What is a ‘Van der Pop Session’?
Have you ever wondered what your sister, friend at the gym or fellow PTA parents would think of you if they knew you consumed cannabis? Fear of judgment, being misunderstood and unfair stereotypes are all valid reasons as to why many women still hide their cannabis use. We are slowly beginning to expunge many of these fears, however, as cannabis becomes normalized and understood on a medical level. Van der Pop SESSIONs were designed to shed light on the power of the plant and educate women on why they shouldn’t be ashamed of turning to a legal, non-pharmaceutical option for dealing with stress, depression, anxiety or pain—and the list goes on. DOPE staff had the privilege of attending a Van der Pop SESSION, and despite working in a pro-cannabis environment, we all left the SESSION with a better understanding of what it means to be a woman who uses cannabis in 2017.
As the ladies arrived at a beautiful loft space in downtown Seattle, they were greeted by women who are making a living—and killing it, I might add—in the cannabis arena. We mingled as we took in the breathtaking view of the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains before breaking into small groups for an evening of fabulous, hands-on tutorials. Each station, hosted by female professionals, gave us the opportunity to learn something new about not only ourselves, but the brilliant happenings in cannabusiness.
STATION 1: BOND & Vashon Velvet
Duni Disston of BOND and Susie Gress of Vashon Velvet sat on a bed tucked away in a nook in the loft. The setting was well-suited for the topic at hand—sex. Yep, sex. Vashon Velvet is in the business of growing artisanal, boutique cannabis in Washington State. Susie spoke of cannabis’ ability to reignite intimacy between couples, and they currently grow and harvest a strain that cannabis consumers are raving about. Some of Gress’ close friends, originally skeptical of smoking weed again (for many, it had been decades since their last puff) gush to her about her strain’s ability to bring them closer to their partner than they had been in years. It was almost as if they were reignited with their youth, reliving their younger years with their partner. Disston excitedly spoke to us of the wonders that BOND Sensual Oil has provided her clients; couples who had lost their spark came together for an experience unlike anything they’d felt in a long time. Many of the SESSION attendees, while shy at first, began asking questions about some of their intimacy concerns. In the end, that is why April Pride, Van der Pop Founder, began bringing woman together under one roof to discuss cannabis. SESSION is a safe place where woman can share their needs, feel supported and walk away with solutions to some of their most basic needs.
STATION 2: LEVO
Chrissy Bellman, LEVO Founder, and Olivia Harris, COO, had a treat in store for us: infused Pistachio Matcha Snack Balls. And the best part? We got to make them ourselves. We pulled up our sleeves with big smiles on our faces—it felt like baking cookies with grandma again, but this time our cookies had an extra special ingredient. The LEVO machine is incredible, and having had the pleasure of seeing the device in action more than once, I can state that with certainty. Chrissy and Olivia are one-of-a-kind, and were there to answer any infusion or recipe questions we had. Making cannabis treats in the kitchen with friends is not only fun, but a healthy get-together where everyone gets to leave with a goodie bag in tow.
Enter DOPE X Van der Pop X LEVO Oil X Vashon Velvet Contest HERE
STATION 3: Van der Pop
A VdP SESSION is designed to offer women a safe place to consume cannabis and talk about their cannabis use in an open, non-judgmental environment. VdP Founder April Pride spoke to us about her initial concerns moving into the professional cannabis space. As a mother, she wanted to create a company that was viewed as a forward-thinking business entity built on traditional business models. She spoke to us the evening of our SESSION and shared with us some of the new products VdP is creating. We had the opportunity to try out VdP’s innovative new beauty line that includes sleek, odor-concealing Italian leather stash bags, balms, serums and even CBD capsules for the woman on the go. The best part of the evening was the sense of community April has created through the VdP SESSION; she’s an inspiration in the cannabis arena, and a true advocate for what it means to be a working woman today.
If you’re looking to attend a VdP-hosted SESSION in your area, sign up for the VdP newsletter HERE