Green Wednesday: The Cannabis Black Friday?

What’s not to love about Thanksgiving? The usual Monday to Friday grind is cut short and replaced with four days of savoring delicious food in the company of family and friends. When you weave weed into the mix, the holiday takes on another dimension. As cannabis becomes more mainstream, it also increasingly becomes part of our celebrations–and holiday shopping is reflecting that.

Move over Black Friday–the new holiday shopping day that’s making waves is Green Wednesday. In recent years, the Wednesday before Thanksgiving has seen cannabis users dashing out to their local dispensary to stock up their stash before settling down to enjoy the vacation.

Cannabis sales are 40% higher on average on Green Wednesday than other Wednesdays in November in the United States. An estimated 8 out of 10 people plan to share their purchases with family and friends. What could be more in the spirit of Thanksgiving than that?

What is Green Wednesday?

Green Wednesday refers to the day before Thanksgiving when cannabis consumers hit local dispensaries in droves. Sales data from the last few years tells us that Green Wednesday ranks as the second highest cannabis sales day of the year after 420 (April 20th).

In 2020 alone, cannabis sales on Green Wednesday climbed 80% above the daily average. While that particular spike in cannabis consumption was fueled by pandemic panic, Green Wednesday sales see a 40% increase compared to an average Wednesday. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are also characterized by higher than normal sales too, but it’s Green Wednesday that takes the top spot.

There’s a bunch of theories circulating as to why the Wednesday before Thanksgiving sees such high weed sales. On the one hand, high vibes abound as people buy treats and gifts and get ready to reconnect with family and friends.  Cannabis is also working its way into the Thanksgiving feast, with one survey stating that 37% of cannabis consumers planned to serve THC-infused products with their Thanksgiving meal. There’s also definitely a cultural shift at work as people become more open to enjoy cannabis recreationally in place of alcohol (or in conjunction with it.)

On the other hand, people also use weed to manage the stress associated with the holidays. As much as we all cherish time with family, it can be a source of tension and friction–especially when the family home is packed to the rafters with people stressing over creating the perfect Thanksgiving spread.

Finally, Green Wednesday sales may also be boosted by uber-prepared people stocking up on weed before they head off for the weekend. For those who are traveling out of town, fulfilling a medical prescription before jetting off makes good sense. As many cannabis dispensaries are closed for Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales are often characterized by long queues, making a purchase to last the weekend represents an intuitive choice.

While there are likely a number of reasons driving Green Wednesday sales, the day has now firmly established itself as one of the leading “high holidays”.

The History of Green Wednesday

It’s believed that the term ‘Green Wednesday’ or ‘Weed Wednesday’ was coined by cannabis delivery service Eaze circa 2016, when they noticed a significant spike in sales the day before the Thanksgiving holiday. While sales soared throughout the entire Thanksgiving weekend, it was the day before the holiday kicked off that really saw cannabis consumers spending up large at their local dispensary.  

Since 2016, the Green Wednesday trend has continued to grow each year, which is understandable with the growing numbers of states that join the ranks of legalization. Cannabis marketing research firm Headset has been documenting the Green Wednesday phenomenon over the past few years, with last year’s data showing that as Green Wednesday sales surge, Black Friday sales are starting to slightly dive.

Green Wednesday discounts are also becoming increasingly famous, further compounding the popularity of the day. According to 2019 figures, the average discount per transaction was about 13% on Green Wednesday. A visit to your local dispensary or online shopping will likely see you enjoying a sweet deal.

Green Wednesday Cannabis Industry Trends for 2022

With recreational cannabis now legal in 19 U.S. states (and Washington D.C.) Green Wednesday 2022 looks set to break records. The shift away from stigmatization towards legalization means cannabis is increasingly accepted as a safe way to de-stress, relax, and have fun with friends and family over the holidays.

Innovative delivery methods, like vaping, represent one of the key ways in which weed is shaking off the shackles of its old taboos. Those who are new to cannabis often gravitate towards safe, straightforward delivery methods, like vape pens, over the stereotypes of yesteryear like joints or bongs. We forecast that Green Wednesday 2022 will see an upsurge in vape and vape-adjacent sales. Starter kits, for example, are perfect gifts for first-time users, while dry herb vaporizers represent a quick and discreet way to consume cannabis flower when holiday emotions start running high.

Another 2022 trend to be aware of is the release of new cultivars and products. Cannabis retailers who are Green Wednesday savvy are increasingly harnessing the momentum of the day to generate buzz about new items. As Green Wednesday signals the start of the holiday season and gift-giving is on people’s radars, you’ll likely see an influx of new, innovative cannabis products hitting shelves (both in store and online.)

 

A final Green Wednesday trend predicted for this year is a swell in edible and beverage sales. With the pandemic inhibiting Thanksgiving celebrations for the past two years, the ability to gather with loved ones and break bread feels momentous. Thanksgiving is about giving thanks over a shared table, so expect to see weed-infused gummies, chocolate, and sodas throughout the holiday weekend.

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