Pot Users Splurge on $800 Bongs as Stigmas Fade
(Bloomberg) -- Cannabis accessories are getting the luxury treatment, from $800 bongs designed by artists to $600 bespoke tabletop lighters and $300 vanity trays.
These upscale products are catching on as stigmas around marijuana dissipate and its consumers seek to show off cannabis culture. The items are meant to be proudly displayed and double as home décor and art, rather than paraphernalia that’s stashed away when company arrives.
“For a very long time, the only choice that a consumer had was inside the stoner meme, or the stoner-centric world,” said Nidha Lucky Handa, chief executive officer of cannabis brand Leune, which is in part backed by NBA stars Carmelo Anthony and John Wall. “Does that describe every consumer? No, not even close.”
There are now luxury versions of virtually every cannabis-related product for those who can afford them. Shoppers that routinely splurge on discretionary purchases like designer clothing or luxury cars are also likely willing to spend a premium on cannabis gear.
Then there’s fashion label Edie Parker, known best for flashy acrylic handbag inset with designs like a toadstool house or a broccoli floret. It added a selection of luxury cannabis accessories to its fashion boutique on New York’s ritzy Madison Avenue in 2019, putting bongs and bowls next to clutches and asserting that cannabis has a place in even the haughtiest shopping area, surrounded by fashion houses like Emilio Pucci and Lanvin.
Brett Heyman, Edie Parker’s founder and creative director, said even though artisanal pipes and glassware have long been available, display items weren’t popular.
“We looked at it as an extension of our home collection,” said Heyman, whose shop has since moved downtown near other trendy fashion brands such as Reformation and A.P.C. “We were into this idea that these beautiful accessories would help de-stigmatize and normalize cannabis.”
Mainstream retailers are getting on board. Urban Outfitters, for example, sells Edie Parker’s grinders, lighters and stash boxes in its “herbal accessories” section.
While it’s still early, investors are getting interested as well. Raising money for a cannabis business can be difficult due to vice clauses and the lack of federal legalization, but the smoking accessories realm has no such hang-ups.
“Accessories will probably end up being a VC favorite because it doesn’t touch the plant,” said Catharine Dockery, a former Walmart Inc. executive who now runs her fund Vice Ventures. “That being said, this is all uncharted area.”
NUMBER OF THE WEEK
- 38%: The amount that cannabis stocks have declined since their 2021 high in early February, according to a calculation based on Bloomberg’s Global Cannabis CP Index.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“With first-quarter reports, we’ll see continued strong revenue and earnings growth. The second quarter is where it will get trickier from a year-over-year standpoint, because that’s where we saw the real push from the pandemic. Lockdowns had just started, there was stockpiling and cannabis businesses declared essential,” said Matt Hawkins, managing partner at Entourage Effect Capital, in a phone interview about the upcoming spate of cannabis earnings.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Credit Suisse Group AG clamped down on its dealings with cannabis-related securities as part of an ongoing risk management review.
- Tilray Inc.’s new CEO Irwin Simon says the company’s deal with Aphria Inc. has created a powerhouse that’s looking at global brands.
- The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a pair of challenges from marijuana companies disputing the IRS’s denial of business tax breaks.
- Acreage Holdings Inc. announced a joint venture with Medterra CBD LLC for nationwide distribution.
- Heritage Cannabis Partners is partnering with Como Health LLC to produce branded products for consumers in Missouri.
- Village Farms International reports first-quarter earnings before the market opens.
- NewAge Inc. reports first-quarter earnings before the market opens.
- Curaleaf Holdings Inc. reports first-quarter earnings after the market closes.
- Acreage Holdings Inc. reports first-quarter earnings after the market closes.
- Akerna reports third-quarter earnings after the market closes.
- Charlotte’s Web reports first-quarter earnings before the market opens.
- Aleafia Health Inc. reports first-quarter earnings before the market opens.
- MedMen Enterprises Inc. reports earnings for its fiscal third quarter after the market closes.
- Green Thumb Industries reports first-quarter earnings after the market closes.
- GrowGeneration Corp. reports first-quarter earnings after the market closes.
- Trulieve Cannabis Corp. reports first-quarter earnings before the market opens.
- CV Sciences Inc. reports first-quarter earnings after the market closes.
- Aurora Cannabis Inc. reports earnings for its fiscal third quarter after the market closes.
- Supreme Cannabis Co. reports earnings for its fiscal third quarter after the market closes.
- Vireo Health International reports first-quarter earnings before the market opens.
- Lucky Leaf Expo in Austin, Texas, through 5/15
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.