Oh my goodness what a blast our Grow Your Own: Understanding, Cultivating, and Enjoying Cannabis (published by Tin House, Sept. 2017) launch party was this past September at Holocene! So, so fun and hundreds came out for it. I've been meaning to post photos from it for far too long because words alone can't do it justice. We had all sorts of wonderful coverage for the launch in the weeks leading up including this and this. I'm so happy that we were able to heavily feature and celebrate women as party presenters and speakers. From the get-go with this book project with Tin House we wanted to create an inviting, accessible and more female-voiced cannabis book. It feels so lovely to have succeeded at that both with the book and with the launch party. No mansplaining!
Night-of-the-party highlights ranged from Bill Murray being in attendance (see below ;) and DJ Jimbo spinning vinyl to our Cannabis Community Fair with all sorts of bright and brilliant folks from Botanica, Broccoli Magazine, Van Der Pop, Phylos Bioscience, Pearl Extracts, Hana Medicinals, and Make & Mary sharing their cannabis wares and wisdom. On Holocene's upper stage I emceed a wide range of kick-ass speakers for our Women in Cannabis talks. I've pasted the schedule and details below. I really wish that we'd filmed the talks. So fun and inspiring.
With everything going on these days regarding U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinding those Obama Department of Justice cannabis memos (inviting federal prosecutors to enforce federal cannabis laws aggressively) I think it's more important than ever to stand loud and proud for state rights in regard to cannabis legalization. The fact is -- a real fact! -- the majority of our country's population has chosen and voted to decriminalize and legalize cannabis in one way or another. We've got this. We won't let anyone take it away from us.
Grow Your Own celebrates all of this and then some and it turns out A LOT of us on this green legalize it and celebrate it team are strong, smart, savvy women. Below are a bunch of launch party photos that illustrate this point and give you a feel for just how creative and fun growing your own can be. Also, you can treat your ears to a live recording of part of DJ Jimbo's Grow Your Own party set here. And if you want to hear Nichole and I talking up the book you can have a listen to our recent KBOO News In Depth interview. We also had a great Powell's event in January that I've linked up the audio for below. At Powell's we discussed everything from the importance of terpenes in the plant kingdom and cannabis smell/flavor profiles, to pesky pests in cannabis cultivation and the unstoppable power of women in our current era of cannabis decriminalization and legalization. Grow Your Own also made it into Esquire Magazine's Encyclopedia of Epic and BuzzFeed Books Gift Guide! Had to share.
Next up, some words from Nichole Graf -- cannabis queen, my dear friend, designer extraordinaire and co-author of Grow Your Own about the party:
After four years in the legal recreational cannabis world, I'd been to enough "weed events" to know that I don't feel like I belong at most of them. When Tin House gave us the reins to throw this book launch party, I wanted to be sure to seize our chance to change the perception of what cannabis industry celebrations can look like. This was also an opportunity to expose an entirely new swath of Portland to our world, so we wanted to be very intentional in shaping the rhetoric of the evening. No internet misinformation, snarky budtenders, or interrupting bros who have "a friend who used to grow" and thus assure you they knew more about weed than you likely do. We got a rapt audience at Holocene, hungry to hear how we want the world at large to understand cannabis.
I met so many incredible women while making the rounds promoting Grow Your Own and networking through Raven that were (and are) making unbelievable things happen in the world of legal weed. Using our event to give them a platform to share their passion projects was a complete no-brainer. Plus, these women know how to party! Heads up -- if you're throwing a party and want to seed your crowd, I've got a killer guest list of charismatic, intelligent, magnetic broads to send your way. There was so much love, enthusiasm, and energy that went into planning this night and it came through in this feeling of electric excitement from seemingly everyone who walked through the door. Our aim was to create a magical vibe, get people feeling groovy, and simultaneously teach them many incredible things happening right now in cannabis. We definitely succeeded. Looking back at these photos, I still get the giddy stomach flip of feeling like we managed to pull it off with bells on. Yearly reunion?
GROW YOUR OWN LAUNCH PARTY WOMEN IN CANNABIS SPEAKERS
7:00PM — ANDI BIXEL, Creator of Drip Sweets
Cannabis as Medicine for Our Culture
Let’s talk about the ways that normalizing cannabis can make big waves for our culture. Andi will explore the importance of properly introducing the plant to newbies and how we can play with and understand our experience of cannabis.
7:30PM — CAROLYN WHITE, Marketing Manager of Phylos Bioscience
Staying True: Building a Values-Based Brand in the Cannabis Industry
Carolyn will talk about the Phylos Bioscience model, science, and dreams for the industry. Get ready for a deep dive into the Phylos Galaxy and learn about the organization’s ambitious goal of mapping the cannabis genome.
8:00PM — MARY J POPPINS, Founder & CEO of Sativa Science Club
The Importance of Education and Advocacy in the Cannabis Industry
Mary will discuss the need for foundational science education for all those involved in the cannabis industry—professionals and consumers alike. She’ll also dive into why she founded Sativa Science Club and how to empower cannabis users through education.
8:30PM — EMMA CHASEN, Cannabis Educator at Sativa Science Club
Counter Culture: Re-framing Your Relationship with Cannabis in a Dispensary Environment
The wonderful world of legal cannabis can be overwhelming to the novice consumer. That’s why we have budtenders to guide our dispensary experiences. But what happens when the budtenders are ill informed? How can we as consumers ask the right questions? Emma Chasen, recently named Portland’s Best Budtender of 2016, will share helpful tips to make sure you get the most out of your dispensary experience.
9:00 PM — APRIL PRIDE, Founder of Van der Pop
Hot Box: Women’s Sexual Health in the Age of Legal Cannabis
April, founder of cannabis lifestyle brand Van der Pop, will share all she’s learned on how cannabis inspires sexual freedom in relationships and sexual satisfaction while alone. With only one approved medication dedicated to women’s sexual health (as compared to 26 for men), cannabis promises to close the gap.
9:30PM — NICHOLE GRAF, co-author of Grow Your Own and Creative Director of Raven Grass & LENA DAVIDSON, Director of Community Outreach at Botanica Seattle
Ask Us Anything (About Cannabis)
Join Nichole and Lena for a frank conversation about cannabis as a movement, our power as professionals and consumers, and the importance of Growing Your Own now more than ever. They’ll also be answering the questions you’ve dropped in the “Ask Us Anything” box over the course of the night.