Check that plate of cookies twice before diving in for a post-Christmas treat: It may leave you feeling very naughty or awfully nice, depending on how you handle marijuana edibles.
There are far more cannabis-laced treats lying around households who patronize legal marijuana retail outlets this holiday season. USA Today reports a 21 percent spike in business at dispensaries in California, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and several other states, with the top-selling items being edibles, including cookies and brownies.
In other words, people are buying exactly the kind of present “Santa” may actually want on his plate after a long night arranging everything under the tree (not to mention working overtime in order to pay for it all).
This Christmas spike in cannabis sales echoes a similar boost seen around Thanksgiving. Spending around Thanksgiving is now so intense that many in the industry call the day before and day after “Weed Wednesday” and “Green Friday.”
Unlike Thanksgiving, however, most of these dispensary products are being given as gifts rather than used to fortify the body and soul before a visit home to relatives or shared as a post-meal treat, according to Joel Milton, CEO of Colorado-based dispensary software provider Baker. While there’s no way to know exactly how much of this holiday greenery was Christmas presents, the sales data shows that marijuana is absolutely entering the “mainstream” of “retail,” much of which lives and dies by its holiday sales figures.
The biggest day of the year for cannabis sales is still 4/20, according to USA Today, but the Fridays before federal holidays are also big days for retail cannabis sales.
But why are edibles so popular—and why did so many holiday 2016 sales involve edibles? One theory is that they’re attractive to newcomers and tourists who may not want to smoke, speculates Josh Ginsberg, CEO of Native Roots, a Colorado dispensary chain with 17 locations, including many in Colorado ski country. An edible is relatively inexpensive and easy to hide and to consume on a chair lift (or anywhere cookies are eaten), and thus are attractive to a cannabis-curious tourist set.
At least that’s what people who like to vacation in ski country like.
What about the rest of us? We’ll have to wait a few years to find out. Retail cannabis sales in California, Massachusetts and the two other states that legalized recreational marijuana will have to wait until 2018.
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