This past August, Skunk Magazine released their Spring/Summer 2023 edition. The magazine featured an article written by Rachelle Gordon titled Blunt Brunch Unites Women in Cannabis, which speaks about Blunt Brunch, a yearly networking event started in 2021 by Adelia Carrillo and Parisa Rad. Each year, women in cannabis from all over the country gather and celebrate themselves and their accomplishments. Carrillo states that, “Our goal is to provide a safe space for women to speak candidly with each other over brunch, to offer advice, to learn from each other, and to be there for each other when times are tough.”
Now, we turn to page 64 and delve into the insights shared by Rachel Kane, the visionary founder of Sure Lock Packaging. For Rachel, this was a maiden voyage into the Blunt Brunch realm. She recounts her first-time experience, saying,
“What amazed me was the amount of energy and potential I felt, women embracing others at all stages in their careers. Too often, I have seen others react negatively when they think of another’s success, talents, looks, products, or business growth, like it’s somehow taking from their own. It was refreshing to connect with a group of women who were not limiting the potential of those around them.”
Blunt Brunch promises to continue its legacy of empowerment and enlightenment. Are you ready to be part of this incredible journey? Share your thoughts, experiences, and aspirations, and let’s celebrate the women in cannabis together!
Blunt Brunch Unites Women in Cannabis
By: Rachelle Gordon
Being a woman is not always an easy feat, especially in cannabis. Women entrepreneurs face myriad challenges, from lack of access to capital to limited c-suite representation. The boys club atmosphere that often permeates the culture leaves many women feeling shut out, objectified, or alone. Fortunately, there is a place where women in cannabis can gather to share their experiences, empower one another, and have blunt conversations.
BluntBrunch has emerged as a beacon of light in a space filled with insurmountable barriers. The events provide a supportive environment for women in cannabis to gather, celebrate each other’s achievements, make impactful connections, and of course, have fun. While they may not be the only women-centric group and event’s organizer in the game, they’re certainly the most exuberant.
What first started as a small gathering meant to promote and strengthen the bonds of sisterhood in our space has grown into a powerhouse series, attracting women from across the vertical (and the country). Everyone has a seat at the table, from industry veterans to relative newcomers, all striving to empower and unite.
Established by Adelia Carrillo and Parisa Rad in 2021, BluntBrunch aims to curate positive and authentic networking among women in cannabis. Subscribing to the law of abundance, the events nip the collaboration instead. “Our goal is to provide a safe space for women to speak candidly with each other over brunch, to offer advice, LO learn from each other, and to be there for each other when times are tough,” Carrillo told Skunk.
BluntBrunch has exploded in its short tenure, quickly emerging as a must-attend gathering on both local and national levels. Skunk explores their meteoric rise to fame and how the founders hope to foster equitable practices in the cannabis landscape.
One brunch leads to another, and another…
Carrillo and Rad both understand the importance of building community within the cannabis space. Both began their journeys for therapeutic reasons; Rad became a pediatric medical cannabis advocate after her teenage daughter became a patient with life-changing results. Carrillo turned to cannabis while recovering from emergency surgery, the result of an ectopic pregnancy.
“Cannabis allowed me to heal both emotionally and physically, which in turn made me want to help this plant and do more to spread knowledge and education,”- Carrillo explained.
Carrillo soon launched her first business called Direct Cannabis Network (DCN), an online news network highlighting the latest tech, entrepreneurs, and innovation within the cannabis industry. While that business eventually closed, Carrillo quickly pivoted She co-founded EventHi, a cannabis event tech platform that allows event organizers to efficiently and compliantly promote and sell tickets and sponsorships; event-goers and brands can find all the latest cannabis-related events happening nationwide. Carrillo also acts as the company’s CMO.
Rad is president of a cannabis edible manufacturing brand named FourTwenty Collections in Arizona. The company recently expanded into New Mexico, where Rad is a partner in the brand’s retail manufacturing and grow operations.
By 2021, Carrillo found herself relocating to Arizona. She reached out to Rad, a local, and they decided to invite a few women colleagues over for a brunch to help foster friendships and create new ones. The get-together was an instant success, and a light bulb quickly went off in the pair’s collective consciousness.
“After that first brunch, we both knew we had to do it again!” Carrillo exclaimed.
MsKindness Ramirez, MA.Ed, a cannabis educator, author, holistic health coach, the CEO of Club Kindness, was present at an early iteration of Blunt Brunch. She was immediately taken by the extraordinary energy present, going on to emcee their recent national event in Vegas.
“Adelia and l are really good friends, so when she first started Blunt Brunch after moving to Arizona, I was fortunate enough to visit her and experience it,” Ramirez recalled. “I knew right then she and Parisa had something special.”
lt wasn’t long before Blunt Brunch was born, holding regular gatherings (called “socials”) in the southwest to great fanfare. The event series soon spread across the country, with the first national event occurring during the week of MJBizCon in Las Vegas.
It couldn’t have come at a better time.
