This 420, Expect 300% Spike in Traffic in US Cannabis Retail Stores

Experts predict that on April 20th, 2018, there will be a 300% spike in traffic in US cannabis retail stores.

This 420, expect 300% spike in traffic in US cannabis retail stores, says industry technology and consulting firm MJ Freeway. The company expects at least $80 million in sales at cannabis retail shops on April 20, 2018.

MJ Freeway released its predictions for this year’s marijuana holiday this week, based on analysis of retail sales data from thousands of cannabis businesses across the United States.

More Ganja Than Guacamole

MJ Freeway notes that the amount is more than the $54 million spent on avocados on Cinco de Mayo in 2017. And it’s just as much as football fans spent on chicken wings for the 2017 Superbowl.

The growth in traffic should help sustain a trend in sales growth, as well. April 20 sales in 2017 were 30 percent over 2016. Sales in 2016 were 15 percent higher than the year before. The $80 million in sales projected for this year would be up 48 percent over 2017.

California’s First 420 For Legal Recreational Sales

MJ Freeway attributed the projected increase to three factors. 2018 will be the first 420 with legal recreational sales in California. That will be the biggest reason behind this year’s jump, according to Jeanette Ward Horton, Vice President of Global Marketing and Communications for MJ Freeway.

But numbers in the Golden State would have been even higher with a smoother rollout of regulated sales, which began January 1 of this year.

“While California will contribute the most in sales growth for 420 2018, that growth will be hindered by the state’s slow roll of recreational cannabis licenses. If all medical California retailers were operating as recreational shops, 420 2018 would have exceeded $100 million in sales,” Horton said.

Secondly, this year will also be the first fully legal 420 in Nevada, where recreational sales began in July 2017.  420 sales are historically higher in states with recreational cannabis rather than only medical marijuana, even with a significant MMJ infrastructure.

For example, in 2016 Colorado had legal recreational pot, but California didn’t yet. When adjusted for differences in population, Colorado cannabis stores sold three times as much weed as California. In 2017 the difference was even higher. Colorado sales topped those in California by 360 percent. Oregon, which also has legal recreational cannabis, outsold Cali per capita by 125 percent last year.

Because of those trends, the switch for California and Nevada should spur a significant uptick in the numbers this year.

Final Hit: This 420, Expect 300% Spike in Traffic in US Cannabis Retail Stores

The last reason given by MJ Freeway for this year’s increase in 420 cannabis sales is the fact that this year, April 20 falls on a Friday. That is already the busiest day of the week for cannabis retail outlets. Sales at pot shops on Fridays top Saturdays by 13 percent and are 18 percent higher than Thursdays.

2018 is the first year April 20 will be on a Friday since any US state has legalized recreational marijuana. This year, a total of nine states and the District of Colombia will have legal adult-use cannabis on 420. Additionally, 29 more states allow some form of medical marijuana.

Altogether, one in three Americans over the age of 21 can legally celebrate the 420 holiday with cannabis, according to MJ Freeway.

" AJ Herrington : A.J. Herrington is a San Diego-based writer and photographer covering cannabis and the environment.."