Tony Greenhand was running three hours behind schedule. No matter how hard he tried, the lines he molded onto his hand grenade sculpture—already packed with two ounces of Holy Grail Kush—looked a little uneven.
“I’m a perfectionist on a time crunch,” the 26-year-old had joked before he raced up to Portland, Oregon last month. Greenhand, who turned a knack for joint rolling into a living selling smokeable works of art, had just gotten one of his biggest commissions yet: $7,000 for a small arsenal of large marijuana blunts made to look like weapons.
When he finally pulled into a downtown parking garage, he relaxed a little about the grenade. “It’s OK, I guess, ’cause it’s gonna get smoked,” he said contemplatively, sparking a fat doobie in his Mercedes SUV. The car soon began to hotbox. “Nobody’s really nitpicking.”
Greenhand’s client, a young and ultra-wealthy firearms enthusiast in Florida, had flown out in a private jet to personally collect the joints he had commissioned. In addition to the grenade, there was a 1.5-ounce golden Glock. Then, there was the centerpiece of the consignment—a replica of an AK-47, fashioned from rolling papers and a half-pound of kind bud.
Placing each piece carefully into a cardboard box, Greenhand made his way toward the top floor of the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront. With his long hair, backwards baseball hat, and 150-pound frame, he looked more like a pizza delivery guy than an artist with a grip of sculptures that would make Snoop Dogg swoon.
Greenhand’s wealthy buyer beamed when he saw the guns and the grenade. “The anticipation almost killed me bro,” he said, taking a long pull from a bottle Kettle One vodka. He shook his head in a state of disbelief. A few other people milled about the suite, which was already scarred from an afternoon of hard partying. Soon, hip hop beats and marijuana fumes rippled throughout the room.
Clutching the AK-47, the client’s eyes lit up. “You want to get El Chapo’d right now?”
His friends, a rap crew that included the Bay Area artist A-Wax as well as Rick Ross producer Nonstop Da Hitman, appeared equally enthralled by Greenhand’s work. They spent the next 10 minutes ogling the arsenal. Then, almost instinctively, they grabbed their phones and took turns snapping photos of themselves posing with the weapons—some of which emerged on Instagram within minutes.
The surreal scene didn’t seem to phase Greenhand one bit. Much of his life is every bit as strange these days. “I enjoy it,” he said. “I just try not to enjoy it too much.”
That might be a tall order to Tony Greenhand, who has transformed his gift for rolling ganja into a high art, as well a potent personal brand that’s spreading across Instagram and Snapchat. From a podunk part of Oregon, he turns pot and rolling papers into peacocks and Simpsons characters that are smoked by weed royalty and admired by thousands online.
His ability to mold marijuana has made him into a luminary within the growing cannabis community, a once amorphous subculture that—thanks, in part, to legalization and social media—is now the driving force behind one of the fastest changing social issues of our lifetime. It has also solidified Greenhand’s role as a creative pioneer.
“In a way, what Monet was to Impressionism, Tony is to the art of joint rolling,” said Barry Bard, a cannabis consultant based in Denver, Colorado. “It wouldn’t exist without him.”
[See full article: Vocativ]