As experts release more data from the year 2020, it shows a silver-lining for the cannabis industry despite challenges including federal prohibition amid a pandemic.
Sales in California hit $4.4 billion last year, up 57% from the year prior, reports MJBizDaily with data from its Industry Factbook. The sales in Oregon have surpassed $1 billion annually for the first year. Massachusetts reached the $700 million mark, even as it saw some of the most strict store closures during lockdown. Illinois surpassed $1 billion in sales in its first year, setting new records every month.
Retail delivery and tech giant Eaze published its 2020 State Of Cannabis Report, breaking down some specifics on where that $4.4 billion may have gone in the state of California. The company looked at the delivery orders of 400,000 consumers in 2020 in the country’s largest legal marketplace.
The Election saw spikes in cannabis consumption. On November 3, 2020, consumers ordered 12% more product over an average Tuesday. California saw a 17% increase in deliveries statewide and an 18% increase in Los Angeles. The peak of these weed orders? Between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Pacific Time, as election results came in.
“I was surprised that cannabis got more votes than Biden or Trump in three of the states that legalized adult-use in the election,” says Rogelio Choy, CEO of Eaze. “Cannabis is a unifying political issue at a time when almost none of those exist. Let’s hope federal officials see that and move quickly to legalize.”
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Interesting findings from the report include the massive influx in delivery sales, as well as consumers who used delivery for the first time this year. The peak for first-time delivery users was March and April 2020, coinciding with lockdowns. Many cannabis industry operators saw the most consistent April sales ever. Eaze reports a 59% increase in new customer sign-ups, a 44% increase in first-time deliveries, and a 15% increase in order volume.
“Stay at home restrictions have really reinforced people’s trust and reliance on having products brought directly to their home,” says Choy. The CEO sees a large demand in mature markets as well as “new markets, like New Jersey and New York.” New York knows this delivery model well, and it’s unlicensed market thrives utilizing it.
While 4/20 sales still outpaced the year prior, data indicates that ‘Green Wednesday’ was the highest-grossing sales day of the year for the first time. Yes, surpassing 4/20. Choy says there is no going back from essential designation in 2020: “The essential designation finally and permanently lifted cannabis' stigma, and that’s why we saw such incredible growth. Many Californians who might’ve been waiting to try it finally jumped in.”
Edibles also gained popularity, accounting for 22% of overall sales in 2020. The top 5 list includes cannabis drinks for the first time. This may be attributed to consumers who sought alternatives to smoking. Edibles are also the most popular method of consumption in populous cities: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Diego. And edibles are the most popular method of consumption this year for every age group except Gen-Z (whose preferred product is still the Vape category).