The news that Barney’s New York will soon open a cannabis boutique (or “luxury head shop,” as the company put it) in its Beverly Hills flagship feels like nothing so much as a sign that mainstream cannabis capitalism is approaching its apogee.
A confluence of factors has contributed to the legal cannabis industry’s runaway growth. The legalisation and decriminalisation of marijuana in many American states paved the way for dispensaries to welcome ever-more consumers, and alchemists of varying credibility to offer products loaded with CBD, THC, and a host of other cannabinoids that claim to cure everything from anxiety to insomnia to inflammation.
But legalization alone wasn’t enough to get Barney’s to stock vape pens by Céline and Alaia. It must instead be credited to the rise of “wellness” culture – a vague catch-all for such varied practices as mud baths, acupuncture, and turning your cell phone on airplane mode, which has industrialised at a staggering rate, shooting from a $3.7 trillion market in 2015 to a $4.2 trillion market in 2017, the last year for which data is available. Self-care has become as synonymous with Gen Z as fourth-wave feminism and has intersected with cannabis legalisation to a staggering and often problematic degree.
Read the rest of Elizabeth’s article in Dazed Magazine.