One of the more intriguing, creative, and lucrative aspects of the cannabis industry has to be its events and event planning. As the market steps further out of the darkness of the illicit market, the public is beginning to understand just how many ways cannabis can be incorporated into an event.
Much like how virtually every job sector in the workforce is being replicated in cannabis, so too are events. From popups to underground mainstays with physical locations, experiential gatherings are all the rage, and likely won’t stop for the foreseeable future. Some lounges in California have offered a glimpse of what a legal social consumption lounge can look like. Meanwhile, the underground also provides a look into what may be the future for cannabis events.
Event planners and producers are getting in on the action as well. The already lucrative wedding market is now seeing a boom thanks to cannabis-centric weddings. If the “wedding tax” is real, just imagine that cost once pot enters the fray.
Meanwhile, on the less traditional side of the discussion, events like a fully immersive interactive 420 playground for adults show what California and other legal markets are starting to produce. While out in Colorado, electronic dance music and art have come together to embrace drugs more at events like the Far Out Factory, which calls itself “an immersive experience inspired by cannabis.”
The illicit market is also helping advance the events space. Often, the only difference between legal and illegal events is the state it is held in. This only becomes more apparent as the attention centers on cities and larger populations. As the population grows, so too do the types of events being put on. Underground lounges offer one slice of what the future of cannabis events can be. Popup shops often bring together cannabis marketplaces, culinary creations and art as well. Other types of events that have incorporated cannabis range from business networking to stand up comedy to kink.
One way to circumvent cannabis laws in illegal states is to only incorporate CBD. While eliminating THC isn’t ideal for every attendee, CBD still offers guests the opportunity to enjoy an evening in a manageable state.
With such a diverse array of events able to infuse cannabis into its agenda, the options are virtually endless. Other recent events have shown how various communities have embraced cannabis as well. The LGBTQ community, for instance, shares a deep connection with the cannabis movement and is furthered today by events like PUFF in San Francisco which combines drag and cannabis.
This past June’s Pride Month allowed for more inclusion between the two. This included events like the one put on by edibles brand Kiva and former RuPaul’s Drag Race competitor and performer Laganja Estranja in Los Angeles. In this case, the event was held in a legal market and resembled any other Pride event, except it happened to have cannabis.
CBD was the cannabinoid of the evening at Keep it Classy—A World Pride Speakeasy in New York City. The event, put on by Revolver Productions in a stunning New York City space, offered CBD-infused mocktails and cocktails, a number of CBD activations and performances aimed at the LGBTQ community.
“Cannabis is a tool for connection, wellness,” said Sasha Perelman, Founder of Revolver Productions. “By integrating it tastefully into our events, we help normalize and augment the narrative around social consumption.”
The connection between cannabis and civil rights could be felt when she discussed Pride’s 50th anniversary as well. “To see the progression of acceptance and celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community since the Stonewall demonstrations in 1969, particularly this year, in NYC, is palpable,” she said. “The momentum of acceptance for all is made possible by the brave individuals who stood up and fought for equality. It’s truly special to gather, in community, 50 years later, and experience human connection, free of judgment.”
Co-producer Megan Husri added, “We wanted to host a memorable pride event that brought together the best parts of the LGBT and Cannabis communities in an intimate and immersive experience.” Husri said that there are plans for an event in San Francisco in October for Coming Out Month as well.
Keep It Classy featured acts from drag queens and kings and blindfolded sword balancing belly dancers to body painting and massages.
One of the night’s most well-received acts came from the Acrohunnies. The duo of Casey and Lana bill themselves on Instagram as “Musical AcroYogis on a mission to promote play, creativity, and sweetness.” With or without cannabis in the system, their combination of AcroYoga and singing was a performance to behold.
“We had never performed at a Pride or Cannabis themed event before, and we were met with overwhelming positivity,” explained Lana. Lana added that the group tried a CBD product at one activation during the evening and regularly consumed CBD products in general.
Lana came away with a positive experience after the evening. “This act was really well received, and we met so many amazing people who we intend to stay connected with in the future.” When asked if they would do another event like Keep It Classy, Casey wrote back, “Hell to the fucking yeah!”
Pride is just the latest example of how cannabis can be incorporated into events. Other examples can be found in a growing number of events, and not just the ones listed in this article. Major markets, both legal and not, can experience these events by becoming further immersed in the community. Whether through food, music, community, culture or something else, cannabis is already finding a way into the agenda and should only do more as legalization expands across the globe.