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I ORANGE COUNTY D EC 2019

SOAKED IN CHIC Cannabis gets haute in luxury markets ›››

SOBER CURIOUS

Why next-gen parties will be alcohol-free

FIT FOR A QUEEN

The high life with Kush Queen’s Olivia Alexander


C11-0000499-LIC


SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SENSI MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019

sensimediagroup @sensimagazine @sensimag

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F E AT U R E S

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Magnificent Mycelium Mushrooms are the earthʼs most plentiful yet mysterious inhabitants.

24 Woke, Not Wasted

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

30

ON THE COVER

SPECIAL REPORT

Haute Highs

How luxury has gone to pot ORANGE COUNTY Stacey Bender, CEO and Creative Director, Alice + Olivia

D E PA R T M E N T S

9 EDITOR’S NOTE 10 THE BUZZ News, tips, and tidbits

to keep you in the loop PART OF THE ART Enjoy it at Chalk & Vermilion. LADY-MADE wellness balms sourced from LA SENSIBILITIES Our editor-in-chief’s hottest hits of the month

36 THE LIFE Contributing to your

44 THE SCENE Hot happenings and hip

hangouts around town CALENDAR Squeeze the very last drops out of the 2010s with cultural events and celebrations. HIGH SOCIETY Sensi celebrates a new magazine with the Coachella Launch Party.

SAN DIEGO Mushrooms: the edible and the dangerous

50 THE END

Expert tips and reassurances for surviving the holidays

health and happiness QUEEN QUALITY You don’t have to be royalty to enjoy high-caliber cannabis. TIMELESS TOASTS Drinks that fit any time of year (including the New Year)

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A DV I S O R Y B OA R D

55 Hydroponics Hydroponics Baileyʼs CBD Pet CBD Tincture/Pet Treats Coachella Labs Manufacturing Columbia Care Dispensary Fiddlerʼs Greens CBD Tinctures

FIND US ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Genius Products T, Inc. Recreational Cannabis Products Hellman Valley Growers Company Medical Infrastructure Specialist Navillus Real Estate Ikanik Farms Cannabis Distribution

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

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

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

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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

EDITOR’S NOTE

This year has

been a whirlwind.

Amber Orvik Director of Administration amber.orvik@sensimag.com

So much happened in 2019. It’s one of those years that’s hard to catalog, let alone summarize. If I were pressed, I’d say this has been a year of awareness, growth, chaos, beauty, community, and change. This month signifies a rebirth of Sensi, as we share our brand-new redesign. It is a labor of love we are beyond proud of. Our creative team outdid themselves, and we hope you love it as much as we do. As I look back on all the issues we’ve put together this year, the breadth of stories and the continual shifts in our industry, I’m in awe of those who continue to fight for social choice, those who fight for the betterment of people in need, those seeking natural wellness, and those protecting planet Earth by making conscious decisions about packaging, growing, and cultivation. The dialogue in the cannabis space has also extended well beyond recreational use and has spilled into the luxe, beauty, longevity, fashion, and mental well-being spaces. And it’s something to celebrate. In that same vein, this final issue of 2019 takes us through stories of industry leaders, change-makers, creative artisans, and cultural beauty, including exploring festive holiday lights and welcoming in the new year in style. Hal Borland said, “Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.” Those words are instrumental in shifting the conversation from being others-focused to looking inward. May this transition into a new year encourage self-discovery and offer insight when you look back, and may it provide ferocity as you move forward. Enjoy every moment of December, from the crisp chill in the winter air to the joy emanating from a stranger’s smile as you take in the festive holiday-lit streets throughout Southern California.

Andre Velez Marketing Director andre.velez@sensimag.com

Looking forward,

EDITORIAL Stephanie Wilson Editor in Chief stephanie@sensimag.com Doug Schnitzspahn Executive Editor doug.schnitzspahn@sensimag.com Dawn Garcia Managing Editor dawn.garcia@sensimag.com Leland Rucker Senior Editor leland.rucker@sensimag.com

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

Mandie Brice, Jude Bradley, Rachel Svoboda, Lori Tobias, Carolyn White 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 Rob Ball Associate Publisher, San Diego rob.ball@sensimag.com Angelique Kiss Associate Publisher, San Diego angelique.kiss@sensimag.com B U S I N E S S /A D M I N Kristan Toth Head of People kristan.toth@sensimag.com

May this transition into a new year encourage self-discovery and offer insight when you look back, and may it provide ferocity as you move forward.

