You could call it the year of the cannabis consumer: retailers finally focus on UX, celebrities cater to enthusiasts, media outlets clamor for attention and a more refined world of edibles and concentrates has emerged.
By Katie Shapiro, The Cannabist Staff
Winding down a year that most would describe as soul-sucking, the ongoing progress of marijuana legalization and exploding growth of the cannabis industry are two of the few things keeping us cautiously hopeful as we head into 2017. It’s already been called the year of Greenery, after all, so we’re off to a promising start. But let’s take a moment to mark the monumental strides for marijuana in the past twelve months. Here, we present the 16 biggest cannabis lifestyle trends that defined 2016:
1. Celebrity strains
With Marley Natural, Willie’s Reserve and Leafs by Snoop serving as pioneers early in legalization, star-backed cannabis brands blossomed this year. Several Colorado cannabis businesses have staked out partnerships with entertainers of all stripes. Among the new goods in legalized states: Wiz Khalifa and Sublime with Rome rolled out pot products; Tommy Chong debuted his “high grade medical” collection; Willie Nelson’s brand dropped in Washington and Colorado shops; and just this month, Hunter S. Thompson’s widow announced plans for a Gonzo brand of cannabis from six strains the writer actually smoked. And not that we’re hoping it’s actually in the works, but whatever happened to Bethenny Frankel’s plan for a Skinny Girl strain?
2. Marijuana hits mainstream TV
Bill Maher started 2016 off proper, lighting up on “Real Time” for the first time. Since then, MTV’s “Mary + Jane” opened a rush of crappy weed sitcoms with Adam Scott’s “Buds” still on hold at NBC and Margaret Cho’s “Highland” still in development at Amazon. The much-buzzed about “Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party” on VH1 lacks the main ingredient of chemistry — getting high together — making it a skip. But the move from Vimeo to HBO for “High Maintenance” makes up for all of the misses (we hope WhoHaha’s “Cannabis Moms Club” follows the same trajectory). Viceland continues to develop some of the best cannabis content around with “Bong Appétit” — it’s been called “the only reality show about weed you need to see” — featuring The Cannabist’s own Ry Prichard.