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Q&A With Mother’s High Tea Founder Susan Squibb

An MJ News Network Exclusive

Mother’s High Tea is a non-consumption event celebrating women and mothers in the cannabis community. Founded by Susan Squibb in 2011 to honor her own mother, this event is the longest running women’s cannabis event in the U.S. and the only one to welcome children.  MJ News Network had a chance to speak with Ms. Squibb, just days before the big event. 

Q: What are you trying to accomplish with Mother’s High Tea?

A.  Mother’s High Tea, is the signature social event for the cannabis advocacy and business communities. It is a family friendly, public high tea, designed to normalize legalized cannabis and those who work in the cannabis industry and advocacy arenas.  

Q. You’ve been hosting the event for Colorado’s cannabis industry for some years, how’s your mission, and the cannabis industry you serve, changed?  

A. The first Mother’s High Tea was in 2011.The industry has developed and changed a lot since then. My mission was to create a feminine, family friendly event for women in the cannabis community.  The signature parts of Mother’s High Tea is an educational speaker program, fun, creative activities for all ages, tea cups and tea and unique social time with friends, family and colleagues.

Q. Beyond your annual Tea, is the MHT organization active throughout the year?  

A. Mother’s High Tea is an event that fosters the community of women who work in cannabis business or advocacy. It is planned by a committee of talented women! Most of us have full time positions outside of the planning community.  

Q. Are you looking for volunteers or sponsors? 

A.  We need volunteers and sponsors for the spring tea party! The Fifth Annual Mother’s High Tea is right around the corner on Friday May 12. The sponsorship drive starts in February! 

Mother’s High Tea With Cannabis Maven Susan Squibb

COLORADO:  Women are rewriting the social rules regarding marijuana use, and driving innovation in the emerging legal cannabis industry.  To celebrate and pay tribute to them, Denver-based 4 & 20 Blackbird Productions and organizers Cannabis Maven Susan Squibb and Christie Lunsford will play host to  the 3rd Biennial Mother’s High Tea, a networking event for women and mothers in cannabis.

MJNewsNetwork asked Susan Squibb about the event, and much more.

Q: What is Mother’s High Tea?

Mother’s High Tea is a tea party around Mother’s Day for the inspirational pioneering women and mothers of cannabis legalization and our fast growing community. It’s based in Denver, Colorado.  The first Mother’s High Tea, in 2011 began as a community event.   The original event inspiration was my mother who was active in the nonprofit community serving women and children’s needs. When she passed away from ovarian cancer, I created this event within my own community in homage to her positive influence and gather the busy cannabis business women together for an inspiring tea party around Mother’s Day.  The next Mother’s High Tea doubled as the launch of Women’s CannaBusiness Network, a project of National Cannabis Industry Association. This women’s group, 2 years later developed into Women Grow. Mother’s High Tea is a trailblazing cannabis event!

Q: Who will be speaking?

Cannabis business women, AC Braddock CEO of Washington based Eden Labs and Kristi Kelly, Principal of Good Meds Network in Metro Denver are speaking at this year’s event. Our keynote speaker is Republican Senator Beth Martinez Humenik from Adams County, Colorado. Diane Fornbacher, publisher of Ladybud Magazine will inspire with poetry and cannabis educator and consultant, Christie Lunsford, is sharing MC duties with me. It’s an exciting lineup of accomplished women, I’m eager to hear what Senator Humenik will say!

Q: Who should attend?

This event is for women and mothers in cannabis business and legal reform. It’s a networking event with a speaker program and event activities.   Mothers can bring their children, if they like. Due to compliance issues for public cannabis events, we have a limited capacity for minors, so children need to be preregistered to attend. Those arrangements can be made when tickets are purchased. Men are welcome to attend too!

Q: The event was produced by 4 & 20 Blackbirds Productions —your event production company — tell us about that.

Mother’s High Tea, as a non-consumption event, has been the only 4 & 20 Blackbirds event so far. I have plans to organize other cannabis events, more on the cultural side, but the laws in Denver are strict and not conducive to public events with allowed consumption. Here in the Denver area, people in marijuana “speakeasies” can get tickets for public consumption by police, and events have been cancelled or moved under pressure from officials. It’s unstable and still largely underground right now. The private use only aspect of the Colorado legalization law is not based on actual behavior. Cannabis culture is social and needs to also be legalized. Ideally, I want to be able to get a marijuana event permit, just like a permit is needed to sell alcohol at an event.