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

Dawn Garcia @dawngarcia DECEM BER 2019

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CONTRIBUTOR

Dawn Garcia

THE

Abstract and Modern South Coast Plaza recently welcomed Chalk & Vermilion Fine Art to its remarkable facility in June of this year. Chalk & Vermilion is known for its exquisite taste and for finding the most unique pieces by some of the world’s most beloved artists. Now many of those special pieces will be available at the Orange County gallery space. 10 SOU T H ER N CA LIFOR NIA

The gallery will feature originals from the artistic greats. Guests will have an opportunity to view works that have changed the creative landscape throughout time from those who pushed boundaries in the art world and made significant social statements that have forever impacted the tales told in history. This fall, patrons of the arts as well as D EC EMB ER 2019

anyone with a curiosity about the worlds of Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Alexander Calder, Keith Haring, Salvador Dali, and Marc Chagall are invited to share in this special exhibition. Celebrating the third exhibition at South Coast Plaza, Chalk & Vermilion, which began in 1978, has been instrumental in exhib-

iting masterworks for more than 40 years, lending to more than 200 exhibitions around the globe as well as to 30 world-renowned museums such as the Louvre, the Centre Pompidou, the Metropolitan, the Whitney, The National Gallery, the Tate, and the Hermitage. 3333 Bristol St. / Costa Mesa chalk-vermilionfineart.com

COURTESY OF CHALK & VERMILION

Orange County invites you to be a part of the art.


Female Strong

One company is creating a space in CBD and hemp that brings women together.

BY THE NUMBERS

$1.035 TRILLION IN SPENDING

is estimated this holiday season, up 3.7 percent from 2018. Source: eMarketer

Svn Space is a brand that believes there is a great need for women in the cannabis industry to come together in a grand gesture of community. Founders Monica Campana, Grace Saari, and Megan Villa are innovating the way the world sees and experiences hemp and CBD products. This year at FoundersMade in Santa Monica, Svn Space shared its passion and purpose with attendees. The trioʼs ultimate mission is clear. “Our goal is to redefine and rebrand hemp by bringing you the latest Hemp & CBD products through original videos, unique content, and storytelling,” says Svn Spaceʼs website. “For years, itʼs had a certain connotation (“Alright, alright, alright.” –Dazed and Confused, circa 1993), and we are here to reveal its truth and modernize the perception of the plant. We want to create a progressive, welcoming space to discover, learn, and share the many benefits coming from the many talented individuals and companies associated with hemp.” svnspace.com / @svnspace

4.0

CALIFORNIAʼS PROJECTED UNEMPLOYMENT as of September 2019, down three points since April.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

70%

OF MILLENNIALS said they were likely to vote for a Socialist candidate. Source: yougov.com

4.9

Focus Up! Gummy bytes for real people

Research done by the American Heart Association and the World Health Organization has shown that too many energy drinks are tied to side effects including elevated blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, seizures, stroke, and heart attack. One study suggested that in healthy young adults, a single 24-ounce energy drink may impair blood vessel function. That is why VPN Mega Bytes (vpnbytes.com), founded by Anthony and Roger Tyre, may be a fantastic alternative. Created initially for gamers, the VPN gummies also work great for anyone staring at a computer screen for prolonged periods of time (like writers and editors, for instance). The gummies are designed to offer functional energy (Korean panax ginseng), increased focus (AlphaSize), improved reaction time (gingko biloba), and protection from blue-light (Lutemax 20/20). The gummies are made with natural ingredients and supplements, and come in three flavors: Sour Retro Berry, First Blood Orange, and GG Grape. They are vegan, kosher, and allergen-free. amazon.com/vpn / $30 for a 1-month supply

MILLION

“INTEGRATE WHAT YOU BELIEVE CANADIAN ADULTS USED IN EVERY SINGLE AREA OF YOUR CANNABIS LIFE. TAKE YOUR HEART TO WORK AND ASK THE MOST AND BEST OF EVERYBODY ELSE, TOO.” in the past three months. Thatʼs around 16 percent of the countryʼs adult population.

—Meryl Streep, actress

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THE BUZZ

PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT

Made with Humility Humble Flower Company is women-owned and made in LA.

Committed to the healing properties of hemp and cannabis cultivation, Humble Flower Company is moving things forward by offering a line of high-end CBD-infused skincare. Founded by Thea Wayne and Jordan Darian, who met at Humboldt State University, Humble Flower is designed for consumers who take their skincare regime 12 SOU T H ER N CA LI FO R NIA

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seriously. Utilizing all-natural and ethically sourced ingredients and recycled packaging, this range of lotions, body oils, full-spectrum topicals, and light and soothing aromatherapy incorporates a spalike feel to your daily life. Essential oils like ylang-ylang and lavender are used in the body oil, and jasmine and rose oils are

featured in the body lotion to give your daily skincare a luxury bump. The line also includes muscle and relief balms. Each product has between 200 and 500 milligrams of CBD oil, offering powerful therapeutic benefits. The line features muscle and relief balms, body lotion, and body oil. humbleflower.com / $55–$145 / In stores and online


THE BUZZ

VOX POPULI

Q: What is the best part of December in SoCal?

