Updated: May 20, 2022
Last Saturday, May 14th, renowned actor Woody Harrelson made his big entrance into the cannabis industry with the grand opening of his new dispensary in West Hollywood called "The Woods."
The location was designed over two years by architect Thomas Schoos. It previously was his design studio until The Woods co-founders Woody Harrelson and Devon Wheeler visited the location and decided there would be no better time and place to create a space showcasing everything they admired most about the legacy cannabis industry: nature, wellness, culture, and community. The space is filled with "woodsy" vibes thanks to the trees, skylights, and wooden displays. It even includes an outdoor space where a consumption lounge, event space, and neighborhood bar in the summer of 2022. Thus, The Woods was born.
Harrelson’s new venture this weekend debuted with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by the mayor of West Hollywood, Lauren Meister, and the head of the city’s chamber of commerce, Genevieve Morrill. “Hopefully we’ve added more beauty and more good times here. Hopefully, we can make the West Hollywood Citizens a little bit higher,” said Harrelson to the crowd that assembled outside the dispensary, "It’s the greatest day that I’ve had in a long time.”
The Woods is one of up to 16 cannabis consumption lounges expected to open in West Hollywood. The city is becoming a haven for weed businesses in general, thus inspiring a group of cannabis business people to promote and brand West Hollywood the Emerald Village.
Harrelson wants to honor cannabis legacy
The dispensary seeks to honor the heirloom and legacy cannabis market by mixing a sun-grown and organic approach with the conscious and curious consumers of Southern California. For its owners, it aims to be a reflection of their values, opening an inclusive platform for their community and exemplifying cannabis culture in this first location. As they explain on their website, "the location aims to be the first of its kind, offering an organic, elegant atmosphere and setting a high bar for what consumers should experience when shopping for the highest quality natural cannabis products."
Co-founder Devon Wheeler explains that their "goal is essentially to return the legacy operators’ work to the forefront before it gets washed out by corporations. The Woods is all about getting back to basics with nature and cannabis.”
The Woods sells everything from smoking apparatuses to flowers and edibles in a beautifully designed space that feels like a high-end boutique. While the dispensary carries a variety of cannabis brands, it features organic, California, and sun-grown strains to match Woody Harrelson's preferences, “I very much believe in sun-grown... The war on drugs pushed growers indoors. I call it chem weed, and it also spawned the use of plenty of fertilizers and artificial lights and so forth. And I just feel like we don’t need that anymore. We won the war on drugs here in California for this plant. Let’s bring it outdoors where it belongs. It really wants to be outside or, at least, in a greenhouse, but let it get real sun. Definitely, the quality is so much better.” As for what he calls chem weed — which he has said are strains that push ever higher on THC levels — “that just blows the top of your heads off. And, it’s like, ‘Why do I need that?'”
For the actor -who was arrested in 1996 for planting four hemp seeds in protest of a Kentucky state law that conflated marijuana and industrial hemp- the legalization movement has achieved more than he ever imagined it would. Harrelson declared to d L.A. Weekly last month, “It’s kind of mind-blowing because, to be honest, I never thought that it would get to this stage. “I never thought you’d even have it to where it was legal, much less that you could go get it out of the shop. So it’s pretty exciting.”
Harrelson is not the only Hollywood player in the legal cannabis space. The Los Angeles Times has reported that two other consumption lounges will be setting up shop in West Hollywood, one backed by Jay-Z and another with Patricia Arquette as an investor. Many celebrities have started their own weed brands in the last couple of years, including Seth Rogen, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Willie Nelson, Wiz Khalifa, and Melissa Etheridge, and many more.