Holiday sales confirm that marijuana is mainstream
It's been a great holiday season for many marijuana fans – and only a few Grinches in sight!
The holiday season was great for the cannabis industry. In 2023, Delaware, Ohio and Minnesota passed recreational marijuana use laws. More than half of the U.S. population lives in places where marijuana is legal for recreational use, and even more have access to medical marijuana. The holidays are a time for indulgence and spending. CConsumers exceeded their spending expectations in December. Retail sales rose 0.6% in December compared to November, which was more than analysts expected. Holiday sales confirm that marijuana is mainstream by the way the public spends on products.
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And in a major cultural shift, Generation Z is moving away from alcohol and moving gently toward marijuana. Young adults who didn't attend college were even more likely to abstain from alcohol. Almost 30% of this group said they did not drink beer, wine or spirits in 2018. In 2002 the number was around 24%.
According to numerous reports, the decline in alcohol consumption among Generation Z is paralleled by an increase in cannabis use. Is this a one-to-one trade in fabrics? Some signs indicate this
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It was a major marijuana sales year, according to BDSA, a leading national cannabis data analytics firm. The day before Thanksgiving is already a standout year. Comparing the same seven holidays from 2022 to those from 2023, there was an average year-over-year increase of 19%. The day before Turkey Day is known in the cannabis industry as Green Wednesday. It is also a big alcohol sales day and is known as Blackout Wednesday or Drinksgiving. However, alcohol sales only increased by 3.8%.
“Christmas is historically a significant holiday for the legal cannabis industry, with the days leading up to Christmas providing a significant boost to legal sales. In 2022, the day before Christmas Eve (12/23/22) saw the second highest daily sales of any day that month, with total daily sales +38% above the daily sales average for December 2022,” shared BDSA.
Groceries saw an even bigger increase in the week before Christmas 2023. BDSA reports that grocery sales in the week leading up to Christmas were +23% higher than the average weekly grocery sales for the month. This makes sense since gummy bears are the most common way people consume them – almost 49% of users report consuming a gummy bear.
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States that started their program (except NY) performed particularly well. Marijuana retailers in Michigan sold a whopping $3.06 billion in adult-use and medical products in 2023. Grinches are few and far between, the governors of Iowa, Florida and New Hampshire are working hard to block sales, and Senator Mitch McConnell is still working to block any national legalization of marijuana. And all eyes are on the DEA to see what it will do about the debt restructuring.