The ground rules for the private affair were nonnegotiable. All tickets, priced at $200, must be purchased online. Each buyer would be screened in advance. There would be no cell phones or personal vehicles. Invitees were directed to arrive at a central location in the Oakland hills, where they would be met by Mercedes-Benz vans and then shuttled a short distance to a residence identified only 48 hours earlier.
The guest of honor was cannabis.
The party’s host was Brian Shaw, the former NBA player, coach and current NBC Sports Bay Area Warriors analyst who uses various forms of the plant and insists it makes his life more comfortable.
The purpose of the sponsored event was to educate attendees — mostly retired professional athletes, musicians and other cultural influencers — about its various medicinal uses. Details could be found on the 12-page invitation featuring photos of, among others, former NBA commissioner David Stern and Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana, quoting their belief in the health benefits of cannabis.
Celebrity chef Nikki Steward, with residence hostess Nikki Shaw serving as co-chef, would prepare an eight-course meal, with a partial menu including braised lamb shanks, lobster mac-and-cheese, chicken pot pies, wings and veggie rolls. And, naturally, there would be desserts, some of which could be plucked from a supine, semi-nude female server.
Though the invitation described the evening as “A Culinary Experience that Stretches Your Perspective & Your Palate,” the actual affair went well beyond edibles. There was live music and a DJ, along with a full bar, with infused cocktails, wine and beer. Massage tables were set up around the swimming pool. There were roll-your-own blunt stations and a dab bar, offering cannabis in a concentrated form. There was instruction on the use of terpenes.
The evening was equal parts Q&A and revelry, with a full smorgasbord of cannabis-related products available under the watchful eye of federal agents, whose attendance in the presence of large quantities is required for regulatory reasons.
Published: February 27, 2020
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News