Marijuana Shops Break Sales Record In April

It’s no surprise to cannabis retailers that April 20 is the biggest sales holiday in the cannabis industry. Total U.S. marijuana retail sales on April 20, 2016 exceeded $37.5 million and saw an almost 30% increase in customer traffic over last year’s 4-20 holiday, according to MJ Freeway’s retail sales data figures. While customer traffic was up, customers spent on average $20 less per transaction on April 20, 2016, versus April 20, 2015.

The “4-20” calendar date is widely recognized as a holiday by cannabis enthusiasts, sparking events and cannabis-driven tourism. The cannabis industry, which totaled $5.7 billion in sales in 2015 and is expected to clear $7.1 billion in 2016 according to the Arcview Industry Report, sees the most customer traffic and highest sales on April 20.

Other findings revealed that individual marijuana licensed retail locations— dispensaries and delivery services — sold on average $10,822 in retail sales on April 20, $6,208 on April 19, and $5,442 on April 18. Cannabis retail customer traffic increased by more than 29% on April 20, 2016 compared to April 20, 2015.

[Related: 11 African American Cannabis Entrepreneurs You Should Know, Part 2]

The state with the total highest average sales of marijuana per day per retail licensed location for April 20 was Colorado. The state with the highest total dollar amount sold on April 20 was California. When equalized by population, Colorado outsold California in total dollar sales on April 20 by 3 times.

“Consumer traffic increased in 2016, but retailers used discounts and price incentives to lure customers.” Jeannette Ward, MJ Freeway’s data & marketing director, points out. “For states, the comparison is telling from a total dollar sales and tax revenue perspective. Even states with a broad and well-utilized medical market like California cannot match the sales traffic and spend of a regulated medical and adult use state like Colorado; not even close. April 20 sales results show that states with medical and adult-use cannabis markets win the revenue game.”

Reporting by reveals that while the naysayers continue to perpetuate the story that people of color are being left out of the cannabis industry, black businesses are benefiting from legalized Medical marijuana. People of color may not be bustling at the seams as cannabis farmers or dispensary owners. Consumers shouldn’t be misled: people of color, African Americans in particular, are in the cannabis scene.

“Retailers need to be careful to ensure that discounts to drive traffic don’t eat unnecessarily into profit margins and that increased traffic is sustained with successful loyalty and rewards programs. We can manage that for our retail partners,” says Sue Jensen, director of solution services for MJ Freeway.

The next big cannabis retail sales holiday is July 4, which ranks as the third-highest holiday in total cannabis retail dollar sales following 4-20 and New Year’s Eve.