As recreational marijuana becomes legal in more states and the stigma around its use continues to diminish, its presence at even the most traditionally conservative events seems to know no bounds. The latest place weed has been making an appearance? Weddings.
According to a recent Bloomberg report, couples in places like Colorado and California have been incorporating the heady herbal refreshment into their nuptials at a growing rate, driving a whole new economy of weed-related wedding services. Couples can hire wedding planners who specialize in cannabis coordination, bow tie–clad “budtenders” to man the open bud bar, and even high-end transportation companies that come complete with a joint-rolling concierge. And for those who just need a little inspiration, there are whole websites dedicated to the art of creating a chic, cannabis-infused event.
Though most couples aren’t forgoing traditional alcohol bars, industry experts say there are plenty of benefits to offering cannabis in addition to cocktails. For one, it’s relatively affordable—and can even help curb costs. As a grower who spoke to Bloomberg quipped: “There’s a lot more buzz for the buck in cannabis than in alcohol.” (One does wonder, however, if the catering bill might be higher thanks to munchie-driven snacking?) And Tomer Grassiany, of artisanal cannabis-chocolate company To Whom it May, says that guests who trade booze for bud “are much more likely to be well behaved, less likely to be aggressive.” Plus, “an event that replaces alcohol with cannabis is generally a much cleaner one,” he adds. “Alcohol spills, is sticky, and leaves stains.”
Below, a few things to take into account if you’re thinking of adding cannabis to your own nuptials.
Planning for a Weed Wedding
When you’re weed wedding planning for your reception, there will be a few things to consider first. One of those things is the fact that many places where the legalization of marijuana has taken place have also put a legal age of majority on the sale, distribution, and possession of cannabis. After you have researched if it’s a plausible route for you to take, next consider who will be attending your reception. There are many who might be offended about attending a reception party where marijuana is going to be used. You must consider your guests and how they will receive a weed reception.
There are many legal considerations to think about. You must read the rules and regulations regarding marijuana in the city and state where you plan on having your reception. Especially if you’re considering a destination wedding. Each city, even in California, has adopted its own laws regarding the use of marijuana throughout their jurisdiction. Check out an up to date list about recreational marijuana use.
Where to Have a Marijuana Reception
If you have passed the legality phase of weed wedding planning, next consider where you might actually host the reception. There are not too many traditional venues who will be 420 friendly. Like for instance, in California, some of the rules and regulations of Prop 64 say you must enjoy cannabis inside a private residence. That means to have marijuana at your reception means you should host the party at a house. Make sure the yard is large enough to accommodate all your guests. Consider asking a close friend or family member to give up their house and yard to use for your reception, and of course clear if it’s okay with them to have marijuana available to the guests.
As you might know, especially if you are a cannabis smoker, a number of states have decriminalized the use and possession of marijuana. Each state has different laws regarding the sale, use, and possession of cannabis. To date, there are 10 states that have decriminalized its use. Also, Washington DC is among them. There are a number of countries who have legalized the possession of marijuana. The US has not passed any federal laws, but instead uses state by state laws to govern marijuana use. However, if you are in the US and on a border state with Canada, you can be certain they are on board.
Make Plans for the Venue
When making plans for the venue consider all your guests. Some of them, especially if older, might not be comfortable with attending a cannabis reception. But because some of your guests may not approve, doesn’t mean you have to cut out all things cannabis related. There are some other things to consider when making plans for canna-weddings.
Have a Designated Area
When at the reception venue, it is important to keep in mind many people who do not smoke would prefer to remain smoke-free. With that being said, they would prefer not to be exposed to second-hand smoke of any kind. Have a designated area at the venue for guests who toke, and especially consider hosting it outside. Model it off a lounge area so guests can sit back and chat with each other.
Don’t assume that because recreational marijuana is legal in the state you’re marrying in every venue will be fine with guests openly sparking up at the reception. Be honest with the venue about your plans for a cannabis-infused celebration up front and be specific about how you plan to serve it. “Offering vaping instead of joints goes a long way by taking away most of the stigma that’s associate with smoking cannabis,” says Grassiany. “Vaping means there is no smell and no dense smoke clouds filling the event.” Once you’ve established the terms, be sure you get the specifics in writing.
Beyond vaping, many couples choose even more subtle ways to incorporate cannabis. “For those who oppose anything that looks like the act of smoking, the best option is edibles,” says Grassiany. “They can be a very discreet way of consuming cannabis, without affecting other guests.” Just be sure you’re clear with your guests about the dosage of the treats on offer. “For guests who aren’t used to consuming marijuana, you may want to offer very small portions or treats that are infused with just a small amount THC,” one expert edible eater advises. Bottom line: Guests can always eat more, but it’s pretty hard to eat less, so make it easy for everyone to consume mindfully.
“A chocolate bar is always a favorite, and is the best option for venues that are not open to smoking or vaping of any kind,” says Grassiany. Most experts recommend placing the bar in its own corner away from the rest of the festivities—especially useful if you have underage or un-approving guests on the list.