Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

The Early Bird Does Not Get the Legal Weed

And everybody's working for the weed-end.

Leave work as the clock strikes 5, grab a six-pack, and pick up some dank ganja. The weekend has finally arrived.

A new report from Headset, a Seattle-based cannabis analytics firm, found that Fridays are the most popular day of the week to go shopping for recreational marijuana. That's according to data collected from 715,000 August transactions at cannabis retailers in Washington State, where recreational use of the drug is legal. Saturdays are the second most popular day to buy weed, followed by Thursday. The least popular day is Monday. (Nobody wants to get high on Mondays.) 

Legal marijuana is most likely to be purchased between 3 and 5 o'clock on Fridays, Headset found. Another quarter of purchases occurred during the traditional happy hours between 6 and 8 o'clock. In another less-than-shocking finding, just 13 percent of purchases are made between 9 and 11 in the morning. The early bird, it appears, does not get the legal weed.

Headset co-founder Cy Scott attributed the purchasing trends to the tradition of post-employment unwinding established by alcohol vendors. "It has a lot to do with leaving work for the weekend," he said. "On weekdays, we see a lot of sales go in between the lunch hour, 12 to 2." 

When comparing vices, recreational marijuana use still pales in comparison to tobacco and alcohol. A Headset report earlier this year found the average annual weed purchase was $647 at recreational dispensaries in Washington State. The yearly expenditure on tobacco is $2,555 and $1,560 for alcohol, according to data from Bankrate. But pot is also only legal in a handful of states, so the average spend stands to increase if more states opt to legalize the intoxicating plant.

The average purchase at the Washington dispensaries is $29.64, according to the most recent Headset report, about the cost of a moderate bar tab. But the most common cannabis purchase is only $5 to 10, roughly the price of a single beer at a bar. The average is boosted by a handful of large purchases, like the six percent of shoppers who spent over $75 in one visit. The majority of shoppers, 55 percent, purchase only one item and about a quarter buy two items.

Most shoppers who come in to buy just one item are traditionalists, sticking to the smokable nuggets of flowering marijuana. The second most popular item for these consumers are vapor pens.

The day of the week can influence a shoppers basket, the report found. Edibles and cannabis beverages sold best on Fridays, despite the reliable demand for flower cannabis. Among edibles, hard candy and chocolate proved most popular, making up half of August's edible sales. Scott attributed this to promotions offered by the cannabis retailers. If getting high off a brownie is cheaper than puffing on a joint that day, it's natural customers would gravitate towards the chocolaty option. 

The celebratory nature of a Friday happy hour purchase could also inspire shoppers to spend more and on a larger variety of items, Scott explained. "If you're buying a beverage, if you're buying an edible, you're usually buying more than that. Whereas flower, the most popular form of cannabis, that's usually purchased on its own."

Bringing a tray of brownies will make you popular at any event, but if the goodies are infused with a key ingredient, you could find yourself extra popular at a Friday night party.