Dispensaries Capitalize On 'Green Friday' & 'Weed Wednesday' As Holiday Sales Soar

By McCarton Ackerman 11/28/16

Dispensaries are offering holiday "gift" packages to take advantage of the holiday sales trend. 

Dispensaries Capitalize On 'Green Friday' & 'Weed Wednesday' As Holiday Sales Soar

Americans aren’t just stocking up on gifts and food for the holiday season: a new report shows that marijuana sales also rise dramatically during this period.

Bloomberg reported that “Green Friday”—the Black Friday equivalent for marijuana on the day after Thanksgiving—saw a 13% increase in sales at Washington state dispensaries last year compared to typical Friday volume. Headset, the Seattle-based cannabis firm that compiled the findings, also noted a 27% increase in sales the day before Thanksgiving, appropriately referred to as “Weed Wednesday.”

Marijuana-laced food and beverages saw the most noticeable increase in sales around holiday time. Dispensaries reported a 72% increase in beverage sales and a 58% increase in edible purchases on "Weed Wednesday" compared to an average Wednesday. Similar jumps in food and beverage purchases at dispensaries were also reported on Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.

"It looks like people stock up before the holiday on products that are easy to share amongst friends and family," said Headset Chief Technology Officer Scott Vickers. "These products also allow inconspicuous consumption so could be used to relieve the monotony or tension of some family get-togethers where cannabis is frowned upon." 

Some dispensaries are also capitalizing on an increase in sales of more discreet marijuana products, such as vape pens and edibles. Denver-based dispensary Kaya Cannabis will start selling holiday gift packages with these items ranging from $40 to $50.

"Sometimes, it's a little stressful to see family. In the same way some people might pick up a bottle of wine, some people are looking to pick up recreational cannabis," said Kaya CEO Amanda Gonzalez. "Maybe it'll make your slightly racist uncle a little bit more tolerable." 

Larger companies are looking to get in on the legal weed market and further saturate the industry. Constellation Brands, which currently sells Corona Beer and Svedka Vodka, confirmed to The Cannabist that the company is looking into launching a line of marijuana cocktails.

Constellation CEO Rob Sands is eager to take advantage of a burgeoning market that is almost guaranteed to generate even bigger business over the next decade. The marijuana industry was a $6 billion business last year, but is expected to grow to $50 billion by 2026, which would make it as large as the North American market for salty snacks, according to The Cannabist.

“Why wouldn’t big business, so to speak, be acutely interested in a category of that magnitude?” asked Sands. “If there’s a lot of money involved, it’s not going to be left to small mom-and-pops.”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.