Well now Christmas is just 21 days away which means New Years is literally 4 weeks from today. Now some folks celebrate the holidays not on their specific days, but when they can gather with friends or family and be together. Also the gifts might change slightly if your coming together after the first of the year due to changes in some of the rules of the game! Namely the legalization of recreational marijuana use. Legal weed is something that you can deliver with confidence, just after midnight on January 1st (although one might wonder how you came to have it so fast….just sayin’). Great article in yesterday’s Trib.by Lauren Zumbach a& Ally Mariotti gives some insight into giving as we transcend into theses high times. Read this before putting a bong under the tree!
Saint Lucia’s Smoke Shop in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood has a colorful new display of greeting cards for shoppers this holiday season, and the wintry cheer they bring comes with a marijuana-themed twist. The $10 cards, as ornate and bright as any greeting card, have sayings like “Let’s blaze for the holidaze,” and “Hoho-high.” And instead of a placeholder for money, there’s a small pipe attached.
Consumers can’t legally give weed as a gift — only medical marijuana patients can shop for cannabis in Illinois, and they’re not allowed to give away what they purchase. But with recreational marijuana sales set to start Jan. 1 to anyone over the age of 21, Chicago-area smoke shops and CBD retailers expect increased interest in cannabisrelated items and accessories this holiday season. The stigma surrounding weed is diminishing, and retailers say those who once worried about the optics of giving marijuana-themed gifts are starting to feel emboldened. Since proper etiquette around giving and receiving weedthemed gifts hasn’t fully been established, venturing into the new territory could make Christmas morning awkward.
Lizzie Post, great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post and author of a 2019 guide to cannabis culture called “Higher Etiquette,” suggested gift-givers think twice before choosing a marijuana or CBD gift unless they’re certain the recipient is an enthusiast. “If you’re unsure, find something that’s a safe bet rather than an ‘Interesting, let me introduce you to weed’ bet,” she said. If someone really wants to encourage a friend or relative to give it a try, make it clear there’s no pressure and no hard feelings if they choose to pass it on to someone who might enjoy the item more, she said. Despite Post’s advice to tread cautiously, there is no shortage of cannabis-themed gifts available for sale this holiday season.
Saint Lucia’s cases have holiday-themed pipes shaped like Santa and reindeer. Manager Eric Wagner expects customers to use the holidays as a chance to introduce their friends and family to marijuana-related items they might need once recreational sales start. “I think a lot of people will try to set their friends and relatives up for the new year,” Wagner said. “People are trying to gift information through the products they’re giving.” It’s not just marijuana. Shops selling CBD-infused products say they’re expecting more holiday sales as the compound goes increasingly mainstream. CBD is usually derived from hemp, another plant in the cannabis family, and does not get users high. Some say it helps alleviate conditions like anxiety and pain. Shoppers once had to purchase CBD at specialty shops or online. But within the past year, chains such as Walgreens and Ulta have begun stocking products like CBD-infused skin creams, bath balms and face masks. National chain retailers are expected to account for more than half of the more than $5 billion hemp-based CBD product sales in 2019, according to Chicago-based Brightfield Group, which does market research in cannabis-related industries. Sales are expected to double next year. Paper Source, which carries gift items along with greeting cards and other paper goods, began carrying products like $30 CBD bath salts, $13 lip balms and a $35 muscle rub at a handful of stores in August. They were popular, and are now sold in about 130 stores and online.
“Someone referred to it as the next gold rush in retail. When you hear those words, that definitely piques your interest as a buyer,” said Patrick Priore, chief merchant at Chicago-based Paper Source. He thinks CBD has potential as a holiday gift because it fits with another big trend: wellness. “Now more than ever people want that thing that will at least hopefully bring them peace of mind and make them feel centered,” he said. Chicago-based LeafyQuick is readying gift sets of CBD products for the holidays. The CBD retailer delivers in the Chicago area, and has noticed an increasing number of orders coming from out of state in the last few months, cofounder Rahul Easwar said. “There’s a lot of people from Colorado, California, even Wisconsin for that matter, and they order for their sister, their mom, their dad,” he said. “They like the fact that we deliver, so it’s almost like a care package.” The packages have themes like “pain relief,” which might contain CBD creams for sore muscles, or “sweet tooth,” which would have CBD-infused edibles in it. Curating the items and packaging them together makes it easier for the buyer, Easwar said. Holiday sales caught Lisa Winefield, co-owner of Evanston-based Botanica CBD, by surprise last year.
“We didn’t really gear up in a huge way for the holidays because we didn’t think it would be a gift item. I think of it more as a health care item,” she said. Still, themed gift boxes were popular, she said. This year’s options include packages designed to aid sleep or help stressed-out college students relax. Another, aimed at athletes, has items meant to aid recovery. One for foodies has CBD-infused apple cider vinegar, olive oil and honey. Gifts that seem approachable can still be tricky, as Palmer Square resident Jacob Peters found out when he bought his wife CBD-infused macaroons — her favorite type of cookie — earlier this year. She’d been stressed and he’d heard CBD could help with anxiety. Instead, she was nervous about the effects of ingesting CBD. “It actually gave her more anxiety, the fact that I showed up with it,” said Peters, 32. The cookies sat, uneaten, for a month, until a friend reassured his wife there was nothing to worry about.
When giving weed-themed gifts, it’s important to know how the recipient likes to consume cannabis, Post said. Rolling paper isn’t a great gift for someone who struggles to roll joints and someone who sticks to edibles won’t appreciate a pipe. Marijuana-related gifts should be treated like any other gift, Post said. Personal preferences differ when it comes to weed products, in much the same way that some individuals favor red wines over whites. If you’re unsure what the recipient likes, ask if a mutual friend can help with suggestions. Or pick out something that you like, and explain that you wanted to share your enjoyment of it, she said. Whatever you choose to give, you should be able to explain what the product is and the effects it might have, she said. “No matter what, when you choose to give it, you have to be sure you know what you are giving and can explain something about it.” Even with growing acceptance, it’s worth considering that a marijuana-related gift could lead to some awkward moments Christmas morning, Post said. A friend who would ordinarily be thrilled with a cannabisthemed gift likely won’t feel the same if they unwrap it in front of disapproving relatives. A private setting — or at least a subtle warning — lowers the risk. If you’re the marijuana enthusiast nervous about how others in the room are responding to a weed-related gift you’ve received, Post recommends thanking the person but trying to deflect attention and making it clear from your tone and body language that it’s time to move on. And if you’re caught off guard by a well-intentioned gift you don’t approve of, Post advises receiving it “with the generosity of spirit with which it was intended.” “It’s the ‘Thank you so much for thinking of me’ type of thank-you,” she said.”
Just trying to keep you straight on this new form of gift giving!!!