Akerna CEO: Cannabis Sales Could Exceed Chicken Purchases This Fourth of July

Akerna CEO Jessica Billingsley
July 2, 2019

Akerna, a cannabis compliance tech company, says Americans may be indulging in more than just barbecue and pie this Independence Day.

The company estimates that cannabis sales in states where its purchase is legal will reach $450 million in anticipation of the holiday, while, according to WalletHub, Americans are only expected to shell out $371 million for chicken.

Both products still trail behind beef, which is expected to bring in about $804 million worth of purchases.

It’s not that Americans are losing their appetite for chicken anytime soon, Akerna CEO Jessica Billingsley told Cheddar. “I think it’s more about the demand for cannabis as an alternate substance, as something for recreation, as something for health and wellness benefits,” she said.

“We will see sales this week increase by 80 percent, compared to an average week,” said Billingsley. “It’s a holiday spent with friends, not necessarily family.“ Orders are also expected to jump nearly $3.50 higher than the average daily order, which is $97.57.

Akerna also predicts that Americans will spend more on cannabis than wine in 2020.

The company says it calculates these projections by tracking data in more than 20 states, as well as in Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.

“We provide a regulatory compliance software technology platform to both the cannabis operators ー the cultivators, the manufacturers, the distributors, and the retailers ー as well as a [business-to-government] product to the government agencies to oversee compliance in their jurisdiction,” said Billingsley.

“Because of providing that technology platform, we have this wealth of data over nine-and-a-half years to be able to predict with a very high degree of accuracy what we will see.”

Akerna was formed just last month, following a long-awaited merger between cannabis technology companies MJ Freeway and MJ Tech.

In recent days, Akerna announced that it will be expanding to Europe, with two new clients in Italy and Macedonia, and opening an office in Colombia.