Rev. Bruce Scher has dubbed himself the "Cannabis Minister." The former New York City tour guide moved to South Florida and is now semiretired. But hoping to fill a future need for pot-centric weddings, he recently became ordained through the Universal Life Church.
"People might be reluctant to have a Catholic priest officiate their wedding if there's going to be pot smoking," Scher says. "But I'm very nonjudgmental. I take part in cannabis myself, and I would have no problem with people smoking right up at the altar as they're saying, 'I do.'"
For $300, Scher will officiate your Miami-area wedding, and you'll get your wedding certificate while waiving the three-day waiting period for Florida residents. Scher is nondenominational and welcomes all couples, including gay, lesbian, and transgender.
There's one hitch: Recreational use is not yet legal in Florida, so a lot is riding on the various petition drives to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot next year.
Scher says he's patient and can wait for his business to take off then. In the meantime, covert couples can find him online to request officiating services for private events.
"Cannabis is just a part of people's lifestyle, and when you get married, it's such a wonderful occasion, such a celebration, and they'll want to include it," the reverend says. "And I'm sure they will. They probably already do, you know, smoking on the balcony or outside the venue."
The other problem is Scher can't exactly advertise on major wedding sites such as the Knot and WeddingWire because his business name includes the word "cannabis."
"It's going to be hard because really the market is only medical marijuana, so it's a very small base," he says.
In any event, Scher is confident legalization will eventually take off in Florida — and when it does, he'll be ahead of the curve.
Already, weddings in California are including THC-infused foods and cannabis-flower bouquets, Scher says. Serious couples are offering budtenders instead of bartenders to introduce guests to new strains and delivery methods, from joints to vapes to edibles.
Ultimately, Scher is banking on the fact that a weed-friendly wedding on the beach could make for nuptial gold. But for now, he'll have to avoid making waves in Miami Beach, which has banned smoking on public property.
"It might have to be on the down-low," he says.