Over recent years, the UK has been awash with cannabis events. Usually packed to the brim with smart-looking businessmen in crisp white shirts, the UK, and London in particular, has become something of a hub for corporate cannabis.
On Thursday 16th June 2022, creative cannabis agency Rounders, and drug policy think tank Volteface will aim to change this narrative when they host the first Cannapedia event at Huckletree West in White City.
Cannapedia is the brainchild of Akeem Babalola, Founder and Director at Rounders and Eleanor Phee, the Creative Director at Rounders. Eleanor’s journey into cannabis is as whimsical as the photography in the brand’s tri-annual magazine. At a photo shoot in 2020, she found a stranger searching her bag for a grinder, that stranger happened to be the founder of Rounders. As cannabis enthusiasts, the pair struck up a conversation, which led to Eleanor joining the company as well as the pair falling in love. Shortly after, the couple moved to the US, where Eleanor now spends much of her time absorbing and learning US cannabis culture, gaining inspiration and understanding she hopes can help can guide the UK. “I’ve met an incredible array of people in the US cannabis industry doing incredible work in medical treatment, equity, wellness, branding, cultivation,” Eleanor tells us. “What struck a chord within me is that London really lacks opportunities within cannabis, not just because it isn’t legal, but because people aren’t educated enough on the topic.”
Sensing the opportunity to drive change, the Rounders team started to connect with UK advocacy groups, think tanks and companies that shared similar values on cannabis. Through these connections, they have built a community of people with common goals around public opinion, medical access and social justice, and its this community which inspired Cannapedia.
“Our motivation for Cannapedia is to address the current state of cannabis in the UK, the lack of minority opinion and employment in cannabis and create a space for information to be delivered in a friendlier, receivable manner,” Eleanor says.
“One of the problems in UK cannabis is that the events are uptight and corporate in attitude with minimal public access. With Cannapedia we want people to feel they can be open with their cannabis experiences, we also want to be the bridge between the UK and the US industries. With Cannapedia we hope to find and discuss solutions for wider medical access, the diffusion of innovation and bring together a network of people who usually don’t cross paths.”
One of the problems in UK cannabis is that the events are uptight and corporate in attitude with minimal public access. With Cannapedia we want people to feel they can be open with their cannabis experiences
It’s a noble aim, and a timely one too, as medical cannabis becomes more widely accessed in the UK by patients. CBD is now a staple in the country, sitting comfortably on supermarket shelves. The UK is crying out for a new wave of communication and innovation to accelerate the conversation when it comes to cannabis. The timing for a disruptive event is right, but how will Cannapedia ensure they deliver something different? “Cannapedia encourages interactivity through an open panel, CBD pop-ups and a joyous ethos which we hope will tackle the existing stigma. This will be a unique opportunity for the UK public to access an industry event on this scale, we feel that this is important because education is vital in making change. Cannapedia will be a curated experience that will inform to reform.”
Rounders are hosting Cannapedia (London UK) in partnership with Volteface on Thursday 16th June 2022 at Huckletree West in White City to promote topics of discussion surrounding medical cannabis access, inclusion throughout all parts of the supply chain, the perception of cannabis in media and the UK’s current inefficient business model. The aim is to reduce asymmetry and deliver information in a friendlier, receivable manner. Cannapedia is an interactive, fun and joyous community coagulator which will include a panel discussion, CBD popups, networking, gifting, drinks, food and music with credible figures.
Tickets are available online: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/cannapedia-tickets-343004835697