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I C OAC H E L L A VA L L E Y D EC 2019

UNTOXICATED

Next-gens are having more fun while drinking less

HEALTHY HOLIDAYS

Stay satisfied between feasts with a savory salad

DeANGEL Oh!

What’s next for Steve DeAngelo ›››


Come grow with us

and experience more than just growing! info@coachillin.com


Coachillin’ protects small to mid-sized cannabis firms up against Big Pharma & Big Tobacco by achieving economies of scale through operational cost sharing between tenants in the Coachillin project. There are no electrical tier rate bumps for agricultural facilities and the project is supported by large-scale solar, wind, and cogeneration technology for sustainable and cost effective energy. Coachillin’ is an embassy level secured compound with an 8ft perimeter wall outfitted with intrusion detection systems and guarded by military veterans with elite service backgrounds - for 3x less traditional security costs that would be incurred by stand-alone projects. A drought proof private well capable of 1,000 gallons per minute fills a 4 million gallon reservoir that distributes reverse osmosis purified water to every parcel and cannabis businesses have guaranteed 20+ years of unrestricted water access. Tenants can avoid cultivation wastewater dumping fines by clarifying at scale and for re-use in sustainable wastewater treatment through proprietary Bio-Column “phytoremediation” Systems. Protect financial assets with short and long term banking and vaulting services with an on-site bank specific to the cannabis industry. Coachillin’ provides assistance with meeting compliance regulations for product packaging, labeling, transport, storage, maintenance of business records, security standards and more. Achieve better cultivation by contributing to and leveraging the world’s largest grow dataset in the cannabis industry made possible through a partnership with IBM Watson to develop solutions such as: seed-to-sale / track-&-trace, custom operational workflow management (ERP), Natural Language Processing (NLU/NLP) engines, microclimate control systems, and unified environmental data collection engines. Low cost startups can move fast through streamlined licensing and pre-approved environmental clearances via Coachillin’s Project Specific Plan covering 160 acres.

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COACHELLA VALLEY SENSI MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019

sensimediagroup @sensimagazine @sensimag

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F E AT U R E S

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Hang Time

Steve DeAngelo, the godfather of the legal cannabis industry, talks about whatʼs next.

Woke, Not Wasted

What is the sober-curious movement, and can sobriety really be fluid? SPECIAL REPORT

Haute Highs

How luxury has gone to pot.

D E PA R T M E N T S

11 EDITOR’S NOTE 12 THE BUZZ News, tips, and tidbits

to keep you in the loop. DOME CORE Life under the Bonita Domes SHROOM ZOOM Mushroom coffee gets you going NON-SMOKING Your new go-everywhere fire pit

42 THE LIFE Contributing to your

46 THE SCENE Hot happenings and hip

hangouts around town. CALENDAR Candy canes and silver lanes are aglow all over the Valley this month

50 THE END

Find out why El Paseo is chalking its walkways.

ON THE COVER Steve DeAngeloʼs insights regarding the future of cannabis include his new drive-through shop in Desert Hot Springs. PHOTO BY JAMIE SOJA

health and happiness. PEACHY KEEN A healthy grilled salad dinner to keep you trim between holiday feasts

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A DV I S O R Y B OA R D

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Coachella Labs Manufacturing Coachillinʼ Desert Hot Springs; Cannabis Campus Delta 9 Technologies Automated Extraction Equipment Dr. Robb Farms Cultivation Escape Room Palm Springs Team Building & Compliance Training Five Star Extracts THC Infused Tinctures Genius Products T, Inc. Recreational Cannabis Products Greenhouse Payment Solutions Payment Processing

The Lighthouse Palm Springs & Coachella; Cannabis Dispensary The Micro Buddery Micro Business

FIND US ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Nug Digital Marketing Marketing & Advertising Agency ONIT Sciences Cannabis Investments PNS Ventures Cathedral City; Recreational Dispensary Rukli Distribution Company West Coast Cannabis Club Palm Desert; Recreational Dispensary

FACE BOOK Like Sensi Media Group for the parties, topics, and happenings we’re obsessed with right now.

T W I T TER Follow @sensimag to stay up-to-date on the latest news from Sensi cities.

Green Leaf Biz Solutions Payroll & HR Services Green Pearl Organics Desert Hot Springs; Recreational Dispensary Highland Oil Co. Premium Vape Cartridges

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I NSTAG RAM @sensimagazine is home to exclusive photos and content.


Magazine published monthly by Sensi Media Group LLC. © 2019 Sensi Media Group. All rights reserved.

EXECUTIVE Ron Kolb CEO ron@sensimag.com Tae Darnell President tae@sensimag.com

T

Alex Martinez Co-Chief Operations Officer alex@sensimag.com

Mike Mansbridge Co-Chief Operations Officer mike@sensimag.com EDITORIAL Stephanie Wilson Editor in Chief stephanie@sensimag.com Doug Schnitzspahn Executive Editor doug.schnitzspahn@sensimag.com Leland Rucker Senior Editor leland.rucker@sensimag.com

Robyn Griggs Lawrence Editor at Large robyn.lawrence@sensimag.com Helen Olsson Copy Editor