Q: You wear a lot of hats — Cannabis Maven, Operations Director of Steep Hill Labs, SAFER activist, event planner — how do you manage to balance it all? 

I don’t wear all my hats at the same time! But life can get hectic, juggling it all. Meditation is an important balance. I can do a lot because I am deeply motivated to make positive change for this plant. This is my inspiration for my legal reform work.  I feel really blessed to have many opportunities to describe and impact cannabis laws, expand the legal marketplace and increase consumer safety. I think of great ideas to manifest, look for good projects to work on, and support worthwhile businesses that add value to the scene and develop business and social infrastructure.

Q: The event is open to well-dressed men and well-behaved children…what is your thinking?

Yes, this is primarily a lady’s event. We don’t exclude men, especially men that recognize the importance of the event and want to lend support to the women of this community!  We do ask the men to dress nice! Cannabis business is usually a casually dressed environment, lots of t shirt and jeans. We want to everyone looking sharp for the ladies!  Mothers can bring their children the Mother’s High Tea. We design the event with kids in mind. We have a letter writing table for encouraging political engagement, a craft table to decorate teapot ornaments, tea time word searches, and a fun photo booth. Many cannabis businesses in Colorado are run by families. This public event is an opportunity for them to bring their children, or parents,  to a cannabis event that is appropriate and safe and stylish.

Q: Who are your sponsors?

We have over 35 business sponsors for the event representing a wide range of businesses within the cannabis industry. MJBA Women’s Alliance has been an enthusiastic sponsor of Mother’s High Tea and special thanks to our lunch, photo booth and platinum sponsors: Mary Medicinal’s, Julie’s Natural Edibles, MiNDFUL, Steep Hill, The Farm, Ideal 420 Soil, and Northern Lights Cannabis Co.

Here’s all the sponsors! Mary Medicinals, Julie’s Natural Edibles, MiNDFUL, Steep Hill, The Farm, Ideal 420 Soil, Northern Lights, McAllister Law Office, Dixie, Good Meds Network, Canyon Cultivation, Miller Soil, Live Green, CannaMart, Surna, MJ Freeway, Denver Relief, Lauren Davis Law, The ArcView Group, The Clinic,  Better Baked, Vicente/Sederberg, CMT Laboratories, Cloverleaf University, 420 Investor, SSDP and DPA, BMB Builders, 3D Cannabis Center,  The Hemp Connoisseur Magazine, Ladybud Magazine, Buds and Blossoms, Cannabis Camera, 4 & 20 Blackbirds, Women Grow, MJBA Women’s Alliance, Wildwood Apothecary, and Sara C’s it Social Media.

Q: Women Grow, MJBA Women’s Alliance, Ladybud, why do you think women in the cannabis have taken such a visible leadership role in shaping a post-prohibition world.  

Women have been involved in cannabis reform for a long time. The change in the laws has made it a more comfortable space for women to openly come forward as advocates for legal reform, and executives in cannabis business.  Also, women are important thought leaders for the future we are creating right now. We have a social norm we believe that moms look out for our safety and if mom says something is ok to do, then it’s safe and ok.  The opinions of moms and women will shape what appropriate social use is like in a society of legalized marijuana. Women play an important role in removing stigmas that surround marijuana.  Also, the needs of women consumers will have a big impact on market development, so businesses need to be forecasting for women consumers.

Q: Feel free to add anything else you feel would be relevant to MJ News Network readers.

Anyone who believes cannabis laws should change can have a big impact by simply talking about your support within your social circles. Fear of what others think or fear of being stereotyped as a lazy pothead, unfit mother whatever has stifled public conversations supporting legalization. These everyday conversations aren’t about personal consumption or someone wanting to get high. There are many convincing arguments for legalization- medical research and patient access, social justice issues and the racial disparity of prisoners serving time for nonviolent marijuana offenses, or the missed tax revenue for what currently is the biggest cash crop in the US. We can all contribute to the groundswell of support for legal reform by telling our neighbors and community members our support and in doing so, we reflect the normalcy of the people wanting legal reform in the US. There is a lot of work that still needs to happen, let’s use this current momentum to have a big impact on restoring this useful plant into modern life.

7th Annual Mother’s High Tea – Tea Along The Rio de la Plata South America

COLORADO:  4 & 20 Blackbirds presents 7th Annual Mother’s High Tea® – Tea Along the Rio de la Plata South America, taking place at McNichols Building on Friday September 20, 2019, from 1pm to 4pm in Denver, featuring an inspiring speaker program, activities, nonprofit education and tea menu. Mother’s High Tea® is a public, non-consumption event celebrating mothers, business women, and advocates in the cannabis community. Cannabis Maven, Susan Squibb, with a volunteer committee is proud to produce and emcee Mother’s High Tea®, the longest running women’s cannabis event in the U.S.

