Part 4 of 8 of the 2018 Cannabis Trends: Welcome to Hollyweed
Another emerging trend in the cannabis industry is the growing level of comfort between Hollywood and cannabis. Although it’s no secret that many Hollywood stars have been known to indulge in cannabis use from time to time, most have been reluctant to publicly open up about their affinity for cannabis. But now that recreational cannabis is legal in California, it seems like every celebrity with even a modicum of fame is rushing to cash in on the legal cannabis industry.
Before recreational cannabis became legal in California, there were already a handful of daring celebrities that launched their own cannabis brands.
As an ardent medical cannabis advocate, Montel Williams was one of the first celebrities to dive feet first into the cannabis industry. In 2016, Williams launched the medical cannabis lifestyle brand Lentiv; which sells hemp-based CBD supplements and cannabis oils.
Melissa Etheridge was also one of the first celebrities out of the gate; in 2014 she released her own brand of cannabis wine called Know Label. Although marketed as a wine, Know Label is technically classified as a tincture as current California law forbids the selling of products that mix alcohol and cannabis.
As legalization spread throughout the country, becoming more of a question of when than if, more celebrities have come out of the woodwork. Willie Nelson has Willie’s Reserve, Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand Goop recently teamed up with the cannabis dispensary chain MedMen, and Whoopi Goldberg has Whoopi & Maya.
Not every cannabis loving celebrity wants to start their own brand, however, some just want to consume it. For those famous folk, a whole host of high-end luxury cannabis brands have started to take Hollywood by storm.
To start, the boutique hotel group Standard International has teamed up with the edibles maker Lord Jones to open a retail cannabis shop in the lobby of the Standard Hollywood, located on Sunset Boulevard. Once open, the shop will be stocked with high end cannabis products; both edible and smokeable.
During this year’s Academy Awards, the artisanal cannabis distributor Flow Kana became the first cannabis brand to hand out cannabis gift bags at the awards ceremony. Each bag contained several pre-rolled joints and jars of cannabis.
While stoner comedies have been a staple of Hollywood for decades, the same cannot be said of television; that is, until the last couple of years. The web series High Maintenance, which centers on a cannabis delivery man in New York, was picked up by HBO in 2016 and has been met with rave reviews.
Similarly, the streaming giant Netflix has already produced two cannabis-centered television shows, Disjointed and Cooking on High. Although neither show has been met with particularly favorable reviews, the fact that its subject matter is no longer controversial demonstrates the far reaching mainstream appeal of cannabis.
For all intents and purposes, cannabis has gone mainstream in Hollywood. In the short-term future, look for more celebrities entering into the cannabis industry, either with their own brand or as a partner with an existing company. Most of these brands will either fail commercially or simply fail to distinguish themselves; although the brands that lean into the luxury market will have a better chance of survival. Expect to see more awards shows and elite events embrace cannabis and don’t be surprised when joints become as common as a glass of champagne.
In the long-term, however, expect to see cannabis become boring. With more celebrities coming out about their cannabis use, more television shows about cannabis being produced, and more cultural institutions generally embracing cannabis; smoking a joint will no longer be seen as cool or edgy or anything other than normal.