is very atypical on years when 4/20 is during the week.

The weekend effect, combined with holiday deals and discounts, contributed to making 4/20 a two-day event. National discounts averaged 25%, compared to the typical 18% on a Friday. This boost in promotions led to a 20% spike in sales on Friday, 4/19.

Adjusted Growth

When looking at a combined 4/19 and 4/20 the picture is a little more encouraging.  Although somewhat modestly, the total market grew over where it was in 2023.  As with everything in data, there is nuance, and not all states performed equally.  Whether they are dealing with the black market, unfair taxation, or point of sale failures, it is clear that despite the green shoots, we aren’t out of the woods yet.

4/20/2024 solidified its status as a pinnacle event for cannabis retailers. With millions in sales across the U.S. and Canada, this day not only showcased significant financial gains but also offered deep insights into evolving consumer behaviors and market dynamics. Noteworthy trends included marked increases in beverage sales, with a staggering 206% growth in units sold, while traditional products like flower maintained their dominant sales position despite shifting consumer preferences towards new consumption methods. Although challenges persist, the data from 4/20/2024 highlights both the resilience and the potential for growth within the cannabis industry. Through detailed analysis and strategic discounts, retailers continue to navigate and capitalize on this high-stakes market, driving not just sales, but also innovation and customer engagement in a rapidly evolving landscape.

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