Hudson Lindenberger, Leandra Romero, Lori Tobias Contributing Writers DESIGN Jamie Ezra Mark Creative Director jamie@emagency.com Rheya Tanner Art Director Wendy Mak Designer Kiara Lopez Designer Josh Clark Designer Jason Jones Designer em@sensimag.com PUBLISHING Greg Jelden Publisher greg.jelden@sensimag.com Jason Zahler Publisher jason.zahler@sensimag.com Sat Panesar Associate Publisher sat.panesar@sensimag.com Quentin Dusastre Associate Publisher quentin dusastre@sensimag.com B U S I N E S S /A D M I N Kristan Toth Head of People kristan.toth@sensimag.com Amber Orvik Director of Administration amber.orvik@sensimag.com Andre Velez Marketing Director andre.velez@sensimag.com

EDITOR’S NOTE

The desert is

alive in December. For those of us who grew up in cold climes, it seems surreal to be soaking up sun at the same time Mariah Carey is belting out carols and dreidels are spinning. But all that vitamin D in the day and cool Mojave breezes at night is a welcome respite from the darker side of the holidays. This time of year can be notoriously hard on many people, with the short days bringing on depression and the call to be happy and close to family triggering difficult and deep-rooted pain. Last month was a tough one for me, personally. A friend lost her young daughter. In the same week, I received news of another friend’s passing as well as the news that yet another friend, the poet Chris Ransick, lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. All that loss made me remember how little we control life, how all we can really do during our brief time here is treat other people the best we can and love with all our hearts. We also lost Gert Boyle, the “Tough Mother” who ran Columbia Sportswear ever since her husband suddenly died of a heart attack in 1971. She worked every day at her company in Portland, Oregon, past her 95th birthday and participating in business meetings the same week she passed. Gert was famous for wry one-liners and she was an American success story, running her company from near bankruptcy to over $3 billion in annual sales last year. But she won’t be most remembered for hilarious commercials, like the one when she put her son through a car wash sans car to test a jacket, or for the quality of the ever-popular apparel she put on so many of us. She treated her employees, and even people like me, like family (even if it was with a touch of tough, sarcastic love). Whether the holidays fill you with sadness or joy or an odd combination of both, you can find love and give love. And if you need some time to think it all over, head out to Joshua Tree, walk into the desert and just embrace the beauty of being alive.

Whether the holidays fill you with sadness or joy or an odd combination of both, you can find and give love.

Neil Willis Production Manager neil.willis@sensimag.com Hector Irizarry Distribution distribution@sensimag.com M E D I A PA R T N E R S Marijuana Business Daily Minority Cannabis Business Association National Cannabis Industry Association Students for Sensible Drug Policy

Doug Schnitzspahn doug.schnitzspahn@sensimag.com DECEM BER 2019

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CONTRIBUTORS

Leandra Romero, Doug Schnitzspahn

THE

The Beat of the Domes As I drove down an old dirt road near Joshua Tree National Park, I saw odd-looking structures—shiny golden-brown domes—appearing in the desert. What are those? I thought to myself. Are they Airbnbs? A community living off-grid? I soon discovered the story was less about the exterior aesthetic of these unique buildings than what’s going on inside them. Lisa Starr, owner, artist, healer, and desert dweller, is officially known as the “Drum Medicine Woman.” Originally from Connecticut, she became a southern California transplant in her 20s and eventually 12 COACH EL L A VA LLEY

earned a holistic health practitioner certification. Seeking a cheaper, more eco-friendly way of living, she moved from San Diego to Joshua Tree to build herself a residence, art studio, and a place for vacation retreats: the Bonita Domes. She studied the philosophies of Iranian-American architect Nader Khalili,

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whose quest was to empower the world’s poor and refugees by building homes using the earth under their feet. In 2010, using her bare hands and the help of those closest to her, she built her home with the four natural elements: earth, wind, fire, and water. Intertwining the natural resources around her with nearly

two decades of study under a shaman, Starr learned the traditional Native American Apache teachings of “Earth wisdom and Earth medicine.” She uses those teachings to help clients who seek a more holistic form of healing through spiritual practice as well as hosting workshops on drum crafting. “It’s not about self-service. It’s not about ‘help me pay my bills or what do I need to do?’” Starr says. “If we can get to a place where we ask spirit, ‘Help me be the best expression of myself and my life’s purpose,’ all that other stuff falls into place.” drummedicinewoman.com

COURTESY DRUM MEDICINE WOMAN

Drum Medicine Woman Lisa Starr built her unique studio to bring holistic healing to the desert.


Bathe in Sound Drive through the tight Mojave Desert community in the little town of Landers and you can’t miss the round, 38-foot-tall, 55-foot-diameter building called “Integratron” (integratron.com). Originally created as a time machine in 1953, it has since become a magnet for thousands of visitors who come here each year to partake in its new life as a sound bath and healing center. Made completely out of wood, it’s considered an acoustically perfect space.

BY THE NUMBERS

100K SNOWBIRDS

(a.k.a. seasonal residents) flock to Coachella Valley each winter.

$7.6 FUNGAL JOLT MILLION

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“WHEN THE WINDS OF CHANGE BLOW, SOME PEOPLE BUILD WALLS AND OTHERS BUILD WINDMILLS.” —Chinese Proverb

BioLite FirePit / $199 / bioliteenergy.com

DECEM BER 2019

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THE BUZZ

SENSIBILITIES WHAT MATTERS THIS MONTH BY STEPHANIE WILSON

1 GOT ANY VACATION DAYS LEFT IN 2019? Use them! Last year, 55 percent of American workers did not use all their vacation days, leaving a record 768 million days on the table. That’s about $65.5 billion worth of forfeited benefits. Don’t be a sad statistic.

