Looking for love in all the right places is easy when you live in a legal cannabis state like Alaska. In the midst of a pandemic that has people staying at home, and a related economic recession that has local businesses scrambling to stay afloat, there are few better ways of sharing your love than to walk into your locally owned and operated dispensary and buy gifts for your partner that are made by Alaska businesses. And if you plan wisely, you can buy enough for both of you to enjoy a relaxing evening at home.
According to data from the National Retail Federation as reported by the website Marijuana Business Daily, the Valentine’s Day sales surge makes it the third biggest retail holiday of the year, with only the combined might of the winter holidays and spending on Mother’s Day exceeding it. And the 2019 report found that spending at legal cannabis shops during that year’s Valentine’s season hit $3.15 million. And it’s only gone up since, as legalization has continued to spread.
That same year, the online business journal TheStreet reported that, predictably, sales of edibles – especially chocolate – spiked during the Valentine’s season. But the same is also true for beverages, and also infused intimate products like massage oils and lubes. Flower and extract sales also rise.
For Alaska consumers, there are plenty of options in all these categories. Fairbanks based GOOD Cannabis takes particular pride in their chocolate bars. They combine what they describe as ethically-sourced chocolate with THC extracts from the cannabis grown by their company.
GOOD’s vegan Belgian Dark Chocolate bar is as simple as can be, with just four ingredients. Their Swiss milk chocolate bar is a bit more complex, but both products contain only natural components, including 5mg of THC in each of the 10 segments of a single bar. With 50mg total, and available in locations across the state, either bar is perfect for shared joy.
Baked Alaska, also based in Fairbanks, is another popular manufacturer, and for the cookie lover in your life, they have options ranging from chocolate chip to ginger snap to vegan oatmeal. Don’t let the vegan label scare you away if you’re an omnivore. The cookies are fired up with 5mg each of Green Crack sativa, which induces the euphoric feelings that can enhance a Valentine’s evening at home. Their chocolate chip cookies, meanwhile, contain the indica strain StarKiller for a more relaxing buzz as the night wears on.
Lady Gray Medibles produces a wide range of infused edible products to suit every taste, and are available through dispensaries statewide. Gourmet chocolates can be had, as well as chocolate cookies. Also available are butter mints, peanut butter and hazelnut spreads, and even granola for those who want to wake and bake on Valentine’s morning, which conveniently lands on a Sunday this year.
In the body products category, Lady Gray promises a Valentine’s special on Elation, a THC infused lubricant.
Baked Alaska, meanwhile, offers Healing Body Balm, a topical skin protector that includes coconut oil infused with a high CBD strain grown by Ester Horticulture. And Cold Creek Extracts in Anchorage produces a high THC level skin topical called Alaska Rescue Balm that, like the others, is made from all natural ingredients.
Drinks are also an option. Kenai Peninsula’s Red Run produces Hashade, the most popular THC infused beverage on the Alaskan market. Each bottle contains 50mg, so drink responsibly.
Alaska dispensaries also carry a range of glassware and other products that make more durable gifts than a chocolate bar. Bongs, pipes, vaporizers, and more are widely available at dispensaries and smoke shops alike. Nature’s Releaf in Fairbanks is planning Valentine’s specials on glass and rigs, as well as discounts on dabs, concentrates, and flower.
And for other durable goods, many dispensaries double as art galleries these days. If your significant other needs something to bring their walls to life, try taking a tour of local shops and seeing what’s on display.
When you buy cannabis products in Alaska, you’re buying local every time. The shops are locally owned, and all items containing THC must be produced in Alaska. So there’s an amplifier effect as your purchase will support Alaskan manufacturers, Alaskan business owners, and the Alaskans who work for them.
At a time when local economies are struggling and multinational corporations dominate so many other markets, cannabis products are one of the few gifts you can buy for Valentine’s Day knowing that you’re not just giving your loved one a coveted goodie, but that you’re also sharing the love in the right places.
David James is a freelance writer in Fairbanks. Comments about this story? Email editor@AlaskaCannabist.com.