Speakers: The speaker theme is personal and community wellness. The keynote speaker is Jessica Peck, Esq. Denver attorney, Ms. Peck is a constitutional scholar and passionate family law trial attorney, often representing families and kids in crisis. This year, she was appointed by Gov. Jared Polis to the Colorado Behavioral Health Task Force, Subcommittee on Children’s Behavioral Health, tasked with rebuilding Colorado’s juvenile mental health system. Over a decade ago, Ms. Peck co-founded Moms for Marijuana and Guarding Our Children Against Marijuana Prohibition. Dr. Lisa Calderón, currently Chief of Staff for Candi Cde Baca in Denver City Council District 9 was born and raised in Denver. Dr. Calderón holds a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, law degree, and a doctorate in education. Her 30-years of public service also includes being a justice reform advocate, nonprofit executive and social justice organizer. She is a former university professor she has taught in academia for 15 years in the areas of Women’s Studies, Ethnic Studies, Sociology, and Criminal Justice. She has obtained several awards for inspirational leadership for her work serving the community.

Tea Along the Rio de la Plata South America comes to life with tea buffets and catering by Encore Catering & Culinary Services. The menu is inspired by the yerba mate teas and culinary regions of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

The non- profit and educational tables feature information from National Alliance on Mental Illness, UCD Cannabis Cultures Anthropology Professor, Marty Otanez, and Denver Open Media.

Tickets: VIP tables, general admission and children tickets available through AXS website. GA Tickets are $35. Child tickets are $15. Children 4 and under are free. A VIP table for 10 is available for $425 with the promo code bestfriend10 at AXS.com. Each guest receives a passport to travel through event activities, a gift bag from event sponsors, and entries to prize drawings.

Susan Squibb, Cannabis Maven, is a trailblazer of the hemp and marijuana business and advocacy communities in Colorado. She is a paralegal, event producer and speaker.

Denver’s Sixth Annual Mother’s High Tea – Tea Along the Silk Road Is May 11th

COLORADO:  The Sixth Annual Mother’s High Tea – Tea Along the Silk Road, featuring an inspiring speaker program, activities, nonprofit education and tea menu, takes place at Denver’s McNichols Building on Friday May 11, 2018.

Organized by “Cannabis Maven” Susan Squibb, the public, non-consumption event celebrates mothers, business women and advocates in the cannabis community.

Speakers: This year’s keynote speaker is Representative Leslie Herod of House District 8 in Northeast Denver, along with Judge Shelli Williams Hayes, a retired Judge of Cook County, Illinois for 18 years, and current Chief Compliance Officer for American Standard Hemp Company, in Grand Junction, Colorado; Cindy Sovine, political consultant and CEO of Utopia All Natural Wellness Spa & Lounge in Denver, and Samantha Walsh, hemp policy expert and CEO of Tetra Public Affairs, based in Denver.

Sixth Annual Mother's High Tea- Tea Along the Silk Road is a fundraiser for Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition

Sixth Annual Mother’s High Tea- Tea Along the Silk Road is a fundraiser for Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition

Tea Along the Silk Road comes to life with tea buffets and catering inspired by the legendary teas and culinary regions along the Chinese Silk Road. A Chinese cultural partnership with international non profit, Confucius Institute, will feature authentic party décor, a gongfu tea demonstration, calligraphy activities, and paper crafts for guests of all ages.

Non- profits: A portion of ticket sales go toward featured nonprofit organization, Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition. CCJRC is a network of organizations, faith communities, and individuals working to eliminate the overuse of the criminal justice system in Colorado.

Educational tables: Certifiably Green Denver offers free sustainability advising services to Denver’s business community and Center for Health, Work & Environment at Colorado School of Public Health leads safety training classes.

Tickets: Reserved seats, VIP tables, and general admission tickets available through AXS website. Lovely gift bags from event sponsors for all guests.

Presenting Sponsor: Eden Labs, a global company, based in Seattle, WA, engineers and manufactures commercial extraction equipment for botanical industries since 1994.

Denver’s Fifth Annual Mother’s High Tea Is May 12th

COLORADO: 4 & 20 Blackbirds will present Fifth Annual Mother’s High Tea, taking place at McNichols Building on Friday May 12, 2017, featuring an inspiring speaker program, activities, nonprofit education and tea menu. Mother’s High Tea is a non-consumption event celebrating business women, mothers and advocates in the cannabis community.

