We caught up with dream woman Anja Charbonneau to discuss her print magazine Broccoli, which was created and is run entirely by a team of women and non-binary people.
We caught up with dream woman Anja Charbonneau to discuss her print magazine, Broccoli, which was created and is run entirely by a team of women and non-binary people. Broccoli aims to explore and shape modern stoner culture by looking at cannabis through an art, culture, and fashion lens – by and for women. Broccoli will release its second issue in the Spring of 2018 and we’re very excited to experience the refreshing take on cannabis and community that the Broccoli team has put together.
MJ Renshaw: What’s your personal smoking ritual?
Anya Charbonneau: Lately, my favorite thing is to bring the Quill (my favorite vape pen) with me on a long walk, listening to music on my headphones and wandering around through the city, stopping to take photos of plants or to pet a cat. It’s an immersive solo activity, but I’m still out in the world. It’s winter now, so any opportunity to leave the house when it isn’t raining is a good one.
MJ: Creating a magazine where the content surrounds cannabis is amazing, are there any new avenues you hope to take the cannabis conversation?
Charbonneau: Our main goal is to help normalize cannabis, while also exploring all of the different ways that it can be relevant to people’s lives. Cannabis touches so many areas of life, and it can be very political and scientific, but also sensory and beautiful at the same time. There’s a lot to explore, and most of it feels like uncharted territory.
MJ: What would you say have been your biggest difficulties so far, either in the print-world or in the cannabis-world?
Charbonneau: There are definitely still people who believe print is dead, but at the same time all I ever read about are digital media giants going belly-up and losing millions of dollars because they can’t generate enough digital advertising revenue, so I’m happy to hang in there with print. I feel confident that when people read a magazine, book or newspaper, they’re spending real, dedicated time with it, in a way that you can’t get online. In terms of the weed world, we’ve had a tremendous amount of positive support from those in the industry, which has been amazing, and I credit this largely to the fact that we’ve been working primarily with women and non-binary people.
MJ: How would you describe smoking weed to someone who has never smoked before?
Charbonneau: This question reminds me of a snippet of an interview with a Japanese smoker that we haven’t been able to use in the magazine yet, and the way she described it was, “Colors become brighter.” I love that description, and if you interpret it more metaphorically, it’s pretty spot-on for describing a good high. Everything becomes a little brighter, a little more magical.
MJ: Do you remember the moment when you decided that Broccoli was going to be your trajectory?
Charbonneau: When I was deciding to start Broccoli, I found myself in a very transformative time personally, with a lot of major life changes happening at once. Starting a project like this was a huge risk, but there was something about the overall uncertainty and upheaval that I was experiencing at the time that made it easier to say yes. I’m a very cautious person when it comes to business, but I’m very happy that I was able to take the leap.
MJ: Are there any other artists/designers/friends in the cannabis community that inspire you?
Charbonneau: Yes, so many! In our second issue, which comes out in the spring, we’re featuring the artist Aleia Murawski, the lawyer Lauren Rudick, the activist and filmmaker Donisha Prendergast, and the musician Blossom, just to name a few. All so inspiring to me in their own way.
MJ: Where do you see Broccoli heading in the future?
Charbonneau: We’re working hard on some new projects and offerings that will be in service of our community, ways to get more people involved with what we are doing. The magazine is only 80 pages, so it fills up quickly, and we want to be able to say yes to more people in our community who are excited to participate in some form.