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4/20 Predictions: How will social distancing impact the cannabis industry's biggest holiday?

Apr 11, 2020

At Headset, this will be our fifth year measuring sales on 4.20, historically the largest day of sales in the cannabis industry. Last year, as we created our forecasts for sales we remarked on the notable consistency across regions and time.  It seemed 4.20 sales generally increased between 95% and 125% their normal daily levels.  Concentrates in all sizes and ounces of Flower always saw particular sales increases due to steep discounting and items like Cannagars would steal the show with sales at more than 3x their normal levels.

Looking to the upcoming 4.20 we expect this year will be very different as consumers practice safe and respectful social distancing and retailers add new services like curbside pickup and delivery.  This won’t be the year for festivals and parties despite the once in a lifetime event of 4:20pm, on 4/20 in April of 2020.  

Below are some predictions for this year based on the situation we find ourselves in today:

  • We expect sales volumes on 4.20 substantially lower than prior years but boosted throughout the entire week.  We believe this will happen because rather than consumers flocking to stores on 4.20 they will make their purchases early to reduce crowds and give stores and delivery drivers enough time to fulfill orders.  


  • We expect lower average discounts on the day of 4.20 compared to prior years. We believe this will happen because retailers drip their discounts throughout the week to encourage consumers to purchase early to avoid long lines and crowded stores resulting in a safe experience for staff and shoppers alike.  We expect higher than average discounts in the days preceding 4.20 as retailers coax consumers to make purchases early and entice them to continue shopping.


  • We expect higher average baskets throughout the next week (compared to prior years) as people shift from in-store purchases for 4.20 to pick-up and delivery baskets.  Delivery/Pick-Up baskets are, in general, nearly twice the size of in-store baskets.  We expect there will be hiccups as retailers struggle to switch their operations to support the increased demand but hope to see understanding consumers.


  • We expect to see our Instagram feed filled with stories of friends on video chats responsibly enjoying the holiday together both to keep people safe and to respect the people that worked tirelessly to keep cannabis operators on the list of essential businesses and for the operators themselves who continue to serve consumers.


Given today’s unprecedented climate we are confident we will see some unique differences this 4.20 compared to years prior. Throughout the lead up to and during 4.20 we will be updating headset.io with more content highlighting what is happening in the market seeing and whether or not our predictions hold true.

Like it always has been, we expect 4.20 this year to be a time of celebration, a time of happy memories and shared experiences.  We should not let the current circumstances hinder our celebrates; however, it is critical we celebrate in ways that are responsible and respectful to our community as a whole.  

Finally, in advance of the holiday we would like to thank all of those that have and continue to fight to keep the essential business designation for cannabis operators. We would like to thank those that work in retail stores for their continued service to cannabis consumers, especially those working extra to fulfill orders for medical patients. We would like to thank producers, distributors, and manufacturers for working to keep supply uninterrupted during this time.  And we would like to thank cannabis consumers for respectfully practicing social distancing to keep workers safe and to help keep the stores open to service those that need or want cannabis during this time.