______ 2 NEW RULE: Catching up on your emails during the holiday break is forbidden.

Emails breed emails, so every reply or forward you click sends that task to someone else who is either a) trying to enjoy their holiday break, or b) trying to clean out their inbox as well. No more. If it’s in your inbox on December 22, it stays there until January 2. Deal? Deal.

______ 3 I REPEAT: No tossing your forgotten/low priority to-dos on other people’s plates when they are on vacay.

______ 4 IF YOU’RE RESOLVING TO CLEAN UP ANY BAD HABITS IN 2020, Go

all in on them in December. Really indulge your vices: have that second drink, dab, dance, swim in the chaos, make bad decisions. You’ll not only get it out of your system, you’ll be so over it come January 1.

______ 5 IF YOUR VICE IS CONSIDERING THE BOUNDARIES OF YOUR MEANS IMAGINARY (thanks Oscar Wilde), disregard the above advice. You can lose the

holiday weight if you stop overeating, but credit card debt doesn’t work like that. It grows, no matter how much you believe Santa will take care of it.

______ 6 SMILE. The magazine you’re holding right now was made with a whole lot of

enthusiasm by some talented magazine junkies who have been working on the details of this redesign for the last year. This debut is like our Oscars, and we hope you like it. I love it.

"The desert tells a different story every time one ventures on it." -Robert Edison Fulton, Jr.

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THE BUZZ

VOX POPULI

Question: If you had two holiday wishes, what would you wish for?

GABRIELLE GILBERTSON JERRY HOWSE

GEORGE DUCHANNES MARIA PATAKA

BAYLEE CHAPO

___________________

___________________

___________________

Associate Attorney, Palm Springs

Lead Golf Instructor, Mission Hills Country Club

I would want to go to a lavish, modernism-type Christmas party. And then spend a day hiking on a really pretty trail and hit a cute brunch spot.

I would close down the tram and throw a huge Christmas party with spectacular views from the top. From there, I’d take everyone to Marvyn’s Magic Theatre for a Vegas-style Christmas show.

___________________

Photographer, Palm Springs

Realtor, Palm Springs

One would be to have a Moroccan-style dinner party in the middle of the sand dunes. My second would be to go back in time to experience the holidays during the peak of the old Hollywood era.

I’d just love to enjoy my usual spots when they’re all dressed up for the holidays. I’d visit Bighorn Bam’s A Miracle on El Paseo, with live music, a Ferris wheel, and Christmas tree lighting.

___________________

Cofounder of The WolfPack, LLC, Palm Springs

I would love to turn the water park into an adult winter wonderland. Snow everywhere, tubing, and a winter village of cannabis. That’s my wish.

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NG TIME WITH STEVE DeANGELO

The godfather of the legal cannabis industry talks about what’s on the horizon and his new business venture in the Coachella market. TEXT HUDSON LINDENBERGER

PHOTO BY JAMIE SOJA / PHOTO EDITS BY JOSH CLARK

F

rom a young age, Steve DeAngelo had an affinity for activism. “Some of my earliest memories are of Freedom Riders staying in my parents’ house and my family feeding them,” he says. That desire for change led him to dedicate his life to overturning the draconian laws that governed the consumption of cannabis and to educate the masses to its wellness benefits. “The specter of a stoned nation losing its competitive edge to a culture of self-indulgent hedonism was successfully deployed by our opponents to justify re-criminalization, urine testing,

denial of student and housing aid, and draconian sentences. The personal choice to get high was transformed by our opponents into a threat against all society,” he says. DeAngelo is an icon in the industry as the cofounder of Harborside, one of the first licensed dispensaries in the nation; Steep Hill Laboratory, the first fully dedicated cannabis laboratory; the Arc View Group, the first cannabis investment firm; and the National Cannabis Industry Association, the first trade association for cannabis. While all this has been happening, DeAngelo has also been overseeing the

growth of Harborside, which has the largest share of the California market. Its latest move is an expansion into the Coachella market with the first drive-through dispensary in Southern California. As his company grows, he has eyes on a national expansion and a growing platform to educate anyone and everyone about the positives associated with cannabis. For the last 18 months, he has crisscrossed the planet evangelizing his message and developing relationships that will hopefully one day help erase the stigma associated with cannabis use. We caught up with him in Mexico.

You seem to spread a different message about cannabis than most. I reject the dichotomy of medical or recreational cannabis. I don’t think that either of those categories fully describe why people use it. People use it for the wellness it gives them—relief from medical issues, mental problems, daily rigors— and overall it promotes better living. There are many, many reasons why people use cannabis.

How has that message evolved over the years? In the early days, we didn’t know any of the history of science surrounding it. We did know DECEM BER 2019

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that it helped us be the people we wanted to be. Back then, we used the arguments we had. We stood on the grounds of individual rights and freedom, that cannabis prohibition was not right, that they could not tell us what we could put into our bodies. That argument worked for a while. But under Reagan, everything went backward. We got moving forward again by spreading the message about all the previously hidden industrial and medicinal prospects that it offered, following the lead of Jack Herer, the author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes. Educating the

populace about the positive effects cannabis offers paved the way for the progress we’ve made.

