Going Pot Shopping for the Weekend in Washington State

Top Shelf Cannabis, a store in Bellingham, Wash. Photograph by David Ryder/Getty Images

Five weeks have passed since the state of Washington’s first legal marijuana sales. All told, consumers have spent more than $4.3 million on pot.

About a quarter of that revenue, as measured by Washington’s Liquor Control Board—$1.1 million—goes to state coffers in the form of excise taxes, although the amount of tax paid on any given sale depends greatly on whether it’s for medical or recreational use. As in Colorado, initial sales have trailed estimates.

The state’s data track sales by day. A first glimpse shows two noticeable peaks in demand: Tuesdays and Fridays. Perhaps the people of Washington are remarkably diligent at preparing for Hump Day and the weekend.

A sample of just five weeks is small, so the data could be easily skewed by aberrational Tuesdays. Dispensaries first opened their doors on a Tuesday, for instance, and promptly sold almost a quarter-million dollars in pot amid early troubles managing inventory.

If you take the first week out of the data, the past four weeks show a more predictable buying pattern. More than 60 percent of sales come on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, with a full quarter of all sales taking place on Fridays. To explain the mechanics behind that retail phenomenon, we offer a dated reference to R. Kelly:

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