There seems to be a heightened level of social, cultural, and legal importance pertaining to the once criminalized plant, cannabis. Some say that designating cannabis as an “essential” business the likes of a pharmacy or grocery store was a massive victory for cannabis and can surely usher in federal legalization in the US. As it currently stands, and despite a historic bill passed by the House of Representatives in November of 2019, cannabis remains federally illegal, though state-approved virtual cannabis events are taking place in this post-COVID era.
Groups & Organizations
Of those supporting the conversation normalizing cannabis consumption in a post-prohibition world are cannabis event hosts. These hosts produce events and in-person gatherings to discuss, promote, or celebrate medicinal and recreational cannabis consumption. We caught up with a few and discussed how to get and stay connected during times of social distancing and stay-at-home orders.
Tokeativity hosts experiential community events that focus on female empowerment, cannabis normalization, and consumption through creative, social, political, and feminist-forward activities in local chapters across the globe. This global feminist community for active cannabis culture had to cancel quite a few in-person events in response to COVID-19, but that hasn’t stopped these ladies from creating community anyways! Their response to the pandemic? Create and host free, womxn adjacent Instagram lives five times per week during COVID. Referred to as their “Quarantine Schedule”, Tokeativity follows a schedule of:
- Sundays: Toke Tales
- Mondays: Home Schooling Hacks with Mama Sam
- Wednesdays: Our Feminist Future with CEO, Lisa Snyder
- Thursdays: Crafting with Amy Mothercraft
- Fridays: Lady Biz, Sexual Health with Lauren Short
Scheduled to embark on a 10-city, US tour to document womxn and non-binary humans confronting, managing, and healing PTSD with cannabis, This is Jane Project “no longer felt safe holding in-person gatherings for survivors of trauma”, said their Executive Director.
“Discussing one’s trauma can be jarring, and while #TIJP has a thorough resource page for “janes” to utilize, people can suffer without necessary aftercare and/or therapy to process what was either shared or heard at these gatherings,” said Shannon DeGrooms. Topics at #TIJP events include rape, incest, military PTSD, all child abuse, racial and colonial trauma, generational trauma, violence against womxn and LGBTQ individuals, and the trauma of living with chronic and mental-health concerns.
“It’s already a slippery slope to gather and hold discussions about these topics and doing so virtually presented its own unique set of barriers ”, explained DeGrooms. A virtual 1st Anniversary event was held Sunday, May 3rd to celebrate one year of having hard conversations around trauma, healing, and medicating with cannabis, “but there were definitely some issues”, she said. “We’re still exploring how to facilitate and ensure safe spaces for attendees,” she also told CannaCon.“Being a “safe space” isn’t just a keyword for us. It can mean life and death to a suffering jane. This is especially true in the virtual event world. We can’t guarantee who’s on the other side of that screen, read a room’s energy, 100% guarantee privacy, or see if someone in distress”, said DeGrooms.
#TIJP is hosting free Instagram lives every other Sunday through the pandemic. The next one is scheduled for May 17th, at 11 AM PST, 2 PM ES where they’ll discuss “Post Traumatic Growth” with RN and Trauma Recovery Coach, Nique Pichette. See their Instagram page for more info.
Prior to the pandemic, The Mary Jane Experience, a popular podcast recorded in a converted sprinter van appropriately named, “CannaVan”, an Instagram account, blog, and marketplace, had only just expanded its platform to host in-person, community events. “It’s heartbreaking not to be able to physically interact with the beautiful community we have built”, Founder Emily Richards told CannaCon.
“We believe in bringing people together to educate, inspire, share stories, share recipes, and create a connection in these crazy times. We all have so much to offer each other! We plan to collaborate with other cannabis brands and members of the health and wellness community to bring you unique and fun online events that users can participate in from anywhere in the world!
When asked about the best and worst consequences to going virtual she said, “The best is the larger network we have been able to gather and the new and unique event ideas we have been able to bring to life, but the worst are the bandwidth issues, people’s internet not working fast enough, and losing interest in our events because of that.”
Their next event is a Cannabis Trivia night on Thursday, May 14th. You can find details about that and other dope events by The Mary Jane Experience on their website. You can also catch past events like, ‘Ask a Panel of Doctors About Medicinal Cannabis’ on their website.
Event Hosting Platforms
EventHi is an event platform that creates and coordinates cannabis events for the cannabis community. The process of publishing, promoting, and selling tickets for cannabis-related events can be overwhelming so EventHi hosts an event marketplace, registration software, and access to sponsorship that simplifies.
We caught up with EventHi CMO, Adelia Carrillo who shared some key advice for event hosts looking to adapt post-COVID-19. Hosting an online event is completely different than in-person events for obvious reasons. “Make sure as you develop the content, you are thinking about engagement levels. A few examples, create polls, ask questions to the viewers, invite them on screen. You are now competing for their attention and you want to make sure the value and impact you are providing keeps them entertained and engaged” she shared.
Carillo’s second piece of advice? “Plan tech checks: Please schedule tech checks with any speakers or brands who will be a part of your event and make sure on the day of the event you have team members on standby to help any attendees with any customer support questions. You can also go a step further and when using one of these virtual software platforms, ask the platform to send you helpful tips so you can share those with your viewers before the day of the event”.
To stay updated and learn about the latest events on EventHi, please visit www.eventhi.io.
Event cancellations and a pandemic didn’t stop the portland entrepreneur’s from pivoting and facilitating virtual events on their own network and hosting site. Providing “break out” rooms for community members to chat more intimately, or about a particular topic, is a feature that not all virtual event hosts are offering.
Cannabis event hosts interested in hosting with this womxn-forward platform can see more information on their website.
Virtual Cannabis Events: Looking Ahead
Staying connected has taken on a new meaning for those of us existing in a post-COVID-19 world. Said to be critical for personal and collective healing during times like these, it is especially important to stay connected with others. Stay tuned for more information regarding virtual cannabis events.
Photo credit: The Mary Jane Experience