Insurance broker Brad Ward, 35, is gearing up to launch a series of 420-friendly events and activities
Insurance broker Brad Ward, 35, is gearing up to launch Meet and Green, what he hopes will be a series of 420-friendly events and activities for professionals and business owners who are seeking to socialize.
Ward says Meet and Green was borne out of a lack of cannabis-friendly events and meetups around the city.
“When Canada legalized [cannabis], I thought we would start seeing more cannabis-centric events,” Ward says. “But it’s been almost a year, and I haven’t seen anything in Edmonton. So I thought I would start out with something a little unusual, a little against the grain.”
The first Meet and Green event is set to take place tomorrow at The Pint Whyte at 6 pm. Admission for the event is $20, with $10 going towards a food voucher and $5 towards a charitable cause. “I’ll be there to welcome the guests,” says Ward. “There will be a room where people can talk and network.”
Ward says that attendees can expect a relaxed environment for the first event. “I really didn’t put any formal format to it, because I thought that would go against what the current average candidate user wants. I kind of just want to see how people react, behave on their own without rules and guidance,” he explains.
While you can’t consume on the premises – or within 10 meters of the building doors – due to Edmonton’s smoking bylaws, Ward says that The Pint Whyte has a large outdoor area behind the building where patrons can openly smoke or vape without any concern. “Whatever floats your boat! As long as you have a safe ride home and you’re not driving intoxicated,” he says.
For future events, Ward envisions weed-friendly hikes (or “pot walks”), album listening parties and movie nights to appeal to a wider audience.
“The networking part is really fantastic, but I think that the networking is just getting your foot in the door and building a database of people who would be interested in further events,” says Ward. “Because for some people, networking might not sound like a good time — instead, they might be interested in pot walks or going to see a really trippy movie in a theatre that’s been rented exclusively for cannabis users.”
On a bigger scale, Ward hopes that events like Meet and Green’s can help facilitate genuine, human connections in a world where isolation and digital communication via social media has become the norm. “I’m not against Facebook, I use it all the time,” he says. “But I think that what Facebook stands for, which is isolating yourself in a digital device — if we grow this, and I say we because I can’t do it alone, I think that we could be an anti-Facebook, and it would be amazing to see that come out of Canada.”
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Written by Emma Spears