Couples are adding cannabis to their weddings. How to do it in a legal, safe way

Click to play video: 'Calgary hosts Canada’s first cannabis wedding expo'
Calgary hosts Canada’s first cannabis wedding expo
WATCH: Calgary hosts Canada’s first cannabis wedding expo – Mar 16, 2019

Since it was legalized a year ago, more Canadians are using cannabis, Now, some are even planning their weddings around it.

From bud bouquets to marijuana food pairings, there are plenty of different ways you can incorporate cannabis to your nuptials.

The growing desire to put weed on wedding menus doesn’t surprise Leslie Andrachuk. She’s a chartered marketer and CEO of Alpha Woman, a digital publishing company focused on supporting female leadership in the cannabis industry.

READ MORE: ‘The sky didn’t fall’: Police, lawyers still adjusting after cannabis legalization

“There’s a huge opportunity in this industry,” Andrachuk told Global News.

In her work planning events with Alpha Woman, she’s seen first-hand the increase in clients who want to offer cannabis the same way they would alcohol at larger events.

Story continues below advertisement

For those couples planning their wedding right now, experts say adding weed to the menu has many benefits.

The case for having cannabis at your wedding

In Andrachuk’s opinion, making your wedding cannabis-friendly can only serve to make your guests feel more at home.

Now that recreational marijuana is legal, it’s a person’s right to partake — but at events like weddings, it’s often the case that there’s nowhere appropriate to do so.

“It’s a really great idea to offer individuals who want to consume cannabis a segregated, safe, beautiful place,” said Andrachuk.

It’s also been a longstanding issue that people who need regular doses of medical cannabis often don’t have anywhere to do so. “Medical cannabis users have long needed a place to be able to consume safely at events like this,” she said.

“Make them feel comfortable and make them feel safe — just as safe as the people who like to drink alcohol.”

READ MORE: After a year of legal weed, some questions we’ve answered and some we haven’t

Canadian Cannabis Wedding Expo co-founders Corey and Laureen Cauryn Cameron want to help enthusiasts incorporate cannabis into their big day.

Story continues below advertisement

Laureen is a wedding planner, and as legalization was approaching last year, cannabis integration became a prevalent topic of conversation within her industry.

“People have always enjoyed cannabis at these events, but typically it’s in the parking lot or little secret groups going outside,” she told Global News.

“How are we going to handle this new variable in our events?”

Click to play video: 'Study shows students driving after consuming cannabis'
Study shows students driving after consuming cannabis

That’s when she and her husband decided to create the Expo, in the hopes that they could connect couples with the appropriate vendors.

“With these conversations coming up, I decided we should provide some leadership and some guidance in an elegant way,” Cameron said.

Story continues below advertisement

There’s a ‘risk’ associated with serving weed

Unfortunately, most provincial governments have restrictions on how marijuana can be distributed at a wedding or other large-scale events.

“There’s no permit. The only legal distribution is through retail sales,” said Laureen. “If you are incorporating cannabis into your wedding, you have to follow provincial guidelines for gifting — whatever that might be in your province.”

If you are following the gifting guidelines, the marijuana needs to be purchased from a government retailer or grown in your own house.

READ MORE: Cannabis can help with better sex, but low doses are key

Andrachuk said these kinds of legal roadblocks can lead to missed opportunities and unsatisfied guests.

“It’s a constant frustration. For people who aren’t that interested in alcohol, we would prefer to be able to offer them [cannabis],” she said. “It’s up to [adults] to educate themselves.”
Story continues below advertisement

The two hope the law will loosen up over time. “There’s definitely room for growth and improvement,” Laureen said.

A lot of rules and legal policy surrounding the use of cannabis is still quite tight-gripped … but it will be interesting to see how it relaxes as people realize on October 18, 2018, there weren’t a million car crashes and people missing work.

“It’s a very safe product to consume and most people do it with a level head.”

Different ways to feature the flower in your big day

There are plenty of ways to incorporate weed into your wedding. In Laureen’s experience, the most common way is to invite your guests to bring their own and smoke it.

“A lot of people are having it as a cocktail hour-type thing, so after the ceremony,” she said. “[Also] very common right now is within the florals.”

“Bud bars,” which mimic an alcoholic bar but have all kinds of cannabis on offer, are also an option.

READ MORE: Here’s how much cannabis costs across Canada

They typically have a budtender on hand to “inform and educate,” said Laureen. “Adults can make their own informed decisions.”

Story continues below advertisement

“Some people don’t want to have alcohol at their wedding or want people drinking. Cannabis can offer a good alternative.”

However, Andrachuk says the hosts should exercise extreme caution when “gifting” cannabis to guests.

“You have to buy it yourself, just as if… you were to give a little branded bottle of wine,” she said.

“My advice to… anyone doing this — because the regulations are very gray — there’s always going to be a risk.”

Sponsored content