When I registered to attend the Witchy Woman Social just before Halloween, I really didn't know what to expect.
The location for Tokeativity's 21-plus, all-female, cannabis-centric party ("a woman-friendly space in NE Portland") wasn't revealed until the day of the event. Attendees had only been instructed to bring their own cannabis, and to park in the nearby church lot.
I expected an industry crowd; the familiar faces of budtenders and growers who typically make appearances at conferences. I imagined I'd listen to the usual speakers touching on legal updates and new political action committees. But as I peered through the dimly lit neighborhood for the right house, the laughter emerging from the darkness and stream of women funneling into the same foyer hinted at something new in our city's cannabis community.
The Tokeativity event series is curated by Lisa Snyder and Samantha Montanaro, and hosted at a Northeast Portland home. Walking into the Witchy Woman night was nothing short of a supernaturally feminine celebration of cannabis. Women clad in glitter wigs or just a black hoodie wandered around the three-story house sipping on cannabis tincture-spiked cider and stopping to try a puff on a Hitachi-shaped ceramic pipe by local artist Make Good Choices. It was the most non-industry crowd I'd seen at any cannabis event: friends and girlfriends and mothers and daughters, most just interested in having a good time.
Kindred spirits swapped business contact info in the hazy, live DJ-adjacent buffet area. Conversations and smoke circles popped up in the bathroom/tarot card reading line, and others settled into mala bracelet-making and custom body oil concocting with the Sativa Science Club. The house's massive attic was transformed into something that can only be described as Scheherazade's smoke chamber. Gauzy veils and string lights were draped across the ceiling beams, and pillows perfectly strewn across the rugs for impromptu joint circles. There was even a dress-up room curated by the Ladies of Paradise, where attendees could try on their vintage sequin jackets and layer on several glimmering accessories for photos by Emily Anne B and Nic Porter.
Both Montanaro and Snyder are experienced in the industry and media, design and event planning. They take what could just be a fun girls-night-in and build it into a radically different opportunity to make connections and inspire other women involved with cannabis. Their events range from entrepreneurial workshops like Crafting Your Elevator Pitch on November 15, to more party-styled socials like Witchy Woman. It gives vendors a chance to connect in a more intimate environment, and also gives women a safe space to just let loose and revel in the presence of fellow chicks who smoke.
It's no surprise that a professionally planned, consumption-friendly house party is fun.
But an all-women, business-oriented yet whimsical, and fully legal cannabis soirée feels pretty revolutionary. Snyder and Montanaro have created something that hasn't had the social or legal room to exist before, and at their events, the smoky air is pulsing with productive, feminine electricity.
GO: The next Tokeativity social is Back to the '90s on November 17, and know that they typically sell out fast. $3 off your $25 ticket if you're a Scorpio.