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trends

ARTS & MEDIA

HIGH TIMES In 1974, an underground journalist used drug money to launch High Times magazine in a basement office. It was supposed to be a single-issue spoof of Playboy, complete with lurid centerfold photography of obscenely big buds. But the magazine found an immediate audience and for more than four decades has remained true to its core counter-cultural cannabis advocacy platform. Despite competition from more than 25 weed rags vying for a piece of the fastest growing (legal marijuana) industry in America, High Times remains the indisputable “Magazine

of High Society.” As more states legalize recreational marijuana, new products based on CBD and THC flood the market, providing High Times with a steady stream of ad revenue. And the ads are as entertaining and informative as the articles. The August issue carried 75 advertisers in 130 pages, including Dina Cookies, Big Mike’s Blends, Cheeba Chews, (Mike) Tyson Ranch, app-based delivery services, a curious discount coupon for electronic urine warmers, and KushieJobs—a cannabis industry headhunter. The articles are timely, topical

THE ANXIETY GUY The Anxiety Guy, a top-ranked iTunes podcast, outdoes the competition. That’s an accomplishment because host Dennis Simsek used to want nothing more than to blend in during his years of frequent episodes of panic. He draws on that six-year struggle with anxiety to relate to his listeners and coach them to a better life. Simsek’s anxiety first struck during his peak years as a professional tennis player, crushing his ability to perform on the court and socially. Now, his recovery adds to his credibility because he recognizes what anxiety is like and knows what helps him work through it. This authenticity shines

through on his podcast. His certifications include master neuro-linguistic programming

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practitioner and certified cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) life coach. As a life coach, he emphasizes the importance of setting goals and thinking ahead to avoid roadblocks to recovery. Meanwhile, his own progress serves as proof of the effectiveness of CBT coaching.

Aside from his credentials, Simsek’s now positive outlook on anxiety management reassures listeners still suffering from the malaise. His very real experiences translate as raw but relatable. While each podcast speaks

directly to individuals, he’s keen on community-building. He creates a highly connected space where the feeling of “we” is instilled in each listener. The Anxiety Guy provides actionable strategy for selfempowerment. Simsek advises

and informative. Typical issues explore cannabis culture and provide DIY growing tips. Writers examine the range of strains and report on manufacturing, distribution, legislation and advocacy. The magazine even serves as an essential consumer catalogue. What’s more, the publication’s value-priced at $6.99. In 2017, a group of investors that included musician Damian Marley purchased a 60% stake in the monthly magazine, website and the High Times event business, which includes The Cannabis Cup. The deal was reportedly valued at $70 million. Talk about high times. —Jeff Joseph

HIGH TIMES

5 out of 5 from seed to weed, there’s no better read

that “all power is from within and is therefore under our control.” He avoids casual chit chat, attacking the root cause of the problem instead of the symptoms. His coping strategies are based on action and use fear as motivation. According to Owl Tail, a podcast discovery platform, the three most popular episodes are:

1. O  vercoming Health Anxiety— Convincing Yourself You’re Healthy (#55) 2. L  earning to Control Your Mind Through Mental Health Challenge (#3) 3. E  nding Generalized Anxiety Disorder in Six Essential Steps (#4) For anyone confronting anxiety, the podcast emerges as a top pick. —Jessica Christoffer

THE ANXIETY GUY

4 out of 5 relatable and educational, offering candid advice from a recovering victim of anxiety

Profile for luckbox magazine

August 2019