Adult-use cannabis is now legal in 19 U.S. states. And it’s driving new trends for a younger generation craving experiential events and fresh takes on traditional functions.

Enter: The wedding cannabis bar.

Anecdotal reports from recreationally-legal cannabis states show that many couples offer their guests cannabis. This can be instead of, or in addition to, the traditional open bar featuring beer, wine, and liquor.

“It grows exponentially each year,” Cat Goldberg, the founder of WeedBar in Los Angeles, told a reporter from Nexstar Media. “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.'”

But what exactly is a cannabis bar? What should it offer to keep a party light and energized? How do you find a budtender and ensure you’re going about the whole thing legally? Let’s dive in.

What is a cannabis bar?

A cannabis bar is precisely what it sounds like: A bar area in an event setting that offers legal cannabis products to consenting adults. However, don’t just think of a messy table with a bunch of weed haphazardly strewn across it. Think elegantly rolled joints, delicious infused hors d’oeuvres, decadent desert edibles, and clearly labeled concentrates with high-end hardware for consumption.

What strains of cannabis should I offer to ensure people aren’t falling asleep on the dancefloor?

First, hire a DJ that’ll energize the crowd throughout the night. Once you’ve got that down, start thinking about strains. While it’s easy to think “sativa” since it’s the type of cannabis best known for keeping people energized and creative, many people experience anxiety on pure sativas.

You’ll want to go to a cannabis retail store and talk to a budtender about good hybrids that provide an uplifting but balanced high. 

You can even make sure you have different options and have fun with the theme. Many strains that fall into this category have names easily tied into a wedding event. Think Wedding Cake, which provides euphoria while calming the mind and body. Purple Champagne, another apt choice, is a sativa-dominant hybrid strain that users at the authoritative Leafly database rank as uplifting and energetic.

Where should I get my edibles?

Every major metropolitan area with legal adult-use cannabis should have a licensed bakery specializing in cannabis-infused goods. Google is your friend here. But the keyword is “licensed.” You want to check that you’re providing your guests legal goodies, and that they’re not going to make anybody sick due to poor kitchen practices.

Inside the Cannabis Bar Wedding Trend
Photo: Scott Griessel via 123RF

How much cannabis do I need?

One gram of cannabis is the standard for a traditional joint. That means there are 28 joints in an ounce of cannabis. Assume that most of your guests will share those joints and that, unless you know your friends are true stoners, one joint is enough to get two to three people high. Also, assume that not all of your guests will consume. Planning for one gram of cannabis per guest will likely leave enough for post-honeymoon leftovers (because traveling with cannabis is dangerous).

Pro-tip: Ask for very low-dose edibles (2.5mg should do) to prevent overconsumption.

I need somebody to roll these joints — and a budtender. Help!

Rolling 100 joints is no fun. It would be best if you had somebody who can knowledgeably serve your guests at your wedding so you can focus on the important stuff — like saying your vows.

That’s where you want to bring in a professional. Companies like Weedbar in Los Angeles and Love and Marij in Colorado know local laws and will help you get set up safely and legally.

There’s also a traveling Cannabis Wedding Expo that brings together engaged couples, cannabis brands, and wedding planners to potentially work together.

There are ways to do this yourself without the help of an expert, but cannabis law is complicated and fragmented state by state. For example, a location with a liquor license, like a wedding venue, may not be permitted to host a cannabis bar according to your state’s law. You may need to set up a separate tent on the grounds.

So to avoid risking potential legal action or a lawsuit by an attendee who accidentally consumed too much weed, seek out an experienced company. An established company can mitigate risk and work out the details with your wedding venue, which is likely not used to hosting 420-friendly events. 

Also: Congratulations!