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SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA SENSI MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2020

sensimediagroup @sensimagazine @sensimag

FEATURES

87

54

Breaking In

62

Art Saves the World

70

Remedy for a Dream

76

Parties for the People

How to get a job in cannabis at a time like this

Danish artist Lilo has found a home in Los Angeles, empowering women and helping us find joy in uncertain times. Is THC inhibiting our ability to dream?

COVID-19 makes serving cannabis dinners a little more challenging and a lot more meaningful.

87 The Muse

Everybody swears by the ability of cannabis to influence creativity. But is it more than an illusion?

ON THE COVER

One of Lilo’s oneline creations, entitled “Chilling” PHOTO COURTESY OF LILO

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C ont inued DEPARTMENTS

25

45

21 EDITOR’S NOTE 24 THE BUZZ

News, tips, and tidbits to keep you in the loop

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SAFE STAYCAY Coachella Valley’s luxurious hotels reopen with limited capacity. SUCCULENTS, DARLING Lula’s Garden grows California’s favorite houseplant locally and sustainably. HISTORIC BALLOT Learn about San Diego’s (potential) first mayor to be an LGBTQ+ person of color. PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT Hello Again sleep tincture STEPS FORWARD Recycled shoes from All Birds

32 THE LIFE

Contributing to your health and happiness 32

CBD IN BEAUTY Is it more than skin-deep? BRAND YOU Expert Robyn Graham on creating a

personal brand JUSTICE How cannabis laws have historically marginalized communities HOROSCOPE What the stars hold for you

96 THE SCENE

Hot happenings and hip hangouts around town LIFE AS A LOSER Your parents’ bad diets weigh heavily on how you nibble today. HIGH PROFILE Frankie OG opens up about his childhood and what inspires his music. ELECTIONS Which states are priming to change their cannabis legislation this year? REPRESENTATION Local artist Anthony Tyson shares his thoughts on his “All Black Lives Matter” campaign running in downtown San Diego.

118 THE END #MaskUp in style with bespoke protective wear from Tailor Made Face Masks.

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REGIONAL ADVISORY BOARD

LOS ANGELES

Autumn Brands Cannabis Cultivation CannaSafe Testing Lab CBD Living Water CBD Infusions Clark Howell, LLP Legal Coachella Labs Manufacturing Flourish Software Distribution Management Hybrid Payroll (Ms. Mary Staffing) Staffing & HR Benefits Ikänik Farms Cannabis Distribution

Inclusive Cannabis Marketing Independence Risk Solutions Cannabis Insurance Specialists Integrated Benefit Consultants Employee Benefits LINX Card Merchant Services Lucid Mood Designer Highs Next Level Prerolls Cannabis Culture ONIT Sciences Cannabis Investments

Perennial Whole Plant Products Red Rock Fertility Fertility Doctor Temeka Group Cannabis Retail Construction TKO Products, LLC. Infused Baked Goods TruSolis Technologies Commercial Lighting Undoo Overconsumption Relief Wana Brands Edible Gummies Zanna USA Premium Indoor Cultivation

O R A N G E C O U N T Y/ S A N D I E G O

55 Hydroponics Hydroponics Bailey’s CBD Pet CBD Tincture/Pet Treats CBD Living Water CBD Infusions Coachella Labs Manufacturing Columbia Care Dispensary

Fiddler’s Greens CBD Tinctures Hellman Valley Growers Company Medical Infrastructure Specialist Ikänik Farms Cannabis Distribution LINX Card Merchant Services

ReNu Nanoemulsified CBD Therapy Tonics & Provisions Infused Drinks Wana Brands Edible Gummies Witlon, Inc Payroll Zanna USA Premium Indoor Cultivation

COACHELLA VALLEY

Accucanna, LLC Desert Hot Springs; Dispensary America’s Best Cannabis Cannabis-Derived Terpenes Canna Management Group Cannabis Management Company CBD Living Water CBD Infusions Coachella Labs Manufacturing Coachillin’ Desert Hot Springs; Cannabis Campus Delta-9 Technologies Automated Extraction Equipment Dr. Robb Farms Cultivation

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Escape Room Palm Springs Team Building & Compliance Training Five Star Extracts THC Infused Tinctures Grassroots Staffing Cannabis Staffing Agency Greenhouse Payment Solutions Payment Processing Green Leaf Business Solutions Payroll & HR Services Green Pearl Organics Desert Hot Springs; Recreational Dispensary Highland Oil Co. Premium Vape Cartridges HUB International Limited Insurance

Ikänik Farms Cannabis Distribution The Lighthouse Palm Springs & Coachella; Cannabis Dispensary The Micro Buddery Micro Business Nug Digital Marketing Marketing & Advertising ONIT Sciences Cannabis Investments Rukli Distribution Company Temeka Group Cannabis Retail Construction Wana Brands Edible Gummies West Coast Cannabis Club Palm Desert; Recreational Dispensary


W

EDITOR’S NOTE

Magazine published monthly by Sensi Media Group LLC.

