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Cannabis’ Black Friday is called Green Wednesday: It’s already lit

Published on November 23, 2020 · Last updated March 17, 2022
A courier from Ganja Goddess Delivers drops a package in San Francisco. (David Downs/Leafly)
A courier from Ganja Goddess Delivers drops a package in San Francisco in 2020. (David Downs/Leafly File Photo)

You’d better make extra pie.

Hundreds of thousands of America’s legal cannabis smokers are set to deluge the nation’s dispensaries this week with orders for “Green Wednesday”—marijuana’s answer to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

From San Diego, CA to Boston, MA, the long Thanksgiving holiday—plus stay-at-home orders—have weed consumers snatching up handfuls of discounted pre-rolls (joints), as well as vaporizer cartridges, gummy edibles, and tinctures.

It’s all to spark joy and ease boredom, said Matt Janz, marketing head for The+Source retail shop in Las Vegas.

“Green Wednesday is the perfect opportunity to prepare for food fights with in-laws, all-day baking affairs, and defeating the indomitable itis.”

What is Green Wednesday?

One in three Americans now lives in a legalized state and buying patterns for the last six years consistently show a sales bump in the run-up to big holidays. The stoner holiday of April 20th (420) is the US’ biggest weed sales day of the year, but second place goes to the Wednesday before the long Thanksgiving break.

Marketers never miss an opportunity, and California delivery service Eaze claims they coined the term “Green Wednesday” in 2016. Four years later, thousands of legal stores amplify the herd’s swerve toward weed with deals like 5-50% off certain items.

“It’s becoming more recognized every year,” said John Ford, vice president of retail at Chalice Farms in Oregon.

  • Nationwide, orders are up 40% on Green Wednesday over an average day, according to cannabis analytics company Headset.
  • Green Wednesday sales run double the average Wednesday, said Kristine Lyng, Director of Digital Marketing at major San Jose, CA retailer Caliva.
  • California delivery service Eaze said Green Wednesday orders are almost double the prior four Wednesdays, said Senior Director of Corporate Communications Elizabeth Ashford.

What’s hot for Green Wednesday?

‘Quick, discrete, and easy’ defines a lot of Green Wednesday’s hottest cannabis products.

Atop the list: cannabis flowers rolled into a joint ahead of time—a “pre-roll.”

For example, Kaviar joints dominate in Colorado; in California and Arizona, Sublime’s Mini Fuzzies, according to wholesale cannabis platform Leaflink.

Oregon retailer Chalice Farms gets festive with its holiday pre-rolls. (Courtesy Chalice Farms)
Oregon retailer Chalice Farms gets festive with its holiday pre-rolls. (Courtesy of Chalice Farms)

Next up, edible gummies: California’s Kiva confections debuts a THC gummy that travels well. Each gummy is a manageable 10 milligrams of THC, sourced from live resin, instead of bubble hash.

Live rosin replaces bubble has in these fragrant, tasty, user-friendly 10 milligram THC gummies. (Courtesy Kiva Confections)
Live rosin replaces bubble has in these fragrant, tasty, user-friendly 10 milligram THC gummies. (Courtesy of Kiva Confections)

Another killer choice for travel: vaporizer cartridges, and all-in-one disposable pens like Raw Garden‘s holiday line-up. Whether it’s a day trip or a week-long odyssey—carts mean no smell and no burning—just a quick, flavorful, clean sip, and a lift.

Raw Garden harvest photo essay by David Downs at Leafly
Raw Garden’s new disposables come in enlivening, tropical strains. (Courtesy of Raw Garden)

Green Wednesday’s 2020 amplification

If there’s ever a season to stock up on THC— 2020 takes the cake. The numbers don’t lie: 2020 saw a crazy bump in cannabis consumption correlated to the pandemic.

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“People have relied on cannabis this year more than ever before,” said Caliva’s Lyng.

Regulators nationwide deemed legal cannabis sales essential in the spring. No-contact delivery, curbside checkout, and drive-through options flourished. Under quarantine, travel, clothing, and dining budgets got re-routed to tasty herbs and streaming services.

“Less out of home spending equaled more money for weed.”

Maggie Connors, founder, CEO of Besito

Deliveries by California’s statewide service Ganja Goddess are up 100% over 2019, said Zachary Pitts, CEO of the delivery company.

“Less out of home spending equaled more money for weed,” said Maggie Connors, founder, and CEO of Besito, a California maker of pre-rolls and disposable pens.

Fewer outings, bigger spends

We’re all going out less, but when we do, it’s to stock up. The size of weed shopping baskets are up 50%, year over year, from October 2019, said Leaflink.

As winter COVID lockdowns tighten, folks are stocking up even more. Massachusets weed spending shot up 34% month over month in October.

“It’s been a hard year and Thanksgiving is going to be weird, but people know cannabis can help raise the joy no matter what,” said Eaze’s Ashford.

De-stigmatization nationwide

And maybe even more fundamental to Green Wednesday’s revenue: cannabis’ ongoing normalization and de-stigmatization, experts said. Medical and adult-use initiatives passed across the country.

Clean stores with lab-tested weed attract wary illicit market buyers, and never-smokers alike, experts report.

The oldest-in-the-world legal market, Colorado, saw weed spending shoot up 38% from September to October. 

How can I win Green Wednesday?

Shop early, shop online, and consider delivery.

  • Stores preempted the annual Wednesday rush with deals running all week long. Sign up for texts from your favorite spots and learn about deals first (Leafly has that feature); especially if you want to swoop up limited Green Wednesday freebies.
  • Order online. San Jose’s Caliva expect two-thirds of all orders to be made online, up from one-third last year. You can order online and pick up curbside to lower your ‘rona exposure like a pro.
Legal cannabis delivery services: Here’s what you need to know
  • Just stay home. Delivery services race around all week. California offers regional same-day—and statewide next day—delivery services. Other states like Oregon do, too.

And while you’re shopping, get some Christmas shopping done, too. Cyber Monday began early this year (what else are young going to do?) and cannabis is one of 2020’s hottest gifts.

Eaze offers a special, Black, and equity cannabis brands menu that’s already passed $2 million in sales; plus they’re running a 1:1 match where every purchase donates a product to those in need.

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David Downs
David Downs
Leafly Senior Editor David Downs is the former Cannabis Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. He's appeared on The Today Show, and written for Scientific American, The New York Times, WIRED, Rolling Stone, The Onion A/V Club, High Times, and many more outlets. He is a 2023 judge for The Emerald Cup, and has covered weed since 2009.
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