Jessica Malkin is the owner of The Market Bridal Boutique and has a passion for business development, sales and marketing, and event coordination. Jessica has previous experience writing research papers, editing graduate documents, and creating material and publishing for local businesses and blogs. She has a Master of Business Administration from Cornerstone University and two degrees in Spanish and Socio-cultural Anthropology from Hope College.
A niche market?
The wedding industry is constantly changing with volatile fashion trends, innovative themes, and eclectic Pinterest boards. One of the most original developments in the multi-billion dollar industry is the common practice of cannabis-oriented weddings.
It is an increasing custom to offer edible gifts to bridal parties, display marijuana floral arrangements, and provide a diverse and sophisticated array of cannabis tinctures instead of personalized cocktails named after the couple like Brangelina and open bars that leave your guests indisposed the following day.
If you are a fellow cannabis enthusiast or would like a less destructive alternative to alcohol, you will enjoy learning about the top states in the US to host a cannabis ceremony and reception!
What happens in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas. One of the most popular wedding destinations in history is also cannabis friendly! Tourists are only allowed to carry 1 ounce or less; however, smoke lounges, bars, and venues are becoming more popular. The law specifies that weed can only be used on private property. If you are caught outside of private property, it can lead to a $1,000 fine.
The best way to locate a property that is 420-friendly is to employ search engines. There are some hotels and businesses that advertise as cannabis friendly. Sin city has long been a major tourist destination and with recreational cannabis available in some areas, tourists will want to find the best spots.
It was only a matter of time before cannabis launched in the room reservation space. Not just your typical vacation rental, Bud and Breakfast provides tourists with cannabis friendly listings. Some executive options even come with cannabis provided.
The Last Frontier is becoming a popular location for destination weddings with the magnificent sceneries, picturesque cruise ships, and enough outdoor activities to enjoy continual entertainment! Although Alaska would be the prime location for a destination wedding, like everything in Alaska, marijuana products are expensive and there is a limited supply.
Additionally, smoke lounges and venues are sparse throughout Alaska and you cannot openly smoke cannabis on any cruise lines… yet. One of the most common places mentioned in Trivago and other traveling sites is The Lakefront Anchorage!
With the legalization in Canada and potential of the USA decriminalizing or legalizing it federally, it could allow Alaska to augment their cannabis production and commercialization of it over the next couple of years specifically on cruise lines. Until then, if you find a reliable, local supplier and a private cabin to rent, you could throw a chic soiree with your closest friends and family!
In 2012, The Evergreen State gave the green light to plush green grass. It was a historical moment and solidified the state as being the one of the leading locations for cannabis tourism. It offers a variety of 420 products, lodging options, and activities.
Of course, Seattle is the hemp hub of Washington. Additionally, Seattle is the focal point of tourism for younger generations with its abundance of unique activities. This makes it optimal for hosting an eventful and exclusive wedding weekend.
You will find some of the best cannabis connoisseurs in regards to strains, tinctures, baked goods, infused recipes, and so much more! Kush Tourism set its sights on connecting cannabis-enthusiasts with 420-friendly lodging, venues, and tours.
Oregon went back to its roots of being the Pacific Wonderland when it legalized weed in 2014! Since then, Portland has become the heart of weed tourism on the West Coast providing a highly developed cannabis industry and retail options. Thank you, legislators! Some of the possibilities available to kush enthusiasts are private tours, party buses, delivery options, event coordinators, a weed bar, cannabis events, and infused catering. Quite the catalog!
With flights typically ranging from $200 to $600 (depending on location and time of the year), you could make it an affordable destination wedding to whittle down that guestlist and still keep it inexpensive enough for those you want to get lit with and smoke down. After the wedding, you can sail off on a cruise for the honeymoon, explore the beautiful state, or visit our friendly neighbors in Canada who legalized weed October 14, 2018!
The Centennial State is known for a myriad of reasons such as spectacular mountains, optimal skiing, white water rafting, and a host of state and national parks like the Garden of the Gods. It has been a popular tourist and wedding destination for a long time due to inexpensive and available flights and transportation, anyone can officiate the wedding, and Instagram worthy landscapes. #nofilter
Additionally, since 2012 when voters approved the legalization of recreational marijuana, Colorado has become the mecca for cannabis enthusiasts. Over the last five years, the state government augmented the diversity and convenience of weed-oriented retail, medical, and culinary selections.
The marijuana market has increased over 4 times since the commencement of retail cannabis sales in January 2014, which is an extremely impressive return on investment for Colorado and offers more opportunity for the weed wedding themes!
California, of course!
With the vastness of California and the volume of the marijuana market, there are thousands of options for your ceremony and reception. As a couple, you would have to narrow your destination wedding to a favorite city.
