Cannabis industry members, consumers, and enthusiasts are among those who will gather in-person and virtually to celebrate 4/20, engaging in product deals or purchases, attending rallies, and participating in seshes.
The diversity in celebrations points to the growing appeal of cannabis to people from all walks of life, said Brian MacIver, senior insights manager at Brightfield Group.
“Brands and companies are trying to reach consumers of all ages, of all backgrounds, wherever they’re at, and delivering experiences that best meet their needs, whether that’s retailers or brands putting together some 4/20 deals, artists—the top cannabis artists, like Snoop Dogg, Berner, Cypress Hill, I’m sure are putting on 4/20 … concerts,” MacIver said.
At home, others will consume cannabis to relax before bed, which pairs with the need state of sedation that MacIver said informs many retail cannabis purchases.
A new report from Brightfield, “The Biggest Cannabis Day of the Year: How consumers spend 4/20,” outlines some of the data and trends surrounding April 20 in the U.S.
Consumers Searching for Deals
Of cannabis consumers who responded to a Brightfield survey, 40% plan to visit a dispensary for 4/20 deals, according to the new report.
Highlighting general cannabis consumer preferences, the report states that 40% of consumers surveyed in
the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2021 said “‘price’ is the most important purchase factor to them.”
This 4/20’s deals will run the gamut from percentages off, to buy-one-get-one-for-a-penny deals, to ancillary product bundles, and so on, MacIver said.
He suggested a couple of last-minute 4/20 deal ideas that companies could participate in. “Whether or not they’re feasible I will let kind of retailers and brands dictate that,” he said.
Brands and retailers can partner with local restaurants, for one. “If you buy x amount of dollars’ worth of cannabis products on 4/20, you can get a coupon for a buy-one-get-one-free pizza coupon,” MacIver said of how the promotion would read. “So, when you get the munchies, you can order something on the side.”
Similarly, according to the report, Insomnia Cookies, Del Taco, and Jack in the Box “offer special 4/20 deals – often priced at $4.20.”
Businesses could also reuse Easter baskets from the holiday weekend, MacIver suggests, to bundle together products such as “adult coloring books, Cheetos, maybe some cannabis products, maybe a new hand pipe.”
Increased Dispensary Traffic Expected
The percentages of cannabis consumers responding to two questions from Brightfield—if they are aware of 4/20 and if they celebrate the holiday—decreased between 2019 and 2022.
However, MacIver pointed out that the overall base of cannabis consumers is larger than it was three years ago, so retailers by and large should expect more people in their store this 4/20 than they did in 2019.
The COVID-19 pandemic presents another reason dispensaries could see an uptick in foot traffic this 4/20.
“A lot of people were locked [down] at home, people who were more social not going out as much, and just needed something to make their four walls of their apartment or home a little more interesting, or relieve some of that stress and anxiety that a lot of people experienced during the COVID pandemic,” MacIver said.
More people took to consuming cannabis during the pandemic than had been the case previously, MacIver pointed out, and some cannabis consumers began consuming greater amounts during that timeframe.
More Women Plan to Celebrate 4/20 Than Men
According to Brightfield’s report, “Women cannabis consumers are 13% more likely to celebrate 4/20 than men, and they are even more likely to spend on 4/20.”
In a gender breakdown of which Brightfield survey respondents are participating in which types of 4/20 celebrations, a greater percentage of women plan to celebrate than men in every category. Out of respondents who aim to purchase new smoking pieces for the holiday, for example, 18% of women plan to do so versus 9% of men. And 43% of women who responded plan to use more cannabis than usual at home this 4/20, compared to 35% of the men.
“The other thing that I thought was interesting [was who is] doing creative activities, like adult coloring books, maybe playing some music …,” MacIver said. “Sixteen percent of males reported that they were going to be doing some kind of creative activity during 4/20. That was 50% higher for women at 24%.”
This reflects a broader trend of women consuming cannabis in increasing numbers, MacIver said. In Q4 2020, Brightfield reported that cannabis consumers who responded to a survey stating that they had used cannabis in that quarter were 48.7% female, 50.8% male, and 0.5% other. In Q4 2021, those numbers changed to 49% female, 50.3% male, and 0.7% other.
Is 4/20 On Its Way Out?
Will 4/20 always be synonymous with cannabis?
MacIver said where the holiday is headed isn’t quite clear. The three-percentage-point dip in respondents surveyed by Brightfield who agree with either the statement “I usually celebrate 4/20” or “celebrating 4/20 is very important to me” could reflect the fact that COVID’s not over and a lot of people still aren’t going out. It could also mean that, as cannabis consumption becomes more normalized, per MacIver, consumers might feel like they “don’t necessarily need a day to consume more because [they] are already consuming more in their day to day.”
“I’m not sure where that’s going to be going, but it’s definitely something that we’re going to be keeping a close eye on moving forward and trying to suss out the reason,” MacIver said of the dropping figures regarding who’s celebrating the holiday.
Indicators Of A Healthy Market
Brightfield’s Evergi platform, which the company announced in 2021, surveyed the U.S. population in Q4 2021 and found that 14% of respondents had tried CBD while 18% of respondents had tried THC cannabis, MacIver said.
“People are actually using THC-rich cannabis at a higher rate than CBD, so, again, just kind of tying into that 4/20 idea that a lot of people are getting high, a lot of people enjoy getting high, obviously a lot of people are using it as medication and it has all those benefits,” MacIver said. “But the fact that THC has kind of overtaken CBD, despite the fact that it’s not a national market yet, is kind of another good indicator of that widespread diversity.”