Marijuana retailers report robust sales from 4/20 weekend

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Image of retail staff serving customers on 4/20 at Greenlight Garage in Springfield, Missouri.

Retail staffers serve customers during the grand opening of at Greenlight Garage in Springfield, Missouri, on April 20. (Photo courtesy of Greenlight Dispensary)

U.S. marijuana retailers reported brisk business on April 20, the biggest day of the year for cannabis sales, despite setbacks from widespread e-commerce platform outages.

Retailers, point-of-sale (POS) and e-commerce operators overwhelmingly experienced significant increases in revenue and foot traffic during the high holiday weekend, according to firsthand accounts and industry data.

In most cases, retailers and vendors handled the holiday rush and related festivities in fine fashion.

While some marijuana retailers using Dutchie e-commerce systems said software outages slowed or stopped transactions, less than 20% of Dutchie customers experienced performance issues, the Bend, Oregon-based company confirmed to MJBizDaily.

Dutchie’s POS and e-commerce software is used by more than 6,000 cannabis retail clients in the United States and Canada.

Marijuana retailers rejoice

Cresco Labs rang in its sixth high holiday in the cannabis retail sector with a record-breaking performance across its 72-store network under the Sunnyside brand.

“We had an incredible 4/20 weekend and broke every retail metric we track as a company, including 35% more shoppers, 70% more grams sold and the highest retail revenue weekend we’ve ever had – all while operating with a more efficient team and without any major tech disruptions to our Sunnyside operating model,” said Cory Rothschild, president of retail for the Chicago-based multistate operator.

The Cannabist Co. introduced more than 40 new products over the weekend at its in-house 4/20 celebrations.

“We had amazing crowds at our dispensaries leading up to and during this weekend,” said Victoria Walker, senior vice president of retail marketing at the New York-based MSO, which has 85 marijuana stores in 15 regulated U.S. markets.

Beating sales expectations

Nearly 100 shoppers visited the POPS store in the small coastal town of Port Orford, Oregon, helping drive Saturday sales past $4,000, a 49% increase compared to April 20, 2023.

The cannabis store, which touted its holiday discounts with print ads in local publications, had several contingency plans in place for potential software outages but experienced no failures.

“Overall, a wonderful holiday for us at POPS,” owner Shelly Hall-Crobar reported.

Ann Arbor, Michigan-based C3 Industries, parent of High Profile Cannabis Shop, topped its own sales predictions this year.

The company’s 21 outlets in Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri and New Jersey reported a 40% jump in same-store sales compared to last year, besting the forecast increase of 25%-30% it provided to MJBizDaily last week.

C3’s High Profile stores did not experience any outages or issues with POS or e-commerce software after bolstering its tech infrastructure, increasing server capacity and adding POS terminals, express checkouts and support staff to handle the holiday rush, according to C3 Chief Operating Officer Samip Shah.

Celebratory atmosphere

More than 2,000 visitors attended festivities at the Gelato marijuana store in Lake Elsinore, California, which featured mechanical bull rides, prize machines, a portrait artist, fresh tacos and sweet treats for patrons.

Lines wrapped around the store throughout Saturday, and staff reported zero retail disruptions from POS or other e-commerce software.

Some shoppers who camped out Thursday night received a “generous” store credit, according to Gelato CEO and co-founder George Sadler.

“Sales were up approximately 30% this year compared to last year,” he added.

“This year was a bigger event overall – more people, more activations. And I think that contributed to an overall increase in sales.”

More than 6,180 customers visited 11 Urbn Leaf and Harborside stores in California, according to parent company StateHouse Holdings, which reported a 15.1% increase in foot traffic from 2023.

Revenue was up 11.3% on April 20 compared to a year earlier, according to the vertically integrated company based in La Mesa, California.

The difference a year makes

Greenlight Dispensaries saw sales surge 60% year-over-year at its 32 stores in six states, while transactions climbed 52%.

John Mueller, CEO of the Kansas City, Missouri-based MSO, attributes the strong performance to several factors, including:

  • April 20 falling on a Saturday (it was on Thursday last year).
  • No online ordering disruptions this year on Greenlight’s Dutchie systems.
  • Supply-chain improvements, particularly those related to product variety and inventory. The Missouri adult-use market launched just a few months before 4/20 last year, and the market has experienced inventory shortfalls.

