First of all, I wanted to thank everyone for reading my column as the magazine has continued to expand and evolve, and as things have changed during the pandemic. As many of you remember, my column used to be primarily travel-based… and then, COVID changed that, and I’m completely alright with it! Changing the premise of Puff, Pass & Ponder from a travel article into an interview format has allowed me to connect with people I’ve admired from far (and near) for ages, and also, to give a platform to hard-working small business owners who deserve to be recognized, especially women and people of color who are often overlooked in this industry. I’m not saying I won’t be back to my old travel cahoots, but for now, I’ve got so many interviews lined up with interesting folks that I want to go down this path a little bit longer!
Catherine Goldberg is the most outwardly-outgoing introvert I’ve ever met, somehow being incredibly fun and putting on an amazing party, while keeping all of her ducks in a perfect row and being content behind the scenes as well. She runs a business called WeedBarLA doing events on both a small and large scale, and her goal is to offer a high-end cannabis bar experience (much like an open bar at a wedding, but with less hitting on bridesmaids and zero puking). She does an amazing job of including cannabis use as a cornerstone to any gathering, with WeedBarLA being a complement to the party instead of blatant and IN YOUR FACE… in case you wanted to invite your weird neighbors or your great aunt. She’ll also do an amazing job of explaining cannabis use to aforementioned great aunt, and might even get her to try a low-dose cannabis cocktail, which honestly is just going to make family gatherings more pleasant for everyone.
I met Catherine in person when she came to one of my classes in LA YEARS ago, although we had been following each other on social media for some time already. I was particularly taken by her sense of humor, which is certainly due in part to her attention to detail and ongoing inner-monologue checklist (as an anxious organized introvert appearing social, she’s one of my crew). She brings cannabis to the people who don’t even know they like weed yet… and after you meet her, I promise you’ll love both cannabis and Cat.
Hi Catherine, we’ve known each other for a long time, as industry associates and also great friends. Can you introduce yourself to us, and tell us how you got into the cannabis industry?
Of course! Can I start by telling the story of how we met? I had just moved to Los Angeles and heard about your cannabis painting class. I had SO much fun that night! The playfulness and lightness of the night still sticks with me. That was when I saw the magic that comes out of mixing great people, art, and cannabis.
I started in the industry seven years ago when I was living in San Francisco. As a medical patient I would visit The Green Cross at least once a week. I started to notice that cannabis brands were popping up. One product that really stuck out was a cannabis coffee. These are my two favorite things mixed together. I emailed the company and asked if I could do their social media and they went for it.
In 2017 I moved to Los Angeles and started writing for High Times covering trends and cannabis specific events. The one thing all the events I attended had in common was a sense of optimism and enthusiasm and curiosity and wonder about the world. I had found my people.
I’ve always been so impressed with all of your events that I’ve attended! Can you tell us about WeedBaLA, and what your company focuses on?
WeedBarLA came out of my work with High Times. My background is in marketing and SEO and I saw that there was an opportunity to get into the consumer side of private events.
My company focuses on making it easy for the customer to have a safe WeedBar that everyone, including the conservative grandparents will enjoy.
This means offering a wide variety of products that everyone can enjoy. Not everyone wants to smoke cannabis. We serve Cann drinks at our events. It’s 2 mg THC and 4 mg CBD. Dosage wise, it’s as low as you can go. It’s delicious and most people drink two or three.
One of my favorite things about your events that I’ve attended is your attention to detail, dosing, and especially cannabis use education. Why is this so important in this industry?
I’ve seen what happens when people aren’t careful about these things. Everyone knows someone who has had an edible horror story. They ate one bite and it tasted good so they ate a few more bites. They didn’t feel anything after an hour so they ate the whole thing. Now they’re dizzy, and nauseous, and absolutely swearing off cannabis for life. This breaks my heart. Cannabis has been a complete blessing for me and millions of others. We curate the cannabis experience in a way where this doesn’t happen. We have guests coming up for thirds and fourths because I don’t serve anything over 2.5 mg.
A successful event for me means that someone has left in a little less pain. That means in my job to make sure their cannabis experience is the absolute best that it can be so that they’re curious and empowered to learn more on their own.
Tell me about a couple of your most favorite events that you’ve done!
I’ll tell you about two!
First, imagine a Burning Man-esque style retreat with 90 New York Jews. We did a three day event in Joshua Tree at Garth’s Boulder Garden. Everyone visited the WeedBar at least once.
Second, the Malibu birthday party that we did together! It was called Faded and X Rated, and you taught a nude drawing class overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The combination of the cannabis and your genuine positivity and encouragement unlocked a magical afternoon that friends will remember forever.
How can people follow you on social media, and contact you to book events with WeedBarLA?
What is your favorite way to consume?
In the morning, a sativa joint with my oat milk latte. Then straight to the gym!
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I love you and I am so grateful that I’ve gotten to experience the magic of your classes and friendship. I know we both know that cannabis can help repair the world and I love how we’re doing it together.