PORTLAND, Ore. -- You may have heard some of the slang terms for marijuana like grass, herb, even hippie lettuce. Now a Portland woman, and her all-female staff have started a magazine using their favorite slang word for it: Broccoli.
Broccoli is an arts and culture magazine all about cannabis aimed at professional, smart women.
Creative art director Anja Charbonneau worked for years at Kinfolk Magazine, which used to be based in Portland, but moved its headquarters to Denmark. Charbonneau stayed behind and started to get an idea.
"Seeing the cannabis scene unfolding here with legalization was super exciting, with forward thinking brands and dispensaries. I really wanted to see the same treatment in print," she said when she talked to us from her Northwest Portland home office.
Charbonneau wants you to judge this magazine by it's cover. A picture is worth a thousand words. While those are cliches, and Charbonneau says pot leaves and stoner culture has become cliche, you take a flip through the pages of Broccoli magazine and realize it's anything but.
"We're looking at cannabis from an art, culture and fashion perspective," she said. "We're covering things that are also not specifically related to weed. So we're trying to educate a little bit and give pieces that do talk about the industry but the magazine is also for people who love other creative things. We talk about women in the arts and music and different designers who use hemp in their clothing and we really cover a broad range of topics so we're trying to have fun with it while pushing forward normalization."
From shooting photos in her own living room of strangely beautiful floral arrangements incorporating pot leaves, to silly artwork of cats and weed. "We wrote a sort of parody article about the world's first dispensary for cats. Like if cats were taking catnip and making it elevated," Chabonneau laughs. "Yeah my cat is quoted in here!"
Charbonneau is tapping into the women's movement. Professional, classy, smart women who may still be shy about saying they smoke. The magazine's all-female six-person staff is ready to unleash issue number two in a few weeks. Their Instagram account gives you a quicker look at some of the gorgeous photography. But if you delve deeper, there's information, history and science. Articles about the advancement of scientific research into medical marijuana, profiles of female painters and clothing designers, an interview with Bob Marley's granddaughter, a travel section taking you to different stunning locations around the world and on and on.
Broccoli is free, available to pick up in marijuana and magazine shops around Oregon, and now becoming popular in Brazil, Mexico, Japan and several European countries. You can also subscribe and only pay shipping costs.
Charbonneau plans to put out three issues per year. She says making it free opens up the idea of talking about cannabis safe for everyone. Someone who would pay for a magazine like this is no doubt, already part of the marijuana culture. But if the magazine is free, someone who might be casually interested, or even shy about it, can take a peek without feeling like they've lost anything or subscribed to a certain club.
"We really want to normalize cannabis, especially for women and for women around the world, give then something to connect to."