Looks like folks visiting the Bay Area with a valid Calfornia pot card will have more than one “superbowl” this year.
The infamously pot-friendly San Francisco Bay area has already poised itself as being the first region to host a Super Bowl in a state where marijuana is readily available, although technically only legal for medical purposes.
And just like other businesses who are looking to profit from throngs of people entering the city, pot shops are no different.
Already local cannabis dispensaries are offering promotions aimed at visitors looking for an alternative to the alcohol-fueled revilry that typically accompmnaies sporting events.
Daren Grant is one such visitor. Just this Monday he biked to the Bloom Room dispensary in San Francisco to pick up some “Big Kahuna.” Instead, the 31-year old waiter walked out with two grams of “Carolina Cam Crush” and “Bronco Mile High.”
For folks with any sort of business sense, the naming of these strains should come as no coincidence.
If, however, you are not much of a sports fan, like I am, let me clarify.
San Francisco’s pot shops–particularly ones located closest to fan events in the city’s tech-heavy South of Market neighborhood– are handing out coupons for free joints, offering discounts and renaming strains after the two teams set to face off in Super Bowl 50, the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers.
Get it now? Good, because for a second there I didn’t.
Grant is still considering what to do with his newly named strains during the Feb. 7 hoopla. Maybe every time a team scored, he said, he could take a bong hit of the corresponding strain. “I would definitely give it a toke,” he said.
And although out-of-towners are out of luck when it comes to purchasing marijuana in SF dispensaries, something tells me folks from Denver will come adequately prepared, as it’s unlikely anyone caught with small amounts of cannabis at SFO airport would be harshly penalized.
Colorado, home of the Broncos, is one of four states that’s legalized recreational marijuana, and pot has legally been sold there since 2014.
Weed smoking is a major part of Denver’s tailgating experience, already becoming ubiquitous with the sights of beer and hamburgers that have historically accompanied these events. Games draw gaggles of customers to the Mile High Green Cross recreational marijuana shop, located three miles from Denver’s football stadium, owner Adam Ziegler said via Bloomberg Politics.
In San Francisco, Stephen Rechif, 29, manager of the Bloom Room, said he planned to send an employee to Super Bowl City, the heavily fortified fan village at the base of Market Street in the city’s Financial District, to hand out black-and-red coupons for a free pre-rolled joint and lighter.
The Green Door dispensary, a half block from where fans can click photos with football stars on their smart phones, is running a Super Bowl 50 special. Their Blackjack, Blue Dream and Krazy Glue strains are all reduced to $35 an eighth, which might be almost enough to draw the most ardently anti-sport denizens out there.
Many of the Super Bowl festivities are cutting into sales at some dispensaries as regular customers who work downtown are bunkering down and staying home this week to wait out the large crowds and snarling road closures.
“It’s hurt business,” said Jesse Smith, 29, manager at Igzactly 420, “People are turned off by the amount of traffic and the lack of parking.”
Let’s hope whoever wins, they win quickly and leave, so local San Francisco business owners can return to some degree of stability.
My name is Petey Wheatstraw, also known as Charles Stevens. I’m an avid marijuana smoker, writer, devoted father and non-profit minion– not necessarily in that order. A Chicago native I’ve lived off and on in the Bay Area since 1996. Seven years ago I finally settled here to capture the changing face of our communities.