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Benchmarks: Tis the Selling Season

Cannabis consumers spend more during the holidays—lots more—so make sure your store has maximum seasonal appeal.



THE YULETIDE CELEBRATIONS are just around the corner and Santa’s sleigh will be carrying plenty of green treats this year. After all, you can’t spell “Christmas” without three important letters: T, H and C!

Every year, amid the eggnog-guzzling, turkey bastings and mistletoe kisses, there is also a whole lot of consumer spending. According to cannabis market analysts Headset, Christmas week typically sees an increase in week-to-week cannabis sales of 15 percent or more. That’s comparable to the 25 percent jump in week-to-week sales around 4/20, the year’s biggest sales week for cannabis retail.

Last year, U.S. consumers spent $427 million on cannabis from Dec. 18-24, Headset reports. Of course, Christmas isn’t the only celebration being marked this time of year—Hanukkah runs from Dec. 18-24 this year and Kwanzaa will be observed from Dec. 26-Jan. 1, 2023.

How to capture the attention of fickle holiday shoppers? Fortunately, there are plenty of head-turning hacks that will help boost your store’s appeal this season. Here are some ideas for enticing shoppers into your premises and some inspiration from other retailers who pulled them off with aplomb. Just be careful—in some U.S. states there are restrictions for cannabis retailers on promotional product giveaways and other marketing activities.


Displays to Die For

New York City is a spectacle on any day of the year, but especially so during Christmas. The very best holiday window displays adorn Fifth Avenue and environs at iconic department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Bergdorf Goodman and Bloomingdale’s. Can you duplicate these million-dollar extravaganzas in your own dispensary windows? Probably not—but you can certainly find inspiration in them!

Cannabis Carols

When New Jersey’s recreational market launched on April 20, Zen Leaf Dispensary of Lawrenceville, NJ marked the festivities with Christmas music piped out to the crowd queued up outside its doors. The joke was that 4/20 felt a lot like Christmas this year, but why not take the idea and run with it during the actual holiday season? Create a playlist of cannabis-themed holiday songs or even consider hiring live carolers to serenade your shoppers.

Season’s Swaggings

Dressing up in glad rags is a big part of the holiday season, so why not get your store visitors in the festive spirit by offering a free item of clothing with every purchase? According to Harris Interactive, 90 percent of consumers say such freebies make them more loyal customers. You can offer lagniappes with a purchase ranging from t-shirts bearing your logo to beanies or hoodies like this one from iEDM Clothing.

Wrap It Up

In the United States alone, the cannabis packaging market was valued at a whopping $842.7 million in 2021 and expected to grow bigger this year, per Grandview Research. That’s great news for retailers because there are more packaging options for cannabis products than ever before. Borrow a packaging page from top brands like Kiva Confections, which greets the season with specialty items like its Christmas Morning Camino gummies. Want to find custom, cannabis-themed holiday packaging? Try such vendors as Cannabis Promotions, DymaPak, FunkSac, Green Rush Packaging, Grow Cargo, Kush Supply Co., Marijuana Packaging, Pollen Gear or 420 Packaging.


Led Your Signage Do the Talking

Stop window shoppers in their tracks with eye-catching neon or LED-lit signage illuminating your store’s most tantalizing seasonal delights. If you’re a DIYer, Etsy is a great place to find customizable LED lights you can fashion to create illuminating store signage. Want something more intimate? LEDMenuLight ( makes handheld, LED-lit menus that shops with café service might consider. Take inspiration from the whimsical lighting displays that greet shoppers at Thrive, a Nevada-based cannabis marketplace with multiple Las Vegas locations.

Contests Are Cool

A seasonal store contest and prize giveaway can win you lots of new customers, per retail blog HubSpot. Online contest promotions can account for as much as a third of newly acquired fans of brands, research says. Brick-and-mortal retailers can also boost engagement via holiday photo contests and raffles, or even more direct giveaways available to all customers, like a buy 1-get-1 free offer. Searching for prizes to offer in a contest? Ask yourself if the giveaway item can be stuffed in a stocking!



Going Global - Pioneering Cannabis Hospitality: A Conversation with Arend Richard

In this enlightening interview, Arend Richard, a seasoned entrepreneur from the cannabis industry, shares his journey from starting a YouTube channel to educate on cannabis use, to co-founding WeedTube, and developing a unique cannabis hospitality business. Born and raised in Colorado, Aaron discusses the evolution of his business ventures and his current project—creating a welcoming, educational environment for both seasoned and first-time cannabis users. He delves into the challenges of establishing a cannabis-friendly social space, including regulatory hurdles and community engagement, and highlights his vision for a new kind of social interaction centered around cannabis.

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