I N O RT H BAY J A N 2020
Tender tales from your friendly neighborhood budtender
OK, BOOMER The viral phrase that’s dividing generations
BOWIE’S BRILLIANCE A career in review
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NORTH BAY SENSI MAGAZINE JANUARY 2020
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F E AT U R E S
Skip the head shop and head to your nearest holistic dispensary.
Is “OK, boomer” a slur, a sign of generational conflict, or just a meme-able mic drop?
These six ridiculous cannabis restrictions are still in effect around the country.
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 TREAT YO’SELF Topicals to top your self-care shopping list KOM-BREW-CHA Mother mushroom beer blends CANDIDATES ON CANNABIS
Presidential hopefuls share their thoughts on legalization. SENSIBILITIES Our editor-in-chief’s hottest hits of the month
34 THE LIFE Contributing to your
health and happiness BEAN COUNTING Steve Sando helps preserve heirloom bean crops. DAVID BOWIE A brief retrospective on a culture-shifting career
40 THE SCENE Hot happenings and hip
ON THE COVER Your friendly neighborhood budtenders are happy to help you find wellness. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY JOSH CLARK ORIGINAL PHOTO VIA MERCY WELLNESS
hangouts around town CALENDAR Kick off a new decade with pugs, pours, and ping-pong.
50 THE END
On the wide-open spaces of Marin County parks
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that got me my PhD
and just about every other personal achievement in life has always been “Doing exactly what you want to do doesn’t get you exactly where you want to be.” Needless to say, I’d make a terrible Buddhist. Living in the moment has always felt irresponsible and, quite frankly, scary. I’ve always believed the future is built like every other tangible—one brick at a time. But, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to accept that such thinking assumes a certain amount of control that I’ve learned I don’t always have. I think of all those pedigreed political strategists who probably got very drunk and disavowed their data on November 9, 2016. Or my friend who was just diagnosed with late stage 4 brain cancer just days after returning from hiking 65 miles of the Camino de Santiago in Spain. The future does not belong to us. As Joni Mitchell reminds us, “We are captive on the carousel of time.” This is sobering, but also freeing for two reasons, and both of them come down to control. Carousels, like time, don’t go backward, only forward. You have no power to change that. Luckily, forward is a great place to head because it’s made of pure potential. “Exactly where we want to be” is not a static point. We are never locked into the future. I have a new mantra these days: “Channel your inner Bowie.” David Bowie spent his life becoming someone else—his future self. He committed to evolving as a lifestyle and life purpose. To letting go of goals that didn’t serve him anymore instead of pursuing a trajectory that felt out of step with his potential future self. He taught us that stepping consciously outside of our comfort zones is as effective a form of bricklaying as working diligently inside of them. After all, that’s when things get interesting. So, to all you Sensi readers out there looking for sage wisdom for 2020, I’ll leave you with the words of Bowie that bumped my lifelong mantra to the curb. Hope they bring you as much joy as they’ve brought me: “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.”
Luckily, forward is a great place to head because it’s made of pure potential. “Exactly where we want to be” is not a static point. We are never locked into the future.
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“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world.” —Neil Gaiman, author
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Annual percentage of New Yearʼs resolutions that are still kept after Feb. 1.
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Combine a mother mushroom and hops and you get a drink that blends the best of kombucha and beer. Kombucha is that increasingly popular drink that owes its probiotic properties and tangy taste to a mother fungus. Beer is, well, you know. Kombucha can contain small amounts of alcohol due to fermentation, and it also mixes well into a cocktail, but Unity Vibration has taken the pairing one step further with its kombucha beers. They combine the healthy tonic with organic hops and fruit flavors ranging from ginger to peaches to elderberries to create a concoction thatʼs easy to sip. Just be prepared: it packs a whopping 8 to 9.1 percent ABV. The Bourbon Peach is the beer snobʼs favorite, and the Raspberry is a crowd pleaser. unityvibrationkombucha.com
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Question: What was the first New Year’s resolution you broke last year?
JENNIFER MICHAELS STUART FURTWANGLER
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I promised I’d stop acting like a groupie, then I saw Dave Schools (bassist for jam band Widespread Panic) at Costco at Rohnert Park.
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The first New Year’s resolution I made and broke was to smoke less green and eat more greens.
To stop swearing…as much. I only lasted a #$@%! week!
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My resolution to make New Year’s resolutions. I plumb forgot! I vow to vow for 2020.
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___________________ Not getting angry that I suck at bowling.
there might be an alternative... policies around this are not based on science or reason, theyʼre based on habit and in some cases prejudice, and we have an opportunity to change that.”
Pete Buttigieg discusses cannabis.
Candidates on Cannabis
These soundbites from speeches and interviews give you an idea where these Democratic presidential hopefuls stand. 12 N O RT H BAY
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Joe Biden: “The truth of the matter is, thereʼs not nearly been enough evidence that has been acquired as to whether or not it is a gateway drug. Itʼs a debate, and I want a lot more before I legalize it nationally.” (In a press call to the Nevada Independent.) Pete Buttigieg: We also see a lot of chronic pain conditions that are being medicated with opioids where
Elizabeth Warren: “If we talk about criminal justice reform, we need to start with the things we make illegal. One of the best places we could start with is the legalization of marijuana.” Andrew Yang: “We need to resolve the ambiguity and legalize marijuana at the federal level. This would improve safety, social equity, and generate tens of billions of dollars in new revenue based on legal cannabis businesses.”
PHOTO BY KYLE JAEGER AND MARIJUANA MOMENT
Bernie Sanders: “Weʼre going to legalize marijuana and end the horrifically destructive war on drugs.... It has disproportionately targeted people of color and ruined the lives of millions of Americans.”
