Inside The Plant-Filled Home Of The Woman Elevating Cannabis
Anja Charbonneau's gorgeous Portland retreat.
With the legalization of weed in states across the country, we are transitioning to a period where the once-taboo topic is something we can not only freely discuss, but should look to as a resource for healing, culture, and entrepreneurship. Women in particular are at the forefront of this movement with Newsweek declaring cannabis as one of the first multi-billion dollar industries that might not be run by men. Former creative director of Kinfolk Anja Charbonneau recognized the incredible relationship between women and weed, and got an idea to create a publication that would re-shape and celebrate female cannabis culture.
So in 2017, Charbonneau created Broccoli Magazine, a free print publication run by and for women who love cannabis that want to see it highlighted in an artistic lens. From highlighting female growers to showing weed as an elevated form of self-care, Broccoli is giving a platform to incredible ways marijuana is changing the cultural landscape.
In honor of 4/20 and Plant Month, we asked the magazine founder and editor-in-chief to let us into her Portland home and chat with us about cannabis, design, and how women are taking charge of the industry. Read ahead to learn more about her inspirational work and take a peek at her beautifully curated plant-filled home.
Lonny: What was your inspiration for starting Broccoli Magazine?
AC: My background is in publishing, so I wanted to bring that experience to cannabis media and show weed through a different lens. Broccoli looks at cannabis from an art, fashion, and culture perspective, and we’re aiming to reframe people’s perceptions on what weed is all about, who uses it, and why. We also cover topics that are adjacent to weed, like interesting musicians or films we think our readers will like, while prioritizing women’s voices.
Why was creating a free print mag important to Broccoli?
AC: We made the magazine free because we believe that cannabis, including cannabis media, should be accessible for people. There are a lot of people out there who are curious about cannabis, and we’re giving them an easy point of access to start looking at the subject in a new way.
What do you think is unique with women’s relationship to cannabis?
AC: Since launching the magazine we’ve connected with women from all around the world who have unique perspectives on cannabis and how it fits into their lives. They are dynamic, creative, and driven people, and I love the way that they are willing to be vulnerable and share their experiences with weed. A lot of women find that weed helps them with physical pains and their mental health, which can be challenging subjects to talk about — especially when you think about how often women’s health issues are not taken seriously. So, the more we share, the more we can help each other, and that feels unique. Honestly, I don’t see many men having these conversations about their relationships with cannabis.
How do you aim to elevate and de-stigmatize cannabis and the women who smoke through your work?
AC: From an editorial perspective, we’re using our art, design, and conceptual articles to show cannabis in a really creative light that resonates with the women who enjoy weed in some form. By making it fit into the picture of their lives, we’re making it easier for them to be open about a subject that is still taboo in many places around the world. Maybe someone’s conservative parent would react badly to seeing a bong on the coffee table, but they might be intrigued by some beautiful flower arrangements that just happen to have hemp leaves in them. It’s a reframing of the culture.
Are there any ladies in weed we should be following?
AC: Right now my favorite is Tina Snow Le, of Earth to Her. Tina has a gallery show open in Portland right now at One Grand Gallery. It’s a feminine expression of self-discovery and cannabis that includes a really fun multi-artist collection of painted ashtrays, some gorgeous photography of her peers, and the most beautiful film on how to roll a joint (which you can watch on her website too).
How you would define your design style?
AC: I am always looking for unusual delights. This is true for both the magazine and the apartment!
Your home is so gorgeous and has such amazing light! What was your approach when styling the space?
AC: My partner and I have lived in this apartment for a year, and it’s our first home together. While my style in recent years leans more into a modern vibe (I used to be more of a vintage/antique collector type), his great love is for antiques. So it was an interesting place to combine our possessions. The apartment is bright and simple in the same way a modern place might be, but it’s old enough that an antique doesn’t feel totally out of place. One tricky thing about our space is that the windows dominate the walls, so there isn’t a lot of space to hang art or have shelving. This is a big part of why the plants have become such a focal point, because they are not bound by wall space. It’s a rental as well, so we haven’t done much in terms of customization. We are enjoying it how it is.
You have so many incredible plants in your home. What are your favorite parts of having plants in your space?
AC: Our apartment is basically a greenhouse, so our plants are very happy in the space because they get so much light all year. I love watching them change and grow. Our monstera (who is 34 years old!) was dormant for months this winter, but now she’s back in action with the spring light, shooting up a crazy new stalk every week or so. The lemon tree is the newest addition, and the flowers it’s producing have the most beautiful aroma. I’ve never lived in a climate where citrus trees are a natural part of the environment, so having a lemon tree is such a treat. I love the texture they add to the space.
Can you tell me how those amazing plant lights came to be?
AC: They’re actually a Goodwill find! They appear to be a homemade project, and are probably one of a kind. We repainted the wood frames, and replaced the bulbs. Our ceilings are insanely tall, so luckily we were able to hard wire the new lights into the previous hanging bases. They’re so weird, but they work in this space (or at least we think so).
There’s a repetition of art from one artist in your space of lounging women. Can you share a bit about the artist and the collection?
AC: All of those pieces are by Pegge Hopper, a painter who is now in her early eighties based in Hawaii. One of her paintings is on the cover of our second issue, and we interviewed her for an editorial as well, sharing more of her art. We celebrated our second issue’s launch in Los Angeles at Rachel Comey’s shop, and displayed some mounted prints alongside the magazine and ceramic pipes by Yew Yew and The Pursuits of Happiness. I took the prints home with me and now they’re keeping me company as I work from home.
Do you have a favorite spot to consume/smoke cannabis in your home?
AC: One of the cool things about legalization is that it gives you access to cannabis in a lot of different forms, from flower (the classic, dried part of the plant) that you smoke in a pipe or a joint to vaporizer pens made from cannabis oil, to mints and gummies, to non-psychoactive topicals… I even have bath bombs. So, I don’t have a favorite, it just depends on how I feel or what I’m doing, and then I can pick what will serve me best in that moment.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
AC: I want our next plant to be a hemp plant. I don’t need to grow my own consumable cannabis, I’d just love to have the plant itself.
Read more stories on Lonny from Plant Month including 5 Companies Elevating the Cannabis Industry and 10 Ways You Never Thought You Would Use Plants In Your Home.