Nothing invigorates the body and mind like a trip to a salon. A place with decor, a sharp smell, a place to unwind and exhale. I’m not talking about a salon for hair and nails, but for cannabis! What? Yes. Welcome to the future.
My coworker Seth and I were fortunate to be able to represent Barbary Coast at Edible Excursions’s and Meadow’s Curious Cannabis Salon for cannabis newcomers, skeptics and enthusiasts to learn the basics from vendors, entrepreneurs and scientists in the cannabis industry. By basics I mean: What are THC and CBD? What are ideal products for a pinched nerve? How do I use cannabis without experiencing a high? What is that? The Curious Cannabis Salon was a collaborative effort between MeadowMD, a medical cannabis recommendation service and Edible Excursions, a Bay Area food tour company who brought together representatives from over a dozen cannabis businesses to provide a “salon” atmosphere to San Francisco adults who had thus far refrained from engaging with the plant, its potential and its impending recreational industry..
Even two years in the industry isn’t enough to quell the butterflies! Seth and I pulled up not knowing what to expect, and found a cozy floor space, tables and many familiar faces in the industry milling and mingling about. We were the only dispensary, but in good company surrounded by Yerba Buena Farms (they grow Ingrid!), Eel River’s Nectar, hmbldt vaporizers, and Lost Coast Organics, all of whom have products available at Barbary. There were two rooms, and Barbary lucked out in the left room where it was quieter, more intimate.
Our room had a bar with “mocktails”: cocktails and kombuchas infused with CBD botanical tinctures. If they preferred something stronger, Kikoko’s teas were quick to pour them a 1.5mg-dosed cup, and Nectar offered puffs of their new 10:1 CBD cartridge. The main room had most of the treats. Edible Excursions fed guests a curated and medicated hors d’oeuvres menu, tincture try-outs from HerbaBuena (different company!) and Moxie Meds, and marshmallow confections from Mellows, among others.
We had brought the dab rig, concentrates and vaporizers ready to provide medication should anyone need it, but were told that this was not that kind of event. It’s easy, at a place like Barbary where so much patient education goes into our service, to forget that most of the world has no idea–or many reservations–about the benefits of cannabis. We also wanted to make sure potential patients knew about our lounge and their privileges as a member of Barbary, but most didn’t seem too keen on it. Most guests were floored by the array of products we carried, drawn to the products we said were not psychoactive, like the CBD gummies or only mildly so like Kiva’s Terra bites. Despite all the concentrates and joints we brought to wow the crowd, our topical selection took the crown.
By and far, the most asked about product were the Papa & Barkley transdermal patches, which Barbary carries in pure CBD, THC:CBD 1:3 and THC:CBD 3:1. Men and women alike wanted continuous, covert and CBD-dominant medicine for pinched nerves, arthritis and general aches.
Barbary hosts demos all the time, sometimes three in a day, and for 4/20 we had half our menu represented between the lounge and the main room, but seldom do we participate demonstrating ourselves. This is just dawning on me, but reps who represent their brands to patients at dispensaries and conventions must know that no two crowds are alike and can’t be approached with singularity. Barbary has as diverse patronage as the city it serves, but seldom are the days where new patients come in having never tried or researched cannabis. Most of these people knew little, not here to jump in the river but move deeper from ankle to shin. Yet in a few hours they sipped Sensuali-tea, let the terpene profiles of hmbldt pens marinate on their tongues, and bit into sweet potato-on-crackers, drizzled with medicated olive oil. They walked away with tote bags laden with tea sachets, edible oils, topical oils, a raffle prize if they were lucky, and many business cards.
If you don’t care to delve into all the details, I had a great time. Events like the salon remind us in the industry that our work is never done, and there will always be people who need good information and the proper support to integrate cannabis into their lives. Pure Analytics held an information session about cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system, but it is easy to tell when a patient does not want to be overwhelmed with science. They wanted to know, above all else, that there was something there for them,and that it would work.
(I wish I could post all the pictures we took but we are all still patients here, and entitled to our privacy. One day!)
I’m off work for the next couple days, but I hope to see some new faces in the coming weeks walking up to the bar, or at least enough interest that they give us a call or peer into the facade. Would you ever attend a cannabis salon? Let me know! Till next time.