Weed aficionado Tony Greenhand is an artist and a really a peculiar one too. His claim to fame is a joint that looks like an AK-47 gun, which he made from scratch using tons of rolling paper and half-a-pound of weed. This joint was a part of a set of small joints made to look like weapons. This commissioned work was worth a whopping $7,000. Talk about living your dreams and making money from them too!
In fact, Greenhand’s client is a wealthy firearms enthusiast who literally flew down in his private jet to collect the slick looking joints.
Talking to Vocativ, Greenhand spoke about the social stigma around his work or the lack thereof. “I’m able to sit down and grind up a quarter-pound or half-pound at a time, mostly because weed is around and people feel comfortable sharing it,” he said.
“For anyone still skeptical, I’ll roll them a Pikachu joint,” he jokes.
To explain the acceptance of weed in the U.S. society and culture, the Vocativ story highlights many advancements. “Legal cannabis is now available for recreational use in four states, including Oregon, and medical use in 20 more. The $7.2 billion marijuana industry in the U.S. could hit $23 billion in sales by 2020, according to Arcview, a market research firm. And even in some states where possession is still illegal, it is becoming decriminalized (though cops made more than 750,000 marijuana arrests in the U.S. in 2014, according to the FBI).” For what it is worth, even many popular television characters today smoke weed openly. Quite evidently, the stigma around weed is lifting slowly.
Coming back to the weed artist himself, Greenhand, who hails from Oregon, not only makes weapons and Pikachu, but also creates characters from The Simpsons and Spiderman. His posts on Instagram are testimony to the fact that the growing weed lovers’ community is flocking to him for his creative work. He is also active on Snapchat. Greenhand and his girlfriend, Courtney (last name has been kept a secret), stay together and interestingly on their first date, Greenhand offered her a joint in the shape of a rose.
While Greenhand is now adept at rolling some really swanky looking joints, he wasn’t a born natural. He recalls that the first ever joint that he rolled had too much saliva. “I was, essentially, at my core, humiliated. I bounced back though.”
His work was first displayed online when a friend urged him to share a photo of a joint made to look like a Sherlock Holmes pipe on Reddit. Barry Bard, a cannabis consultant based in Denver, Colorado, said, “It’s like when you smoke some crazy weed for the first time. It was like, ‘Is this really happening? Am I, like, seeing a legitimate joint rolled into flower petals?’ My mind was blown.”
It goes without saying, Greenhand cannot ship a joint through a courier service or drop it in the mail. To solve this problem, his clients have to either collect the joint from him personally in Oregon, or Greenhand could send them a hollowed out sculpture that can be filled with weed later. He only accepts cash, checks, or Bitcoin, especially since credit card companies and PayPal are extra cautious about companies that deal with anything related to weed.
Greenhand is also interested in trades. “I’ve honestly been looking for diamonds like nobody’s business. Also exotic animal parts, or fossils, or jarred specimens. Anything spectacular, I’m pretty into,” he said.
Greenhand has not disclosed how much he makes from selling his artistic joints every year. Furthermore, his bank is aware that he does weed-related business, but Greenhand uses his bank’s services only to cash a check. Also, he doesn’t pay taxes for now. He intends to once the government makes marijuana legal.
He talks about the future of his venture. “At the end of the day, I don’t hurt anybody. Maybe I want to make a 10-pound joint next, OK? Or maybe I’ll make one that weights 15 pounds. It’s going to get smoked either way. And I bet I can smoke it faster than you can find out about it,” he explained.
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]