News & Politics

Washington Is Experiencing a Run on Weed Ahead of Election Night

Edibles are the treat of choice for anxious political nerves.


There has been a massive run on marijuana products in DC in the days leading up to the 2020 election, according to people who who operate some of the many delivery businesses that use the cannabis-gift loophole to provide cannabis goods to customers who have officially purchased something else.

At District Derp, an online art gallery that also delivers gifts of cannabis (you buy the art and get the pot product as a present), there’s been a 36.6 percent increase in weekly gross revenue during the days prior to the election, says co-founder Christopher Licata. This is on top of sales that steadily increased throughout October.

Registered talent agency Dreamy DC, which sells “high quality” motivational speeches (customers pay for a motivational speech, then get a cannabinoid gift—the longer the speech, the bigger the gift) has seen an eight percent increase in frequency of sales as well as an 18 percent increase in length of speech.

What’s behind the sales spike? One part is regular election anxiety. While many Washingtonians are using melty queso and meditative yoga to cope with the election night brouhaha, others are turning to the District’s easy supply of cannabis. According to Licata, District Derp counts government workers and campaign staffers among their customers—a high-stress demographic during the season of Nate Silver predictions. Licata says the actual art he sells reflects the mood, too. Picasso-pup Sudo, the Alaskan Klee Kai who paints District Derp’s masterpieces, has found creative inspiration in the tumult: After going through a blue period, Sudo crafted a politically-motivated work emblazoned with the message “vote.”

According to Ha, Dreamy DC also saw sales shoot up around previous election events, and catered its speeches to match.  “It was like, oh shoot the debate is coming up I need a speech that will calm me down,” says Ha. “It’s kind of like when Game of Thrones was going on — we would have a lot of speeches Sunday at around 8 o’clock.”

But the prospect of post-election chaos has also pushed sales up—much as it has for toilet paper or canned beans. Lifestyle clothing brand Pink Fox has seen the dollar amount increase per sale as people unnerved by the boarded-up ghost town stockpile their cannabis “gifts,” says co-founder Mark Nagib. After George Washington University notified students on Friday to prepare “as you would for a hurricane or a snowstorm,” many customers have requested a heads up if Pink Fox plans on temporarily closing to weather the storm of civil unrest.

Similarly, Top Secret, which proffers in quirky facts about DC alongside their own cannabis gifts, has witnessed a doubling of web users as customers express concern they won’t have a pot repository at home if ruckus ensues.

“I heard there were 20 different First Amendment activities planned and what we’ve seen in the past is when that happens, there’s just increased demand,” says Top Secret partner 007 (Top Secret staff do not publicize their names). “People don’t want to go out. They’re hoping they can sit at home to Netflix and chill.”

But the biggest election night trend in Washington’s weed world? The pivot to edibles, which have longer release times. The sweet treats accounted for almost 50 percent of all District Derp gifts in October, says co-founder and head chef Anaïs Hayes. Top Secret and Pink Fox also report preferences are veering towards consumbles and shifting away from smoke-able flower.

And with the latter, connoisseurs of cannabis strains are also reflecting the national mood, stocking up on indica-dominant strains known for their anti-anxiety effects — varietals like Northern Lights, Granddaddy Purple, and Presidential OG.

Daniella Byck
Lifestyle Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in 2022. She was previously with Outside Magazine and lives in Northeast DC.