WASHINGTON -- Alaska's self-styled cannabis queen, Charlo Greene, took the stage at the first-ever High Times Business Summit in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, looking as TV-ready as ever.
And that's no surprise. Greene -- legal name Charlene Egbe -- is the Anchorage TV news reporter whose profane final signoff took the Internet by storm when she revealed herself as the owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club.
Now she's taking her message on the road and launching both advocacy and money-making ventures -- all filtered through the lens of Charlo Greene, the brand.
"Everything is phenomenal. I'm blessed beyond belief," Greene said Wednesday in her hotel room after the close of the summit.
Greene, 27, spoke earlier in the day -- just before Rep. Earl Blumenhauer, D-Ore. -- telling her story and encouraging those in the crowd to live their best lives.
Never has so much of the Washington Hilton -- an actual historical site, since President Ronald Reagan was shot there in 1981 -- been so tinged with an easily identifiable smell emanating from seemingly ubiquitous vaporizers. And these were businesspeople, in town for a conference in one of the many vast ballrooms, adorned with passes hanging from lanyards.
There's "tons of opportunity" in the burgeoning industry, Greene said.
"What if I told you that you can choose to not only tap into that frequency, but live there? And that once you do so, the rest of your life will be improved dramatically without a shade of doubt? But you just have to start by being honest with yourself," Greene said to a nodding crowd at the conference.
Greene is launching a new group -- GoGreene.org -- a "national advocacy organization" that is focused on "cultivating diversity and opportunity through cannabis," she said.
"So we're reaching out to communities of color especially and trying to use this opportunity to help heal all of the communities that have been harmed the most by prohibition," Greene said.
"So I of course grew up in Alaska. A lot of people ask, 'There are black people in Alaska?' To which I usually respond, 'Well, I'm here now, but when I get back, yes,'" she said, drawing laughs from the crowd.
Greene's efforts to make the cannabis industry more diverse are taking her elsewhere in the U.S.
The Go Greene group will have a "hyper local" focus, she said. The aim is helping volunteer leaders organize in their own communities -- "educating people on how to become better citizen lobbyists or strategizing how to be heard before a certain amount of time because the conversation is going to end in legislative chambers," she said.
Green plans to be back in Washington, D.C., in March, where she's working on launching arms of the organization in the District, Maryland and Virginia.
But despite coming through Washington, D.C., on her trip, Greene isn't much focused on the Alaska delegation -- she said she hasn't been in contact with the state's three lawmakers.
"I think right now what we're focused on is 2016. That's the biggest thing that all of us need to be worried about right now, because the presidential race is also very important and whoever we elect is going to have a huge say" in the future of marijuana policy, she said.
But it's not all advocacy.
Greene has other plans -- a website in the works that sounds closer to a lifestyle blog -- but for marijuana.
"All of the traveling that I do -- which is pretty much constant, and I get to meet a lot of cool people and see a lot of cool things and go to a lot of cool places like this -- so I'm bringing cameras along," she said. Through the videos, she wants to "share cannabis culture with as many people as possible and give them usable information and show them products that are also available to purchase on the site."