Welcome to the future!*
*That’s always something I say whenever I discover an incredibly mind-blowing new way to experience cannabis- and trust me, this experience certainly delivered.
A couple months ago while mindlessly scrolling through my FB group the Woman Hole, I discovered a viral video that one of the girls shared; it was a video for an overnight cannabis retreat in California, called the Ganja Goddess Getaway, specifically a chance for women to focus on themselves, get spiritually connected, meet other women stoners (I use that lovingly, not in a douchey Red Forman of That 70’s Show kind of way), and use cannabis in a fun and responsible setting, helping to destigmatize the use of such a helpful plant medicine.
Upon seeing the video, I knew I had to check it out for myself… So much so that I cut my trip to Bali short, just so I could get my ass back in time to go! THAT is how awesome it looked.
Boy did it ever deliver.
The day of the Getaway, Max drove me to Pescadero, California and dropped me off at the lodge after helping me to set up my tent, which would be my place to crash for the night. Granted, one could stay inside the lodge or a yurt but I was there to get my camp on. As we set up the tent, I started to get a feel for the vibe of the weekend- there were women of all ages, shapes, races, and cultures surrounding me, setting up their tents and already taking part in the smoking of ganja. I was beginning to feel right at home.
After setting up the tent, I got myself registered… it was at this point that I was bestowed THE swag bag to put all other swag bags to shame. It felt like Christmas. I quickly scurried off to a nook by the pool & hot tub, where I manically poured out the bag to unveil all of the goodies. It was in that moment I discovered $200 (!!!) worth of weed related goodies- anything from cannabis bath bombs, to medicated honey, macaroons, joints, weed itself, pain relief cream… you name it, it was in that bag.
After my moment of sheer delight, I wandered around aimlessly for a bit, getting a feel for all that I could do while here for the next 24 hours. Available to attendees at anytime were “puff puff craft,” face/body painting, a photo booth, the pool or hot tub, the dab/smoke/vape bar, tie dying, belly dancing, the merch table, and Ganja Goddess Giveback where they were taking donations/letters for women who were locked up due to a marijuana related crime.
If at anytime you needed to locate me during the event, if all else failed you could find me at the dab bar.
Throughout the event, you do NOT have to partake in anything you don’t want to. Shit, you could stay tethered to the dab bar if that’s all you wanted to do, and no one would have said a thing to your stoned ass. If it wouldn’t have been for yoga, and food breaks, I would have stayed planted at the dab bar the whole time. You best believe it.
At noon the Goddess Ganja Getaway officially kicked off with the founder Deidra, opening the event up by helping to set an intention for the experience. As tears filled her face, it was in that moment you could feel her passion for her mission- her desire to bring women together with a common thread, ditching not only the catty stereotype women often carry but also the stigma that people who smoke weed are losers, and there’s zero medical benefit to partaking in weed. Deidra wanted to create a safe space where women could relax, not feel alone, partake in the festivities, while having a spiritual awakening of sorts… I’d say she has accomplished that mission.
After the tear filled opening, next on the agenda was yoga. We gathered around the pool for a relaxing yoga flow with Dee Dussault, author and Ganja Yoga instructor extrodinaire.
Following that was the “Women in Cannabis Panel” which featured women who make a living through the cannabis industry, followed by a Q&A. There were women of various ages and backgrounds sharing how they got started in the industry, how cannabis has improved their life, WHILE creating for them an incredible income stream. As an entrepreneur, I appreciated this part of the Getaway; it was incredibly inspiring to see the various women with all kinds of backgrounds, who have found success through what can sometimes be a hard industry to succeed in (given that my boyfriend Max was raided by the DEA for growing cannabis in California).
What came next after the Women in Cannabis Panel, was Puff, Puff, Paint… think wine and paint, minus the wine, add weed and add the constant question “wait… what am I supposed to be drawing?” #forgetfulAFwhilehigh This was one of my favorite parts to the weekend. I was artistic as a kid, but abandoned that side of myself thanks to growing up… there was something therapeutic and zen-like about hitting a joint outside, and getting lost in putting paint to canvas.
