Cannabis spending and the holidays: What to expect in 2021

October 18, 2021

The holidays are here, and cannabis spending is poised to be bigger than ever.

Cannabis spending and the holidays: What to expect in 2021

The holidays are here, and they’re poised to be bigger than ever.

The 2021 holiday season is projected to see over $1 trillion in sales, with 75% of consumers planning to maintain or increase their holiday shopping budget. And traditional brands won't be the only beneficiaries. Cannabis and CBD consumers are expected to spend more than $427 million during the holidays this year.

While 420 has historically ranked as one of the top cannabis sales days of the year, 2020 sales figures suggest that the holidays are even bigger.

New Year's Eve

In 2020, New Year’s Eve reached a record $89.4 million in sales, surpassing Green Wednesday as the biggest cannabis sales day of the year. In addition, consumers bought twice as many edibles on New Year’s Eve 2020 compared to the year prior. The overall increase in sales is due in part to 64.2% of consumers replacing alcohol with cannabis during the holidays, especially heading into Dry January.


Green Wednesday

The day before Thanksgiving, known as Green Wednesday, was the second-biggest sales day of 2020, with $87.4 million in revenue. The average basket size for medical consumers was $122.64, representing a 5% increase over the daily average spend. And adult-use consumers spent an average of $78.14 – an increase of approximately 12%.


Wednesday Before Christmas

Last year, Christmas holiday spending generated $427 million in cannabis sales from December 18 to December 24 – totaling 15% higher than the weekly average. The Wednesday before Christmas saw $87.3 million in sales, and shoppers also increased their cart sizes by an average of $7. The average cart size for recreational cannabis rose to $79 and $121 for medical cannabis.


Black Friday

Just two days after the second-biggest cannabis sales day of the year, Black Friday cannabis sales reached $86 million in 2020 – a 75% increase from 2019. The average basket size for Black Friday was $50.56 in 2020, a 21% increase from 2019. Akerna reported that cannabis consumers spent approximately $238 million over the 2020 Thanksgiving weekend (November 25 – November 28).



Last year, cannabis sales reached $85.8 million on the Friday before Halloween, making it the fifth-largest cannabis sales day of the year. On Halloween day, recreational sales grew 14% and medical cannabis sales by 5%.


With the holidays rapidly approaching, now’s the time to run campaigns designed to drive consumer engagement and sales. According to IAS, 53% of consumers will start shopping before November, with 50% planning to finish holiday shopping by December. Don’t miss out on this growth opportunity; achieve your sales goals and more by building the right holiday plan.

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