Cannabis-centric events are growing in popularity. People who support cannabis as part of a healthy lifestyle are taking advantage of the new political climate in states where social consumption is now permitted. This weekend, perched on top of an elegantly furnished rooftop in Santa Monica, we experienced a meeting of the marijuana minds called Spring Awakening, subtitled a “Rooftop cannabis yoga and wellness event,” devised to bring people together for a bliss-filled afternoon.

The producers of the event, Joy of Mahogany Mary and Janice of DankGals, have launched what will be a quarterly gathering to celebrate the end of reefer madness and a new beginning for weed wellness. Mahogany Mary is a California-based events company and self-proclaimed “cannabis society for the consciously enlightened weed enthusiast.” DankGals is a fine purveyor of wares geared toward ladies including pipes cut from crystal quarries and acclaimed dabbing rigs (such as Double Vortex and Honey Bee) featuring exclusive glass colors sourced from Momka in Seattle. What better way for them to kick-start a series of social gatherings for like minded weed-worshipers then an outdoor yoga session?

For many of the attendees, this was the first time they had imbibed cannabis and practiced yoga in a formal, classroom setting – the course instructor Minelli Eustacio included. “I’ve taught small, private sessions in my home, but this is the first at a public event,” Minelli says with a smile. Minelli is an expert in the healing arts, both a certified yoga instructor and a nurse practitioner. This aspect of her nature shines during her instruction as she gracefully guides her students to incorporate puffs from a joint as desired, in between poses, with tunes from Flight Facilities, Massive Attack, and Dream Koala wafting in the background.

As part of the yoga practice, participants were gifted small batch, Mendocino-grown cannabis from Oakland-based boutique collective Flow Kana. The herb is tested for pesticides and “sun-grown” sustainably in the Emerald Triangle by farms appropriately named HappyDay and Wild Woman Herbals. Emily Anderson, a Flow Kana rep, presented a beautifully packaged selection of pre-rolls to attendees, each with a clearly designated intention for the high: “Relax,” made with OG Strawberry; “Balanced Blend” with 8% CBD and 6% THC content; and “Active” Sativa-dominant strain Sour Diesel.

Peering up from downward dog, the view of the class is one of much-appreciated diversity. Guests are the amalgam of different genders, races, cultures, industries, and even motivations. Some are here to sample the wares, others are here to share in the healing powers of cannabis, all are here to celebrate a triumphant sense of freedom with the sun shining, birds flying overhead, and the Santa Monica bay on the horizon.

When asked about her inspiration for the event, Janice of DankGals shared some of the difficulties that she encountered in trying to bring her female-targeted collection of smoking gear to market. Dispensaries were hesitant to carry anything with the word “gals”, preferring to pander to male consumers. Dispensary owners insisted that men spend more currency for smoking products. While a recent Gallup poll does indicate that males are more likely to consume cannabis, the research only shows a 2% gap. Moreover, traditional spending habits don’t reflect the new female-driven cannabis market that brands like DankGals and WomenGrow anticipate. Cannabis is an age-old remedy for menstrual cramps, doesn’t contribute to calorie consumption like alcohol, and research shows that CBDa (cannabidolic acid), the raw acid form of cannabidiol found in cannabis, inhibits breast cancer cell migration — three great reasons for wise birds to flock to cannabis for their high of choice.

Janice and Joy are two célébreteuse who intend to help lead the way for a new era of female-driven cannabis products. “For me, this event idea arose from building a cannabis lifestyle site, the Mahagony Mary blog,” says co-producer Joy. Janice adds to the conversation, “It’s such a pleasure to bring so many people together. We intend to have more events that are female-centric — cannabis-infused cuisine, networking, and more. When we started this venture, there were a lot of naysayers that suggested women wouldn’t buy cannabis products. We are proving that women are interested in cannabis products and in cannabis events as well. We’ve had an amazing sold-out event today,” proclaims Janice.

After this transcendent, ganja-enhanced yoga experience, a delicious cannabis-infused brunch was served by MasterChef finalist Kerry Prince. The tasty menu included an omelette tarte, fresh waffle made with 10mg CBD, and potatoes dressed with an optional (yet recommended) cannabis-infused truffle oil. Many dined while others waiting for the line to diminish shopped at booths exhibiting cannabis products.

The experience culminated when guests were directed to enjoy a live performance from LizzyJeff, a young chanteuse and master of rhymes accompanied by a violinist — the live entertainment portion of this smoothly-executed event.

Stay tuned for the next installment this well-appointed cannabis society.



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