Chart: Denver-area cannabis sales up 10%-27% in advance of ‘bomb cyclone’ storm

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(This story has been updated to note that Flowhub and Headset analyzed the data for Marijuana Business Daily.) 

Denver-area marijuana retailers may owe regional meteorologists a debt of gratitude.

Advance warning of the region’s “bomb cyclone” blizzard in March gave residents an opportunity to visit medical and adult-use retailers beforehand – leading to sales spikes of 10% to 27% in the days leading up to the snowstorm.

The storm effectively shut down Denver on March 13, but advance warning gave Mile High City residents an opportunity to plan ahead in terms of child care, working from home, grocery shopping – and stocking up on marijuana.

Denver-based analytics firm Flowhub analyzed sales for 50 medical dispensaries and cannabis stores in the Denver area on March 11-12 before the storm.

Sales at those outlets increased 27% on March 11 relative to the average Monday, while sales on March 12 were up 25% relative to the average Tuesday.

Cannabis data intelligence firm Headset of Seattle also analyzed sales at Denver-area dispensaries and retailers and found that total purchases on March 11-12 were up 10% over the average Monday and Tuesday, with sales of flower increasing 14% over the average Monday and Tuesday and edibles spiking 10%.

Flowhub and Headset analyzed the data on behalf of Marijuana Business Daily.

At Colorado Harvest Company, which has three retail cannabis locations in the Denver area, owner Tim Cullen capitalized on the prestorm buying surge by offering a “Bomb Cyclone” discount – $16 for an eighth of an ounce of recreational cannabis flower.

Cullen said the storm jitters caused slightly higher sales numbers on March 12.

“It wasn’t mind-blowing,” he added. “But it was definitely a Friday rush on a Tuesday.”

The one downside: Cullen had to close his stores on the day of the storm to ensure his staff was safe, so total numbers for the week averaged out.

Leah Heise, Baltimore-based chief experience officer for Mission – 4Front Holdings’ branded chain of medical marijuana dispensaries – agreed that a great time to run specials is in advance of a severe weather event.

And if you can’t sell all the extra inventory you stockpiled ahead of the storm, discount them afterward and promote your excess inventory.

“You move the product,” Heise said. “You increase your marketing and add specials and promotions in order to do it.”

Here’s what else you need to know about the situation:

  • Flowhub found a 22% increase in the number of transactions on March 11 compared to the average Monday and a 4% increase in the average transaction amount, from $62.23 to $64.95.
  • On March 12, Flowhub found transactions were up 25% compared to the average Tuesday, with a slight increase in average transaction amount from $64.04 to $64.51.
  • Statewide, Flowhub found a 21% increase in sales on March 11-12 and a 19% increase in transactions as residents and visitors across Colorado prepared for the storm.

Maggie Cowee can be reached at [email protected]

Bart Schaneman can be reached at [email protected]

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