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Route CEO Michael Yamartino on 4/20, Online Cannabis Shopping Growth

4/20 continues to be a cash cow for operators and brands, with online cannabis shopping playing a significant role in purchases. Delivery tracking app Route reports that 2023 holiday spending increased by 59% compared to average daily purchases. 

The app, which works with 13,000 brands, including cannabis companies like WNC and FlowGardens, saw a 33%, or $25, per order increase during last year’s 4/20 compared to the year prior. 

In the lead-up to this year’s festivities, Route CEO Michael Yamartino spoke with Cannabis & Tech Today about what he expected from this year’s purchases. 

Yamartino, whose previous positions include content and commerce leadership roles with Pinterest and Microsoft, elaborated on the market’s substantial online sales growth around the 4/20 holiday and throughout much of the year. 

The CEO also discussed critical topics, such as how brands can capitalize on holiday sale periods, customer evolution, and how tech fits into the equation. 

Route CEO Michael Y

“We’re in an era of online-focused shopping – cannabis products included…” – Michael Yamartino, CEO, Route

Yamartino: 4/20 is, of course, the biggest day of the year for cannabis and related product sales. We’re in an era of online-focused shopping – cannabis products included – so we’re simply seeing people celebrating the occasion by buying more goods.

Additionally, merchants offer enticing holiday sales and specials, prompting more purchases. 

Cannabis-related sellers are likely putting the most ad-spend and brain power behind their marketing pushes in April so they can capitalize on the increased consumer demand surrounding the holiday.

This is the single biggest day for them each year, so outside of just the day of 4/20, we also see purchases increasing in the days leading up to the holiday. 

And with an influx of purchases, so comes an influx of customer support requests. Merchants of cannabis and cannabis-related goods should also be prepared to resolve customer issues and replace packages if lost.

That is where post-purchase and package protection solutions, like Route, can play a crucial role for these businesses to save themselves time and money – especially during busy times.  

In light of the ongoing legalization efforts and changing regulatory landscape surrounding cannabis, how do you see consumer behavior and purchasing patterns evolving for future 4/20 events?

As recreational use is continually legalized from state to state, I only see this increasing.

Cannabis users now have more marketplaces than ever before to make their purchases, including online. Now that we’re seeing more legalization, cannabis and cannabis-related e-commerce will likely experience a huge amount of growth as well. 

Consumers are increasingly seeking innovative products and devices that offer convenience, efficiency, and even customization for their consumption preferences. 

Ancillary premium-quality accessories are another newer area that has appealed to consumers seeking style and functionality.

I only see these trends continuing to spread as more cannabis-related retailers move to online marketplaces, especially in the era of influencer marketing, where products like these are promoted with click-to-shop links. 

“We also saw a surge in sales from our cannabis merchants during dry January, when people were turning to other cannabis instead of alcohol.”

Beyond 4/20, what other key dates or events do you see as significant for the cannabis industry in terms of consumer spending and market dynamics?

‘Green Wednesday,’ the day before Thanksgiving, has emerged as a big shopping day for cannabis consumers and is sometimes referred to as the ‘Black Friday’ of cannabis.

July 10th or “710 Day” is another huge one in the cannabis community for those who use concentrates and extracts. 710 upside down spells OIL, so ancillary products like pens, cartridges, etc. will likely see a spike around this time. 

Interestingly enough, we also saw a surge in sales from our cannabis merchants during dry January, when people were turning to other cannabis instead of alcohol, so of course cannabis-related products were more popular then as well. 

Additionally, events and holidays known for their gatherings like Super Bowl Sunday, Fourth of July, and Labor and Memorial day weekends tend to see spikes in sales.

Outside of this, grower showcases, festivals, and conferences like MJ Bizcon and NECANN also incentivize consumer spending in local markets.

With the rise of e-commerce in the cannabis industry, what role do you see technology and data analytics playing in shaping the future of consumer experiences and purchasing habits?

As cannabis e-commerce continues to grow, tech, data analytics and AI will allow legal merchants to automate online and in-app consumer processes such as scheduled deliveries, personalized product suggestions, and customer service help. 

At Route, we offer package protection, product suggestions, and package tracking to ensure merchants like WNC CBD can offer the best possible customer service experiences, especially when packages don’t make it to the customer’s door, or arrive damaged. We’ve already seen this approach help WNC CBD achieve a 94% Customer Satisfaction Score, so I see tech and data analytics playing a huge role in helping sellers maintain existing customers and boosting sales on ancillary products. 


  • Cannabis & Tech Today is the premier publication for inspiring business profiles, exclusive interviews with thought leaders in the field, science innovations, and insights on new legislation and growth in the cannabis market.

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