What makes California such a fertile place for the industry? Well, for one, California is a tilt zone. It’s a place where all the loose nuts that can’t land anywhere else end up. The state has a population that is uniquely open to change. People have been consuming cannabis here in larger amounts, for a longer period of time, than anywhere else in the world. That has created a vibrant culture around cannabis and a much more accepting

“[California] has a population that is uniquely open to change. That has created a vibrant culture around cannabis and a much more accepting populace that is open to it.” —Steve DeAngelo

populace that is open to it. Look at Northern California. You have small towns with organic groceries, packed bookstores, yoga studios, a welcoming community with schools built by donations from growers. There is a unique culture there that surrounds it, and you can find that feeling throughout most of the state.

Where do you see the industry headed? In the next two or three years, I think you are going to see some major movement happening at the federal level. The plan I like the best now is Bernie Sanders’. It’s clear DECEM BER 2019

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and concise, but most of the candidates have some plan for the full legalization at the federal level. If any Democrat wins, except Biden, something big is going to change. I think there is even a chance heading into the election that Trump and the Republicans could make a play if they get desperate enough. One way or another, we are going to see some fairly significant change on a federal level. What we have seen is that the pace of change has rapidly accelerated. I don’t see that slowing at all. I have been traveling all over the world since January 1, 2018, and there are countries everywhere reforming their laws. South Korea, a spot that would have been unimaginable a few years ago, just changed its [laws]. There is a global cannabis renaissance happening right now. That is the most exciting thing to me. We are seeing cannabis displacing other products. I just saw a study that shows alcohol sales in states that have reformed their laws drop quite significantly (11 percent to 9 percent). Opioid prescriptions drop too. We know that Medicaid reimbursements go down in legal states. It’s disrupting industries and gaining momentum daily.

What is needed to continue the change? In most parts of the world, the need for basic education about cannabis is needed. Most people don’t have a full understanding of the biochemistry and therapeutic benefits it offers our bodies. CBD is helping spread the message, but it’s mostly a creature of prohibition. What’s driving people to it is that it’s the only cannabinoid they can have access to legally.

Do you see any big changes coming?

There are going to be multiple shakeups in the industry. When you are growing at the rate we are, it’s impossible not to have disruptions. There are going to be peaks and valleys. We just saw that on the Canadian Public Exchange. A year ago, we saw incredible valuations and today we are seeing companies suffering a huge loss of value. That’s stressful, but it’s not going to stop the growth of Why open the new the industry. Look at the issues facstore in Desert Hot ing the contaminated Springs? Why a vape pens. This is the first drive-through? The Coachella Valley is major product-related one of the major epicen- crisis facing the industry. ters of the cannabis inPeople are wondering if dustry in California, even this will kill the vape pen the world, I would say. business. Is the governWe see that the Valley is ment going to ban them? turning into a cannabis How are we going to get tourism location. People through this? Well, whatare planning trips just for ever happens, we will surthat, so we think, what vive. If they are banned, better way to introduce them to the Harborside experience? As for the drive-through, why shouldn’t our consumers get the same level of service they are offered in other businesses? When people come in for the Coachella Festival, they can easily get their product. And on hot days, they can stay in their cars. We want to offer them convenience.

then we will just start selling more hand-held vaporizers that consumers can put their own product into. The Canadian Exchange will rebound. Business will keep growing. There is huge growth potential, and the world has no choice really but to embrace it. Everywhere I go, people want to have access to cannabis.

Any last words? The cannabis tribe is open-minded, tolerant, and peaceful. We respect diversity, we abhor racism, we don’t give a shit about conformity, we honor individual freedom, and we walk peacefully on Mother Earth. That’s who we are around the world. We need more of that, so why stop it?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hudson Lindenberger is a freelance writer who has been published in numerous national publications. His work covers topics from current affairs to far-flung destinations. Learn more about him at hudsonlindenberger.com.

Harborside and its drive-through dispensary are now open at 66205 Paul Rd. in Desert Hot Springs. shopharborside.com

Steve DeAngelo sees change ahead.

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WOKE, NOT WASTED They say they’re not alcoholics, and they’re certainly not anonymous. What is sober curious—and can sobriety really be fluid? TEXT ROBYN GRIGGS LAWRENCE

I

drink badly, and I have a lot of fun doing it (when I remember). That’s a lethal combination, and when you throw in my unfortunate discovery of White Claw—I can drink as many as I want and never feel full!—I flamed out with alcohol last winter. On February 1, just as everyone else was celebrating the end of Dry January and just ahead of the Summer of the Claw, I swore off the seltzer. I figured I’d give myself one month (note: the year’s shortest) to reset. It wasn’t an easy 28 days, but when March 1 rolled around, I felt better than I’d felt in years. The

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chronic inflammation I had attributed to everything from gluten sensitivity to genetics was clearing. I saw the light, and there was no going back. I thought sobriety would be lonely, that every Saturday night would be Netflix. I forgot the Brett Kavanaugh generation isn’t in charge of culture anymore (thank God). Millennials and Gen Xers aren’t interested in swilling beer until they black out like we did in the ’80s. Sober is sexy—or, as hipsobriety.com sees it, “sobriety is the new black.” On Instagram, there are influencers such as @stylishlysober, @thesoberglow, and the darker @fucking_sober

and hashtags like #soberliving, #soberAF, and #sobercurious. Millie Gooch, who posts as @sobergirlsociety, encourages her nearly 60,000 followers with inspirational messages like “Mocks not cocks” and “Sobriety: a surefire way to improve your wellbeing and your Uber rating.” Just like that, I’m a cool kid—with a huge range of new options on Saturday night (and beyond). I’m exploring elixirs made with raw cacao, maca, and horny goat weed at Tonic Herban Lounge just a few blocks from my home in downtown Boulder (I can walk home after imbibing, and it amuses me that I don’t need to). I can

do yoga and shake it before dawn at a Daybreaker dance party (daybreaker.com) in Denver, one of 27 cities where the alcohol-free early morning rave pops up and invites people to “sweat, dance, and connect with ourselves in community.” I’m surely not alone in this realization that life is better without booze. Worldwide, alcohol consumption fell by 1.6 percent last year. Led by young people, heavy-hitting countries like Russia, Canada, Japan, and the UK are seeing drinking rates as well as tolerance toward intoxication decline. An international survey found that about a third of people wanted


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Come this weekend. Come next weekend. Stay the week. Just move in already.