SENSIBILITIES WHAT MATTERS THIS MONTH BY EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

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

GEORGE KARDOUSLY ERIKA VASQUEZ POHLERT MARK WALKER Consultant, Orange County

Production Coordinator, Southern California

Data Solutions Senior Manager, Southern California

I love the holiday boat parades in Long Beach and Newport Beach. Also, the city of Orange’s tree-lighting ceremony is always beautiful.

Disneyland during the holidays is my favorite. Taking my girls to see the parade, Nightmare Before Christmas in the Haunted Mansion, and the decorations. We love it!

The South Coast Plaza tree lighting ceremony and the San Diego beaches. There are few things as exquisite as sitting on the sand at the peak of winter, knowing somewhere else it’s snowing.

___________________

___________________

___________________

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.

Nothing seems crazy when you're used to it." —Sarah Silverman, comedian

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THE BUZZ

TASTY NEW SUPERFOODS

These nut butters are plant-based, natural, and damn good. Butterfly Superfoods is an alternative nut butter company that’s sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, and organic. And sure, normally that would translate to something less than tasty, but Butterfly Superfoods are anything but dull. Founded by Jared Talla, these nut butter blends are made with a blend of walnuts, macadamia nuts, cashews, and MCT oil. “I started the brand because nut butters are my absolute favorite thing to eat,” Talla says. “I grew up on peanut butter and then graduated to almond and cashew butters, but I was still unsatisfied. They were either too boring and plain, or had sugar and other ingredients I didn’t like.” So, he started experimenting. “To satisfy my own cravings, I bought a little food processor and started making my own. I wanted to be creative just for the hell of it and kept throwing in nuts and other ingredients that I loved, with one underlying rule—no sugar. For months, I made it for myself and gave it to friends who seemed to keep coming back for more. I decided it would be fun to sell it at the Farmers Market on Melrose Place and see what happened. Much to my surprise, people actually liked it. Fans now return on a weekly basis and bring their friends to try, too. It’s still surreal to me.” The most interesting aspect of the nut butters is the flavor profiles and added ingredients that make it sweet or savory in the absence of sugar and other harmful additives. Talla uses vanilla, cinnamon, pink Himalayan salt, cacao, and reishi powder. The nut butter line offers four flavors: cinnamon vanilla, chocolate reishi, original, and rosemary. The rosemary is the most surprising and interesting, though each one is loaded with flavor and pairs well with just about anything. butterflysuperfoods.com / @butterflysuperfood

Clever Little Lies Get witty with a game that keeps brilliance in mind. The best gift you could give this year is a game that combines clever intellect with a comical twist. The trivia board game Half Truth was created by Richard Garfield, the mastermind behind the iconic card game Magic: the Gathering, and Ken Jennings, the Jeopardy! world champion. The game’s art was created by well-known board game artist Ian O’Toole. A party game for all ages and people, Half Truth comes with 500 trivia question cards, each with a category on it and with six possible answers—three wrong and three right. Players bet on which answers they believe are correct. A perfect game-night choice, Half Truth challenges us to realize we’re smarter than we think. Half Truth / $30 / kickstarter.com/projects/halftruthgame/half-truth

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CALL US: 800-4FOXFARM

VISIT US: FoxFarm.com


KNOW YOUR FUNGI: Pictured is the edible and delicious Caesarʼs Mushroom or Amanita princeps. But beware: this mushroom can be confused with the deadly Death Cap, Amanita phalloides, in the wild.

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Magnificent Mycelium Neither plant nor animal, mushrooms are the earth’s most plentiful yet mysterious inhabitants. TEXT JUDE BRADLEY

W

PHOTO OF AMANITA MUSCARIA BY IGOR YAMELIANOV

Amanita muscaria, a hallucinogenic mushroom

alk down any city street, and you’ll likely see an opportunistic mushroom growing somewhere. They pepper the lawns of suburban America and turn out in droves on millions of woodland acres all over the globe. They’re tenacious yet fragile—and often misunderstood. As plentiful as they are, the study of mushrooms is a relatively young science. Master herbalist Nathan Searles, who harvests, dries, and sells mushrooms through his company, Forgot-

ten Traditions in Tilton, New Hampshire, says about 1.4 million different types of mushroom species exist. Mycologists, scientists who study fungi, have identified about 80,000 of them, with only 2,000 deemed to be edible. Ethnobotanists believe mushrooms have been part of the human diet since early humans. The Greek playwright, Euripides, made the first known reference to eating fungi around 450 BC. In the early 1700s, mushroom studies erroneously grouped fungi with plant life, and it

wasn’t until nearly 100 years later that the term “mycology” was coined. Mushrooms have been studied in-depth for only about 70 years. Mushrooms are curious organisms. They differ widely in size, shape, color, texture, nutritional value, and toxicity. Up to 60 percent of their genetics are similar to humans, and it takes two genetically similar spores, or eggs, to create a new organism. Patterns of Consciousness and a Will to Be Harvested Before you forage for DECEM BER 2019

