‘Green Wednesday’ takes Thanksgiving week to new high in retail

TerrAscend, with 3 N.J. locations, says it’s ready for second-biggest day of sales in cannabis industry

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday … meet Green Wednesday.

The cannabis sector is getting into the holiday spirit a day early, as numerous dispensaries are planning promotions for the day before Thanksgiving, which industry experts said is now the second-largest day for cannabis sales (falling just behind “420” on April 20).

Why the increased sales on “Green Wednesday”?

Some said the day’s retail popularity comes about out of need for extra product on hand to share at festivities and family gatherings. Others said consumers feel a broad spectrum of emotions for the Thanksgiving holiday and are looking to use cannabis to unwind, relax, cope or just have a good time.

Still others said Green Wednesday and Thanksgiving make the perfect match because cannabis is associated with the munchies and relaxing on the couch with loved ones.

Chantelle Elsner.

Chantelle Elsner, TerrAscend‘s president of the Northeast, said it’s all of this and more.

“Cannabis is becoming a part of dinner conversations and family traditions worldwide,” she said. “A recent report shared that 70% of consumers purchasing cannabis for the holidays are buying enough to share with friends and family.

“The old tradition of ‘taking a walk before dinner’ is something many families participate in, and cannabis is a great way to elevate that experience.”

Elsner said the uptick in sales at the company’s dispensaries is noticeable. In 2022, the holiday brought in $116.4 million in sales, she said.

TerrAscend currently has three New Jersey retail locations: the Apothecarium in Lodi, Maplewood and Philipsburg. In addition to these stores, you can find its brands in almost every other operating dispensary in the state. The brands consist of Kind Tree, Legend, WANA brands, Gage and Cookies, and, within these brands, it offers flower, edible, vape and concentrate products.

Elsner said the stores will be ready.

The tradition of ‘taking a walk.’

“As one of the bigger players in the state, we’re gearing up for doorbuster sales on Green Wednesday, Black Friday and Cyber Monday,” she said. “We’ve been going through our inventory with a fine-tooth comb and beefing up our awesome team in preparation. It’s all part of our plan to keep delivering that top-notch Apothecarium experience.”

Part of that plan is to keep the details of the deals secret.

“On Wednesday at 6 a.m. sharp, our customers will get notified of all our outstanding promotions and deals for the holiday season,” she said. “Like other retailers, we keep the details of our promotions close to heart until the day of the event. This creates a lot of buzz around the holiday and gives our customers something to look forward to.”

Retailers already know more people are going to make purchases in preparation for the long weekend and Thanksgiving festivities, and they want to nab those dollars, she said. The result will be a slew of sales designed to capitalize on this seasonal buying trend.

Overall, Elsner said the transition from medical to adult-use in cannabis has been a big success. The response from local communities has been very positive.

In fact, from July 2022 through June, New Jersey dispensaries sold more than $734 million in cannabis products, according to statistics from the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission. The vast majority of sales came from recreational marijuana customers, who spent over $555 million. And, with those figures, Elsner said the thriving New Jersey market has the potential to become a billion-dollar market.

Additionally, Elser said the sales growth comes as the number of dispensaries in New Jersey has continues to grow exponentially.

“Twelve dispensaries opened for recreational sales during the first and second quarters of 2023, during which sales grew about 10% per quarter,” she said. “We’re proud to offer our best-in-class assortment of products and continue to ensure prioritized and expedited patient access at all Apothecarium locations.”