The effect the holidays have on cannabis sales has been a topic of heavy debate. Some feel that the family-friendly atmosphere inherent to the Holiday Season would put a damper on sales. In contrast, others feel the general increase in consumerism should impact the cannabis industry. A consumer poll conducted in 2020 puts the debate to rest and may even let us know what we can expect from sales during the holiday season.
The consumer poll was conducted by the cannabis and hemp company Glass House Group before the holiday season began. The study found that a significant number of the company’s customers planned to give cannabis products as gifts. The top choices among the 630 respondents were flowers, edibles, and pre-rolls. The results suggested that cannabis gift-giving was a significant trend featuring in 2020’s holiday season.
Consumer research after the holidays supports the above conclusion. For example, data gathered by cannabis technology company Akerna revealed that the 2020 Christmas holiday period (between 18-24 of December) generated $427 million in cannabis and cannabis product sales. The Friday preceding Christmas is generally considered the biggest sales day of the season, but in 2020 Christmas fell on a Friday. Instead, the Wednesday before the holiday showed the most significant increase, with a 76% leap in sales. Generating $87.3 million, it became the third-largest sales day of the year, beaten only by Green Wednesday and New Year’s Eve.
New Year’s Eve proved to exceed the sales of both its predecessors. While Green Wednesday generated $87.4 million in revenue, New Year’s Eve topped the charts with $89.4 million in sales, surpassing Green Wednesday by a considerable margin and taking the crown as the most successful cannabis sales day of the year.
Causes of The Sales Leap
The potential causes for the significant increase in sales, particularly in 2020, have been attributed to a greater wariness of alcohol. Glass House’s poll indicated that 64.2% of respondents planned to reduce alcohol consumption in favor of cannabis. In addition, most respondents (67.4%) planned to replace alcohol with cannabis more than they had the year prior. This reason can easily be attributed to the massive sales increases around New Year’s. As the Akerna study revealed, consumers bought over twice as many edibles on New Year’s Eve in 2020 as they had the previous year.
The shift may indicate the growth of cannabis as a mainstream option for consumers, both recreationally and as a form of stress management. In addition, as cannabis gains wider acceptance as a recreational substance with potentially less harmful effects than alcohol, many people will see it as a preferable alternative. Thus, the movement towards accepting cannabis as a mainstream consumer product will increase.
What These Statistics Mean for 2021
While we can’t predict the Holiday Season sales in 2021, the data seems to indicate that sales will experience a significant increase throughout the holiday season and peak on New Year’s Eve. Therefore, retailers should prepare to accommodate the increase in sales, and consumers should ensure they get their cannabis products safely and securely from reliable sellers.