The modern marijuana lifestyle
Cannabis infiltrates new industries, products, and experiences
The people have spoken. The majority of US states have now legalized medical marijuana and as of November of last year, eight states have legalized recreational use. In anticipation of the legalization wave, many savvy entrepreneurs and investors are getting in on the green. And it appears that their bets are likely to pay off–analysts project that the marijuana industry could grow anywhere from $13 billion to $20 billion in the next 5 years, and may even reach $50 billion by 2026.
“Cannabusiness” is no longer reserved for those who can afford to take some risks playing with fire. In states where ganja is fair game, the stigma previously associated with the plant is evaporating as cannabis is quickly becoming a part of of the modern-day, millennial lifestyle. Pot is hot, and brands–both big and small–don’t want to miss out on the buzz. We’ve weeded through some of the most surprising, exciting, and groundbreaking pot partnerships to keep you in-the-know on top industry trends.
While the relationship between weed and food indulgence is nothing new, legalization means that relying on Domino’s or 7-11 for a munchie fix is no longer required. A major boom in upscale dining pop-ups, cooking classes, and even special events hosted by established restaurants are all part of a growing desire for curated, culinary cannabis experiences.
- Portland's HunnyMilk restaurant launched a series of “Wake and Bake” brunches, a multi-course marijuana dining affair featuring comfort food and a tour bus parked outside so diners could get their fix between platings while still abiding by the cities’ smoking rules.
- An LA-based chef by the name of “JeffThe420Chef” is offering cooking classes through apps like Feastly and Verlocal that “focus on understanding the science of cooking with cannabis.” Jeff has perfected the art of cannabutter and canna-oil, and helps his students understand the nuances of handling oneself in a kush-laden kitchen.
- Boulder-based Kendal Norris, founder of Mason Jar Events, has risen to the top of the Colorado fine dining scene. Kendal’s luxe, pop-up dinner parties entertain 120 diners at a price tag of $200 per guest, and bring together Colorado’s best names in cooking and cannabis to provide guests with epic food and weed product pairings.
Marijuana has long been lauded for health benefits like alleviating pain, reducing stress, and increasing focus, so it’s no surprise these qualities are luring both fitness enthusiasts and professional athletes. Fitness startups, gyms, and athletic events are increasingly incorporating new products and services that heighten athletic performance by using THC.
- Endurance trainer Clifford Drusinsky promotes marijuana-infused fitness at his Denver-based gym, F.I.T.S. Conditioning. Clifford encourages his two dozen clients to consume edibles before marathon training and TRX drills in order to master higher-efficiency, hyper-focused workouts.
- Former snowboard company executive Jim McAlpine introduced the “420 Games” in his home state of California, inviting athletes of all abilities to participate in a 4.20-mile race in order to promote healthy and responsible use of cannabis. Participants are asked to medicate discreetly beforehand, and rewarded with cannabis-friendly snacks and entertainment after the run. The event will grow from six to ten cities in 2017.
- Yoga instructors across all eight legal states are touting marijuana’s ability to help yogis access a more zen-like state. At Goda Studio in Culver City, CA, students medicate via a vape pen before class in order to sharpen focus on breathing and good posture.
There’s good news all around for beer connoisseurs who also happen to partake in toking up, as craft beer is riding on cannabis coattails. The diversity in weed strains and flavors provides an incredible palette with which to pair hundreds of different beer varieties. The similarities between cannabis and hops have brewers, growers, and bartenders racing to innovate in the beverage space.
- A bill passed in Denver in November 2016 allows residents to vape and indulge in edibles inside bars and smoke outside in designated areas, making way for brewers and bartenders to promote all the ways in which their beverages can be consumed alongside specific strains of weed. (See this long list of buzzy pairings.)
- Dad and Dudes Brewery in Aurora, Colorado has created the first cannabis-infused beer that can be legally sold in all 50 states. The brew, called “General Washington’s Secret Stash,” contains cannabinoids but not THC, thus circumventing legislation preventing large-scale distribution. The creators hope their brew is just the first in a slew of new products that help dispel negative attitudes towards bud-infused suds.
The growing list of the cannabis plant’s health and healing benefits have inspired entrepreneurs and scientists across a wide range of disciplines to get their hands dirty. Recently, the market's seen an uptick in new beauty and personal care products made from various forms of the plant.
- Fashionable and functional millennial favorite, Milk Makeup, debuted a hybrid face-blotting grease-remover and rolling paper combo pack late last year. Made of 100% hemp fibers, the “Roll + Blot” papers have become a must-have for the 420-friendly girl on-the-go.
- Beauty product purveyor Kate Somerville encourages her customers to drink from the fountain of youth with a $150 Deep Tissue Repair Cream with Peptide K8, infused with hemp seeds to promote firmness and improve the appearance of skin.
The fashion industry is rife with creative minds bringing marijuana icons and imagery to the world of couture. In addition to weed jewelry and accessories gaining popularity, some of the biggest names in high fashion are tapping into cannabis’ chicer side.
- Alexander Wang incorporated black-and-white pot designs into his Fall 2016 line of coats, mini-skirts, and dresses. The pieces made their way onto live television via Margot Robbie, who wore a dress from the collection on an episode of Saturday Night Live.
- LA-based jewelry designer Jacquie Aiche has an entire product suite dedicated to marijuana motifs. The “Sweet Leaf Collection” includes high-end clutches, earrings, and clothing to promote the plant’s alignment with a more “elevated lifestyle.”
Media & Entertainment
When marijuana media content can be consumed alongside family-friendly favorites, it’s officially gone mainstream. Traditional and premium TV channels are diving into weed-related topics across a variety of formats, providing viewers with both educational and entertaining programming.
- “High Maintenance,” recently renewed for a second season, is HBO’s web-series-turned-TV-phenomenon. The show paints a portrait of the many people around the world who enjoy marijuana, despite their wide differences in culture, religion, sexual orientation, career, or financial stature.
- Viceland continues to deliver some of the best cannabis content around with “Bong Appétit”–it’s been called “the only reality show about weed you need to see.” The docu-series highlights a unique cannabis culinary experience in each episode, resulting in a harmonious intersection of “food porn and weed porn.”