The unofficial marijuana holiday of April 20 – known to cannabis enthusiasts as 4/20 – annually brings a big boost in sales for retailers across the industry – and pressure to live up to customer expectations, both for great deals and good times.“It’s almost like Black Friday, where people are waiting at the door at the very beginning of the morning to take advantage of some of these sales,” said Rachael Brower, the purchasing manager at Cannabis City, the first recreational marijuana shop in Seattle.
“I always call it ‘Cannabis Christmas.'”
According to information from Seattle-based Headset, which provides retail point-of-sale data for the cannabis industry, marijuana products of all types in Washington state’s adult-use market received a sales bump on 4/20 in 2017, though some categories benefited more than others.
Headset also found that most discounts offered by Washington state retailers have declined since 2015, with the average retailer offering 38% off products in 2015 but only 16% off in 2017.
Infused beverages lead the pack in terms of increased sales percentages in Washington state, with 4/20 sales rising nearly three times higher than the average day in 2017.
Concentrates, pre-rolled joints and edibles experienced sales increases of over 150% on 4/20 last year.
Sales of flower and vape pens in Washington state also got a boost, though on a percentage basis, the gains were less dramatic.
“The chart (above) tells a general story,” said Maryam Mirnateghi, the owner of Fusion Collective, another Seattle marijuana retailer.
“4/20 is more about partying with cannabis and the types of products that play well to that context. That’s why you see an increase in beverages, concentrates and pre-roll sales.”
Brower said the percentage increase also doesn’t necessarily reflect which items are the top sellers on 4/20, which she said are typically still flower and pre-rolls, not beverages.
“That number is so much increased because beverages aren’t our top seller on any day,” she said.
“At the end of the day, everybody is most comfortable with flower.”
Regarding the declining price discounts on 4/20 from year to year, Mirnateghi chalked that up to market maturation and widespread product price decreases.
That translates to slimmer profit margins for retailers, so many can’t always afford to give huge discounts.
“Overall, the margins for retailers have dropped drastically, which is why the discounts are not as large,” Mirnateghi said. “But if you look at the general pricing, the prices now compared to the prices in 2015 have decreased substantially.
“Meaning, prices are lower year-round and there isn’t as much wiggle room to offer such steep discounts.”
That said, both Cannabis City and Fusion Collective – along with almost every cannabis retailer in the country – will be offering deals to draw in customers on what is usually the biggest sales day of the year.