It won’t be a holiday party without a bottle of alcohol making the way into the white elephant or secret santa gift exchange. But with 1/5 of the United States legalizing recreational cannabis, those states legally allow wrapping up a jar of weed under the holiday tree, so long as it’s given to someone of a legal age. Gifting cannabis to friends and family is becoming more common, but are company parties starting to be 420 friendly?

No. Pretty clearly no, employees would not feel comfortable tossing an eighth into the holiday white elephant. After posting this question to the users over at Reddit’s /r/trees, I got a pretty resounding response that most persons in management positions still hold a negative stigma towards cannabis, and while a bottle of liquor is still office-friendly a jar of nugs is still a big no-no. Maybe if you work in the cannabis industry, but it’s just not there yet for corporate america.

Firstly, work parties, even offsite work events, are legally considered part of the workplace and technically the same rules apply, so understand the contract you signed and what policies you must comply with.

Federally-regulated industries like medical, government and financial institutions can and will maintain a strictly tested no-drug policy, and cannabis is still a Schedule 1 narcotic according to Federal classification. There’s no getting around this. However, companies on both coasts are finding that they cannot discriminate against many cannabis users so long as they are not using cannabis in the workplace and it is not affecting their work. It’s still a very gray legal area, one that is constantly seeing new judgements, and it seems that the language of each state’s cannabis policy will determine the ability to discriminate or not.

In a Connecticut courtroom earlier this year, a judge’s opinion noted that even a federal contractor cannot discriminate against hiring employees based on their cannabis use, so long as it is compliant with the state medical regulations. The 1988 Federal Drug-Free Workplace Act which is commonly referred to in cases like this, is worded in a way that only affects the manufacture, use, etc of drugs in the workplace, and has no effect on use outside of the workplace. But it’s very gray area, one that is being re-judged constantly, and is a very per-case basis.

Clearly no weed at work. What about Friends & Family?

As long as your friends and family are in legal states and of legal age, cannabis can be a great holiday gift. My older aunts and uncles tried and enjoyed some CBD pain cream I had over thanksgiving… guess what they’re getting for Christmas? Many brands produce gift packs and special holiday boxes, and most standard sizes of flower, pre-rolls, and edibles fall in a similar price point to that of a six pack or bottle of liquor. Some people have preferences, but here are some recommendations without knowing much about your recipient’s preferences:

  • Pre-Rolled Joints are a good gift for flower smokers. While some brands have strain-specific joints, most are offered in Sativa (Bright), Hybrid, and Indica (Mellow/Sleepy) blends.
  • Topicals & Patches: Topical pain creams are a very simple introduction to the ‘magic’ of cannabis without the high. Some CBD only creams can be shipped nationwide. Personally I find having THC in the cream is helpful for pain relief, but that’s another post.
  • Edibles can be hit or miss due to tolerance, but often make for a simple gift. Caution: edibles should always come with instructions for low dosage for less experienced users, even if you have to write them yourself. You don’t want to be the reason someone has a bad experience!
  • Accessories like smoking/rolling trays, lighters, ashtrays, rolling papers, q-tips and cleaning supplies are all cheap stocking stuffers that smokers appreciate.




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