Emma Chasen, Cannabis Disruptor, Educator, Intellectual

Photo Credit: Emma Chasen

I love the magic of the inter-webs. Instagram, the darling of the moment has led me down many paths to enlightenment in my newest career. I’m fortunate to meet some amazing people along the path to enlightenment- at least in my own direction in life.

One of these paths led me to one Cannabis Entrepreneur in particular, and this person is weaving her magic in the modern, Pacific Northwest Cannabis Industry.

As an introduction to this dialogue, I’m lucky to have been accepted by a deeply spiritual world of healers -an entrepreneurial path based on our overall desire to be well and to heal. Wellness bubbles over in the universe and it encourages us to do better by others. I’m satisfied to say that through the use of Cannabis as a medicinal methodology, it has become something that explains much, without shouting or being overtly antagonistic in the methodology of altruism and smoking anywhere and everywhere.
I don’t do that. I usually let my book, Cannabis Cocktails speak for itself as a life form and a method of medicating without being too overt. What I’m fortunate to do is not for everybody- but those who get it find the science beguiling and intriguing- all at the same time.

Then there are the recipes of course, delightful, inspirational and candidly delicious. They get people’s attention- like my salubrious Vietnamese Iced Coffee with THC infused Condensed Milk. Yum. That one is a good intro to my craft.

But I digress. Emma Chasen is doing what I wish I could do, had I the bulk of educational research and razor sharp intellectual curiosity that brims from each word in her myriad of descriptors about what makes her different that the others. Emma has the hard work, the empirical science down pat and she makes it easy to understand- and better yet, to enjoy what she has to say. So few people make words that resonate, rather than just talk to a ‘talking head.’ Emma is not that person.

As usual I want to shake things up a bit and make it exciting for my readers to find out something a bit deeper about their favorite person. And in this case I wanted to know more about Emma Chasen, a disruptor and bud-tender educator, eater. In short, curious and intriguing. Thank you, Emma for being so forthright in your answers and showing your pure smile in your hunger producing words.

Emma Chasen has a mission to educate people on the science behind cannabis so that they may take charge of their own healing. After graduating from Brown University in 2014 with a degree in Medicinal Plant Research, Emma went on to coordinate Clinical Oncology trials with the Brown University Oncology Research Group. When her supervisor refused a cannabis trial in favor of another expensive pharmaceutical drug, Emma quit and headed across the country to Portland, OR. She found her way to Farma, the popular Portland dispensary that takes a more scientific approach to cannabis—and so began her amazing career in cannabis.

Emma was named Portland’s Best Budtender in 2016 and since featured in Newsweek, MG Magazine, Stoner Magazine, High Times Magazine, The Oregon Leaf and Teen Vogue for her work with cannabis and patients. She is also a regular guest on many cannabis focused podcasts and has been featured on television for her ability to explain scientific concepts around cannabis in a way that is accessible and helpful to the general public. Now an industry consultant and cannabis educator, Emma’s mission is to educate people on the science behind cannabis, so that they may take charge of their own healing, as well as to address the need for training and education of budtenders, medical professionals, and the general public.

But there’s more, just wait for it, Emma has some amazing stories to share…especially if you love a few certain tantalizing culinary gems the way I do.

WB: If you could have any meal in the world what would it be?  Where?

EC: Mmmm. I would probably choose to have my grandma’s Sunday dinner complete with pasta, red sauce, chicken cutlets, eggplant Parmesan, and broccoli rabe. I come from a big Italian family and sitting down to a Sunday dinner at my grandma’s table was a ritual I always loved. No other Italian food compares to my grandma’s.

WB: What do you do currently, please tell us about yourself a bit. and… Do you have a Cannabis recipe that you’d like to share with me?

EC: I am a Cannabis Educator and Consultant. My mission is to provide meaningful and accessible cannabis education to the cannabis industry and community at large. I work with cannabis businesses to elevate their brand presence by creating consumer facing educational marketing collateral and educational programs. I also help retail cannabis businesses with business organization, structure and the creation of inhouse educational training programs so that employees are better able to service the consumer market. In this highly competitive industry, cannabis businesses must distinguish themselves and the way to do that is with highly trained and educated staff. I also teach workshops in Portland for both lay enthusiasts and cannabis industry professionals on the fundamentals of cannabis science. Since I have a robust background in medicinal plant research, I feel it is part of my job to explain cannabis science in an accessible and meaningful way for people of all backgrounds. I actually do have a cannabis recipe to share! I am a lover of edibles both homemade and dispensary bought. One of my favorite homemade edible recipes is my Lavender Sea Salt CBD Cookie recipe. I shared it with Merry Jane and you can check it out in full here.

WB: Who taught you how to cook? Mother? Father? Grandparents? TV?

EC: My grandfather was an Italian immigrant and a very successful chef in NYC. He invented Penne alla Vodka. Nobody believes me or my entire extended family when we say this, but it’s true! He was doing a table side cooking demonstration, making a red sauce, and instead of pouring water into the pan he poured vodka (he always had a glass of vodka for himself next to his cook station). He realized what he’d done and improvised creating what he then called Penne alla Russia. The people loved it and the restaurant adopted it as a dish calling it Penne alla Vodka. He even went on a popular TV show at the time, the Joe Franklin show, to demonstrate his culinary creation. Unfortunately, I never met my grandfather. He died before I was born. But cooking is in my blood. My grandma and my mom are both wonderful cooks who taught me a lot.

WB: Is there anything that you’ve eaten recently or cooked that brought a tear to your eye when you (ate/drank) it. Why?

EC: I recently had chestnut gnocchi with butternut squash, mushrooms, sage, apples, grana padano and Oregon white truffles at a restaurant here in Portland. It was so damn good. Perfect flavors and textures. I’m picky when it comes to textures of food, but this dish was so well balanced. I may have also been slightly high and wine drunk while consuming this dish, hence the deep emotional response to it.

WB: Why Cannabis? Why Now? What is your passion?

EC: Cannabis has so much potential!! It’s really exciting to be on the front lines of a brand new industry. There’s so much innovation happening and discovery yet to be made. As someone with a science background, the potential for discovery and positive change through the cannabis industry is so exciting to me. My passion is educating as many people as possible about the potential of this magical plant, so that they may take back agency and feel empowered in dealing with their health and wellness. Our American healthcare system has failed so many people. Cannabis is a powerful tool that gives people hope that they may no longer be in pain or have cancer or have 100 seizures a day. Cannabis is a powerful tool that can dramatically improve people’s lives. I want as many people as possible to know the truth about cannabis.