“The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say— we will never forgive you.” —Greta Thunberg, activist
SENSIBILITIES WHAT MATTERS THIS MONTH BY STEPHANIE WILSON
1 GOALS ARE THE NEW RESOLUTIONS. And since we’re in a new decade, let’s set loftier targets, hit them, surpass them. Where do you want to be in 2025? 2030? Start manifesting the life you want. In the shorter term, however… ______ 2 MANIFEST THE OUTFITS YOU WANT by signing up for Nuuly clothing rental
from Free People’s parent co. For just $88/mo., you get six temporary additions to your wardrobe—perfect excuse to try out new trends.
______ 3 BE EXTRA EXTRA. I resolved to be just that at the start of last year. Met that
goal and have a photo of the statement jacket I borrowed from Nuuly as proof. See @stephwilll if you’re curious just how extra “extra extra” is.
______ 4 SEE ALSO: posts about my apartment/urban jungle. ______ 5 PUTTING IT OUT THERE NOW. I’m setting my first intention for 2020: I will get my place featured on Apartment Therapy as a home tour this year. Boom.
______ 6 WANNA BE MY GOAL BUDDY? DM or post a comment—we’ll start a club.
One with books and discussions involved. Community and knowledge will result. We’ll call it…The Book Club. Let’s do this.
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(BUD) TENDER Tales
Skip the head shop and head to your nearest holistic health dispensary. TEXT PATTY MALESH
ost days I thought of budtenders as reference librarians. As a customer, I knew enough to ask the right kinds of questions—How long before this product takes effect? Which products are sativa heavy? But what I really needed were my personal experts in the field to give me their insight and suggestions to help me feel comfortable committing to a product. This is partially why I felt no shame taking my freshly Californicated 61-year-old straight-shooting corporate boss to her first dispensary. She dug it. “I’ve never done this before,” she said to the budtender brusquely with an upward tug of her jeans, a clap of her hands, and a dead set stare. She could be intimidating. Our budtender was amused and game. Of course, I wasn’t that concerned. We had just gotten off of BART in the Castro en route to the Castro Street Fair, walking alongside a boomer who was totally naked ’cept for his sneakers and backpack. I thought a dispensary wouldn’t be that much of a leap. A year later, almost to the day, my boss was diagnosed with late stage 4 brain cancer, and I saw something very different in our dispensary experiences. Dispensaries in a post-possibly-legal-sorta-kinda-but really-for-realz-legal America are not the head shops of yesteryear. And budtenders are not graduates of Ridgemont High. The relationships that cannabis consultants develop with their clients, new and recurring, are much more complicat-
Budtenders featured in the story can be found at the following dispensaries Mercy Wellness Cotati mercywellness.com SPARC Santa & Sebastopol sparc.co Flora Terra Santa floraterraca.com *First names were used to protect the privacy of the budtenders interviewed for this article.
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ed. And symbiotic. Budtenders are the community welcoming committee, especially if we are “community-curious” rather than card-carrying members. Dispensary culture is deeply invested in building and supporting community and, as the faces on the front lines, budtenders are empathetic educators and therapeutic consultants. The cannabis industry is a refreshing outlier to most other contemporary cultural trends. Not surprisingly, those who gravitate toward dispensary careers share certain values. Josh, a member consultant at SPARC in Sonoma county, is just one of the many budtenders I spoke with who prioritizes listening to clients as paramount. Clients know their own wants and needs best but head to dispensaries in search of the expertise of budtenders who are more familiar with product specifics and more patient with “community-curious” members. Allison, a budtender at Mercy Wellness of Cotati, also embraces her role as educator and dispensaries as “places for questions and comfort” for every client on their “journey to wellness.” Her
colleague Paul sees it in simpler terms, “I sell medication to those who need help, and I give happiness to those who want to relax.” And budtenders get it in return. Sage, a budtender at Flora Terra in Santa Rosa, loves her connections with first timers, especially the out-of-staters. “It’s really fun walking them around, showing them all these products they’ve never seen or heard of...seeing their reaction.” First timers make up a significant portion of dispensary clientele partially because of dispensary culture. Being able to ask questions in a safe and supportive judgement-free environment is one of the most appealing aspects of the dispensary experience. Practically speaking, budtenders foster this environment because they connect with clients personally. In a time when there is not time, they take the time. Paul-Henri’s favorite days at Mercy Wellness are the days his regular client—and Star Wars superfan—brings in their newest Star Wars collectibles to show
Budtenders behind the reception desk at Flora Terra dispensary
the crew. Also at Mercy Wellness, Emma found a favorite client in a former anti-cannabis advocate and “my horse’s best friend’s dad,” who embraced topical pain relief products because of conversations they shared in the stables. The dispensary experience, if we can be monolithic about it, is one of shared learning. Budtenders are not just consultants, they are consumers. They are fellow community members who connect with and learn from clients because they too are clients. Whether we call them budtenders or cannabis consultants, they believe in what they prescribe, take that responsibility
“I sell medication to those who need help, and I give happiness to those who want to relax.” -Paul
FROM RIGHT: Paul and his fellow budtenders— Emma and Cari—on the front line at Mercy Wellness
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seriously, and often speak from personal experience. Brandon (of Mercy Wellness), connected most with a patient who came in looking for something to mitigate epileptic seizures. Brandon also has epilepsy, and it’s one of the reasons he was drawn to the industry originally as a grower and farm manager. He moved into his role as budtender because he wanted to work “face to face with clients and learn from their feedback.” Josh (of SPARC) became a community member after a back injury in search of “some more natural ways of maintaining my pain levels.” Once he experienced relief, his investment in cannabis as medicine “evolved from an interest to a passion” as did his desire to help others who suffered from chronic pain. But sometimes it’s the clients whose experiences they don’t share that turns a day’s work into something bigger. When my old boss was diagnosed with cancer and suffered the ill effects of treatment even more so than the cancer itself, her only good night’s sleep came thanks to Mary’s Med-
ical transdermal patches, which her budtender told her she could cut into strips to microdose for pain and nausea levels. Consequently, she has now cut out one of her prescribed opioids. Cancer patients frequent dispensaries because of the unique relief cannabis can provide. And budtenders are adept at working with such clients. As engaged purveyors of customer service aimed at improving quality of life, budtenders have a bedside manner suited to working with cancer patients. Mariela, who works at SPARC and has family being treated for cancer, remembers the first time she consulted with a client recently diagnosed with cancer. “It really struck a chord with me. Once she walked away “with that hopeful look on her face, I thought to myself ‘this is exactly where I’m meant to be.’” Allison (of Mercy Wellness), remembers a similar client who was new to cannabis. Her family worked in pharmaceuticals but she
“had recently been diagnosed with cancer, had barely eaten in weeks, couldn’t sleep, and was desperate for relief.” Allison saw her “go from scared to not scared to hopeful.” That’s what it’s all about. “We’re a long way from dime bags in parks and pot brownies in the basement,” says Craig of Flora Terra. Dispensaries are mission driven spaces dedicated to holistic healing (for whatever ails you—even if it’s the daily news cycle that’s causing you pain) and staffed by product experts who are there to serve. They offer patient (and patient) clinical care in a non-clinical environment, an antidote in itself to the furious pacing of 21st-century living. As Kimberly (of Mercy Wellness) puts it, “We don’t know everyone’s struggle, so we just treat them with love.” Thanks, Kimberly. And all the rest of you tender ’tenders out there. We appreciate you.
