For years, the world of cannabis accessories was dominated by glassblowers and self-taught urban artists creating for an outlaw stoner culture. Now? Legalization has ushered in a new aesthetic for weed that takes cues from industries like fashion and wellness. Think more Goop than Tuff Gong.
“It doesn’t have to be the ‘stoner’ image, you can project the image of yourself that you portray in every other aspect of your life,” says Jeanine Moss, who founded AnnaBís, a line of handbags with scent-blocking layers of resin film and concealed pouches. The objects and utensils of today announce themselves with a wink instead of a water pipe burble. Doreen Sullivan’s My Bud Vase line, a collection of dual-purpose bongs that double as vases, seeks to place a formerly stigmatized practice on the credenza alongside the aromatherapy candles and Heath plates. “People needed to enjoy smoking cannabis in their homes and bongs got the job done but they weren’t pretty, discreet or easy to conceal,” Sullivan says. “I wanted to make them an art piece.”
The demand for stylish accoutrements has given rise to design-centric digital platforms like Tetra, where Italian industrial designer Achille Castiglioni’s Spirale Ashtray for Alessi is sold alongside Norden essential oil sprays and concrete Light & Ladder containers inspired by brutalist architecture. Female-oriented Sweetflag separates its products into three categories: Before (Japanese tea canisters, rose gold grinders), During (artist-conceived rolling papers, CBD vape pens), and After (charcoal eye masks, iridescent meditation balls). Every item could easily pass for an interior design accent inside a well-appointed loft.
In the physical space, canaculture retail is evolving into an experience more resembling a concept store than a head shop. New York–based boutique Higher Standards garnered headlines recently for merging designer cannabis tools by PAX, Jane West, and Storz & Bickel with mainstream products from brands such as Jonathan Adler, Wary Meyers, and Malin + Goetz. “About 60% of the merchandise is directly related to consuming, whether that’s smoking, vaporizing, or extracting,” co-founder and creative director Sasha Kadey says. “The other 40% are goods that we selected because they appeal to an elevated lifestyle.” They will soon open an “elevation station” within their Chelsea Market flagship store that will provide educational content and open up a satellite in Atlanta’s Ponce Street Market. One of the pioneering boutiques of this genre is Mister Green Life Store, which started out as an e-commerce site before opening an East Hollywood brick-and-mortar in 2017. On the shelves patrons will find everything from terra cotta pipes to bottles of the in-house fragrance label Hippie Shit.
Like a pair of cultish sneakers or Assouline tomes displayed on a coffee table, cannabis accessories are becoming statements about style and taste. “We initially thought it was all about discretion, but with 10 states that are fully legal (plus Washington D.C.), that has expanded to include convenience and beauty as people become more social and move out of the basement and into the ballroom.”