Snoop Dogg stood at a suburban dining room table, presiding over an enormous spread of weed products, like some kind of 2k15 Jesus in da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.” He was surrounded by about 50 members of the press and Colorado’s burgeoning weed business community, and they all watched reverently as he cracked open a football-sized jar of Purple Bush and packed a long, spindly wizard pipe. After hitting it as iconically as possible by gently releasing a column of smoke out of his mouth and breathing it back into his nose, Snoop passed the pipe along to the man next to him and started packing a second bowl.
“Let’s medicate, elevate and put it in the air,” he cooed. Then, he encouraged everyone to dig in.
So after a few moments of quietly watching, I began packing bowls of my own, hitting them once, and passing them to the women behind me.
The party was to celebrate the Tuesday launch of Snoop Dogg’s luxury cannabis product line Leafs By Snoop, now on sale at ten Colorado dispensaries. Arguably, no celebrity product line has ever made more sense.
Leafs By Snoop comes hot on the heels of a weed culture and lifestyle startup Merry Jane, which Snoop launched at TechCrunch Disrupt in September. With Merry Jane, instead of getting your information messageboard-style from someone with a Bob Marley avatar named WeedDoer42069, you can browse a chic site that runs lists like “4 wake and bake yoga poses for your morning.” If weed is legal in your state, it has a dispensary guide that acts like Yelp. Like the legions of entrepreneurs now looking to cash in on the normalization of recreational pot use, Snoop is trying to eliminate the feeling of being a scumlord from your 420 experience.
Leafs By Snoop is a potentially lucrative next step—think Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company, but for getting high. For now, the line has a diverse spread of products: 8 strains of flower (the industry word for weed), concentrates (wax and shatter), fair trade chocolate bars, hard candy drops, gummies, fruit chews (shaped and wrapped like taffy), and peanut butter gems (peanut butter cups shaped like Candy Crush jewels). Promotional materials explain that the branding on everything—lots of pastels, high-end nature imagery—should evoke a “California cool lifestyle.”
On the night of the launch, a bus equipped with laser lights picked me and other visiting press up at our hotel. We were driven to an undisclosed location; the only information we’d been given was that something new and weed-related from Snoop would be waiting on the other side.
After a 20 minute trip, we pulled into the driveway of a big, white house in a residential neighborhood. Phones were checked into a bin at the front door, and because you have to be 21 or over to use weed recreationally in Colorado, a bouncer checked our IDs.
The scene inside can only be described as weed prom. The house had been emptied of everything that wasn’t party-related. White and gold balloons hung from the high ceilings, standing tables were strewn with white and gold rose petals, and stoner-friendly art depicting palm trees and koi fish hung on the walls. The living room had been converted to a dance floor, with a DJ booth at the front. A fire roared in the fireplace.
I spoke to a general counsel in a business suit who specialized in weed law along with a scruffy young budtender who worked at LivWell, one of Colorado’s dispensary chains. An open bar loosened the crowd, then Snoop emerged from a basement staircase. His hair was in a ponytail and he was wearing glasses with a Long Beach sweatshirt—peak Monday night weed dad. He grabbed the mic and thanked us all for being there, and then played a short video on the living room TV:
At this point, Snoop seemed antsy to get to the interactive part of the itinerary. After the video ended, he pulled back two gold curtains that had been blocking the door to the home’s dining room, revealing a table decked with a Thanksgiving-level spread of products. There were enormous jars of bud, glass cases filled with candy samples, and too many lighters and smoking apparatuses to count. Women wearing Leafs By Snoop T-shirts stood at the head of the table, rolling blunts and stacking them on bronze platters.
I tried the Purple Bush (indica), Cali Kush (indica), and Tangerine Man (sativa), all of which were pretty potent. The Tangerine Man was especially fruity and smooth, and more importantly left me feeling alert, so I decided I’d found a nice place to end my smoking tour. Someone leaned across the table and asked Snoop what his favorite strain was, and he said he loved them all, but that tonight he was really feeling the Purple Bush. He clinked pipes with a woman standing nearby as if they were champagne flutes.
After that, we were free to move about the house as we pleased. Caterers cycled around with plates of delicious hors d'oeuvres like fried Kool Aid, pulled pork Frito pies, and tiny chicken and waffles. The timing couldn’t have been more crucial or welcome.
Snoop posted up in the living room with a professional photographer so we could pose for pictures with him, and a woman from his PR team found me at my table and whisked me to the front of the line. I heard her lean to Snoop and say, “This is Christine. She’s from New York. She’s a big fan of cannabis,” and I would appreciate it if everyone introduce me as such from here on out.
I shook Snoop’s hand, and thanked him for his time. Then the photographer snapped a couple flash photos of me doing an a-OK hand and Snoop with his arm around me, pinching an imaginary spliff between his fingers and holding it to his lips. I haven’t received my copies yet, but I look forward to leaving them to my granddaughters in my will.
After photos, Snoop took over the DJ booth and played an hour-long set that jumped around from Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walkin” to Prince’s “Kiss.” At one point he performed the first two verses to “The Next Episode.” My notes for this portion of the evening include such insights as, “dad,” “adopt me,” and, “You know the club is lit when the TV is rocking back and forth.”
People cycled in and out of the dining room all night, with blunts being the most high-status samples to nab. Since none of us had our phones, we had no grasp of how long we’d been there and time ceased to exist. We lived in this house now. This was forever.
“Hey, what we do every day?” he yelled to the room between songs.
“SMOKE WEED!” we shouted back.
It was the end of the party when Snoop grabbed the mic and said, “Let me tell you how I feel right now,” then immediately played James Brown’s “I Feel Good.” After, he disappeared back down the plush carpet stairway to the basement, and a DJ stepped in with a playlist for us to gather our thoughts to. For the first time, I wondered if this home’s owners would ever know what had happened on their stately first floor.