Unforgettable Experience Hosting the Inaugural International Cannabis Awards in Barcelona

March 22, 2024

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Working as a journalist and on-camera host sometimes has its perks, but nothing can compare to the opportunity I’ve recently been given. Huge thanks to Lawrence Mcintosh, who suggested me to be the host for the first ever International Cannabis Awards which took place in Barcelona, Spain. This inaugural award ceremony has been deemed the “Oscars of the cannabis industry,” and they were trusting me to be the official MC for the evening.

Taking place on Wednesday, March 13th, the show was livestreamed on cxpnow.com so that audiences from all over the world could tune in for the festivities. This was a beautiful way to shed light on the companies, innovators, and influencers who are making a positive impact in the cannabis space, honoring them for their hard work, dedication, and passion for the flower.

While the trip from Los Angeles to Spain took 16 hours in total, waking up in Spain was a dream. The architecture, the historic buildings, the people, the food… I couldn’t wait to experience what the city offered. I stayed at Axel Hotel located in the heart of downtown. While this area was deemed a tourist attraction, I personally enjoyed it because everything was walking distance. Well, anything that was less than a mile, I’d opt in to walk. There’s nothing like walking the local streets to soak up the culture, sights you’d definitely miss if you were to take a taxi or Uber.

Before we could fully let loose, we had to focus on show day. The night before the award show, we were up until midnight going over the script and rehearsing. I actually wrote the majority of the script myself, which meant even more when people came up to me after the fact to tell me they liked my jokes.

I also secured Melii as the official talent for the International Cannabis Awards (ICA’s). They needed someone to perform the halftime show and I knew Melii would be the perfect fit. Not only is she amazing at singing and rapping, but she can speak in Spanish too! Bridging the language gap was definitely a smart move, as there’s nothing like talking to locals in their native tongue.

My performance on stage during the award show bolstered my confidence, affirming my ability to make a meaningful impact beyond the borders of California. There’s so much outside of Los Angeles! And while we’re here, the cannabis culture in Barcelona is night and day compared to LA. Everyone actually grows their own weed in Spain, similar to how they grow their own fruits and vegetables. In LA, everyone just wants the flower. It’s an interesting dynamic, but made a lot of sense after seeing all the big, well-respected seed companies present at the ICA’s.

The next day, we celebrated the ICA’s by meeting for dinner at Suculent, a Michelan star restaurant that is best known for their broths and sauces. If you know me, you know I’m a sauce girl! Sitting down for a tasting menu, I was over the moon that they had made mine vegan. Up until then, I had difficulty finding good vegan options in the city. The pictures definitely don’t do it justice, but the main course before dessert was definitely my favorite. It was a pea puree with some type of rare mushroom. It turns out peas are extra delicious in Spain!

Huge shout out to Dani, Sergio, Sergi, and Mario. All four serve as co-founders of the ICA’s, and I’ll never stop thanking them for such a beautiful experience. The camaraderie at the dinner table definitely did not go unnoticed, with everyone in the room genuinely being a strong advocate for the plant. And being that this was the first ever ICA’s, it’s only up from here.

On Friday, March 14th, the last day before I flew back home, I had to go experience Spannabis. Imagine Woodstock, but the cannabis version. Unlike trade shows in the US, Spannabis welcomed consumers from all walks of life, and you could smoke on site too! That was a game-changer.

I had the pleasure of hanging out with my Royal Queen Seeds family, one of the best companies I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. They also sponsored the ICA’s! It was a family affair all across the board. Plus, RQS had the best booth at Spannabis, with a huge two-story buildout that only VIP’s could enter.

Leaving Spannabis, I had to experience Aire Thermal Baths. Royal Queen Seeds actually did a giveaway during the ICA’s, which included two tickets here. I’m a sucker for massages, and I’ll do anything to sit in the steam room. Imagine a sanctuary with jacuzzis, pools, float tanks… plus no phones allowed. That was the best part!

From there, I walked to Honest Greens and had the best falafels I’ve ever had. They also had amazing sweet potato fries with beet ketchup and plant-based aioli. The worst part was knowing I probably wouldn’t be able to eat this food again for who knows how long.. but hopefully I’ll be back next year!

Returning to the United States after five days in Barcelona, Spain, I feel recharged, motivated, and inspired to go even harder in all my endeavors. Thank you Spain, for a magical experience.

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