DENVER – Santa is stuffing stockings with a little extra green this holiday season: marijuana.
Pot shops are reporting the average purchase is up 21% in the week before Christmas, according to the marijuana-software firm Baker, which runs store customer-service systems. The most popular items: marijuana-infused edibles like brownies or cookies. Also near the top of the list are vaporizers, pipes and other smoking accessories, Baker reported. The company said the data holds true across the states where it serves medical and recreational stores: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington.
That there’s a rush in sales around Christmas is no surprise. The biggest sale days of the year traditionally come around Thanksgiving’s “Weed Wednesday” and “Green Friday,” said Baker’s CEO, Joel Milton, although April 20, known as 4/20, remains the biggest marijuana sales day nationally. The biggest sales days tend to come on Fridays before federal holidays, according to an analysis of Washington state sales dates by New Frontier Data.
“Holiday gift-giving is a perfect example of this once-taboo product making its way into the mainstream retail environment,” Milton said. “We have a feeling people will like cannabis gifts a lot more than a traditional … box of chocolates.”
Colorado’s biggest marijuana retailer, Native Roots, has seen significant increases in edibles sales at its ski-town locations. The company has 17 locations, and those stores near resorts tend to draw significant numbers of tourists, said CEO Josh Ginsberg. Edibles are a popular option to smoking marijuana because they’re discreet and can be more comfortable for empty-nest Baby Boomers trying cannabis for the first time in years.
Native Roots stores are selling holiday bundles, starting with the $40-$45 “Stocking Puffer,” which includes a small amount of smokeable marijuana and some joints, and expands to the “Mary Cannabis,” which includes a marijuana-infused candy and other items, and tops out with the “O’Chronic Tree” at nearly $300.
“We also see a huge increase also in our apparel sales,” Ginsberg said. “People wants something that says dispensary, that says Colorado. They want something that says they went into a dispensary on their ski vacation.”
Next Christmas could be even bigger: Voters last month legalized recreational cannabis in California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada, and stores in at least some of those states could be up and running by sometime next year.