These Bags Hold (& Hide) Your Weed & Arsenal Of Smoking Accessories

Photo: Courtesy of Mart Leet/AnnaBis.
Mainstream cannabis culture has flourished in the past few years: Recreational marijuana usage has been greenlit in a handful of states (Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska, plus D.C.), and medicinal weed is now legal in 23 states and counting. In terms of how the increasingly less illicit substance and its accompanying accessories have been corporatized, “the first pot marketer” was crowned last summer, and this spring brought about “the Martha Stewart of weed.” But there hasn’t been much progress for the pot-smoking set in the fashion realm — until now. Enter AnnaBis, a line of bags specifically tailored to your most discrete spliff-stashing needs and that telltale odor.

There’s a petite cross-body style, The Chelsea, that comes in three hues and retails for $295; the special bottom compartment is meant to hold a medical marijuana card, vape or pipe, lighter, rolling papers, and the like, along with a removable leather tray for whatever assembly's required (rolling, e.g.). There’s also a multi-use clutch for all sorts of marijuana miscellany, plus a "vape case" for those who’ve graduated to going at it smoke-free. All three styles have leather exteriors, jacquard linings, airtight zippers, and are tricked out with “odor-loc” aroma-controlling technology.

The brand, which is pronounced "Anna Bee," was created by a duo of pals who met at a party in 2011 and have decidedly diverse résumés: Ann Shuch is a Parsons School of Design alum turned startup investor and entrepreneur, and Jeanine Moss has founded a marketing firm, worked as communications chief for the September 11th Fund, and created the first computerized horse breeding and buying registry, among other endeavors. The pair came up with the idea in February 2014, spent two months doing research, and incorporated the company last April. AnnaBis had a soft-launch at a Weed Club event in San Francisco earlier this year, followed by an official launch at the MJ Business Conference. Shuch and Moss have been shopping the brand around to venture capitalists in pursuit of investors. They don't have any takers yet, though The Washington Post's Robin Givhan writes that VCs were interested in the concept.
Photo: Courtesy of Mart Leet/AnnaBis.
And it's not just about accessorizing your extra-curricular. The company also strives to de-stigmatize smoking for women, through something as seemingly frivolous as a handbag: "[Cannabis culture] has been an illicit, underground culture for years, and women are typically stigmatized to a much greater extent than men which keeps them in deep cover," Moss told Refinery29. "Men often dominate industries [like this] when they emerge, because [they have established] financial and business positions. They then typically make products for men — or make products they think women want... We’re helping address stigma because [our brand] puts a different face on cannabis and tells women that they can be part of a new legal cannabis culture."

With AnnaBis, Shuch and Moss are hitting a potentially narrow but overlooked demographic: style-conscious women who smoke weed, and are already shelling out for $200 to $300 handbags, from labels like Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Tory Burch, and Coach, Moss says. Shuch heads up the design and production team, and Moss describes the look as "elegant but accessible...with high fashion design, quality materials and construction, and very functional." Discretion is a key differentiator between AnnaBis and the current competition: "Most importantly, we wanted to design something that doesn’t have cannabis leaves and Jamaican flags all over it...something that would look good in our Chloé, Gucci, and Anya Hindmarch bags," Moss explains.

It might sound like a pretty niche market. But a number of states (especially California, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maine, and Vermont) are poised to legalize recreational usage in 2016. We're guessing the number of female weed enthusiasts is bound to increase sizably as a result, and with it, perhaps, the sales (and selection) of stylish marijuana-storing bags will rise accordingly. Not that these bags are for women only — you do you when accessories shopping — but Moss says "men are besieging us with requests for us to make AnnaBis products for them!"
Photo: Courtesy of Mart Leet/AnnaBis.