Business intelligence from Akerna (Nasdaq: KERN), an enterprise software, leading compliance technology provider, and developer of the cannabis industry’s first seed-to-sale enterprise resource planning (ERP) software technology (MJ Platform®), showed that Tuesday, April 20, a widely-popular yet unofficial “holiday” celebrating cannabis consumption, was the highest sales day for retail cannabis ever recorded, with approximately $111,815,824 in medical and adult-use sales. The 5-day period surrounding the holiday (4/16 – 4/20) grossed over $373,787,685.
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“Akerna’s 420 data showed large increases in purchasing and consumption. Americans are increasingly turning to cannabis, which we predict will only increase with federal cannabis reform,” said Jessica Billingsley, Akerna Chief Executive Officer.
The previous year’s 420 didn’t see any jumps in sales. It didn’t even make the top five sales days of the year, indicating the cannabis retail industry had some work to do to adapt to new social guidelines and customer changing needs. Soon after, cannabis dispensaries began offering various alternative shopping options, including online ordering, curbside pickup, and delivery. With all these new business needs came an increased dependency on technology.
“Earlier this month, we released predictions for this year’s 420, derived from MJ Platform, which correctly predicted the $373+ million value,” said James Ahrendt, Business Intelligence Architect at Akerna. “This is a testament to the power of our data analytics, which is based on over a decade of legal cannabis sales. By leveraging data-driven insights, cannabis businesses can make strategic predictions and decisions for their businesses.”
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These historically high sales are likely a combination of 420 celebrations and additional states legalizing cannabis for both medicinal and adult use. While the cannabis industry has relied on state-by-state legalization, federal cannabis reform is on the horizon with support from many leading congresspeople. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer gave a speech on the Senate floor commemorating the holiday and calling for reform, some of which has already passed in the House.
The day before the 420, the House passed the SAFE Banking Act with bipartisan support, which addresses a significant issue in the industry. Because cannabis is a Class I controlled substance at the federal level, cannabis businesses cannot access traditional banking services that are a given with other mainstream industries, which creates a variety of problems from securing loans, processing payments, receiving high fees, and in some cases, can impact payroll. How the final Senate bill looks is yet to be determined, but banking will likely be part of a broader cannabis reformation bill that includes decriminalization and federal regulation.
Additional Insights for the 5-day shopping period (4/16 – 4/20):
- Average Order total:
- Average basket Size:
- 3.85 products per order
- Overall Category sales:
- Flower – 48.08%
- Cartridge/Pens – 30.38%
- Concentrates – 11.63%
- Infused Edibles – 8.1%
- Other – 1.81%
- Male: 60.91% male
- Female: 39.01%
- Sales by age groups:
- Under 30 – 30.49%
- 30-40 –30.66%
- 40-50 – 18.90%
- 50-60 –11.17%
- Over 60 – 8.78%