Cannabis Maven, Susan Squibb is proud to bring Mother’s High Tea, the longest running women’s cannabis event in the U.S. to Denver for the fifth annual tea party. Mother’s High Tea, is the signature social event for the cannabis advocacy and business communities. It is a family friendly, public high tea, designed to normalize legalized cannabis and those who work in the cannabis industry and advocacy arenas. Mother’s High Tea features a distinguished educational speaker program, fun, creative activities for all ages, which benefit local non- profits while spending unique social time with friends, family and colleagues.

Speaker Program and participating nonprofit will be announced soon.

Tickets on sale starting Thursday March 30. Child tickets, general admission, and VIP tables available through AXS website and box offices.  Use the code TEATIME10 at check out to save 10% off the ticket price.

Mother’s High Tea Continues to be a Pivotal Force in Driving Cannabis Thought-Leadership.

COLORADO:  Mother’s High Tea, the fourth annual gathering of cannabis professionals, regulators, advocates, patients and families on Monday, October 10th, 2016 at 10:00 AM in the landmark McNichols Civic Center Building, in historic downtown Civic Center Park, 144 West Colfax Avenue, Denver, Colorado 80202. 

Mother’s High Tea is a non-consumption event celebrating women and mothers in the cannabis community. Founded by Ms. Susan Squibb in 2011 to honor her own mother, this event is the longest running women’s cannabis event in the U.S. and the only one to welcome children. The Co-chairs are Ms. Susan Squibb and Mrs. Christie Lunsford. Susan, The Cannabis Maven, has been integral to the cannabis business and legalization communities since the mid-1990s. She is an established freelance writer and Director of Operations at CBDRx.  Christie is Cannabis Woman of the Year, a founding member and speaker for National Cannabis Industry Association and COO of Pro Max Grow. 

This year’s presenting sponsor is Mindful. Mindful was established in 2009 and provides customers with the highest quality, strains in the country, inspired by nature. At MiNDFUL, their mission is to improve the lives of their customers by providing them with the world’s most exotic strains and highest quality products.

The morning will begin with an elegant tea reception where guests will have a chance to mingle, write a letter to their legislature, craft with their children or step outside and enjoy a view of downtown Denver. The tea reception will be followed by a lineup of inspiring speakers. 

Colorado State Senator, Irene Aguilar, MD., gives the keynote speech. The program also includes notable cannabis industry leaders, Ms. Eileen Konieczny, RN, President of the American Cannabis Nurses Association, Mrs. Carrie Roberts Scurti, of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Medicine Man Technologies and Mrs. Floribeth Beckman an owner of natural cannabis herbal company, Herbanoids. 

Joint Venture Flavors, creators of the Purple Monkey line of cannabis infused teas and coffees, has contracted Wystone’s World Teas to design this year’s menu. An array of Wystone’s fine teas will be accompanied by delicious scones with Devonshire Cream, hearty finger sandwiches, and assortments of sweet treats.

The craft tables have fun, educational and creative activities for children and adults as well. Design and take home your own mementos and start your collection. Children’s tickets are limited, reserve in advance. 

The other ladies of the Mother’s High Tea Committee are Ms. Dawn Blackman, Ms. Sara Conrad, Mrs. Christianna Brown, Mrs. Cici Dunn, Ms. Kara Janowski, Ms. Caren Kershner, Ms. Ashley Picollo, and Mrs. Teri Robnett. 

Mother’s High Tea has become the longest running annual celebration of women in cannabis and the only one to welcome children as a non-consumption event. 

The event costs $42 per guest. As space is limited, advance reservations are required. Tickets can be purchased Mother’s High Tea EventBrite Tickets. 

For more information about Mother’s High Tea, visit the Facebook Event page.

A Pain In The Bud: The ‘Legality’ Of ‘Coffee Shops’ And Other Marijuana Consumer Venues And Events In The U.S.

WASHINGTON:  Those who have been to Amsterdam may know a thing or two about Dutch “coffee shops.” Though these shops operate in a legal gray area, they still attract droves of foreigners who come to buy and use marijuana in a pleasant coffeehouse setting. Think Starbucks, but with patrons rolling joints or consuming edibles instead of drinking lattes and eating bagels. No state with legal marijuana here in the United States has embraced the coffee shop model, though that may change soon since there are increasingly fewer places in which one can consume marijuana outside one’s own home and, sometimes, not even there.