© 2020 Sensi Media Group. All rights reserved.

EXECUTIVE

Ron Kolb Founder, CEO ron@sensimag.com Stephanie Wilson Co-Founder, Editor in Chief stephanie@sensimag.com Mike Mansbridge President mike@sensimag.com Fran Heitkamp Chief Operating Officer fran@sensimag.com Lou Ferris VP of Global Revenue lou@sensimag.com Chris Foltz Director of Global Reach chris@sensimag.com Jade Kolb Director of Project Management jade.kolb@sensimag.com Kristan Toth Head of People kristan.toth@sensimag.com EDITORIAL

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 Andrew Deangelo, John Lenhndorff, Mona Van Joseph, Jenny Willden Contributing Writers

DESIGN/PRODUCTION

Jamie Ezra Mark Creative Director jamie@emagency.com Rheya Tanner Art Director Wendy Mak, Josh Clark Designers Neil Willis Production Director neil.willis@sensimag.com PUBLISHING

Rob Ball Publisher rob.ball@sensimag.com Angelique Kiss Publisher angelique.kiss@sensimag.com

When I was a little

girl, I had a grandfather who conveyed love—not just to his family and friends, but to total strangers. If someone was hurting, he would be the first to walk over and give them a hug. He was kind to everyone, and he taught me to see the world through eyes that weren’t tainted by prejudice, hate, or indifference. We grew up lower middle class and during my teen years, my mother and I definitely walked the poverty line more often than not. It was my grandpa who taught me to show understanding even when we wanted to yell or curse. He believed one person could make a difference. I watch as the nation is torn apart and just as I feel anxious, I see the younger generations coming out in droves to stand up against racial injustice. I see them demanding compassion, climate consciousness, and an end to the inequities of this country. I watch as creatives and scholars, strangers and misfits rally together in a unified call for community and love, empathy, and benevolence. This issue of Sensi SoCal is devoted to the creative spirit of so many Southern Californians who use their voices to create meaningful dialogue, who don’t cower at the thought of what’s to come but instead rise up, raising up their brothers and sisters of all races and beliefs beside them. This is what makes this state so damn great: We use our voices. We paint. We sing. We make films and television shows. We design. We care. We utilize our activism to not merely hear the sound of our own voices, but instead to tell one another that we are not alone. These pages are intended for you. May they inspire, connect, and flood you with love and a sense of belonging.

This is what makes this state so damn great: We use our voices. We paint. We sing. We make films and shows. We design. We care.

Be bold, be brave, be one—and register to vote!

MEDIA PARTNERS

Marijuana Business Daily Minority Cannabis Business Association National Cannabis Industry Association Students for Sensible Drug Policy

Dawn Garcia @dawngarcia

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And we acknowledge that. We are firm believers in the idea that the first step to fixing any problem, to spur any change is to admit there is a problem to begin with. As media attention shifts away from the racial problems our society continues to face, it would be easy to sweep this under the rug, to not address it because the topic no longer trends nightly, despite the ongoing protests, despite the president inciting violence and blaming it on the opposing political party and candidate. But there is no denying there is a problem—parts of our society are broken. We see it play out on video after iPhone video, news report after social media post: People in positions of authority and power murder black men and women without repercussion. It’s a huge problem that we as a society must commit to changing. It is not going to be easy, and it is not going to be quick. But it won’t ever happen unless we take whatever steps we can now and continue to push forward, to push back, to create space and lift up the voices long silenced. We must do what we can with what we have. We at Sensi have a platform, and we intend to use it to lift up and amplify the voices of the people who have been most adversely affected by the prohibition of cannabis and the ongoing, racist War on Drugs. In Sensi’s culture and values statement, we outline the virtues we wanted to grow our company upon—humility, growth, giving spirit, fun-loving focus. It was not until this summer, after George Floyd and Breonna Taylor were murdered and the racial disparities in our so-

5-STEP COMMITMENT TO CHANGE 1. We want more team members of color, especially in leadership. While we have always been an equal opportunity employer because we know that working with people from a wide variety of backgrounds makes us a stronger company, Sensi will be adding a diversity and inclusion-focused leader to our core team as soon as financially possible as part of a formalized commitment to creating a diverse environment. 2. Following the lead put forth by industry-leading publications like Cosmopolitan, we will ensure that the visual components of our content, the creators of our content, and the voices featured in our content, across all platforms, reflect the diverse and inclusive world we want to live in. This includes not just race but also gender identity, sexual orientation, body type, and ability. 3. We will continually audit our editorial content to ensure coverage is diverse and inclusive across the board—on covers and in articles. We will make a marked effort to highlight businesses and organizations led by people of color in stories we publish across all platforms. 4. We will develop a specific style guide to inform our writing about race, racism, and racial issues, as well as appropriative language— again following Cosmo’s lead. 5. We will be holding required diversity and inclusion training for all existing and new team members, with details in development.

