Weed Sales on Super Bowl Sunday Decrease in 2023

An estimated 113 million viewers watched Super Bowl LVII to see if the Philadelphia Eagles or Kansas City Chiefs would win this year (the second-most watched since Super Bowl XLIX in 2015). Among those viewers were countless cannabis consumers, but cannabis sales took a slight dip in comparison to last year.

A cannabis checkout purchase averages at around $84.61, but sales from this past weekend saw a 4% drop in sales.

According to data collected by Chicago-based Fyllo, pre-rolls were the most popular products purchased this weekend at 37% of sales. In a statement to Forbes, Fyllo founder Chad Bronstein explained that the reason pre-rolls sold so well is because they are “the cheapest product in dispensaries.”

“We see this sensitivity to pricing most significant among persons aged 25 to 75, where consumer spending this year around the Super Bowl decreased significantly,” Bronstein added. Among age demographics, Fyllo also found that Gen Z consumers purchased rose considerably on Feb. 12, especially with buyers between 21 to 24 (a 10% increase from that age group).

The second most popular product category was described as “dispensary gear” by Fyllo, which saw a 20% increase this year. This was followed by “plants” at a 200% increase, and beverages at a 39% increase. Both topicals and edibles dropped in sales, with a respective 36% and 25% decrease. Bronstein believes that this is “potentially a response to pricing, driven by higher manufacturing costs, especially for those looking to optimize the cost of their high.”

Fyllo also found that while west coast sales dipped, eastern and southern states’ cannabis sales increased. Sales in Florida increased significantly by 27%, while Maine sales increased by 17%, and Arkansas increased by 7%.

While cannabis sales dropped slightly in previous years, it didn’t hamper the cannabis-related festivities of offered in Arizona where the Super Bowl took place this year. 

Trulieve Cannabis Corp.’s recent move into Arizona led with the launch of Ricky Williams’s Highsman brand. “Our expansion into Arizona is made possible through our retail partnership with Trulieve, and Abundant Organics, whose organic living soil cultivation techniques produce some of the cleanest and most flavorful flower I’ve tried,” Williams announced last month. “Both partners clearly see the Highsman vision and share the same enthusiasm for physical and mental healing as I do. Highsman is for anyone seeking greatness, mental and spiritual well-being.”

Trulieve’s CEO, Kim Rivers, was proud to partner with the former NFL player. “Trulieve is excited to launch this limited-time exclusive partnership with legendary NFL player Ricky Williams in Arizona, just weeks before the Super Bowl will be hosted in the state,” said Rivers. “Ricky was well-known for his belief in the power of cannabis during his playing days, and the Highsman brand reflects his values and passion for cannabis. We are proud to launch Highsman products in the Arizona market.”

HARA Brands partnered with Rolling Stone Live this weekend to celebrate the Super Bowl as well. The brand’s CEO and co-founder, Bryan Gerber, expressed his excitement for what this means for the industry. “We are extremely proud to represent the cannabis community at such a high-profile event during one of the biggest weekends in sports and entertainment,” said Gerber. “It’s a testament to how far this industry has come, and we couldn’t be more excited to be part of this exclusive experience alongside some of the most successful brands and talented individuals.”

WNBA star athlete Brittney Griner attended this year’s Superbowl with her wife Cherelle Griner. Following a 10-month battle for her freedom after being imprisoned in Russia for possessing a small amount of cannabis, Brittney was recently named Arizonan of the Year by Arizona Republic.

The post Weed Sales on Super Bowl Sunday Decrease in 2023 appeared first on High Times.

A Gen Z History of the Weed Pen: From Fortnite Carts to Rosin Pods

The pen. The cart. The pod. No matter what you call it, over the last 10 years, the weed vape has drastically altered the landscape of how we view cannabis—and where we can comfortably smoke it. From a Gen Z perspective, though, the weed pen is more than a notable addition to the game: it is the game.

