Although Black Friday traffic has been down at traditional retailers the past two years, the cannabis industry is still seeing an annual boom from the Thanksgiving holiday, with two of the top three sales days of the year.
According to data from Akerna, $99 million worth of cannabis was sold at legal retailers in the United States on Black Friday, the second highest grossing day of the year, behind 4/20. Another $98.2 million in sales came on Green Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving.
“Green Wednesday earned its nickname from historically high cannabis sales, and this year proved the same,” said James Ahrendt, business intelligence architect at Akerna. “Cannabis shoppers headed to dispensaries in droves on both Black Friday and Green Wednesday, bucking national mainstream retail trends.”
A report from Sensormatic showed overall retail traffic on Black Friday had dropped 28.3% from 2019 to 2021, but Akerna registered a 20% increase in cannabis purchasing during the same time frame (2020 was omitted from the comparison due to the COVID pandemic’s effect on mainstream retailers).
Flower was the most popular item during the four-day stretch from November 24-27, with 47% of sales, followed by vape cartridges (33.5%), concentrates (11%) and edibles (7%).
The average order total was about $123 at medical dispensaries and $79 at adult-use shops. Men did the vast majority of the holiday shopping, accounting for 61.8% of sales, compared to 38.2% for women. However, sales by age group were divided more evenly, with consumers ages 30-40 taking the top spot at 31% of sales, just ahead of the under-30 crowd at 29%. Rounding out Akerna’s data, consumers ages 40-50 were responsible for 20% of sales, followed by 50-60 at 12% and over 60 at 8%.
— Garrett Rudolph