Last Saturday, May 26th, the San Fernando Valley dispensary Erb & Arbor hosted an unusual event that drew a large crowd. It was a wrestling match complete with a ring, a referee, and costumed macho men who rallied the crowd before each bout.
The event was put on by the edibles brand Luchador, whose founder emigrated to the U.S. from Mexico.
Lucha Libre, aka Mexican wrestling, has been big in Southern California since the 80s. In the past year, Luchador has been bringing Lucha Libre to weed dispensaries throughout SoCal in order to promote the brand and bring the community together.
“Wrestling seems to have this broad appeal and curiosity in people,” said Ross Gardiner, Creative Director and Chief Marketing Officer and Co-Founder of the brand.
Gardiner said that he’s seen the shows bring in in a diverse crowd, with most attendees being first-timers. He says that fans old and new enjoy attending. Tying wrestling to cannabis has proved successful.
“The real hardcore wrestling fans that come out, a lot of them smoke weed so they like to take advantage of the deals that are happening at the dispensary that day. The dispensaries love it because it brings a lot of folk out and it’s always a big sales day for them. And we like it because we get to introduce our products to more people and put on a great show and it’s super fun,” Gardiner said.
“We don’t really think there’s anything out there in cannabis like this at the moment” he said.
Gardiner said that cannabis edibles are often marketed for medicinal benefits, making them have a serious tone. These events and Luchador’s take on edibles goes in a different direction.
“It shows there’s a gap in the edible category to just be fun and have a good time,” Gardiner said. “Everybody was kind of being a bit serious, wellness-y, but people still use gummies for fun.”
Luchador is led by Carolina Vasquez-Mitchell and her husband Ben Mitchell. Vasquez-Mitchell moved to the U.S. from Guadalajara, Mexico. When she decided to launch an edibles brand, Vasquez-Mitchell was set on something that expressed her Mexican heritage.
“Carolina wanted to do something that relates to the things she thinks of when she thinks of Mexico: powerful, strong, bold, great flavors. That’s what’s represented in the event, in the brand, and in all of the products,” Gardiner said. The brand offers THC gummies in flavors like Cucumber Chile Lime and Watermelon Chamoy.
The brand went with the figure of the Luchador as its mascot because, Gardiner said, “It’s an emblem of strength, of power, of humor.”
The dispensary wrestling matches put the Luchador sensibility on full display. Gardiner says that there’s a greater good that happens at these shows, where people connect to the characters.
“Especially with the good guys, there’s a lot of hope carried in them. You really see when the crowd gets behind the good guys, it’s really energizing and uniting,” Gardiner said.
Luchador gummy edibles are available at around 150 dispensary locations in the state, and the brand plans to continue holding Lucha Libre bouts at cannabis shops around the state.