“We don’t know everyone’s struggles, so we just treat them with love.” -Kimberly FROM RIGHT: Kimberly, Michael, and Kevin of Mercy Wellness
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Is “OK, BOOMER” a slur, a sign of increasing generational conflict, or just a meme-able mic drop? TEXT ROBYN GRIGGS LAWRENCE
aitlin Fisher, an Ohio writer who describes herself as “queer as hell, autistic, prone to sudden outbursts of encouragement” and a lover of avocados, cats, plants, and soy chai lattes, released a new book this year, The Gaslighting of the Millennial Generation, based on a blog post by the same name that caught Twitter’s fancy and went viral in 2016. “The millennial generation has been tasked with fixing the broken system we inherited and chastised for not doing it right or daring to suggest improvements,” she wrote in the original post. “If you think we’re doing a bad job, ask yourself how it got this way in the first place.” For Fisher, “OK, boomer”—the catch phrase that has surfaced as a way to dismiss stubborn, intolerant older folks—is nothing new. “We live in a meme culture, and this is a viral punchline,” she says. “It’s the new ‘whatever,’ a mic drop of, ‘I’m not dealing with this anymore.’” Most boomers were blissfully unaware of the phrase “OK, boomer” until this fall, when a 25-year-old member of the New Zealand Parliament let it fly during a speech about climate change and the New York Times ran a “Style” section piece on it. Nearly every mainstream media outlet followed suit. Establishment boomers, publicly butt-hurt, declared intergenerational war, culminating in 60-year-old radio host Bob Lonsberry calling the phrase “the n-word of ageism” in a tweet he later deleted. Reaction was swift, fierce, JANUARY 2020
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TALKING ’BOUT MY GENERATION Pundits break US generations into generally accepted categories, though thereʼs hardly universal agreement about when one ends and the next begins. Age can be a powerful predictor of attitudes and behaviors because it denotes where someone was in their lifecycle during specific time periods and historical events. “Boomers” born after 1960 were toddlers during Woodstock and Vietnam and are more likely to identify with The Breakfast Club, not The Big Chill. And the lines between millennials and Gen Z are as fluid as its members. They share a lot of characteristics and have quite a bit in common with their great-grandparentsʼ generation as well.
GREATEST GENERATION: 1901–1925 Conservative, security-oriented, grew up in Depression and came of age during WWII SILENT GENERATION: 1925–1945 Thrifty, moral, conformist, patriotic, came of age as America became a superpower BABY BOOMERS: 1946–1964 Indulged, self-centered, iconoclastic, goal-centric, competitive, came of age during post-WWII boom
GENERATION X: 1965–1980 Freedom-loving, family-oriented, multicultural, jaded, grew up as latch key kids after Watergate and Vietnam MILLENNIALS (A.K.A. GEN Y): 1981–1996 Technological, independent, image-driven, open-minded, ethnically diverse, grew up during peaceful times but lost innocence to 9/11, Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, and the Great Recession GENERATION Z: 1997–2012 Traditional, family- and security-oriented, image-driven, open-minded, collaborative, most diverse (52% non-Hispanic whites), grew up with global terrorism, school shootings, smartphones, and social media
and often hilarious. “You can’t say that, #boomer is our word,” @JazzHendrix tweeted. “But you can say booma.” Though new to the mainstream media, #OKBoomer has been around awhile. Its first recorded use is in 2015 on 4chan, and it made its way to Reddit by 2017, according to Know Your Meme. In 2018, it erupted in a flurry of tweets responding to politicians criticizing millennials and their successors, Gen Zs, and it’s now a Twitter and Reddit standby. On the subReddit r/BoomerTears, 17,400 members post “any sour or garbage logic from boomers explaining why they’re special or complaining.” #BoomerAdvice, blasting out-oftouch words of wisdom from you know who, trends pretty regularly on Twitter. And of course, there’s a viral TikTok of a white-haired boomer ranting while a teenager scribbles “OK, Boomer” (flanked with hearts) on his notebook as well as an “OK, booomer” song that has spawned 4,000 TikToks. Hoodies, t-shirts, phone cases, and stickers emblazoned with the phrase are available on Redbubble and Spreadshirt. This is not your father’s generation gap; memes
like “OK, boomer” spread exponentially faster in 4G. “We can talk to people across the world, and we have the power to create whole new movements and share information really fast,” Fisher says. “Teenagers are no longer rolling their eyes at the dinner table. Now, teenagers are joining the revolution.”
