What kind of business can your dispensary expect from this year’s 420 celebration? You know it’s going to be busy but just how busy? There are so many factors at play and the future’s far from written but most dispensaries are battening down the hatches for what’s bound to be America’s biggest 420 ever. California’s entry into the recreational sales market is a huge factor in predictions for a record breaking April. But with an already healthy demand for adult use cannabis, can we really expect the numbers to jump that much for 420, if at all?
Colorado’s 420 Lost Steam in 2017
Since Colorado was the pioneering state of recreational marijuana, eyes often turn to the Centennial State for signs of what to expect as the industry continues to grow. While Colorado’s sales numbers have always stayed strong, last year’s 420 sales fell short of the expectations of many. According to the Colorado Department of Revenue, April 2017 saw the state pull in well over $1 million more in sales tax than they had in April 2016. However, this was $2 million less than they’d made in March 2017 so, despite the 420 holiday, Colorado actually experienced a dip in profits for April 2017. While some analysts believed that the 420 holiday was losing its luster, there may be other influences resulting in the lower-than-predicted sales.
Potential Reasons Why Colorado Sales Didn’t Pack the Same Punch
The first 420 holiday following Colorado’s legalization of recreational marijuana was a big one. In fact, it showed 60% growth over its sales figures from January of that year. But in 2014, Colorado was really the only game in the country when it came to recreational cannabis sales. Marijuana connoisseurs and toking tourists were travelling from all over the U.S. to the recreational dispensaries of Colorado. Major 420 celebrations were organized and, though some communities pushed back against the green wave, sales continued to rise month after month. Colorado’s cannabis industry has remained healthy (to use a bit of an understatement) since 2014, but with other states passing their own recreational sales laws, the need to travel to Colorado for 420 has become unnecessary for many revelers. To help this decline along, the annual 420 rally held at Denver’s Civic Center Park fell victim to a 3-year ban with hints of prohibitionist bias in the civic government. Colorado, which had started as a beacon for the cannabis enthusiast, was still a beacon in 2017. It just wasn’t quite as bright. Joel Milton, the CEO of Baker who specialize in customer engagement for cannabis dispensaries, spoke with Westword
last year and hypothesized that the dive in sales was a result in the fluctuating price of flower and the average 420 consumer’s predilection to shop for inexpensive pre-rolls as opposed to purchase products with loftier price tags. So should you prepare for just another day at the dispensary on 420? Definitely not and here’s why.
Dispensaries Aren’t the Only Businesses to Feel the Benefits of 420
Last year, the search-and-discovery app Foursquare analyzed its foot traffic data to see if they noticed any 420-specific trends. In 2016, Foursquare’s app picked up a 76% increase in dispensary traffic but businesses outside of the cannabis industry may have been riding this crest as well. On that same date, Foursquare noted a 20% increase in traffic to the most popular fast food restaurants as well as an 11% traffic increase for pizza joints. It doesn’t end there. Night clubs enjoyed an 8% increase while liquor stores saw a 36% surge in traffic. Pubs were up an astounding 92% from the previous week. What makes these surging traffic percentages that much more surprising is that, in 2016, 420 fell on a Wednesday so there was no benefit of weekend traffic. It’s most likely that the 420 holiday directly contributed to the revelry that saw this statistical bump. This year, not only has California entered the playing field but the holiday falls on a Friday with the potential to lead into a weekend-long surge of cannabis sales. This could easily find Colorado finding that boost it missed last year and will pretty much secure a record-breaking 420 as far as the country as a whole is concerned. We recently interviewed a series of dispensaries, some medical and others recreational, that unanimously agreed that they were preparing their staff for a significantly large surge of traffic. To keep up to date on 420 tips and tricks straight from the dispensaries themselves, check out our Facebook
where we’ll be posting helpful tips leading up to the big day!