Green Wednesday has been hyped as the biggest day for cannabis sales outside of 4/20, but is that really the case? We checked the data.
In 2022, Headset noted that discreet products – those that Aunt Gertrude won’t notice you consuming – did see sales increase over the Thanksgiving holiday. Topicals were up 15.7%, beverages increased 13.2%, and edibles up 6.1%.
However, inhalable products, such as concentrates, fell -11.4%, and flower sales dropped -10.8%.
BDSA said that in the markets it tracks, there was a 50% surge in basket counts at dispensaries during Thanksgiving week, which seems to support the hype around Green Wednesday.
Top Holidays for Cannabis Sales (Daily $ Sales)
Shift in Shopping
While those shopping days look great on their own, the reality may be that shoppers are just shifting their shopping days to coincide with the holiday.
Retail tech company Treez analyzed hundreds of thousands of cannabis shopping visits to dispensaries that run on Treez, which included single stores to chain operators with upwards of six locations across 13 U.S. markets. The data collected spanned from Wed., Nov. 16, 2022, (the week before Thanksgiving) to Sun., Nov. 27, 2022.
Treez found that total transaction volumes across the period were comparatively unchanged, with average orders in the $74-$76 range and discounts of roughly 26%-28%.
Customer visits increased during that time, according to Treez, yet sales throughout the Wednesday-to-Sunday Thanksgiving period remained relatively consistent with an average week.
“This implies that while a significant portion of sales traditionally occurring on Saturday and Sunday is shifting to Wednesday and Friday, the overall impact on the Thanksgiving week is minimal,” Treez reported. “The data reveals that customers are looking to stock up for the long holiday weekend and are changing their shopping behavior as such.”
The increase in business though may be coming at a cost, as discounts are proving to be popular.
Treez said that while Green Wednesday and Black Friday were prime days for customers to stock up on cannabis products, the increased prevalence of discounts during the holiday week has triggered a decline in gross margins compared to the previous week. Margins that averaged of 49% the week before Thanksgiving fell to an average of 41-44%.
“As we navigate through these insights, it becomes essential to scrutinize the nuanced dynamics at play during the Thanksgiving week. While the initial allure of discounts is evident, the impact on gross margins prompts a reevaluation of the true economic value of Green Wednesday for the cannabis sector,” said Elling Hofland, director of product management at Treez. “In essence, Green Wednesday and Black Friday are a double-edged sword for the cannabis industry, offering high sales while compromising profitability,”
BDSA’s data agreed and found a 3% average drop in product pricing. Companies, such as Insa Cannabis, are closing stores on Thanksgiving but running discounts ranging from 30% to 50% off around the holiday in the three states where it operates. New York dispensary Etain is running discounts of more than 20%.
G Pen and Stündenglass, makers of the celebrated gravity infusers, said they are starting early with Green Wednesday and Black Friday deals.
Lisa Harun, CMO of Grenco Science said, “Green Wednesday has evolved into a pivotal moment for both the cannabis industry and our business, symbolizing the growing demand for quality products and responsible consumption.”
Hofland concluded, “Since the number of customers shopping during the week of Thanksgiving is consistent with an average week, our suggestion for retailers is to prioritize offering discounts on items that typically face challenges in moving off the shelves.”
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