This year’s unofficial cannabis holiday brought in nearly $38 million in marijuana sales in the United States, as well as a series of press articles highlighting Medical Marijuana Inc.’s leading position in the country’s booming industry.
Retail marijuana sales in the U.S. exceeded $37.5 million on April 20, the informal but popular annual holiday for cannabis culture. According to a report published by Denver-based seed-to-sale tracking software company MJ Freeway, this year’s sales increased more than 15 percent from a year prior.
The 4/20 figures reflect a booming billion-dollar cannabis market. Cannabis sales totaled $5.7 billion in 2015 and are expected to reach $6.7 billion in 2016.
Further validating the U.S. cannabis market on 4/20 was the prominence of media coverage on the flourishing recreational and medical marijuana industries. Medical Marijuana Inc.’s AXIM® Biotechnologies and their Oraximax™ line of cannabinoid infused oral health products were highlighted in Fox Business and CNN Money. Vogue showcased a couple of Kannaway™ products, including Kannactiv™ and Cannabis Beauty Defined™.
The strong sales and abounding media coverage of this year’s 4/20 reflect an expanding industry and show that cannabis is shedding its unwarranted stigma. According to the MJ Freeway report, while consumers spent an average of $20 less per transaction, total consumer traffic increased by 30 percent this year compared to last.
MJ Freeway’s sales data figures were based on an analysis of 40 percent of the nation’s marijuana market. Values from medical and recreational sales through dispensaries and delivery services were included.
“Comparing 2015 to 2016 April 20 sales shows trends for cannabis retailers related to toughening competition and a maturing market,” said Jeannette Ward, MJ Freeway’s Data & Marketing Director. “Consumer traffic increased in 2016, but retailers used discounts and price incentives to lure customers.”
The notable bump in sales is presumably partly due to an overall shift toward an acceptance of marijuana and an acknowledgement of cannabis as a therapeutic agent. A May 2015 national survey by Harris Poll found that 81 percent of Americans support the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes, and a recent Gallup poll found that 58 percent of Americans are in support of adult use legalization. In addition, recreational marijuana sales began in Oregon between last year’s 4/20 and this year’s. Oregon became the fourth state to legalize adult use cannabis when voters supported Measure 91 in November 2014. The law took effect July 1, 2015.
According to the report, Colorado, a state that has legalized both medical and recreational marijuana, brought in the highest total average sales per day per licensed location. However, California brought in the largest total retail sales, an impressive feat considering it’s only adopted medical marijuana legislation (though the state will be voting on a recreational marijuana initiative this November). Still, when equivalized by population, Colorado outsold California in total dollar sales by 3 times.
“For states, the comparison is telling from a total dollar sales and tax revenue perspective,” Ward added. “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.”
The report also found that retailers that stayed open seven days a week benefited more from the holiday, as shoppers ramped up their purchases up to five days in advance of 4/20. The average daily retail totals for each dispensary and delivery service on April 20 equaled $10,822. Average sales on April 18 and 19 were $5,442 and $6,208, respectively.
It’s likely sales on April 20, 2017 will be even higher than this year, as medical and recreational marijuana is expected to significantly expand throughout the nation in 2016.