Cannabis essentials kit celebrating Burning Man experience on sale Friday in Nevada as Burners head to bacchanal of art and alternative cultures.
BY ED MURRIETA
Whether this is your first time or your 31st time attending Burning Man, you’ll be the envy of every pot-friendly theme camp when you open a Burner Box, a connoisseur-grade survival kit of cannabis products, tools and tips curated for the Playa-going experience.
Never mind that possession and use of cannabis and drug paraphernalia are illegal on the federally managed Black Rock Desert.
Available starting Friday, limited-edition Burner Boxes are a collaboration between Blüm, a cannabis chain store with outlets in Las Vegas and Reno, and Vegas Weekend Box, a Sin City startup that curates and markets Nevada’s best-selling cannabis products packaged in consumer-friendly style for tourists.
Like the big-ticket curated theme-camp experiences that brought Silicon Valley bro-tech vibes to the annual bacchanal of art and alternative cultures in the past decade, Burner Boxes aren’t cheap — $299 — but they are loaded with cannabis oil, edibles, bud and joints from leading Nevada producers, along with a state-of-the-art portable vaporizer and a high-end mini-torch that’ll withstand desert windstorms.
Burner Boxes have no affiliation with the radically anti-commercial Burning Man gathering that runs Sunday through Sept. 4 125 miles north of Reno, save for some employees and investors of both Blüm and Vegas Weekend Box being Burners themselves.
“The Burner Box was specifically created for cannabis consumers looking for a curated experience that helps them feel they are a part of the Burning Man community and to educate them about product safety and public consumption,” said Krista Whitley, founder of Vegas Weekend Box, a two-month old company that recently bolstered both its industry cred and its Burning Man cred with an investment from the fund managed by Las Vegas cannabis investor and avid Burner Leslie Bocskor.
This is the first Burning Man in Nevada’s newly legal recreational cannabis era. But as it’s been since Burning Man moved to the Black Rock Desert in 1990 after four formative years on San Francisco’s Baker Beach, it’s against the law to consume cannabis or possess drug paraphernalia on the federally regulated Playa, never mind that all manner of drugs — botanical, pharmaceutical and experimental — are openly consumed by thousands of people.
There are state laws against indecent exposure, lewdness and obscenity but all of those occur freely on the Playa too.
“The Burner Box was created specifically for cannabis consumers looking for a curated experience that helps them feel they are part of a community but not necessarily to be consumed on the Playa,” Whitley said.
Burner Box contents include a 500-mg Cannavative vape cartridge filled with limited-edition “Burner Blend” cannabis oil touted as stimulating euphoria equal to sunrise over the Playa; a four-pack of Kynd salted caramels hand-crafted by Reno’s top confectioner; Simply Pure’s Highly Edible gummy pucks; an eighth of Cannabiotix Strawberry Cough sativa flower, a 2016 High Times Cannabis Cup winner; two Tahoe Hydro terpene-enriched pre-rolls; a powerful high-end Colibri butane lighter; a VaporSlide vaporizer with a long-lasting battery; and a Burner-ized custom pack of KushKards, the Hallmark of stoner greeting cards featuring a handy match attached to each message, perfect for sparking up joints and striking up conversations.
Each Burner Box contains a full-color, 20-page booklet describing the contents of the box; tips for safe consumption; information on where you can and can’t consume cannabis in Nevada — not in public, not on the Playa and only in private residences and buildings with owners’ permission — and a reminder not to take left-over cannabis out of Nevada.
“Drug use certainly happens on the Playa,” Whitley said. “The Burner Box exists to provide a safe experience for cannabis consumers.”
Wth the cost of Burning Man tickets starting at $425 and parking passes selling for $80, Burner Boxes are a relative bargain — retailing for $100 less than what you’d pay if you bought the boxes’ contents individually.
“I think the economics are really attractive,” Whitley said. “There are things in Burner Boxes that create a lasting experience for the consumer.”
Whitley said 2,500 Berner Boxes were packaged and shipped to Blüm’s three stores in Las Vegas and one in Reno. They’re available as long as supplies last and won’t be restocked.
Unlike the room discounts and spa packages that Reno hotels and resorts are offering Burning Man attendees in the days before and after the Black Rock Desert bacchanal, you don’t need to purchase a Burning Man ticket to purchase a Burner Box.
“We’ve curated the values of the Burning Man community in the Burner Box,” Whitley said. “You don’t even have to go out on the Playa to experience it.”
Whitley said Vegas Weekend Box, aimed at tourists with little cannabis experience and available at retail cannabis stores in Las Vegas and Reno, has sold 12,500 units at $199 each in the company’s first two months in business. A $99 “starter kit” is in the works, as is a curated box of celebrity branded cannabis.