Forget beer and wine: Some companies are holding weed happy hours, where employees can light up in the office
- In states where recreational pot is legal, offices are letting employees light up for weed happy hours.
- While these weed happy hours are mostly confined to cannabis-focused companies, the concept is starting to expand into other industries.
- We talked to people who work for companies who either host weed happy hours or keep cannabis on hand for employees to use responsibly.
- Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.
Office happy hours are getting a twist in states where recreational weed is legal, with employees celebrating the end of the workweek by lighting up or snacking on edibles.
Most of these companies are in the cannabis business, and have offices in pot-friendly states like Colorado, California, and Oregon (recreational marijuana is currently legal in 10 states and DC).One of these companies is Key to Cannabis, a site dedicated to reviewing CBD and cannabis products (CBD, or cannabidiol, is the chemical compound in weed that relaxes you; THC is the psychoactive stuff). Co-founders Nicholas Levich and Tommy Joyce hold weekly meetings with their team where they sample everything from CBD oil to edibles. They also treat employees to booze and snacks from local food trucks - with a side of grass, of course.
"A lot of our team prefers CBD because they can continue to work in a high caliber," Levich told Business Insider. "I personally consume daily. I prefer CBD products during the day, and then when I'm unwinding for more of a happy-hour-style relaxation I will definitely imbibe THC. I prefer joints myself, but I know everyone on our team has a different preference."
Levich says smoking a joint is the perfect way to solve a creative problem. Like taking a coffee break, getting high helps him get around mental road blocks... and the ability to it with coworkers is an added perk.
"We can openly talk about it," he said. "There's so few workplaces where that's not taboo."
According to a recent survey by Drugabuse.com, one in five respondents said they've used marijuana recreationally in their place of work during work hours. A recent report by clinical laboratory Quest Diagnostics found the number of US workers and job applicants testing positive for drugs hit a 14-year high, with marijuana positivity leading the way. As legal weed becomes more prevalent, the chances of office toking are likely to rise - and some managers are OK with that.Lowell Herb Co, an all-organic Californian marijuana grower, hosts monthly "Lowell Sessions" at its Los Angeles office. There, employees, social media influencers, and guests can sample various products and socialize. Most recently, they hosted a "Pre-Coachella" session in honor of the popular music festival. They made crowns out of marijuana leaves and hung out on the office patio.
Weed happy hours aren't entirely new, though. In 2016, CNN Business profiled MassRoots, a cannabis-centered social media startup based in Denver. Their founder, Isaac Dietrich told the outlet that he hosts a weekly smoking session for employees on the roof of his apartment building.
"Our general philosophy is that we need to be as productive and creative as possible, every day," Dietrich told CNN Business. "If cannabis facilitates that, then we're allowing it."
Other industries are starting to pick up on the trend.
Gabriela Leme runs The Zen Gang, a PR agency from Los Angeles that counts cannabis companies among its clients. Her handful of employees sample these clients' products together, then promote the ones they like best.
"I'm really selective with whatever I eat or what I smoke when it comes to weed," Leme told Business Insider. "When trying weed and getting high is actually part of your job, there's not much to complain about."
Leme said that while most people go home after work and smoke weed to decompress, she smokes with her employees. "That's one of the biggest things that I'm proud of, having that work/life balance, because we really enjoy what we do," she said.Decibel Blue, a Denver-based PR firm, handles clients in several industries, including some in the cannabis trade. While Decibel Blue doesn't host explicit happy hours (weed or otherwise), it keeps beer in the fridge and pot in the closet for employees to use freely.
"Some people desperately need coffee to start their day," David Eichler, Decibel Blue's founder, told Business Insider. "Others drink wine to relax. And some get high. To us, these are all the same. To each his own, as long as it does not impact your work or anyone else."