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The Psilocybin Quest

PHOTO CREDIT: NICK GRAPPONE

More than 200 species of mushrooms, widely known as “magic mushrooms,” contain some degree of psilocybin, and various cultures have used them throughout history as an aid to divination and spiritual communication. Major medical organizations are looking at psilocybinʼs effects on Alzheimerʼs disease, depression, anorexia, OCD, grief, cluster headaches and migraines, mood disorders, cognitive impairment, PTSD, nicotine and alcohol dependence, anxiety, cancer, and Parkinsonʼs psychosis. Studies are also being conducted on healthy volunteers and professional religious leaders to monitor physiological and psychological changes affected by psilocybin. Though Denver and Oakland voters decriminalized psilocybin mushrooms, theyʼre still federally listed as a Schedule 1 narcotic.

mushrooms in the wild, learn from a professional how to determine what’s safe to consume. In California, one of the most ecologically rich and diverse regions in

North America, mycologists Dennis Desjardin, Michael Wood, and Fred Stevens registered 1,100 species, detailing profiles of 650 species over the course of two years. In

cies. Scientists discovered that as they began sequencing the genes of Western mushrooms, many no longer fit the old classifications and there so many undiscovered. California Mushrooms includes chapters that explain these scientific shifts to more casual collectors, according to Desjardin. “There are new species that are being discovered in some cases,” he added, “but also old friends that we’re giving new names the book, California Mush- to.” Desjardin continues, “The biggest threats to rooms, they document their research and discuss California mushrooms are projects like clear-cutting, how to find and identify burning, and deep digging mushrooms, nomenclature and taxonomy, mor- that destroy habitats, creating a devastating forest phology and phylogeny, fungal ecology, biology of patchwork in some areas.” The most important mushrooms, and mushthing to remember is all room toxins. mushrooms are not ediDesjardin, Wood, and Stevens have been study- ble. Mushrooms fall into four basic categories: ediing these species colble, nonedible, toxic, and lectively for more than poisonous. Not all toxic 30 years. The Harry D. Thiers Herbarium at San mushrooms are poisonFrancisco State, the larg- ous, but all poisonous ones are toxic. In North est mushroom herbariAmerica, the deadliest of um west of the Missisall mushrooms, the death sippi River with nearly 80,000 mushroom spec- cap, Amanita phalloides, can be found sprouting up imens, is an incredible in the most unsuspecting resource, and it’s where places, such as the cracks Desjardin apprenticed. in a wall of cinderblock According to the San where moisture is trapped. Francisco State News, This deadly species can before the 1980s, West cause severe illness within Coast mushrooms were identified mostly by their six hours of ingesting it, severe liver damage, and resemblance to East even death. It can grow Coast or European speDECEM BER 2019

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in places like under birch trees, along the edge of a lawn or a neighborhood sidewalk, where it’s accessible to young children. Paul Kroeger, the former president of the Vancouver Mycological Society in British Colombia, collects death caps, studies them, and warns people in urban neighborhoods about their dangers. “Long and slow is a frightening aspect of this type of poisoning,” said Kroeger in an article in The Atlantic, which described Kroeger as “a wizard of a man with a long, copious, wellcombed beard.” A key identifier of death caps is that they are slightly rounded with white gills and greenish stems. At the bottom of each stem one will find what The Atlantic describes as “a silky slipper, called the volva, which can be a purer white than the rest of the mushroom.” Amanita phalloides accounts for more than 90 percent of mushroom-related poisonings and fatalities worldwide. Mushroom hunting is a necessary scientific exploration and as mycologist Paul Stamets—the go-to guy in fungi—insists that for those who endeavor to study the curious species, mushrooms call to you and

