Now that cannabis is legal in some form in dozens of states around the country everyone and their dog is cashing in on the massive new industry. States like California have seen rapid growth in the legal cannabis industry with the arrival of designer cannabis companies that aim to normalize the substance. Since it became recreationally and medically legal just a few years ago, the legal cannabis industry grew to $9.2 billion by 2017. By 2027, the industry is projected to reach more than $57 billion. The latest company to cash into the industry? Barneys.
Cannabis Industry Goes Luxe
The luxury retail company announced this week that it would be venturing into the legal cannabis world with a new section in its Beverly Hills department store. This will be the first cannabis store to hit a major department store since it was legalized. The company announced this week it will devote a section of its flagship Beverly Hills shop to luxury cannabis goods. The area will be called The High End, and will offer lines of luxury items created especially for the store. The High End will offer a variety of products with relaxation benefits in the form of vapes and beauty products.
Brands included in The High End’s repertoire of cannabis companies include Lab to Beauty, The Good Patch, Malin + Goetz, Heretic, Vertly, and Boysmells. “Many of our customers have made cannabis a part of their lifestyle, and The High End caters to their needs with extraordinary products and service they experience in every facet of Barneys New York,” said the CEO & President of Barneys New York, Daniella Vitale. Barneys will also be collaborating with Scott Campbell—the co-founder of Beboe, a luxury cannabis company. The collaboration will see a silver vaporizer in celebration of the opening of The High End when it opens sometime later this year.
There has been both negative criticism and acclaim over the announcement that The High End will be opening at Barneys. Barneys is being praised for taking a massive step toward normalizing cannabis as a luxury good. The company is seeing some criticism for cashing out on an industry that still has people serving jail time. Statistics released by the Drug Policy Alliance show that nearly 700,000 arrests were made in 2017 for cannabis. Critics are saying that the move sets the standard that cannabis is reserved only for the wealthy. An article by The Atlantic notes that The High End makes cannabis an easily accessible luxury. However, it notes that this is reserved for the wealthy and white. Meanwhile, many people of color are still wronfully incarcerated due to cannabis laws around the US.
On the other end, media companies have also praised Barneys for its announcement of The High End. Journalists have celebrated the company for its attempt to normalize the cannabis industry. It will do this by removing it from dispensary-style outlets and into its store. Barneys hasn’t given an official date for when The High End will open its—uh—walls? The segment of the Beverly Hills pop up shop will tout rose gold vapes and designer furniture.
Julia Sachs is a staff writer at Grit Daily. She covers tech, entrepreneurship and entertainment news and is based in Park City, Utah.