Pot and Pigskin: Cannabis wins big at 2023 Super Bowl

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“The cannabis industry in general seems really aligned with professional football,” says Leafly Senior Editor David Downs. Photo by Shutterstock.

Football fans across the nation are gearing up for the Super Bowl LVII game this weekend — and they may be reaching for their bongs as much as they reach for the remote. 

Super Bowl Sunday has become a major event for the cannabis industry as more states legalize weed, including Arizona, where the big game will be held. 

Leafly Senior Editor David Downs talks about the cannabis industry’s bud blitz and gives tips for stoners who are planning to pair their halftime snacks with a little hash. 

Chiefs or Eagles?

I'm still licking my wounds from the Niners dissembling, but let's go ahead and root for the Kansas City Chiefs since Missouri just legalized adult-use cannabis. They really have the wind in their sails right now.

How big of a day is the Super Bowl for the weed world?

The Super Bowl should drive sales up 24% over average at dispensaries and in Phoenix, which has adult-use sales since 2021, it's just a bonanza.

Arizona has multiple concerts going on that are sponsored by cannabis brands, as well as golf tournaments and yoga events. They're expecting 600,000 people in Arizona [for the game] and lines around the corner  making traffic and sales go up multiples over average over the weekend. 

Meanwhile, in Missouri, they just went legal last weekend and so they've already been doing six to 10 times the normal business as the adult-use customers supplant the medical-use customers. There are over 100 dispensaries open in Missouri for adult-use and [some are] planning local events. 

Local dispensaries in Missouri and in Kansas City really represent football culture. The managers have season tickets [and] they're flying out to the Super Bowl games. The cannabis industry in general seems really aligned with professional football.

What is the cannabis scene looking like in San Francisco this Super Bowl Sunday after the Niners loss?

The game will be less important now that the Niners got knocked out. It's going to be more about the commercials and the camaraderie.

It bears mentioning that this is the most high-profile legal cannabis event so far this year. Arizona has only had legal sales for two years and we've been dealing with COVID for a few years. So the fact that the game is held in a legalization state, and one of the teams just had adult-use legalization approved, is really propelling the visibility of cannabis in the event.

How are people consuming cannabis this Super Bowl Sunday?

One of our sources said cannabis pairs with the Super Bowl “like football and chips and dip.” Cannabis causes hunger and euphoria and relaxation, and that pairs pretty well with watching sports with your friends. 

We're seeing a lot of people gravitate to all-in-one vapes, that is disposable vapes that require no extra hardware. You just put the device to your lips and sip to get a nice relaxing lift. 

People are [also gravitating towards] the typical edible gummies, which run five to 10 milligrams so you hopefully don't overdo it. 

The Super Bowl is also sometimes an occasion for people to splurge on high-end flower items. 

What kind of weed is good for football, and how do you pick it up during the busy game day?

Buy some hybrids that will keep you in the game through the evening and then look at order ahead, pickup or delivery options. 

We reported on a Northern California delivery service called Smoakland that was doing five times the normal amount of sales [during the Niners game] by geo-targeting fans near the stadium, in bars, on mobile devices, and flyering. It allowed people to order in minutes and [there was a] van that was basically pulling into the parking lot and servicing that order. Those guys are seeing massive, massive bumps [during football games]. 

Smoakland says that they see sales throughout the game, [which] proves that some people are waiting until the last minute to purchase THC for the event. 

I'd say go ahead and stock up now, place those orders ahead, skip the line, and spend the rest of your time getting ready for that party.

What kind of seeds are out there if people want to grow their own cannabis in time for the next Super Bowl? 

We basically are in the best time ever to grow the weed you want to see in the world. You can plant a seed in a pot in mid-March or April and get it outside by June, and by the fall harvest, you might have a half a pound to a pound of dried, cured cannabis, which should last you for over a year if you're smoking the average amount. 

A lot of people complain that Cookies or Gelato are the main strains [to grow] out there. We're telling people that you don't have to grow that stuff,  you can grow some throwback strains like an original indica or an original sativa. 

Beyond that, there is hype around the Cookie Seed Bank, which has all those classic flavors that are dominating the stores like Gelato and Sunset Sherbert

I'd also point people to Humboldt Seed Co. They're doing really solid work around feminized seeds and autoflowering seeds, which really take the guesswork [out of growing] and save you money. It’s easier than ever to grow and you don't have to hold yourself to a high bar of growing the best bud in the world. You can start with a houseplant.




Matt Guilhem


Tara Atrian