The Secret Sesh has served as the barometer for Los Angeles cannabis events hype for a decade, and it’s back in full swing.
After a pandemic pivot that saw the famous event series get more involved in the media production side to stay in touch with the community it had built over the 2010s, the return to raging has been swift. Most recently the Secret Sesh team helped produce the championship edition of Greenwolf’s Zalympix.
We caught up with The Secret Sesh’s founder, Tim Brown, to hear how much the event has changed since the medical era. The first Secret Sesh event Brown put on was in 2012. He was definitely thankful the world is opening back up.
“Man, it was tough just to be completely candid. It was really rough not being able to do what we do and throw events,” Brown told L.A. Weekly. “We decided really early to pivot to the live-streaming aspect.”
The digital move proved a win. The Secret Sesh got partnered on Twitch, and the YouTube page was doing well. They built a whole new community online that’s still growing and still very engaged today, even though The Secret Sesh is back doing live events.
Brown argues that part was sort of a blessing. They had always wanted to get more involved on the production side, but when you’re throwing some of the most famous pot parties on the planet, despite having ‘secret’ in the name, time is at a premium.
But the story of The Secret Sesh goes way back. The event is one of the few legit things that is still going from the medical era. Brown considers getting to this point insane, but it was his dream, too.
“We get to work with cannabis and I get to throw amazing events that bring the community together,” Brown said. “When we were doing this in the medical scene, seeing brands develop, seeing individuals that started as attendees start a brand. And then now that same attendee, as a licensed cannabis brand, selling in retail stores. I feel honored to be able to produce these events for the community. And I hope I get to do it for the next 10 years.”
The first few events after the implementation of Proposition 64 were the learning curve. Things like dealing with the police and fire marshall made it a real business. They weren’t just renting mansions and throwing house parties anymore.
“And I liked it,” Brown said. “I like running an efficient business. I like knowing the rules and playing the game. But man, if I had a time machine, I’d go back to prop 215 in a heartbeat.”
But the conversation moved back to the moment. Brown noted that the hesitancy they saw at events when they were first coming back is starting to lift. Despite nurses and covid testing onsite, it was fair to expect a little bit of anxiety.
“But now it’s up and running, and I feel like we’re back full speed,” Brown said. “Brands are supporting. The attendees are supporting. The city is supporting. It’s a blessing man. I think events are the lifeline of the cannabis community.”
There are a couple of ideas being tossed around in Sacramento around temporary sales permits for farms and delivery services being able to carry more products on hand. We asked Brown how important those kinds of moves are to The Secret Sesh being able to use its platform to keep as many people afloat as possible?
“Those are massive,” Brown replied. “It allows these smaller brands and these farmers to get a product out there, man. It’s such a blessing. And that’s something that we’ve been discussing since the first license event we did and 2019, is allowing these small farmers to have a chance to get paid. Because at the end of the day, these farms are working their asses off and I want to see them eat. I don’t want to see farmers struggling.”
The Secret Sesh’s longtime host Adam ill also weighed in on the moment. He’s hosted a variety of cups and awards shows over the years, but when you hear the Secret Sesh come up it’s hard not to think of him.
“It’s great that these are opening back up, people are coming back out getting high together,” Adam ill told L.A. Weekly, “It’s just different now with the laws.”
Similar to the event, he’s also proven a successful streamer over the past couple of years despite facing constant profile takedowns on social media. But the communities fear would eventually run its course.
“In the beginning, it was really scary because no one really knew what to expect and no one knew how serious COVID was. But then after a little while, people started getting tired of staying home. And wanting to get out and experience real life again,” Adam ill said, “So it was just creating safe places for people to come and enjoy our culture community like we used to, like it always has been.”
Keep an eye out for the next renditions of The Secret Sesh on August 7th and 27th.