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Cannabis etiquette for the holidays

November 26, 2019
Cannabis holiday etiquette; person in Christmas sweater writing gift list
Jesse Milns/Leafly
Attitudes around cannabis are changing so rapidly, sometimes it can be hard to know where people are at. This is extra stressful during the holidays, when you are reconnecting with people you both A) love and B) only want to see once a year.

Here, expert advice on five pressing questions to take you all the way from tree-topping to tree-tossing:

When is it appropriate to bring cannabis to an event?

Some people’s Christmases are greener than others. After all, legalizing cannabis hasn’t completely swept away long-held stigmas, and a gift of bud can be considered naughty or nice depending upon the recipient.

When in doubt, ask yourself, what would your host do?

“If you know they enjoy cannabis, bring some along,” says Karen Cleveland, a writer and etiquette expert. “That said, just like a bottle of wine, assume that you’ll leave it with your host and they’ll decide when to serve it.”

If you’re not sure where they stand, discreetly bring along a small amount that you can present at a moment’s notice should you receive the signal that you are in an herb happy home.

Who should you invite to share?

Back in ye olde days of prohibition (September 2018), factors such as scarcity and stigma could make who you chose to get high with a careful consideration. This holiday season, feel free to be more open with your fellow adult guests at social gatherings.

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“Who wouldn’t you invite?” Cleveland says. “Politely offer to everyone.” One reasonable exception: those you know don’t consume. Instead, make an effort to connect with them in other ways.

What are some considerations when it comes to the smell of cannabis?

While a bud may have a pleasing signature scent, it’s no sprig of holly, and that OG Kush might not smell so great coming off the person carrying it. For discreetly party-hopping from the office to a family dinner to a bustling holiday house party, a scent-proof container makes for a handy accessory.

Smelly Proof plastic bags are like a vault for scents and come in packs of five to 25, making them great for giveaways. Tokyo Smoke sells the reusable Abscent Pocket Protector, a smell-proof cannabis storage bag, for an affordable $20. Or for an accessory as Canadian as, well, legal cannabis, the Friendly Stranger Cannapuck Stash ($14.95) is an airtight puck that both clamps down on the smell of your weed and gently guides conversations towards hockey.

And to take care of that post-smoke odour, Milkweed’s Post Sesh Scent ($34) is designed to blend with the smell of pot smoke with a fresh mix of lavender, orange, and frankincense.

When is cannabis a great gift?

Make a list and check it twice: cannabis is one of those perennial winners of a gift, like chocolate, wine, or flowers, so long as you know the recipient is a fan. “Gorgeously package it up,” Cleveland suggests. “For good and important reasons, cannabis packaging is what it is. So if you’re gifting, include a beautiful accessory that makes it feel special.”

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Like any gift, this is an opportunity to give the recipient something they wouldn’t normally buy for themselves. Considering a slightly more expensive strain than they would usually consume would be in the spirit of the season.

Is it okay to share your homegrown buds with holiday circuit acquaintances?

Those four little legal homegrowns have sprouted healthy buds that are ready to be harvested. Sure, they’re not as mesmerizing to consume as, say, the government’s, but for whatever they lack in potency they make up for in love.
So is it okay to crack them out during holiday pop-ins? Or it that akin to serving guests your uncle’s slightly askew sour plum wine?

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The answer, of course, is to be proud of your very own domestic blend. If you’re excited to serve them, your social circle will be excited to try them too. If nothing else, their minds will be blown by your green thumb.

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Ryan Porter

Ryan Porter has spent 15 years as a Toronto-based journalist with bylines in the Toronto Star, Globe & Mail, InStyle, and Maclean’s. Recent work and photos of weird signs on Twitter at @MrRyanPorter

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