(NEXSTAR) – If you’ve been to a wedding reception, you may have been met with an open bar. You may have even had one at your own wedding. But a different type of open bar is gaining popularity: a weed bar.
“It grows exponentially each year,” said Cat Goldberg, the founder of WeedBar in Los Angeles, when asked about the popularity of weed bars. “People are going to events where they see that people are using cannabis and not drinking alcohol and they’re like, ‘I want this energy at my wedding.”
In its first year, WeedBar received 12 requests. By year two, that number had doubled. Now, five years into the business, Goldberg says they remain busy, but the trend is still catching on. Lizzie Post, co-president and author at the Emily Post Institute, agreed.
“I do think that as cannabis has been legalized that more couples are looking and excited to incorporate it,” she explained to Nexstar.
Nearly 20 states have approved marijuana for recreational use among adults while 10 allow CBD and products low in THC to be available. Recreational use has also been on the rise in recent years among adults in states where weed has been legalized, according to BDSA, a market research firm focused on the legal cannabis market.
Like an open bar, those hoping to partake in the weed bar must be of age and have an ID. Unlike an open bar, Goldberg says a weed bar creates a different vibe during the wedding reception.
“There’s a sense of like, calm and gratitude, and just happiness that is electric throughout the crowd,” she explains. “You just hear people like, just laughing and saying how much they love each other.”
Goldberg says the weddings with weed bars that she’s experienced have “a lot more laughter” and are “quieter” than those with an open bar.
“I think maybe everyone feels even more … included because we have options that are non-psychoactive, we have options that are non-smoking,” Goldberg explains. “It’s not just like this niche experience that’s only for a couple of people who like weed. It’s really for the grandparents and the people from out of town who are curious about [cannabis] and want a safe first experience.”
WeedBar’s offerings including smokeless glass pipes, drinks, edibles, and a rolled flight tasting with “teeny tiny mini joints.” They’re all micro-dosed, according to Goldberg, meaning a small amount of cannabis is included in the product, allowing the user to experience its benefits of it without facing many – if any – side effects.
Even if you don’t opt for a weed bar at your wedding, if your reception will be taking place in a state where weed is legalized, you may want to take into consideration how it’s incorporated into your wedding, Post explains.
This could include creating a designated section away from guests who may want to avoid the smoke. Post adds it’s even more important to ensure any sort of cannabis edible is labeled and away from young children.
She pointed to a Florida wedding that happened in February where guests fell ill due to apparently unlabeled cannabis-laced food. The bride and a catering manager were both charged with tampering, culpable negligence, and delivery of marijuana after the wedding.
“That thing that those folks in Florida did where they didn’t tell people that there was weed in the food, that is horrible, really bad etiquette,” Post said.
Despite its growing popularity, Goldberg understands a weed bar is “not for everyone.”
“It’s not about being a lazy stoner having a bong on your couch and passing out,” she explains. “There’s a way to incorporate the aesthetics of the weed bar into the wedding so that it looks stunning.”