Walking into the Cannabis Wedding Expo at Bespoke in the Westfield San Francisco Centre, all the expected elements were in place. There were gowns and cupcakes, bouquets and tote bags, and a sea of smiling vendors ready to peddle their wares.
Vanessa Corrales stood behind a cotton candy machine, spinning tasty fluff for inquiring patrons. While streaks of blue and purple in her hair hinted at the product she was there to sell, the cotton candy in question was in fact a natural white, the result of Corrales’ commitment to avoid artificial coloring, flavors, and preservatives. Her company, B-Edibles, produces cotton candy in flavors like rose petal, watermelon, lavender, and chocolate.
Oh, and it’s also infused with THC.
“Sometimes, it’s hard to feel included in the cannabis industry,” Corrales explains. “It’s so much easier to talk about marijuana when you’re talking about cotton candy.”
B-Edibles operates out of San Diego, but Corrales has been making the rounds at wedding expos like the one that hit San Francisco on April 30. She enjoys chatting with local wedding planners and couples planning their nuptials, and sees the lucrative industry as a great way to continue integrating cannabis culture into the mainstream.
As a whole, the Cannabis Wedding Expo was a fairly polished, high-end affair. As there was no dosing allowed on the premises, many things were discussed in hypotheticals, and samples like the ones offered by B-Edibles came sans medication. Tiered cakes boasted the ultimate potential elevated wedding dessert, while actual buds were shown behind glass, an ironic museum to a legal product rendered off-limits as part of the Expo’s arrangement with Bespoke and Westfield.
For Janay, owner of High Vibe Bride, she’s seen a noticeable increase in demand for hemp wedding dresses, both within cannabis-enthusiast circles and beyond. Based out of Kansas City, Mo. — where she concedes folks aren’t quite as on-board with her concept as they are out west — Janay has found that many brides-to-be are sold on the designs, leaving the fact that they are also sustainable “icing on the cake.”
Janay also notes that while some customers do request dresses that boldly reflect their passion for cannabis, others are simply looking for something with a natural aura. One dress she had on display segued from a white bodice to deep blues and purples, while some models in her employ walked the Expo floor in other similarly executed outfits.
Other vendors ran booths offering organic flower arrangements and infused creams and salves to be considered as party favors — and even M Box, a subscription service to receive a monthly package of various cannabis goodies and ephemera.
Perhaps more than anything else, the vibe at the Cannabis Wedding Expo was one of business-as-usual. While the concept surely could never have thrived even two years ago, now the opportunity to bring cannabis into the posh confines of wedding planning seems viable. The interest is there — and unlike other industries, cannabis continues to be ripe with profit and potential expansion. Why not see what comes of adding a little herb to your vows?
Beyond weddings, Corrales also uses her new enterprise to dispel some of the stigma she says surrounds cannabis and the Latino community in Southern California.
“My 96-year-old grandmother uses medicated sugar that I bring to her,” she says. While getting her grandmother to try “mota” was a struggle, Corrales reports that now she regularly enjoys it with tea in her home in Mexico.
Corrales was beaming as she whipped up cotton candy cones for curious visitors. Yes, she was at work, but she was also having a blast.
While the idea of a Cannabis Wedding Expo may seem rather far-fetched, the wedding industry itself is arguably plenty weird in its own right. Sure, Flowers on Flowers’ bouquets with real marijuana might seem extreme to some people, but is it any more extreme than gold-plated salad forks or making sure your vegan college roommate isn’t seated near your uncle who loves hunting?
If anything, the inherent beauty of adding cannabis to a wedding is the opportunity it gives for everyone to take a breather from pomp and circumstance and just chill. After all, weddings are supposed to fun, and what could be more fun than some home-spun cotton candy with a little something extra?