I think all of us working in or around the cannabis industry have spent time pondering our dream cannabis event. I’ve often thought about putting together pillow-strewn DIY nail art nights with an intimate group or a bigger themed movie screening complete with a dress code and infused snacks. Every time I talk to someone about what Portland, OR needs to build up summer tourism, cannabis events enter the conversation. Our relationships with cannabis may be very personal, but there’s nothing quite like connecting with like-minded people IRL in a safe space augmented by the whimsy of this plant. But every time I have these conversations, some kind of legislative, cost-prohibitive, or bandwidth-related reason it won’t work quashes the creative riff. Lauren Carpenter is someone who considered all of the reasons not to proceed with a big, ambitious idea, rolled up her sleeves, and went ahead with it anyway.
The CEO and co-founder of California-based Embarc dispensaries and Embarc Events is behind the execution of Grass Lands, the epic cannabis component of San Francisco’s Outside Lands music festival that includes cannabis sales and consumption. In today’s chat, she talks about how they made the novel activation possible, the pain points and lessons learned, and offers advice for any business or individual considering bringing an event to life. ✤