Most states with robust marijuana regulations (in line with the Cole Memo) prohibit using cannabis inside any state-licensed marijuana business. Those states also usually require that cannabis only be consumed outside the view of the public. In both Colorado and Washington, using marijuana in most hotels, clubs, and bars is also forbidden under both public consumption and general smoking laws. Even cherished Cannabis Cups and competitions are feeling the heat from increased state marijuana regulations surrounding public consumption, prohibition on open containers, and operational licensing. Both Washington and Colorado essentially confine consumption to one’s actual residence. Since many rental apartments and HOA-controlled condos already forbid smoking or any federally illegal drug activity, many marijuana users are left without a lawful venue in which to indulge.

A number of private entrepreneurs are trying to solve this venue problem. For instance, in May, the Colorado Symphony hosted three nights of “Bring Your Own Green” (BYOG), with its “Classically Cannabis: The High Note Series.” Entrepreneurs in both Colorado and Washington have advertised for and sought to provide private marijuana clubs, “Bud and Breakfasts,” cannabis-friendly hotels, marijuana-focused travel agencies, and “canna crawls” for touring state-licensed marijuana businesses. Toke’n Brush even puts on a marijuana-friendly painting class. But are these sorts of events and offerings legal under state law?

Marijuana Industry Struggles Against Tough Politics

COLORADO:  Colorado’s effort to tax marijuana as a means to help the state budget never materialized, at least financially,  slowing expansion of industries supported by the drug. As attempts to approve marijuana’s use in other states and cities falters, these industries face unexpected road blocks.

Analysis by trade site Cannabis Executive shows how much the efforts to legalize marijuana vary. A number of doctors in Minnesota won’t support the use of medical marijuana by some patients. Medical marijuana is often considered the foot in the door that the industry needs for broader state legalization approval. Medical marijuana advocates in Iowa continue to complain that the state legislature, particularly Republicans, have blocked their progress to gain approval for use. A law to legalize medical marijuana has cleared all legislative hurdles in the state, but state approvals are sometimes not sufficient. Problems with federal opposition to marijuana use have triggered raids of facilities in California. The future of the marijuana  economy may be settled in federal court

 

And, a number of states are far away from approving marijuana use of any kind. These include New Hampshire and, possibly Arizona, where a poll shows public support of legalization of the drug.

 

Lost in the battle for legalization of marijuana is that the industries around it are tiny, especially for businesses which have staked their futures on expansion state by state. In Colorado, income from marijuana taxes has come in well below expectations. Hope that taxes on marijuana might match income for legal gambling or cigarette taxes have proven more than disappointing.

 

 

 

 

Weed Etiquette: The Emily Post Institute Talks Social Graces

COLORADO:  The unspoken rules of the “puff, puff, pass” ritual — including all of the steps it takes to toke up — are obvious to those who already partake. But for those just now starting to explore the world of weed, there’s a lot to learn.

Unlike many trends and businesses and that are emerging with legal marijuana, it might come as a surprise that etiquette has always been something that has had its place in smoking culture.

Sure, The Cannabist and many other major media outlets have started to revisit the conversation about what modern marijuana looks and feels like since legalization. Cannabis Maven Susan Squibb, a colleague of ours at The Cannabist, pens an informative Ask The Cannabist column that answers questions about everything from brushes with the law to pot and pets.

Just a year into legalized life in Colorado, Cannabist editor Ricardo Baca reflected on the shift he saw in his own social circle celebrating his friend Alissa Joblon’s birthday party in Denver’s tony Cherry Hills Village neighborhood. As he and his fiancée came to a last-minute realization that they needed to bring something to share, they opted for a pre-rolled joint in place of the standard bottle of wine.

Upscale Marijuana Is Moving Online

CALIFORNIA:  The parking lot at Wonderland Nursery is often full of Ford F-150s belonging to area growers, who have come to pick up clones — stem cuttings of cannabis that have been replanted — and glean advice for their crops. The airy, two-story facility sits on the outskirts of Garberville, Calif., a little hub of civilization and commerce amid the far-spread farms shrouded in the hills.

When I visited, a few nursery workers, in the process of making more clones from plant cuttings, passed around a joint in the unassuming manner workers in a different place of business might gather at the watercooler. Owner Kevin Jodrey says they’re actually not supposed to smoke in the shop, but “you know how it goes from time to time.”

If you want to get wonky about cannabis cultivation, Jodrey’s nursery has a vast genetic library, and he has helped people with everything from arthritis to late-stage leukemia find the right strain and cannabinoid ratio to treat themselves.