Every weed smoker knows 4/20 is a special day; it is a day to celebrate cannabis culture everywhere, across the globe.
But this year in LA, 4/20 was extra special. April 20, 2018, was the first 420 Holiday with legalized marijuana in California. And Culture Collide had to celebrate in a big way.
When the invite for the Cannabliss Retreat in Malibu hit our inbox, we knew had to be there. It sounded extraordinary. And so off to Agoura Hills we went, parking in a crowded park-and-ride lot and hopping on a shuttle bus, leaving our vehicles and worries behind, riding through the mountains, toward a state of bliss.
I actually had spent some time researching the event and checked out the podcast of one of the interesting panelists, former NFL player Eben Britton. His podcast, Mindful Warrior, talks about the therapeutic benefits of cannabis and how he used it to navigate the physical effects of playing football. And it just so happened I sat next to his brother Gus, a writer in LA, with Eben and his wife Britt sitting right behind. As we chatted, everyone was friendly, relaxed, and looking forward to the retreat experience.
As the bus arrived in paradise, the event staff welcomed guests. And off we went into the world of cannabliss. The charming, grassy backyard property was set up like a mini-festival with a small stage area, and a circle of cannabis-related vendor tents. I arrived sober with an appetite, so went right for the infused waffles, which tasted delectable.
We then gathered round the stage area, sitting on blankets that were laid out, for a 420 Soundbath at 4:20 pm. The crowd laid down and immersed themselves in the calming sounds and chimes of the meditative soundbath. After this, I made some friends on my blanket, enjoying a post-420 smoke session, and there was a true feeling of community. Apparently, it was time to hit the vape bar, and off we went, exploring all the other vendors- including Mood cbd beverage and Viscous Vapes. I tried Sprig soda, which tasted just like any orange soda, but is infused with CBD and THC, and on their can boasts their tagline “Smile More.” Is that why I was smiling so much?
Next up was the panel, with the topic of Eradicating the Stigma: Moving Past the Stoner Image. There were various speakers with fascinating stories such as Sari, the founder of Cannabliss retreats, who discussed her mission and inspiration to start these events. A couple of panelists passionately detailed how cannabis helped them combat various medical problems, including epileptic seizures. Eben discussed how cannabis could be used to treat and prevent opioid addiction in NFL players, and beyond.
The whole experience was topped off with a mouthwatering homemade BBQ buffet meal, enjoyed in the company of this content cannabis community. As the sun set and a chill came over Malibu, we heard the band Stellamarra warm up while bonding with our new cannabliss friends- but alas, it was time to get back on the bus. Some eventgoers were actually staying at the property for a completely immersive 5-day retreat experience. There were attendees of all ages, shapes and sizes, including a mother and daughter who run a CBD skincare line, and an adorable elderly couple!
These days, it is easy to see- weed is everyone. Your mom and dad, your daughter, your grandpa, your entrepreneurial neighbor. It’s not just for “stoners” and “slackers” anymore… Cannabis is coming out of the closet, into arenas beyond relaxation, from medication to education. And Culture Collide will be there- to live the high life, and celebrate the high culture.