Cannabis Enthusiast Launches Wedding and Party Planning Business for Marijuana-Loving Couples in Ohio

Cuyahoga Falls business Weeded Bliss merges marriage and Marijuana in new venture

Want to start your marriage off on a high note?

Now that recreational marijuana is legal in Ohio, self-professed “stoner” Bob Ellison of Cuyahoga Falls is bringing all things cannabis to the wedding scene for pot enthusiasts.

Ellison is the founder of  Weeded Bliss, a cannabis wedding and party planning business.

The pot possibilities are endless.

For example, the bride and groom can symbolize the merging of their lives by taking tokes off a unity bong. Afterward, wedding attendees can visit a “budtender” and raise glasses of cannabis-infused mocktails to toast the happy couple.

"I've been an advocate of cannabis my whole life," he said. "My dad was a Baptist preacher, who...married almost everybody that I ever knew in my childhood. So, that kind of just seemed like an easy transition for me."

Ellison is the creator and founder for That Stoner Show, a Facebook Live show based out of Kent that was launched after medical marijuana was legalized in Ohio in 2016. He also recently wrote about Ohio’s legalization of recreational marijuana in Beard Bros Pharms, a multi-state cannabis brand, advocacy and consulting firm and grassroots media magnate.

In October 2019, almost a year after recreational marijuana became legal in Michigan, Ellison and his wife loaded a tour bus up with about 50 fans of the show and completed a recreational cannabis trip through the state.

“It was very much like a wedding reception,” Ellison said. “We put on a catered meal, show and everybody enjoyed themselves. So, we're kind of using that as a model as we go into this.”

A new way to wed

What exactly do cannabis weddings entail?

It turns out they aren’t too different from their non-cannabinoid counterparts.

When it comes to planning, pricing and execution, the differences are strongly dependent on how heavily the bride and groom decide to lean into the marijuana theme.

Like most wedding planners, Ellison and his team will handle the setup of all arrangements with vendors and venues. Clients will be able to choose from a short list of cannabis-friendly wedding vendors and venues at the beginning of the process.

Ellison plans to offer couples in-depth cannabis consultations to identify the optimum cannabis variety to share with guests. Available add-ons will include a private edible-making class, a guided dispensary tour and more.

Looking to keep the reception clean, but want a cannabis ceremony? Clients can have a unity joint-bong, cannabis sacrament and/or full sacred plant ceremony incorporated into their big day. Officiating services will range from $150 to $500 depending on if it’s for a last-minute elopement or something more elaborate. Rehearsal will be an additional charge and fuel surcharges may be applied for events outside a certain radius of Akron.

Guests attending one of Ellison’s weddings or events may encounter marijuana stations staffed by expert budtenders/sommeliers or a cannabis-infused mocktail bar. Marijuana stations can be booked for spring and summer of 2024.

“The marijuana stations will be harder to put an exact dollar amount on until we have a consultation with each client, but the cost range is very closely comparable to what clients pay for a DJ — $1,000 to $2,500 would be a pretty accurate range for 90% of our jobs," Ellison said.

Navigating Ohio’s new marijuana law

Lawmakers in the Ohio Senate are considering eliminating resident's ability to grow marijuana at home, increasing the tax rate and changing who gets the money from the state's new legal marijuana program.

Ellison knows the stipulations regarding recreational marijuana may change drastically over the next two years, but the new business owner is prepared to pivot.

One of the main benefits of coordinating weddings and events is that they are on private property and planned for far in the future, which gives Ellison and his team time to ensure every aspect of services they are providing are within the laws as they stand at that time.

“We are going to see businesses coming out of the woodwork, and I think that’s something to see as a red flag,” Ellison warned. “A company that is set up tomorrow and ready to serve people and ready to go when they don’t even know what the laws are going to be or what the availability is going to be of actual product. They’re either blowing smoke at you, to use a turn of phrase, or they’re doing something illegal.”

Aside from navigating the new law, Ellison expects the business’s biggest obstacle to be advertising. He has taken an “early bird gets the worm” approach to this solution.

“If the laws come back that I can’t advertise, well then at least everybody could say, ‘Hey, what was that wedding place that I saw?,’” He said. “At least if they pull that advertising away, I wanted to have a little bit of a presence laid out before that happens.”

Commonly asked questions about cannabis weddings

Who will provide the marijuana for these events?

All marijuana products for events would be purchased or gifted by event participants. Weeded Bliss will guide clients on how to legally incorporate the drug into their events, not buy or sell cannabis, according to Ellison.

Will cannabis consumption be permitted at indoor venues?

While a lot of people smoke cannabis, there are more discreet and elegant delivery methods that don’t involve ignition, such as cannabis-infused foods and drinks, that vendors welcome.

If marijuana is being consumed, will these events serve both weed and alcohol?

Ellison is unsure where the laws will fall in this matter but is aware that in other states alcohol and cannabis cannot be in the same space commercially.

“If people are dead set on having alcohol and cannabis then maybe they need to look into a private venue or a backyard event…I think at that point, I would be comfortable being the vendor and doing a cannabis tent but it's going to very much depend on how the laws come together,” Ellison said.

When can people start booking weddings planned by Weeded Bliss?

Customers can book consultations next year for event dates late in 2024 or anytime in 2025. Since large weddings and events take more time to plan, the company wants to make sure bookings are far enough out that they will be able to deliver on any requested services.

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