Just over two weeks ago, four new states opted to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. Now, experts say the nationwide conversation generated by those historic votes could mean that cannabis dispensaries everywhere will see larger crowds than ever on the day after Thanksgiving - known in the industry as ‘Green Friday.’
Cy Scott, co-founder of the Seattle-based cannabis analytics firm Headset, predicts that growing public discussion around cannabis could send more people to local dispensaries on and around Green Friday.
Last year, cannabis sales on Green Friday were up 13 percent from the average Friday, according to a review of Washington dispensary sales data.
Denver-based cannabis order-ahead service Baker saw order volume double on last year's Green Friday, compared to an average day. The company anticipates “a much more significant bump” tomorrow.
"In states where adult use is fully legal, like Colorado and Oregon, cannabis promotions around Black Friday have been common, and we expect we’ll see more of that happening as prohibition eases across the country," said Adam Bierman, co-founder of marijuana management consulting firm MedMen.
This year, sales are likely to be burgeoned by ever-expanding services like cannabis deals network Leafbuyer.com, which will advertise more cannabis bargains than ever from dispensaries in Colorado and beyond.
But it seems that some shoppers this year aren’t waiting until Green Friday. Dispensary sales were up 27 percent across the board the day before Thanksgiving, with the most popular items being food- and drink-based. Dispensaries sold 58 percent more edibles and 72 percent more beverages than an average Wednesday.
"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."
Amanda Gonzalez, CEO of Denver dispensary Kaya Cannabis, said she saw more sales in the days leading up to Green Friday last year than on Green Friday itself, which she attributes to competition from non-cannabis retailers on one of the biggest shopping days of the year.
Her dispensary is selling two holiday gift packages for $40 or $50, which include edibles, vape pens and concentrates – otherwise known as items that “won’t offend Grandma” if they’re seen at a family gathering.
"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," she said. "Maybe it'll make your slightly racist uncle a little bit more tolerable."
Banner image: A long line of people waits to get into a new Cookies store on May 15, 2015 in San Francisco. Cookies sells clothes and marijuana-related swag and accessories. (Blulz60 / Shutterstock.com)