We got you. thesaguaro.com

The Saguaro Hotel Palm Springs 1800 E Palm Canyon Dr / Palm Springs, CA 92264


cus, Presence, and Deep Connection” is February 14–16, 2020, at Massachusetts’ renowned wellness retreat center Kripalu). Her take is that a lot of Americans might not have a “problem” with alcohol but see it as getting in the way of their healthy lifestyles. “We eat well. We exercise. We meditate,” the press release for Sober Curious states. “So, why do we… still drink?” Warrington wants to to reduce their alcohol APPS FOR THAT know why the only peointake because of everyple who don’t drink are Loosid: Digital platform for sober dating, destinations, and meetups Sober Grid: “The worldʼs most popular mobile sober community” thing from sexual regret the ones who can’t and Twenty-Four Hours a Day: Inspiration through daily meditations and embarrassment to asks, “What if I am just…a little bit addicted?” physical health. A 2018 Call me old school, survey found that nearly but a little bit addicted 40 percent of global consounds a lot like a little sumers want to drink less pushing more women, mi- As Sean Paul Mahoney norities, and poor people writes on The Fix, a web- bit pregnant. I worry that for health reasons. to the bottle, according to site about addiction and In the US, CNBC repeople who shouldn’t ports, 52 percent of adults a study published in JAMA recovery, “I didn’t get so- will take the advice of ber to be cool. I just got John Costa, who writes are trying to lower their al- Psychiatry. The national on twentytwowords.com cohol intake, and underage Institute for Alcohol Abuse sober to stop dying.” and Alcoholism reports drinking has steadily dethat being sober curiclined in the last 10 years. that 17 million adults in A LITTLE BIT ADDICTED? ous is like being bi-curiBut only 21 percent of US the US are alcohol de“Sober curious” became ous—you don’t always adults in a CivicScience pendent, and the Centers a thing after Harperhook up with people of poll said they had any for Disease Control and Collins released Ruby the same sex, and you interest in drinking less Prevention says one in Warrington’s Sober Cudon’t have to cut out or not at all, and most of six binge drink—defined rious: The Blissful Sleep, drinking forever. “Be those were 21- to 34-year- as drinking four or more Greater Focus, Limitless sober half the time,” he old, vegan-leaning flexitar- drinks over two hours or Presence, and Deep Conwrites, “and sauced the ians who practice yoga and until blood alcohol reaches nection Awaiting Us All on other half.” He’s joking, consume cannabis daily. 0.08—nearly once a week. the Other Side of Alcohol but those are dangerous Women, especially those For this White Claw guzin 2018. Warrington also words for me. That’s the in their 30s and 40s, are zler, that definition is, well, has a podcast, runs Club life I was living: sober by drinking more than ever. sobering. I called that hap- Söda NYC (featuring day + tanked by night = Booze still rules for py hour. sober events like Kundbalance. most Americans, and Giving up alcohol isn’t alini Disco), and stages Like all disorders (and “increased stress and dea hashtag for a lot of peo- events (“Sober Curious: pretty much everything moralization” is actually ple. It’s not even a choice. Choosing Sobriety for Fo- in our culture), alcohol DECEM BER 2019

SOBERING STUDIES

Alcohol accounts for nearly 1 in 10 deaths of people aged 15 to 49 and is the leading risk factor for disease and premature death. Source: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Binge drinking rates in states where cannabis is legal fell to 9 percent below the national average and 11 percent below non-legal states in 2016. Source: Cowen & Co.

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SPIRITS FOR NEXT-GEN PARTIERS The joke goes that nonalcoholic drinks are like listening to porn on the radio, but times have changed. Theyʼre the CBD of the alcohol world. Nonalcohol (NA) beverages are a bright spot in a declining alcohol market, and their sales are expected to grow 32 percent by 2022, according to a Bon Appetit report. Todayʼs creative, health-inducing craft beverages are a lot more than just alcohol-free.

