For shoppers of age in Colorado and Washington state, the most novel deal this Black Friday isn’t on a gadget like the iPhone 6. If what they’re looking for is relaxation, they’re in luck: For their first Black Friday ever, recreational marijuana dispensaries in those states are offering some great deals on weed.
“This is one of the first times in the nation that we’re going to be able to do such crazy discounts and specials on marijuana products, and have people 21 years or older be able to come in and join the festivities,” says John Satterfield, a distribution worker at Denver’s Kindman Premium Cannabis.
Kindman had its lights on for a few hours this Thanksgiving—“just in case you want[ed] to get away from the family,” says Satterfield—and will offer huge discounts all weekend to compete with other retail dispensaries. Deals will include $50 ounces for the first 16 Colorado residents per day Friday through Sunday, along with other price cuts on products like joints and edibles. Some discounts will hit 80 to 90 percent, Satterfield says.
For dispensaries, the move into Black Friday discounts represents another step into the mainstream. Sean Taggart, manager of the Green Room, said the Boulder, Colorado, dispensary is also offering discounts, including pricing all of its eighths at $40—usually $50.
“People will be out and about already, so we might as well accommodate the people that are out taking on Black Friday already,” Taggart says.
Colorado and Washington state residents voted to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012, and retailers in both states opened for business earlier this year. According to one study, the marijuana industry could be worth $8 billion a year by 2018.
The move into Black Friday promotions raises the same issues for dispensaries as it does for any other outlet—like whether employees should have to work during a time traditionally spent with family.
Green Anne, a dispensary in Seattle, will not be open, says manager Eduardo Beaumont. “We’re a really small shop, and we don’t have that many people working here, and my boss respects the fact that people want to be with their families,” Beaumont says. He added that Green Anne will probably be one of few places that stays closed.
The products may be new, but the quandaries—and the traditions—definitely aren't. “We’re trying to do things to give back to our customers,” Satterfield says. “And just trying to spread the holiday cheer and get everybody a little bit high.”