Writers Credit: Aaron Genuth
Weddings are a singular life opportunity to celebrate the people, experiences, and practices most precious to the lives of the betrothed. Increasingly since the legal option exists, that includes cannabis. Phillip Wolf of the Cannabis Wedding Expo has constructed his expanding national business by bringing his experience, expertise, and passion into some of the most critical decisions his clients hope ever to make. Like weddings themselves, Cannabis Wedding Expos provide an unparalleled platform for the intersection of tradition and change.
Similar to previous iterations, The Cannabis Wedding Expos will be held at the beginning of the year, well before the anticipated summer wedding season. The 2020 Expos will aim their initial focus on California, both North, and South. Phillip believes the legacy of cannabis culture and innovation that the state has long been known for will lead to the growth of his platform, and his goal of furthering the normalization of cannabis into society. As he tells NUGL, “We have the LA and San Francisco Cannabis Wedding Expos coming up at the beginning of 2020. And we really want California to take the lead on the progression of the trends in the space.” Phillip observed the immediate boom in cannabis tourism in Colorado in 2014, when they became the first state, along with Washington, to legalize recreational cannabis. He believes the California cannabis industry has matured to the point that it should take the lead. “We really want to believe that there’s been enough time that has passed since legalization to allow some of these startup companies to mature, and as you mature in this space you dial in what your services are, what your products are, determine what feedback you’re receiving from the customers, and clarify your vision, and there’s so many people with vision in the cannabis space right now! And that’s why I think California is really taking that claim because they have had enough time since legalization to flesh a lot out with their businesses, and why we have the LA and San Francisco Cannabis Wedding Expos coming up at the beginning of 2020.”
Premium, curated settings for the upcoming Expos indicate the growth and acceptance of cannabis in mainstream urban California culture. In Los Angeles, the first Cannabis Wedding Expo of 2020 will commence on January 19th at the Andaz in West Hollywood. The redesigned boutique – the first ever hotel on the Sunset Strip – held on it’s rooftop terrace that features stunning views of the Hollywood Hills.
The Westfield San Francisco Center will host the Northern California renditionon Saturday, February 15th, 2020. The 750,000 square foot iconic downtown mall will host the Expo under it’s stunning open-air rooftop dome. At the largest shopping center in San Francisco, owned by the countries largest mall operator, Cannabis Wedding Expo attendees will co-mingle with shoppers and diners at high end establishments including Atelier’s Parisian colognes and locally sourced American eatery TAP 415.
The upscale and mainstream environments of the California Expos are integral to what the Cannabis Wedding Expo is communicating as an event and brand; that cannabis users are no longer asking permission to celebrate the plant and medicine they love. Rather, they are integrating their loved ones and guests into a gathering and party that represents what is most important to their lives, including their plant of choice. As Phillip reflects, ”We’ve been fighting for so long for cannabis to have a common place in our communities. And I really see that relationship (between cannabis and weddings) finding more common ground out on the west coast. I don’t think we should still keep fighting for our place at the table, I believe that we have a place at the table and people are listening.” By bringing the experience and culture of cannabis into their celebrations, Cannabis Wedding clientele exhibit another encouraging sign that granting legitimacy to the unfounded stigmas of the war on cannabis is as much a relic of the past as locking someone up for smoking a joint will be in the future.
Of course, California is not the only legal market for cannabis and weddings. The western tour will continue through Spring 2020, with the Las Vegas Cannabis Wedding Expoat the Emerald at Queensbridge on March 22, 2020. The Denver edition will be held on April 5, 2020. A worthy location is still being determined, but tickets are already on sale here.
The acceptance of cannabis and opportunities for expansion within the California wedding market are not the only selling points of the Cannabis Wedding Expo, but they certainly can’t be discounted. In 2018, there were over 245,000 weddings held in California, at an average cost of over $30,000. There is also increasing data and experience that routinely show cannabis to be a safer and healthier social alternativeto alcohol and tobacco. In Phil’s view, that goes beyond the use of cannabis as a social tool, and speaks to its therapeutic value. As he says, “I think cannabis gives us an opportunity to treat lifestyle and social events as therapy.” The social benefits are important, and he believes they are an effect of the connective and healing powers of the plant, “Cannabis is a plant medicine that works really well socially, and I think we should start looking at having therapeutic options when we’re out and about.” Beyond going mainstream, Phillip also believes that wedding hosts and guests should start expecting cannabis as a standard and conscientious option, much like vegetarian options are now expected. For many, drinking is not a preferable or even safe option for loosening up at a joyous gathering, and hosts should anticipate their guests needs. As Phillip states, “When it comes to events, I think it’s very responsible for people to have the option of cannabis.”
Phillip Wolf and the team at Cannabis Wedding Expo will continue to provide the option of incorporating cannabis into all levels of the wedding experience, and to continue to be a bridge between cannabis and wedding culture throughout California and the USA.