WHAT IS THIS REVOLUTION? Millennials—along with their predecessors, Gen X, and successors, BEFORE IT WAS OK Gen Z—are angry. And The term baby boomer was first used in a 1963 whether they deserve it Salt Lake City Tribune or not, boomers are takarticle about the spike ing the blame for social of births that occurred and historical factors that during the decade following World War II. haven’t been kind to the generations that followed them. Boomers got college degrees “for the price of a McChicken,” according to one Redditor, while millennials are strapped with record student loan debt. The climate crisis and the rising tide of nationalism, inequality, and economic uncertainty all happened under the boomers’ watch. They elected Donald Trump. Even to boomers, it’s pretty clear this hippie-cum-capitalist generation kicked a lot of cans down the road while they were chasing profits and partying like it was 1999 (well into the 21st century). “How many world leaders for how many JANUARY 2020
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decades have seen and known what is coming but have decided that it is more politically expedient to keep it behind closed doors? My generation and the generations after me do not have that luxury,” Chlöe Swarbrick told the New Zealand Parliament in her climate speech just before she dropped the OK bomb. Even more maddening, boomers won’t acknowledge that younger generations are being forced to operate in a completely different economy, without the equity and safeguards boomers had and with huge fear about the future. “The world is just different,” says 30-yearold Lindsey Turnbull, who owns an empowerment company for teen and tween girls, MissHeard Media. “We need the adults to acknowledge that and not brush kids’ very real worries off as hormones.” These millennials are quick to point out that not every boomer is a “boomer” (thank God!). And furthermore, anyone who is intolerant to new ideas and unwilling to unlearn their biases can be “OK, boomered.” It’s more about attitude than ageism. “I know how exhausting it can be to debate with people, especially online, who are really adamant
about not seeing another point of view,” says Turnbull. “‘OK, boomer’ just says you’re not wasting all that time and emotional energy trying to come up with a well-thought-out response when the person on the other side doesn’t listen.”
hoarded all the wealth and polluted the planet in the process; they haven’t had to witness—or deal with the ramifications of—old age and precarity for millions of working people in that generational cohort,” he writes in the Guardian. “Instead they get to revel without self-reflection in oedipal TRENDING ON angst about their elders— WHITE TWITTER many of whom were kind One of the biggest issues many people see with this enough to pass them their ill-gotten privileges.” meme-inspired revoluFisher doesn’t distion is that its guerrillas agree. “It’s important to tend to be of a type—upacknowledge that ‘OK, per-middle-class white youth—and they’re com- boomer’ is about priviplaining about issues like leged older people, baby boomers in Congress who lack of economic opporkeep voting to give themtunity and silencing that people of color have been selves pay raises but don’t dealing with for centuries. want poor older people to have affordable health Black Twitter sees #Okcare,” she says. “While Boomer as nothing more than disrespect for elders. we’re fighting against the “White Brogressives never ‘royal boomer’ we can’t cared about income ineq- ignore the needs of older uity when it was just black people in our communities. Ageism is really serior brown folks on the ous. There’s elder abuse, wrong end of it,” @Wonderbitch82 posted. and medical debt is bankBhaskar Sunkara, found- rupting older Americans. er of Jacobin magazine and We can’t point to all older author of The Socialist Mani- people and say they are the problem the way they festo: The Case for Radical Politics in an Era of Extreme point to our generation and say we are the probInequality, believes white lem. We have to open up upper middle-class youth the conversation.” who find themselves shut The conversation opens out of the housing market up for Turnbull, who lives and exploited by the gig economy should aim their angst at investment bankers, not boomers. “These young people are surrounded by baby boomers who’ve
in Washington, DC, when she mingles with people of all ages during political marches and protests. But in many places in the US, opportunities for cross-generational conversation are becoming rare as children are shunted into age-based sports and activities while the elderly are sent to care facilities, says Timiko Tanka, an associate professor of sociology at James Madison University. “As is said in an African proverb, ‘It takes a village to raise a child,’” she says. “But today, many children are growing up without such a community.” Tanka says intergenerational care centers, which are starting to crop up across the country, have been proven to be useful in reducing age-based prejudice and stereotyping. In her Social Gerontology course, students spend at least 20 hours interacting and becoming comfortable with elderly people—so comfortable that by the end of the semester, they’re playing cards together. Schools, care facilities, and municipal governments need to create more opportunities for people to share different perspectives, she says. “‘OK, boomer’ is a warning that we need to find a bridge, not a wall, and have meaningful conversation,” says Tanka.
Generationalism: the systematic appeal to the concept of generation in narrating the social and political as a way of explaining political and social shifts. SOURCE: Baby Boomers and Generational Conflict by Jenny Bristow (2015)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robyn Griggs Lawrence is the author of the bestselling Cannabis Kitchen Cookbook and the recently released Pot in Pans: A History of Eating Cannabis.
