Cannabis legalization is still pretty fresh, and for many Canadians, encountering weed at a party is a new experience. With this in mind, a little consideration can go a long way towards making guests comfortable, whether they consume cannabis or not.
“When we talk about etiquette, we’re talking about consideration and respect and honesty and how those principles can be used to create positive social interactions,” says etiquette expert and cannabis enthusiast Lizzie Post, who is the great-great-granddaughter of legendary manners maven Emily Post.
Here are some more tips to consider when planning your next cannabis-focused or cannabis-friendly party:
Set the scene
Cannabis parties can absolutely be classy affairs, says Julia Savazzi, co-founder of social club Elevated Culture Toronto. “Esthetic considerations should include all of the senses—sight, sound, touch, and smell,” she says, so put extra thought into lighting, music, and food.
If Mary Jane is the guest of honour—in other words, if cannabis is the focus of your party, consider providing rolling stations, grinders, ashtrays, papers, and extra glassware for your guests.
There is nothing less appealing than going to a cannabis party and being banished to the dimly-lit driveway to smoke, so do your best to provide an accessible and comfortable place to socialize, offering clear instructions on where it’s okay for guests to smoke and vape.
Remember, not all cannabis consumers are comfortable in a cloud of smoke, and not all your guests will be consumers; offering clarity on if and where they can smoke is cannabis etiquette 101.
Prepare to share
‘Puff puff pass’ is a classic stoner mantra designed to keep people from bogarting, or monopolizing a joint. To this rule, Post adds that anyone who packs a pipe or bong bowl should pass it to the right unlit; if it’s a joint being shared, then she who rolled the joint gets to light it before passing it to the left.
Speaking of joints, consider your guests’ health and safety by setting out a small bowl of water at your rolling station, so guests can activate the glue on rolling papers sans saliva. Please also avoid leaving unnecessary spit on a joint, vape, bong, or pipe before passing.
Offer something for everyone
Variety is the spice of a good cannabis party, and there are many ways to serve cannabis, from joints and bongs to edibles and cannabis cocktails, to thoughtful touches like setting out (clearly labelled) CBD soaps and infused hand lotions in the bathroom.
If you’re serving edibles, or cannabis-infused foods, be sure to label their ingredients—and most importantly, their dosage and potency information. Savazzi notes that you should also offer non-infused snacks and water—just be clear on which foods contain cannabis and which don’t.
Practice safe sesh
As the host of a cannabis party, it is important to provide a safe, accessible, and inclusive space for both consumers and non consumers. Beyond setting the scene for a good party, this also means employing harm-reduction techniques such as labelling all cannabis products with dose and potency, and safe transportation options.
As with all etiquette, cannabis etiquette is about being considerate, communicative, and transparent. Putting your guests’ health and comfort first not only sets the stage for good times, it also helps consuming and non-consuming guests alike put stigma behind them.
“Your guests are going to make genuine human connections with like-minded people,” says Savazzi. “It is an empowering, uplifting, and unifying experience”.