When MedMen, one of the US’s largest cannabis dispensaries, declared in February that ‘cannabis was the new normal’ they weren't wrong.
In the US, widespread cannabis legalisation is creating a hugely diverse new market, with every industry getting a green dusting.
Over in the UK, much of the cannabis conversation is around CBD or cannabidiol - a non-psychoactive compound of the cannabis plant.
And it's not just the UK going wild for it, with Kim K driving its popularity with her CBD themed baby shower over the weekend starring LOVE client, Mr. Moxey's mints.
Consultancy AT Kearney likened the rise of CBD to the 'new gold rush’ and predicts the market will reach £37.9bn by 2020.
Cannabis is becoming ever more intersectional and accepted, as both form and packaging move beyond buds and oils into the realm of lifestyle and luxury goods.
Here are 3 x ways cannabis is becoming the new normal:
Cannabis is set to have a big impact on the restaurant market with reports from Technomic that nearly two-thirds (63%) of cannabis consumers use marijuana before going out to a restaurant or bar.
This weed pre-gaming significantly influences food and drink consumption, with the munchies affecting 63% of users who report an increase in their food intake after cannabis consumption. Alcohol consumption, on the other hand, goes down.
Fast-food like McDonald's is the most popular food of choice for the cannabis crowd. American fast-food chain Carl’s Jr. is responding by launching a cannabis-infused burger called Rocky Mountain High: Cheese Burger Delight for 420.
Another stoner favourite, Ben & Jerry’s, took a more meaningful approach to 420, however. To promote social action, they partnered with a marijuana dispensary, Caliva, with a “blunt” message about the racial disparity of who gets incarcerated for marijuana-related crimes.
For as long as weed culture has existed, food and cannabis have been interconnected. Now weed is becoming a normal part of day-to-day life in the US with restaurants, hotels and brands catering for the munchies crowd.
Department store Barneys has opened a luxury cannabis boutique in their Beverly Hills Store. Designed for "high-functioning adults who maybe use cannabis once or twice a week".
Designer bongs, stash boxes, ashtrays and gold rolling papers sit alongside wellness and beauty products. You can’t buy weed itself there, but you can place a delivery order from Barneys’ marijuana-fulfilment partner, Beboe.
To help wealthy cannabis fans indulge in their favourite herb from the comfort of their new home, developer and designer Ramtin Ray Nosrati is building five ‘Cannabis Mansions’ in LA.
For $30-million your new mansion will be kitted out with all the usual Kardashian-esque luxuries, but will also feature an indoor garden behind a glass wall, where a gardener (the service is included in the home’s price) will tend and harvest both marijuana plants and vegetables.
The luxury market is opening its eyes to the huge opportunity from high-net-worth individuals who want to enjoy cannabis in the same way they enjoy the rest of their luxury lifestyle.
The greater acceptance of cannabis, alongside a declining interest in alcohol, is driving a growing appetite for cannabis-infused drinks that recreate the enjoyment of alcohol without the full psychotropic effects.
California Dreamin’s cannabis soda is a bottled carbonated fruit juice, laced with 10mg THC to offer a ‘light, fun buzz’, while the brewing company Lagunitas has created Hi Fi Hops; a THC-infused sparkling water.
Big booze producers are feeling the effect and are heavily investing in their future competitors. Constellation Brands, producer of Corona beer, invested $5-billion for a 38-percent stake in Canadian weed giant Canopy, with plans to introduce a line of infused drinks and other products.
Craft breweries like Nevada-based Two Roots Brewing Co. are dedicating themselves to non-alcoholic canna-beer, which is invariably less calorific than a traditional beer due to the lack of alcohol.
Brands are finally waking up to the realities of a world where people choose cannabis over beer.
SEEN has been compiled this month by our guest-editor and Junior Strategist, Alex Theaker.
Want to say hello, ask questions or challenge his cultural knowledge? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.