We are so darn lucky.
And sometimes we forget how lucky we are, especially in cannabis-legal communities. But why are we so darn lucky? Because most of us in America can enjoy this fine herb much more than we could even a few years ago.
We can enjoy weed pretty much out in the open, on street corners and on Instagram Live, and we can do so (mostly) with impunity. It seems like old hat to some of us, sure, but the freedom with which we enjoy cannabis still stuns our elders. Of course, we owe these newfound freedoms to the activists who fought for decades on our — and the plant’s — behalf.
They fought so we could possess and consume marijuana without fear of imprisonment. They fought for a more honest understanding of this infinitely complex medicinal plant. And to a lesser extent, they fought for our right to party with our preferred substance of choice. Thanks to their hard work, our present day includes a whole new way to entertain: the post-prohibition, consumption-friendly cannabis party.
Weed has long been a staple at many of the world’s best parties, but to have cannabis join the mix of legal substances served at events changes things for dinner parties, casual happy hours and Super Bowl celebrations alike.
And like any other substance, marijuana brings its own traditions and rituals along for the ride.
So it makes sense that throwing a successful cannabis party is quite different than hosting a cocktail party or a beer-paired dinner — something I’ve learned in my years of producing cannabis events of all types and sizes via my agency Grasslands. My colleagues and I have produced expansive cannabis industry mixers for 800-plus guests, and we’ve thrown intimate dinner parties for eight.
But regardless of the cannabis party’s size, certain things ring true for a successful consumption-friendly event. If you are looking to host a successful weed party, there are a few lessons worth learning first.
Before you start planning your next gathering, here are a few things to consider.
Incorporate Different Types of Cannabis Consumption
Not everyone smokes weed, and not everyone enjoys edibles, so make sure you don’t forget to consider that as you’re stocking the cannabis bar for your next shindig. While some parties are built around a thoughtful selection of microbrews and spirits, successful cannabis events thrive on a variety of flower and a multitude of consumption devices, including (ideally) a vaporizer for the light-lunged.
Sativa-dominant strains might seem ideal for the party atmosphere, and they certainly are for me — but we all have friends who trend toward downer strains because the uppers make them anxious, so keep that in mind, too.
Also, edibles are made to share, and they make an ideal amuse-bouche, especially because they have an onset time that will help the effects kick in just as you’re serving the entree. Just remember to…
Clearly Mark Your Edibles
I threw an intimate holiday party a few years ago where multiple friends posted pictures of my modest if comprehensive edibles bar because I came up with a design they found both helpful and never-before-seen: A small bowl held edibles with 2.5 mgs of THC, while a slightly larger bowl contained 5 mg candies, and an even larger bowl held 10 mg pieces.
Each bowl was carefully marked with the psychoactive content of the candies inside, making for an ultra-modern serve-yourself snack bar, one that allowed my guests to care- fully assemble the exact dose they desired.
Not only is this the responsible way to serve cannabis edibles at an event, but it’s also a lot of fun seeing new adopters bite half of a 2.5 mg candy as a toe-dipping exercise, and watching more experienced consumers fearlessly knock down a handful of 10 mg gummies.
It’s a modern-day choose your own adventure.
Cater to Your Friends’ Social Media Addiction
A hand-drawn chalkboard menu at the bud bar. A thought- fully organized display of cannabis products. Simple twinkle lights in a houseplant. A bouquet of fresh and fragrant flowers, with marijuana flower intermingling with lilies and baby’s breath. A record player with colored vinyl spinning right ’round (and pumping out the hot jams).
Eye candy should be a part of any intentional gathering. And for cannabis events, eye candy is a must. The concept is simple: Give your guests something delightful to look at, something playful to take in. Be it simple or elaborate, your guests will appreciate the shiny objects and fantastical flourishes — especially in their elevated state.
Try Something Different
Whether we’re talking music or menu, cannabis parties are the best parties to try something different — something wacky, something off-the-wall, something unexpected.
I’ve noticed this in my own consumption habits: If I’m sober ordering from a menu, I’ll likely take a safe route, asking the waitstaff for something familiar or a dish I’ve eaten many times before. But if I’m high and ordering from a menu, I’m likely ordering something much more adventurous, something I would never order without the THC coursing through my veins.
I love adopting that spirit when assembling the menu or the playlist (or both) for a cannabis party. Instead of my tried-and-true dinner party playlist, I’ll put on the gypsy jazz of Django Reinhardt or the bebop of Charlie Parker. And in- stead of serving my go-to dinner party favorite manicotti, I’ll instead bust out an eat-with-your-hands Mediterranean spread of chicken shawarma with chopped onion, tomato, lettuce, cu- cumber, hummus, rice pilaf and toasted pita.
Cannabis opens minds, so take advantage and introduce your guests to something they might not be expecting.
This story was originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now.