In July, to commemorate their first anniversary, a Colorado couple in their 30s wanted a treat that would help them extend the high of their special day: custom gold-foil-tipped marijuana cigars.
They went to Made in Xiaolin for a $1,200 set of “cannagars,” made with premium flower and bearing the wedding date stamped on the rolling paper. “We compare it to popping bottles,” says Christopher Louie, the founder of the company 30 miles southwest of Denver. He has aims on Aspen’s party scene next.
Four-figure blunts are but one part of a burgeoning market for personalized, high-end cannabis products, especially on the West Coast, where growers often have a glut and are trying to find new ways to market their harvest. Oregon and California, two states with a long history of cultivation, have experienced oversupply since marijuana was legalized. (Interstate commerce is federally prohibited, and Oregon produces more legal weed than its residents can consume, while California still has a robust black market on top of its new legal industry.)
Legal cannabis sales were north of $10 billion last year in the U.S. and are forecast to grow to $30 billion in 2024, according to BDS Analytics. Eleven states plus Washington, D.C., authorize recreational use, while 24 more allow some form of medical marijuana. Almost 80% of Americans live in a state with some kind of access.
As marijuana loses some of its historical stigma, and pushes into the mainstream, it’s getting a luxury makeover. Aesthetics has been “a big point of differentiation between us and anyone else on the shelf,” says Brett Heyman, founder and creative director of luxury handbag label Edie Parker. She introduced her own strains of marijuana in stylish, gold-capped jars as well as smoking accessories in May. “The vibe [of other cannabis brands] is very much old-timey apothecary, or medical, or stonery—none of those things spoke to me.”
Published: August 16, 2019
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News