BEER

Athletic IPA: Robust alcohol-free craft brew Heineken OO: The OGʼs first NA brew OʼDoulʼs: Anheuser-Buschʼs classic has new limited-edition meant-for-Instagram cans by local artists in New York, Chicago, and LA

WINE

Napa Hills: Blend of fruit-flavored water and VitaRes (antioxidant blend with resveratrol, red grape skin, and red wine extract) with as many antioxidants as red wine O.Vine: Grape-infused wine water with “the health benefits of the real thing”

use runs on a spectrum. I was at the end that spent hours upon hours researching whether drinking while on this antibiotic would really make me projectile vomit and scoffed at friends as they struggled through Dry January, Dry July, Sober September, and Sober October. I wasn’t interested in giving up drinking for any reason or any amount of time, until I had to give it up for life. Warrington, who sees reducing alcohol intake as another step in the wellness revolution, is at the other end of the spectrum—and she is aware of the difference between recovering from alcohol addiction and feeling better during yoga. I hope all of her fol-

lowers are, too, because the last thing most drinkers need is a loophole. I want to believe the trend Warrington is leading toward spirits-free activities and thoughtfulness about alcohol’s role in our culture—where every ritual, celebration, loss, entertainment, and even sporting event is cause for a drink—is not a trend but a movement. That we’ll look back at “mommyjuice” like we shake our heads at “mother’s little helper” pills from the ’60s and ’70s. The infrastructure to support sobriety is being built, and public opinion is turning. After centuries of going hard, America is getting woke, not wasted. Cheers to that.

SOBERING STUDIES

A British study of Dry January abstainers found that 82 percent felt a sense of achievement, 62 percent slept better, and 49 percent lost some weight.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Robyn Griggs Lawrence is the author of the bestselling Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook and Pot in Pans: A History of Eating Cannabis.

SPIRITS

Curious Elixirs: Individually bottled alcohol-free craft cocktails High Rhode by Kin: “Euphorics” made from nootropics and adaptogens, including 5-HTP, rhodiola, and caffeine Ritual Whiskey: “As a veggie burger is to beef, or almond milk is to dairy, Ritual is an alternative to traditional whiskey” Seedlip Spice 94: Gin-like blend of Jamaican allspice berry, cardamom, and citrus peel Stryyk: “Zero-proof spirits,” including Not Vodka, Not Rum, and Not Gin Three Spirit: “Social elixir” made from yerba mate, lionʼs mane, damiana, and cacao

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DEC EMB ER 2019 PHOTO VIA ALICE + OLIVIA AND KUSH QUEEN


HIGHS A

t the end of October, the Wall Street Journal ran an article titled “Cannabis Open Houses Are Putting the High in High-End Real Estate.” The trend piece by author Katherine Clarke revealed the emerging discovery being used by developers and real-estate agents to move luxe properties in communities where recreational cannabis is not just legal but widely accepted. It’s not unlike Los Angeles, where the rising industry is being hailed as an untapped source for buyers of high-priced homes. Throwing cannabis-related events—everything from elaborate seven-course pairing dinners with vapes in lieu of vino to live trimming classes—at multimillion-dollar properties on the market is garnering attention, building social buzz, and attracting buyers with money earned in, around, or on cannabis. Not everyone sees the genius behind the trend, however. Clarke spoke

SPECIAL REPORT

Luxury has gone to pot. TEXT LORI TOBIAS AND STEPHANIE WILSON

to one agent in New York, where recreational cannabis is still a pipe dream and old tropes live on about munchie-motivated stoners. “When I think about cannabis, I don’t think about buying an expensive house,” says Warburg Realty’s Jason Haber. “It’s not a call for action as much as a call for Doritos.” Someone should tell him friends don’t let friends make tired stoner jokes anymore. Especially ones implying cannabis consumers indulge their munchies with mindless consumption of unhealthy snacks when the reality is cannabis appeals to what The Economist dubs the “health-conscious inebriate,” citing a poll that 72 percent of American consumers thought cannabis was safer than alcohol. A 2018 The New Yorker headline declared cannabis to be a wellness industry in California where, in fact, a cannabinoid cousin of THC and CBD is starting to garner a whole lot of buzz.

Instead of stimulating appetites, THCV may suppress those hunger pangs. When 2021 is declared the year of THCV, you can say you heard it here first.

CONSUMPTION AND CONSUMERISM Cannabis has moved so far beyond the clichés of yore. Tie-dye tees, bell-bottom cords, dancing bear patches, plastic bongs, Ziploc baggies: these tired trends are so out of style, some have already circled back and left again. (Looking at you, tie-dye.) The stoner kids of yesterday are the cannabis entrepreneurs, enthusiasts, and connoisseurs of today. And as they’ve aged, their tastes in cannabis aged with them, like the fine wine they can now afford. Cannabis consumers have money to burn. And since we live in a capitalist society (an unjust one where people remain locked up for nonviolent drug charges in states that earn taxes off now-legal cannabis DECEM BER 2019

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF BARNEYS NEW YORK, INC.

The High End at Barneys New York in Beverly Hills

sales—that’s a whole layered story for a different day), money makes things happen. And what’s happening now is the emergence of a cannabis experience elevated to a higher level. If you were paying attention to the pop-culture cues over the decades, you would have seen the high-end highs coming. When cannabis prohibition began its slow-and-steady march to its forthcoming end, it emerged from the black market with an established following of consumers—loyal cannabis consumers with no brand loyalty, because cannabis brands didn’t exist. Dealers did, growers did, activists, advocates, and believers, too. But the concept of cannabis brands was all brand-new. With strict laws surrounding where the substance can be marketed,

sold, advertised, distributed, and more, establishing customer loyalty in this industry is more difficult than it would seem on the surface. What differentiates one edible brand from another, one vape pen from the next is complicated to discern for those who aren’t well versed in the modern verbiage or its meaning. (Full-spectrum distillate, live resin, 2:1 ratios, oh my!) This is where marketing and branding comes into play. And with marketing and branding comes the emergence of new market segments, including the ultra-luxury category. It is from within that category that future trends are likely to emerge. That’s how trends play out, as Miranda Priestly (played by Meryl Streep) explained to her new assistant in one iconic scene of The Devil Wears Prada. (If

