By Magical Goddess Dom aka Dominique LauRell
On Saturday, September 23, 2023, Black Cannabis Week hosted the community at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.
Totally unrelated, though not ironic, our planet entered the Fall Equinox. I always like to see the magic in everything—
[she blinks her eyes rapidly, a knowing smile spreads across her face]
—so my biggest foci are community, reunion, and how the energy is working together to achieve the intended goal. Magic, basically.
My communication may be colored with whimsical exclamations, but everything is magic…so vibe with me.
Saturday- Opportunities Conference
Pitch contest winners; credit: Leena Trinidad
Saturday was gray and blue outside, a bit windy. The colors of skin were vibrant and the hues of the background were muted just right. Perfect for an Autumn entrance. Rain broke through the clouds in sporadic showers, cleansing. Traffic wasn’t congested and neither was the air. Parking was easy and the building was a very well selected location for this event.
The Medicine Education & Research building is a 3-story, glass front, brick and stone building. It is designed with several rooms for conferences, a lecture hall for seminars and an expanded foyer and hallways for networking. What excited me sensory wise were the building acoustics and the spread out company, because of this design. There is something magically gothic about attending a conference in a medical hall. It’s like the meeting of a secret society.
Initially entering the space, registrants were asked to check in. The table adjacent from the registration table was a welcome reserve for expungement information and “But A Cake” samples by New Jersey native-Delaware manufacturing license holder, Matha Figaro.
The first floor was reserved for vendors (many of whom I knew, much love to yal) and spanned the entire rectangular space leading to the lecture hall. There were panels and workshops held throughout the day and the showing of the film “Higher Power”, a documentary by writer and executive producer, Rafi Aliya Crocket about cannabis legalization in D.C. told through the lens of racial justice and their fight for statehood.
The third floor was reserved for industry license holders and ancillary businesses. Along the walls and halls were an array of companies from New Jersey, Philadelphia, New York and D.C, including Sunflower’s Space Cakes (infused treats, remedies, lifestyle curation), Free My Weedman (activism, lifestyle), Web Infusions (infused wine, lifestyle) and a host of others.
Posted in the corner of the third floor was the Philadelphia-based podcast Revive Radio, interviewing attendees and promoting high frequencies.
The second floor, my favorite floor, was Wellness Row! An expertly curated team of holistic health entrepreneurs created a serene experience for registrants to enjoy the healing aspects of the Black Cannabis Week gathering. While magic was taking place on every floor, the second floor was the most tangible evidence of that happening.
Wellness Row featured a powerful team employing Andre Capers and InTouch (massage therapist), Strega Negra (tarot card reader), Shaped by Lish (fitness instructor), Ashley Whiteside )Positivity coach) and an impeccable sound bath delivered by sound healer and wellness shaman, Coach Shay. Coach inhabited a corner room with large glass windows and pitch clear acoustics and invited attendees into her space with positive energy.
As attendees flowed in and out of the space, Coach Shay tuned us up with her sacred set of bowls, holding space for release of any heavy mental and spiritual loads, opening hearts for the receipt of the offerings given, per spirit.
It was the creme de la creme of moments so necessary that I forgot where I was and left my bag there! (Thankfully the community is helpful and mindful and I was able to retrieve it.)
All of this on the day of the EQUINOX! It was overwhelmingly appropriate.
Culture vs Industry
It may sound trivial to some, but the presence of healing energy is often missing or lackluster in cannabis industry spaces. It’s important for us in the cannabis community to remember that there is culture and then there is industry. Black Cannabis Week offered a balance of both.
The nuances around the words have helped me approach cannabis events with the intention of sorting out what is for my healing and what is for my knowledge without taking the wrong things personally or for granted. At some point these things—culture and industry—do cross, but even if there was never an industry or if the industry fell today, there will always be culture! We must continue to put that first, especially as Black people in this space.
It is what WE create that runs the world. Check the math if you don’t believe me. Our input, influence and dollar are the most valuable and sought after.
Never forget that.
I am grateful for the healing experience, the time I got to spend with like-minded tribe-folks and the positive energy exchange that was Black Cannabis Week.
There were some folks I didn’t get to embrace or speak with, but just seeing their faces and businesses represented was a beautiful symbolism of how holding space for ourselves breeds the most important things we can take away from experiencing cannabis, in the most authentic ways.
Let’s look forward to supporting each other as we thrive in our own ways!
For the Culture!
Peace and much love