Green Queen: Meet the Designer Who Started the Coolest Cannabis Club Ever

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At the start of this year Marina De Salis, founder of Canna Curious Club, a culture and lifestyle collective passionate about cannabis history and traditions, headed to Denver to explore with other cannabis-based brands. She spent two weeks in the city gathering perspectives on a range of issues surrounding cannabis today, and visiting an indoor grower.

If her name sounds familiar it’s because the London-based designer is responsible for the logos of some of the raddest cannabis brands.  But why let everyone else have all the fun?

Enter Canna Curious Club-- for the intrepid seekers of a curated cannabis life. “Today, Canna Curious Club continues to be a creative space to share stories about people, products and ideas,” Marina shares. It’s a journey the founder herself went on while at Art school in London. And it’s a journey that continues to prove itself worthy. At the end of 2017 the collective celebrated a two-year mark. “Over the last two years we’ve welcomed some new contributors to the team, and the brand’s visual style has evolved into something we’re really proud of,” the founder explains. “It’s also been really exciting to see more and more States legalizing cannabis, it’s always such a nail-biting time when a big change is about to happen.”

Find out more about Marina and CCC below! She’s taking it higher, if you will.

When we first came across the Canna Curious Club, we knew we had found a group of gals after our own hearts! Tell us about the journey of CCC - how did it start, who are the members of the collective, and what were some of the obstacles you faced to get it up and running? We'd also love to hear the story behind #PoshPot as well as your tagline, "Always authentic, elegant and charming, with a dash of civilized obedience."

I discovered cannabis during my time as an Art student in London. The underground scene didn’t appeal to me, and I grew tired of the clichés ingrained in people's perception of cannabis users. My circle of friends were all using it responsibly, for different reasons – some for pain relief and anti-anxiety, others found that it helped them with their creative process and idea generation. None of them experienced any negative side-effects; on the contrary, it enhanced their lives and enjoyment of things!

My curiosity led me to do more research about the plant, its effects and many uses, as well as the people working all over the world to change the animosity around it. I discovered really moving stories, as well as great lifestyle brands and products. I started selectively sharing my discoveries in a visually artistic way, and that’s really how the whole thing started.

Today, Canna Curious Club continues to be a creative space to share stories about people, products and ideas. I have a small team of global contributors; some are incognito while others are already prominent thought-leaders in the cannabis community. We’ve built a great network of artists, writers and creatives who all promote this positive and healthy approach to self-education when it comes to cannabis. We don’t claim to be experts on the subject, we just love asking questions and sharing stories that advance the industry’s more responsible identity.

‘Posh Pot’ is a tongue-in-cheek term, as is the tagline, which refers to our more selective approach to publishing and sharing content, which mostly resonates with readers who aspire to a more cultured and sophisticated cannabis lifestyle.

Cannabis in itself is still quite a controversial topic both in the US as well as worldwide. Was there any hesitation on your part to get into a business that can still be considered by some as "taboo?"

Yes, there were a lot of red flags for me at first – like most people, I spent most of my early adult life believing that cannabis was a dangerous drug. But research and open discussion led me to realise that more people like me needed to ‘come out green’ to prove that ‘the stoner’ has been superseded by functional adults who are spending time to educate themselves and consume cannabis responsibly. That’s the message we are trying to convey, and the more transparent these conversations are, the broader the spectrum becomes.

"I spent most of my early adult life believing that cannabis was a dangerous drug." 

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Do you think there's a stigma to ladies enjoying heavy cannabis use vs. our male counterparts (and why)?

Women are naturally more discreet, and perhaps less willing to confidently admit it. We remind ourselves that our use of cannabis doesn’t need to be justified, but somehow we still do it out of fear of judgment.

For both men and women there are plenty of cartoonish generalizations. Most people are just too lazy to educate themselves, and they rely on archaic stereotypes to cover up their own lack of understanding.

In addition to interviews with some interesting cannabis industry creatives, the CCC site has a wealth of informative articles covering a range of topics. What are some of the editorial goals for CCC and do you have any plans for the site to also operate as e-commerce in the future?

We’re putting the finishing touches to our end-of-year editorial plan, which will feature more exciting new brands, as well as a larger series about the modern cannabis retail market. We’ve also revamped our monthly newsletter (make sure you subscribe if you’re curious!) and are working on a new website which will have an online shop featuring hand-picked items and other fun things. I can’t say a whole lot more about it at the moment, but we’re excited to share it with the world soon.

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The Canna Curious Club has hosted events in the LA-area with some pretty cool partners. Can you tell us about the "LA Getaway" idea and how it came together? What can one expect once they confirm an RSVP for a CCC event?

The LA events were really spontaneous – I decided to book a flight one day, it was just supposed to be a research trip for me but it somehow ended up being this full-on series of events all across the city! It all came together in about 6 weeks, and I was so lucky to have an amazing team once I was out there. I think we all felt an enormous sense of achievement at the end.

The brands we partnered with were all hand-picked by us, and every detail was carefully considered - we really wanted people to enjoy a multi-sensory experience. Most importantly, I wanted people to feel at ease, ask questions, have fun and meet other like-minded folks. At the end of every CCC event I like stand at the door & say goodbye to people and see the smiles on their faces as they leave. It’s not like a normal party where alcohol is served, there’s never been a fight, nothing’s ever gotten out of control, people are relaxed and friendly, there’s no aggro!

I think the trip to LA has been my favourite moment so far, because until then I didn’t realise the impact that CCC has had. People had such wonderful feedback and genuinely seemed to love what we’ve been creating.  

What are some of your favorite cannabis products on the market now and why?

While we were out in LA we discovered so many great brands, some of which we were really lucky to have as partners. Kiskanu is a brilliant skincare and wellbeing brand based in Humboldt, I really love their infused face oil. Mondo Meds is a revolutionary edibles ingredient which makes experimenting in the kitchen so much fun. I absolutely love the vaporiser product range by Hmbldt, there’s really something for all levels. Beboe also have a really elegant and sophisticated product.

What are some of your favorite Instagram feeds to follow and why?

@cannalore – has a great collection of historical images related to cannabis

@broccoli_mag – beautifully curated by the creative team behind the new, free cannabis magazine

@gldleaf – flawless lifestyle photography

@damerogue – I love the emotional, provocative portraiture

@serracannabis – perfect example of what ‘high-end’ cannabis looks like

Any advice for our readers who may want to dabble in the cannabis culture but are afraid they don't know where to start?

It really depends on the individual and what they want to achieve. It may sound silly, but we have to remember that cannabis is a power plant – you have to approach it with respect. The greatest thing is that there are now so many ways to consume it; you don’t have to start with a huge blunt! My advice would be to seek out a knowledgeable consultant at a good dispensary – they can give personalised advice, and recommend suitable products.

Who is a woman you admire? 

The woman I look up to is independent, but without being crass, she leads by example, values her privacy and makes time for family and friendships that really matter. She’s not consumed by social media, but knows the ins-and-outs of modern media and technology. She’s captivating and sophisticated, intelligent and open-minded; she’s not afraid to step up and get her hands dirty when a job needs to be done, and quick. She knows how to be inspiring without bragging, and she doesn’t compare herself to others.

Want more from the cannabis culture? Check back on our Green Queens series in partnership with MISSBISH. We'll be featuring a woman in weed per week! 

Want even more? Register to participate in the Slack Session co-hosted with MISSBISH. Green Queens in the Cannabis Industry is going down April 25th at 6:30 PST, mark your calendars and sign up here. 

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