With 10 states (and Washington D.C.) now allowing the recreational use of cannabis, change is bubbling. What used to be a hidden activity to enhance a social gathering or destress is now slowly moving out in the open. People will set out home-baked edibles at parties with marked indications of THC levels, chat about what vape pens do wonders after a long day at the office, and sip on CBD-infused lattes from their local coffee shop. As we have noticed cannabis popping up constantly at our various holiday festivities, we couldn't help but wonder (like a modern-day Carrie Bradshaw), is weed the new wine?
Kate Miller, co-founder and CEO of lifestyle shop and magazine Miss Grass, seems to think so. "People in general are embracing cannabis in a way that has shifted over the past several months to a year," she shares. "With multiple states recreationally legal and product offerings more sophisticated, naturally we're seeing cannabis become more accepted and even encouraged in some scenarios."
While wine has been long considered an elegant addition to holiday festivities, the legality of using marijuana has been a major deterrent from making it a normal part of the celebration season. Corey Thomas, founder of cannabis-infused product brand Honey Pot, thinks it's about to be elevated.
"The end of prohibition has opened the door for people to consume cannabis around their families or at least start the conversation," explains Thomas. "There is more education and information available, more people are understanding the benefits, and more of the older generation is consuming. Something that was considered taboo just a few years ago is now legal, that changes a lot of opinions and can even change relationships."
So why should cannabis be a part of your seasonal festivities? Anna Duckworth, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Miss Grass thinks it's a perfect pairing. "The holidays are a funny time of year. There's a lot of stress and anxiety around it — each of us for our own reasons," she says. "But for all that kind of stuff, cannabis is a non-toxic, mellow, and frankly, fun way to mitigate some of those emotions. I think what we're seeing around these holidays is the real beginning of a cultural shift around cannabis. It's actually acceptable to gift and consume cannabis now in a way that it hasn't been before. So, pair that fact with the stress that comes with this time of year, and it makes good sense that cannabis would take a more prominent position this holiday season."
Before the parties even begin, you might consider if cannabis could actually be the perfect gift for someone on your list. "Whether buying for your anxious mother who could use a CBD tincture to chill out, or for a chic cousin who would love the rose gold Beboe vape, there are a ton of fun and meaningful cannabis products for the many archetypes in ones life," says Miller. "At Miss Grass, we created several gift guides to encourage giving the gift of well-being this season. Because let's be real, we could all use more of that."
A few cannabis brands are really looking at the holidays as a time for gifting. For example, Kiva Confections, a popular edibles company, has released limited-edition products like THC-infused peppermint bark and "holiday punch" gummies that are perfect for a seasonal treat.
"There were more gift sets available in California this year than I have ever seen before with really beautiful packaging and products," shares Thomas. "You can buy a flight of eighths in a beautiful wood box, or a selection of pre-rolls in a box that looks like a present. It’s wonderful to see how accessible cannabis products have become, we’ve come a long way from sandwich baggies and turkey bags."
Now if you are considering infusing cannabis into your own holiday party, there are plenty of ways to do it. Instead of just offering a joint, you can actually get quite creative by making marijuana a part of your meal. "There are so many ways to consume cannabis now other than smoking, you can infuse what could be an uncomfortable situation with some edibles or a tincture, even some non-psychoactive CBD," says Thomas.
"On Miss Grass, we have a whole range of products that particularly cater to the host — things like CBD-infused olive oils, bitters, honeys, and a DIY oil infuser," explains Duckworth. "Some people like to use CBD to infuse a cocktail or a salad dressing, others are more drawn to the psychoactive stuff in their food and drink — and that's where the oil-infuser comes in."
"I love sharing Honey Pot with my friends and family," adds Thomas. "Our cannabis-infused honey is a great way to infuse your holiday meals and parties. You can find recipes for infused soups, salads, dinner rolls, and holiday favorites like mashed sweet potatoes and even a Honey Pot-glazed ham."
Of course, if you aren't much of a cook, you can go a simple route as well."I've even seen people take shortcuts by providing nice store-bought edibles for guests," shares Duckworth. "A lot of products out there are nice enough to buy off-the-shelf to serve up as your own." She adds, "Pro-tip: Give edibles to your guests early in the night because they can take a couple hours to kick in."
So is cannabis the new wine? Not quite yet. A majority of the country still can't use it on a recreational level, after all. Yet as the stigma diminishes and amazing companies (that are mostly female-run!) continue to create more conversation and elevated products, we have a feeling that cannabis will become a holiday essential in a few years time.