Attendees to Meadowlands are used to trying to navigate through the paperwork associated with a complex set of cannabis regulations in motion, but don’t often have an opportunity to hear from the head of the BCC directly. It’s a tense time for the California cannabis economy and this weekend at Meadowlands is about decompressing and recharging for the immense work still ahead. Ajax herself notes the outdoor setting is relaxing. Who would have thought, she says, that she’d be speaking at an event where attendees were smoking cannabis in the audience.

“This is what we do,” Hua says with a wide grin. “Hotels don’t allow us to. We’re good people.”

Held over the course of three days at Mendocino’s Camp Navarro, Meadowlands was a unique networking event for the California cannabis industry. Hosted by Meadowa San Francisco-based software platform for cannabis businesses, the event was a weekend camping retreat for the state’s marijuana producers, sellers and facilitators that included presentations from California lawmakers and regulators alongside fireside chats, archery lessons and dips in the river off a rope swing

In an outdoor amphitheater at a former Boy Scouts’ camp in the Mendocino County redwoods, Lori Ajax, chief of California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control, is addressing a crowd of business leaders from all aspects of the California cannabis supply chain. In the audience, many people are openly enjoying cannabis as they listen closely to the responses she provides to the moderator and event organizer, Meadow co-founder and CEO David Hua.

Chiah Rodriques