Ladies, unhook your bras. The Ganja Goddess Getaway is coming to Los Angeles (well, Palm Springs, but it’s basically the same thing at this point, right?).
Founded by two powerhouse women in the cannabis industry, this women’s-only overnighter is intended to celebrate sisterhood, tear down the walls of inhibition and put cannabis to use as a “creative and spiritual tool.” Four weekends a year, at outdoorsy locations in both Northern and Southern California, this weed-centric trip brings together 75 to 100 ladies for glamping, dancing, yoga classes and a little “Puff, Puff, Craft” time. You can take a hike in the desert, relax in the hot tub or get your tarot cards read, all in the name of “radical self-love.”
“It feels like summer camp with a bunch of girlfriends,” said Sailene Ossman, one of the getaway's co-founders.
Ossman is a longtime staple in L.A.’s cannabis industry, operating a veteran delivery service on the Westside and recently debuting her new Privée Social Club, a subscription-based service where members have access to high-end weed products, parties and a concierge service.
Ossman was asked to be a speaker at the first Ganja Goddess Getaway in Pescadero, and fell so in love with the vibe that she wanted to be a part of it indefinitely.
“When I arrived and I met the women, I felt like I was at home,” Ossman said. “It was so wonderful to be nurtured and not have to lift a finger.”
This is exactly what Deidra Bagdasarian, the creator of the event, intended when she put the wheels in motion last year. Bagdasarian, also known as “Miss Bliss,” is a teacher at Oakland’s cannabis college, Oaksterdam University, and the owner of Bliss Edibles & Extracts, where she cranks out weed treats including vegan macaroons, German chocolate truffles and mint chocolate cupcakes. (Treats like these are definitely on hand for the goddess retreat as well.)
After she had a baby a few years ago, Bagdasarian had less time to be in her kitchen cooking with cannabis and felt increasingly isolated and lonely.
“I needed a getaway. I needed a vacation, a retreat, something to fill my soul,” she said. She was looking for something that would help her be a positive role model for her daughter.
She reached out to some of her friends at Oaksterdam and in the larger cannabis community and came up with the idea for the goddess getaway. She’s hosted three retreats so far, with five more events planned for this year — a few of which are private.
While some guests arrive clad in tie-dye and those signature pink “pussy hats” present en masse at the Women’s March, participating groups have overall been wildly diverse, ranging in ages, ethnicities and smoking prowess.
The point of the trip is to be pampered, say the founders: Eat catered food, bask in the posi-lady vibes and learn a little bit about women’s sexuality and how to use cannabis to improve your overall health.
Or, don’t do any of that.
“If you feel you just want to lie in a hammock and puff on a joint all weekend ... whatever makes you happy,” said Ossman.
The Ganja Goddess Getaway isn’t the only vacation package to cash in on the legalization of cannabis. This year in Ojai, the upscale Cannabliss “experiential retreat” will last five days and encourage attendees to “adventure down the rabbit hole” with hiking, gourmet meals, fitness, massages and more. There’s also the well-established CannaCamp in Colorado, where you sleep in cabins, fuel up on a wake-and-bake breakfast and then head out for mountain biking or other outdoorsy fun. Campers have to bring their own weed, but the camp shuttle will take you straight to a dispensary to stock up.
At the Ganja Goddess Getaway, all the weed you need is provided for you, and often in supersize form — like the comically large, family-size joint campers passed around at the retreat in Pescadero last year. Coming up in August and September, the Ganja Goddess Getaway returns to Pescadero, at a dreamy, forest-bound retreat near the ocean; and then takes on Palm Springs. They’ve even added a “couples retreat” for those ladies who want to bring their significant other.
Last year, the Southern California event was held at a private estate in Joshua Tree.
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Ticket prices vary based on location and how cushy you like your camping, but for $120, prospective goddesses can secure a day pass that includes access to all the workshops, activities and events, in addition to brunch and dinner, and all-you-can-smoke-and-dab. Overnight tickets start at $199 and include a “swag bag” full of weed goodies. It’s BYO tent but everything else is provided by the getaway, including actual bathrooms and catered, “mostly organic” meals. Prices increase from here all the way up to $420, which covers admission for two women and secures you the “sleepaway camp”–style accommodations in either a lodge or a yurt.
Bagdasarian said she realizes the event sounds pretty ethereal and nearly religious, but it’s actually yielded some really transformational experiences for participants. For one woman, she says, cannabis helped her to stop relying on her wheelchair, and at the Ganja Goddess Getaway she went on her first hike in years. Another woman had such a bad stutter that she had a difficult time making friends as an adult, but she felt so comfortable and confident at the retreat that she broke out of her shell and started making new friends, recounts Bagdasarian. She even lost her voice from talking so much.
“Who knew there was so much power if women could just get together and love each other,” said Bagdasarian.