Make New Friends, Stalk the Old
A marijuana-induced dispatch from the west coast, where new buddies were made.
By Clare Sausen
High Functioning is a monthly column exploring the weird, wide world of weed events. From dab legends to porn stars and tattoo artists to ceramicists, we talk to them all to find out what the future holds for the new party scene.
The buddy system is a critical part of my operation here at High Functioning. Whether it’s seeking a kind stranger to band together throughout an intimidating networking session or following said shes, hes, and theys on Instagram to keep up with what’s coming next, this column has been an exercise exposure therapy for my social anxiety. This month, connection was everything as I fostered new ones and faced old faces (sort of).
Sundae School Pool Party
This was my first swanky hotel rooftop pool experience of my Los Angeles residency, and I must say, I get it. From the delusional, glamorous lava salt-rimmed margaritas to the eye-catching neon upside-down bikini tops of its attendees, this contrived luxury is an accessible way for the truly unfamiliar (like me) to feel like one of Melrose’s elite, if you get high enough.
I arrived to learn I was too late for a gift bag; my timing a difficult tightrope to walk between being ungodly early and too late to enjoy the freebies. I was, however, offered multiple pop-sockets—a trend I’m undoubtedly late to but ergonomically enjoying—and bought myself some of the brand’s signature mochi gummies.
Though I was deeply embarrassed, I asked an unsuspecting partygoer toting a gift bag to give me a haul. A cute doodle-covered rolling tray, a mini boba tea plushie, a plastic grinder/storage pill bottle, Krave Beauty’s Beet the Sun SPF, and Sour Yuzu sativa gummies—all in a Sundae School-branded reusable tote.
I headed downstairs to the pop-up shop, where the brand was offering deals on some of its most iconic streetwear, including a fleece released in collaboration with Broccoli Magazine that lives in my heart but not in my price range, which I was especially excited for.
After being offered a 30mg gummy by a brand ambassador and seeing everyone else put theirs into their bag after I swallowed mine whole, I entered the actual pop-up space. As is typically the case in these situations, I came close but no cigar to finding the right size in the styles that suited me, but I did find a great woven blanket production sample. When I was nearing the register, I noticed someone I recognized from college—a classic case of I know you, you most likely don’t know me —who saw me rummaging through a bin of white sweatpants and offered, “they’re only mediums, I tried.” We shared a laugh and a quick chat, and I left wondering if all the women I was intimidated by when I was younger I was actually just attracted to.
Potent Goods x Karma Stoned Soirée
I met my new friend Devin at the very first weed event I attended in the city. It was January in Venice Beach, my first time realizing that the twenty-degree difference from the Valley to the beach wasn’t just another LA exaggeration. We linked to each other as we admitted that we were both devoted followers of the party host and were hoping for the opportunity to be blessed into her envy-inducing girliepop collective. While neither of us ended up getting much more than a few words in with her, we found each other—as Instagram mutuals, at least.
Recently, she invited me to an intimate soirée hosted by her company, Potent Goods, a fashion-forward luxury cannabis and clothing company owned by co-creator of Juicy Couture, Gela Nash-Taylor, and her son Travis Nash. The event was co-hosted by cannabis influencer Rachael Arias, better known as Karma Stoned, and was complete with prerolls by the handful, vegan Italian passed apps, and a tarot reader who told me I should manifest more (he’s not wrong, for the record).
Grass Lands at Outside Lands Music Festival
I buried the lede. This month, I went to Outside Lands on baby’s first press pass to explore the festival’s fifth annual cannabis installation: Grass Lands. Fulfilling every stoner’s dream of weed as commodified and expensive as alcohol, Grass Lands is an installation where music lovers can legally buy and smoke pot. The area had a separate entrance from the rest of the festival, where an ID check line snaked around and outside of the entrance.
Once I made it in, I was greeted by an open grass area with “activation” booths lining the perimeter and small picket fences denoting where one could consume (though that rule didn’t seem to be too strictly enforced). Many booths attempted to differentiate themselves with corporate-coded freebies, i.e., Trash Island Plastic Crap, and spinning wheels or oversized games of Plinko (I got a lighter for downloading an app! Lucky me!), but they all had similar offerings for the most part. Almost entirely composed of pre-rolls and vape carts—bong girl discrimination rears its ugly head again—the main deciding factors between each booth were line length and brand loyalty.
To be totally honest, I had also brought in a vape cart that I would’ve been perfectly happy to enjoy by itself. For the sake of the experience, though, I decided to buy a pre-roll and take part in the full experience. I saw an ad for Pure Beauty at The Apothecarium booth and was led in like a ship in the night. I took one gram to the dome, a feat not as simple at a point in my life where I’ve gained some self-respect, and walked around to take it all in.
All in all, Grass Lands may be more of a canna-tourism destination than a safe haven for true-blue stoners, but this is the future we’ve been fighting for, I guess.
This month was a whirlwind, from blazing summer pool parties to the frigid North, where I got high with teenage Lana Del Rey fans. While perhaps I didn’t live up to my full social butterfly potential, I did hold a conversation with a Vanderpump alumnus without asking if “tequila” is their code word for cocaine, AND I went a music festival alone over the age of 25 — two tasks I would’ve found insurmountable just a few years ago. Maybe it’s just my ass finally thawing out, but I had a pretty good month. Let’s call it an A-.