Put away the cooler of domestic suds and break out the bong, because there’s a new party favor taking over this summer’s holiday barbeques. And as Americans from coast to coast finally get back to work after a long weekend recovering from 4th of July festivities, a new report from cannabis sales data company Akerna Corp is offering insight into how popular pot is becoming alongside hot dogs and fireworks on Independence Day.
First reported by Leafly and Green Entrepreneur, the Akerna report shows that Americans in legal weed states spent some $400 million in the week leading up to the 4th, more than 60% more than a regular seven-day stretch.
The preparations started before July even hit, with June 30th becoming the highest grossing cannabis sales Sunday of the year, bringing in 50% more cash than a typical Sunday. That trend continued throughout the week, with the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday leading up to the Fourth of July all becoming the highest grossing weekdays this year. On Wednesday the 3rd, sales totals spiked even higher, more than doubling a typical hump day.
“The strength of the week is a healthy indication of continual consumer adoption as legalization expands and acceptance grows across all demographic segments,” Akerna Chief Executive Officer Jessica Billingsley told Leafly.
In addition to long lines and heavy foot traffic at dispensaries, Akerna’s data also showed that the early July holiday brought out the excess in cannabis consumers, with average purchases reaching higher cash totals and containing 15% more individual products than typical, non-holiday sales days.
Compared with other Independence Day party mainstays, Akerna estimated that Americans spent about as much on weed as they did on chicken, but that sales of staples like beer and fireworks still eclipsed ganja by more than $500 million each.
But as more and more Americans are able to visit local dispensaries and purchase a joint to go along with their sparklers and steaks on the Fourth of July, it is important to remember that there are still countless citizens locked up for cannabis crimes. Despite state-level weed reform, the War on Drug still rages on. If you really want to be patriotic in your pot use, it starts with advocacy and activism.
Follow Zach Harris on Twitter