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4/20 bump helped push Mass. recreational pot sales above $100 million

Jason Owen, 47, of Northampton paid for his order of recreational marijuana products from NETA in Northampton on Nov. 20.
Jason Owen, 47, of Northampton paid for his order of recreational marijuana products from NETA in Northampton on Nov. 20.Michael Swensen for The Boston Globe

Total spending on recreational marijuana in Massachusetts since the debut of sales in November has topped $100 million, amid a consumer spending spree in the run-up to the traditional “4/20” stoner holiday.

That’s according to numbers from an “open data” platform launched last week by the Cannabis Control Commission, a large database showing everything from the hottest-selling marijuana products to the demographics of license-holders.

The platform shows that in the days before Saturday, April 20, Massachusetts residents seriously stocked up on cannabis.

The previous Friday and Saturday, April 12 and 13, consumers spent about $1.24 million and $1.33 million on recreational products, respectively.


The next week, on April 19 and 20, shoppers dropped $1.6 million and $1.58 million — a week-over-week jump in sales of 29 percent for Friday and about 19 percent for Saturday. It was a happy 4/20 indeed for the state’s regulated marijuana sector.

There were 15 recreational stores operating in the state during these two weeks, meaning the increases cannot be attributed to the debut of a new pot shop in the nascent Massachusetts market.

Celebrants of 4/20 had apparently had enough, or just had plenty of leftovers, by Sunday, April 21, when sales dropped 36 percent, compared to the previous Sunday.

Total consumer spending on recreational marijuana in Massachusetts, where regulated sales debuted in late November, topped $100 million for the first time on April 26, and currently sits at $104 million.

Of course, analysts estimate that the vast majority of marijuana purchases — roughly 75 percent — are still taking place in the illicit market, thanks to the relative scarcity of regulated marijuana stores and the higher prices they charge.

Another interesting takeaway from the numbers: Plain old flower (the cured buds of the cannabis plant, commonly combusted in a pipe) remains the most popular product among marijuana consumers.


The week of April 20, flower sales represented 54 percent of all purchases. Concentrates, such as vaporizer cartridges, were the second-most-popular category, at 24 percent of sales. The remainder is accounted for by edibles (17 percent), pre-rolled joints (2 percent), and a long tail of less-popular items such as kief (the potent, pollen-like “dust” on the flower) and topical creams.

Dan Adams can be reached at daniel.adams@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Dan_Adams86.