Welcome to Christmas in Colorado . . . 2014 style. Ho, ho, ho, and a Rocky Mountain high to all. Don't know what to get Aunt Martha? Looking for that just-right gift for cousin Ned? Well, rest easy. You're shopping problems are a thing of the past. Just slip a little weed into everyone's sock.
As reported in the Denver Post, marijuana is the big thing this year. And one size fits all. It's the perfect gift for everyone on your shopping list. Mary Jane for Mom, pot for Pop, and assorted joints for the kiddies. The elves up in the Colorado hills have been working overtime ‘cause there are all kinds of new marijuana strains for the holidays. There's gift sets and even pot-and-pumpkin pies, no kidding.
Marijuana dispensaries in many states have been offering holiday specials for medical customers for years but this first season of open-to-all-adults "recreational marijuana" sales in some states means pot shops are attracting holiday shoppers by employing the same sales gimmicks that have been used by the traditional retailers for years.
Take the old tried and true "door-busters" come-on, for example. It's an old trick, retailers sell some items below cost to drive traffic and attract sales. It gets people into the stores. Well, pot dealers are doing the same thing. The Grass Station in Denver was selling an ounce of marijuana for $50 about a fifth of the cost of the next-cheapest strain at the Colorado dispensary to the first 16 customers in line on Black Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That works out to less than $1 a joint for the early bird pot shopper.
Owner Ryan Fox says his Black Friday pot is decent quality, and says he's selling below cost to attract attention and pick up some new customers. As Colorado dispensaries approach a year of being able to sell weed to all adults over 21, not just card-carrying medical patients, Fox says retailers have to do more than just sell pot to get public attention. Pot shops are using old and new media to tout the sales. One dispensary took out a full-page "Happy Danksgiving" ad in The Denver Post. They even invited shoppers to text a promotional code to get extra savings on their purchases.
Weed dealers are getting into the holiday baked goods angle as well. Of course marijuana-laced brownies have been around for years, but how about pumpkin pot pie? One of Colorado's largest edible-pot makers has debuted a new miniature pumpkin pie that delivers about as much punch as a medium-sized joint. The pie joins holiday-spiced teas, minty pot confections and cannabis-infused honey oil for those who want to bake their own pot goodies at home. One company has a special holiday line of cannabis-infused sweet potato and pumpkin pies. Yum, yum!
Some shops are catering to high-end holiday shoppers, status-seeking stoners with lots of ready lettuce to spurge on weed. A couple of dealers have timed the release of some top-shelf strains of potent pot for the holiday season. A spokeswoman claims they're "sort of like the best bourbon or Scotch that will be competing on quality, rather than price."
There are special gift sets for each and every pot user on your list, be they medical or recreational. One set from an edible pot-maker includes a Mighty Mint cookie, a pot-infused confection new for the holiday shopping season, along with marijuana-infused salves for muscles sore from the ski slopes. And some pot shops are offering free gift totes and stockings with purchases. Ho, ho, ho!
And if you don't know how the stoner on your gift-giving list likes to get high, no problem, dude. Simply gift them with a gift certificate from their favorite pot shop and they can go in and choose what they like. Sorry, no gift cards because banking regulations prohibit major card companies from being able to back marijuana-related cards, still there are hundreds of dispensaries that are issuing certificates.
The inclusion of pot into the holiday season is just another example of the growing vulgarity and erosion of our culture. The warmth and glow of old-fashioned holiday traditions have given way to the self-absorbed, dope-smoking hipsters who think family values are just for old stupid people.
Well count me in as one of those old stupid people because I can remember a time when the mention of "pot" at this time of year was just a reference to Santa Claus' belly.