“Expensive breeds expensive things. You wouldn’t have expensive cannabis if you didn’t have people who wanted to buy expensive cannabis.” —Karyn Wagner, Paradigm Cannabis Group

you haven’t seen it in a while, a quick refresher: “The color of the shirt you are wearing right now was determined years ago by high-end designers preparing their collections for fashion GOT MONEY TO BLOW? week runways.”) This Caleb Siemon Trickle-down trends Blown Art Glass are a hierarchical proWater Pipe will cess whereby individuals set you back with high status establish about $950. fashion trends, only to be imitated by lower-status individuals wearing cheaper versions of the same styles. “It’s always been a thing,” says Karyn Wagner, CEO of Paradigm Cannabis Group, a women-owned extraction company specializing in pre-rolls and extracts made from small-batch sun-grown flower. “There’s always been those products that are better than others. But now, with adult use, we have to be more brand-conscious. With DECEM BER 2019

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that, how do you distinguish yourself from someone else? Why is this better? What makes it better?”

PHOTOS (FROM TOP): KATHLEEN HARRISON, KIKOKO HIGH TEA / COURTESY OF BEBOE

SOME LIKE IT HAUTE With any luxury good, consumers want the assurance of quality and efficacy, Wagner says. But you can never underestimate the prestige that comes with a high price tag. “The moneyed class always loves expensive items,” she says. “This normalizes it in their world. It brings in folks who didn’t normally have the desire. It made it OK in their class. Expensive breeds expensive things. You wouldn’t have expensive cannabis if you didn’t have people who wanted to buy expensive cannabis.” Jenny Le Coq, president of Le Coq & Associates, a marketing and communications firm in San Francisco that represents Kikoko cannabis-infused botanical mints, points out that most people typically don’t seek out a cheap bottle of wine, but look for something fine, trustworthy, and familiar. They want to know the winery, its reputation, who recommends the vintage. “People are looking at wines today with a more discerning eye—how their grapes

With any luxury good, consumers want the assurance of quality and efficacy. Luxury doesn't always have to indicate price, but what it must indicate is quality.

are grown, for example,” Le Coq says. “People are looking at cannabis in the same way: with a discerning eye.” “Discerning” can add up to big money, for sure. Anecdotal stories abound in national media outlets, suggesting couples in Colorado will drop several bills on “cannagars” and other high-end party favors to celebrate weddings and anniversaries. At The High End, Barneys New York’s luxury cannabis lifestyle shop in Beverly Hills, shoppers can splurge on a $1,475 sterling silver bud grinder or a $950 water pipe. New York fashion brand Alice + Olivia partnered with luxury cannabis brand Kush Queen to debut a CBD wellness line earlier this year—bath bomb, body lotion, bubble bath with lavender. Alice + Olivia packaging features CEO Stacey Bendet’s signature “StaceFace” motif, with big sunglasses and a bold red lip. A timeless statement-making style that trendsetters of every era make their own while trendy types try to emulate the overall aesthetic. That’s just the way things work. To be fair, luxury doesn’t have to mean $$$$. What it must indicate, however, is quality. “Luxury is an assigned

label. It is typically assigned by marketers,” Le Coq says. “So, what do you want cannabis to be? As a consumer, how do you perceive luxury? The concept is really defined differently by every person. We want people to experience something that is luxurious. Not only the packaging is beautiful, the taste is beautiful, the place you are put into mentally is a nice, beautiful place.”

DECEM BER 2019

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lori Tobias is a lifelong journalist based on the Oregon Coast, where she lives with her husband, Chan, and two rescue pups, Luna and Monkey.

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I’ll Be Fresh for the Holidays Feeling overloaded by all that rich food? Chef Eric Stenberg gives you green options that will keep you happy and healthy between all the gravy. TEXT LEANDRA ROMERO

Between Thanksgiving dinner and sugary holiday treats, a healthy, fresh option during the wintertime is just what the body needs this season. Chef Eric Stenberg, head chef of the Landmark at Old Town La Quinta, shows us how he combines the flavors of marinated shrimp, charred grilled peaches, and the earthiness of his homemade shiitake dressing to create a colorful symphony of natural flavors.

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MEET THE CHEF Eric Stenberg may be new in town, but heʼs a veteran in his craft. He formerly owned one of the first farm-totable restaurants in Bozeman, Montana. His fresh take on local produce earned him recognition from David Rockefellerʼs daughter, Peggy Dulany, who has Stenberg prepare meals for her nonprofit retreat in southern Montana every year.

Arugula Salad with Grilled Shrimp and Shiitake vinaigrette

I N G R ED I EN TS For the grilled shrimp

12–24 shrimp Zest of 1 lemon, 1 lime, and 1 orange 2 cloves garlic, chopped 1 shallot, chopped 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil For the shiitake vinaigrette

4 dried shiitake mushrooms 2 teaspoons sesame seeds 1⁄3 cup avocado oil 1⁄4 cup apple cider vinegar 1 tablespoon tamari 2 teaspoons sesame oil 2 teaspoons garlic 1 tablespoon miso

For the salad

3 cups arugula 2 hard-boiled eggs, cut into quarters 2 fresh peaches (sub nectarines if peaches aren’t in season) 1 avocado, thinly sliced Asiago, shaved DIRECTION S

• Combine shrimp, citrus zests, garlic, shallot, and oil in a medium sized pot. Let marinate for 3 hours. • In a small pot, bring water to a boil. Pour over shiitake mushrooms and let steep for 1 hour.

