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2020 in Review: Green Wednesday Sales Beat Out Black Friday

This year was different in more ways than we can count. Especially in regards to the holiday season, we’ve seen a mass amount of change happen in the way that we operate and treat these festive gatherings in 2020. For so many years before this one, Black Friday brought unbelievable deals within the cannabis sphere, with the “holiday” being one of the most sought-after sales days for all dispensary owners. But, this year, things were different.


In 2020, cannabis sales people saw a huge spike in sales not on Black Friday, but rather on Green Wednesday.

What is Green Wednesday?


Green Wednesday is a somewhat new concept, referring to the Wednesday before Thanksgiving for cannabis businesses. This day has always been popular for dispensaries as customers seemingly stock up on their product before heading out for the holiday weekend.


However, in the past, these businesses have also expected to see record sales numbers during Black Friday, too. Both of these days promote large sales and discounts for customers, enticing them to buy larger amounts of cannabis (especially as your less-than-friendly family members start to roll in). Green Wednesday and Black Friday are some of the biggest, most important days for cannabis business owners besides 4/20, but this year, it proved that Green Wednesday might be inching ahead in terms of popularity.


Now, we’re seeing that cannabis consumers may be more interested in buying ahead than waiting for Black Friday. While the pandemic certainly played a part in people wanting to stay home more than usual--especially during crowd-based holidays like Black Friday--sales were absolutely unbelievable the Green Wednesday before Thanksgiving.


The Numbers


Black Friday, on its own, saw an increase in cannabis sales across legal states by about 75%. Green Wednesday deals, however, saw an increase of over 80% in a single day. This made Green Wednesday the single highest-grossing sales day in 2020--even more than April 20th.


According to information from Akerna, the average person spent over $100 per purchase during this day, which is about 5% more than usual. These numbers indicate that, for the first time in four years, Green Wednesday sales actually beat out Black Friday’s.


Large increases in numbers like these were expected with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As more people are staying home, and more states are legalizing cannabis in one way or another, cannabis sales all year have been steadily increasing from where they were last year. In general, it appears as though US citizens are becoming more open to the idea of consuming cannabis in one way or another, and these record sales days only makes that all the more apparent.


Last year, Black Friday brought exactly $31.4 million in sales, while this year’s brought $31.1 million, showing a clear (but small) decrease. Last year’s Green Wednesday, on the other hand, brought about $29.4 million in sales but saw a huge increase this year, bringing the total to $33.2 million, clearly surpassing Black Friday sales.


The Popular Green Wednesday Products


This Green Wednesday, dispensary owners saw major spikes in cannabis flower which was to be expected. During any cannabis holiday, most consumers are going to be drawn to flower sales as this is just the most traditional way of enjoying marijuana. However, what was slightly surprising was the huge increase in vape and cartridge sales.


It appears as though newer cannabis consumers are strongly attracted to discreet, easy-to-use products. Edibles are slowly fading from the limelight and concentrates can be a bit intimidating or inaccessible for those who don’t have the proper tools. Flower, too, can be harsh for newer consumers. This leaves high-end vape pens and cartridges to be the (almost) go-to product for Green Wednesday this year.


On top of vape and cartridge combos, other easy methods of smoking saw spikes in legal states, too. In states like California, Washington, and Colorado, dispensaries experienced a large need for pre-rolls and pre-roll packs. Instead of taking the time to grind and roll your own joint, consumers are attracted to already rolled joints for ease, accessibility, and price. Pre-roll packs allow you to get a handful of joints, ready to be smoked, typically at a lesser cost than your typical eighth.


But, who exactly is buying these products? While we all may expect these numbers to be coming from over 21-year-olds just reaching the legal age, the numbers show differently. While an overwhelming amount of 21-30-year-olds did make purchases during Green Wednesday, even more purchases came from 30-40-year-olds. This kind of information is integral for the cannabis scene: while cannabis has been widely embraced by younger generations, older generations have grown up with demonized predispositions about the plant. These numbers, though, show that the mood might be shifting. People are finally beginning to realize that cannabis is more than just a plant you can smoke: it has so many more benefits we’re just now starting to unpack.


The Future of Cannabis Sales


So, what exactly do these Green Wednesday sales mean for the cannabis industry? We can’t tell for sure, but it’s clear that this industry is thriving more than ever. In the past few years, these sales just keep increasing as more and more consumers start to embrace cannabis legality. As the generational appeal also expands, and the industry opens itself up towards older, more experienced customers that may have been opposed to legal sales at first.


Regardless, these Green Wednesday sales show some serious promise for this industry. Popularity is currently exploding and it’s obvious that it shows no signs of slowing.