It was a great holiday season for lots of fan of marijuana – and only a few Grinches in sight!

The holiday season was great for the cannabis industry. In 2023, Delaware, Ohio, and Minnesota passed recreational marijuana. More than half of U.S. population lives in places where marijuana is legal for recreational use with even more having access to medical marijuana.  The holidays are a time of indulgence and spending. Consumers defied expectations for spending in December. Retail sales rose 0.6% in December from November, which was more than analysts expected. The holiday sales confirm marijuana is mainstream by the way the public spent on products.

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And in a major culture shift, Gen Z is moving away from alcohol and moving softly toward marijuana. Young adults not in college were even more likely to avoid alcohol. Nearly 30% of this group in 2018 reported that they did not drink beer, wine or spirits. The number was about 24% in 2002.

Decreases in alcohol consumption by Gen Z coincide with an uptick in cannabis use, according to numerous reports. Is this a one-for-one trade in substances? Some signs point that way

cannabis money
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According to BDSA, a leading national data analyst company which covers cannabis, it was an important marijuana sales year.  Already, the day before Thanksgiving is a banner year  Comparing same 7 holiday days of 2022 to 2023 and they saw an average of a 19% increase year over year. The day before Turkey Day is known as Green Wednesday in the cannabis industry.  It is also a large alcohol sales day and is known as Blackout Wednesday or Drinksgiving. But alcohol sales only saw 3.8% rise.

Christmas is historically a significant holiday for the legal cannabis industry, with the days leading up to Christmas bringing a sizable boost to legal sales. In 2022, the day before Christmas eve (12/23/22) saw the second highest daily sales total of any day that month, with daily sales totaling +38% higher than the daily sales average for December 2022.” shared BDSA.

Edibles saw an even greater boost on the week before Christmas 2023. BDSA reports edible sales on the week before Christmas were +23% higher than the average weekly edible sales total for the month.  This is makes sense as gummies are the #1 way people consumer – almost 49% of users say the use have a gummy.

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States which started their program (except for NY) did especially well. Marijuana retailers in Michigan sold a whopping $3.06 billion in adult-use and medical products in 2023. There are few Grinches, the Governors of Iowa, Florida and New Hampshire are working hard to block sales and Senator Mitch McConnell is still working to block any national marijuana legalization.  And all eyes are on the DEA to see what they are going to do about rescheduling.

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