Open bars are honestly one of the main reasons people attend weddings — and of course to witness the couple's union or whatever. But as the recreational use of marijuana is becoming legalized across the country, we've seen a number of events that have opted for an open weed bar over serving alcohol, and there's a few benefits there already. You won't have to worry about your uncle (or anybody) getting belligerently hammered and everyone will love the food even if it's complete sh*t. You might have a few sleepy guests, but overall, serving pot over booze sounds like a great option. So, when I attended the Cannabis Wedding Expo in San Francisco and saw a budtending vendor, I had to ask a few questions.
I spoke with Andrew Mieure, founder of elegant event budtending service Top Shelf. What his company provides is everything but the weed, including knowledgeable staff (or budtenders), smoking accessories, and the company's mobile bar. To clarify, Top Shelf Budtending is in no way part of the purchase or distribution of marijuana; the company simply helps facilitate the fun as safely as possible at your event. States like Colorado, California, Oregon, Maine, and Massachusetts have "gifting" laws that allow adults over 21 to "gift" up to an ounce to another adult of age. If a couple wants to offer weed at their wedding, they need to legally purchase it themselves and make sure their venue permits smoking and that the event is private and ticketed/guest-listed. Top Shelf then comes in to help educate your guests and serve them.
"We embrace the social aspect of using cannabis together and really focus on the guest interactions," Andrew said. "Instead of just rolling a joint for them, we get invested in each and every guest's story and love to share ours too!"
But I don't want my guests getting too stoned, especially first-time users.
That's why it's highly recommended you hire services like Top Shelf to prevent that from happening. The company has a robust cannabis social use standard operating procedure that ensures safe sanitation and handling practices, guest education practices, overconsumption protocols, and other aspects that protect guests.
"As far as first-time guests, the key to a safe cannabis experience is asking the right questions, advising the proper serving size, and staying away from erratic consumption methods," Andrew said. "Asking the right questions includes asking the guest what their tolerance is and dialing in a variety and consumption method that would work best for them."
It's also important to note that cannabis affects everybody differently. Those who've never smoked or consumed it should always start at the lowest serving, wait for the effects, and build up from there. New users should also stay from eating edibles for their first experience since they can be seriously potent. "The high lasts two to three times longer than smoking or vaporizing cannabis, and sometimes the high can get more or less intense over time, depending on how the guest processes the edible," Andrew said.
The last thing you want is any of your wedding guests having a bad trip in fetal position.
So weed, alcohol, or both?
"I predict that cannabis bars will be very popular as a stand-alone feature at a wedding or alongside an alcohol bar," Andrew said. "Alcohol is far too ingrained in our culture to be fully replaced." He continued to say that the two can coexist, but that he highly advises guests to choose one or the other, since mixing can result in an unpleasant crossfade. To prevent your party from getting too high and drunk, it might be best to stick to one offering in case your guests decide to get a little too crazy. Top Shelf even crafts cannabis mocktails that don't include any alcohol if you want to keep the social element of drinking. Even if you choose not to have budtenders, there's plenty of elevated and fun ways to safely incorporate weed into your wedding.