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Market Darlings: Annual 4/20 to See US Weed Sales Double - Report

© AP Photo / Elaine ThompsonIn this photo taken Thursday, March 28, 2019, a store employee assists customers at a marijuana shop in Seattle
In this photo taken Thursday, March 28, 2019, a store employee assists customers at a marijuana shop in Seattle - Sputnik International
This year’s 4/20, which refers to cannabis-oriented celebrations that take place on April 20, is expected to result in double the normal sales of any given day throughout the year.

"In 2019, 4/20 will fall on a Saturday for the first time since legalization. If the trend of 4/20 excitement aligns with the normal day-of week patterns, we expect to see a slightly lower sales response to the holiday this year," noted a report by Headset, a market data provider for the rapidly expanding cannabis industry. 

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The swelling global pot industry "expects sales on 4/20/2019 to be 2x to 2.2x normal and sales on the Friday 4/19 to be significantly above average as well. Retailers should consider strategies to attract customers both on ‘4/20-Eve' as well as on the big day itself," Headset gushed in its report.

Last year, 4/20 was the cannabis industry's "single biggest day of sales in 2018 by a considerable margin," the report stated, with sales growing by an estimated 111 percent on the holiday.

The 4/20 data analysis is based on comparing cannabis sales on April 20 to the same day of the week two months before the holiday and two months after the holiday. The report's data is based on real sales reported by retailers in the US states of Washington, California, Nevada and Colorado between 2015-2018. In addition, real-time sales numbers were compared with the analyst's database of $4.5 billion worth of transactions to draw conclusions about general trends in the exploding cannabis industry.

The report cleverly compared cannabis trends to alcohol patterns on or around the July 4 US holiday, partnering with Nielsen, an American information, data and measurement company.

"According to Nielsen, at all Off-Premise [alcohol] Outlets, beer sales during the two-week period including July 4th, 2018, were 33 percent over an average two weeks in 2018," the study reports. 

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According to Rick Maturo, associate client director at Nielsen's Bev/Al and Cannabis Practice, "when compared to cannabis sales on April 20th, we are not currently seeing any significant lifts [in alcohol sales] that mirror the level of elevated sales seen within the legal cannabis space. That said, the lift in legal cannabis sales during 4/20 does reflect how committed the legal cannabis customer base is, especially as they seek out opportunities for experience enhancement and socialization," Forbes reported.

In addition, the report found that millennials (those born between 1981-1996) spend more money on cannabis per day compared to those in any other age group. However, 2018 was the first year that some people in Generation Z (those born between 1997 and the present) turned 21 and were legally permitted to purchase cannabis products.

"Millions of new Generation Z Americans have aged into the cannabis market since last year. On 4/20/2019, retailers and brands alike should be ready to engage these young customers, because they are ready to celebrate," the report noted.

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