High Country: Forti Goods cannabis furniture helps hide your stash in style
Introducing the Room & Board of weed, which crafts contemporary, kid-proof pieces for the 4/20-friendly home.
When it comes to cannabis accessories, brands have evolved alongside legalization — maturing from the basic paraphernalia of the early aughts to today’s widely accessible aesthetically elevated pieces. But as connoisseurs collect covetable wares like designer bongs, high-tech vaporizers, 24-karat gold grinders and refined rolling papers, it’s still a challenge to find a functional, safe and stylish way to store it all.
Forti Goods, the first furniture company dedicated to designing exclusively for cannabis enthusiasts is the solution. It debuted the line in December featuring armoires, dressers, nightstands and coffee tables — each outfitted with custom inserts and lockable drawers.
“We provide people, especially parents, with beautiful furniture that facilitates responsible, elevated cannabis use within the home. This is an important niche to fill,” shared Forti Goods founder and CEO Sharon Kevil. “The increased potency of today’s cannabis means it should be stored responsibly around children and pets. We like to say that our furniture helps you to relax and enjoy your best high because you don’t have to worry about accidental ingestion.”
Kevil, who’s based in Milwaukee where she spent over a decade as an interior designer and working in furniture development for Kohl’s, was initially exploring the idea of starting her own small-batch business intended to target independent hotel and senior living markets.
“Then Covid happened, and we saw dispensaries classified as essential businesses in states with reformed cannabis laws. Although it’s been a tough time to launch a business, it also felt like, if there was ever a time to bring this product to life, 2020 was the year,” said Kevil.
Forti comes from the Latin word “Fortis,” an adjective that means strong, powerful, mighty, courageous, brave and bold. Kevil wanted the brand to convey strength not only in her designs, but also in its locks. The self-described “anti-fast furniture startup” creates handcrafted pieces with a focus on sustainability — ash, oak and walnut woods are responsibly sourced and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified with water based stains. Inside, each piece is also lined with carbon filters to neutralize the scent of cannabis with drawers and cabinets that are secured shut via an app.
“Stash boxes are great if they fit your needs, but something bigger and more lasting made more sense,” added Kevil. “Glassware and larger accessories don’t [usually] fit, requiring things to be stored separately. For me, it was important to have the small-scale organization of a stash box, in a bigger piece of furniture that could secure accessories and help with scent control.”
Pricing (and the high-quality, contemporary aesthetic) is on par with the likes of Room & Board, ranging from $1,850 for the Grace side table to $4,050 for the Geraldine smart display cabinet. While its furniture is “built to last a lifetime” and costs as such, Forti Goods also offers affordable and compatible accessories for organization including blocks for vape cartridges, pre-rolls and flower jars. A percentage of sales supports the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) through a planned annual donation to its lobbying arm.
“Until the system changes, lobbying is how laws get changed,” explained Kevil. “MPP works with state and federal lawmakers to not just end prohibition and the failed War on Drugs, but to also help with reforms that get people out of jail, expunge records, and make sure that this new industry works for the communities most harmed by prohibition.”
Cannabis is still illegal in her and the company’s home state of Wisconsin, despite 60% of the population being in favor of legalization and 83% of residents supporting the legalization of medical marijuana according to a 2019 Marquette University Law Poll.
“We have a state government that’s represented by a Republican minority that’s not in favor of legalization of any kind [however, the Governor did propose it in the biennial budget last month] . It’s a misunderstood plant, with many stoner stereotypes persisting,” Kevil said. “To my critics, I keep saying, ‘The only reason you find what I’m doing hard to accept is because it hasn’t been done before.’ Just Google ‘bar cabinet’ or ‘liquor cabinet’ and look at everything that’s available to people who drink alcohol. Once cannabis furniture is accepted as normal, I think you’ll see more people in the space with us. I just hope they’re also going to do it with an eye towards holistic sustainability.”