INDUSTRY

Women in Cannabis: Here's What Happened at the Blunt Brunch in Hollywood

Blunt Brunch coming to a city near you?
Blunt Brunch coming to a city near you? / Photo by Taylor Engle

Co-founded by cannabis veterans Parisa Rad and Adelia Carrillo, Blunt Brunch is a networking organization geared towards women in the cannabis space, highlighting executives, offering expert advice, and connecting us to one another in an industry that has remained predominantly male. 

Their second stop on the national tour just took place in Hollywood and was powered by main speaker and owner of Proteus 420, Dawne Morris, alongside several other women-led sponsors from the legal industry. 

Blunt Brunch Hollywood: Connection, Empowerment, and Bad Ass Women in Cannabis

Blunt Brunch was first launched in 2021 for two major reasons: to bring people back together after a traumatizing and polarizing 2020, and to connect cannabis women to one another in the Arizona market.

The first event, which featured a modest guest list of just ten women executives in the industry, was a hit, resulting in monthly events, activities, and (of course) brunches that extended to the entire nation.

“For our first brunch, we had ten women on the invite list. Today, we are one and a half years old and have hosted over 30 events in seven major cities throughout the nation, bringing thousands of women together to connect, collaborate, and empower one another,” Carrillo said.

Both Rad and Carrillo are renowned industry veterans. Rad, aka “DaMarijuanaMomma,” is the president of Fourtwenty Collections, and Carrillo is the co-founder of EventHi. 

The duo will also launch co-host partnerships starting May 28, giving women in five different cities including Albuquerque, Phoenix, Tucson, San Diego, and Las Vegas, an opportunity to host their own Blunt Brunch events in their city.

“Essentially, Blunt Brunch is about having blunt conversations. We bring these discussion opportunities so we can talk about real challenges, hurdles, and various moments we may not always be able to share in front of our teammates and male counterparts,” Carrillo said. 

Despite the fact that women consumers are rapidly on the rise, the executive suite remains male dominant, and women still have to fight to be heard and respected in the industry.

“This event is about building resilience and ensuring women aren’t left behind. Small businesses are hit the hardest in cannabis, and women, minorities, and young entrepreneurs are the most negatively affected. Women consistently suffer from lack of access to capital, resources, and opportunities for professional development. We hope to change that with regular Blunt Brunch events and chances to connect and help each other out.”

Uniting Women One Brunch at a Time

The Hollywood Blunt Brunch began with a VIP executive ballroom brunch, inviting a specific group of influential women in cannabis to connect with one another, share expert advice, and hear keynote speeches from event host Morris and 420 Skincare Founder and CEO, Marvina Thomas.

The owner of Proteus 420 – a company that provides enterprise cannabis business software to companies in need – Morris is no stranger to working in male-dominated industries. Before entering cannabis, she worked in biotech and advertising, where she first learned the importance of getting loud to be heard.

“As a young girl growing up in Philadelphia, I was very loud, very outspoken, and unafraid to tell you exactly what I felt, whether you wanted to hear it or not,” Morris said.

“I started my career in male-run industries: biotech, tech, marketing, and now cannabis. Every step of the way, I was in a room full of men who all said the same thing: ‘Why should I listen to you?’ Well, because I have the biggest balls in the room. I’ll tell you what you don’t want to hear, but need to. I’m not compromising who or what I am or what I stand for because it makes you feel uncomfortable.”

To end the brunch, attendees were given an opportunity to share words of wisdom with one another based on their experiences. 

“As a Woman of Color in weed, we all know how difficult it can be to stay resilient. For me, I had to change the way I was thinking about being told no. I told myself I had to collect those no’s until I got my yes,” said Founder and CEO of Josephine & Billie’s Whitney Beatty.

“If I let all those no’s take me down, I wouldn’t be where I am today. It’s all about rethinking how those negative experiences affect you and taking the good opportunities along the way.”

After the VIP brunch, the event was opened up to a wider net of women in weed, who enjoyed a rooftop social featuring live performances, a DJ set, and more opportunities to mingle with one another, exchange insights, and stay empowered. 

Future stops on the 2022 tour include Scottsdale, Arizona, September 17, and Las Vegas, Nevada, November 15. For information, visit bluntbrunch.com or on social media @Blunt.Brunch.

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