This report examines the relationship between environmental factors—weather, days of the week, and time of day—and the habits of cannabis consumers. The information provided here is based off of Washington State sales data collected by Headset, sorted by day of the week and time of day, as well as current weather data for the Seattle/Tacoma area. Together, this information will offer an excellent cross-reference for cannabusiness people curious about the “why” behind the “what” of consumer purchasing patterns.
While discussions of the weather are usually written off as meaningless small talk, our data shows that, when it comes to the cannabis industry, weather matters. Indeed, our data shows that a variety of external conditions affect the cannabis buying experience, from the most convenient time to stock up for the weekend to the amount of rain customers are forced to fight through to get their cannabis.
This report dives into the ways that these external factors affect the cannabis buying experience. It provides confirmation of some trends that might be obvious, like people buying a more diverse array of items right after work on a Friday, and also offers less obvious insights, like the fact that the gender distribution of cannabis customers doesn’t vary much from day to day.
Businesspeople in all sectors understand that customers act differently on different days, and smart businesspeople look for patterns in that behavior. This report aims to help the cannabis industry master what other industries have had years to perfect: The art of well-timed promotions.
It wouldn’t take a dataset like Headset’s to tell you that lots more people shop on the weekends, as cannabis is still primarily consumed as a recreational substance, but our data tell us a slightly more nuanced story. There are significant boosts in Friday and Saturday purchase totals and basket diversity, but those come later in the day. Sundays, however, see most of their activity in late morning and early afternoon. Thus, scheduling a grower info session at 11am on a Sunday could be a very a wise move, but hosting the same session at 5pm could be a total bust.
The weather data used herein is based off of the GHCND:USW00024233 station at the Seattle/Tacoma International Airport, and the sales data correlated with it is only for stores within 20 miles of that weather station. The weather data was collected in summer of 2016, as well as other time periods in 2017. Those are noted in each graph. Cannabis holiday “4/20” has been excluded from the day of the week analysis, as it is obviously an exception to standard sales data, and would throw off the analysis quite a bit.
Data for this report comes from real-time sales reporting by participating Washington State cannabis retailers via their point-of-sale systems, which are linked up with Headset’s business analytics software. The report below uses data for sales in the state of Washington. That data is cross-referenced with our catalog of over 100,000 products, as well as the aforementioned weather data, to provide detailed information on market trends.
Headset’s data is very reliable, as it comes digitally direct from our partner retailers (and, in this case, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). However, the potential does exist for misreporting in the instance of duplicates, incorrectly classified products, inaccurate entry of products into point-of-sale systems, or even simple human error at the point of purchase. Thus, there is a slight margin of error to consider.
Fridays, unsurprisingly, have both the largest average basket size as well as the biggest share of total baskets. Sunday and Monday, which fall after the weekend’s spending surge, are naturally the slowest days. Those days see less than 75% of Friday basket volumes and less than 70% of Friday sales numbers.
As might be expected, given the fact that most workers have 9am-5pm schedules, Fridays and Saturdays see nearly 50% of their sales volume occurring after 5PM. The majority of cannabis sales on Sundays are before 5pm, with the largest volumes in morning and early afternoon. That pot sales are popular during the same time period in which brunch is typically served should shock no one.
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