Philip Wolf isn’t married, but if he ever ties the knot, he already has a vision for his big day.
“I will 100 per cent have a (cannabis) bud bar at my wedding and you’ll probably see cannabis florals,” he told the Star as he stood at the centre of the Berkeley Church by Queen St E. and Parliament St. on the final weekend of October.
Around him couples perused glass vases made to look like bongs, a rainbow of cannabis-laced lollipops arranged like a tree and joints suspended in clear gift boxes and topped with golden bows. It was all part of the Cannabis Wedding Expo arranged by Wolf, who has brought the event to a handful of U.S. cities in between running cannabis experience business Cultivating Spirits.
While many wedding planners and cannabis-related businesses at the show told the Star they either hadn’t hosted any weddings infused with the substance or had only been involved in one or two, Wolf suspects it’s high time.
“We are only at the ground floor right now and I guarantee next year they will have four or five cannabis weddings that they have done and in two years 10 or 20 weddings,” Wolf said.
“It is just going to be commonplace.”
The increase in interest for cannabis wedding wares is stemming from the substance’s Canadian legalization roughly a year ago and its ongoing de-stigmatization across the globe, he said.
Those in the wedding industry have already seen brides carry cannabis bouquets, have leafs worked into their hairstyles or used makeup infused with the substance.
Others incorporate cannabis into their big day by wearing boutonnieres that smell potent enough to smoke, sprinkling tables with bongs and rolling papers, dishing out edibles as thank you gifts or hiring limo services that permit the substance.
Some have even opted to set up vaping areas and dab bars (spots for vaporizing concentrated cannabis), switched champagne for cannabis to perform toasts or found a chef to cook up a feast with an extra kick.
Years before its 2018 Canadian legalization, wedding planner Amanda Chapman incorporated cannabis into her nuptials by handing out macaroons infused with the substance.
“Last year I did one, where a couple said, ‘We want to give joints to our guests. Can we do that?’” Chapman recalled, while leaning on a chair draped with a denim jacket that had “All you weed is love” and a cannabis leaf scrawled across it.
(Adults can legally share up to 30 grams of legal cannabis with other adults.)
“We are just on the cusp of really understanding what we can do with it.”
Chapman finds she’s constantly advising people where they can smoke cannabis and reminding them to notify anyone providing services at their weddings, including photographers and musicians, if cannabis will be used in their proximity.
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Bud Buffet, a luxury budtending and cannabis concierge service, sees similar questions, though the company has only booked one wedding with the substance and it isn’t until February.
“We are getting a ton of inquiries about weddings. You don’t want to say the one thing you wish you had done was have a couple of puffs at your wedding. People are going to go outside to their cars anyway,” co-owner Clayton Armstrong said while his business partner Kathleen Sams talked to guests by a display showing off a gravity bong popularized by actor Seth Rogen and a glass pipe made to look like a strawberry.
“It is up to us to let people know that this exists and there are safe, clean, nice, elegant ways to consume and take that (stoner comedy duo) Cheech and Chong mentality away that everyone has when they think about a rolling station or a bud bar.”
Sunny Chen and Chris Chow, who plan to wed in 2020, stopped by the Bud Buffet booth at the expo because they thought it was a “funky” idea.
The couple doesn’t smoke cannabis, but has friends that indulge.
“For millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) right now nobody really drinks because everyone is into healthy things, but (cannabis) is a fun thing to offer to our friends,” Chen said.
Data from Statistics Canada shows that in the second quarter of 2019, Canadians between 25 and 34 years old had the highest rate of cannabis consumption in the last three months. That demographic accounted for 27.4 per cent of consumption, trailed by those between 15 and 24 years old, who consumed 25.5 per cent of cannabis in the country.
Cannabis companies are prevented from marketing to anyone underage and the expo asked for identification with birth dates before admitting people, who struck up conversations with experts providing education on how cannabis can be used and companies promoting products that will remove pesky cannabis odour.
Michele Bowbyes, the owner of Pretty Dope Accessories, which sells pre-rolled cones, cannabis trays and $69 odour-trapping bags with locks and hidden logos, had a steady stream of visitors at her booth.
She hadn’t heard of anyone using her products at their weddings, but envisioned them as bridesmaids’ gifts or something a couple could use to ask their maid of honour to be part of their nuptials.
She nixed the typical pink and glitter when she designed her products, which are all mint blue.
“I wanted to show cannabis can be elegant and classy and sophisticated,” she said.
“I am the perfect ‘something blue.’”