Forget Calling Your Dealer, This Year's 4/20 Shows Users Fondness of Delivery Services

Soft Secrets
13 May 2021

Consumer behavior is changing. The new cannabis user appears to be more comfortable than ever supplying their stash over the internet via legal shops, just as they do orders for any other type of product.

A total of $373 million was spent on marijuana goods in the four days surrounding the unofficial cannabis holiday, according to Adweek. It's a spike in cannabis e-sales that turns a new page on how users supply their marihuana. 

In anticipation of the 'high holiday,' every year, users begin to pack their stash well in advance of the day, which this year fell on Tuesday. It was no different this April, except an overwhelming amount of transactions took place online.

Some cannabis retailers had to add support staff to be able to run business over the days leading up to April 20. In preparing for 4/20, Chris Vaugh, the CEO of Emjay, a cannabis delivery service headquartered in Los Angeles and also operating in San Diego, had to triple the number of drivers, he told Adweek.

For Emjay, the flood of orders was evident early on April 16 (Friday), with Vaughn telling Adweek, "by 9:45 a.m. that day, we had more orders placed than all of 4/20 2020."

"By 11 a.m., that had doubled. We couldn't get the product out of the vaults fast enough," he said. Between Friday and Tuesday, Emjay went on to reach record-breaking sales, with a 380% escalation in sales on 420 itself compared to last year.

Although his staff worked almost around the clock, Vaughn told Adweek that customers had longer wait times, but eventually everyone got their orders.

It was similar with other cannabis retailers and services that provide strains, edibles, and other THC products.

With $111.8 million worth of product sold at medical and adult-use dispensaries, cannatech firm Akerna measured the highest sales day ever recorded in retail cannabis, reports Adweek.

Jushi Holdings, which operates across eight U.S. states, saw a spike of 289% compared to previous year; Michigan dispensary chain Lume saw a 313% bump in sales of edible products alone, while iconic San Francisco retailer Harborside had a 121% increase in 4/20 sales compared to the previous four Tuesdays, according to Adweek.

Delivery platform Weedmaps also reported a significant leap in activity in general. And in several fast-growing states such as Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey, its daily active users grew by 489%, 866%, and 902%, respectively, compared to 4/20 in 2020, reports Adweek.

The spike in ecommerce orders is hard evidence that consumer behavior among cannabis aficionados has changed, abandoning practices to call your dealer when you need weed. Today's users appear to be more comfortable than ever supplying their stash over the internet via legal shops, just as they do orders for any other type of product.

The Effects of Outbreaks and Social Isolation

April 20 has been the single biggest sales day each year since legal recreational marijuana sales commenced, according to Headset, a Seattle-based cannabis data analytics firm that monitors cannabis retailers.

Traditionally, this would entail users visiting the dispensaries in person, but the last twelve months have largely changed that. 

The pandemic has helped the growth of the cannabis industry. Apparently, it has also helped set new behavior habits in place, which now seem hard to change anytime in the future, and has also helped grow the number of cannabis users who turn to plant-based products to combat COVID-19 stress.

It's no secret that throughout last year people have hoarded alcohol and other substances in an effort to cope with the outbreak and diminished social life. The cannabis industry has been one of the biggest beneficiaries to this end, and the record sales reported on this year's 420 is a mere reflection of that change.

As Fortune reports, the marijuana dispensary operator Verilife carried out a survey finding that 72% of respondents said COVID was the number one reason for stress and burnout in their lives and that 40% of those respondents turned to pot to cope with the situation. 

According to one report from New Frontier Data, it is projected that the legal cannabis industry in the U.S. will swell to $41.5 billion by 2025, a compound annual growth rate of 21% from 2019. 

According to other analysts, as cannabis becomes more culturally acceptable and legalization expands nationwide, such trends will only continue.  

While one would expect cannabis stocks were also up for the last 420 holiday, that was not the case. Different from consumer behavior, cannabis stocks rely on a range of other factors for a good performance. 

Cannabis stocks actually tumbled across the board on April 20, reversing their premarket gains. The main reason for this was the uncertainty of whether the SAFE banking bill is going to be passed in the Senate. It proves that cannabis reform still is the single most powerful factor of influence on how the cannabis stocks will perform. 

Soft Secrets