Forget “Green Friday” — there’s a new record-breaking shopping day for recreational marijuana in Washington.
Sales for the much-hyped Green Friday, a pot shop play on the typical Black Friday day after Thanksgiving sales, were a solid $630,744 — nice but no record.
The new record since stores opened nearly six months ago was the day before Thanksgiving, with more than $1 million in sales.
“Woah, that’s awesome,” said Brian Budz, one of the owners of New Vansterdam in Vancouver. “That means a bunch of people went out and bought weed to go hang out with their families. That blows my mind, actually.”
New Vansterdam, 6515 E Mill Plain Blvd., sold about $45,000 worth of product on the day before Thanksgiving, Budz said.
His store did a strong Green Friday sales push on social media — and on a day that most stores did only slightly above average, New Vansterdam saw about $70,000 in sales, he said.
The store promoted special deals for several weeks — offering prices as low as $3 for joints, $15 for 1 gram packages and $20 for 2-gram packages as doorbusters.
“We did very well,” Budz said. “We did well over double what we do on a normal Friday. The rest of the weekend also stayed up, percentage wise. Saturday was about 50 percent higher than normal, Sunday was a bit above but close to normal.”
News of the pre-Thanksgiving sales spike came as a surprise, though, he said.
“It may be people coming home from out of state, and it’s legal here now, so folks coming home for the holiday may have decided to try it,” Budz said.
If that’s true, then the week before Christmas may also be a big shopping period for regional pot shops.
Asked if his store would be open on Christmas Eve, Budz said yes.
“We were thinking about it, but now we definitely are,” he said.
Budz credited social media outreach on Twitter and Facebook and email blasts for the success.
Focused on grand opening
The Cannabis Country Store, 1910 W. Main St. in Battle Ground, which will hold its official Grand Opening on Dec. 10-11, also saw a minimal uptick in sales on Green Friday and a bigger uptick on the day before Thanksgiving, said Loren Carlson, the owner.
The store opened quietly in what’s called a “soft opening” in early November.
“(Green Friday) was kind of uneventful,” Carlson said. “It wasn’t a bad day, but it wasn’t more than usual. Saturday, too, we had some specials for Small Business Saturday, but it wasn’t much more than average.”
The store has been more focused on deals for its upcoming Grand Opening and decided not to push Green Friday as much, Carlson said.
But he said he was also surprised by the big pre-Thanksgiving sales day
“We were busier that day by far than we were on Green Friday,” Carlson said.
Main Street Marijuana, 2314 Main St. in Vancouver, also saw a slight increase in sales for Green Friday, but it wasn’t anything overwhelming, said Ramsey Hamide, one of the store’s managers.
The store did minimal outreach on social media for about a week before the holiday weekend but didn’t push it much, he said.
“Friday was a little bit more than normal, but not overwhelming,” Hamide said. “Saturday was slow, decent but not much more than a normal Saturday. And Sunday was pretty much average.”
His store was open on Thanksgiving, as well, because employees, who got double their regular pay, asked managers to stay open that day, he said.
Sales for Thanksgiving were about $20,000, he said.
“In general, our sales have been up for the whole month of November,” Hamide said. “I think that’s a combination of people returning for the holidays, but also because Oregon’s legalization (which recently passed) is bringing more people up here.”