Los Angeles resident Brian Stippey wanted to create something beautiful for someone in need.
When his friend's aunt was diagnosed with cancer four years ago, Stippey thought to get her flowers, but he knew she was allergic. He also knew she was a medical marijuana patient.
“I was feeling a little crafty, so I put my floral design skills into action,” said Stippey, who started growing cannabis 12 years ago and has a background in running dispensaries. “So, I created the first faux floral and cannabis arrangement. When I brought her the bouquet, her first reaction was, 'I am allergic!' But she soon realized what was in the bouquet. She immediately teared up, started crying, and told me it was the best and most beautiful arrangement she has ever seen.”
She made him promise to share his craft with the medical marijuana community.“She is no longer with us, but every piece I do has a special meaning, and a promise I will uphold,” said Stippey, who in August 2017 launched the Los Angeles-based CannaQuet Premium Cannabis Bouquets, a service that combines silk flowers, non-perishable decorations and ready-to-smoke cured cannabis.
Part of a burgeoning trend to use cannabis decoratively, these bouquets not only add beauty to the home but also offer a clever way to give a unique cannabis gift or use as a table centerpiece just in time for the holidays. Professional and amateur marijuana florists who showcase their work on social media platforms use consumption-ready dried cannabis and even fresh stalks of cannabis leaves to serve as decorative elements. Fresh flowers look and smell great, but as Stippey demonstrates, the flowers don't have to be live.
Stippey, who studied floral design in high school, operates CannQuet via a website but is in the licensing phase of opening a retail location. The bouquets contain lab-tested cannabis arranged with seasonally themed silk flowers, such as daisies and sunflowers in the summer, and poinsettias in the winter, and an assortment of vases including conch shells and driftwood. Prices range from $70 for arrangements that include an eighth, or 3.5 grams, of cannabis; $140 for a quarter-ounce (7 grams); $200 for a half-ounce (14.2 grams); and $375 for 1 ounce (25 grams) arrangements.
“As trending goes it has really been picking up due to the legalization of medical marijuana in California,” Stippey said. “Women seem to be my biggest fans and purchasers of these pieces. Women order for events such as private dinners, birthdays, bachelorette parties, and for their significant others. Men, on the other hand, tend to be ordering for their significant other.”
Cannabis florist Cortney Lynn, owner and founder of Bitchin' Bouquets in Big Bear, California, opened her online business on Dec. 5, 2017. She offers some tips for DIY cannabis bouquets for those looking to complement their weed with floral arrangement handicrafts.
“Sometimes you can do some pretty unique things just from the flowers from the grocery stores,” Lynn said. If you have access to a cannabis grower willing to share a branch or two, then the arrangements can take on another dimension as the cannabis becomes an integral element of the design.
“Sometimes you can really pull off some really magnificent things from what you have available around you,” she said.
Her other big tip: floral foam. It can be used in wide-mouth vases to help keep the flowers looking perky, and also to create layering effects.
“You can make some awesome arrangements out of flower foam,” she said.
The idea of a cannabis bouquet first came to her in 2017 while she was trimming a plant on a cannabis farm. She had little competition back then, before the potential of cannabis as a decorative element infused the culture. Since Lynn started Bitchin' Bouquets in late 2017, she said she has seen competition intensify with “two in my region that have popped up and another one or two over on Instagram.”
Indeed, a quick search of terms such as #cannabisbouquet, #marijuanabouquet or #cannabisflorist brings up hundreds of posts of colorful floral arrangements incorporating dried and live cannabis.
Lynn generally uses a mix of live flowers with live and dried cannabis in her arrangements, but her work is largely dependent on her clients' needs. She is currently working on a birthday bouquet for a client's mother, a Los Angeles Lakers fan. Lynn is spraying the cannabis leaves gold and using purple and yellow flowers in the arrangement – the Lakers' team colors.
Even if the arrangements don't contain immediately consumable cannabis, Lynn requires a medical marijuana license to buy her bouquets. Prices start at $70 for an arrangement of 12 roses or seasonal flowers.
Adding cannabis to her palette of plant shapes and flower colors has other benefits, Lynn said: “It makes every arrangement and everything I do different.”