Chart: Adult-use marijuana sales spike 7% on Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day isn’t just an opportunity to express love, it’s also an opportunity to spend – a trend that is reflected in retail marijuana expenditures in several adult-use markets.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) estimated that total 2019 spending on Valentine’s Day gifts in the United States would exceed $20 billion, making the holiday No. 3 in terms of spending after the winter holidays ($717 billion-$720 billion) and Mother’s Day ($23.1 billion).

The NRF estimated individual sales at $162 per person, with an average spend of $15.07 on flowers and $14.12 on candy.

Point-of-sale data from Denver-based cannabis software firm Flowhub found that 2019 Valentine’s Day spending increased among recreational marijuana consumers, with combined retail sales in Alaska, Colorado and Oregon spiking 7% on Feb. 14 relative to the average Thursday.

Flowhub’s data shows that Valentine’s Day weekend spending at adult-use marijuana retail stores in those states hit $3.15 million in 2019, a 3% increase over 2018, with average spending of $52.98.

Edibles and infused products – a growing sector of the recreational marijuana market – were particularly popular among Valentine’s Day shoppers.

Marijuana sales, including at least one edible, ranged from $54 to $59 before taxes, about four times the amount consumers were expected to spend on mainstream candy.

Valentine’s Day weekend sales of edibles increased 18% from 2018 to 2019, with sales of infused chocolates increasing 33% and infused gummies rising 43%.

Data from Seattle analytics company Headset found similar results in 2018, with Valentine’s Day spending on edibles increasing 14% over the average day, with a 125% increase in sales of infused truffles and 52% increase in sales of infused chocolates.

While the number of Valentine’s Day weekend adult-use marijuana transactions in Alaska, Colorado and Oregon (combined) increased 41% between 2017 and 2019, total spending increased by only 32%.

Spending per transaction decreased 7%.

This reflects ongoing oversupply issues in both Oregon and Colorado that caused wholesale prices to plummet 65% and 27%, respectively, between the 2017 and 2018 fall harvests.

Here’s what else you need to know about the situation:

  • Headset found men reduced their spending on marijuana flower – typically the largest segment for males – by 5% leading up to Valentine’s Day but increased their spending on pre-rolls, edibles and topicals.
  • Women showed a 4% increase in spending overall with a 7% increase in spending on cannabis flower.
  • Headset also reported increases in 2018 Valentine’s Day sales of infused products over the average day, with sales of bath salts and soaks up 189% and massage oils and lubricants up 88%.

Maggie Cowee can be reached at