Missouri cannabis businesses are expecting sales records for 420
The most recognizable day in cannabis is just around the corner. Historically, 420 has been the Black Friday for weed sales in other states, but in Missouri’s first flirtation with a legal 420, statewide sales were paltry and monthly sales actually fell by more than 30% in 2021. So why are operators so optimistic about 420 in 2022?
In 2020, data from Headset showed cannabis sales growth for beverages rose by (54%), topicals (41%), and concentrates (41%) respectively, around 420. Last year in Missouri, concentrates sales grew from a ~20% share of total sales in Q2 2021 to a ~26% share of total sales in Q4 2021 according to BDSA Retail Sales Tracking data. That’s good news for Missouri’s marijuana industry as 2022 retail shelves offer dozens of options for concentrates and edibles that simply weren’t available in 2021.
Looking back at offerings data from April 2021, the concentrate market was virtually non-existent and edibles were limited to only a few offerings. Currently, the Columbia Superstore location for Shangri-La offers more than 50 different concentrates and over 60 different edibles. On the west side of the state, ReLeaf Resources currently offers over 100 different edibles, and over 80 flower offerings. That increased variety and level of access for Missouri patients is a driving force behind the increased sales potential.
In April 2021, Missouri was home to some 88,000 active patients. But with only a handful of manufacturers and a dozen cultivators active at the time, the state generated only $8.82 million at retail for the month. As of April 20, 2022, the state will have nearly 100,000 more active patients than in the prior year.
In March 2022, Missouri sold just under $1 million per day totaling over $30 million dollars at retail for the month. All signs indicate that April sales will continue strong upward trends, again eclipsing the $30 million mark for the month and setting new sales records.
While 2021 saw the state begin to recover from the pandemic, the hesitancy that existed in the early months of the year presented challenges for businesses and patients alike. Events like MoCannBizCon were pushed back from their originally scheduled dates due to safety concerns and large public gatherings were still risky, especially for patients in a medical market.
With vaccinations, lower infection rates, a lift of mask mandates, and a generally increased level of comfort, patients and retailers are seeing a return to normalcy in all industries that extends to cannabis.
Now, dispensaries, cultivators and manufacturers, and adjacent businesses are champing at the bit to be able to engage Missouri’s patient base in a way they haven’t before.
On the west side of the state, ReLeaf Resources will host its first annual 420 Flower Fest, a free educational event that the dispensary says will serve to bring together community and destigmatize stereotypes and misinformation surrounding the use of medical cannabis. “We are super excited to work alongside local businesses and vendors to put on an event folks can look forward to year after year,” said Releaf’s Josh Ordo, “We expect it to be a blast and look forward to seeing everyone!” Ordo says the event will feature cannabis brands onsite to educate patients about products, live music, and a Food Truck Court as well as special pricing and will help to give back to the community with Veterans Community Project.
In Mid-Missouri, Shangri-La will host a Cannabis Farmer’s market the weekend leading up to 420. The event will feature over a dozen vendors, host specialized pricing, and have live music and food on site.
In St. Louis, Daybreak Cannabis is using 420 to launch its brand by inviting the community to celebrate alongside. “The launch isn’t just an attempt to bring awareness to the brand, but more so to try our hardest to be part of the cannabis community in a big and helpful way right out of the gate.” The event will feature the likes of St. Louis mainstays DJ Trip, DJ Merf, Brock Seals, and more according to a release.
Around the state, the list of 420 events and lead-ups numbers hundreds where 2021’s events numbered in the dozens. Patients can look forward to hundreds of popups, festivals, street fairs, and educational events planned in the week leading up to and immediately after 420. The sheer volume of events demonstrates a stark contrast to the experiences of 2021.
Along with Daybreak, brands like Farmer G, CAMP Cannabis, and others are using 420 as a springboard to launch their brands and new products for the first time. Building on the already existing variety of the marketplace, companies are targeting 420’s increased foot traffic and shopper-friendly sales and events to bring new products and lines out. We have seen in other states that, a sales-heavy environment lends itself to promotional buying and consumer experimentation more so than static launches. With that in mind, operators are able to launch products with less focus on rational advertising and instead allocate funds toward discounted pricing or promo and can aim to create ‘first impression’ buyers.
For companies around the state, this year’s 420 looks to be much different than the last. For patients who have never experienced 420 outside of the state, it looks to be an entirely new experience.