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ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT While legalization is on a roll, these six ridiculous cannabis laws and regulations made it onto the books across the country. TEXT LINDSEY BARTLETT
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annabis prohibition is falling like an old empire across the United States. Yet not all new laws and regulations surrounding cannabis are winners. There are many laws in legal marijuana markets, both medical and adult-use, that are not based on data but are in fact quite arbitrary. At best, these regulations are off-base. At worst, they are curtailing access for medical patients who desperately need to access their medication. Laws have forced patients, adult consumers, and cannabis companies alike to jump through unnecessary hoops in order to get weed. But why? Lawmakers have predisposed notions of what would happen if weed became legal. Unfortunately, many of the laws you see today were written by people coming from the perspective of a deeply ingrained “Reefer Madness” culture. Those in charge fear repercussions that are simply not backed by the data. When laws are developed through that lens, they are not likely to make a lot of sense. It will take time to iron out these regulations, but someday they will be history. Fingers crossed. Here are six ridiculous, arbitrary, and damaging cannabis laws across the country.
NO RESTROOMS ALLOWED In West Hollywood, a lot of attention has been given to the country’s first open cannabis consumption lounge licensee. The Original Cannabis Cafe (previously known as Lowell Farms) has one bizarre quirk in its regulations forced by zoning. The restroom, formerly a part of the building located within the walls of the restaurant, had to be built out with a separate entrance. The café owners told Sensi they were asked to disconnect the bathroom from the main building space. This forces customers to exit the front door and walk around the exterior of the building to use the restroom. Before opening its doors in October 2019, the restaurant scrambled to comply with this seemingly arbitrary building requirement. As far as zoning is concerned, cannabis consumption needs to happen in a closed space. It is all very confusing. But the first cannabis consumption licenses to get off the ground will undoubtedly have some kinks.
LIMITED LINEUP Yes, there is a medical marijuana program in New York. No, it is not making a dent in the demand in the unlicensed market. This can be attributed to the state’s strict regulations, which make it so the only available products are items that aren’t as popular with medical patients. Products in New York are limited to edible cannabis concentrate oil, capsules, or topicals. You can’t smoke it. Keep in mind, the allowable cannabis concentrate oil is not the same as the popular oils you’d dab with or put in a vape pen. You also can’t buy edibles that are already made with cannabis. Just capsules. New York consumers and patients do not have the option of regular ol’ flower. This tight restriction on the products available for sale has deterred many cannabis patients, store owners, and cultivators from participating. While its medical program was enacted in 2014 by the Compassionate Care Act, the state has fewer than 30 medical dispensaries five years later. JANUARY 2020
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ENVIRONMENTALLY UNFRIENDLY All the largest markets have one unfortunate regulation in common: You cannot recycle or reuse any cannabis packaging. In Oregon, plastic childproof containers are required, but once the container is used to store cannabis, it is not allowed to be recycled, meaning all this plastic packaging ends up in landfills. The Bureau of Cannabis Control in California and Washington State laws make recycling products difficult. Colorado does not have any language in place for the recycling of cannabis containers. It will become a Goliath issue if these laws are not amended to make practical recycling a part of the cannabis industry. Companies want to recycle, and they want a safe and effective way to reuse the old vape cartridges that are brought back into the store. Bad news is, because of these strict state regulations, they can’t. One solution companies are finding is to begin with recycled and reclaimed plastic, like products made by Sana. An innovative company called TerraCycle offers another solution in melting down and cleaning cannabis packaging waste. But like all other industries grappling with the plastic problem, the most impactful changes will be made top-down, not at the consumer level.
NOT FIT TO PRINT Marketing regulations for the cannabis industry are a patchwork of chaos. There remain a limited number of ways that companies can advertise, and those laws vary state-by-state. Facebook and Instagram have gone out of their way to shadow ban cannabis companies, sometimes deleting the accounts of licensed, legal businesses. Google AdWords doesn’t play nicely with cannabis companies either, offering payment ad options to very few exceptions. In Colorado, you can’t advertise on billboards, on mobile, in banners, or in handout leaflets. California allows cannabis companies to advertise on billboards, but there is currently a lawsuit attempting to ban that method. As a result of this mess, the industry has gotten creative with advertising. This very magazine is one avenue that exists without restriction, paving the way for marketing in the cannabis world.
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we bring your brand to life
dispensery design, signage and packaging www.advancementbranding.com 510.760.5172
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CASH OR… CASH States that legalize cannabis want cannabis tax money. But they don’t allow companies to have a safe way to pay their bills, pay their employees, and to store revenue. Until the SAFE Banking Act makes its way through the Senate and eventually to the desk of President Trump, there is a massive regulatory issue. Dispensaries across the country are forced to operate as cash-only businesses—in a cash-only billion-dollar industry. Stripe, Square, and other payment apps are cracking down not only on cannabis businesses, including CBD businesses, but on ancillary companies as well. Hopefully a solution will be found in the SAFE Banking Act. Cannabis businesses need to be able to lean on legitimate financial institutions. ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lindsey Bartlett has been writing about cannabis since 2012. An advocate and 10-year medical cannabis patient, her work has been featured in Yahoo Finance, Benzinga, and The Cannabist.
MANDATORY MONOPOLY Some cannabis regulations go so far as to defy capitalism at its core. In Vermont’s medical cannabis program, for example, a registered patient must choose one—and only one—dispensary to buy from. Patients can change their designated dispensary, but only once every 30 days, and only for a $50 fee. The cost is an access issue for many medical patients. Another peculiar move for Vermont: while any 21plus adult can legally grow two mature and four immature plants for personal use outside in the sunshine (fenced yard, screened from public view), medical cannabis patients must grow indoors if they want to take advantage of the higher plant count available to them (seven immature).
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Rancho Gordo 1924 Yajome St., Napa ranchogordo.com
Bean Whisperer Steve Sando is saving at-risk crops by creating a market for heirloom beans and corn while supporting farmers globally. TEXT PATTY MALESH
As owner of Rancho Gordo and New World Specialty Food of Napa, Steve Sando is a passionate champion for heirloom beans, rare nonGMO varieties that have sustained peoples of the Americas within and across cultures historically. His fascination with heirloom beans as a premier new world food drew him 34 N O RT H BAY
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to a career in â€œcreating a market for at-risk crops [as] the best way to save them.â€? And while he is deeply committed to supporting Northern California agriculture, he is also committed to supporting farmers as far away as South America, where the beans and grains he sells are best suited for growing.
