Dom Brown isn’t the Bad Guy: How Windy City Smoke Up Went Up in Flames

“I saw a space in Chicago where there was nobody willing to take the risk to produce an event like this” It was this little statement in the Chicago Sun Times that produced eye rolls all through Illinois.

Afroman was the Celebrity Slated to Perform at Windy City Smoke Up

A shot from Dom Browns IG story showing a very low attendance. Even during Afromans performance.

There is no denying Dom Brown’s influence. An online TV personality and “funny guy”, Dom is the host of an online TV show dedicated to cannabis and social equity all across the US. His show has featured some amazing people like Vic Mensa and he’s done work with well known cannabis influencers. I am not here to dispel his work, or who he is within the cannabis space.

I am here to ask him to not do the same to the current underground market in Chicago. Windy City Smoke Up is a carefully curated event put together by cannabis influencers and backed by corporate cannabis (even if they won’t admit to it). With OG rapper Afroman, and a coveted location in Chicago, the event is not only poised for success, but it’s also not very unique. Dom himself admits he modeled it after events in other cities, specifically in California. It only further perpetuates this idea that we can’t have Chicago grown events, brands, or weed.

Windy City Smoke Up is a carefully curated event put together by cannabis influencers and backed by corporate cannabis.

You see, it’s very irresponsible to say that there was nobody willing to take the risk, when every weekend there are a lineup of new creators and brands taking that very same risk. The idea is not new, it’s not innovative, and it isn’t brave. It’s questionable that someone with his influence, getting coverage in one of Chicago’s most popular publications, would want that published and associated with him. When he could have instead enforced the support of Chicago’s current cannabis community and highlighted how he was able to use and be influenced by such. Especially when some of his vendors have vended at these underground events.

Dom Brown Windy City Smoke Up

I want to give Dom Brown the benefit of the doubt. I want to say that what he meant was that there was nobody willing to take the risk of inviting dispensaries as sponsors. I want to say he meant that he was the first to take the risk of turning this industry mainstream. Genuinely I want to believe he meant anything else besides being an innovator in a space that was created far before him. I hope that a stoner, with that type of influence, wouldn’t downplay what already exists to boost himself up. Especially when he didn’t even create a sold out event. Especially when videos of his event show an event similar to the hundreds we have not only already seen, but already attended.

In my own blog you have seen me feature others who have created full blown cannabis related events. Some of my favorites, like Rolling Pretty and any event from Forward Functions or High Chic Society, have not only done this before, they’ve established themselves in this space. It’s almost a slap in the face to them as well as to all of the others who have worked endlessly without any corporate backing. Some of these are local household names, and dismissing their influence is laughable. In fact, some of their events pull hundreds of people, and have been quite successful in terms of attendance. All without any corporate sponsors or backing. They do not compare at all to Dom Brown’s event, because they are underground, all while he insists that his event was 100% legal.

I guess this is part of my problem with cannabis influencers. In their quest for fame or money or whatever they’re motivation is, they will literally do and say distasteful things. Like fixing their mouths to make very questionable statements. Dom Brown is not a bad guy, he’s just a very blatant example of how we must distinguish the cannabis industry from the cannabis community. He is a part of the cannabis industry, a product of corporations that place people as needed, when needed. It’s the industry that does damage to the community, and it’s the community that does the brunt of the work. It’s a shame for local favorites Cry Baby Sweets, Chitiva, and even Afroman. All who were hoping to take part in a successful event for cannabis consumers. Based on the pictures and videos of all the empty space, I’d say they deserved better than a self proclaimed cannabis influencer who put his foot in his mouth.

Have you visited a Cannabis Event in Chicago? Let me know in the comments your thoughts on the situation!

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