Woolsey Fire Fundraiser Set for Feb. 15 in Downtown Los Angeles (UPDATED)

The all-day industry sponsored event will feature seminars, health and wellness activities, and a four-course chef's dinner.

Woolsey fundraiser

LOS ANGELES – Out of the Ashes, a fundraiser for victims of the recent Southern California fires, is set for Friday, February 15, in downtown Los Angeles. Organized by The Malibu Foundation, Future Cannabis Project, Emerald Exchange, California Cannabis Manufacturers Association, UCLA Canna Club, and AWA OASIA, proceeds will go to The Malibu Foundation, which is working to assist in recovery for victims of the Woolsey Fire.

*The list of speakers at the bottom of the page has been updated*


The all-day event—which will feature activities that include yoga classes, massage therapy, musical performances, panel discussions, and a four-course chef’s dinner—is supported by cannabis-related companies and organizations. A few of these are Los Angeles NORML, Boveda, Flow Kana, Papa & Barkley, 99 Malibu High Tide, CannaCraft, Sonoma Pacific Distribution, Futurola, and CHAKRAS, which is organizing the health and wellness activities. A complete list of sponsors can be found at FutureCannabisProject.org.

The idea for the fundraiser originated with Justin Calvino, founder of the Emerald Exchange, and Peter Cervieri, co-founder of Future Cannabis Project, who took the reins. Originally conceived as an evening event, plans quickly escalated when Cervieri found a spacious downtown venue available for the day.

“I figured, why not program an entire day of content,” he said. “Now, it’s jam-packed with interesting industry conversation plus everything in the kitchen sink. We have a wellness track with yoga, sound healing and massage therapy, and a conference track if you’re in the industry. At night, there will be a chef-prepared dinner, movie screenings with cannabis documentaries that will be on Netflix soon, and music and DJs. Conceptually, it’s the cannabis industry coming together for something that’s not just about it.”

An all-day pass costs $30. Tax-deductible, it allows the user to access afternoon panel discussions, register for yoga classes in the onsite yoga studio, and watch movies. Food trucks will be available onsite where food can be purchased. An all-day pass plus the four-course plated chef’s dinner costs $150. There also is a corporate option for $1000, which includes all the above, five additional dinner tickets, and acknowledgement as an event supporter. “You can even donate ticket(s) to someone who lost their home in the fire,” promote the organizers.

The event starts at noon Friday and ends around 1am Saturday. The chef’s dinner is scheduled to begin at 7pm. It will not be just any dinner, assured Cervieri, who’s been hitting up unsuspecting local organic farms for donations.

“The only farms I’ve approached have been living soil, organic, local farms,” he said. “I asked them, ‘Hey, what do you have available? Do you want to donate some produce to a good cause for a chef’s dinner?’ They’re all like, ‘Hell, yeah!’ I have one farm that donated 50 pounds of organically raised pork.”

Cervieri said the dinner experience is shaping up to be organic and different. “It’ll be like an Iron Chef competition, where [the chefs] come to work ready to use the ingredients we’ve provided,” he said. “It’ll be, ‘What are you going to make?’” The dinner, which will feature an award-winning California Pinot Noir, also will include a few people who lost their homes to the fires sharing their stories, as well as a silent auction with products and services donated by event partners.

Despite its urban setting, there will be a decided craft vibe to the event. “The Emerald Exchange community of farmers is coming down,” said Cervieri. “It’ll be craft cannabis meets craft agriculture meets the L.A cannabis business world. There will be Humboldt growers, Sonoma growers, Mendocino growers, there will be wellness, spiritual, feel-good activities, and then there also will be straight-up serious panel panel discussions.” A current list of the panels, which take place during the afternoon, is below. Speakers are subject to change.

Cervieri was quick to point out that even though producing the event has been extremely time-consuming, he plans to do more of them. “I want to use this as a springboard for future events,” he said. “My overarching idea is, if the cannabis industry can come together in support of some cause, whatever it may be, to show that we give a damn about more than just ourselves, it helps inoculate us against negative public perception. This time we may raise $50,000 for victims of the Woolsey fire. Next time, it might be $100,000 for at-risk youth or money for cleaning up the beaches. It’s almost like it’s a PR vehicle to show the general public, politicians, and the media that when shit happens the cannabis industry steps up. What do you do?”

For up-to-date information and tickets for Out of the Ashes, please visit here.

PANELS (Updated)
Juli Crockett, Director of Compliance, MMLG
Pam Epstein, CEO, Green Wise Companies
Brett Hartmann-Payan, Compliance Leader, Dosist

Robert Hunt, Principal Consultant, Shingle Hill
Brent Cox, Managing Partner, The Inception Companies
Jay Purcell, M&A Attorney, Clark Neubert LLP

Matt McClain, Founder, Recreator Hemp Apparel
James Eichner, Co-Founder & CSO, Sana Packaging
Eva Silva, Producer, Hempsters Plant the Seed and Media Director, BudTrader
Ron Alcalay, Founder & CEO, Vital Hemp
Linnea Beedy, Founder & President, Klona

Mel Frank, Author, Marijuana Grower’s Guide
Kyle Castanon, Founder & Grower, Palomar Craft Cannabis

Guy Rocourt, Co-founder & Extraction Artist, Papa & Barkley