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Dank dinner served!

Bud, brides, and the budding future of edible events

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I'm at an undisclosed location nestled off a dirt road atop a hillside across the way from the SLO airport. With a quaint yellow farmhouse, rolling green lawn, and epic sunset view, the setting feels very much "the Central Coast wedding venue."

On this evening, everything is decked out like a bride's dream Pinterest board: A two-tiered wedding cake flanked by antique oil lamps stands below an oak tree; Table settings glimmer with rose-colored stemware; and big, bodacious floral displays bloom from every corner.

INFUSED FEAST Baywood-based Good Tides Organic Bistro Owner Alyx Gille serves up TCH and CBD infused treats at the Central Coast's first Cannabis Wedding Event hosted on June 27 in SLO. - PHOTO BY HAYLEY THOMAS CAIN
  • Photo By Hayley Thomas Cain
  • INFUSED FEAST Baywood-based Good Tides Organic Bistro Owner Alyx Gille serves up TCH and CBD infused treats at the Central Coast's first Cannabis Wedding Event hosted on June 27 in SLO.

However, all you have to do is smell those flowers to experience a subtle reveal: Tucked between the delicate yellow roses in these romantic bridal bouquets, you'll find a dark green flowering herb with narrow leaves and a pungent aroma.

Yep. This is a weed wedding.

There is no Bob Marley thumping over the stereo or hacky sack party favors. This is a swank cannabis wedding industry event unlike anything that's ever been put together in San Luis Obispo County—perhaps even the entire Central Coast.

"Everyone's been to a wedding where there's a few people huddled in the corner smoking," said event organizer Korinna Peterson, owner of Le Festin Events. "We really want to normalize the use of cannabis at events like this, and Prop. 64 allows us to do that."

Newsflash for those who forgot: The Adult Use of Marijuana Act, which passed last year, legalized recreational marijuana for those 21 and up.

"Normalize" is certainly the word on everyone's lips tonight, and professionalism is the name of the game.

PASS IT AROUND A cannabis inspired wedding table spread is equally inviting and groovy thanks to Sprigs Floral Designs. - PHOTO BY HAYLEY THOMAS CAIN
  • Photo By Hayley Thomas Cain
  • PASS IT AROUND A cannabis inspired wedding table spread is equally inviting and groovy thanks to Sprigs Floral Designs.

Here, the bar isn't serving up mason jar mojitos: They're mixing equally classy cannabis-infused sparkling water with blood orange syrup. Good Tides Bistro isn't simply plating bites of pasta salad and asparagus laden flatbread: These literal munchies are infused with THC (the natural chemical found in cannabis that that gets you "high") and CBD (a non psychoactive alternative that relaxes your body and promotes feel-good vibes).

Nearby, you'll even find a "bud-tender" offering up a rainbow of smoking options, as evidenced by weed-filled jars with labels like "Blue Dream" and "San Fernando Valley OG."

These "budtenders," Megan Souza and Eric Powers, started their online biz Megan's Organic Market in 2013 in an effort to combat what they saw as a lack of verifiably organic medicine available to the cannabis community.

Now, the team services all of SLO County with sustainably farmed cannabis that they grow themselves, including edibles, extracts, topical creams, infused water, CBD products, oils, and good old fashioned weed strains as diverse as any boutique wine or craft beer.

Those seeking to put on private cannabis events can hire the company to act as a budtender, but it should be noted that vendors cannot charge guests themselves. On this night, folks walk up to the bud bar, pick their chosen weed—again, non-psychoactive CBD strains are available—and Powers packs the bowl into a pipe for a single puff. An authorized event token is exchanged (one token equals one hit).

It's not unlike wine tasting. My husband tries a puff of the CBD stuff and feels instant muscle relaxation without any mental impairment. I dig into the CBD pasta salad and nurse a "virgin" cannabis cocktail.

ELEGANT MUNCHIES This wedding cake looks normal enough, but on closer inspection you'll find marijuana leaves crawling up the side. - PHOTO BY HAYLEY THOMAS CAIN
  • Photo By Hayley Thomas Cain
  • ELEGANT MUNCHIES This wedding cake looks normal enough, but on closer inspection you'll find marijuana leaves crawling up the side.

If all goes well for the industry, these types of vendor offerings will be popping up more and more at private events, although there are certainly still county regulations and red tape to contend with.

Souza suggests curious edible newbies start small. Throw a dinner party and serve up something fun, easy, and relatively foolproof. She holds up a tin of chocolate covered blueberries sold on the business's online store. At 5 milligrams of THC per berry, it's easy to dose (and we all know why that's important).

Sure, feeding your friends and family edible cannabis creations can add an interesting twist to your next soiree or event, but overdoing it can lead to disaster. Do I even need to say that these potent snacks should not be stored anywhere a child could get their hands on them?

BUDTENDERS Wedding event "budtenders" Megan Souza and Eric Powers started Megan's Organic Market in 2013 in an effort to combat what they saw as a lack of verifiably organic medicine available to the cannabis community. - PHOTO BY HAYLEY THOMAS CAIN
  • Photo By Hayley Thomas Cain
  • BUDTENDERS Wedding event "budtenders" Megan Souza and Eric Powers started Megan's Organic Market in 2013 in an effort to combat what they saw as a lack of verifiably organic medicine available to the cannabis community.

"When it comes to smoking, people can usually pace themselves, as the effect is very quick. With edibles it's a little different," Souza says. "It's important to be educated and stick with good products you can trust."

Attendee Missy Reitner-Cameron is spending her tokens happily. She says she remembers a day not too long ago when a single "mystery brownie" could really mess you up if you weren't careful. She agrees: Information is power.

"Edibles have become very scientific and far more precise. People are more educated in what they're growing," she says. "They can tell me, 'This has 3 grams of TCH in it,' and I know exactly how that will effect me."

While cities like San Francisco are already home to cannabis foodie events filled with gourmet, multi-course feasts, sushi and joint rolling classes, and wine and cannabis pairings, San Luis Obispo is just dipping its toe into the possibilities.

HIGH SPIRITS THC-infused sparkling water mixed with blood orange juice feels a lot like your typical cocktail in your hand, but it should be consumed differently than alcohol. Pictured, Amanda Valena of Megan's Organic Market. - PHOTO BY HAYLEY THOMAS CAIN
  • Photo By Hayley Thomas Cain
  • HIGH SPIRITS THC-infused sparkling water mixed with blood orange juice feels a lot like your typical cocktail in your hand, but it should be consumed differently than alcohol. Pictured, Amanda Valena of Megan's Organic Market.

Just ask event organizer Peterson. Sure, a host of lawyers were consulted to even put on this event, but with the new laws on the books, it's an open frontier.

She addresses the relaxed crowd with some optimistic words.

"Most of the people here are hoping that 2017 is the time when cannabis is looked upon as nonchalantly a drink at a bar," she says. "I am hoping it can be fully integrated soon, safely, legally, and happily."

Eventually, the party slows down as folks grab their goodie bags containing cannabis-infused finishing salts courtesy of Good Tides and a chocolate marshmallow treat from Megan's Organic Market.

One by one, they head off into the night, not worried about a hangover.

As Good Tides Owner Alyx Gille says while I make my way out, "No one's uncle ever ruined a wedding by smoking too much cannabis."

Good point, but there are side effects.

Hubby and I are ready for a very large pizza and a sound night's sleep. Δ

Hayley Thomas Cain thinks everything should be had in doses at hthomas@newtimesslo.com.

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