Keeping Score

Pot Will See Sales Spike For Super Bowl, Just Like Pizza

Colorado's pot shops are cheering Peyton Manning

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Matthew Staver / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Recreational marijuana (cannabis) called Ice is arranged for a photograph inside the Evergreen Apothecary in Denver, Colorado, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014.

If you’re looking to stock up on Super Bowl goodies, you’ll find no shortage of deals at pizza joints, the supermarket or the beer distributorship. But you won’t find any Super Bowl specials at the Denver Kush Club, a marijuana dispensary. Before New Year’s Day, when only the sale of medical marijuana was legal in Colorado, the Kush Club would discount a gram of marijuana if, say, the Broncos scored four touchdowns. But those promotions disappeared once legal recreational sales started under new state law.

“We’ve just been running out of product so quickly,” says Jess Vanderpool, a store manager. “We can’t really justify any deals right now.”

Football is good for lots of businesses: TV networks, hotels around the stadium, pizzerias, supermarkets, makers of chicken wings and dips. Now throw pot in the mix, too. Especially with both states who have teams in the Super Bowl—Colorado’s Denver Broncos and Washington state’s Seattle Seahawks—having recently become the first two states to allow marijuana for recreational use.

“Liquor stores see a spike,” says Vanderpool. “Why should this be any different?”

Over the past few weeks, marijuana dispensaries in Colorado have seen an uptick in the days and hours before the Broncos play. Fans are stocking up. Now that Denver is playing in the Super Bowl, Colorado shops are expecting their biggest spikes yet. “We’re anticipating a really, really busy Saturday,” says David, the store manager for Mile High Medical/Recreational Cannabis, located across the street from Sports Authority Field, home of the Broncos (he did not give his last name)

These proprietors say that weed, like a bowl of chips, meshes with watching sports. “It’s a Sunday, you’re hanging out in the house relaxing,” says David. “Instead of relaxing with a Bud, you’re relaxing with a joint. Or a bud.” For the Super Bowl, David predicts that the sativa strain of marijuana, which raises energy levels, will be a better seller than the indica strain, which has more mellowing effects. It’s pretty big game after all.

(MORE: Five Ways To Seem Smart About The Super Bowl)

At the LoDo Wellness Center in Denver, more than one customer has come to rekindle their acquaintance with marijuana during the Super Bowl. “We hearing things like I haven’t smoked in 30 years,” says Liz H.—she also would not disclose her last name—a front desk manager. “They’re treating it like as fine bottle of wine.” Liz said that before the San Diego Chargers played a playoff game in Denver three weeks ago, Chargers fans flocked to the shop. “There have been a couple of people with Seahawks gear,” she says. “We’ve bonded over cannabis use, sure.”

But recreational sales in Washington state, home to the Seahawks and also implementing a new law, don’t start until later in the year. With the Seahawks in the Super Bowl, those shops are missing out. “How cool has this been for us?” says David. “You need to go recreational. So your team can make the Super Bowl.”

(MORE: Marijuana Movement Seizes Super Bowl Spotlight)