For any of my sisters who get the munchies, and are reading this thinking “what about the food dude, what can I expect?” Well, let me just say, you will certainly not starve. There’s a good array of healthy food (and organic food- color me impressed) tossed in with some guilty pleasures. There’s food sitting out virtually at all times. You can stuff ’til your heart’s content. You could go to the dab bar, catch the munchies, walk about 10 feet to the food table, mow down on coconut chips, and then head right back over into the dab bar line… and keep on doing it repeatedly. I know from personal experience.
After dinner the evening wrapped up with fireside tibetan singing bowl meditation, led by Kayren Pierce. It was a beautiful way to decompress and chill out after all the excitement of the day. I was lucky enough to manage a front seat to the experience, laying down right in front of the singing bowls with their angelic ringing cascading away in my ears, while Kayren guided us through a meditation… it was heavenly.
Following that was a bit of an open mic, with women taking the mic to share about their journey with weed, talents, and more. I showed up to the Getaway alone, I was just one in a sea of around 100 attendees and volunteers but by this time I had found a welcoming tribe of women to hang out with… not like it was hard at all. All of the women were super welcoming and kind. Having just got back from a lackluster experience in Bali, where I was surrounded by women who were gossiping about one another, this experience was just what I needed to get my head straight, and to restore my faith in us women; reminding me that there is a tribe for ME out there, who is welcoming, friendly, and doesn’t have ill intentions.
Lights went out rather early. I was one of the last ones up, which if I would have been attending a kegger, I would have most likely been one of the first ones to sleep, which would have probably landed me a couple Sharpie marker dick masterpieces on my face… But alas, it was really cool to be at an event like this where no ones words were slurred from imbibing too much, or rowdy Ruthanne wasn’t pumping her fist along to house music right before hugging the porcelain god all night.
The next morning after breakfast there were a couple more workshops worth attending including one covering body positivity and another which encompassed finding your niche in cannabis. The day wrapped up with a group photo, awards and closing.
Would you go again?
I dream of the next time I can go! There was something really empowering about being surrounded by women who get the legitimacy behind the power and medicinal benefits of weed. I’d love to get together some of my ganja loving girlfriends to go to one of their upcoming getaways.
Do you have to live in California to go?
No! When I went, there were two women from Ireland in attendance! Women 21+ are welcome thanks to the Adult Use of Marijuana Act.
Did you feel weird going alone?
Not at all. I knew that if I had a smile on my face, things would work out… and that they did. I ended up befriending AND networking with a lot of incredible women. It was a very welcoming group of women to be around.
Are there vegan, gluten free, or paleo food options?
Yes. This was something I was curious about. Thankfully there was a lot of healthy options to pick from no matter what your diet may be like.
I am new to weed, is this something I should try?
MOST DEFINITELY. I wish when I got started with weed, something like that existed. If you want to learn how to responsibly use weed recreationally or medicinally this is the best place to do it. Here you have seasoned pros who can help guide you towards the best way to indulge and how to enjoy without ending up plastered to a couch, unable to talk like a reasonable human being.
Yes, I wish it were longer!! And thankfully they announced in 2018 they will be longer than 1 night.
It was really refreshing to go to the Ganja Goddess Getaway. When my boyfriend picked me up, I was a much more happy and excited person than when he dropped me off. Being surrounded by strong, angelic, encouraging, fun, and kind women was something I think we all need to indulge ourselves in to replenish our cups. We spend so much time as women focusing on doing everything for others, that we often fail to do something that really brings us to life. To take the time out to do something good for yourself surrounded by women who encourage you, rather than tear you down, is an experience I think a lot of women could benefit from. It was encouraging and inspiring to hear the stories of how women have used weed medicinally, helping to further remove the stigma surrounding weed. The attention to detail put into this retreat was beautiful to see. You could tell that Deidra and the entire Ganja Goddess Getaway crew wanted to make sure you felt like you had a good time, and were accepted, nurtured, and pampered.