• Combine shiitakes, garlic, cider vinegar, miso, and tamari in a food processor. • Process until smooth. Slowly add avocado oil and sesame oil to emulsify. • Add sesame seeds and season to taste. Pour dressing into a bottle or serving bowl. • Set grill to medium. Transfer shrimp to grill, and grill until cooked through. • Add peaches and grill until grill marks appear. • Place arugula, eggs, fruit, and shrimp in a bowl. Dress with shiitake vinaigrette. • Arrange on a chilled plate.

Garnish with avocado and Asiago. Enjoy! RECIP E NOT E

• If you have shellfish allergies, or if shrimp just isn’t your thing, you can always substitute an equal amount of natural chicken breast or grass-fed flatiron steak, grilled in all the same seasonings.

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Cultural Calendar

It’s time to get out and enjoy the season of warmth and cheer where it really is warm.

TEXT LEANDRA ROMERO

December in the desert is not exactly the winter wonderland you might imagine when the holidays come to mind. But just like everything else in the Valley, all the experiences and events are hidden gems that attract visitors from all around, even if it means trading their traditional Christmas trees for palm trees. From the millions of twinkling WildLights at The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens to the Tamale Festival in Indio, holiday cheer is spread from the east end of the Coachella Valley to the west. Get ready to fill your belly with culturally rich food and create new memories with family, friends, or lovers. ’Tis the season to discover all the holiday events happening in your own backyard. 46 COACH ELLA VA LLEY

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Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony Dec. 1 Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Palm Springs pstramway.com

WildLights Dec. 6-7, 13-14, 20-24, 26-28 The Living Desert Zoo Palm Desert livingdesert.org

All is bright at the annual WildLights event at The Living Desert Zoo. Grab a sweet treat and a hot chocolate (with a splash of Baileys if you’re over 21) as you stroll through the gleaming lights.

There will be plenty of live entertainment, arts and crafts, and animal encounters. Santa Claus is also known to make a guest appearance every year.

Great Russian Nutcracker Performance Dec. 3 McCallum Theatre Palm Desert mccallumtheatre.com

North Pole Village at Snow-Fest Dec. 4 Cathedral City Civic Center Cathedral City snowfest.us


LEFT: WILDLIGHTS BELOW: LA QUINTA TREE LIGHTING RIGHT: GOLDEN GRAPES FEST

Old Dominion Concert Dec. 6 Fantasy Springs Resort $49–$129 Indio fantasyspringsresort.com

Indio Palm Springs Festival of Lights Parade Dec. 7 Palm Canyon Drive Palm Springs psfestivaloflights.com

City of La Quinta International Tree Lighting Tamale Festival Dec. 6 La Quinta Civic Center Campus La Quinta playinlaquinta.com

Desert VegFest Dec. 7 University of California, Riverside Palm Desert $4 at the door, $3 online desertvegfest.com

Comedian Jim Gaffigan Dec. 7 The Show at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Rancho Mirage hotwatercasino.com

Dec. 7–8 Indio City Hall Indio tamalefestival.net

Loosen your belt and grab a plate at the world-renowned Tamale Festival. With more than 300 vendors, it’s ranked top-10 All-American food festivals in the nation by the Food Network. There will be plenty to do and see, including a best-recipe competi-

tion and tamale-eat- Idyllwild, and the ing contest along Sierra Foothills. with live entertainDon’t expect to see ment and carnival well-known brands rides. Admission but rather discover is free and parking new options from is available for no our own state. charge at the Larson Justice Center. Concert: The

Golden Grapes Wine Festival Dec. 8 Ace Hotel & Swim Club Palm Springs pswinefest.com

California winemakers are uniting for the Golden Grapes Wine Festival for the second year in a row. It’s a celebration of diversity in the wine world, with crafters from unlikely places like Mendocino,

Colors of Christmas Dec. 13 McCallum Theatre Palm Desert mccallumtheatre.com

A Charlie Brown Christmas Live on Stage Dec. 14 Fantasy Springs Resort Indio fantasyspringsresort.com

Desert Art Festival

Star Party at the Monument Dec. 21 Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Palm Desert desertmountains.org

Light Dec. 27 PS Underground Palm Springs Tickets on eventbrite.com

PS Underground hosts this all-inclusive avant-garde dinner experience with food and libation pairings. Guests are asked to wear white, but other details of the evening are kept secret.

Dec. 14–15 Frances Stevens Park Palm Springs

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THE END

Chalk It Up Colorful new crosswalks in Palm Desert are meant to keep you safe—no matter how distracting you find them.

It’s impossible not to notice the colorful crosswalks on El Paseo in Palm Desert. That’s why everyone’s talking about them. Some pedestrians dig the new look while

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others, especially some local business owners, find them “distasteful” for the upscale shopping district. But this is more than street art: The surprisingly controver-

sial color pop on Palm Springs’s streets is the first wave of a $950,000 demonstration project that aims to create a safe and pedestrian-friendly environment. Oth-

er improvements for the project include new crosswalks, wheelchair ramps, and solar panel pedestrian signals. Color us impressed.

PHOTO CREDIT: LEANDRA ROMERO

TEXT LEANDRA ROMERO


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Sensi Magazine December 2019 - Coachella Valley Digital Edition