WOW! What a year it’s been — for you, us at FlowerHire, and the cannabis industry as a whole. We’re simply in awe of the regulatory and cultural shifts that we’ve experienced, together.
This year is proof that when life gives you lemons, you can make lemonade. That you never know where the road is going. And that hard work pays off.
If you were to ask us on April 20, 2020, what April 21, 2020, was going to look like… this is better than what we imagined. We were confident our resilience would get us through the pandemic… but where we are now, feels like a glorious dream that we’ve created together.
How the Cannabis Industry Changed From April 20, 2020, to April 20, 2021
Just before 4/20 last year, cannabis was deemed an essential service. And that’s when our industry began to catapult forward.
Cannabis Becomes an Essential Service Right Before Last Year’s 4/20 Holiday
Once cannabis became an essential service, cannabis did what it does best: takes action.
- Everyone — teams of budtenders, extractors, trimmers, manufacturers, and more — were scrambling to keep up with the demand.
- Retail shops set up drive-throughs, online ordering, and delivery services, all from scratch and on the fly.
- Discounts were being offered to help families in financial hardship be able to afford their medication.
- And cannabis companies in Massachusetts started producing hand sanitizers to donate to local hospitals.
At FlowerHire, we were placing employees, rapidly. As the unemployment rates rose, new cannabis hires rose too. Even without the support of the Paycheck Protection Program from the federal government, we were all-hands-on-deck to meet consumers’ needs and get the industry, and Americans, through the pandemic.
Cannabis Consumption Trends Changed
As the virus attacked the lungs of people around the world, many cannabis consumers switched to edibles. According to Eaze, edibles reigned (followed by flower and vapes), becoming the most popular product across all major markets.
Edibles accounted for 22% of all sales in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Diego (1). All age groups, except Generation Z, preferred edibles. Cannabis drink sales soared. And brands like Cann changed what a Zoom happy hour looks like.
The Cannabis Consumption Gender Gap Continues to Close
Men have lead cannabis sales for years. But the number of women consumers continues to increase. According to Eaze (1):
- In 2018, men made up 62% of new cannabis consumers and women 38%
- In 2019, men made up 54% of new cannabis consumers and women 46%
- In 2020, men made up 52% of new cannabis consumers and women 48%
We’re so close to an even split! Will women consumers surpass men in 2021? For reference, the U.S. Census Bureau stated that in 2019, 50.8% of the population was women and 49.2% was men (5).
Cannabis Saw Increased Awareness in Social Equity
While we still have a long way to go with social equity, we saw improvements in consumer efforts to buy from social equity brands.
The murder of George Floyd forced Americans to face the realities of racism. And this helped wake Americans up to what they can do to help. Eaze saw consumers more consciously buying from licensees who were disproportionately affected by the War on Drugs (1).
They said more people were vocalizing the desire to buy from social equity brands. People over 30 were more likely to buy from social equity brands, and 9.5% of all consumers bought from social equity brands (1)…
We want to acknowledge that this is certainly a low statistic… but that is partially due to the low number of existing social equity brands. So this statistic represents both the progress we’ve made and the need for regulators to prioritize social equity licenses.
Cannabis Sales Around the Holiday Season Changed…
In California, the last night of Hanukka, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Eve had higher sales than Labor Day and Memorial Day — holidays that have traditionally had the highest, yearly.
Many people were sitting home and kicking back alone while they chill at family Zoom gatherings. Edibles for appetizers anyone? How about chillin’ with a cannabis beverage in hand while rockin’ around the Christmas tree?
… And Green Wednesday Outsells 4/20
Green Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, had more cannabis sales than 4/20! (1)
What does this say about the 4/20 holiday? This change is likely just because of travel restrictions and people spending more time at home. But we’re certainly curious… and you know we’ll be watching the sales trends this year to see if this change is here to stick!
Moving Into January 2021…
North American cannabis companies raised over $1.6 billion in January alone following the Democrats sweeping the 2020 election.
According to Morgan Paxhia with Poseidon Investment Management, the capital raised in 2021 could surpass 2018’s record of $14.2 billion (2).
New Recreational Markets Opened Up
Support for legalization is higher than its ever been. Two in three Americans, or 68%, support legalization (3).
Legalization is one of the few areas that Democrats and Republicans are united — and that’s proof that cannabis brings people together. *wink*
Since last 4/20, Arizona, New Jersey, Montana, North Dakota, and New York have legalized recreational cannabis.
States are more rapidly moving from medical-only to adult-use. For example, according to Marijuana Business Daily, it took California 7,308 days to go from legalizing medical cannabis to the first sale of recreational cannabis (4). It took Massachusettes a fraction of the time at only 1,463 days (4). And South Dakota was the first state to vote in favor of both medical and recreational cannabis the same day.
The United States is moving closer to federal legalization faster than we expected.
What Does This 4/20 Holiday Mean to FlowerHire?
At FlowerHire, we’re marking this 4/20 holiday as a day to reflect on the changes and growth of the cannabis industry. The growth that we’ve made happen, together.
We’ve built an industry from scratch.
We’ve grown this industry faster than any other industry has grown.
And our industry has not only survived a pandemic — but we’ve thrived during the pandemic and catapulted forward faster than we expected.
So let’s pause on this 4/20 holiday to be grateful and appreciate the journey we’re on. And let’s envision the glorious future that’s continuing to come our way.
Thank YOU for continuing to dream big and for sharing this historic moment with us.