All Photos: Weedmaps
At first blush, cannabis and wellness don’t seem to be a likely pairing.
But as more states in the U.S. begin to re-examine laws around the plant, a shift in thinking seems to be happening lately at a much more mainstream level. Enter Weedmaps — a company founded on the principles of educating the masses about cannabis use through its digital platform that has been deemed a “Yelp for pot” — and you have a perfect conduit for dispersing a new “mentality” around a longstanding stigmatized topic.
Weedmaps returned last month to the North Shore of Oahu to bring to life its second annual Pipe House Experience, and with it, a whole bunch of different activities like yoga, jiujitsu, skate and moto demos, and of course surfing in a world-class location with world-class athletes.
The concept was meant to link the worlds of athletics and wellness with the emerging cannabis space, bringing together a diverse — yet likeminded — crowd of adventurers under one roof with one common denominator — you guessed it: weed.
Beyond the recreational lure, however, the Weedmaps Hawaii House looked to provide insight on canabis’ medicinal benefits, and emphasized a holistic living approach by providing organic, non-GMO meals to guests throughout the month. Community outreach was also factored into the mix and, of course, defending the WeedMaps 2017 Da Hui Backdoor Shootout win.
We caught up with Weedmaps Director, Action Sports, Eric Sorenson for the details, and a look back on all the action that took place at WeedMaps’ Hawaii House this past January.
What are some of the ways WM is working to provide cannabis education and change people’s perspectives?
Weedmaps athletes use marijuana for professional training and injury recovery. It’s not a matter of “will they get injured?” but instead, “When will they get injured?” Athletes don’t want to be in a foggy zombie-like state or risk addiction from having to take Vicodin or Oxycodone. The public laughs at the thought of marijuana having medicinal qualities until some of our athletes win Hawaii’s biggest surf competition. Then the plant’s benefits are considered.
Can you share some of the additional events the house hosted throughout the month?
The health and wellness house provided catered food from Hawaiian Fresh Farms, which is all locally grown, organic and non-GMO.
With support from Flav, West Coast Cure, Quality Resources and other sponsors, we offered professional massages, IVs, free yoga courses for the community, free self-defense classes taught by world champion BJJ athlete Magid Hage, as well as free MMA classes taught by world champions and black belts Joel Tudor + Ilima Macfarlane.
We also did skate and moto demos for the public. Finally, Chuckie and Diplo performed at the Republik on behalf of American Renaissance.
How did the partnership with American Renaissance come about? How are you creating awareness and raising funds for them?
The American Renaissance Academy partnership came about from our dear friend and artist Damien Warwick. The ARA is a nonprofit that builds shelter domes for local sex trafficking victims and the homeless. These domes serve as transitional homes aiding occupants back to "normal" life. A portion of the proceeds from our benefit concert with Chuckie and Diplo will be donated to help build the domes. WM wanted to give back to a local nonprofit and felt this was a great cause to support.
Anything else you’d like to add about WM’s presence in Hawaii, and why you feel it’s so important to be there supporting athletes and the community?
Medicinal cannabis can do so much to improve athletic performance and enhance physical and mental health, whether you’re a competitive athlete or not. The Pipe House Experience is a great way to expose WM and cannabis benefits to the community, but it’s also just a great way to bring people together and have a good time.
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