For two glorious weekends out of the year, Southern California's Indio desert becomes the Promised Land at Coachella Music Festival. Gone are the concrete high-rises, worries of the 9-to-5 work week, and never-ending bills, replaced instead by three balmy days of live music, beautiful people, and mountain-lined horizons. At Coachella, you are the ruler of your utopian kingdom—or queendom—where anything is possible (unless you're trying to see both Dixon and Richie Hawtin play at the same time).
But what's a king or queen without a crown? The royal headgear has throughout history symbolized the power of its wearer, and was typically made using expensive metals and jewels. It's since become a wildly popular accessory at music festivals like Coachella, though its materials (flowers) are far friendlier on hard-partying desert dwellers and their wallets.
Even a ubiquitous fashion statement such as the flower crown is prime for an upgrade, however, and California-based marijuana growers Lowell Herb Co. are happy to oblige. Last month, they announced they were selling a cannabis flower crown, which consists of white roses and leaves intertwined with a quarter-ounce worth of marijuana buds. The crown, which is part of a Coachella-themed promotion, comes as a bonus item with the purchase of pre-rolled joints containing their new "Coachella" marijuana blend, a combination of four strains which Lowell Herb Co. partner Sean (who requested we not use his last name) tells THUMP was created specifically to optimize the music festival experience by reducing anxiety and heightening the visual and aural senses.
Though the cannabis crowns are a first for the company, the team have numerous times in the past realized similar ideas and themed blends for special occasions, including a cannabis bouquet for Valentine's Day. "We're a flower-only company, which means we don't really do edibles or concentrates or anything like that," Sean says.
Edibles may not be Lowell Herb Co.'s thing, but their concept of wearables is certainly looking (and smelling) strong. THUMP chatted with Sean about the conception of the cannabis crown, festival-friendly weed, and ideas for their next novelty item.
THUMP: Who came up with the idea for this cannabis crown?
Sean: It was our publicist who came up with the idea. She's a big fan of Coachella, and we'd previously done a Valentine's Day bouquet that we came up with internally within the company, which was a big hit. We do blends all the time, like we'll do a special blend for Election Night, or we'll do a First Day of Spring blend, or a New Year's Day blend, a Superbowl blend, or whatever, so people can buy pre-rolls of these blends for special occasions.
So she was like, "Let's do a Coachella blend and a crown to go with it." So we all got together on the farm and we figured out how to make them, and we had our growers and smokers—let's be honest, they do both—come up with a blend that they thought would be fun for listening to music at a big festival.
So this cannabis crown is basically an evolution of a now-ubiquitous Coachella accessory, the flower crown.
Yes, [our publicist] goes all the time and she's going this year, and she was like, "This is what I want to bring for me and my friends." And we were like, "Let's do it." We're a pretty small company and we don't plan things that far in advance, so we were just like, "Let's get together this weekend and try to make this." We thought maybe it would just be for her and her friends, but it caught on and other people were interested, so we made enough so other people could buy it.
What exactly is this "Coachella blend"?
We selected a group of strains that the farmers and the other creative people who work on the farm thought would work well for listening to music, but wouldn't induce any kind of anxiety when you're around big crowds of people.
[The farmers] talked about, and I would agree, that sometimes when you smoke and you're in a crowd of people, you get anxiety and you want to go hide in your room. That's not going to be a possibility at Coachella, and so they tried to take some hybrid strains that can make you a little more outgoing, or that calm your anxiety, and they blended them with strains that are a sensory-enhancer and are good for listening to a record or watching a visual performance of some kind.
They also picked strains, that they grew, that had an association with what you think of when you think of Coachella. The strains they picked were Dog-Walker, Single White Girl, Chocolate Hashberry, and Lenny OG. So those four strains make up the Coachella blend.
What kind of music is best when you're smoking this Coachella blend?
I would say something that has some depth to it, that has texture and levels. In my experience, sometimes you get something out of a record when you're sober; and then when you're really high you'll hear more depth or get deeper into it and appreciate some of the other levels that are going on.
What's the perfect high for a festival like Coachella?
I'd say euphoric, calming, and sensory-enhancing.
Who are your all-time favorite stoner musicians?
Me, personally, I'm kind of old [laughs]. I would say that I probably would go with Postal Service, who I really liked to listen to, and I guess I still do, when I get high. The Flaming Lips' Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots is another good one.
Do you think music sounds better when you're high?
I think you get a different appreciation for it. Because music can just be the background noise in your life, but if you really want to get into a record, like delve into it, I think sometimes if you get high it allows you to tune out the world and really appreciate something.
How do you smoke during a festival so you can stay perfectly high all day without getting faded by the time the headliner plays?
Oh man, I don't know if I have the answer to that. I would probably blow it [laughs]. I'd probably fall asleep before the headliner came on. I always smoke too much and then have to go home and go to sleep. Everyone has their own tolerance, right? There are some girls who work at my farm who can smoke all day and they're just motivated, they're working hard on the farm all day and they never slow down. Then there are people like me, like in the mid-afternoon, if I smoke a joint, I'm useless for the rest of the day. So it's hard to say.
You have to know your own tolerance, you've got to know how cannabis affects you, and maybe just stick with more uplifting things. Indicas [a type of cannabis strain which is typically more physically sedating compared to more stimulating sativas] can be a real outing-killer; they're better for when you just want to stay in for the night and chill and watch a movie, go to sleep early and get some rest.
Do you foresee a future when weed is legal at music festivals?
Absolutely, I 100-percent do. It's ridiculous to me that alcohol is available for sale at basically every public event that we do, even events that are mainly for children, and sporting events—there's alcohol served everywhere. But that cannabis is unavailable in all these places, and that people are forced to hit their vape pens in the bathrooms or go outside and sneak one real quick, it seems ridiculous to me. But we're getting there.
Colorado is the first state to allow you to use cannabis in establishments, and I can't imagine California's going to be far behind. I'm really hoping that the day that cannabis is treated more like alcohol in all parts of American society and life comes soon.
So far, you've got weed bouquets and weed crowns… what's next?
I guess we could try to do a cannabis dragon for the premiere of Game of Thrones… None of what we've done has really been well-planned or researched promotions. We were just like, 'Hey, this is a cool thing we could do,' and then a bunch of people had interest in it.
We're a flower-only company, which means we don't really do edibles or concentrates or anything like that; we just sell fresh cannabis. So that kind of limits us. Maybe a Christmas wreath could be our next one.
A cannabis Christmas wreath!
We're for sure going to do a Christmas blend. It's Christmas Eve, it's cold outside and you've got a fire going; you want to have a special Christmas blend to go with your eggnog. So maybe a Christmas wreath to go along with that.