to maintain in the body. Searles and Sparks agree, however, you cannot survive on mushrooms alone. Their dense fiber content makes them difficult to digest, and too many mushrooms will make you sick. When it comes to flavor, mushrooms are a core food for achieving “umami,” a word that means savoriness in Japanese and has joined the ranks of the familiar Mushroom soup with grisette mushrooms, a.k.a. Amanita vaginata and half-dyed slender Caesars, a.k.a. Amanita hemibapha tastes: sweet, sour, salty, and bitter. Unusually rich wild near pine trees. Shii- and satisfying, umami is communicate through equated with the intense take mushrooms are also intuition and imagiconsidered a delicacy and flavor of aged, dried, and nation. Sparks agrees. are as widely cultivated as fermented foods. Dried “Sometimes you just white button mushrooms shiitake mushrooms are feel it, and you have an umami, offering a dense in the US. Oyster mushimpulse, and it guides base and a hearty broth rooms, the new darlings you,” he says. when rehydrated. Umami in the Western world, stems from the presence broadened the playing Nutritious and field because they’re easy of glutamate—the same Flavorful glutamate you’ll find in to cultivate and grow on Mushrooms are perthe popular flavor enalmost any substrate, as ceived very differently around the world. Cultures long as it’s sufficiently in- hancer MSG. As veganism grows in oculated with spores. are mycophilic or mycopopularity, mushrooms Most mushrooms phobic depending on how have become a go-to plentiful wild mushrooms contain an impressive meat alternative, delibut varying amount of are to the region. Italians, cious in soups and saucprotein, vitamins, and Asians, and Eastern Eues and now graduating minerals and are 20 to ropeans grow up around to become the main dish mushrooms and use them 30 percent water. The at the dinner table. in traditional dishes, while nutritional makeup of No matter how you any mushroom depends the Irish and English aplargely on the substrate— slice them, mushrooms proach them with more are becoming a staple in the more nutrient dense caution. the American diet. As our In Asian cultures, mat- it is, the more nutritionsutake mushrooms sell for al value contained in the understanding of these remarkable fungi expands, mushroom, Searles exup to $5,000 per pound, so will our discovery of Searles says, because they plains. Some species are new uses in the kitchen notably high in vitamin cannot be cultivated and and in medicine. B-12, which is difficult must be foraged in the DECEM BER 2019

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jude Bradley is an author, editor, and journalist living in the Merrimack Valley. She teaches creative writing classes at Northern Essex Community College.

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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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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

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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PHOTO VIA ALICE + OLIVIA AND KUSH QUEEN 30 SOU T H ER N CA LI FO R NIA

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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.”

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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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KUSH QUEEN

Products are available in stores and online. kushqueen.shop @kushqueen

THE

Fit for a

Queen

You don’t have to be royalty to enjoy the finest cannabis.

The sweet aroma of essential oils filled the air around me. It was a relaxing mix of lavender and sage that paired beautifully with the stylish and contemporary ambiance of the all-new 6,300-square-foot Anaheim headquarters of Kush Queen. Everything about this sophisticated office is polished, professional, and on-brand for a female-led business. Its 32-product line includes CBD- and THC-infused bath bombs, lotion, body wash, ingestibles, and topicals. All products are infused with essential oils and align cannabis with the health and wellness industry. Founder Olivia Alexander and I got cozy on a pink suede couch, where she opened up about her entrepreneurial journey. Her childhood was spent in a part of Louisiana between Baton Rouge and New Orleans known as “Cancer Alley.” These River Parishes contain numerous industrial plants, making the area notorious for clusters of cancer patients, as well as people battling mental illness, alcoholism, and other health problems. 36 SOU T H ER N CA LI FO R NIA

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PHOTO BY DAVID MULLER

TEXT RACHEL SVOBODA


inside the human body. Endocannabinoid receptors are present in our skin, immune cells, bone, fat tissue, liver, pancreas, skeletal muscle, heart, blood vessels, kidney, and gastrointestinal tract. The versatile line of Kush Queen products ranges from topicals to ingestibles, which allow for absorption through different endocannabinoid receptors in the body. “I use Kush Queen products as part of my daily routine. That’s how we came up with the company tagline, ‘Elevating you daily,’” Alexander says. “Now that I have a platform, I want to use my voice to talk about these things.” And she has done so with rousing success. Her four-year-old company is projected to reach $4 million in sales by the end of 2019. “I certainly never imagined that cannabis would take me here,” she says. “I wanted to be a small-town girl who made it and have always wanted to see my name in lights. I’m so honored that it’s with cannabis and on my own terms.” Maintaining a balance The secret lies within of ambition and modesty, The journey for natural Kush Queen is still a famhealth and wellness with Kush Queen is through en- ily-run business that indocannabinoids. Research cludes Alexander’s fiancé, mother, brother, cousin, shows that cannabis exand other extended famierts its effects, in part, by ly, who all work in the daymimicking the endocannabinoids already present to-day operations. “This

