The last two weeks of the year ended up being some of the most profitable weeks for retail cannabis in 2020.
A consumer poll conducted by vertically integrated cannabis and hemp company Glass House Group, prior to the holidays found that a significant number of customers planned on giving the gift of cannabis. With more than 630 respondents citing flower, edibles, and pre-rolls as top choices for their holiday gifts, results suggested that cannabis gifting was among Christmas 2020’s hottest consumer trends. This pointed to the mainstreaming of cannabis and it turns out the polls were true.
According to data from Akerna (NASDAQ: KERN) the Christmas holiday period (12/18-12/24) generated $427 million. Typically, the Friday before Christmas is the biggest sales day of the holidays, but this year Christmas was on a Friday. So it was the Wednesday before Christmas that got the most significant bump in sales with a 76% increase in daily sales. With $87.3 million pouring in, the Wednesday before Christmas became the third-largest sales day of the year. It was only beaten by Green Wednesday which turned in $87.4 million.
However, neither day could top New Year’s Eve which topped the charts at $89.4 million in sales, easily surpassing Green Wednesday and becoming the biggest cannabis sales day of the year.
“We were pleasantly surprised to see New Year’s Eve outperform Christmas,” said James Ahrendt, Business Intelligence, Akerna. “Overall, the last two weeks of the year ended up being some of the most profitable weeks for retail cannabis in 2020.”
Glass House’s survey found that a majority of poll respondents (64.2%) planned to reduce alcohol consumption with cannabis during the holidays, with 67.4% predicting that they would replace alcohol with cannabis to a greater extent than they did in 2019. That would explain the jump for New Year’s Eve.
The heightened focus on health and wellness concerns prompted by the pandemic is also a contributing factor, not just through attempts to reduce alcohol consumption but to manage holiday stress (53.4% of respondents) and relieve pain (50.3%). The number one reason for cannabis consumption given was to get a better night’s sleep, followed by “general wellness” with “just for fun” coming in third.
Glass House Group Co-Founder, Chairman, and CEO Kyle Kazan believed that this poll reflected a paradigm shift towards cannabis as a mainstream choice for consumers. He said, “As we make our way into 2021, we will look forward to rolling out new products from Glass House Farms, bringing our customers new retail experiences and continuing to provide new insights into the fastest-growing consumer movement our country has seen in nearly a century.”
Additional Insights From Akerna (12/18-12/31)
Average Basket Size
- Adult-use – $72
- Medical – $124
Sales by Product Category
- Flower – 46%
- Cartridge/Pens – 32%
- Concentrates – 13%
- Infused Edibles – 7.5%
- Other – 1.5%
Sales by Gender
- Male – 62%
- Female – 38%
Sales by Age
- Under 30 – 28%
- 30-40 –30%
- 40-50 – 20%
- 50-60 –12%
- Over 60 – 10%
- There were 48% higher sales per store on Christmas in 2020 compared to 2019, and 52% higher sales per store on New Year’s Eve 2020 compared to 2019
- Consumers bought over 2X as many edibles on NYE 2020 in comparison to 2019.