Ah, work. The thing we do to pay rent and the reason we never get to spend time in the homes we pay rent for. While the work week has (for better or worse) drastically changed over the last few decades, spending nine hours in front of a computer screen will always be a bummer no matter how optimistic you consider yourself. With this knowledge at hand, bosses—the good ones at least—will do as much as they can to ease the stresses of the angst-filled employee. Enter the work-sponsored happy hour: a light at the end of the tunnel ill filled with Excel spreadsheets. With no signs of these boozy events stopping, one has to wonder when the happy hour will catch up with the few states where weed is legal and replace beer altogether. What does a weed-friendly office look like?
“People have been using cannabis at work since cannabis was discovered,” says Joshua Kirby, CEO of California cannabis brand Kin Slips. “It’s certainly not a new concept, just one that’s becoming more and more socially acceptable. With more than 55 million adults regularly consuming marijuana and 56% of Americans now finding pot “socially acceptable,” it’s only a matter of time before marijuana and work go hand in hand. Right? Maybe…
Is There a Perfect Way?
“There is no right or wrong way to consume cannabis,” continues Kirby, “it really is up to the individual and the company’s guidelines. Depending on the work environment, smoking flower or vaping may be too obvious or disruptive, so more discreet formats would make sense.” This discreet format Kirby refers to is, of course, the company he runs. Kin Strips specializes in sublingual strips and all natural edibles ranging from 10 to 20mg of THC. And yeah—they pack a punch.
“For any work that requires a high level of precision or responsibility like driving a forklift or working in a hospital, safeguards must be in place to ensure that abilities are not impaired by alcohol, cannabis or any other substance,” adds Kirby, “However, cannabis can be a great asset for work that relies more on creativity and collaboration if used correctly and responsibly. At the end of the day, it really comes down to the individual and the method of consumption. This is especially true for people who engage in creative problem solving for a living.”
How about jobs that depend on the satisfaction of other people for a living? Ron Silver, owner and chef at Bubby’s in TriBeCa, has already started to explore what a green-friendly workplace looks like.
“The cannabis world has existed underground forever and I believe there already is a weed happy hours… and that’s 4:20. Every single day. Anybody who smokes weed will look at the time, and at 4:20 go: ‘wow, I should really smoke some weed.’” Silver and his team have already introduced Azuca into the menu—a fast-acting CBD-infused sweetener that delivers 25mg of CBD per teaspoon.
“I’m in the weed business,” continues Silver, “And certain cannabis companies have this thing called ‘The Dab Room.” You go for a meeting, but you never leave the Dab Room. You never have the meeting. You’ll fly all the way to Los Angeles for a meeting that never happens—so, yeah, I do sort of find it to be unproductive in a certain kind of way. But also, I’m a boss and I burn doobies with my employees all the time. I’m always the guy at the company party rolling up doobs. So, in our restaurant, we have a cannabis culture—but it’s not always predicated on 4:20. If everybody’s getting high at 4:20 dinner won’t go so well.”
It’s Not Just About Your Boss
Regardless of the stance on weed in the office, it all ultimately comes down to what the government says. At this very moment, weed has been fully legalized in only nine states and D.C. while the rest of the 41 have varying to illegal statuses. Even in a state like Colorado, where adults can legally possess one ounce of marijuana or THC, you’re encouraged to be discreet; Amendment 64 does not “permit the consumption of marijuana “openly and publicly.’”
“Your typical office worker should be allowed to relieve their anxiety or reduce their aches and pains throughout the day,” says David Sutton, COO and President of NanoSphere Health Sciences and Evolve Formulas. Sutton and his team have devised the world’s first nanoparticle delivery system for cannabis. “Discrete products are central to making this happen. My company’s product line has a transdermal that doesn’t require a patch. Others put cannabis in everyday food or beverages that won’t draw attention to the consumer.” Sutton actually believes that products like his could actually make for a stronger case toward a weed-friendly happy hour.
“As Millennials begin making up a larger proportion of the upper management, I think you’ll see the culture change,” adds Sutton, “maybe instead of happy hour early on Friday you see ‘higher hour’ Friday.”
Will these laws change when/if marijuana is nationally legalized? Even if the law eventually starts letting hard-working people spark up on the job, it’ll ultimately come down to the employers of those businesses to designate if, when, and how their employees can consume pot.
Plus, think of all the different kinds of professions out there — you really don’t your doctor performing an emergency appendectomy stoned off his ass. Regardless, for creatives, if all the employers out there were as cool as Bubby’s Ron Silver, the typical workday would look a lot different.