Most Friday nights I don't do much. I work a forty hour a week cubicle job and dedicate about that same amount of time blogging, so when it gets to Friday night, I like to do as little as possible. But last night (Friday) was special. I took my wife to the Women Grow Portland Chapter summer social event. It was my wife's first time ever attending a cannabis industry event, and it's safe to say that her mind was blown away by how fun and amazing the event was. On the hour or so drive back to our home she talked my ear off about the people she had met, the conversations that were had, and how excited she is for the future of the cannabis industry.
As with the other Women Grow Portland chapter events I have attended recently, this event was very popular and heavily attended. There were people there that owned dispensaries, that worked for edible company, that were consultants, that sold greenhouses, that sold hemp soap, there were authors, there were marijuana growers, and just about every other type of cannabis business owner and employee you could imagine. The thing that I like most about Women Grow events is talking to all of the people about their pursuits.
Everyone is so full of excitement, no matter what stage of their business pursuit they are in. There are people at Women Grow events that have been in the industry for years, there are others that are just exploring the marijuana industry to see if there's a spot in the industry, and everything in between. I'm always especially excited to talk to newbies, because they are so full of questions and you can tell they don't always know where to get the answers. There is a lot of smoke and mirrors in the cannabis industry, and I feel that at Women Grow events, all of that riff raff is left at the door. People are there to learn, to network, and to get down to business, but all in a very fun-loving way.
Unlike previous Women Grow events that I have attended, this one was at a private residence in Portland, Oregon. To say that the residence was stunningly beautiful is a huge understatement. The house was enormous and full of character. Next to the house was a perfect lawn for social gatherings, as seen in the picture below:
I want to thank Vanessa Storelli and her family for hosting the event. My wife and I hung out for a bit with Vanessa Storelli, and she is extremely funny and definitely knows how to throw a good party. I hope that she had a great time and knows that everyone else did. I hope to see her at more Women Grow events! When we first got off the shuttle bus to the location, we ran into my business partner Travis, and his business partner Randy. They were joined by a reporter that I think is doing some homework on a marijuana story. I'll keep his name and publication private, but will make sure to pass along his article if/when he publishes one.
After a lengthy discussion about legalization efforts, we started to mingle because after all, that's what Women Grow events are all about. Networking and getting to know people in the industry is vital to the success of people trying to succeed in the cannabis industry. For a long time everything was hush hush. Those days are gone in Oregon. If you are a female entrepreneur in the industry or are trying to work for one, there is no better place to learn and meet like minded people than at a Women Grow Portland chapter event.
Drip Ice Cream was in attendance giving out free samples of their ridiculously awesome cannabis ice cream. It is seriously the best thing that I have ever eaten, marijuana infused or otherwise. They had samples of ice cream infused with 10 mg of THC, honey lavender flavor. Literally everyone I met at the event started off the conversation with 'did you try that honey lavender ice cream!?' I plan on doing a review about the ice cream soon. I have already done reviews on their cookies and cream and salted caramel flavors. Click on the links to read those review, and make sure to pick up some Drip Ice Cream at a dispensary near you. You will not be disappointed.
After visiting the Drip Ice Cream table, I took a little while to put some clouds into the air and enjoy the funk band and food that was provided at the event. I absolutely love BBQ and funk music, so I was right at home hanging out on the lawn. Having a rocking funk band was way better than a generic DJ playing songs that some people like and others don't. The funk band, Dove Driver, was amazing, and kept smiles on peoples faces and movement in their feet all night long.
It was then time to visit the consumption area, which had a lot of Oregon marijuana company's products on display and to consume. I took flower vaporizer hits, took hits from joints, and took multiple dab hits. High Grade Harvest had some amazing flower, and the extracts from So Fresh Farms were outstanding. Jay from Fresh Buds dispensary was there along with some of his crew, and that guy is very entertaining. I had seen him at previous events and finally had the opportunity to actually shake his hand and talk some toke. I was very excited to see some print materials for what is soon to be hands down my favorite medical marijuana dispensary in Oregon - Flower and Oil, which will open soon on Fremont. Get familiar with that name because I will be talking about it a lot once it opens.
