April 20 is just a couple days away, so that means it’s weed appreciation week. To celebrate, Foursquare, a location intelligence company, has come out with data from more than two million of its users, showing how often they visited legal, 21+ dispensaries, as well as other spots for munchies and booze.
“While concerns around competition from legalized marijuana are valid, 4/20 is a holiday when everyone wins,” says Sarah Spagnolo, Foursquare’s editor-at-large.
Last year on April 20, Foursquare saw that by comparing week-over-week user data throughout the four legal states of Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, visits to cannabis dispensaries increased by a whopping 76 percent, while other industries saw more visits, too: 36 percent for liquor stores, 20 percent for fast food places, 11 percent for pizza joints, and eight percent for nightlife spots.
In Oregon in particular, visits to liquor stores grew at half the rate of the national average. “Oregon’s weed policies have impacted how people unwind, but nightlife patterns remain the same,” says Spagnolo. “On a national level, despite the rumors that Americans are all about ‘Netflix and chill,’ weed legalization doesn’t seem to have affected actual bar and lounge.” This is true for Oregon, and nationally.
“Consumers might be swapping casual drinks at home with cannabis, but our data implies that a night on the couch cannot be replaced by cocktails with friends, buckets of beer of 10 big-screen TVs for Sunday football,” says Spagnolo. “Bars could be insulated from the marijuana industry.”
People who visited legal dispensaries were also more likely to get the munchies for ramen and dumplings, and quench their thirst with draft beer, pale ales, IPA’s, and “fancy cocktails.” For fun, they more often visited ski resorts, climbing gyms, and stadiums more often than their non-toking counterparts.
Knowing that 4/20 is a day when people get the munchies, brands have been capitalizing on the stoner appetite. Ben & Jerry’s, for instance, released its “Brrr-ito” on 4/20 two years ago, while this year, they’re debuting the “Chill-aco,” a waffle-cone taco with ice cream and caramel. Even more mainstream, less tie-dye brands are on board with 4/2o. With a photo of a burrito bowl, Chipotle had captioned on Twitter, “Sometimes you need a huge bowl to get you through the day.”
“The bottom line is, this is a really good spending demographic that encompasses everything from your 21-year-old stoner, to CEOs, to your grandma,” says J.J. Walker, founder of My420Tours travel company. “Once these brands get over themselves and realize what cannabis can do, I think you’re going to see a lot of brands coming on board.”
Which would make sense for them, given that according to Foursquare’s data, 46 percent of legal dispensary visits were made by millennials, the up-and-coming generation and spending demographic. The largest age group, 32 percent, fell between 25 and 34, while the second largest age group, 23 percent, was over the age of 55. The gender split was also almost even: 52 percent men and 48 percent women. Moreover, throughout 2016, 31 percent of visitors to adult use dispensaries were tourists from other states.
Spagnolo points out that the data looks at visits, rather than sales. Still, she says there have been reports that people’s drinking habits have changed, for instance moving from beer to spirits. “And yet our data proves that their daily actions — meaning how often they visit a bar, lounge, or nightclub — has remained stable between 2014 and today,” she says.
So if you live in a legal state, toke up, drink up, and get your munchies on this 4/20. Everyone will likely be out and about, imbibing to their hearts’ content.