The pot-smoking couch-potato cliché is slowly but surely evaporating, especially in big cities like L.A., where marijuana is now legal and the multitude of things to do while high promise so much more fun than staying home. Grassfed events have been a big part of this focus on interactive gatherings driven by, as they say, the “mindful consumption of cannabis.” From virtual-reality experiences to music and art shows to burlesque nights, Grassfed aims to enhance experiences and engage weed enthusiasts of all stripes, proving that smokers, vapers and edibles fans are as diverse as cocktail lovers.
At a recent VR party called Innerspace, Grassfed offered a cosmic escape into extrasensory realms, providing an eye-popping intro to virtual reality and bringing together a wide array of immersive technologies that went beyond the standard VR headset (we had to lie down for a couple of the experiences, which played with sound as well as sight). Fans of both tech and toking were on hand for the immersive warehouse event, and companies like Breathscape and Soundsurf provided setups that allowed patrons to tune out the busy environment that surrounded us, and connect with our minds and bodies from within, all enhanced by cannabis products that were showcased and available for sampling throughout the event.
“The cannabis community comprises a wide spectrum, with different age groups, consumption levels and experience level,” says Grassfed’s Tomer Grassiany of his events. “With legalization, and cannabis becoming more mainstream, we see a new crop of people entering the cannabis community and either getting out of the 'green closet' or simply feeling it is OK to try it now.”
Founded by Dan Braunstein, Grassfed started operating in L.A. in late 2016, first presenting five-course cannabis-infused dinners, with an innovative vape-only cannabis bar and an eclectic curated playlist. After several successful dinners, Braunstein partnered with Grassiany and started shifting to other social events, including their first Virtual Reality & Cannabis event. They saw “a demand for similar social events, [so we] expanded to other things that provide a unique experience that have a natural connection to cannabis,” says Grassiany. Marijuana Madness, their Prohibition-themed jazz-era burlesque show, soon followed.
They've amassed a nice following of weed fans looking for unique happenings in town, but opening minds has not been easy. “Some of our main challenges involve promotions of events, as most online advertising platforms (like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google) are not cannabis-friendly," Grassiany laments. "[And many] venues are still not cannabis-friendly."
Though one might assume the recent legalization in California would have changed things, Grassiany says that many locales still refer to the federal laws that classify cannabis as a Schedule 1 controlled substance. Hence, many of their events are still private, held in warehouses on the outskirts of town. But Grassfed's uproarious burlesque show — happening tonight — has found a regular home at a proper club, the Silver Lake nightclub Los Globos. The burlesque dance spectacle is building a nice following and attracts both fans of the entertainment variety model and vaping cannabis. Grassfed events tout the cleanliness and efficiency of vaporizers over burning and traditional smoking, so leave your pipes and joints at home.
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"We want all our attendees to have a pleasant experience, and to show that when used correctly through sensible dosing, and high-quality ingredients and products, that cannabis can be a tool to enhance experiences and stay more engaged, rather than disconnect," Grassiany says of this carefully measured approach. "Guests being able to walk away is one of our goals. We try to foster a community of like-minded people who are looking for an alternative way to consume cannabis, and a safe place to do so."
The plan is for Innerspace and Marijuana Madness to pop up in more cities across California soon, as well as other legal states, and to have a presence at gatherings of all kinds. "We aim to bring our cannabis bars to more weddings, parties and corporate events," Grassiany says of Grassfed's plans to help normalize social cannabis consumption. It's their hope that soon the stigma will be gone and that cannibis sampling will be "akin to wine tastings rather than doing shots at the bar."
Marijuana Madness at Los Globos, 3040 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake; Wed., Oct. 3, 7:30-10:30 p.m. Tickets and info here.
More about Grassfed Events, including their VR Innerspace parties, here.