Pot Party Planner Blazes New Career Path

One career door closed for Jane West, but another opened

Jane West poses for the Denver Post
What happens when a red-hot side project burns so bright it scorches your day job? Jane West's knack for creating super sophisticated events for Colorado's canna-friendly partygoers cast her into the white hot media spotlight -- and cost her a very nice corporate job.

The 37 year-old Wisconsinite had 15 years of experience in large-scale conference management and fundraiser event planning, but that stable career took a meteoric twisting ascent recently when her moonlighting career as a pot party planner caught fire.

After hosting just two #BYOC (bring your own cannabis) soirees, the Denver-based Edible Events and its photogenic founder created a veritable media sensation, garnering attention from the likes of The New York Times, the Huffington Post, and most notably CNBC's recent pot documentary, "Marijuana in America: Colorado's Pot Rush" -- as well as a pink slip from her employer dismissing her for consuming marijuana on her own time, a violation of their zero tolerance drug policy.

The closing of one career door often triggers the opening of a new one, and so AOL Jobs wanted to know what's next for the newly famous event planner and founder of Edible Events.

Q: Were you surprised that you were fired? In the news interview we saw, it doesn't seem like you were.

A: Everything happened so quickly. In one month I went from non-existence to coverage in The New York Times and London Telegraph. With each article that came out I was gradually thinking, "I could get fired for this...I might get fired for this...I will likely get fired for this." Then with the NBC news footage, I felt it was inevitable. I loved my job managing the western division for my former employer, but they had every right to ask me to resign based on the company drug policy.

Q: So if you knew you might get fired, why did you do it?

A: I choose to be filmed consuming cannabis for one reason: To change stereotypes of what a cannabis consumer looks like. I support adult, responsible cannabis use within my demographic, it would have been hypocritical for me to have refused to allow myself to be captured consuming on film. It is time to put an end to the outdated, uninformed stereotype that cannabis consumers are stoned-out, low-functioning 'dopes'. My cannabis consumption did not affect the high quality of my consistent work performance. In Colorado, voters approved to regulate marijuana like alcohol. But current employment policies do not support that. I just hope this starts a dialogue so that in the future, consuming cannabis is not something that you can be fired for.

Q: What kind of response are you getting as a result of your firing? Are you getting new jobs?

A: I am in talks with O.PenVAPE, the largest brand in cannabis, to use my professional background to develop national events directing their audience development. In June I am doing some underground events in Aspen during the Food & Wine Festival. I am also producing a corporate ideation retreat in July for a consulting firm. I am very excited about the possibilities that are ahead.

Q: What is the nature of the interest from marijuana travel groups?

A: My event series is so unique people are traveling from across the country to attend an event. So I am supporting local marijuana travel groups who are booking their plans to visit Denver for an Edible Events weekend.

Q: How long have you been doing Edible Events?

A: I have done two events so far, both received excellent feedback, each event is unique in theme and audience appeal and is a different experience. I am currently seeking an annual title sponsor for the event series who wants to co-brand their image with both upscale events and adult, responsible cannabis use.

Q: Is the work you're doing in pot edibles enough to sustain a living wage yet?

A: I do not produce or distribute pot edibles or cannabis in any form. I am a professional event producer, bringing together local, native businesses to produce an incredible event where #BYOC cannabis can be consumed. My events are costly to produce and were originally created to be a discreet, monthly event series as a pet project, so, no they are not even close to being able to sustain a living wage.

Q: What is next for Edible Events?

A: "There is an incredible market for women looking to reenter the workforce and put their skills back to work." In the past three months working in this industry I have met some really amazing female business owners and leaders in the industry. I would like to develop a network for women to onboard the next generation, while supporting the current leaders in the field. If I can obtain more support for this venture, all future Edible Events will be fundraisers to support this cause. For now I am accepting applications for the Women of the Cannabis Industry Mentorship Program: contact@edibleeventsco.com

Q: Beyond Edible Events, what are some of your career aspirations?

A: "I would love to use my fundraising background to work for a Colorado gubernatorial candidate who supports regulating marijuana like alcohol in accordance with Amendment 64 and future pro-cannabis legislation." First Cannabis Job Fair Held in Denver

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Tracy

Wow! It's amazing to hear these comments from tight ass people against weed! There are so many professional people, who use alcohol and pot in moderation. Put the same stipulations on pot as you do for alcohol and cigarettes. Pot is safer than prescriptions meds. Maybe all you high and mighty stiffs need your prescriptions instead! Probably on xanax or antidepressent meds to cope with your miserable lives!

August 28 2014 at 2:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
thomaslenaw

I wonder if Ms. West has children. Also, if she cares at all about other people's children and parents who struggle to get their children out of trouble which has roots in marihuana. Marihuana is a dead-end road to questions young people may have about life. She might as well call her business "Pinocchio's adventure on Pleasure Island". Of course, everyone remembers how the story goes. Boys who went to the Pleasure Island turned into donkeys.

May 01 2014 at 10:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
charpist5

Congratulations. You are now making your living feeding off the drug-addicted masses, and bringing yet MORE of them into your state. How lovely. I am sure you sleep well at night, since your brain must be so dead already that it can easily stop functioning at night.
Guess what, people? "EVERYBODY" has NOT tried it. "EVERYBODY" does not do it. SOME of us have enough intelligence to understand at an early age that pot damages your braincells. Want proof? Check out videos of the big "in public" pot events. Every single user who is sitting or standing around at those events looks....stupid. They have now ruined their brains to such an extent that they don't even realize how stupid they are or how stupid they look. It is really, really sad that so many of you are posting about the merits of this drug that is filled with poisons.

May 01 2014 at 2:56 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
janrho

Marijuana is a drug, and recreational use is ridiculous. Making money off of promoting it's use is unethical. People have been brainwashed to it's real dangers.

May 01 2014 at 1:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to janrho's comment
Clay S. Conrad

Alcohol is a drug, and recreational use is ridiculous. Making money off of promotings it's [SIC] use is unethical. People have been brainwashed to it's [SIC] real dangers.

Nicotine is a drug, and recreational use is ridiculous. Making money off of promotings it's [SIC] use is unethical. People have been brainwashed to it's [SIC] real dangers.

Caffeine is a drug, and recreational use is ridiculous. Making money off of promotings it's [SIC] use is unethical. People have been brainwashed to it's [SIC] real dangers.

Must I go on???

May 01 2014 at 1:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tom

Lets hope that druggies will OD. That will get rid of most druggies. And that will cut down on govt. medical costs.

May 01 2014 at 11:36 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Tom's comment
pswid513

Let's hope your a druggie then!

May 01 2014 at 12:16 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Clay S. Conrad

Can't OD on pot... tell me, how much DOES the DEA pay you to troll these pages?

May 01 2014 at 1:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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