Photography by Sarah Fisk
A little over a year ago, I approached the FounderMade team in New York to discuss the opportunity of featuring a cannabis panel at their Beauty + Wellness Summit. Fast forward to 2018 and numerous brands jumping on the CBD bandwagon, it’s no surprise that cannabis companies are blazing a new trail at mainstream events.
The FounderMade Consumer Discovery Show took place October 4th on a picturesque, sun-drenched day in Santa Monica. A bevy of brands lined the aisle’s throughout the remarkable space at the historic Barker Hangar, a unique venue offering dramatic ceiling heights with a backdrop of the Santa Monica Mountains and planes from the 60’s and 70’s.
It was my first time attending the show in Los Angeles, and I was pleasantly surprised with the curation of brands and activations. Upon entering the maze of brands woven throughout the space, I immediately noticed that the cannabis and hemp brands were front and center on arrival. My heart and eyes fluttered with excitement. Some standouts included Caliva, Shanti Wellness, Yuyo Botanicals, Calivolve, Lizzy Tish and Sagely Naturals. These were only a few of the nearly dozen brands exhibiting. Progress is coming!
I navigated my way back to the panel arena where guests were eagerly waiting to grab a seat to catch the discussion on High Hopes: The Future of Cannabis. Moderated by Emily Dougherty, Editor-in-Chief of New Beauty, the panel featured Founder & CEO of Cannuka Michael Bumgarner, Founder of Beboe Clement Kwan, Co-Founder of CW Hemp Jesse Stanley, and VP of Business Development at Veritas Farms Derek Thomas. It made me proud to witness a packed house of people tremendously engaged in cannabis content. Each of the esteemed speakers had really great camaraderie and synergy throughout the discussion.
As the industry continues to evolve, mature, and integrate into the mainstream, it’s critical for us “industry folk” to be mindful of the language we use when talking about cannabis. Moreover, let’s consider our audience. A lot of attendees weren’t from the cannabis space and it’s safe to assume that a lot of them probably didn’t know what terms like “full-spectrum,” “isolate,” and “cannabinoids” really mean. It’s our responsibility to simplify the language and empower future consumers to know what sort of questions to ask as we give more and more people access to this powerful plant medicine. Yes, it’s trendy, but it’s also potent and should be taken seriously as medicine.
I love seeing the progress of the industry and invite us to make a conscious effort in sharing information in a palatable and thoughtful way.