Some Pros Are Throwing Pot-Themed Open Houses

November 1, 2019

Some real estate professionals in markets where recreational marijuana use is legal are finding ways to incorporate cannabis into their marketing—even holding pot parties at open houses.

“Gone are the days of tie-dye, bongs, and VW Bugs. That’s not the cannabis of 2020,” Alexander Ali of the Society Group, a marketing company that planned a marijuana-themed dinner party at an $18 million Los Angeles listing, told The Wall Street Journal. “Doing something that is new and different will always scare traditionalists. But the fact of the matter is that there is a lot of wealth being created in the cannabis industry, and we can tap into that.”

Proponents of the trend told the Journal that they see opportunity in the housing market to tap into the cannabis industry as a way to attract buyers of luxury property. But opponents say that such events carry the risk of alienating potential buyers who oppose the legalization of marijuana. Further, recent attention to vaping-related deaths could cast a poor light on cannabis-related events. “When I think about cannabis, I don’t think about buying an expensive house,” New York agent Jason Haber of Warburg Realty told the Journal. “It’s not a call for action so much as a call for Doritos.”

However, some real estate pros believe it’s just the hook to draw more people to their high-priced listings. A September party meant to relaunch a $9.5 million listing in Los Angeles had plenty of cannabis-themed activities to keep visitors entertained. The event featured a seven-course meal that led up to inviting guests to pour cannabis-infused olive oil on their food and sip cinnamon whiskey-inspired cannabis cocktails, the Journal reports. Hemp leaves were used as decorations on plates. The event also featured CBD-oil massages.

Real estate pro Ben Quibrera says he recently sold a $3.45 million estate in Sherman Oaks, Calif., after throwing several cannabis-themed events. One event invited local agents to visit the house for a live cannabis-trimming class. He later threw a cannabis laboratory-themed event. Quibrera branded the listing as the “Cannabis House.”

Cannabis Open Houses Are Putting the High in High-End Real Estate,” The Wall Street Journal (Oct. 30, 2019) [Log-in required.]