These days, legal weed is the new fall foliage: a rare and special plant that requires a few hours journey to experience. But not every Apple Store-inspired dispensary or overdesigned pre-roll pack is worth the trip. Laws are so strict in most places that cannabis social spaces — like a bar but for pot — are few and far between. Still, some innovative entrepreneurs are conceiving of a future where marijuana integrates into our weekend fun as seamlessly as alcohol does now. Here are the ultimate destinations for the cannabis tourist.
In the only state where it was literally illegal for black people to live until 1926, you might be surprised to find an entire cannabis dispensary devoted to hip hop history. But last summer, Green Hop founders Karanja Crews and Nicole Kennedy established a beacon of beats, vinyl, art and social justice. In a green and yellow Craftsman house, customers can peruse strains like “Illmatic” and “Jigga” while A Tribe Called Quest bumps on the stereo. Profits go in part to help train people of color to join the predominantly white marijuana industry. The shop opened on Tupac Shakur’s birthday and has since hosted a block party headlined by the socially conscious duo Dead Prez.
Mason Jar Events
For the past five years, Mason Jar has been pioneering the future of marijuana dining: farm-to-table meals prepared by James Beard award-winning chefs, with a cannabis strain strategically paired to each course. From yoga brunches to seasonal dinners, each event is unique and thoughtfully designed, like the weed-enhanced, Etsy-cute wedding you’ve always wanted your friends to throw.
West Hollywood, California
Sex toy superstore the Pleasure Chest has spent the past half century helping folks feel comfortable expressing and exploring the full range of sexualities and kinks, with or without a vibrating doodad. So who better to design a safe and welcoming environment for socializing while high? Pleasure med, owner Brian Robinson’s new rooftop marijuana lounge and dispensary, opens later this year, and will share a parking lot with the adult emporium, though the two will be separate businesses — Pleasure Med is about pot, not sex. The space will be all plants and natural light, with low tables and long sofas. Robinson envisions a sensory experience that will stimulate without overwhelming, inspired in part by the music and atmosphere of Havana, Cuba. On any given night you might find burlesque dancers, or a stoney, tactile workshop where you drip honey onto a blindfolded friend’s arm. Robinson has a strong track record of bringing the proud queer community of West Hollywood together; his past events have featured everything from sword swallowers to spanking stations.
Craft Cannabis Club
After being entrapped by the cops in 2012, Detroit cannabis entrepreneur Earl Carruthers fought the law — and Earl Carruthers won. Paying to pursue an appeal in a notoriously racist system made him something of a local hero, as did his stylish pot social club, the Orange Room. Now that Michigan legalized recreational use last November and the laws are shifting, Carruthers is opening a new club and event space with all the legal i’s dotted and t’s crossed. Expect the debut of the Craft Cannabis Club early this summer.
As Massachusetts slowly rolls out its adult-use marijuana shops, this itinerant private club in Boston has led the way on novel events that bring soulful vibes to 420-friendly spaces. Founder Syd Harvey aims to promote small and minority-owned businesses with holistic, community-driven events that attract both cannabis users and those that abstain. Past gatherings have included stand-up comedy, group drumming, a masquerade dance party, and a Harry Potter-themed soiree, complete with Quidditch Pong, Divination lessons, and Infused Liquid Luck.