PHOTOS COURTESY OF KUSH QUEEN

Alexander’s parents moved her and her brother to Santa Clarita, California, when she was 13, leaving extended family behind. With that experience behind them, Alexander’s parents were leery of alcohol consumption and allowed the usage of cannabis for health-related purposes. “I was the cool kid because my parents allowed us to ‘get high’ at the house,” Alexander says. This open approach normalized consumption and removed the negative social stigma. Having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder early in life, Alexander is transparent about her journey with prescription antidepressants and antianxiety meds. “I was taught that I wouldn’t be functional or I’d be on the ‘crazy train’ [without medication],” she says. “However, I’m a true believer that cannabis is a legitimate tool for wellness, and I eventually learned that successful people can do drugs in the morning—because it’s a healthier choice.”

“I’m a true believer that cannabis is a legitimate tool for wellness, and I eventually learned that successful people can do drugs in the morning— because it’s a healthier choice.” —Olivia Alexander, Founder, Kush Queen

is just the beginning,” Alexander says. “I compare myself to the biggest brands in the world, and I won’t feel accomplished until I have a company with 100-plus people.” More than skin-deep In the wake of Proposition 64, which legalized cannabis sales in California in 2018, CBD brands flooded the wellness market, trying to capture the sizable opportunity presented by mostly female customers willing to spend money on self-care. By this time, Kush Queen already had a jump-start on the competition, and Alexander had a clear vision of how to expand into the beauty industry while staying true to the Kush Queen promise that all products will be “handmade with love, transparency, and you in mind.” DECEM BER 2019

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THE LIFE

Alexander trusts her gut and looks for synergy as partnerships develop with brands such as Alice + Olivia and retailers such as Macy’s, Urban Outfitters, Uncommon Goods, and Neiman Marcus. Last year, Kush Queen participated in New York Fashion Week. Alexander isn’t afraid of taking risks. “Earlier this year, we went to Beautycon, which was a ballsy move because CBD was allowed at the last moment and a majority of the 5,000 people in attendance were new to CBD.”

“People buy beauty products to feel something… I want to push that boundary.” —Olivia Alexander, Founder, Kush Queen

The beauty industry is a significant next step. “People buy beauty products to feel something (usually pretty), but they don’t make us actually feel anything. I want to push that boundary,” Alexander says. “Under our makeup, we’re covering inflammation and redness. The idea is that in wearing CBD or THC in a makeup primer or foundation, we’re putting powerful anti-inflammatory and endocannabinoids onto the skin, which are being absorbed into the bloodstream.”

“The business is all-consuming, and this year I got a life coach to help find some balance,” Alexander shares. “As a start-up, working seven days per week in survival mode to the point of exhaustion is unsustainable.” Now is the time for Kush Queen to solidify its position in the health and wellness market and achieve sustainable growth through online sales, local dispensaries, and mainstream retailers. And they are. DECEM BER 2019

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THE LIFE C O C K TA I L S

Let Us Toast Cocktails made locally with timeless appeal.

TEXT DAWN GARCIA AND CAROLYN WHITE

December is a signifier of fireplaces, toasty blankets, and celebration. This month, we’re featuring San Diego local home mixologist, The Social Sipper, a.k.a. Carolyn White, who started the company with her husband, Travis. Crafting a beautiful drink is their game, and drinking libations that expand your imagination is their aim. @thesocialsipper / thesocialsipper.com

Espresso Old Fashioned Recipe by The Social Sipper / Makes one cocktail

I N G R E D I E N TS

1 brown sugar cube 2 dashes orange bitters 2 ounces bourbon 1 ounce chilled espresso Orange peel for garnish

IN STRUCTION S

• Add the sugar cube to a mixing glass. Wet it down with orange bitters and gently muddle until the sugar cube is broken down. Add the chilled espresso and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the bourbon and

ice to the mixing glass and stir to chill. Strain into a glass over fresh ice. Add orange peel for garnish. • Note: This drink can be built directly in a double old-fashioned glass as well.

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CDPH-10002269


THE LIFE C O C K TA I L S

This spiced mimosa is a fall take on a classic cocktail. Opting for apple cider instead of orange juice, this drink is warm and cozy. Amping up its “fall-ness” is Malabar Spiced Liqueur, which lends a punch of flavor from spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves.

MEET THE MIXOLOGIST Carolyn White is a San Diego–based home mixologist and content strategist sharing simple everyday recipes and creating Insta-worthy cocktails. She and her husband, Travis, created The Social Sipper as a way to share their creations using ingredients that can be found at your local grocer.