In addition to being active on the Seed Savers Exchange, Sando created the Rancho Gordo-Xoxoc Project, importing and selling a variety of products from small farms in Mexico in order to support the farmers themselves and preserve local traditions. His mission, in part, is to advocate for new world food as
RECIPE PHOTO AND BOOK COVER VIA STEVE SANDO
“exciting, tasty, healthy, romantic, and possibly easier on the earth.” And he’s discovered that cookbooks are great tools for such work. His newest cookbook, The Rancho Gordo Pozole Book, hit shelves in November 2019 and showcases another new world staple: corn. More specifically, hominy used in pozole. Hominy (skinned corn) is the main ingredient in all variations of pozole, Mexico’s ubiquitous “fragrant hominy stew.” Pozole is a brothy chili-infused stew whose flavor is dependent on whichever protein serves as its base. Sando proudly proclaims it as “one of the great iconic dishes of the world...on par with paella, cassoulet, pho, and chili con carne.” It is a social and festive dish that brings people together. Sando discovered the dish on a trip to Jalisco in the early 1980s, and it has been a favorite of his ever since. So, it comes as no surprise that he gifts us an entire cookbook of pozole recipes. What else is one to do with “a bowl that makes me cry and laugh at the same time?” Chewy, fluff y corn (hominy) is key to making a perfect pozole, so he sells a tasty alternative to canned hominy through Rancho Gordo. This hominy has been cooked with a technique developed in Mesoamerica between 1,500 and 1,200 BC, Sando says. While most traditional pozole recipes call for pork or chicken, vegetarian and seafood options can be just as tasty. “As much as I love pork and chicken, some of my happiest memories have been made over a bucket of perfect shrimp,” Sando reminisces. No surprise, his Jalisco shrimp pozole recipe is one of his favorites and ours too.
MORE RECIPES Steve Sandoʼs latest cookbook, The Rancho Gordo Pozole Book, explores his latest culinary obsession by highlighting the versatility of hominy.
Jalisco Shrimp Pozole Makes about 8 servings
IN G RE DIE N TS For the shrimp and broth
$23 on ranchogordo.com INST RUCT IONS For the shrimp broth
• Peel and devein the shrimp, reserving the shells; refrigerate until ready to use. • In a stockpot over medium heat, combine shrimp shells and water; cook for 25 minutes. • Strain broth into a large bowl; discard shells and For the Salsa return strained broth 10 ancho chiles, wiped to pot. clean with a moist towel • Add the garlic, onion, 1 to 2 chiles de árbol, celery, and bay leaf. wiped clean with a Simmer for 40 minutes moist towel over medium heat, 1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed uncovered. • Strain broth again and ½ an onion, chopped discard solids. Return to ½ cup white vinegar the pot. 3 to 3½ pounds shellon shrimp 8 cups of water 1 head of garlic, broken into cloves and peeled 2 medium onions, peeled and halved 1 stalk celery 1 bay leaf
4 to 6 cups cooked prepared hominy
For the salsa
• Cut chiles in half; discard seeds and stems. • Warm a dry comal or skillet over medium heat;
toast chiles quickly, taking care not to let them burn. • In a medium bowl, combine toasted chiles with enough warm shrimp broth to cover by 1 inch; soak for 15 minutes. • Strain broth and return it to the pot. • In a blender, combine chiles, garlic, onion, and vinegar. Blend well, scraping down blender as needed. Finish
• Add hominy to broth and simmer for 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste. • Add reserved shrimp; stir until cooked through, about 5 minutes. • Stir in salsa. Ladle into bowls and serve with chile relish. JANUARY 2020
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THE LIFE RETROSPECTIVE
Ode to Bowie A remembrance of our favorite Starman TEXT PATTY MALESH
On January 10, 2016, David Bowie turned from starman to stardust, just two days after his 69th birthday. I comfort myself by thinking of his passing as just another facet of his eternal evolutionâ€”as a musician, as an artist, and as an icon.
After all, his appetite for change and transformation was one of his most defining features. But every January, I feel a bit haunted by his spirit, as if he has become the patron saint of self-reflection in death just as he was a man of it in life.
Bowieâ€™s journey as a musician was not linear nor was it safe. He did not color between the lines. And he did not record within them either. His artistic career was an exercise in showing the world the creature that was Bowie JANUARY 2020
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DAVID ROBERT JONES
(a.k.a. David Bowie) January 8, 1947–January 10, 2016
even as that creature morphed before our very eyes (and ears). In memoriam, four years after Starman Bowie joined his fellow celestials, we offer up some of the lesser known and more interesting Bowie factoids that showcase the complex creativity of this captivating artist. Bowie was a British invader. At the height of the British Invasion, Bowie’s first recordings in 1967—with Deram records— tapped into that contemporary sound. His self-titled LP, David Bowie, was not well received. Recommended: “Love You Till Tuesday” (David Bowie, 1967) “Did You Ever Have a Dream” (The Deram Anthology 1966-1968)
Bowie wrote, but didn’t release, Glam Rock’s Anthem “All the Young Dudes.” Written by Bowie for and recorded by Mott the Hoople in 1972, “All the Young Dudes” is #256 on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” and one of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s “500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.”
It took exactly three minutes and 32 seconds for David Bowie to become a superstar. On June 6, 1972, David Bowie looked directly into the camera during his performance of “Starman” on Britain’s Top of the Pops, pointed at the home audience, and changed the image of rock and roll forever. In this same appearance, he also unapologetically showcased the sexually inclusive and gender fluid identity of Glam Rock. Ask nearly any British boomer about the most memorable TV moment from their youth and this is likely to be it.
