How Cannabis Brands Are Preparing for a Christmas Green Rush – Adweek

Green Wednesday, a nascent holiday in the cannabis universe, came out with buds blazing in 2020, showing triple-digit sales spikes around the country on Nov. 25 and setting the weed industry up for a holly, jolly year-end.

Statistics from that long weekend are fairly eye-popping, with cannabis tech company Akerna estimating that consumers spent $238 million on flower, tinctures, edibles and infused drinks during those four days, with Green Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, becoming the single biggest sales day of the year so far.

The recent rush (see sidebar for data) follows a record-breaking year where the industry was declared an essential business during the Covid-19 pandemic and five new states voted to legalize weed for medical and recreational sales. 

Given the tailwinds, and the learnings from Thanksgiving, cannabis execs are heading into Christmas and New Year’s Eve in full throttle mode, bulking up their digital and e-commerce presence, targeting the cannacurious and other “addressable audiences” like soccer moms and older folks, focusing on wellness messages and creating first-time gift cards and goodie bundles.

The digital shift, the marketing dance

Many cannabis consumers have proven in 2020 that they’re buying weed much the same way they’re shopping for fast food, household items and other packaged goods: via online, mobile, click and collect, curbside pick-up and delivery. The industry, mostly cemented in the brick-and-mortar dispensary model, had to shift almost overnight to meet the demand as lockdowns hit in early 2020.

“Having the right digital ecosystem is key,” said Cory Rothschild, senior vp of brand marketing, Cresco Labs, a multi-state cannabis operator and the largest weed wholesaler in the U.S. “Optimizing the online experience is critical when so many people are making decisions before they ever get to the store, or they’re bypassing the in-store visit all together.” 

2020 became the year that cannabis “modernized

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