Spiced Apple Cider Mimosa Recipe by The Social Sipper / Makes one cocktail

INGREDIENTS

INST RUCT I O N S

Water for rim 1 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1⁄3 cup 100 percent apple cider 1⁄2 ounce Malabar Spiced Liqueur 2⁄3 cup dry champagne or sparkling wine Apple slice and cinnamon stick for garnish

• Combine sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Rim a champagne glass with cinnamon sugar by coating the rim with water then dipping it in the cinnamonsugar mixture. Add apple cider, Malabar Spiced Liqueur, and champagne to the glass. Garnish with an apple slice and cinnamon stick.

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THE

On the Calendar Embrace the last month of the decade in the way only Southern Californians can. TEXT DAWN GARCIA

Now that the weather is giving way to cooler climates, happy festivities, beautifully strewn lights, new art exhibitions, and outdoor ice skating rinks, get out there and have some fun. 44 SOU T H ER N CA LI FO R NIA

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Winter Fest OC Through Jan 5 OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa winterfestoc.com

Who says snow doesn’t fall in the cities of Orange County? This month welcome back the Winter Festival. Fresh blown snow, outdoor ice skating, high tea, and fireworks.

ART + CULTURE Silver Exhibition Through Jan. 11 Irvine Fine Arts Center Photography Lab, Irvine irvinefinearts.org

Spanning several galleries in the Irvine Fine Arts Center, this photography exhibition features 20 local artists.


Break Down, Build Up Through Feb. 9 Great Park Gallery, Irvine ocgp.org/arts

This two-person exhibition by Daniel Dove and Marie Thibeault reflects on consumption, industrialization, and exploration of our relationship to the natural environment.

parade featuring bright light displays honoring the nostalgic world of comic books and the convention that has become a mainstay for fans.

Nick Offerman Dec. 14 San Diego Balboa Theatre, San Diego $56–$66 sandiegotheatres.org

HOLIDAY FESTIVITIES Sawdust Winter Fantasy Annual Parade of Lights Dinner Dec. 8 and 15 Maritime Museum of San Diego, San Diego $25–$60 sdmaritime.org

Celebrating 50 years of Comic-Com, the Maritime Museum of San Diego is hosting two Sunday dinners. Come aboard the 1904 steam yacht Madea to enjoy the boat

Laguna Playhouse, Laguna Beach $40–$80 lagunaplayhouse.com

Lythgoe Panto Theatre presents a playful musical twist of a classic tale, starring John O’Hurley (Seinfeld’s J. Peterman) as Captain Hook and Ashley Argota (of True Jackson VP) as Tinkerbell.

Dimensions of Form: Tamayo and Mixografia Through Jan. 19 Bowers Museum, Santa Ana bowers.org

Peter Pan and Tinkerbell: A Pirate’s Christmas

Laguna Beach $4–$8 sawdustartfestival.org

See unique artists, carolers, holiday shops, and a winter wonderland.

Brea Neighborhood Holiday Lights Brea

Head for Birch Street and Kraemer Boulevard and Shadetree Circle (near Lambert Road and Wandering Lane). The entire neighborhood joins in at this local holiday decoration spot.

packages include 15 percent off on 2 nights, 2 holiday cocktail certificates, and late check-out—and Omni will make a donation to Feeding America.

NEW YEAR’S EVE Celebrate at Back Bay Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina, Newport Beach $79–$139 visitnewportbeach.com

New Year’s Eve in Harvest The Ranch at Laguna Beach, Laguna Beach $125 per person theranchlb.com/holidays

Enjoy a night with champagne toast, confetti drop, and dancing to the Shawn Jones Band.

On with the Show: The Roaring 2020s The Lafayette Hotel, Swim Club & Bungalows, San Diego $45–$80 lafayettehotelsd.com

Omni La Costa Resort & Spa Carlsbad omnihotels.com/hotels/ san-diego-la-costa

Celebrate the merry times and help put an end to hunger in America. Special room

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THE SCENE

COACHELLA VALLEY LAUNCH PARTY WHERE: SAGUARO HOTEL, PALM SPRINGS WHEN: OCTOBER 11, 2019 PHOTOS: ERICK LEMUS / INFUSED DIGITAL SOCIAL: @SENSIMAGAZINE

W

HIGH SOCIETY

Welcome to the Family

Southern California welcomed fall as Sensi magazine welcomed the launch of its Coachella Valley edition. To celebrate, more than 700 guests, dozens of cannabis brands and media partners, and even La Quinta Council Member John Peña came out to support the launch. The night was one of community, passion for the cannabis industry, and a wonderful expansion of the Sensi family.

