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Nice day for a weed wedding: the couples who married with marijuana

Prefer rips to sips? More and more couples are featuring cannabis at their weddings – and now recreational marijuana is legal in 10 US states, options are plenty

by Zoneil Maharaj

Michelle Casanova’s idea of a dream wedding was a simple one – though a little different from most: “I wanted to take a huge bong rip in my wedding dress.”

And that she did, last October, in Agoura Hills, California. The 34-year-old Texan walked down the aisle holding a bouquet of sunflowers and weed leaves. Guests were served slices of a THC-infused cake and treated to a dab bar where they could take hits of potent, concentrated cannabis oil via a vaporizer while a “budtender” rolled joints – strains of sativa, a stimulant, at the start of the event; hybrids after the service; indicas to wind everyone down at the end of the night.

“It was like your typical wedding, but with hints of cannabis here and there,” she says. “Everything was really subtle, except for the smoking part.”

Recreational marijuana use is now legal in 10 states. This means couples like the Casanovas, who prefer rips to sips, now have more options for incorporating their lifestyle into their weddings. It’s given rise to a niche industry, one that Casanova herself is cashing in on.

Casanova, who owns Los Angeles-based Babinka Treats and bakes cannabis-infused confections, was one of the two dozen vendors at the Cannabis Wedding Expo in Las Vegas in March – the first trade show of its kind in Nevada since weed was legalized there in July 2017. Yengiang Nguyen, the owner of a bath and body product company, hoped soon-to-be brides would think of her CBD bath bombs as bridesmaid gifts; Doreen Sullivan, founder of My Bud Vase, flew in from South Carolina, a prohibition state, to sell vintage vases repurposed as bongs.

Jamie Lee McCormick’s floral company, The Flower Daddy, has blossomed since launching last year. He specializes in marijuana bud and plant arrangements, which can later be smoked. They start at $250 per bouquet. He expects 2020 to be big, and has three weddings already booked for one date in April next year.

The Las Vegas event was the eighth Cannabis Wedding Expo since Philip Wolf, the chief executive, launched it in Denver in 2016. Wolf, who also runs a cannabis dining series called Cultivating Spirits, co-founded the expo after he and friends with similar weed-centric services faced resistance from traditional wedding trade shows.

Wolf’s most recent event in San Francisco was held in February in a shopping center in the middle of downtown and drew more than 500 people. Having the event in a public space and of that scale was a sign of how far the cannabis industry has come, and where it’s heading, Wolf says.

“The wedding industry in the US is $72bn. If you look at the cannabis industry, it’s going to approach $10bn. If you look at them together, you can get a sense of how big of an industry combined they can be.”

As this alternative industry grows, so does the number of couples who, like the Casanovas, are taking weddings to new highs.

Left: Jeff and Serena wanted to help de-stigmatize weed by having it prominent at their wedding. Right: Serena takes a hit while getting ready. Photograph: tk

Jeff and Serena Baleja

Convincing an 80-year-old British Indian grandmother that weed is how people celebrate in California was a surprisingly easy task for Serena Baleja. “She accepted it very quickly,” Serena laughs.

The 28-year-old Londoner is a longtime advocate of marijuana, so when it came time for her and her husband, Jeff, 30, to get married last September in Los Angeles, it just made sense.

“Everyone smokes at weddings, let’s be real. They just sneak off to do it. We didn’t want anybody sneaking off,” Jeff says.

Serena and Jeff had parents who died from to alcohol addiction. Having cannabis at their wedding was more than an alternative to booze. It was a statement. “It should be normalized completely,” Serena says.

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Article source The Guardian

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