I ran into some familiar faces at the event, including Kathryn Darby from Lifted medibles. She was joined by her husband Earl, who I was very glad to meet. Their company is on the rise, so make sure to look for their products when you are at Oregon dispensaries. I ran into Jen Hudyma and met her husband. Jen has been writing for TWB recently. Her article about talking to your children about legal marijuana has been getting a lot of views lately, which doesn't surprise me because she is such a talented writer and obviously has a strong passion for all things cannabis. I hope to post more of her articles in the near future.
I met a lot of new people too, including a lady that sells custom greenhouses. The company is called Solexx, and I know several people that have used them for their greenhouses, even before growing marijuana was mainstream. I had a long talk with Michelle (CEO of Solexx) about how great it is that people don't have to operate in the shadows anymore. It has allowed her to sell better greenhouses that are specifically geared towards marijuana cultivation, which obviously benefits the grower. I told her that I'm going to be in the market for a greenhouse next Spring, and I can't wait to see what she has to offer.
Botanic E Liquids had a big table in the consumption area and had some amazing cannabis e-liquids. One company that I was particular impressed by at the event was a company called Highly Distributed. Highly Distributed is an Oregon company that specializes in being a bridge between cannabis growers/product makers and outlets. I have said for awhile now that there is a huge need for that type of niche business because growers like to grow, and should focus on that, and not on networking with dispensary owners. Highly Distributed helps people focus on what they do best, and they do all of the leg work of shopping around your product. It's a genius idea, and one that either people weren't doing, or at least weren't doing well. If you're a grower looking to get your stuff to outlets, I'd suggest hitting them up.
There was a bunch of shatter there from a company called Phyre. I consumed some of their Gorilla Glue strain that knocked my socks off. Happy Leaf, who was a sponsor of the event, contributed the Jollybee extracts that a lot of people were raving about. There was so much quality concentrates and flower at the event that it was hard to keep track. Admittedly, it was a good problem to have!
I ended the night with a long conversation about the industry with the head of Oregon Hemp Works. This blog started about the same time that Oregon Hemp Works started, and I've been friends with them on Facebook since almost the very beginning. I have always wondered who ran that company because I have heard such amazing things about their products. Oregon Hemp Works' products are second to none, each individually wrapped which I think shows how much love goes into everything that they make. I have been meaning to purchase some of their products for a very long time, and to do a review, and I am finally going to get off my lazy butt and get it done, so be expecting that soon!
All in all, this was a very memorable night for me and my wife, and I think it was memorable for everyone else that was in attendance. Thanks again to Vanessa Storelli for being such an amazing host, and thanks to the Women Grow Portland chapter team for creating something so fantastic. I was asked on Facebook today what has impressed me most about the Women Grow Portland chapter, and I have to say that it's the positive networking environment that they create at all of their events. I have been to many, many industry events and they all seem to have the same theme for the most part - they are full of posturing. If you know me, you know that posturing is one of my biggest pet peeves. If you are good at what you do, let the results speak for themselves. That's always been my motto, and it's also why I prefer to talk to people that use objective math rather than subjective hype. There should be no need to constantly beat people over the head with how great you are, or how great your idea is, if you are doing it right.
I like to meet people that are rooting for everyone in the industry, and for people that don't worry about what others are doing because they bring their 'A game' everyday that they wake up. They stand by their product, and urge others to do the same. That's what Women Grow is all about. Women Grow is about empowering women in the industry so that they can succeed and represent the industry well. I tip my hat to Women Grow for what they are doing, and specifically the Portland chapter, which is the largest chapter in America right now from my understanding. The chapter has a lot planned in the future. Text WGPDX to 420420 to receive alerts about their upcoming events and to keep up-to-date on all things Women Grow Portland chapter related.