A museum dedicated to marijuana?
It would have, not long ago, seemed like something that could only exist in a stoner comedy; some cannabis-based "Cheech and Chong" or "Harold and Kumar" adventure.
But Cannabition, the "Word's First Interactive Cannabis Museum," isn't something dreamed up by Hollywood to appeal to college kids and fringe counter-culturalists. As cannabis becomes an increasingly visible (and acceptable) piece of the social landscape, it only makes sense that a museum dedicated to the past, present, and future of the beloved, but often still misunderstood, plant, would follow.
The museum experience begins before you even step inside: The outside wall of the Fremont Street space features a mural by local artist Gear Duran, taking visitors on a journey through hashish history to set the stage for the current state of cannabis in the United States.
Inside, you'll find a healthy mix of kitsch and intellect; both the goofy side of cannabis, and the informational and infinitely useful side if the plant are well represented here:
You can jump around on a cannabis seed bed, and get lost in a forest of marijuana flowers up to 9-feet-tall - they encourage literal "tree-hugging" here; you're meant to wrap your arms around them. The staircase leading upstairs is designed to look like a wisp of smoke pulling you up, in, and then back out of pair of lips blowing rings. This is a slide that sends you into a pool of plush buds even more comfortable than the bed.
The Indica Room lets you recline on a giant Buddha, and you can swing through the air on the Pax tree swing. A giant Raw joint sculpture, featuring a kaleidoscope of colors on one end and that will light up on the other, is in the next room. And probably the most Instagrammable piece of the museum is a 24-foot glass bong designed by Jerome Baker called, appropriately, "Bongzilla."
But, along the way, you're also learning about the differences between THC and CBD. You'll get to see how cannabis is harvested. You'll know what terpenes are by the end of it, and understand why they're so important. You'll also know what they smell like after a stop at the terpene smelling station.
And there is, of course, also a gift shop where you can pick up a variety of collectibles and knick-knacks, and peruse shelves of CBD edibles and beverages.
Cannabis in Las Vegas
But the museum also serves a (slightly) difference purpose than it might if it operated in a different legal state, say Colorado or California.
As cannabis culture remains a much more regulated --- yes it's legal, but the places where you can use it have been put under a stranglehold --- Cannabition also offers a beacon for the continued normalization of marijuana and
As museum founder JJ Walker told High Times recently,
“When they legalized cannabis, they shut down all consumption... You can buy it, but you can’t smoke it anywhere. Hotel rooms, buses, all the things we got away with in Colorado, Sin City said, ‘no way.'”
With as much open-container alcohol consumption is allowed in Las Vegas, it does seem only natural cannabis would get its proper due as well.
The museum is, at the end of the day, just that: A museum. It teaches, it allows guests to learn and interact with a subject that has a rapidly-growing presence in the United States, and offers something new for anyone and everyone interested in the subject.
While the mission might be greater, and the presence of Cannabition, and anything similar that follows, might have the greater goal of removing the still-pervading stigmatization, while normalizing cannabis for those who remain stuck in war-on-drugs mentality from the 1980's (or 1940's for that matter).
90's kids will remember the anti-marijuana propaganda from childhood - commercials with teenagers telling us how taking one puff screwed their lives up forever. And D.A.R.E. And the mass incarceration of primarily African American youth for possession... we digress.
All of this remains true. But, at the end of the day, Cannabition remains another attraction; another, perhaps much more entertaining, attraction to add to your list of places to visit in America's playground. And the irony is certainly not lost on us that the museum is housed in the same building that has the Heart Attack Grill, perfect for those who end up with munchies craving a burger. Just make sure you walk up and down the strip a few times to burn off those calories.
What: Cannabition: The World's Only Immersive Cannabis Museum
Where: 450 Fremont St #140, Las Vegas, NV 89101
How long does it take? About 45 minutes - 1 hour
Buy tickets: Click here or call (702) 909-0420
Read this article next for more cannabis news from around the world: Innovative "cannabis walls" will keep this house cool in Israel.