Cannabis Holiday Sales Rise Slightly in Colorado in 2021

Santa didn't stuff many stockings with marijuana.
Santa didn't stuff many stockings with marijuana. Jacqueline Collins
This year's cannabis Christmas shopping wrapped up some interesting shifts and trends, according to statistics from Headset, a data-collection company specializing in software platforms for cannabis retailers.

Cooper Ashley, Headset senior data analyst, reports that average daily sales during the week leading up to Christmas were up by a mere 6.2 percent, compared to 2021's increase of almost 20 percent in the four prior weeks. But already elevated sales help explain the minimal increase, he says — especially since 2020 saw tremendous increases in cannabis sales throughout the year.

"I think 2020 was an exception for so many aspects of life," Ashley says. "There was huge growth and huge increases in cannabis sales, especially in Colorado and Washington, the two oldest cannabis markets in the U.S. Now that we, in our society, are in some ways either getting used to COVID or moving out of it (however you want to define it), we’re seeing a little bit more back-to-normal in terms of consumer response.”

While no product category saw a decrease in sales this year, concentrates, flower and pre-rolls were the few that didn't keep up with Colorado's total market growth. "That kind of indicates that maybe you’re not putting a gram of wax in your friend's stocking or something,” Ashley says with a laugh.

The three categories that saw the most action in 2021 were topicals (up 54 percent), beverages (up 47 percent) and tinctures/sublinguals (up 36 percent). In 2020, the most popular products were vapor pens (up 26 percent), topicals (up 20 percent) and capsules (up 18 percent).

Unlike during other cannabis holidays, such as Green Wednesday or Black Friday, there are not many deals around Christmas. "In most markets, most years, there’s not much increase in discounts around Christmas," Ashley notes. "It’s more of a natural increase in demand because people are shopping presumably more for gifts and things like that."

Predicting 2022 is difficult, he adds: "I think you have to look at the greater context of what’s going on in the world. I think people this winter are maybe a little more back to normal COVID-wise than they were last year."
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