The unofficial marijuana holiday on April 20 (4/20) has been the single best day for legal marijuana sales since, well, recreational marijuana sales first became legal in Colorado. And this year is expected to show the biggest increase ever, with sales rising by 20%.
And that doesn't count states like California that legalized recreational sales last November. Those states won't be included in the statistics until sales begin later this year or next.
Cannabis business consulting firm MJ Freeway forecast that retail sales would average $50,000 between April 18 and April 20. In 2016 average sales on 4/20 totaled just over $24,000, about double the daily average of $12,258 for the entire year.
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The average sales ticket on 4/20 last year was near $70, about 10% higher than the full-year daily average and the number of consumers walking into retail shops is expected to rise 10% compared with last year's holiday traffic.
Total sales nationwide today are expected to reach $45 million, an increase of about 18% from an estimated total of $38 million last year.
Medical marijuana dispensaries generally do not celebrate the holiday either because the medical market is so tightly regulated or because they want to separate themselves from recreational market with its associations to tie-dyed T-shirts and stoner culture.
Unlike the big shopping bonanza around Black Friday, consumers are not purchasing big-ticket items at special pricing. According to Marijuana Business Daily, pot buyers are "stocking up on personal supplies of cannabis at a significantly reduced rate." And if that's the case, sales later in the year may suffer somewhat.