Like most trends in our social media-saturated world, it was only a matter of time before cannabis went fancy.
For starters, the general public seems to love â€śelevatedâ€ť anything, whether itâ€™s boozy seltzer, craft beer, cocktails or even $40 SoulCycle classes.
Cannabis legalization has also been a cause cĂ©lĂ¨bre for the rich and/or famous. It allows them to indulge their personal interests while also appearing to be woke to their followers. It also allows for investment opportunities. So, itâ€™s hardly surprising that the luxury cannabis industry has taken off.
Last week a friend and I were slamming down some of those aforementioned hard seltzers before heading to a cannabis industry party. It was hosted by Lowell Herb Co., a company best known for their pre-rolled joints (I am a fan), as well as their social justice activism. The party was thrown for budtenders who work in San Diegoâ€™s various dispensaries.
â€śDo you think there will be on-site consumption allowed or is this just a public relations stunt?â€ť my friend asked.
â€śI canâ€™t imagine how it would be legal, but I also canâ€™t imagine Lowell throwing a party where people arenâ€™t lighting up,â€ť I responded, genuinely confused.Â
We pulled up to Mission Valleyâ€™s Lot 8, an outdoor venue that, in this case, was enveloped in a cloud of dank-ass smoke. Inside, there was a vape bar, a bud bar, a take-your-own-pre-roll display, a roll-your-own station and an open booze bar. Oh, and there was a photo booth, a churro bar and catering by Philâ€™s BBQ. There was even a fake prop joint, to be used in photos, that I was told cost $1,000 to make.
For those of us who are old enough to remember the old days of smoking shitty, seeded weed in the backseat of someoneâ€™s car, itâ€™s hard not to overstate how insaneâ€”and awesomeâ€”this scene was. Everything was free. Out in the open. High class. Seemingly legal. Elevated.
I still have no idea if it was above board, but the party was one of the better legal bud parties Iâ€™ve ever been to. The whole shindig was intended to introduce budtenders to Lowellâ€™s new cold-pressed cannabis oil vape pen. It looks like any old single-use vape cartridge and battery apparatus except, in this case, the penâ€™s casing is metal and sports a copper varnish. It also retails for around $55-$60 for a half gram, thereby making it one of the more luxurious cannabis products on the market.
In this case, the pen isnâ€™t a gimmick. Most cannabis oil cartridges are produced via a volatile chemical extraction process that includes heating to above 500 degrees, adding solvents and introducing artificial terpenes to replace what was lost in the extraction process. Lowellâ€™s oil uses frozen plants that are tumbled in ice water before being cold-pressed for extraction, resulting in a high-quality and 100 percent solvent-, butane- and additive-free oil that is also very expensive.
This boujee party was a fine way to introduce what may be a market-changer in the retail cannabis community. Itâ€™s certainly a valid step above the other luxury cannabis things that have been hawked to me, including luxury dispensaries like Royal Highness in Palm Desert, Shineâ€™s 24-karat gold rolling papers, expensive CBD bath bombs for dogs and any number of celebrity-backed vapes.Â
Look, I like nice things, but I also am aware that people are still languishing in jail for cannabis convictions, among other grave injustices. That duality will not stop the luxury cannabis freight train, so, for now, Iâ€™m happy to support even elevated companies and products that I think are doing it right.Â