We recently wrote about the re-emergence of the legacy weed brand Champelli, for which San Francisco’s Chronic Culture produced an elaborate 5-course Italian dinner for about 40 guests, served with hash-hole joints worth over $100. Champelli’s strain Cassis was infused into salt served with the meal.
Neil Dellacava of Chronic Culture says that events that curate weed and dining are nothing entirely new, citing for example the Cannaisseur Series by Chef Coreen Carroll, which has been running and focusing on culinary and cannabis curated events since 2015, according to their website.
That said, Dellacava sees an uptick in weed related events in general in places like California—a state lacking in legal, recreational public venues for weed consumption.
Dellacava says that Chronic Culture, his weed event company, started doing culinary events this year, including Champelli’s recent dinner and another dinner event with the brand CAM.
Dellacava says that he plans to now start hosting these weed and cuisine events monthly. It brings together two of his interests, he says.
“I’ve always been passionate about food and weed. Since we got the office space in San Francisco with a commercial kitchen it was a no-brainer,” Dellacava said.
Culinary weed events are more of a trend now, Dellacava says, because weed brands need a way to stand out from the crowded dispensary shelves.
“As stores move more towards a grab and go model there has to be a way to have a more exclusive personal brand experience, especially for the higher priced brands going for the exclusivity model,” Dellacava said.
At the start of 2022, Emma Guzman of the indie weed brand Fidel’s started her own company called Smoke Good Eat Good, which orchestrates a high-end meal for a group of invited guests that is served with (and infused with) Fidel’s weed.
Fidel’s is a high-end luxury weed and fashion brand, best known for inventing the hash hole joint. Guzman says that the Smoke Good Eat Good events help her to market Fidel’s weed while creating an experience around her passions for weed and cuisine. She even sees herself expanding to include other weed brands as well.
Guzman says the business brings together two things that she’s passionate about.
“I started this company out of the passion for food and the plant. I thought, hey I can infuse my favorite foods and make it into an experience where you can smoke good while you’re eating quality food,” Guzman said.
For each event, Guzman organizes a 5-7 course meal that is served with a gift box containing a half ounce of flower and two hash holes.
“In between the courses I’ll go out and give joints while they’re waiting as well,” Guzman said.
So far this year Guzman has hosted three Smoke Good Eat Good events, the most recent being in Miami. Next year she’ll host a Spring/Summer event in Los Angeles.
Natural High Company based in Texas has been running a “Plates and Plants” dinner series that creates what they call “a multi-layered cannabis and culinary experience.” The company targets social equity and minority-owned cannabis businesses.
“We entered the market in 2019 truly focused on education, normalization, and social equity. Introducing the dinners in 2020 was a way for us to build more community and elevate cannabis the way we see the plant,” said CEO Lori Lord.
Lord said that high-end dining experiences allow weed marketers to reach a more elite clientele.
“Curating luxury dinner experiences allows for the plant to be introduced the way the majority of the more sophisticated consumers of cannabis actually want to experience the plant, breaking the ‘hippie stoner’ stigma,” Lord said. “It allows for the plant to be showcased in an elite light.”
“I’ve always said that food, music, and sports bring people together. Now we’ve added cannabis to the mix, resulting in a very communal organic way to bring people from all walks of life together,” said Natural High Company COO Alycia Hightower.
Lord and Hightower most recently held a Plates and Plants dinner in Los Angeles on Juneteenth honoring Black Changemakers in Cannabis. It brought together brand leaders and community activists to smoke joints provided by brands like Maven and Clade9, and to eat a chef-curated meal. In 2023 they are also producing their festival “Eats, Beats & Bud,” and will be adding new markets to the dinner series and will be supporting other industry brand experiences through their consulting agency.
Twice this past year Los Angeles-based Bartz Barbeque teamed up with indie top-shelf brand Redline Reserve to offer “all you can eat BBQ” by about a dozen local gourmet BBQ vendors. Attendees were served a large joint containing Redline Reserve’s Super Chief strain, and had access to a dab bar by the brand Cali Blaise on site. The dinners lasted four hours and included music and entertainment.
More recently, the exotics brand The Ten Co. has been promoting their Japanese cuisine-inspired strain packaging with actual Japanese cuisine curated experiences in places like L.A. and Miami.