Election Day was a green party for SF cannabis dispensaries

When things get stressful, people tend to turn to pot.

States turning red, blue, striped? It seems like an occasion tailor-made for cannabis, but until recently, it’s been difficult to say just how big a slice of the populace is prone to seek THC in tense, large-scale news moments.

That’s because, in the past, if one admitted to relying on weed to get them through an evening with Wolf Blitzer, they usually did so privately. Handcuffed by the law, the illegality of cannabis meant discussion of its use was relegated to the shadows. Given California’s own legal recreational market started in 2018, that makes this year’s election the first presidential campaign in which buying pot to cope was a viable option for all San Franciscans.

And, according to representatives from several of the city’s most popular dispensaries, traffic and sales did indeed increase as result of 2020’s marquee political affair. Eliot Dobris, spokesperson for the Apothecarium — which has San Francisco locations in the Marina, the Castro, and SoMa — told SFGATE that things were actually busiest prior to Election Day itself. “We definitely saw more people ordering delivery and coming into our dispensaries in the week before the election,” Dobris said. “Also, the average order size was up, with people stocking up especially on edibles and flowers.” In addition, Dobris noted that preroll packs and gummies were specifically moving swiftly in the lead-up to Tuesday.

Drakari Donaldson, co-founder and CEO for Nob Hill’s California Street Cannabis, noted that the short span of days separating Halloween from Election Day this year also meant a bit of a combined surge in terms of sales.“We’ve definitely seen a jump in sales through Halloween weekend and earlier this week,” Donaldson said. “As I listened in on my staff and their conversations with customers, I also overheard a lot of customers talk about stocking up before the election.”

The same was true for the Apothecarium, where Dobris noted that the trend explained a less robust turnout on Tuesday proper. “Not surprisingly,” Dobris reasoned, “we saw a small dip in traffic on Election Day itself, since so many people had already stocked up.” In addition to the added business that came from voters looking to counteract anticipated stress from watching the returns roll in on Tuesday (and beyond), several dispensaries also celebrated the occasion by offering special deals and promotions.

At California Street Cannabis, a 20% off discount was offered to all shoppers with an “I Voted” sticker. A similar promotion was also made available to patrons of Barbary Coast, which has locations in SoMa and the Inner Sunset.“We offered several promos and discounts for people with ‘I Voted!’ stickers,” confirmed Barbary Coast co-founder and CEO Jesse Henry, “and we definitely saw more people than we normally would on a regular Tuesday. The excitement of the day was definitely in the air.”