Akerna Flash Report: Dispensary Sales Up 140% Ahead of Closure Threat

"Panic buying" led to a record-setting sales day as restricted markets saw overall increases.

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DENVER, March 24, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PRESS RELEASE -- Business intelligence from Akerna, a compliance technology provider and developer of the cannabis industry’s first seed-to-sale enterprise resource planning (ERP) software technology (MJ Platform) shows cannabis sales in Colorado increased 140% on Monday, March 23, after Denver Mayor Michael Hancock ordered all rec dispensaries, within the city limits, to stay closed until April 10. The order was reversed. Dispensaries are considered essential businesses.

In Colorado on March 23 compared to previous Monday’s:

  • Dispensary orders increased 54%
  • The number of products ordered increased 101%
  • Total sales increased 140%

In Denver on March 23 compared to previous Monday’s:

  • Recreational dispensary orders increased 174%
  • The number of recreational products ordered increased 280%
  • Total recreational sales increased 310%

Overall, in markets with heavier restrictions like California, Colorado and Michigan, where people are being asked to stay at home to reduce the spread of COVID-19, recreational sales are up 20% or more for the period of March 11-23,compared to previous three years of sales, with an average basket price over $100. Oklahoma, a state not under a stay at home order, only saw a 5% in increase in its average basket price.

On Friday, March 13, Akerna Business Intelligence found from *March 11 - March 18:

  • Medical cannabis sales: Up 20.8%
  • Recreational cannabis sales: Up 11.6%
  • Flower sales: Up 22.6%
  • Vape sales: Up 9.7%
  • Edible sales: Up 12.4%

“Cannabis operators are running an essential business,” said Ostap Rapeyko, business intelligence analyst, Akerna. “On March 11, when major news of the potential impact of COVID-19 indicated changes in lifestyle, buying patterns were at normal rates. However, a week later, on March 18, sales increased by 19.2% overall. Now, with reduction in access, in certain markets, we’re seeing an increase in sales and the amount being spent.”