Puff, Paint and Pass: Taking Creative Grassroots Community Nationwide

    Ambassador of art and cannabis: Heidi Keyes founded Puff, Pass and Paint and Cannabis Tours to combine her passions and use them to bring people together.

    Heidi Keyes, artist, entrepreneur, and founder of Puff, Pass and Paint, incorporated her awareness and belief in the healing creative and social power of cannabis when she launched soon after legalization in Colorado, where she was living and creating, in 2014. “I was working as an artist, and was already very aware of how interconnected making art and cannabis are, because it’s something I’ve always used to help manage anxiety and also tap into my creative side.” With legalization, and the promise of minds opening up to and through cannabis, Heidi saw an opportunity both economic and communal. “Consuming cannabis definitely helps people relax into the present moment, instead of focusing on making a perfect painting and the end result.” An interactive experience that welcomes novices at cannabis and art seemed like the perfect way to open new doors into both cannabis and creative instincts that, for some, had been dormant since childhood. “In our classes, we always ask about the last time the students painted, and a lot of them say that they haven’t made art since they were in grade school. They’re nervous about looking silly or being bad at painting, and cannabis helps to take away that fear. I wanted to bring that level of openness and creativity to people, so they can just enjoy the process of making art and consuming weed legally without judgment.” 

    Class in session: Artists and cannabis consumers of all levels of skill and experience can enjoy Puffing, Passing and Painting.

    As legalization has spread the country, so has Puff, Pass and Paint. They are now in 13 cities nationwide, from Las Vegas to Miami, with another class opening in San Juan, Puerto Rico in the near future. When Nugl spoke to Heidi, she had just arrived in Boston, Massachusetts for an event there, where cannabis was legalized in 2016. “Every city definitely has a different vibe for the classes, and each location also has its own preference for what they like to partake in.” Vibes can also vary by location. “Some classes are more quiet and serious, and some are loud, very smoky, and full of laughter. I like them all! All of our teachers are local artists, and I love seeing how the classes vary from instructor to instructor as well, with their teaching styles and their creativity.”

    Puff, Pass and Paint draws participants and students from all over the world to their classes. They have already expanded to 13 cities nationwide, and counting.

    The social outreach element is also important to Heidi for mainstreaming cannabis use — and making art with strangers — as cannabis reform and access continue to sweep the nation. It’s a principle she also incorporates into her other projects, including group cannabis cooking classes, and Cannabis Tours, which operates in 5 cities and counting. “We believe that normalization is the key to national legalization, which is the main goal here, right?” Heidi believes that combining art and cannabis offers the perfect platform for the diverse experiential opportunities that getting high and making art together offer. “Our students are of all different ages – just 21 plus! – of all different experience levels in both painting and cannabis use, and from varying backgrounds all over the world. We just want to keep bringing people together to celebrate making art and legal cannabis.”


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