Last-minute bargain hunters win the day at dispensaries on the cannabis holiday 420. A new report from the marijuana market data company Headset found that cannabis consumers like to do their 420 shopping when the festivities begin and not in advance. Then they get caught up in the fun and throw lots of new products in their baskets, but at the same time enjoy a discount.
420 is being called “the cannabis industry’s Black Friday” as sales spike and new customers join loyal dispensary fans. This is notable given that 420 has yet to fall on a weekend since any state has legalized adult-use marijuana. Next year, it will actually be on a Friday and in 2019 on a Saturday, so there’s no doubt the events and sales will continue to grow.
Marijuana software company MJ Freeway predicts that sales will exceed $45 million, a 20% increase compared to last year. They also forecast that dispensaries and delivery services will reach on average $50,000 in retail sales from April 18 to April 20.
Headset has analyzed the dispensary sales over the past couple of 420’s and found some distinct shopping patterns. Smart retailers are learning from these patterns and capitalizing on it by tailoring promotions to promote new products and entice shoppers to splurge on more expensive items.
First, it seems no one plans ahead. This crowd either procrastinates or just waits until the excitement of the festivities begin. The bulk of the sales increases at dispensaries happen on the 20th. There is a slight uptick on the 19th, but even in 2015 when 420 fell on a Monday, most sales did not occur on the weekend before. The purists of marijuana wait until the 20th.
Promotions seem to work. Headset noticed that 10% of the sales on 420 weren’t products that had sold heavily prior to that day, leading them to believe that a promotion was responsible for the bump in sales. Twenty percent of sales were on discounted products, especially if the discount was 25% or more.
Women tend to spend more on 420 than they normally do at the dispensary, but men throw more varied products in their baskets. Women spend 87% more on 420 compared to men that spend 71% more. However, men increase the items in their baskets by 36%, while women put 27% more items in their carts for 420. The increase in basket items can also mean that new consumers aren’t sure what they might like and so they buy a variety of items to try.
On a typical day, most cannabis consumers (54%) buy flower (marijuana buds) and then a smaller number buys pre-rolled joints, concentrates or edibles. On 420, flower shoppers drop to 40%, while other categories jump. Special occasion products like Leira’s Cannagars, Oakor Breathstrips or Bond Massage oil see sales spike.
Pax Labs, a leading vaporizer company, has seized on this holiday opportunity. Consumers who bring in their used 510 vaporizer batteries to be recycled will be able to buy an oil vaporizer for $4.20. This is a deep discount from its normal $59.99. The offer is available in Colorado and California and the product is in over 300 dispensaries between the two states. The company has sold over a million devices and it even pops up in music videos. The Pax vaporizer seems to be a valued 420 prize and is included in special giveaways at the Botanica PDX and The Daily Leaf dispensaries in Portland, Oregon.
If 420 is this big with only a handful of legalized adult use states this year, next year is going to be even bigger with California on board.