Vaporizing cannabis and cannabis extracts isn’t a new concept—it’s been around for centuries. Still, this article isn’t about the Shake and Vape (developed in 1993), or even the Volcano (available in the U.S. in 2003). This is about the modern, lithium-ion-battery-powered-pocket-sized vape. It’s about how far we’ve come from G Pens to distillate carts to Fortnite Carts to top-tier rosin pods, and how far we still have to go.

The Gen Z Experience

I was in high school when cannabis vapes were first starting to become popular and widely accessible. At first, it wasn’t your (now standard) distillate + terpene combination in a cartridge, it was the G Pen. For those of you not familiar with this device, you had to load your own concentrates into an atomizer and carefully heat the pen to your desired rip level. It was remarkable, but admittedly crude by today’s standards. Still, we could show up early to school, rip the G Pen in the parking lot, and nobody would ever know. It’s a feeling that I imagine my high school predecessors could only experience by smoking actual flower, running the risk of smelling in class. I think that was more exciting.

Excitement in that sense comes from risk, which a lot of people argue is a catalyst to either a perfect high or a paranoid one. The risk of smoking weed and the effects of smoking weed were starting to become exclusive from one another for the first time. You didn’t have to worry about smell or surrounding yourself with thick smoke. And as the 2010s passed their midway point, the G Pen started to phase out in favor of a new 510-thread cartridge, which has now largely dominated the weed pen industry since its inception.

These 510-thread cartridges are straightforward to produce and to smoke. Distillate and outside terpenes are mixed together, poured into a cartridge, and bam, you have weed that tastes like Blue Raspberry. Again, for a high school-aged kid, this was inexplicably convenient across the board.

After all, for someone who had to hide their consumption from their parents, teachers, and even some of their less progressive-minded classmates, what better than a small stick that hardly smelled like weed?

That’s something prior generations of youth had never before experienced: a way to smoke weed at school without a single person knowing. We went from ripping the G Pen in the parking lot to ripping a cartridge under our shirts in the back of class—to designating specific bathrooms for pen-hotbox purposes only. Our campus was locked in, meaning you couldn’t leave for lunch or any reason, even to go to your car. But we didn’t need to. Thanks to myself and a few other soldiers around campus, everyone had one.

Double-Edged Sword

Pretty soon, though, people with more fucked up intentions than mine realized what a strong hold vapes had on my generation in particular. The most absurd, cheaply produced cartridges started popping up everywhere from 2017-2019. And whether you were smoking a Mario Cart, Dank Vape, Exotic Cart, Monopoly Cart, Cartnite, Cereal Cart or whatever the fuck (kinda feel like I tapped into the major ones), you really had no clue what was inside it and most people didn’t care. It was cheap. It was easy. It had fun colors and funny graphics. All flavored with non-cannabis terpenes and filled with who fucking knows what.

That’s another thing about my generation, though. Snapchat plugs rapidly expanded with the rise of these mass-produced fakes. With a few taps and hardly any research around your school, any kid could find a bullshit cart to smoke. And like I’ve been saying, nobody would ever find out. That was the beauty of it.

Then the Vitamin E acetate cases stepped in.

Kids my age ended up in the hospital from smoking THC cartridges cut with Vitamin E acetate, a thinning agent. According to the CDC, these cases “sharply increas[ed]” in August 2019 and peaked the next month. None of these cases were tied to licensed companies, but it was clear that the convenience of production and purchase had caught up to Gen Z kids who had mostly just begun to experience weed for the first time.

Distillate cartridges as a whole are really to blame. They’re some of the cheapest, most poorly produced, low-quality smoke out. Sure, they’ve helped make cannabis a more widely-appreciated experience than ever, but it’s coming at a cost. Live resin cartridges have been a step in the right direction, but even those leave trace solvents behind.

Where TF Do We Go From Here?

Courtesy of 710 Labs

We’re trending onwards and upwards, it seems. Live Rosin Pods have been the newest wave in cartridge technology, and they’re starting to become more affordable. They may not have a full grip on my generation yet, but solventless, additive-free options are the most effective, clean form of vape since the 510-thread cartridge entered the game.

