Nestled northwest of LA and east of Santa Barbara is a valley — 10 miles long and three miles wide — surrounded by hills and mountains, is a town with a population under 10,000, a gas station here and there and NO chain stores or big box anything; they are illegal. The people of the town fight to keep their living space as unique as they are, so no corporations or big box stores can set up shop.
The name of the town? Ojai, California.
It’s here that people will convene, June 22-26, to enjoy a five-day Cannabis Experiential Retreat: Plant Your Seed, presented by Cannabliss Retreats.
“My vision [was] to create a community that is seeking an awakened journey and wants to learn more about cannabis and plant medicines and how to utilize the magic in the plants to expand their minds and open their hearts and transform their lives for the better,”creator and host, Sari Gabbay, said .
Plant Your Seed is the first-ever Cannabliss Retreat and will offer up some interesting classes, groups and activities. During their stay, guests can expect delightful, cannabis-infused gourmet meals from GrassFed catering and activities ranging from education experiences to cannabis yoga.
“The experience is going to be incredible. Anyone who attends will be able to gain insight into themselves and learn about the benefits of cannabis through food, vaping, topicals, and healing,” Gabbay said. “In addition to that, they will also be able to experience other amazing plant medicines through our cacau ceremony and psychedelic yoga with KATY, a nootropic that makes you feel euphoric.”
The event is co-hosted by Karina Vottchall, Lori Barron and Lauren Unger. The retreat will feature food from Dan Braunstein of GrassFed catering. Vottchall is a yoga teacher, fitness mentor and wellness coach. Barron attended the World Medicine Institute in Honolulu, Hawaii and obtained an MS in traditional Chinese medicine; she has been practicing for more than a decade.
“I am passionate about helping others to heal and be the best they can be physically, mentally and spiritually,” Barron said. “Over the years, I have come to the realization you cannot heal your body without healing the mind and spirit. I think of my work as the guide in finding your way back to yourself.”
Barron said she lives by the mantra, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” She considers herself a modern day medicine woman, plant whisperer, alchemist, light worker and soul coach.
The fourth and final piece to this puzzle is Lauren Unger. Unger brings a lot more than nutritional knowledge to the table; she has worked long and hard cultivating her skill and love for food. She struggled, like almost all of us do, to find her footing in life.
When faced with varying adversities, she followed what western medicine told her: take pills and take pills for the side effects from the pills and then of course take pills to fix the third set. After taking pills for pills for pills, she had finally had enough.
In her adult life, Unger found her path through better nutrition and a better understanding of her own nutritional needs. Her blog, Hint of Greens, offers a glimpse of her struggles and successes.
The Plant Your Seed retreat is meant for people who want to tap into their inner selves by connecting to their surroundings – for those who want to explore the parts of themselves they’ve let fall silent as they’ve coasted through their adult lives.
“The highest quality cannabis, sound baths, sacred circles, hiking, yoga, meditation, fun workouts, plant your seed workshop to shed what doesn’t serve and create your true vision, painting on canvas, black light yoga, lots of amazing music, dance, food pairing, drum circles, acupuncture, massage and reiki,” will all be offered to guests so they can explore and nurture their best selves.
“A roadmap to a bigger vision of wellness centers and creating a community that will grow and flourish. I want to bring positive awareness to cannabis and other plant medicines,” Gabbay said. “I want to change the stigma and show everyone that this plant is a healer, not a heathen, and we can all benefit from her magic and beauty.”
By placing a $500 deposit you can reserve a spot on the Cannabliss Retreats website and choose one of their rooming options, ranging from two-person tent to a shared room; or perhaps you want to fly solo – there’s a package for that too.
TELL US, would you pay to go on a cannabis retreat?