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—Illustration by Edwin Fotheringham

The Mary Kay Of MJ

This isn’t your grandmother’s Tupperware party.

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As I place the pepper-crusted salmon bites and crudités on my table, I wonder if I have enough food. The spread looks like a ladies-who-lunch menu that’d make my mom proud, yet I worry it’s not substantial enough for what’s about to go down.

Sure, the setup seems a little like one of those Pampered Chef parties: small bites, wine, even understated centerpieces. Then Becca Foster arrives. She’s a consultant with Healthy Headie Lifestyle, a Massachusetts-born in-home marijuana equipment retailer that expanded to Colorado last year. Instead of walking through my front door with vegetable spiralizers, Foster carries a suitcase full of $50-and-up vaporizers. Eight of my girlfriends have come over to try the products and learn more about how to consume weed—all from the comfort of my couches.

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We place our glasses of French rosé on the coffee table, finding space around the dab-rig—a fancy-looking modified water bong that heats cannabis concentrate—that sits in the middle. Foster asks us to write our names on little white stickers, along with a number from one to 10. The number represents how familiar we feel with cannabis and ways to consume it, with one being a canna-curious newbie and 10 being a full-on bong-ripping pro. We’re mostly threes and fours, with a one and a nine in the mix, too. As we titter over our numbers and explanations for them, Foster gives us each a folder filled with printouts that break down everything from types of cannabis strains to methods for consuming.

Then the 42-year-old mom of four from Lone Tree explains how she traded a lucrative but stressful job at Bank of America for a career as Colorado’s Mary Kay of Mary Jane after meeting Healthy Headie founder and CEO Holly Alberti-Evans in 2015. Alberti-Evans had moved to Colorado after her company was accepted into the first class at Canopy Boulder, an accelerator for ancillary marijuana industry businesses. “I knew I wanted to help women learn more about cannabis,” Foster says. Often, women don’t have as much experience with cannabis as men, she says, and they’re a lot more comfortable asking questions in front of their girlfriends. (A recent Gallup poll confirms Foster’s observation: 47 percent of men report having tried marijuana, compared to just 30 percent of women.) Looking around at my living room full of threes and fours—and as a three myself—I can’t help but agree. In fact, Foster has seen her business continue to grow—she was recently promoted to director of Healthy Headie’s Colorado consultants—and female-only parties like mine are a big reason why. (Don’t worry, gents: Healthy Headie isn’t just for women.)

As Foster details the differences between indicas and sativas and gives us a lesson about heating cannabis (different temperatures release different compounds), she fires up one of the vaporizers and we pass it around, most of us taking a hit. (Fortunately, Foster’s handouts also break down the effects you’ll get from different strains and temps, in the event we, uhhh, forget what we’ve just learned.) Kimmie, our resident “one,” asks someone sitting next to her how to inhale. Joan, a new mom, jokes about buying the butter-making machine Foster sells to mix some of the sleep-inducing strains into her son’s food. We laugh. We dab. We peruse the pretty-looking paraphernalia Foster has displayed in my foyer. Kimmie even buys a $279 portable vaporizer. And after Foster packs up and leaves, three of us remain, lounging on the couch.

“Got anything else to eat?” Lo asks. I curse those fancy finger foods as I walk to the kitchen, hoping there’s a frozen pizza in my freezer.

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