Activist and actor Woody Harrelson made his foray into California’s legal cannabis industry official last week with the opening of a licensed dispensary in West Hollywood. Harrelson was on hand for a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday for the dispensary, named The Woods, attended by fellow investors, civic leaders and a crowd of eager fans and consumers.
“What an honor and a privilege it is to be here in West Hollywood with all of you,” Harrelson said at the grand opening celebration,
Harrelson added that “this is the greatest day that I’ve had in a long time and it is an honor and a privilege to be here.”
The Academy Award-nominated actor, famous for his portrayal of the famed Hustler publisher in the People vs. Larry Flynt and the bartender Woody Boyd in the sitcom Cheers, has been a cannabis and hemp activist for more than two decades. He has served on the advisory board for the cannabis advocacy group the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) since 2003. In 1996, Harrelson was arrested in Kentucky for planting hemp seeds in a protest against a state law that did not distinguish cannabis from hemp.
Harrelson attended the opening day celebration for The Woods with civic leaders including West Hollywood Mayor Lauren Meister, city council member Lindsey Horvath and Genevieve Morrill, the chief executive of the city’s chamber of commerce. Also on hand were Harrelson’s partners in the business venture, including comedian and political commentator Bill Maher, interior designer Thomas Schoos, Schoos Design chief executive Michael Berman, and Devon Wheeler and Jay Handal, the co-founders of California retail cannabis chain ERBA.
“We are so excited to have The Woods open,” said Morrill. “It’s an amazing design and Thomas Schoos has been an amazing asset to the city for so long in West Hollywood. It’s a perfect venue.”
Consumption Lounge Planned for New Dispensary
The Woods is located at an 8,000-square-foot site on Santa Monica Boulevard, featuring an indoor retail area decorated with trees and wooden fixtures. The location also includes an outdoor space that Harrelson hopes will become a licensed cannabis consumption area.
“Well, you know for a long time, I used to think about, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to have a dispensary, your own dispensary, that’s just like the place you can go,’”
West Hollywood has embraced the legal cannabis industry including the consumption lounge model, with about 16 of the business expected to open in the city.
“These guys are so broad-minded here in WeHo so they’ve allowed consumption,” said Harrelson.
Harrelson’s new dispensary will carry cannabis flower, edibles, concentrates and other products from a variety of California brands. But The Woods will feature sun-grown cannabis flower, which Harrelson prefers for reasons of quality and sustainability.
“I very much believe in sun-grown,” Harrelson said. “The War on Drugs pushed [growers] indoors and you know, that’s fine. I call it chem weed and it also spawned the use of a great deal 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.”