December 7, 2020 | In The IGG Blog

How Do Holidays Impact Cannabis Industry Sales?

As the busy croptober harvesting and trimming turns into the slower winter offseason, the U.S. holiday season starts up leading to sporadic spikes in cannabis sales. 

For the same reason as many other industries, cannabis sales jump in the weeks around the big holidays. As is the case with retail outlets, customers seek out dispensaries for gifts. Cannabis is also purchased at a higher rate in the days closer to Thanksgiving, similar to alcohol. New marketing ploys from the industry, such as “Green Wednesday” and “Danksgiving” are bringing in an increasing number of buyers each year. 

There are countless opportunities for cannabis businesses to increase sales and bring in new customers during the holiday season.  

Green Wednesday, Thanksgiving & Christmas 

The cannabis holiday season starts on Green Wednesday, a cleverly designed “holiday” that falls on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. It’s built off the traditional increase in sales around Thanksgiving day, inviting people to party with cannabis the Wednesday before in lieu of (or in addition to) a usually heavy drinking night. Christmas also sees a big jump as does New Years, although that one is slightly smaller than the others. 

How To Prepare Your Cannabis Business For The Holidays 

While dispensaries see the greatest number of customers during the holiday season, the sales increase push the entire supply change to produce higher quantities at faster rates. Don’t let your cannabis business fall behind and miss out on a potential boost in profits. 

Prepare with these simple steps: 

  1. Stock up on baking and edible supplies in anticipation of selling edible gift box sets. 
  2. Protect public-facing staff with PPE and increased cleaning and disinfectants
  3. Market new products to existing customers in the forms of gift baskets and promotional items. 
  4. Expand to a year-round growing season if you’re able to ramp up production, setting up an indoor room with grow lightshydroponic pots and humidity control

COVID Impact On Holiday Sales 

4/20 is traditionally the industry’s biggest holiday. In 2020, it fell during the early weeks of the pandemic when most of the country was quarantined at home. The results were a mixed bag of highs and lows. Businesses with delivery seemed to do well, some even increasing their sales, while others who rely on sales from big gatherings and group celebrations missed out. 

As this report from Cova shows, industry sales were down on April 20 this year, although customers did buy in larger quantities. It’s unclear how COVID will shape the rest of the year’s holidays but being out of lockdown restrictions should help the industry regain some of that loss. 

With COVID-19’s impact on the cannabis industry, it’s hard to tell what the holidays in 2020/2021 will bring. But as 5 more states pass recreational use laws this year, it’s hopeful that the industry will continue to expand through the holidays and beyond.