People Are Spending Their Stimulus Checks On Cannabis

Cannabis, an essential good in many legal markets, saw up to 63 percent sales increases the day the stimulus check arrived.
People Are Spending Their Stimulus Checks On Cannabis
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Was your dispensary particularly packed last week?

On April 15, dispensaries in legal markets across the country saw substantial sales spikes. It is the same day the federal government sent out stimulus checks to about 80 million Americans (60 million Americans are estimated to still be waiting for their checks). The stimulus checks amount to $1,200, depending on your income, and are meant to aid the population in COVID-19 financial fallout.

RELATED: Coronavirus Spikes Demand For Cannabis Delivery As People Stockpile Products

Jane Technologies, a popular online cannabis marketplace, found a 48 percent sales increase on Wednesday, April 15, 2020, compared to an average day. Jane took a look at data from over 1,300 dispensaries. It pulled some numbers post-stimulus check from stores in their partner network which include Apothecarium, Harborside, and Airfield Supply Co., to name a few.

Another marketing platform for the industry with over 16 million users, Springbig, reported an even higher increase on its platform: sales were up 63.31 percent on Wednesday, April 15. Springbig reported a total of $18.7 million in 4/20 merchant sales this year.

Data has come flooding in to back up these stimulus sales spikes for cannabis. Flowhub, one of the leading cannabis retail software companies in the industry, reported its second-best sales of the year after March 18, 2020, which was the peak of the COVID-19 stockpile in sales. Flowhub found adult-use sales increased 57 percent on Wednesday, April 15. Medical sales increased a bit more modestly, but still up 39 percent compared to the prior Wednesday.

In Colorado, the most established legal cannabis market in the U.S., Seed & Smith dispensary recorded a 49 percent increase in sales on Wednesday, April 15. 

"There is definitely a correlation with sales over the past week that would certainly point to people using their stimulus check for cannabis," Robbie Wroblewski, Director of Community Outreach at Seed & Smith, tells Green Entrepreneur. "Customers are also mentioning that they have been stuck inside with nothing but alcohol and it is wearing thin so now that they have a couple hundred extra dollars, they are testing the waters with cannabis."

 RELATED: 5 Reasons To Feel Hopeful This 4/20

 "A normal day during this COVID pandemic is about $6,500 a day, which is actually lower than a normal day, because of the lack of tourism," Wroblewski says. "But since the checks started dropping we have seen a huge jump and it is all coming from the local community as opposed to tourists, that's a huge indicator that we have been seeing folks spending their stimulus. Friday, we did $13,000 in sales, Saturday we did $19,000 and Sunday was $11,000, which is double a regular day."

The same trends that Seed & Smith witnessed can be seen in the biggest adult-use cannabis market in the country, California. SPARC, a vertically-integrated cannabis operator with 5 retail locations in the northern region of California, saw a 28 percent sales increase on Wednesday, April 15, compared to the week prior.

In addition, multi-state cannabis operator From The Earth, saw a 34 percent increase in sales at its Santa Ana dispensary and a 23 percent increase at its storefront located in Port Hueneme, California, on the same day.

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