Popular tourist and wedding locations are Santa Margarita, Napa Valley, Beverly Hills, San Diego, Palm Springs, Las Angeles, Santa Monica, San Francisco, Catalina Island, Lake Tahoe, Santa Barbara, Malibu, Ojai Valley, and Culver City. Those are just the top picks and for every major city, there is another secluded town that sits on the side of a mountain overlooking an Ocean or an abundant forest.
Cannabis Tours, which will connect you and your guests to 420-friendly activities and hotels makes finding a cannabis accepting resort, venue, and wedding planner fairly easy in California. Since there is more competition in California–an established weed industry–and you have the opportunity to select your location, the planning might seem tedious and time consuming originally, but the budgeting could be better for you and your guests!
It is always good to shop around for the best packages and prices, which makes California an ideal location for your cannabis-themed destination wedding. However, in case you wanted a late-night reefer reception, it is illegal to sell marijuana between 10pm and 6am.
Michigan became purer when it legalized marijuana in 2018. Since it was so recently legalized, there is still a lot of room for growth in this niche industry of weed weddings. As a couple, you should probably wait until marijuana is legal to purchase and sell in 2020, but until then, there are some loop holes and information to consider in case you do not want to wait to have your cannabis-themed matrimony.
First, you can legally smoke weed on private property, but you cannot buy it legally yet. However, some businesses are getting around “selling” marijuana by “gifting” it to customers with a purchase of other products. The legislation could be modified to close this loophole soon, but at the moment, it still exists and are being employed by several businesses.
Individuals can legally carry up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and some businesses are marketing the BYOB, bring your own bud. If you find a wedding hall or reception venue that has proper zoning in their township, you could smoke legally as long as you follow Michigan law of not purchasing marijuana from vendors or selling it to guests. Needless to say, your wedding vendor could “gift” marijuana to you and your guests with the purchase of a wedding package and other products.
Although, this is a bit of a stretch. Michigan is a prime location to have a destination wedding with its magnificent lakes, bountiful forests, and plenty of options for locations and activities. However, until 2020, Michigan’s law prohibits too much to safely and legally host an intimate, cannabis-enriched wedding.
The Pine Tree state is known for numerous characteristics like whale watching, lobster shacks, inspiring state and national parks, lighthouses, and the Blair Witch Project. Along with having a solid resume for wildlife attractions, Maine was the first East Coast state to legalize marijuana.
Maine’s immense isolation makes it an intriguing spot for a cannabis destination wedding. However, it is a double-edged sword due to the fact many cities, venues, and residences are isolated, it may be a little more expensive for you and your guests.
There are three relatively friendly 420 destinations you can find. Locating a cottage or large private estates to host weddings are plentiful in Maine, but you will need to make arrangements and discuss it with owners before having a cannabis-infused shindig that may not be permitted on their property. They might not be too keen on having lighters and other fire-creating sources in a log cabin or cottage surrounded by brush and trees. Two of the top places you should definitely look up are Portland’s Pomegranate Inn and Auburn’s Maine Greenyards!
The Spirit of America has similar laws like other states previously mentioned such as you can carry up to 1oz of marijuana, only 21 years and older, and individuals can have up to 10oz in your home locked away. However, Massachusetts made national news and history when it opened the first legal cannabis store on the East Coast.
However, the accessibility to marijuana and 420-friendly lodging seems to be minimal, which you can search using the Smoke Here App. There are several places for smaller scale lodging and apartments, but it is difficult to pinpoint cannabis-associated venues, services, and entertainment. Even still, there will be regulations for cannabis products purchased and consumed in bars.
There are many beautiful, historical mansions, architectural structures for spectacular photographs, ballrooms, extensive gardens, and country clubs to explore a plethora of wedding options. Unfortunately, there are not many venues that advertise openly they are accepting weddings, but it would be a glorious experience to use cannabis alongside so much history.
The Green Mountain State is deemed one of the more progressive East Coast states. However, when it comes to legalizing weed, the state is taking its time to get the legislation correct and more importantly, the regulation and safety of the marijuana distribution. Considering Vermont could quickly become a hash hub for growers and distribution due to the elevated amount of rain, they are trying trim down their potential growth and exploitation of the market.
Luckily, there are many cannabis enthusiasts that are banding together to provide the ultimate experience like Unique Venues. If you are still not finding what you are looking for in Vermont, you could always use popular sites like Wedding Wire to discover cool cannabis venues and see if they would be willing to host a cannabis-oriented event. Personally, I am excited to see what Vermont has to offer as the market and industry develops plus the glorious sceneries, landscapes, and outdoor activities makes it my top choice in the next couple of years!
The only hiccup to many of these places is finding private property or a private venue that will host your event. However, there are several professionals you can reach out to for help! For instance, Cultivating Spirits is located in Las Vegas, Colorado, and California!
There is also Top Shelf Budtending located in California, Nevada, Colorado, and Oregon. As an experienced event coordinator in Michigan, it would be challenging to figure out the legal barriers initially; but if you partner with a local professional, it should be as close to a cannabis cake walk as a wedding can get! Good luck planning and remember to have fun with it!