FAMILIAR STRANGE (FS) was the theme for the national conference of anthropologist in Denver in November 2015. The addition of 'and Green' to the conference theme was made to integrate cannabis and cannabis studies in conversations at the annual meeting. GREEN refers to the cannabis sector and the diverse cultures that influence and are influenced by the sector. Over 6,000 individuals attended the national conference of anthropologists with over 300 sessions organized into a 5-day program at the Denver Convention Center, 18-22 November 2015. 

It is a truism that anthropology as a discipline and process can play a helpful role in knowledge production and policy change in cannabis and cannabis studies. Evidence-based research and creative work have implications for public health, youth access, consumer awareness, medical marijuana, cannabis workplace safety, ethical tourism, industry accountability and ecological costs of cultivation.

The phrase "familiar strange" derives from Horace Miner's classic article, "Body Ritual among the Nacirema." Virtually all instructors in introduction to cultural anthropology courses use the article. Give it a go.

FAMILIAR STRANGE AND GREEN organized an event with experts and community members engaged to varying degrees in cannabis studies at Green Labs, 7:30-11pm Thursday 19 November 2015. The event was designed to increase awareness among anthropologists, social scientists, public health professionals and community members on evidence-based research and creative work in cannabis studies. 

Building on the event in November 2015, Marty Otañez, Project Organizer (telephone: 415 306 4754; email otanezm@gmail.com) developed the television program called 'Getting High on Anthropology: A Story-Based Approach to Research, Education and Funding' on Comcast Channel 57 through Denver Open Media (January-June 2016). 

Bio. Marty Otañez is an Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology in the Department of AnthropologyCU Denver. He is a member of the American Anthropological Association. Otañez’ research and advocacy focuses on tobacco industry farm-level exploitation, corporate accountability, digital health stories, and the health and safety of cannabis workers in Colorado's marijuana sector. In fall 2014 he started preliminary visual research on cannabis culture in Colorado’s legal recreational marijuana industry and how individuals in grow houses, extraction facilities, retail shops, testing labs and dispensaries are staying healthy and avoiding job injuries. He is an official badged Key Employee through the Medical Marijuana Occupational License Program in the Marijuana Enforcement Division of the Colorado State Department of Revenue. In summer 2015, he organized and moderated the panel called ‘Legitimacy and Uncertainty: A Fireside Chat about Colorado's Pot Industry’ at the Denver-based Colorado Photographic Arts Center. Otañez completed the five-day Marijuana Trimming Training Program in Green Mountain Harvest in Colorado in June 2015.

In fall 2015 he taught the course ‘Cannabis Cultures’ at CU Denver. The course will be taught again in May 2016. He is a member of the community advisory council for the Denver-based Cannabis OutReach and Education (CORE) Network. Also, in fall 2015 Otañez presented on 'The Anthropology of Cannabis Policy Roundtable' as part of the Association for the Anthropology of Policy at the 114th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association in Denver. 

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver awarded Otañez a community outreach grant for his project "A Cannabis Community of Practice." In spring 2016, Marty is administering his project "Air Monitoring By Settle Plate in Mold-Filled Occupational Environments," designed to determine prevalence and magnitude of mold exposures for cannabis workers and subsequent impact on health outcomes. The Office of Research Services at the University of Colorado Denver, funded the project.

Currently, Marty is completing the Cannabis Cultivation Certification Program at Denver-based Clover Leaf University (CLU) as part of his emerging cannabis culture visual research project. CLU is the nation’s only Cannabis University that is approved, regulated, and licensed by the Colorado Department of Education’s Private Occupational School Board.