Inside the numbers and trends

Despite the weekend bump in sales and anecdotal successes, it appears total sales for April 20, 2024, will not eclipse the 2023 mark.

Seattle-based cannabis industry analytics provider Headset tallied $83.6 million worth of cannabis product sales across the markets it tracks in the United States and Canada.

That total is down 16% year-over-year, as 4/20 revenue in 2023 eclipsed $100 million in 10 states and four Canadian markets alone.

Infused beverages were a surprise breakout category for sales this 4/20, with unit sales skyrocketing 206% from last year.

The segment, which represents traditional THC drinks and low-dose options derived from hemp, has been buoyed by mass adoption in Minnesota and other states as well as national distribution deals with mainstream retailers.

Concentrates, typically the top-ranked product in terms of increased purchases on 4/20, were No. 2, with sales soaring 148% above 2023 unit sales, according to Headset data.

Flower remains king, however, racking up nearly 41% of total marijuana sales in the U.S. and Canada.

Many consumers stocked up on cannabis in advance, and the combined market for April 19-20, 2024, showed modest growth over 2023, although individual state performances varied.

When comparing the past four Saturdays, state markets on average experienced a sales boost of between 1.7 times the average (Pennsylvania) and nearly three times more sales (Oregon), according to Headset co-founder and CTO Scott Vickers.

“4/20 absolutely drives sales,” he reiterated.

Brands shine

Brand recognition and awareness continue to play an important role in consumer purchasing patterns.

According to retail advertising provider and online marketplace Weedmaps, 72% of items ordered April 20 on the platform were “brand verified,” a designation that allows retailers to promote specific products and vendors.

Last 4/20, that percentage was 55%.

“The surge in brand-verified orders and increased deal redemptions underscore the evolving preferences of consumers, highlighting a continued focus on trust, value and authenticity,” said Jackie Gonzalez-Becerra, vice president of revenue at Orange County, California-based Weedmaps.

Five brands – &Shine, Float, Rhythm, Savvy and Stiiizy – accounted for 17% of all 4/20 sales powered by Jane Technologies, the Santa Cruz, California-headquartered company said.

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Rival POS providers tout wins

With another year of Dutchie system disturbances, competitors such as Jane Technologies and Treez took the opportunity to tout their performances during the holiday weekend.

On April 19, Oakland, California-based retail software company Treez reported a record 200% surge in year-over-year customers, products sold and gross sales, while April 20, 2024, saw a 120% spike in these metrics compared to last year.

“While some point-of-sale providers encountered outages, the Treez system remained operational without any downtime across all 11 markets it serves,” CEO John Yang told MJBizDaily via email.

The company serves more than 500 retailers with its POS, e-commerce and inventory-management software.

Jane Technologies clocked more than a half-million transactions on its platform over the weekend, setting a record.

Weekend sales eclipsed $45.7 million, 14.3% higher than any other two-day period in the company’s seven-year history.

“Thanks to our team’s preparedness and experience with high-volume sales days, the Jane platform ran smoothly on Saturday and our partners were able to provide a seamless shopping experience for their customers during the biggest shopping day of the year,” CEO Soc Rosenfeld said via email.

Jane Technologies’ POS, e-commerce and payment-processing services are utilized by more than 2,500 retailers, primarily in the United States.

Perennial problems persist

While 4/20 was a record-setting day for plenty of Dutchie retail customers, it wasn’t for Hippos Cannabis, which operates three stores in Missouri.

The Dutchie client had a POS outage from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., causing unit sales to free fall from about 500 per hour to fewer than 100.

Dutchie told MJBizDaily the problems were tied to a specific group of customers and its POS system, which “impacted their ability to transact.”

The issues appeared limited to certain markets, including Maryland, Michigan, Missouri and Montana.

Hippo Cannabis, which experienced Dutchie menu problems last year, voiced frustrations after another setback that reflected poorly on its business, according to CEO Nick Rinella.

“Dutchie failed to give us any warning that this could happen, failed to pick up the phone to service our issues in real time and has not issued any sort of apology even now, over 48 hours later, despite our significant financial loss of business during the many hours their system was down,” Rinella told MJBizDaily.

“We are making adjustments to our tech stack to ensure customers at Hippos will continue to have a pleasant shopping experience in the future.”

Chris Casacchia can be reached at