Way back in 2011, I was working on Tacoma Hempfest and breaking in to the medical cannabis market in Washington State. There were a lot of brick and mortar stores opening up around the Puget Sound region, and throughout the State. Some flourished, and were in need of real professional services – and that’s how I entered the market – providing payroll and tax compliance to organizations that had no semblance of the framework of operating within the law. Around the same time, Leaf Magazines (simply Northwest Leaf at the time) founder Wes Abney was transitioning from a daily job to his forever career in cannabis media, printing his first issue of The Northwest Leaf. Wes has worked through adversity, change within the industry, industry infighting, and personal challenges to continually bring a refined print magazine to market over the past 10+ years. As best as I know, he’s never missed an issue.
Wes has always had a dedicated team supporting him, as well. Daniel Berman comes to mind as the longest term associate of Wes’ that I can think of, and Daniel is a WORLD CLASS PHOTOGRAPHER. For instance, Bill Gates’ current PR headshot was taken by none other than Leaf Magazine’s Daniel Berman.
For years, his team made it work. When recreational was legalized, Wes was concerned about the impact on medical cannabis rights and was a powerful voice in decrying the incoming law (page 7, at the link) around its weak points. Wes has participated in countless days of coverage of lobby efforts by private citizens and industry lobby groups alike to maintain transparency for the industry, about the industry. In short, Wes Abney CARES about you, the cannabis consumer, and what will keep you safe, educate against prohibitionist propoganda, and bring the consumers voice to the forefront…. and that’s just his magazine.
Wes has continued to re-invest in his own enterprise, and has gathered talent. Partnering with Mike Ricker (Yes, THAT Ricker — of High Noon @ KISW 99.9, KUFO Portland, and Tampa Bay’s 98Rock), together they launched a podcast, while assembling a larger team throughout their media sphere that includes Stashley Lynn (Model & Canna-extroidinaire) and Mary J White (Cannabis Cuisine) on the podcast, and Bobby Black (High Times) contributing to the magazine duty.
The team at Leaf Life podcast is steadily closing in on their weekly podcast episode #200 (Spotify | Apple | Website) , and Northwest Leaf just published monthly issue #150. Their longevity in cannabis media is now unparalleled.
What better way for them to celebrate than for them to host a cannabis competition & event?
Well, that’s what Leaf is doing… The Leaf Bowl!
House of Cannabis is the intake partner for Leaf Magazines, for this event. What does that mean? Well, producers and processors may bring their product to our facility, we purchase their samples, and Leaf purchases them for a blind judging event prior to the Award Gala. When the judging is done, the Gala goes forward with a GREAT time for all attendees, bragging rights for the winners, and a lot of work for the team at Leaf with the potential payoff that they have continued to help normalize the industry.
I had the pleasure of attending the Oregon Leaf Bowl earlier in 2022 – It was a splendid event. If you have the opportunity to attend Northwest Leaf Bowl, I suggest you take it. You haven’t ever seen a party like a northwest weed party, and Leaf excels at them.