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Green Wednesday—LEGAL CANNABIS’ VERY OWN BLACK FRIDAY

November 19, 2021

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With Halloween already in the rear-view mirror, Thanksgiving is the next big event of the Holiday Season. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving has been dubbed Green Wednesday, due to the huge spike in cannabis sales that we see on this day from consumers stocking up on their favorite dank flower and infused treats before the feast. In 2021 we expect the holiday to bring a sizable boost in sales, driven by larger basket sizes and more items per basket. Green Wednesday will also provide a golden opportunity to boost cannabis sales through discounts and cross-category promotions.

  • Cannabis plays a big role in how many celebrate special events like Thanksgiving. Consumers reach for cannabis in all sorts of occasions, and holiday occasions are no different. According to BDSA’s Consumer Insights data, ~40% of consumers in adult-use cannabis states claim to always incorporate cannabis when celebrating or attending special events. Thanksgiving itself is often a busy event between dinner preparations and time spent socializing with friends and family. Cannabis offers much-needed stress relief to many who need to get away from the hustle and bustle of the holiday, with ~75% of consumers in adult-use states claiming that they always use cannabis when relaxing and unwinding.
  • The Wednesday before Thanksgiving will bring a sizable surge to 2021 cannabis sales in legal states. In 2020, California saw a 40% increase in cannabis dollar sales on Green Wednesday compared to the average daily dollar sales in November. This is notable as Wednesday is usually one of the slower days of the week for cannabis sales. When compared to the average daily sales of other Wednesdays in November, cannabis sales on Green Wednesday were almost 50% higher.
  • Store traffic may hold steady, but basket sizes will get a boost. BDSA Basket Analytics from 2020 shows that California cannabis retailers did not see an increase in transactions on Green Wednesday compared to the prior Wednesday in November, but the size of baskets did grow. Green Wednesday saw an average basket size of almost $65, while the preceding Wednesday saw an average basket size of just over $60.
  • More items purchased, or higher prices at retail? BDSA Retail Sales Tracking from November 2020 show that cannabis dispensary shoppers added more items to their “basket” on Green Wednesday compared to the average November Wednesday. BDSA’s California Basket Analytics from 2020 shows shoppers averaged 2.5 items per basket on Green Wednesday compared to just 2.1 items on the preceding Wednesday. Many retailers were wise to this “stock-up” trend leading into the holiday weekend, with many pulling in shoppers via price off promotions that led to a decreased average item cost on Green Wednesday, with the average cost coming in at $26.16/item on Green Wednesday vs. $28.02 on the preceding Wednesday.
  • How can retailers use cross-promotion to boost basket sizes? The product mix on Green Wednesday did not significantly differ from the average Wednesday in November in 2020, but retailers can still use cross-promotion across product categories to boost sales of subcategories that tend to see lower sales. In California in November 2020, BDSA’s cross basket analysis shows that ~40% of baskets that contain edibles also contain topicals, a form factor that sees much lower basket penetration than most categories. Topicals may not be the most relevant pre-holiday form factor, but there are countless ways retailers (and brands) can incentivize higher baskets on Green Wednesday looking at product and brand affinities.
  • For some, the Thanksgiving table itself may actually present an opportunity to enjoy cannabis infused in the meal. With the massive amount of product innovation happening in legal cannabis, it’s not surprising that there are plenty of products that consumers can use to add an infused treat to their Thanksgiving feast. Here are some of the culinary products that can be a welcome addition to the holiday spread.
  • Heavenly Sweet Medibles Cannabutter – 4 oz: Available in California with 1000mg THC and 2000mg THC dosages.
  • Cannapunch Infused Sugar – Mountain Powder: Available in Colorado.
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