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20 April 2021
How the pandemic changed the US cannabis business
Health & well-beingNon-prescription, OTC productsDTC, prescription products
The coronavirus pandemic has forced many industries to adapt their business models, and the now-booming cannabis dispensary business is no exception.
Demand for marijuana in the 23 US states where it’s now legal soared as people turned to weed to ease their fears and anxieties during lockdown. Dispensaries started to get more competitive, boosting ad spend, bringing in buying online, pick-up in store and kerb-side pickup of orders, as well as virtual consultations, reports Digiday. In California, the industry was helped by cannabis dispensaries being deemed an essential service.
Consumer buying patterns changed too – 4/20 (the April 20 celebration of togetherness, peace … and marijuana), along with the Friday before Memorial Day have previously proved to be the biggest selling days. Last year neither were in the top five, with New Year’s Eve 2020 coming in at number one with sales worth $89.4m.
The way customers consumed cannabis also seems to be evolving, with much higher demand for “edibles” – cannabis-infused food. One survey in September 2020 found 54% of users said they’d bought edibles in the last year, compared to 35% in 2018.
Women were targeted in particular by cannabis brands, with almost 50% of 4/20 ad campaigns aimed specifically at them.
“It’s been quite a year. You couldn’t get a haircut, but you could buy weed” – Jeff Ragovin, CCO at cannabis-focused marketing company Fyllo.