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How Much Legal Marijuana Was Sold On April 20th, 2016?


origins of 420 how did 420 startI look forward to April 20th every year, for obvious reasons. But it’s more than just a day to blaze up. I do that every day. For me 4/20 also provides a day for me to gathering with a lot of people I haven’t seen in quite awhile, and it also provides an opportunity to make new friends. I spent my 4/20 in Portland this year, and it was hands down the best 4/20 I’ve ever been a part of. My friends Dave and Linda really know how to throw a party!

This was the first 4/20 that legal recreational sales (albeit limited) were allowed in my home state, Oregon. It was the third 4/20 since recreational sales started in Colorado, and the second for recreational sales in Washington. Medical marijuana sales have been occurring for quite some time in numerous states, of course. So how much legal marijuana was sold at retail outlets of various types across the country? According to MJ Freeway, about 37.5 million dollars worth. Below are more facts compiled by MJ Freeway, via Entrepreneur.Com:

  • Individual legally-licensed cannabis retail locations — medical and recreational and dispensaries and delivery services — sold on average $10,822 in retail sales on April 20, $6,208 on April 19 and $5,442 on April 18.
  • While buyer traffic increased, buyers spent on average $20 less per transaction on April 20, 2016, vs. April 20, 2015.
  • The state with the largest dollar amount sold on April 20, 2016, was California.
  • The state with the total highest average sales per day per retail licensed location for April 20, 2016, was — not surprisingly — Colorado.

I don’t purchase cannabis all that often from retail locations because I’m blessed with some really awesome friends that gift me flower quite a bit. However, I wanted to do my part and feed the cannabis economy on April 20th, so I went to the nearest dispensary and purchased a pre-roll. Did you purchase cannabis from a retailer on 4/20? If so, did you spend more or less than you did last year? I’m curious to see what the numbers are next year, and if we see a similar jump from the previous year (+30%), or an even bigger jump!


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Johnny Green


  1. Been around on

    I, too, “came out of the ’60’s and yes, you are correct —- there was no mention of “420” back then. So, along comes a “newer generation” of users that coin the phrase (with numerous interpretations, nationally).
    It may very well feel “weird” to you to hear, and certainly speak the term (IF you do) but it’s all about “change”. Status quo is a very, very dangerous term and thought. And attached to that term is, “continuous improvement” . We are NEVER done making our life and our society better FOR THE MASSES, FOR THE PEOPLE.
    Status quo comes in two forms : 1) not behaving in a way that facilitates positive change, and 2) not “assisting” the mind to move alongside and with change. When it doesn’t, one can be considered entrenched, locked-in, narrow-minded, resistant, and even self-serving.
    And no, I am not implying that you fit any of these terms, and there’s no intent on my part to make an attempt to look down on another’s view of an issue or life in general, for that matter.
    I’m 61, going on 31. I relate quite well with the demographic of adults that are the age of my grandchildren. My thoughts, my position on our Government, our economy, and our future parallels “today’s thinking” by the progressive, intelligent, well-informed generation coming out of college today.
    Everyone can “celebrate” in their own way —- it matters not how that is —– just celebrate the “changing of the guard” on this issue. IT”S HERE, IT”S REAL, AND IT’S NEVER GOING TO BE STOMPED DOWN BY A CORRUPT AND CROOKED GOVERNMENT AGAIN.

  2. Why do you think Colorado had the “highest” average sales per day per location? I’m guessing there are more retail stores in Colorado than any other state, so there must be a LOT of people smoking weed in Colorado. Repeatedly.

  3. This is a vital part of our economy, we need to reform the laws so it’s more ‘mainstream’ and acceptable. It’s a perception issue, we need to educate the public on Cannabis and it’s medicinal properties. Only then will they accept this as an Industry that is a big part of our commerce.
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  4. Let’s just get this out there, because it feels like something that is being ignored; the term “420” might not be as ubiquitous as advocates make it out to be.

    I have nothing against the term, nor any opinion about the arguments surrounding the term’s origin.

    It’s as good a term as any. In fact, it’s catchy and easy shorthand, and it has a certain mystery that should give it longevity.

    But, as far as I and my friends in Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky are concerned, it is a relatively NEW term.

    I have been witness to, and at times part of, the cannabis culture in this part of the country for a long time – since the late 1960s – but I never once heard the term until just a few years ago.

    So why does everyone pretend it is some ubiquitous national term that has been around since Haight-Ashbury, even around here?

    In fact, I have yet to see even one mention of the term in any of the 1970s issues of High Times I have re-read, or even well into the late 1980s, for that matter.

    Maybe someday the OED will offer some more definitive etymology for the term.

    In the meantime, it will continue to feel weird and arbitrary to this old toker to celebrate cannabis on April 20th – a day that has nothing to do with the actual history of the plant, nor the fight to release it from bondage.

    In my day (yeah, I know how that sounds…), we celebrated cannabis on the day that we celebrate independence in general, The 4th of July.

    In fact, the first freedom rallies I attended, organized by NORML, were all on the National Mall in DC on Independence Day.

    So, hey, by all means, I hope you all enjoyed April 20th, and more importantly I hope you all struck some sort of blow on that day to help liberate cannabis, but please don’t be tricked into thinking that all other days are somehow less important in the fight to free the weed.

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