Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 11 / 15 March 2018

Bay Area Cannasseur: 'Puff' combines love of drag with cannabis


"Puff" producer Dan Karkoska. Photo: Sari Staver
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Dan Karkoska, a gay man and longtime drag show producer who has a large circle of friends who enjoy cannabis, has brought together the two communities with a new regular show, "Puff," held the first Thursday of each month at the Stud.

Karkoska, 52, said "Puff" is drawing an increasingly large crowd since it launched earlier this year.

"People are loving the drag show" as well as the dozens of cannabis-related raffle prizes donated by local companies, he said. In recent months, he said that about 100 people have attended.

"This is just the beginning of what I hope will be other get-togethers, educational events, and parties" aimed at the LGBT and drag communities, said Karkoska in an interview in a San Francisco cannabis garden last month.

"I'm particularly interested in getting involved with medical marijuana and political stuff," he added.

For a $5-$10 donation, "Puff" partygoers enjoy a two-hour drag show, preceded by an hour of "420 music" with DJ Sergio Fedasz. Recently, local out comedy stars Marga Gomez and Tom Ammiano performed, Karkoska said.

To keep things on the up and up, the raffle prizes are distributed outdoors after the party ends.

"We are 100 percent legal," he said. "People are not allowed to use cannabis at the event."

After Karkoska launched "Puff," he also formed an umbrella organization, Queer Cannabis Club, a loosely organized group without dues or membership requirements.

"The way stoners do things," said Karkoska.

A native Texan, Karkoska moved to San Francisco 12 years ago after a career in the film industry.

But when he got to California, Karkoska realized that the industry "was pretty dead" here and found himself "enamored with the drag scene." Although he himself has never done drag he has appeared as a male prop, including roles as a federal agent and a zombie.

"Before you knew it, I was producing shows" at the Cinch, a gay bar in the Polk Gulch. Five years ago, Karkoska began to produce, direct, and co-host programs for, a web channel that has over 700 videos available, he said.

Although Karkoska has been experimenting with cannabis "since seventh grade" he learned there was a "whole new world of products" available in California, he said.

"Marijuana lube and marijuana suppositories came as a surprise to me," he quipped.

Several years ago, Karkoska got a medical card to enable him to legally buy products and began attending lots of local community and industry events.

"But I saw a big opening for cannabis-related events" for the LGBT and drag communities, he said.

With the sale of recreational cannabis just months away, Karkoska said, "The sky is the limit" for events that will soon be possible.

"We're at an interesting crossroads right now," he said. "I can envision more people wanting to throw cannabis-themed parties in their homes, with bud tenders or dab bars. I'd like to think I can add some of the glitter and glam from drag to the world of cannabis."

For more information on "Puff," visit the Facebook page at On Thursday (October 5), "Puff" is having a "Best Buns" contest at the Stud, 399 Ninth Street, to celebrate the Full Harvest Moon. Mutha Chucka will be the celebrity judge.

On Sunday, October 8, the Mill Valley Film Festival will feature the world premiere of the documentary, "Mary Janes: The Women of Weed." For tickets and more information, visit


Bay Area Cannasseur runs the first Thursday of the month. To send column ideas or tips, email Sari Staver at



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