Abrahama Keys is an activist and an entrepreneur. Keys currently serves as President of Greater STL NORML and is the founder of We Cann, an organization dedicated to creating meaningful connections within the cannabis community. Keys’ activism and her focus on community engagement has made We Cann a perfect bridge for cannabis businesses to reach the patients and communities they are built in.
“The event is a vendor style event where a number of different cannabis organizations are on-site with tables to introduce themselves to attendees,” Keys explained. “There will also be a Learning Lounge where different speakers and groups will do quick sessions on cannabis-related topics, like qualifying conditions or how to get a card, or fun things like how to roll a joint.”
The focus of the event is to be all encompassing, appealing to beginners or experienced users alike, and one of the most important factors for Keys – the event is free to attend.
“This is a free event for patients and potential patients which is really important to me so that it is accessible to all. The event is geared at really helping people get to ‘Know Green’ and just learn about all of the aspects of the cannabis community in one room.
“Usually for a cannabis event you have to have a card, or it may be limited to one dispensary or for specific communities or organizations. This event is for everyone who is interested in gaining information on the program from A to Z,” Keys said.
Know Green will take place November 20 at 7 Event Space, located at 1800 S. Broadway in St. Louis.
“The space is great and has indoor and outdoor capabilities,” Keys continued, “It’s just blocks from Soulard Market and goes on at the same time – so I’m hoping to draw some of the crowd from there.”
“There are a number of amazing vendors that will be part of the Know Green event. We have dispensaries including Terrabis, Liberty Cannabis, and Jane DIspensary signed up. Liberty and Terrabis are event sponsors and have been dedicated throughout planning to reach as much of the community as possible.
“We’ll also have some great brands on-site like Teal and Timeless, who will be educating patients on all of the offerings they have in stores throughout the state and their products. There are also some great pure community organizations like NORML along with small businesses that are straight of the community like; Dawn the Cannabis Advocate, Elite Homegrowers, 314 Garden Supply, and The Trimmer Store that provide amazing resources to the community.”
Keys recently took time to answer a few questions about the upcoming event and her role in cannabis in Missouri.
You’ve been a big part of the cannabis community, where do you find your passion?
“I find my passion in all of the amazing things that cannabis can do and the things that I’m seeing it do in our State. There are people out there with real legal access to medicine that changes and saves lives. The medical program is keeping people out of jail and it’s blossoming a whole new community and industry for passionate people to be a part of legally, and I just want to continue to be a part of that.”
What is the goal of the Know Green event?
“The goal of the event is to get as much information into peoples’ hands as possible. I want people to leave these events feeling like some of their questions about the cannabis program in their area have been answered and that they know what next steps are needed to continue to be a part of the community – from learning about a new dispensary in their area, to how they can cultivate or getting their card and becoming a patient.”
This is the second iteration of Know Green – what is different this time?
“This time the location has changed. Last time we were in the Central West End, now we are in the South City/Soulard area. Also, this time there will be some real, focused, educational sessions during the event. There also will be actual dispensaries represented on site. Last year when I hosted this event there were no actual dispensaries open so people could learn directly where to get their medicine near them.”
The event is free, why is it important to you that the event doesn’t have a cost?
“I think that it is important because free = increased accessibility. There are so many barriers to people accessing information especially in the city, a lot of times people can’t afford the cost of an event or even if they can they just aren’t sure what to expect so they aren’t willing to spend money on it.
“I also feel like a free event shows the attendees that the businesses and services there are totally about them, not the price of their ticket. Cannabis is medicine and making someone pay to learn about a plant that could potentially save their life gets sketchy for me.
“I think that there are other events, of course, where a ticket with a price just has to happen – but in spaces like these about education, I think that there is value in these businesses and organizations paying to make it happen for free and to connect with these community members.”
What are some of the most important things the cannabis industry should be doing to engage with the community?
“I think that the most important thing that the industry can do to engage is to reach out and get outside of their own comfort zone and circle. I feel like because we are just opening with some of the restrictions and limitations of the pandemic a lot of the industry is operating in their own little pods. It’s also so important to find ways to engage potential patients as well as those already signed up. One of the biggest things that I hear from people is that they didn’t know where or how they could learn about cannabis.”
What are some ways the community can be more engaged and involved with the industry?
“Getting educated! Also, being on the lookout for ways to get involved. Even if you don’t go to one event, or participate one way, there are tons of ways to be involved if you look for them, social media is a strong resource.”
Know Green is this Saturday, November 20, at 7 Event Space in St. Louis.
For more information about We Cann find them on Facebook by clicking here.
The post Get to Know Green: Q+A with We Cann’s Abrahama Keys appeared first on Greenway Magazine.