According to cannabis data company BDSA analyst Brendan Mitchel-Chesebro, looming inflation across the U.S. has not negatively affected the cannabis industry. “While inflation has been an issue over the past year, legal cannabis markets have seen significant price compression since late 2021,” Mitchel-Chesebro said. “BDSA retail sales tracking data show that equivalent average retail prices fell about 26% across mature markets between January 2022 and January 2023, so while inflation may be hitting consumers hard, legal cannabis has only become more affordable.”
According to Forbes, BDSA predicts that nascent cannabis markets such as Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania will all see a significant increase in total dollar sales.
BDSA also suggests that because 420 falls on a Thursday, that Thursday will obviously see the biggest increase in cannabis sales. In 2022, data collected by Akerna showed that while April 20 was the biggest day for sales, the second biggest day was actually the Friday prior to the holiday.
“BDSA seasonality data shows consistently heightened sales on 420,” said Mitchel-Chesebro. “The date’s importance within cannabis culture naturally leads to more retail traffic and sales on 420, and retailer efforts to capitalize through advertising, promotions, and discounts enhance that innate consumer enthusiasm.”
BDSA suggests that the big discounts will be seen in more mature markets, due to the already gradual decrease of retail prices seen over the past year in comparison to newer cannabis markets. Additionally, inhalable products are likely to see the biggest discounts.
BDSA recently analyzed data from Missouri in particular earlier this year, which has a smaller population than most other legal states but is expanding rapidly. “The ‘Show Me’ state launched adult-use sales in February 2023, giving the state the second-shortest timeline from legalization to launch of adult-use sales,” BDSA wrote. “Adult-use sales are expected to bring in ~$650 million in 2023, bringing total sales for the year to ~$958 million. BDSA forecasts Missouri to join the ‘billion-dollar cannabis market’ club in 2024, with total sales expected to reach ~$1.1 billion and grow to ~$1.4 billion by 2026.”
Other trends are beginning to change in cannabis this year with some cannabis companies offering April 20 as a paid holiday. “4/20 is a day to show appreciation, love and respect for cannabis and its power to help amplify the health and happiness that people experience in their daily lives,” said the Director of Retail and Customer Engagement, Sian Leininger, from the Massachusetts-based retailer Temescal Wellness. “For us, it’s a day to celebrate our employees, whose passion, knowledge and true dedication inspires their unparalleled service to our customers and our community all of the other days of the year.”
Another study from Leafly shows that 39% of consumers are planning on taking time off to celebrate the holiday in some capacity as well. In addition to that, 70% of consumers said that they are interested in trying infused beverages or beverage-enhancers this year, and 73% said that they would be consuming after 5 pm because April 20 lands on a Thursday.
April 20 celebrations and events are in full swing now, and there are more unique products, collaborations, and more happening in honor of the holiday. The monthly dog subscription known as Bark Box is offering a 420-themed box with toys that look like cannabis paraphernalia. Publicity stunts like the cannabis edibles company Zen Cannabis made a 420-pound chocolate bar that measures nine feet by four feet. A giveaway for a Huracán Evo Purple Lamborghini in Las Vegas invites consumers to buy more than $200 in exotic cannabis to enter.
Last year, the free gathering in San Francisco for 4/20 Hippie Hill was a huge success as the first 4/20 celebration with legal cannabis sales. This year it continues to grow, with Grammy award-winning musician Erykah Badu hosting the event.