Friday, March 24, 2017

Privée Social Club - A Cannabis Club For Now

When we all woke up on New Year's Day to see the Hollywood sign had been changed overnight to read "Hollyweed", you knew it was a whole new vibe in town following California's decision to Legalize It last fall. With everything able to be out in the open now, the cannabis industry is exploding all over the place. One of the true pioneer's in this field is Venice's own Sailene Ossman, "Mama Sailene", who started the first all-female cannabis delivery service in these parts over 16 years ago, and has been beloved by Venice ever since. 

Times have changed, and now it's all becoming mainstream, and it's great. With the passing in Los Angeles of legalization for recreational as well as medicinal cannabis, it's a whole new world, with something for everyone. Last night Sailene and her partner, Olivia Alexander, had a press preview for their new endeavor, the Privée Social Club, and all I can really say is WOW. Weed has come a long, long way.

Privée is a private, members-only cannabis club that holds events and parties, and once accepted (you need to be referred by two current members) members can gain access to the "Vault" on their website that allows them to purchase all kinds of cannabis based products, most of which are not found in your average dispensary. The events and parties feature products to sample and try, while learning through demonstrations, and mingling with a fine group of like-minded folks. You never know what might happen at a Privée event ... it could be a murder mystery, it could be a Cirque du Soleil type performance, you don't know until you go.

Last night's event was held in a private home on a walk street in Venice, and you could see from the sidewalk upon arrival that everyone was already having a great time inside. Inside, there were all kinds of different stations, from edibles to "Dabbing", all the way to bath products. There was even a CBD oil lubricant "for her pleasure"!

I was kind of a late bloomer when it came to cannabis, as all those "Just Say No" things in school worked on me. I never even tried it until I moved to Hawai'i and had a roommate that was a botany major (RIP Darren Sakai!). I can't tell you how many days I've spent in my life miserable from drinking the night before, but how with marijuana I've never had a moment of payback. None. I've never seen guys get into a fistfight at a party after smoking weed, but I sure have with drinking. Cannabis is just better all around, and better for you, so it's time to bring it out of the darkness. It's time to lose any stigma around it, and really, we should be celebrating it. What a miracle plant! That was the gist of the conversation at the party last night. One Love. Legalize It. Enjoy its benefits.

The nice thing about a thing like the Privée Social Club is that no one was sneaking around, it was all out in the open, and all very professional. Seibo Shen, from Vapexhale was there last night with his vaporizers and concentrates (this is the "Dabbing" part), and was so informative and well-spoken that I left his demonstration feeling like kind of an expert. I'm really more of a good old-fashioned flower enjoyer, but I can see the advantages to using this kind of a vapor situation - it's just a lot of apparatus for me (though Shen told me they'd be coming out with mobile devices soon. Still, vapor just isn't the same. For me.).

Once anything becomes socially acceptable, the money people are not far beyond. The line of products you can now get that are derived from cannabis is mind-boggling (literally and figuratively), and Privée makes it their business to include only the very best. The packaging these days is incredible. There were cannabis macarons last night that looked like they could be from Ladurée. There were sea salt caramels from Lord Jones that could have come from Godiva. This is not your hippie neighbor's baking, and it's all very scientifically dosed out and precise. No bad trips.

Gone are the days of smoking a grungy old one-hitter (though that's still fine too, in a pinch). Now they have bedazzled vapor pens and bejeweled grinders that are big hits with the fancy Bev Hills members of Privée, I'm told. Some people don't want to go to dispensaries or have some dealer come over, and Privée is perfect for them. It's private, discreet, beautifully packaged and delivered. It's all coming out of the Green Closet anyway. I had a P.R. friend recently tell me that she couldn't join us for cocktails because she gave up drinking, but now that marijuana has been legalized, she'd love to meet us for a smoke. Her smile was so liberated and happy when saying it, you could tell an old onus had been lifted from her conscience. It's totally cool now. Reefer Madness scare tactic days are over, no matter what this lame new administration has to say about it. Oh, and the Privée ladies are available for your own private parties! They'll come and set up a whole display of things at your own party - and I promise you it will be a hit. 

I think my favorite product at the event was the "Lit Kit" from Kush Queen Cannabis (another Alexander entity). It's a cute box with a cannabis bath bomb, a joint, and a cannabis chocolate, all meant to be enjoyed as you pamper yourself in your own little spa day. What an excellent party favor for your girls! (Not that all guys wouldn't love it too). Way better than a bottle of wine, though you could throw that in there too if it was a really rough day. But with the Lit Kit, you'll just feel excellent the next morning too, as an added bonus.

With all that smoking and vaping and dabbing and eating, it was nice that Privée always puts out a nice spread, in the event of munchies. There was a Thai food smorgasbord, empanadas from The Empanada Place (yum), and cookies in the shape of weed leaves (that were not enhanced, they just looked good).

I think the nicest part of these events is the freedom. No one is sneaking outside to share a joint, it's all in the open. There were photographers present from all kinds of media outlets, from L.A. Weekly to Playboy, and no one seemed to mind at all that they were being photographed with marijuana. Like, it's 2017. Who cares?! Plus, these days, if you're not using cannabis in some form, you're probably going crazy. Stress kills. Relax.

I'm so proud of Sailene, because she was born to be doing this, and she's finally getting her recognition for always having been on the forefront of this world. She's a leader in this industry, and is shedding so much light on the entire industry. She even had a cooking show (Smoke In The Kitchen) on Snoop's Merry Jane website. She gets tears in her eyes when she talks about her mission in helping people, and making people feel better through the use of this true and natural medicine. There is a line waiting for her and her products when she visits her parents' retirement community, because the CBD creams and oils and edibles all help so much with everything from their arthritis to cancer treatment. I got some of the Sleepytime Spray, as I get insomnia all the time. I've shared it with my own Mother, who slept great and had no qualms about trying a CBD product, and she's pretty conservative. I've shared it with one of the squarest people I know, and they became an instant fan. Because it works. Because it helps.

It was so fun to have a bunch of our Venice friends hanging out and having a ball together, learning and feeling great. It got even better when we left and were presented with a Privée gift bag to take home, filled with all of the things we'd just learned about. Stoked.

It got better than that when we all strolled home together under the starry skies, with a final nightcap visit to Mona's house. Ahh, Venice. We just love you so much.

Congratulations to Sailene and Olivia, and all of the wonderful people associated with Privée Social Club. I don't know if I've ever attended a party where every last person was warm and open and conversational and fun. It speaks to the character of our hostesses, and also to the nature of the plant. It brings people together, it allows people to share, and it heals - body, soul, and perhaps even our society.

Privée Social Club - They're waiting for you.



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