Cannabis industry reports

The Post 4/20 Update

January 17, 2020

Executive Summary

A brief overview of the sales landscape in the days following 4/20, the cannabis industry’s biggest day.

Introduction

We all know that 4/20 is the cannabis industry’s biggest day. Every year, we compile a detailed report on 4/20, covering everything from popular categories to demographics to “cannagars.” It’s one of our most popular reports, especially with cannabis retailers. 

However, another interesting phenomenon to explore is what happens right after 4/20. We look at the days leading up to it, hoping to find evidence of consumers stocking up for the main event, but we’ve never examined closely the days immediately following it.

We wanted to know: Does 4/20 have a sales hangover? Or does the sales boost linger on? Turns out, it’s definitely the former. This short report is intended to provide context to our main 4/20 report. It examines sales levels on the days leading up to and directly following 4/20, post-4/20 sales trends by state, and post-4/20 category trends.

Methodology

Data for this report comes from real-time sales reporting by participating Colorado, Nevada, and Washington State cannabis retailers via their point-of-sale systems, which are linked up with Headset’s business analytics software. For this report, we examined data from the days leading up to 4/20 in 2018, as well as for the Saturday and Sunday directly after.

Headset’s data is very reliable, as it comes digitally direct from our partner retailers. 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.

There’s Definitely a Sales Dip

We compared the days leading up to 4/20 in 2018 to the average sales for similar days of the week, in order to illustrate the holiday’s ripple effect. The weekdays furthest from 4/20, which fell on a Friday this year, were very close to the average. Monday 4/16 and Tuesday 4/17 saw sales at 98% and 95% of an average weekday, respectively.

As expected, the next two days reflected a slight boost from shoppers stocking up for 4/20. Wednesday 4/18 and Thursday 4/19 saw sales at 117% and 121% of the average, respectively. This would suggest that early 4/20 promotions are warranted, as consumers do make preparatory purchases. On the day itself, sales were almost double an average Friday, at 184%.

However, the data did not show a honeymoon period after the fact. The Saturday and Sunday after 4/20 saw significantly lower sales than their corresponding averages, at 90% and 83%, respectively. Either consumers are experiencing severe 4/20 fatigue, or with a more optimistic view, people just have plenty of pot left over.

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