Recap: Meadowlands - A gathering for the California cannabis industry.
Our recap of the Meadowlands Cannabis Conference
The second annual Meadowlands cannabis retreat ended with a blaze on Sunday, June 9th, with overhanging marijuana smoke filling the air through Camp Navarro and the Redwood Forests of Mendocino County, CA. Hundreds of cannabis professionals, including the owners of Nice Guys Delivery, were in attendance for this three day cannabis event.
Meadowlands is an annual retreat designed to build a united and collaborative cannabis community. It was created by Meadow - which is a “software company that powers retail and delivery businesses in the legal cannabis industry across California with smart POS software.”
“Meadowlands exists to foster strong alliances up and down the supply chain. We gather in the ancient redwoods of the Emerald Triangle to honor the craft and heritage of Northern California cannabis and value the development of a modern, equitable, sustainable industry built around this powerful, healing plant. We value playful exploration and encourage new ways of thinking to reimagine the world we are collectively building.”
Welcome to Meadowlands
This was my first year attending the event. I wasn’t sure what to expect prior to showing up. Part of my job for Nice Guys Delivery is maintaining social media, so I was looking forward to a few days of disconnecting. I’m usually always within reach of my phone.
Prior to the retreat I scheduled my social posts before leaving home and was able to fully dive into the weekend activities without worrying about posting anything.
Have you ever heard of forest bathing? It is a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine. Forest bathing is a term that means "taking in the forest atmosphere.”
While surrounded by Redwoods in the Pacific Northwest I enjoyed the pull into nature more than I appreciated anything else about the trip - not to discredit other aspects of the event, it was more that I enjoyed the simplicity of being in nature in such a profound way. Imagine feeling thirsty on a hot day and then quenching your thirst with an ice cold glass of water. That is similar to the joy I felt about camping and being surrounded by large tress, a streaming river and some of the worlds highest quality cannabis currently grown. It elevated my spirit.
I liked sleeping in my tent at night, listening to the sound of the river rushing nearby. Laying in a Redwood grove I felt a connection deeper than words. It was a rejuvenating experience.
In addition I enjoyed the “Regenerative Farming” panel. I fell into tears listening to one of the regenerative cannabis farmers talking about her role as a caretaker of the earth. It was a really unique moment and was one that made me feel grateful to work in an industry that’s founded upon a healing.
The atmosphere at camp was a “comfortable place to have uncomfortable conversations.” (As we release our podcasts documenting the event you will get a sense for what I mean.) One great example of the above statement came when Co-founder of Meadow, David Hua, did a tremendous job interviewing Lori Ajax, chief of the California Bureau of Cannabis Control—the most powerful regulator in cannabis in a final panel to end the weekend.
Camp Navarro sits on 200 acres of natural beauty. Some people slept in tents, others stayed in cabins, and a few slept in their vehicles. We had breakfast, lunch and dinner provided each day, along with snacks and cocktails in the evening. There was a Kombucha bar sponsored by Revive Kombucha that I particularly enjoyed.
Throughout the day we listened to talks from industry leaders and peers. They had a beautiful main stage setup where we joined together and listened to conversations about the state of the industry; we heard people talk about best business practices, what the future of psychedelics and plant medicine might look like, and other really interesting topics.
When we weren’t listening to a talk or filling our bellies, Meadow partnered with other brands to host events like Ganja Yoga with Dee Dussault (Tantra Teacher, Sex Coach, Ganja Yoga Founder); or succulent planting with Flow kana, an Edibles cooking demo, and much more. It was a real à la carte style choose your own adventure kind of thing. I really enjoyed it. It fell directly in alignment with their goal of creating a fun and collaborative space for individuals and families to explore and encourage new ways of thinking.
On Saturday night after it was dark Chemistry held a silent disco located in the Redwood Cathedral. It was a fun excuse for us as adults to dance in a forest of trees.
Also on Saturday but earlier in the day, Monica Gray, who is Nice Guys Delivery COO and Co-founder, had the opportunity to speak on a panel about the cannabis supply chain. In addition to speaking on the panel she made her first appearance on the Not Your Average Nice Guys podcast, by speaking with myself and Meadow CEO, David Hua.
Overall I would say it was a successful weekend. I made some great connections, listened to inspiring talks, and unplugged for a couple days. I recommend Meadowlands for all cannabis industry members looking to take their networking experience to the next level.
Stay tuned for more. I will be releasing a couple podcast episodes with Meadowland content. Thanks for reading!