.....the day the world celebrates all things marijuana.
Last year we celebrated 4/20 by looking at 10 trends shaping the future of weed, including formats, packaging and retail - all reimagined through a high-design lens.
In a market on the brink of skyrocketing success, we spotlighted the entrepreneurs and innovators turning their know how into lucrative business opportunities. From subscription start-ups to challenger beauty brands and up & coming chefs –all cashing in on the ‘green rush’.We also looked at brands elevating the experience around cannabis culture –in tourism, third space and media.
NO LONGER 'NICHE' OR 'FRINGE'
In line with the decriminalisation of cannabis, the stigma attached to weed culture continues to shed. And with this, we’re seeing more mainstream brands get involved –from Netflix, to Spotify, to Milk Cosmetics.
Check out five ways that cannabis is becoming more mainstream.
1. ROOM SERVICE
The Standard has joined forces with luxury cannabis specialists Lord Jones to bring a variety of cannabis-derived products to the hospitality landscape.
Modernizing The Mini-Bar
The hotel will offer its guests a selection of products including CBD oil-infused gumdrops and pain relief lotions, available in mini-bars of the hotel’s Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles locations; a glimpse into the way lifestyle hotels are modernizing their room service offer.
The Hollywood location will also feature a Lord Jones flagship retail dispensary on the ground floor, extending its offering to the local community.
CEO and managing partner of Standard International, Amar Lalvanisaid, “Cannabis is gaining enhanced relevancy as a key component of wellness, awareness and discovery. The Lord Jones dispensary will provide the finest cannabis products available, seamlessly integrated into the Standard experience.”
A Long Term Collaboration
The two companies plan to collaborate on an exclusive line of co-branded THC and hemp-derived CBD products that will eventually be available to guests at all Standard hotels.
No longer hidden from view, cannabis retailers such as Serra and third spaces such as Tokyo Smoke are securing retail outlets on the high-street.
Seven Point’s Chicago site could easily be mistaken for a WarbyParker store. They are just one of a new wave of luxury cannabis retailers who are putting more focus on their retail experience - creating spaces where customers feel comfortable shopping without any sense of wrongdoing.
Closer To Home
Closer to home, wellness retailer Holland & Barret have seen a 37% increase in the sales of cannabidiol brand Jacob Hooy. Whilst retailers such as Liberty continue to dedicate shelf space to brands such as Malin+ Goetz, well known for their cannabis infused candles and beauty products.
While the business of cannabis has been growing in the US over the past few years due to legalisation in several states, brands in the UK are just beginning to recognise its potential in beauty and health products - the number of people using cannabidiol has risen from 125,000 to 250,000 since February 2017, according to Cannabis Trades Association UK.
As the choice of being a cannabis consumer is normalized, we’re seeing a greater emphasis on the design of products & lifestyle accessories. In line with this, brands are evolving their offering to reflect the growing desire for cannabis as a gift, creating formats to mark key gifting moments across the year.
Where once guests would bring their host a bottle of wine, now they may bring high-quality vaporisers or pre-rolls, engineered for social consumption –fusing marijuana with dinner party culture.
3. INHALE, EXHALE
There are endless ways for consumers to incorporate cannabis into their wellness routines – from infused skincare, microdosing, retreats, and now as part of their yoga routines.
Equinox gyms have partnered with Bloom Farms, a San Francisco based marijuana company, to provide vape pens for yogis to use during classes.
Similarly, cannabis-infused yoga class ‘Bend & Blaze’ partnered with the Lucky Box Club to marry the two wellness interests.
Cannabis & Fitness
The combination of fitness and weed may seem like an unusual one, however fitness buffs have been incorporating CBD into their workout and recovery routines for years, benefiting from the ingredient’s ability to relax the body and relieve pain post-workout.
Athletic events such as the 4/20 Games are popping up all over the West Coast of America, as well as in Colorado and Washington.
4. FESTIVAL HEADLINERS
Coachella’s party circuit only need travel a few miles outside the festival itself to find themselves immersed in one of several marijuana-themed events.
Over the past 10 years Coachella parties surrounding the festival have always been dominated by fashion brands such as Jeremy Scott, Levis and Lacoste –in recent years, a new crop of luxury cannabis brands have gathered around Coachella, showcasing custom Coachella-inspired strains, such as Lowell Farm’s ‘Coachella Blend’. Lowell Farm also filled Instagram feeds last year with their alternative flower crowns, made from real, smokeable marijuana flowers.
Meanwhile the Palm Springs Safe Access dispensary curated their own ‘Festival Flowers’ collection - five strains of marijuana designed to help customers make the most of the festival experience.
Inside the event, brands were also getting in on the act, creating weed inspired freebies for festival goers. Milk Cosmetics, for example, gave away dual purpose ‘roll and blot’ papers.
The Weedmaps Oasis
Weedmaps (the Yelp of weed) created the biggest and most buzzworthy fringe event that took place during Coachella last year.
Staging a weekend-long retreat on a private undisclosed compound in Bermuda Dunes, Weedmaps curated an invite-only ‘marijuana lifestyle experience’ bringing together best-in-class luxury cannabis brands to takeover five giant geodesic domes and a fully functioning grow-house, each showcasing a unique marijuana product.
The retreat was also home to a fully decked-out spa complete with massages, manicures, yoga sessions and a number of healthy food and drink outlets.
By allowing attendees to decompress from the festival chaos, Weedmaps are continuing to elevate marijuana from the stigmaof a criminal substance into a luxury wellness activity.
5. WOMEN & WEED
It’s not often entire industries are born, so it feels like an exciting opportunity to break all traditions - legal marijuana could be the first billion dollar industry not dominated by men.
Seattle based luxury cannabis lifestyle brand Van der Pop surveyed over 1.5k women in North America about their cannabis perceptions, consumption and interests, in order to better understand the role that cannabis plays in their lives. [See right]
With the findings, Van der Pop are looking to facilitate more meaningful conversations around cannabis, as well as fine-tuning their products and services to reflect real wants and needs.
The narrative around cannabis culture is changing - exemplified by the launch of tightly curated publications such as Broccoli magazine. Editor-in-chief Anja Charbonneau, the former art director of independent slow lifestyle magazine Kinfolk, explains that Broccoli is about‘normalizingcannabis use, especially for women’.
As more and more US states legalize cannabis, and marijuana-focused products become more commonplace, Charbonneau felt that there was a gap in the market for a female-led publication that appealed to female smokers in a way that related to them. ‘No one was speaking to this massive group of women who are creative, driven, intelligent and have a lot of interests outside of weed,’ Charbonneau told Vogue.
Sex and the City alum and New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon announced the legalisation of marijuana as a key component of her platform last week.
This article was compiled by LOVE's Head of Culture, Kat Towers. Want to say hello, ask questions or challenge her cultural knowledge then get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org