If someone asked you to guess the weekends when dispensaries make the most money, the weekend closest to April 20 would probably be high on your list. After all, 4/20 and, to a lesser extent, 7/10 are known as unofficial stoner holidays around the country. But the biggest weekend of all in Colorado? Last year it was Labor Day.
According to BDS Analytics, in 2016 the weekend of April 16 through April 18 (right before 4/20) brought in $5.61 million. That might sound like a lot, but it pales in comparison to Labor Day weekend 2016 (September 2 through September 4), which brought in $8.22 million. And July 8 through July 10, 2016, dispensaries collected $7.73 million.
And the high numbers around 7/10 likely have more to do with summer travel than the dabbing holiday; according to BDS, tourism plays a major role in the shift in sales numbers. In fact, seven of last year's biggest weekends fell in summer months, and only one came after September. Here are the BDS stats:
Ten Highest-Selling Weekends at Colorado Dispensaries in 2016
September 2-4: $8.22 million
July 1-3 (Fourth of July weekend): $7.97 million
July 8-10: $7.73 million
August 19-21: $7.69 million
August 5-7: $7.57 million
September: 30-October 2: $7.48 million
July 29-31: $7.44 million
September 16-18: $7.37 million
August 26-28: $7.31 million
August 12-14: $7.29 million
The list somewhat parallels the busiest days at the airport: Denver International Airport is expected to be the country's fourth-busiest airport on Labor Day, according to a travel forecast by RewardExpert. Also, 2013 data from the Federal Aviation Administration shows that only three of the thirty busiest days for American airports fell outside of May to August, and only three were within five days of a major holiday.
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"While 4/20 receives most of the holiday-oriented pot attention, it has not shaped up to be much of a multiple-day holiday. Instead, 4/20 represents a big day of sales. Labor Day weekend, on the other hand, is a big deal for cannabis retailers," BDS Analytics notes.
Another possible reason for the big numbers on Labor Day? Phish plays its annual three-day jam session at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Labor Day weekend, with this year's gig running from Friday, September 1, to Sunday, September 3.
Various dispensaries are offering specials this Labor Day weekend. At Native Roots from September 1 through September 4, for example, if you buy one pack of Shortys at the regular price, you get a second pack for $4.20 (while supplies last, tax not included, select strains only...and this deal cannot be combined with other offers or discounts).
Know of any other deals out there? Share the information in a comment. And happy holidays!