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P R O M O T I O N A L F E AT U R E GENIUS PRODUCTS

a healing mechanism without letting it interfere with their work. “We want to provide a level of sophistication with our products,” says Clifford. The look and feel of Gen!us THC aligns with that goal. Packaging comes in bright, Instagram-friendly colors, and the products themselves range from flower and pre-rolls to vape cartridges and disposable vape pens. The plan is to launch additional brands later this summer, with a focus on reaching the natural wellness market. That includes casual consumers looking to introduce CBD products such as skincare into their daily routines and debuting multiple entries into the food and beverage space. At Genius Products, the secret sauce is more than just creating new brands to target different customer segments. Instead of cobbling together a supplier network, the company is truly vertically integrated, overseeing the entire product lifecycle from seed to shelf. It grows s matchmakers around every flavor of cannabis consumer.” its own cannabis and hemp on organic the world say, “There’s a It’s the same approach that beer farms that are committed to sustainlid for every pot.” That’s giants like Anheuser-Busch, InBev, and ability. It has dedicated design teams true even in cannabis. SABMiller take: find your customer by dreaming up new product lines, and The fast-growing industry has said tailoring brands to specific identities. Genius has its first two brick-and-morgoodbye to the days of marijuana as To that end, Genius Products has a tar dispensaries opening in Los Angeles a blanket term for whatever wound range of brands focused on THC, CBD, later this summer to be one-stop shops up in the bottom of a plastic baggie and natural hemp. Gen!us THC, its first for Genius Products. and is becoming a forward-thinking foray into the market, launched in May “I think the best way to find success industry. Cannabis brands can more at Hall of Flowers in Santa Rosa, with any product is to try to impact the clearly identify who their customers California. The brand’s tagline is entire process from start to finish,” are and exactly what they want. At the “Strains for Brains,” and it caters to says Clifford. Genius Products will forefront of this new focus on targeted the creative professional by using high launch more brands in the cannabis marketing is Genius Products, the art collaborations with cannabis-inmarket. With Genius Products, seed to Los Angeles–based parent company spired photographers Maggie West shelf is the company ethos, and it’s all producing cannabis-based brands and Justin Jerrod. The idea behind about finding the right seeds for the that appeal to every segment of the Gen!us THC is that there’s a genius right shelves. cannabis market. inside everyone. Its THC products “The next phase of cannabis growth are geared toward unlocking this mirrors the culinary world,” says Chris potential. The goal is to connect with Clifford, CEO of Genius Products. “Ev- agency creative directors, writers, ex- Genius Products eryone has their own tastes, and our ecutives, and other professionals who geniusthc.com goal is to make the right products for incorporate cannabis into their lives as

Genius Cannabis Finding the right fit for the right customer.

A

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THE END

Escape the Holiday Woes The stress of this time of year can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. TEXT DAWN GARCIA

As the pressure of the holidays mounts, depression, anxiety, and stress rear their ugly heads. It’s important to remember there is no need to strive for perfection or even the appearance of perfection. That’s too much pressure for anyone to endure. Instead, let us focus on a sense of calm to ward off the less jovial feelings that can accompany this time of year. According to an article by healthstatus.com, changing your approach to the holidays is a great start to lowering the risk of sadness. “There is nothing 50 SOU T H ER N CA LI FO R NIA

wrong with you when you feel depressed during the holidays. All that celebration, joy, and good will can actually get to be a little much,” the article says. “You might believe that you are out of step with the rest of the world, but statistics say that over 40 percent of the population just feels exhausted and inadequate.” Journalist John Riddle looked into holiday stress and depression for psycom.net. “[People often] suffer from what I call HAT days—long periods of feeling Horrible, Awful, Terrible D EC EMB ER 2019

from November 1 through early January,” he says. Riddle talked to Julie Potiker, mindfulness expert and author; Bradley Nelson, holistic physician and author; and Sherry Amatenstein, psycom.net contributing editor, therapist, and social worker, to formulate a list of ways to avoid excessive holiday spending and other stress triggers. Their topline expert advice: “Shift your perspective; make a list [of gifts to purchase and decorating tasks] to put your mind at ease; bury the past; make time to move [exercise];

discover and release emotional baggage; be flexible; don’t sweat the small stuff; find humor in the madness; and experience the spirituality of the season in whatever way it resonates with you.” Following that advice can make all the difference. “Embrace the many positive aspects of the season,” says Riddle. “The simple act of making someone else happy… is just about the best way I know of to make yourself feel better, too.” No matter what you do this time of year, be kind to yourself.


Profile for Sensi Magazine

Sensi Magazine - Orange County (December 2019)  

Sensi Magazine December 2019 - Orange County Digital Edition

Sensi Magazine - Orange County (December 2019)  

Sensi Magazine December 2019 - Orange County Digital Edition