The holidays — Black Friday through New Year’s Eve — is a make-or-break kind of patch of days for most retailers. Have a dismal holiday season, and the year looks grim.

With cannabis, however, the traditional holiday season is not especially busy (in fact, sales are usually diminished) — except for California. Sales hit $55.3 million in December last year, making it the No. 1 month of the year. However, sales were extremely high towards the end of December in California, when there was a good chance people were stocking-up on cannabis prior to the launch of recreational cannabis and the new (higher) taxation structure.

Either way, “the holidays” is not the cannabis holiday — it’s 4/20. Different traditional holidays across the year, like Labor Day, influence cannabis sales, and usually lead to the largest weekend sales. But the biggest sales day of the year in all states is that day towards the end of the cruelest month, which last year fell on a Thursday.

Data from market research firm BDS Analytics shows that 4/20 does not turn into a multi-day bonanza, like “the holidays” for most retailers and Halloween for candy manufacturers. Instead, the crush of sales take place just on the day itself.

But it’s a doozy of a sales day.

4/20 Sales in Colorado Continue to Go Bananas

In Colorado, which has the longest experience with recreational sales, 4/20 last year hit $9.32 million — far and away the leading sales day of the year. The nearest other day, in terms of sales, was September 1, which was the Friday of Labor Day Weekend, with $7 million in sales. Most other strong days (all of which were during the summer) bounced around between $5 million and $5.7 million.

The holiday in Colorado wins the top day award every year, and as the state has marched through 4/20s its popularity has expanded. In 2017, for example, sales on 4/20 grew by 38.5% compared to 4/20 from the previous year. But growth in Colorado for 2017 was 15% — so growth for 4/20 was more than double the growth average for the year.

California 4/20 Is A Sales Bonanza

In California last year, 4/20 was epic — $18.64 million in sales. The day after, which was a Friday (always the busiest day of the week for sales), was just $7.46 million. The closest day to 4/20 in California was December 29, the last Friday before the state turned rec, when sales hit $12.16 million.

The same holds true Washington and Oregon — 4/20 is No. 1.

Cannabis Shoppers in Colorado Love Flower on 4/20

Flower sales tend to creep up a bit on 4/20. In Colorado, for example, flower represented 52% of sales on 4/20, but during the entire month before, in March, it represented just 49% of sales and the month after, May, flower captured 50% of sales. Even during April as a whole, the sales of which were influenced by 4/20, flower still captured just 50%.

On the big holiday itself, flower sales in Colorado hit nearly $5 million, with growth of 44% compared to 4/20 the prior year.

Flower, Cannabis Oil Products and Cannabis Oil Vape Pens Rock California on 4/20

Flower sales in California were exceptionally high — 58% of sales; most days during 2017 flower represented between 52% and 54% of sales.

Cannabis oil products including cannabis oil vape pens are also popular on 4/20, especially in the land-of-vape-pen-love, California.

Shoppers dropped $2.63 million on cannabis oil vape pens alone on 4/20 in California, making it the No. 1 cannabis oil pen and cannabis oil cartridge sales day across the year.

How did the rest of the cannabis categories perform during 4/20 last year? We’ve got answers:

Category Sales:


The Cannabis Discount

The average price for all products combined on 4/20 was $10.12. The average price for all products combined for 2017 was $12.04.


4/20 gram average $7.89                 VS.               2017 gram average $9.15


4/20 average $29.52                         VS.               2017 average $31.50


4/20 average $13.24                          VS.               2017 average $13.85

4/20 Holiday Strains

  1. XJ-13
  2. Gorilla Glue #4
  3. Fire OG
  4. Sour Tangie
  5. Blue Dream
Categories: Cannabis News

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