This, of course, is only possible in legal states with the most progressive markets, like California and Colorado. The reality is, many Gen Z kids across the U.S. in illegal states are years behind, still smoking the same, scary bullshit. It’s a double-edged sword, though. Many will smoke garbage distillate cartridges and simply have a good time, helping reduce the stigma around enjoying cannabis as a whole.

But when will we start caring about what’s actually in our cartridges? When will the lure of fake flavors like Blue Raspberry or even added cannabis-derived terpenes be replaced by the taste of actual strains in their true form? Maybe never. Fake flavors in distillate cartridges are much more readily appealing to a new, Gen Z weed smoker than the taste of actual weed. Maybe it’s a journey with the plant, or in this case the device, that we have to all go through. Maybe everyone will end up at rosin pods—maybe everyone will stop vaping altogether one day. Knowing my generation, though, I highly doubt the latter is true.

The post A Gen Z History of the Weed Pen: From Fortnite Carts to Rosin Pods appeared first on High Times.

Gen Z Prefers Weed Over Booze

Generation Z has been shaped by a variety of dynamics that have dominated their young lives: technology and social media, social justice movements and, according to fresh research, abundant access to cannabis.

That is perhaps the chief takeaway from a study conducted by New Frontier Data, a firm that specializes in research on cannabis policy.

The study, released last week, found that 69% of individuals aged 18-24 prefer cannabis over alcohol.

In fact, the figures were comparable among the next two age cohorts: 70% of those between the ages of 25 and 34 said they also prefer weed, while 68% of those aged 35-44 said the same.

The numbers are indicative of emerging generations of young adults who came of age at a time when a large and growing number of states and cities throughout the United States have legalized recreational cannabis for adults.

Moreover, polls routinely show large majorities of young Americans support ending the prohibition on pot.

New Frontier Data noted in the study’s analysis that Generation Z, AKA “Zoomers,” or individuals born between 1997 and 2012, “were between birth or age 15 when the first states legalized cannabis.”

“Gen Z is the first generation to be of legal consumption age in an environment with widespread adult-use cannabis access,” New Frontier Data’s vice president of public policy research Amanda Reiman told Bloomberg.

Bloomberg reported that New Frontier Data’s study “included 4,170 current cannabis consumers and 1,250 nonconsumers, found that the preference seems to fade with age, with just 44% of respondents aged 65 to 74 choosing weed over booze.”

While the research suggests a greater familiarity and comfort with cannabis, it also indicates that young people are generally less drawn to alcohol and tobacco than their older peers.

“A recent study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health by researchers at the University of Washington looked at alcohol and tobacco consumption among Gen Zers in Washington during 2014-2019,” the New Frontier researchers wrote. “Those findings saw declines in each past-month alcohol use, heavy episodic drinking, and cigarette use during that period. It is possible that the reductions were related to an overall disinterest in alcohol and tobacco among individuals in Gen Z, an observation supported in the New Frontier Data Consumer Survey.”

“Cannabis consumers aged 18-24 were most likely to say they never drank alcohol (19.7%), and the least likely to say that they drank every day (5.9%). They were also the most likely (among those under age 55) to say that they never used tobacco (39.3%), and the least likely (among those under 65) to say that they used it every day (26.3%),” the researchers continued.

Among individuals aged 18-24, “more than half (56%) reported replacing some of their alcohol with cannabis, compared to nearly 60% among ages 25-34, and more than 60% among 35-44-year-olds,” according to the study, which noted that those “rates declined further among older cohorts, from over 44% among ages 45-54, to about 43% among ages 55-64, and nearly 30% among ages 65-74.”

“The numbers suggest that young people are learning to navigate the legal cannabis landscape without adopting compulsive, increased use, and may also be less likely to consume either alcohol or tobacco, thereby making cannabis their drug of choice,” the researchers wrote in their concluding analysis. “Considering that cannabis carries a lower risk of dependence than do either alcohol or tobacco – and presents no risk of either fatal overdose (e.g., alcohol) or long-term impacts to the lungs (e.g., tobacco) – it suggests that the younger generation may indeed be making more considered choices about their consumption patterns.”

The post Gen Z Prefers Weed Over Booze appeared first on High Times.