The industrial two-story warehouse venue in Downtown LA hosting The Stoned Gamer Grand Finale reminds me of the Foot Clan hideout in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, except with suited security guards and a staff checking medical marijuana licenses. An EDM DJ provides the soundtrack while hundreds of “patients” browse a trade show’s worth of edible companies, sampling everything from THC donuts to CBD body oils. Naturally there’s also figurative buffets of “flower”, the industry term for good ol’-fashioned herb. Console games project throughout onto a huge screen, plus there's an old-school stand-up arcade room. A concession stand staffed by a cute girl in a cut-off T-shirt that reads “Weed, Pizza, and Boys With Tattoos” serves, you guessed it, pizza. These “regular” slices are lukewarm, but upstairs a booth serves freshly baked pies... with weed in them.
A sample bong rip of Pot Rocks-branded flower makes me feel like a stranger in a stoned land, but for Angela these types of functions are weekly occurrences. Heavily tattooed, rail-thin, with a wide, friendly smile, she uses social media savviness to build her career as a weed industry professional. She even organizes her own charity event called Compassesh, which collects donations for local food banks and Toys for Tots.