- Cannabis sales have gotten a boost with each stimulus-check distribution.
- With the latest round of payments, cannabis companies say they’re expecting the same.
- “It’ll be as simple as people will buy more weed,” said Ben Kovler, Green Thumb Industries’ CEO.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Cannabis companies are gearing up for a boost in sales as stimulus checks start hitting people’s bank accounts.
Dispensaries across the country have reported an increase in sales with each round of payments — and we’re now into the third round.
More than 100 million payments of up to $1,400 per person have gone into bank accounts so far, President Joe Biden said on Thursday. Millions more are expected to get their checks soon.
“Literally it’ll be as simple as people will buy more weed,” Ben Kovler, the CEO of the Chicago cannabis seller Green Thumb Industries, said on a recent call with investors.
Kovler said raw marijuana flower — not refined products such as edibles, beverages, and oils — is leading the company’s sales.
“From the front lines, I can tell you it’s bullish,” Kovler told Insider in a follow-up interview. “It’s exciting for us. It’s really all about the product.”
This trend is reflected in the data. Cannabis companies are expecting to see a “significant boost” from the latest round of stimulus checks — the largest yet — said cannabis advisory firm Viridian Capital Advisors, which looked back at the boosts in sales that cannabis businesses received last year when checks were first distributed.
When the first round of stimulus checks was distributed in April, cannabis dispensaries saw one of the biggest upticks in sales in the history of the legal market, cannabis software and data firm Akerna found. Last March, when lockdown orders first went into effect, people stockpiled cannabis products.
April 15, the day the first round of stimulus hit, “was far and away the biggest Wednesday in the history of legal cannabis,” the company said in a report. Dispensary revenue was up over 50% compared to a normal Wednesday in 2020.
Ross Lipson, the CEO of Dutchie, a startup in Oregon that provides online-dispensary software, told Insider last spring that his platform had seen record sales every day as a result of the pandemic.
The stimulus-spending trend continued this year. Many Americans received $1,400 stimulus checks on Wednesday, March 17. Dispensary sales were 50% higher than on previous Wednesdays in 2021, said a follow-up report that Akerna released this week.
On top of that, Viridian said that the revenue from stimulus checks could be so large that it may help companies shore up their balance sheets and integrate acquisitions after the industry’s M&A boom.
Cowen analyst Vivien Azer said in a Friday note that wholesale cannabis sales in the US increased after the stimulus checks were distributed.
“We are encouraged by the data, having seen this play out during the same time last year,” she said.