By Trista Okel, PQ Monthly
I love love; and I love cannabis. So penning PQ Monthlyâ€™s debut cannabis column in the wedding issue is the perfect marriage of my two favorite things.
In Denver, Colorado, they are doing just that, merging weddings and weed. In the weed world, it didnâ€™t take long for folks to coin the term weedings for our emerging cannabis-friendly wedding industry. Weeding? Really? Is that a study in yard work? Iâ€™ve been a cannabis advocate and connoisseur for over 20 years, and Iâ€™m passionate about changing the face of â€œweed.â€
This week I spoke with Jane West, of Edible Events Co. in Denver, Colorado, who is also passionate about shifting our social consciousness about cannabis towards one of normalization and inclusion. I could not think of a more apt person to call to learn more about planning a cannabis-friendly wedding (www.edibleeventsco.com). Jane has over 20 years of experience in corporate and non-governmental organization event planning and has made it her companyâ€™s mission to â€œmaximize the cannabis experience and stimulate your heightened awareness of taste, smell, sights & sounds via artfully choreographed events.â€
Jane further legitimizes cannabis by accessing the arts. Recently, she contracted with a local artist who carved, with a laser, an ice sculpture of a functional bong for party guests to enjoy long into the night, much like an ice luge for shots of liquor. The artistâ€™s craftsmanship and Janeâ€™s creative approach to providing a cannabis-friendly experience for guests raises the bar in event planning.
For Jane, the focus isnâ€™t so much on the cannabis theme of an event as much as it is about normalizing cannabis as an option for guests at functions. Jane notes, â€œAs the end of prohibition occurs nationwide, cannabis will be an offered substance of choice in the same way alcohol is offered at weddings and events.â€ Offering cannabis in a traditional setting such as a wedding is exactly what we need to change the face of marijuana.
Bec Koop of Cannabis Concierge Events (cannabisconciergeevents.com) also advocates for the normalization of cannabis at special events.Â She has been planning cannabis-themed happenings since January 2014. Bec recently coordinated two cannabis-themed weddings and has three more on the books. She is excited about an upcoming Alice in Wonderland-themed wedding where they will be enjoying completely legal terpene* vaporizers.
How does that work? Couples purchase the cannabis themselves from legal cannabis retail stores in Colorado, providing the products and receipts to the wedding planner, and she handles the rest.Â Bec offers couples special touches to their wedding experience, like customized glass pieces (bongs and pipes commemorating their special occasion) and booking bridal dress appointments at shops with hemp and other natural fiber clothing available. From â€œBudonnieresâ€ and â€œBuds in Bouquetsâ€ which are meant to go â€œstraight from bouquet to bowl,â€ to cannabis infused cocktails, if itâ€™s possible and legal, a skilled cannabis wedding planner like Bec will find a way to meet your cannabis wedding needs.
In Portland, Pamela â€œPJâ€ Ott of Destination Weddings, (www.destinationweddings.travel) is 14stories/Gay Wedding Institute certified and excited to offer cannabis-themed weddings locally after the law is in effect on July 1. She is also very skilled in finding the perfect locale for your dream wedding.
Many venues do not allow cannabis smoking on their property, so sometimes a higher level of creativity is needed to accommodate your wedding plans. Vaporizer stations, a limo parked outside the event as a â€œsmoking lounge,â€ and cannabis-infused tasty treats are all options to allow you and your guests a way to use cannabis without being thrown out of your booked-years-in-advance ideal wedding venue on the big day. Cannabis infused food is the most discreet and trickiest of those options.
In serving cannabis edibles at your wedding, safety and etiquette should be a priority to keep your guests happy and to avoid offending your soon-to-be spouseâ€™s relatives. Nobody wants to be the person responsible for Aunt Gladysâ€™ trip to the Emergency Room due to a panic attack from eating too many of those â€œdelicious little gummy candies that didnâ€™t taste like marijuana.â€
Clearly label all cannabis infused products with the dosage and effects. Itâ€™s also a smart move to serve plenty of non-infused, decadent dishes and desserts for those who donâ€™t want to partake in the ganja food and for those who are already pleasantly high.
Alison Draisin of Ettalewâ€™s Medibles in Seattle (www.ettalews.com) cautions, â€œDosage is very important when preparing edibles for a party. Keep it below 10 mg per serving to prevent guests from getting too sleepy. Also, have antidotes on hand if guests get uncomfortably high. Such antidotes include citrus drinks, pistachios, and pine nuts.â€
Who knew that a handful of nuts could help bring you back down from an unpleasant high? Alcohol doesnâ€™t have a food antidote. Just sayinâ€™.
Potential markets are opening wide to the new age of cannabis, and with legalization comes innovation. Where tequila bars have reigned most popular at weddings and other events, infused dessert bars have moved in. They can take the place of wedding cakes, offering guests everything from traditional pot brownies to sea salt sprinkled infused caramels and kief-laden ice cream. Personally, I long for a cannabis infused cupcake cake, a vaporizer station, and super styling hemp clothing at my imaginary, ideal future wedding. Consider including cannabis in your wedding plans not just for fun, but as an educational tool and social statement as well!
*Terpenes are the essential oils of cannabis and today, are rapidly gaining recognition as having a crucial role in the therapeutic use of cannabis.