It started with a simple twist of fate. One Sunday in August, I ran into Cannabis photographer Shannon Dorn of Dope Foto at Oasis Cannabis, a local Las Vegas dispensary. I had just finished producing a charity calendar for Pin-Ups on Tour, the World War 2 style vintage variety show that is free for Veterans and Active Duty Military Personnel and has performed in 45 states nationwide.
While dishing the details to her of how much hairspray is necessary to create Betty Grable style coifs, Shannon noted how she had never seen a Cannabis pinup calendar. Along with Pin-Ups on Tour, my producing partner Julia Reed Nichols and I co-own The Green Light District, a Las Vegas/Los Angeles Cannabis entertainment company. So when I approached Julia about the calendar concept she suggested we integrate both brands: that we give back to our Veterans by making it charity calendar to benefit the award winning Cannabis nonprofit, Grow For Vets.
And with that, The Emerald Dames of Sin City was born!
We were more than inspired! Grow for Vets is a tax exempt organization that helps Veterans with PTSD, TBI, chronic pain, and other serious medical conditions obtain and grow Cannabis. In 3-1/2 years since forming, the group has served more than 40,000 Veterans and given away $1.5 million in free Cannabis to Veterans in states where medical Marijuana is legal. In 2016 they were award Best Non-Profit of the Year by the Cannabis Business Awards.
"In World War II, pinup girls were a show of support to the military and were very uplifting for morale," notes Nichols. “We thought a pinup Cannabis calendar would be a great way to help support our Veterans who are brave enough to find alternative ways of fighting PTSD and TBI." Within days Dope Foto and The Green Light District were hard at work crafting creative concepts. “For us, creating the calendar is a way to rally public support for Veterans rights to utilize Cannabis once they’ve returned home from serving our country.”
Founder of Grow For Vets, Roger Martin, was more than willing. “The portion of the proceeds being generously donated to Grow for Vets from the sale of The Emerald Dames of Sin City will go a long way toward helping us fulfill our mission of saving the more than 18,000 Veterans who will die this year from prescription drug overdose and suicide.”
A new survey commissioned by the American Legion has found that an overwhelmingly large majority of our nation’s Veterans support legal Cannabis. The organization surveyed 513 Veterans and 289 caregivers from 39 states, and found that 83% think it’s time for the Federal Government to legalize medical Marijuana. Since Cannabis is classified as a Schedule 1 Drug by the Federal Government, many Veterans consume with the fear of potentially losing their VA benefits. The American Legion survey also found that only 22% of those surveyed were currently using medical Cannabis, even though 40% lived in states with legal medical Marijuana programs.
The calendar was immediately embraced by the Las Vegas Cannabis community with sponsorships coming from Dr. Dabber (who bought the cover page within 24-hours of hearing about it) Caviar Gold, Evergreen Organix, and The Weekend Box.
Chris Downey, Creative Marketing Director of Dr. Dabber, presenting sponsor of the calendar notes. “Dr. Dabber is always happy to support Grow For Vets in its mission. We've enjoyed partnering with them in the past with our special edition vape pens. It’s always fun to partner with them on new projects.”
Notes calendar photographer Shannon Dorn of Dope Foto, “The Emerald Dames of Sin City showcases Cannabis culture in LV. For our local business to believe in our vision of giving back to Veterans highlights how our community works together to create great things.”
In keeping with the nostalgic theme, the backdrop for the calendar features classic pinup costumes and hairstyles, with Vegas Cannabis twists. Miss January, sponsored by Caviar Gold, features a beauty in a glittering gold dress showered by gold confetti from above while holding a jar of her favorite flower. Miss May is your classic pinup bride, dressed in wedding dress and bouquet made of white dispensary exit bags.
The Emerald Dames of Sin City calendars will be available to 21 and older supporters at local dispensaries and online. The public will have the opportunity to meet several of the "pinup girls" November 30 at The Emerald Dames Calendar Release Party at Oasis Cannabis in their Community Oasis Room. Dressed in full pinup clothing, hair, and lipstick galore, the calendar’s models will sign calendars for guests who can chose from purchasing one for themselves or donating one to a Veteran Cannabis Care Package.
The Emerald Dames received their shipment of calendars this week. The final result: "glamorously green with the perfect amount of smoke and mirrors,” according to one local Air Force Veteran.
"We're just very excited to have another outlet to help make Veterans smile while promoting the power of the plant over PTSD,” finishes Julia Reed Nichols.
For more information and to purchase calendar visit www.thegldexperience.com
Kat Thomas is the Co-Owner of The Green Light District, a Las Vegas/Los Angeles Cannabis entertainment company. She is also the CEO of the creative media company This Way Adventures.