AN OASIS FROM THE DARK SIDE OF CANNABIS
For many women working in weed, MJBizCon is a beautiful week filled with chance meetings, an epic expo floor, and plenty of Vegas flair. For others, it’s an overwhelming and intimidating experience filled with masculine energy and potential dangers.
Blunt Brunch offers women the chance to connect, partake in meaningful conversation, and enjoy themselves without fear of disrespect or ulterior motives. At a time of’ collective trauma for women in cannabis, Blunt Brunch is a breath of fresh air.
“Environments like Blunt Brunch allow professional women in cannabis the chance to feel safe while fostering genuine connections and building long-term business relationships,” Ramirez said. “This is a vital component of an equitable industry of the future.”
Carrillo agrees, touting the unique setting BluntBrunch provides women across the vertical.
“Events like Blunt Brunch are necessary because they create a space where we can support each other and allow vulnerable dialogue while also learning from each other,” Carrillo explai;1ed. “They also provide the opportunity to network and connect with other women in business in a more intimate selling allowing for opportunities to further business partnerships and career advancements.”
Rad argues that events like BluntBrunch can also help erode barriers that exist for women in cannabis, offering them a chance to level the playing field by fostering genuine working relationships that strengthen the industry overall.
“As we see more corporations grow in the industry, we also see females in executive roles diminish,” she said. “We feel that these blunt and honest conversations will lead to more solutions and more opportunities for women to support each other and act as allies rather than competition.”
INSPIRING MOMENTS, TEARS, AND PLENTY OF DANCE BREAKS
For those who have never had the privilege of attending, a typical Blunt Brunch affair consists of a few main components: thought-provoking conversations, powerful speeches, diverse brand representation, delicious food, and high-octane entertainment.
Last year, the national Blunt Brunch in Las Vegas saw hundreds of women gather for an afternoon of discussions, one-on-one networking, and a jubilant dance party no one expected. The vibes were off the charts, kicking off Cannabis Week in style and offering hope for positivity in the future.
Rachel Kane, the owner of Sure Lock Packaging, was a first-time attendee at this national Blunt Brunch event. After hearing about the incredible group of women involved, she knew she wanted to participate, going so far as to contribute to the swag bag in addition to joining the run.
“I was not disappointed!” she told Skunk. “What amazed me was the amount of energy and potential l felt- women embracing others at all stages in their careers. Too often, I have seen others react negatively when they think of another’s success, talents, looks, products, or business growth, like it’s somehow taking from their own. It was refreshing to connect with a group of women who were not limiting the potential of those around them.”
Chelsea Mulligan, co-founder and COO of Open Dor Dispensaries and a frequent Blunt Brunch supporter, always finds herself reinvigorated by Blunt Brunch gatherings. She tells Skunk that the ripple effect created is always significant and far-reaching. “l leave every Blunt Brunch event feeling empowered, seen, and heard,” Mulligan expressed. “To have that kind of community where I can both impact newer people in our industry but also be impacted by my peers and people that have been around in business longer than I have is so special.”
The feedback expressed by Kane, Mulligan, and several others means the world to the Blunt Brunch team, affirming their mission and inspiring them to continue the journey for years to come.
“The reaction has been life-changing,” Carrillo said. “Hearing about how each of our events, whether it is a social or our large national event, is providing women in cannabis with opportunities that further their business, with conversations that lead to new positions.”
She adds that the dialogue is often impactful in ways not everyone sees, helping women persevere in their darkest times. “We have received so many emails sharing how our blunt conversations have reassured attendees that they are not alone and given them a safe space to work through or regain control of situations or experiences they have experienced within this space.”
“THE FUTURE FOR BLUNT BRUNCH IS BRIGHT!”
While still relatively young, Blunt Brunch is already ramping up in a big way.
The series is exploring expanding their co-hosted socials into the East Coast this year while at the same time collaborating with a number of industry conferences and expos to host their women in cannabis meet and greets, where women come together for quick networking meetups and group photos. The
end-of-year Blunt Brunch national gathering during Cannabis Week is already in the works, expecting to draw double the amount of attendees as in 2022.
Carrillo and Rad also plan to continue their Blunt Conversations live on Facebook each week to provide opportunities to women who may not be able to join in person just yet. They also hope to expand their local BluntBrunch socials in a wide array of cities, encouraging those who wish to sign on as co-hosts to visit www.bluntbrunch.com/cohost-social to learn more.
“l am so excited to see the evolution of communities for women in cannabis and how so many of these organizations are based on collaboration and working together as a whole, which in the end furthers the vision and mission to empower more women to executive and leadership positions within the cannabis industry,” Carrillo said proudly.
While the co-founders of Blunt Brunch may not have known the impact their efforts would ultimately have, the event series is resonating with industry women in a big way, offering a rich reward of solidarity.
“Blunt Brunch was formed out of our own needs to connect in a safe and intimate way with our colleagues coming out of Covid,” Rad said. “We never imagined it to grow to what it’s become today. But we believe that speaks to the magnitude of how many other women were also in need of this exact same support.”
When asked what’s ahead for the event series, Rad said: “The future for Blunt Brunch is bright!”