Why cannabis operators expect a record 420 despite coronavirus concerns
By Andrew Ward
The high holy day of the pot is almost here and ready to shake off the rust from last year.
April 20th, the most famous day in cannabis, is usually marked with plenty of pot. Last year, I Heart Jane online marketplace saw sales increase 35% in the week from 420 over a typical week of sales.
Data from Headset shows a 420 increase in cannabis sales in California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. Beverages (54%), topical products (41%) and concentrates (41%) were the top producers over the reporting period.
“The attention paid to the 420 holiday is another example of how the cannabis industry has arrived. 420 grow sales like any other type of retail holiday from Valentine’s Day to Mother’s Day,” he said Choice Consolidation Corp. (NEO: CDXX-UN.NE) CEO Joe Caltabiano.
Strong sales during the height of the pandemic give optimism for a holiday season with many vaccinated consumers in the final months of the pandemic.
Further growth expected As COVID-19 declines, interest in cannabis is increasing: “As we continue to see strong market strength and more and more new customers are trusted with our products, we are forecasting another record of 420,” said Jeff Yapp, CEO of Golden Leaf Hldgs Ltd. (OTC: GLDFF). The company owns and operates Oregon’s pharmacy brand Chalice Farms.
Manifestseven Holdings (OTC: MNFSF) Director and CEO Sturges Karban expects this 420 to grow further. Karban, whose company owns Weden Pharmacies in California, said last year confirmed cannabis resilience.
“If anything, the past year has proven to consumers, operators, regulators and lawmakers that demand for this product can even compete with pressures on disposable income,” Karban said.
Bryan Lloyd, VP, Retail Store for Multistate Operator Jushi Holdings Inc. (OTC: JUSHF) said the company’s BEYOND / HELLO pharmacies typically see sales spikes in the days leading up to 420 and on vacation itself.
“This year 420 has a real chance to go mainstream,” said Lloyd. Jushi is represented in Pennsylvania, Illinois, California and Virginia through BEYOND / HELLO. The company plans to double the number of its stores in 2021.
Different approaches to safe cannabis surgery: Some stores have moved to a new normal during the pandemic. Others continue to focus on returning to old operations – with personal protective equipment.
Photo by nattrass / Getty Images
Chalice Farms had three priorities over the past year: “Employee safety, customer safety and keeping our stores open,” said Yapp.
COVID-19 precautions will remain in place at the company’s seven locations, he said.
“Our safety procedures implemented last year have become standard practice and we look forward to a safe, exciting celebration for our community.”
Some of the protocols include limiting the number of customers in the store and an emphasis on ordering online.
Karban said Weden is keeping staff up to date with quarterly COVID-19 policy updates.
RELATED: Cannabis Sales Expected to Hit $ 370M in Days Before 420
Internal controls involve a kind of security buddy system.
“All of our teams have a normally self-appointed person who helps enforce health and safety procedures, policies and compliance within their own teams,” he said.
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Weden hopes to provide a high quality shopping experience with this 420.
“We want the 420 in-store and delivery experience to escape lockdown restrictions and quarantines for a year and give them a truly normal, high-quality retail experience, even with masks and security measures,” said Karban.
Other existing parameters are strict compliance with PSA mandates. The company is also aiming for a fully vaccinated workforce so that customers can feel more comfortable in stores.
Lloyd said BEYOND / HELLO locations are approaching 420 from a “revitalized digital perspective” while limiting customers in store, performing frequent disinfections, and ensuring social distancing remains in place.
RELATED: U.S. Cannabis Sales To Reach $ 28 Billion In 2022
The company hopes that the recently launched online experience and in-store pickup and delivery options will help serve customers efficiently while keeping everyone safe.
“More than ever, consumers are looking for safe and streamlined online shopping experiences,” said Lloyd. “That’s why we offer state-of-the-art digital technologies that offer the flexibility that customers want.”
This article originally appeared on Benzinga and was republished with permission.