Bowie’s musical career spanned over 50 years. During this time, he released 27 studio albums, 11 live albums, 51 compilation albums, eight EPs, 128 singles, 5 UK number-one singles, 4 soundtracks, 14 video albums, and 72 music videos.
If we could recommend one Bowie album, and only one, it would be Hunky Dory (1972). In 2010, Time named Hunky Dory, along with The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, as one of its 100 best albums of all time. The first track, and iconic single, “Changes” inRecommended: troduces us to a Bowie consumed David Bowie Is (documentary film, 2013) by his own desire to evolve. “Life on Mars,” also on Hunky Dory, Bowie spent the ’90s tops The Daily Telegraph’s 2015 recording Industrial Pop. list of “100 Greatest Songs of Earthlings (1997) is Bowie’s stronAll Time” and, in 2016, Pitchgest industrial influenced album fork named it the best song of the thanks in part to the single “I’m 1970s. The recording featured, for Afraid of Americans,” a timely colthe first time, all the band memlaboration with Trent Reznor of Nine bers who Bowie dubbed “The SpiInch Nails. However, Bowie made a ders From Mars” during his time name for himself within the genre as Ziggy Stardust. several years earlier in 1992 when he recorded the title track “Real Cool World” for the techno-heavy soundtrack to the cult action/animated fantasy film Cool World. Recommended: “Little Wonder” (Earthling, 1997) “Dead Man Walking” (Earthling, 1997)
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On the Calendar
Napa Lighted Art Festival
Napa Truffle Festival
Jan. 11–19 Downtown Napa Free donapa.com/lights
Jan. 17–20 Various locations, Napa County Napatrufflefestival.com
TEXT PATTY MALESH
Burgundy Takeover BYOW
Whether you’re looking for a weekend filled with lighted art walks, guitars for sale, truffles and other mushroom magic, or Bill Nye the Science guy, we’ve got just the thing for you. There are opportunities to spend quality time with some furry friends this January: the North Bay is hosting everything from pedigree dog shows to guided dog walks to pug meet-ups. You’ll also find events to engage with women who are changing the world, one business venture at a time. And don’t panic. There are lots of wine county adventures to be had as well. We never skimp on the wine. So, get out there and make the most of 2020 from the get-go with our hand-picked calendar events.
Jan. 15, 5:30–8 p.m. Southside Cafe at Century Plaza, Napa localwineevents.com
Modern Women, Modern Vision: Works from the Bank of America Collection
Fill your schedule this month with festivals, furry friends, and fungi.
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Bring your own wine to sip and share. One bottle of burgundy (red, white, or sparkling) wine admits up to two guests. No corkage. Prize awarded for the most interesting burgundy. RSVP required.
Through Jan. 19 Napa Valley Museum, Yountville $5–$20 napavalleymuseum.org
More than 100 photographic images will be on display in celebration of the bold and dynamic ways women have contributed to the development
LEFT: MILL VALLEY PUG SUNDAY BELOW: BILL NYE, MARIN SPEAKER RIGHT: BURGUNDY TAKEOVER BYOW
and evolution of photography.
6th Annual NorCal Beer Geeks Festival
Jan. 12, 1–4 p.m. Santa Rosa Veterans Memorial Building, Santa Rosa $15–$40 Tickets on Eventbrite
Jan. 19, 4–5:30 p.m. The Meritage Resort and Spa, Napa / $30 meritagecollection.com
This fundraiser for
Big Head Todd Sonoma County and the Monsters Vet Connect is a (with JD Simo) 21-and-over event. Jan. 26, 8 p.m. Uptown Theatre, Napa Starting at $40 uptowntheatrenapa.com
SONOMA Ping Pong Palooza Tuesdays, 5–9 p.m. Palooza Brewery & Gastropub, Kenwood paloozafresh.com
Knitfest! Jan. 2 & 16, 6–7:30 p.m. Marin Library: South Novato marinlibrary.org
Black Flag and The Linecutters Jan. 11, 7:30 p.m. Mystic Theatre, Petaluma $23 mystictheatre.com
CMEA Jazz Festival Jan. 17, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Weill Hall, Green Music Center, Rohnert Park $8 music.sonoma.edu/events
International Dog Show Jan. 18 & 19, 8:30 a.m.–6 p.m. Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Sonoma Free sonomacountyfair.com
Winter WINEland Jan 18 & 19, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Participating Wineries, Sonoma County $5–$65 wineroad.com
The 2020 forage in the Bay World-Changing area at this event Women’s Summit presented by the Jan. 29–31 The Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort & Spa, Sonoma consciouscompanymedia.com
Mycological Society of Marin.
Conscious Company Media’s heartfelt retreat is designed for mission-driven, women-identifying change agents and business leaders.
