While not every Academy Award nominee goes home with an Oscar, the contenders do get a pretty nice consolation prize. Each of the nominees in the acting and directing categories will receive a six-figure swag bag stuffed with luxurious (and bizarre) gifts including a custom fragrance, giveaways for plastic surgery, vacations, therapy — and even a toilet plunger, according to British newspaper The Independent.
The gift bags are curated and distributed by Distinctive Assets, a marketing company that offers products to celebrities for promotion, and are not associated with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The name of the bags? “Everyone Wins.”
This year, as Hollywood A-listers prepare their speeches ahead of the 91st Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, they can soothe pre-show stress with a selection of cannabis-infused products also included in the bags given out before the ceremonies.
Actors Glenn Close, Rami Malek, Lady Gaga, and Bradley Cooper are among the 25 Oscar nominees who will receive treats from Coda Signature, a Colorado-based manufacturer of gourmet infused edibles, topicals, and concentrates. The samples in the Oscars gift bags aren't infused with cannabis because the company hasn't launched yet in California, where the bags are distributed.
“Recipients are each receiving a unique code along with the samples so they can order their own customized package of THC-infused products to be hand-delivered through a licensed delivery service once our infused products roll out in California this spring,” said Marji Chimes, chief marketing officer of Coda Signature. “It's a double win for them, really.”
Non-infused samples in the gift bag include Coda Signature's Crescendo Collection of hand-painted truffles, a Coffee & Doughnuts Chocolate Bar, a Cream & Crumble Chocolate Bar, the Symphony Bath Bomb Collection, and a Limited-Edition White Vape Battery for use with Coda Signature extracted oil cartridges.
“We celebrate artistry and the finest quality in everything that we do, and to us, the Oscars perfectly reflect our company's mission,” Chimes said. “We see our association with the event as our first steps onto the international stage.”
High Beauty also has products included in the unofficial Oscar swag bags this year. A-listers can nourish their stressed skin post-show with High Expectations cannabis facial oil and High Five cannabis facial moisturizer. Melissa Jochim, High Beauty's founder, believes that, “With more education, I think people are going to become more aware of what part of the plant can actually work for them.”
Celebs who like to socialize while they toke can rub elbows with their category nominees at Mota, Los Angeles' first cannabis-friendly social club. The Oscars gift bag includes an annual VIP membership to this downtown Los Angeles members-only lounge, which includes a spa, arcade, private meeting room, and a restaurant.
Not only does this year's Oscar swag bag include free weed products, but it also gives celebs a taste of the many sides of cannabis culture.
“The social club is more of the lifestyle aspect … and we handle the skin-care side,” Jochim said. “For [cannabis] to be at a point where it's so widely recognized at something like the Oscars, I think we're not only going to see the stigma disappear, but people are going to be a little more assured that [cannabis] has different facets they can explore.”
It wouldn't be awards season without glamorous parties and star-studded soirées. Among the many events happening across Los Angeles on Oscar night is the Griot Gala Oscars After Party. The Griot Gala is a celebration of diversity and inclusion in the art and entertainment industry, inspired by the #OscarsSoWhite controversy and movement that rocked social media in the wake of the 2015 Oscar nominations, which were blasted for not honoring people of color and other underrepresented individuals in entertainment. “Black Panther” star Michael B. Jordan hosts the 2019 Griot Gala, where guests will receive $2,000 gift bags that include cannabis products, such as LucidMood vape pens. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the event will also feature a vape lounge with curated CBD and cannabis treats.
“I think we've come a long way, we're definitely seeing a shift. For [cannabis products] to be in Oscar bags is a little more mainstream,” Jochim said.
Mainstream indeed. The most recent Gallup poll, released in October 2018, shows two out of three Americans support full legalization of marijuana. “The association of cannabis with Hollywood's biggest event is yet another sign of growing social acceptance,” Chimes added. “If celebrities choose to embrace cannabis we do believe it helps normalize and dispel stigmas around [cannabis].”