What better way to celebrate a couple’s new life together than a giant game of pass the kutchie?
“It’s actually cheaper than liquor,” says Adrian Sedlin, chief executive officer of Canndescent, a California grower who helps organize cannabis favors or “bud bars” for weddings. From the nuptials, receptions, and party favors to a little post party chill, cannabis is the new open bar.
“There’s a lot more buzz for the buck in cannabis than in alcohol.”
The legalization of recreational marijuana in some states has opened the doors to all manner of cannabis-laden products, which includes new ways to introduce weed into weddings;
In Colorado, where weed has been legally sold since 2014, specialists have launched businesses dedicated to meeting this wedding-weed demand. Bec Koop is one such entrepreneur who operates cannabis-friendly Irie Wedding & Events and is one of the founders of the Cannabis Wedding Expo, an event where brides and grooms can meet marijuana vendors. Her wedding services include day-of coordination, overall planning, floral arrangements, cannabis open bars. She also offers consulting services for venues looking to bring in cannabis-inclusive events.
Her offerings range from the full-service $3,000 O.G. Kush plan which includes everything the couple would need, a $420 elopement plan where Irie finds the officiant, books a photographer, and makes dinner reservations for the newlyweds. For those who want to make sure everything is just-so on the special day, a marijuana-knowledgeable wedding coordinator, called a Best Bud, costs between $50 and $100 an hour for day-of-event help.
In the first year of business, Koop did five weddings, expanding to twice as many in the second year. Her expectation by the end of 2017 is to have nearly two dozen booked. “We have people who are already outreaching to us for 2020,” she says. “A lot of foresight coming from these so-called lazy stoners.”
Having marijuana at a wedding reception isn’t that different from offering alcoholic drinks.
Cultivating Spirits offers a bud bar for $300 for a minimum of two hours for a 100-person wedding, with an additional $100 per hour beyond that. A bud bar might include pre-rolled joints, vaporizers, and glass pipes, with some couples adding bongs, edibles, and cannabis cocktails to the mix.
Depending on the potency, strain, and promotional offerings, an ounce can run roughly from $100 to $250 at Colorado dispensaries, said Philip Wolf, CEO of Cultivating Spirits in Colorado and the Cannabis Wedding Expo, although prices for recreational marijuana vary from state to state.
Stephanie Cain, an editor at the Knot, a wedding marketplace and publication, points out that there’s no risk of marijuana bars cutting into the market of alcohol at weddings. A budtender is more of a supplement than a replacement she explained, “It’s another amenity for guests and the couple to partake in.”
Her tip for those considering cannabis: Place the bud bar in an area apart from the primary reception hall, creating a barrier for both underage guests and those who don’t partake.
There are a few legalistic twists: Colorado state laws forbids guests from tipping budtenders, and the hosts of the wedding must technically supply the cannabis for the bar themselves and “donate” it to the server.