Spotlight Series: Sasha Perelman; Forward by Revolver
Forward, by Revolver, is an experiential agency created for cannabis brands and consumers to engage on a thoughtful and visceral level, unparalleled in the industry. Curated environments combine education, advocacy and awareness with immersive, memorable experiences and Sasha Perelman is the woman working behind the scenes to ensure all guests have the time of their lives. Perelman works with producers and brands from across the globe to create her events, one of which was recently coined “The best pot party in California” by Rolling Stone.
How did you get involved in the cannabis industry?
I attended a lot of cannabis events in LA and felt like every event was a bunch of people getting stoned. I had a vision to curate and produce experiences that help showcase the versatility of cannabis as a self-care tool. I believe there is much more to cannabis then “smoking weed and getting high”.
Tell us a little bit about Forward
I’m the founder and experience producer at Forward, by Revolver - an experiential agency created for cannabis brands and consumers, to engage in a thoughtful and visceral level, unparalleled in the industry. I create curated environments that combine education, advocacy and awareness with immersive, memorable experiences, dedicated to moving the industry forward.
What time does your day typically start and what does a normal day look like to you?
I start around 7 am, brew some coffee, make my bulletproof, meditate and journal. The first hour of my day is dedicated to me. No emails or social media beforehand! This definitely sets the tone for the day and helps get me grounded.
My days vary, which is why I love what I do. I'm running and operating two companies - my corporate events company out of NYC and my passion project Forward, out of LA. I work on conceptualizing innovative ideas for clients, finding dope venues, writing articles and of course, answering the bottomless slew of emails in my inbox!
When I'm not working, I'm outside enjoying the glorious LA sunshine and cooking delicious meals!
What is your vision for your company going forward?
My vision for Forward is to design experiential programs that educate, entertain and connect canna-curious consumers. To create environments in which people feel empowered with enough knowledge to augment the narrative + perception of cannabis. I'm partnering with MARY Magazine to roll-out a content series in members-clubs such as SoHo House + NeueHouse, globally!
What would an ideal post-prohibition society look like to you?
A shift in perception. Cannabis is no longer portrayed as taboo or a drug. People see it as a lifestyle + wellness tool that can offer an alternative to the all the harmful pharma drugs that most folks are taking.
What was your first experience with cannabis like?
I was 15 and smoked a joint with some friends outside and my mind shifted in an instant. Everything around me felt enhanced. I remember laughing a lot and feeling very tactile. Everything felt SOOOO good, smelled SOOO good and tasted even better!
Tell us about some of the challenges you face working in the cannabis industry
Aside from all the legal red tape and constant evolution of the rules, the biggest obstacle is transitioning into the mainstream. I really believe that cannabis should be an integral part of wellness, fitness, spiritual expos. A lot of these mainstream events are completely closed off to cannabis awareness or if they are open, require a huge financial commitment to participate.
What are some solutions you've found?
It’s certainly a challenge to articulate the value of sponsorships for events without having historical data to show ROI, so my goal is to work on transforming that in the coming years through strategic partnerships and data collection.
What is one thing you wish everyone knew about cannabis?
There is more to cannabis than smoking weed and getting high!
What is one thing you wish everyone knew about your product or service?
Our cannabis events are NOT a bunch of people smoking weed and getting high. We are focused on highly curated and thoughtful experiences that compel people to share their newly gained knowledge with others. Word of mouth is the quickest way to cultivate community!
If you could go back in time and do it all over again, what (if anything) would you do differently?
I believe I'm exactly where I need to be and each step has brought me here (and it's pretty freaking epic)!
What is your favorite way to consume cannabis?
I'm really on an edibles kick right now! I love micro dosing and doing something active like hiking or bike riding. It's completely changed my relationship with cannabis because smoking high THC strains has been messing with my head too much.
Concentrate or flower? Why?
Flower. I'm old school! I love the full sensory experience with the smell, touch, texture of the flower. I feel much more connected to the plant through flower vs. concentrate.
Do you think cannabis legalization will change the world for the better? Why?
HELL YEAH! Because cannabis is medicine, natural and abundant! My hope is that it will help millions of people who are suffering from a laundry list of conditions/ailments without the use of opioids and big pharma drugs.
What advice would you offer to another woman who is looking to get into the industry?
You MUST be excited and prepared for journey. It’s peaks and valleys, which isn’t for everyone. Trust that if you’re doing what you love and impacting change, the rest will follow. It takes grit, resilience and hustle.
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