"So, uh, can I try it?" I ask hesitantly, and more than once, during my time at the Calm for Mom event co-hosted by cannabis-meets-wellness company Dosist and flower delivery darlings Matilda's Bloombox, whose beautiful floral boxes complete with arranging instructions aim to put the blackest of thumbs at ease.
I feel the same trepidation eyeing the range of pre-dosed cannabis pens as I do the boxes of beautiful blooms in front of me, unsure of protocol for both and equally afraid of messing either up. I'm an unfortunate combination of rare cannabis consumer (and flower arranger) and debilitating perfectionist, which leads to a fun sort of paralysis when I encounter a situation at which I might fail.
If flower arranging makes you feel frazzled, try a dose of Calm.(Photography by Caitlin Hannan)
I'd already managed to fail a few times: at parallel parking in front of Harvest on Geary, the location for the Saturday afternoon event, and in showing up properly attired, since my post-workout duds didn't necessarily blend in with the chic jumpsuits and plaid button-downs I discovered in the dispensary's equally as stylish back room. Needless to say, I was stressin'.
But the beauty of the shifting dispensary and cannabis scene is that it's evolved from what I remember as an almost exclusionary approach to those not in the marijuana know to one where both newbies and long-time consumers are welcomed; the goal isn't always necessarily to get high, and cannabis is rapidly unfolding as the darling of the wellness scene.
During the Calm for Mom event, what first struck me was the location. As someone who can count the number of times she's been to a dispensary on one hand, I largely equate the experience with feeling stupid, doing things wrong, and panicked while ordering when I finally reach the front of the line (see failing above). Harvest on Geary upended my expectations. The interior feels open and airy, with products beautifully packaged and displayed, knowledgeable staff eager to answer questions, and a general sense of zen that immediately put me at ease.
I've seen Dosist's vape pens at a dispensary or two in the past, and I've always been drawn to the chic packaging—hey, I'm a sucker for good design—and general ethos, so I made a beeline for the dedicated display, where I was able to chat with a Dosist rep about the brand and benefits. Okay, wait, I've been using edibles (and to be honest, waking up feeling super groggy and sometimes a little still-high) when there was a whole brand dedicated to providing the benefits of cannabis-based medicine in a controlled way? Welp, I've been doing things wrong—but this time, I don't feel like a failure.
Emily and Matt Boschetto, founders our Matilda's Bloombox.(Photography by Caitlin Hannan)
Instead, I feel exhilarated. While I've clocked Dosist on a few wellness influencers' Instagram feeds, I've somehow managed to miss experiencing the brand since it started almost three years ago. And with a controlled 2.25 milligram dose in each of the brand's six formulas, Dosist's approach to cannabis is more in line with my feelings towards the stuff—let's use it for targeted treatment rather than loopy fun. Even better in my mind? Dosist is strain-agnostic, meaning I don't have to try and remember if I like indica or sativa or a hybrid (it might as well be the Pythagorean theorem) when ordering.
Feeling empowered, I make my way back to Harvest on Geary's lounge—where you can imbibe cannabis on premise—but I'm immediately overwhelmed: There are beautiful flowers (not the cannabis kind, but honest-to-goodness fresh-picked beauties), beautiful people, beautifully packaged products, and me: stinky Lycra and all. Even the decor seems to mock me, with powder-blue tufted couches outfitted with furry pillows and lit by chandeliers. My self-doubt is in overdrive: Have I failed with just showing up?
Luckily, Dosist head wellness concierge Sophie Stimola is there to help put me at ease with a sample of Calm, which has the highest concentration of CBD, at 1:10 THC to CBD. "Can I, uh, try it?" I ask, with not a small amount of trepidation. Even here, I'm afraid of failure, as I've never used a vape pen. Luckily, Stimola produces a mouth cap (used for hygiene in sampling situations) and tells me how to experience Dosist. Simply inhale, and the minimalistic packaging will issue a discreet buzz when your dose is complete. I'm unabashedly delighted with the whole process, and how I managed to not look like a total dweeb by sputtering out a smoke-induced cough.
Calm's soothing cannabinoids do the trick and manage to quiet my self-critical brain. Suddenly, I'm emboldened with another ask. "Can I, uh, try it?" I timidly broach to Matilda's Bloombox founder Emily Boschetto. She wholeheartedly welcomes me to the arranging table, where they've curated "Galini" boxes—which translates to calm, tranquility, and peaceful serenity in Ancient Greek—to pair with Dosist's Calm formula. The custom Bloombox features botanical sources of the therapeutic terpenes that inspire calm, from the myrcene found in bay leaf (ideal for anxiety and pain relief) to rosemary's anxiety- and inflammation-reducing beta-caryophyllene.
I can't tell if it's the botanical properties of my arrangement or the 1:10 THC to CBD in Calm, but I'm instantly at ease while flower arranging. All of my fear of failure around the day's event have dissipated, and I don't even take it as a sign of my own failings when Boschetto comes over to my arrangement to help me place blooms for the most aesthetically pleasing configuration. I am calm. Whether it's thanks to Dosist's Calm, Harvest on Geary's welcoming setting, or the essential oils and therapeutic terpenes from Matilda's Bloombox, I don't question it. Peace of mind is hard to find these days, and if there's anything to quiet the voice that's so eager to shout fail! when I attempt something new, I'm not going to ask too many questions. —Kristen Haney// For more information on Dosist, go to dosist.com.