Jan 13–16, 8 p.m. Marin Veteranʼs Memorial Auditorium, San Rafael
MARIN Wild in Marin: 2nd Annual MycoMarin Fungus Festival Jan. 4, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Mill Valley Community Center, Mill Valley $5–$10 mycomarin.org
Learn about mushrooms you can
Bill Nye: Marin Speaker Series
Gem Faire Jan. 3–5 Sonoma County Fairgrounds, Santa Rosa $7 Jan. 17–19 Marin Center Exhibit Hall, San Rafael Free gemfaire.com
Mill Valley Pug Sunday Jan. 19, 9–10:30 a.m. Bayfront Park, Mill Valley Free meetup.com/Mill-ValleyPug-Sunday
#StopDropAndDance Family Dance Party Jan. 31, 5:45–7 p.m. Marin Power Yoga, San Anselmo $25 danceforyes.bpt.me
Amigo Bay Area Guitar Show Jan. 11–12 Marin Civic Center, San Raphael amigoguitarshows.com
Dog Walk with a Ranger Jan. 19, 11 a.m.–1 p.m. Royʼs Redwood Preserve, San Geronimo marincountyparks.org
Join ranger Krista Hanoff and her dog Rocco on a guided trail loop and nature hike. Friendly dogs on leashes welcome. Weather-dependent event. JANUARY 2020
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P R O M O T I O N A L F E AT U R E C O N V E R G E N C E L A B O R AT O R I E S
Convergence Laboratories Ensure all your products pass testing at this state-of-the-art women-owned lab “We strive daily to set in Santa Rosa.
s one of the few women owned and run cannabis laboratories in California, and the rest of the United States, Convergence Laboratories in Santa Rosa believes in overdelivering daily. Its staff is friendly and helpful, the technology it employs is cutting-edge, and every customer who reaches out to the lab improves their own business. That commitment to quality starts at the top with Nichole Griffith Barbieri, the CEO and co-founder. With more than 12 years in the cultivation industry, the longtime Sonoma County resident is passionate about helping her customers deliver long-term sustainability, both in products and profitability.
“We strive daily to set the gold standard in cannabis and hemp testing in California,” says Griffith Barbieri. “From the moment a client engages with us, we work with them to ensure that every part of their product meets and exceeds state standards.” Using state-of-the-art equipment, the lab can nail the potency levels of every product. Testing for pesticides, solvents, heavy metals, and terpenes is all done in-house and detailed microbial workups are completed quickly. But the services do not stop when the company sends you a report. No, that’s when it really delivers. By performing and analyzing R&D testing, Convergence helps cultivators and manufacturers to identify problem areas before they might arrive, such
as potential contaminates in grow mediums and nutrients. If issues arise, the company will help you work out an action plan to dig deeper until you successfully uncover and fix them. Convergence has samplers strategically placed throughout the state to quickly pick up samples and deliver them to the lab for processing. Why take a chance when getting your products tested when you can work with professionals who are dedicated to their work, know the industry, and are excited to help you succeed?
the gold standard in cannabis and hemp testing in California.”
— Nichole Griffith Barbieri, CEO and Co-Founder of Convergence Laboratories
Convergence Laboratories convergencelaboratories.com JANUARY 2020
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PERMISSION TO RELAX AND ENJOY At Garden Society, we are constantly looking for ways to make the ordinary, extraordinary. We strive for exceedingly great products, made with uncompromising quality, that turn down the daily chaos and turn up the joy. Itâ€™s cannabis with a fresh perspective.
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Golden State Government Relations Get it right the first time. Nick Caston empowers businesses to succeed in California’s regulatory landscape.
ealing with all the bureaucratic red tape in the cannabis and hemp industry can be frustrating and exhausting, but it’s something that Nick Caston, the president of Golden State Government Relations, lives for. In fact, he spends all his days tirelessly working to ensure that growers, sellers, and manufacturers are able to focus on growing their businesses and not getting bogged down in the paperwork. As a child who grew up traveling with the Renaissance Faires, where his mom worked as a sign painter, Nick understands how to navigate
that Caston has is in ensuring that businesses have good relationships with local government. When CannaCraft was wrongfully raided and its co-founder Dennis Hunter imprisoned by police in 2016, Caston was the public spokesperson and led the efforts to successfully navigate the legal issues and helped the company to reopen with local authorization. Hunter was released days later from custody. “When CannaCraft’s future was on the line, Nick led us through the government red tape and brought us out “My work of our darkest days,” says Hunter. When he is not working with clients, has always Caston spends his time working with been in the elected officials throughout California successful and with local governments to fight for delivery reasonable rules and regulations in the of some of industry. He also is co-chair of the Calthe most ifornia Democratic Party’s Resolution fantastical Committee and co-hosts “CannaBiz,” expectations.” a weekly radio segment on The Drive with Steve Jaxon, airing on KSRO —Nick Caston, Wednesdays at 4:20 p.m. Listen to his President of Golden podcast series, Above the Quagmire at State Government nickcaston.com. Relations
eccentric personalities and the palace intrigues common in politics today. Recruited directly out of college by Assemblywoman and State Senator Noreen Evans, he has spent nearly 20 years working in Land Use, Labor, and Environmental Policy—the primary policy areas that regulate cannabis and hemp. “My work has always been in the successful delivery of some of the most fantastical expectations,” Caston says. “Managing actors, directors, and designers is remarkably similar to navigating the strong opinions of Golden State Government politicians, neighbors, and activists.” Relations One area of particular expertise goldenstategr.com JANUARY 2020
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View of Stafford Lake Park in Novato
Oh, You Pretty Things Marin County’s bountiful open space beckons.
“I might be biased, but I believe everyone should visit Marin Parks,” says J Malo. Indeed, he may be biased because he spends his working hours in the parks of Marin County. As a volunteer program aide for Marin County Parks and Marin Municipal Water District, Malo oversees volunteers who dedicate 50 N O RT H BAY
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their free time to clearing fire dangers and cleaning beaches. He is surrounded not only by the beauty of Marin’s most beautiful parks but also by the beauty of its residents. “Marin residents have had the foresight to preserve these spaces for future generations,” Malo says. In 2020, treat yourself to some
time in the natural playgrounds of Marin. Go hunting for Tiburon mariposa lilies, get some serpentine soil stuck in your hiking boots, or watch the sun set over the Pacific from mountaintops and coastal beaches. You have 16,000 acres, 39 parks, and 34 open space preserves to choose from.
PHOTO VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
TEXT PATTY MALESH
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Sensi Magazine January 2020 - North Bay Digital Edition