Aleecia: Love and Marij started about a year ago after CEO, Niki McDonald, finished filming MSNBC’s docu-series, “Pot Barons of Colorado”. As director and producer of the series, she was immersed in the beginning of the cannabis industry and saw an opportunity. When none of her friends back home could imagine upscale cannabis use, she wanted to create a vehicle to help showcase upscale cannabis events and help newly engaged couples easily connected wedding vendors who would happily honor their requests to incorporate cannabis into their wedding day. We hope that this sparks a conversation and eventually a revolution to erase outdated negative stigmas.
Aleecia: Love and Marij is a website that lists cannabis friendly wedding vendors, dispensaries offering discounts to newly engaged couples and cannabis wedding planning advice. We also list upscale cannabis products great for wedding parties and date ideas and write about how cannabis can be used to enhance your relationship.
ANON: What is the greatest misconception people have about cannabis and cannabis products?
Aleecia: A lot of people doubt the medicinal properties of cannabis or don’t realize that cannabis can energize you or help give you confidence to get on the dance floor. Ironically, most regular cannabis consumers don’t internally identify with the cartoonish rasta stereotypes and smoky marijuana leaves. They’d rather have sophisticated and elevated products because that’s how they view themselves. Thankfully, more cannabis companies and brands are moving towards elegance and subtly.
ANON: How popular are weed-friendly weddings currently? Do you think this trend in event planning is on the rise?
Aleecia: Cannabis consumption events, like seasonal dinners and yoga events, are gaining popularity. It’s a good opportunity for multiple companies to support each other through experiential marketing and it helps normalize the act of smoking. We have a lot of inquires from couples who are interested in weed friendly weddings and I think this wedding season we’ll see a lot more! The largest problem in expanding cannabis events is lack of clarity in consumption laws. Love and Marij is working to bring clarity to how to legally incorporate cannabis into your upscale event with an infographic we plan to release in September.
ANON: How do the families of the bride and groom usually react to the idea of this type of wedding?
Aleecia: Since a lot of people have family still in prohibition states, it can be difficult. But since the general public has become more accepting of medicinal marijuana it’s getting easier. Coming out of the cannacloset can be hard, especially for people who find themselves in leadership positions or who have no support system, since it’s still a federally illegal substance. The hardest part is starting the conversation. If you try to educate them about cannabis first then you may be surprised when they start asking you questions or become interested. Years of propaganda have made older generations nervous about cannabis, its effects and it’s hard to overwrite programmed fear. So be gentle, but honest, with your family if you want to have a cannabar at your wedding or if you just want to let your loved ones know you smoke. We have articles about how to talk to your family about cannabis on our website as well as a myriad of helpful hints online from reputable sources if you need a good place to start.
Aleecia: Finding a venue that is in compliance with the law has to be one of the biggest challenges. When people hear anything related to cannabis, weed or pot they immediately shut them down. They think of Reefer Madness happening on their land and they’ll be responsible for the first death by The Devil’s Lettuce. But once venues host a cannabis consumption event, a wedding or a private dinner, they notice that they’re more tame than most alcoholic events and the host is invited back. The number of places who have said yes to hosting cannabis events, even in the last year, has grown and I expect it to keep growing as more people start to better understand the law.
Aleecia: Legal or not, cannabis exists at most weddings! Niki, our CEO, still lives in a state where cannabis is outlawed but witnessed a groom hand out pre-rolled joints in Altoid boxes to select wedding guests. That’s when the party really started! We get stories all the time about pre-legalization wedding trail blazers, but they prefer to keep their stories quiet. Hopefully soon couples won’t have to hide their love for cannabis or each other.
Aleecia: I came to Colorado wanting to do cannabis events about a year ago, when most people were still hesitant about consumption parties. When I first heard about the Cannabis Wedding Expo, I thought – Cannabis and Weddings?! Genius! I knew immediately I wanted the company I worked for, at the time, to be a part of it. When the time was right a few months later, I applied as an event coordinator and got a call two days later from Niki! The intent behind what Love and Marij does is exactly what I believed in and still do. Our main purpose is to normalize cannabis consumption and revolutionize the stoner stigma through elegant, elevated events and content. When Niki told me that, I was hooked and have been ever since! I get to do exactly what I came down to Colorado to do because I made connections, wasn’t afraid to be honest with what I wanted and met incredible people who have similar visions of the future.
ANON: What is something you would tell people who are skeptical about the idea of hosting a cannabis-friendly event?
Aleecia: Most people who host cannabis friendly events are skeptical because they’re unsure of the law. They vary state to state so contacting a lawyer, if you’re having a larger event, is usually the best idea. Soon, Love and Marij will offer resources on the legality of having a cannabis event in different states. But other than that, there’s nothing to worry about. Bring your own weed is the standard but if you want to make your guests feel extra fancy, hire a knowledge budtender to better educate and help with dosing. Guests who are high tend to be a bit more agreeable than their drunken counterparts and if the smoke itself is a concern then designate an area where consumption is okay.
ANON: What are some benefits of hosting this type of event?
Aleecia: Guests who are high tend to be a bit more agreeable than their drunken counterparts and there’s usually less tears or drama. You get to try everyone’s best shit and argue about who the real master grower is. Any food that you have will be the best food ever and at the end of the night everyone will remember, even if hazily, what happened instead of totally blacking out.