ciety were in the spotlight, that our blinders lifted, and we saw that what we did not say in our company’s cultural outline is perhaps more important than what is in it. Nowhere in the document do we discuss diversity or inclusion. That was a mistake, and it is one we are changing now. Diversity and Inclusion is now the eighth pillar of Sensi’s culture. The specific language that will define it is currently being developed, but the gist of it is that Sensi is the sum of its communities, and we must represent the perspectives and reflect the experiences of the people within those communities.

It’s easy to write any company’s cultural pillars off as nothing more than corporate bullshit. But at Sensi, they are more than that—they guide us as we navigate business decisions both minor and major. To not have any mention of diversity and inclusion as part of our culture is a glaring omission that does not reflect our values. We commit to do better, and we will begin by formalizing our commitment. These are not new tenets for Sensi; they are expanding on and formalizing our commitment to being stewards of the communities in which we operate—our homes. We can do better, and so we must. And we will. O C TO B E R 2020

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COVID NEWS

Coachella may be canceled but Coachella Valley is now open for business! Palm Springs is known for having darling design-centric hotels. Many of them are adult-only, have minimal capacity and are perfect for a great escape. In the wake of the pandemic, many had to temporarily close their doors as Southern California found our way through ongoing public health and safety issues. Thankfully, many have been given the 24

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green light to reopen and with limited capacity, Palm Springs may just be the perfect pandemic tourism hotspot! Some of our favorite places to stay that make social distancing a breeze include The Dive Hotel, Two Bunch Palms, Alcazar, Holiday House, The Weekend, and ARRIVE. For booking info, visit visitgreaterpalmsprings.com

COURTESY OF DIVE HOTEL, PALM SPRINGS

Boutique Chic + Safe


CONTRIBUTOR

Dawn Garcia

BY THE NUMBERS

Making History

4,928

Anti-racism/George Floyd protests and marches in the U.S. in June, 2020 SOURCE: Crowd Counting Consortium

$348 MILLION LOCAL COMPANY

Succulents, Darling

Record-breaking cannabis sales in July 2020 in California. SOURCE: mjbizdaily.com / Aug. 11, 2020

PHOTO CREDITS (FROM LEFT): COURTESY OF LULA’S GARDEN / COURTESY TODD GLORIA

Being green is so chic right now.

Succulents are not just gorgeous, they’re also drought-tolerant making them the number one pick for California landscapes. In Southern California, whether you’re on Etsy or heading to your local nursery, succulents are ideal for outdoor curb appeal, indoor décor, and knowing you’re contributing to the greater good. But if you want high-end Insta-ready succulents, go to Los Angeles—made Lula’s Garden. Founded by Liraz Birnhaum, the shop provides locally grown succulents packaged in a spectacular gift box that doubles as a planter. With design and environmentalism in mind, Birnhaum crafts arrangements that serve a purpose—a portion of proceeds go to safe water programs around the world. When you feel the need for some creative gardening, visit Lula’s and remember LADWP gives you a discount for drought-resistant landscapes. $10-$125 / Order online for pick-up or delivery at LulasGarden.com.

181

PERCENT Growth rate of erotica book sales in July 2020 on Amazon.com SOURCE: publishdrive.com/ July-2020-book-market-updatebest-book-genres-more/

San Diego may be electing its first mayor who is an LGBTQ+ person of color this November with the candidacy of San Diego native, Todd Gloria. Gloria is the first Filipino American to serve in the California Assembly where he has been an assembly member for 10 years. Having Gloria on the 2020 mayoral ticket is progress of which all Californians can be proud. You view his platform online at toddgloria.com. Don’t forget that every vote matters so be sure to register at vote.org.

WHEN GIRLS ARE EDUCATED, EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE.” —Theresa Kachindamoto, Malawi Chief

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THE BUZZ

BILITIES HELLO SWEET SLEEP

BY STEPHANIE WILSON, EDITOR IN CHIEF

1 ADD TO PLAYLIST: “Overwhelmed” by Royal & the Serpent. The catchy-as-hell beat gets ya grooving while the of-the-now lyrics get ya moving. This is an anthem of the times: “All of these faces / Who don’t know what space is / And crowds are shut down / I’m overstimulated…”

2 FACE IT: Emerald CBD + Adaptogens Deep Moisture Glow Oil by Herbivore ($48; herbivorebotanicals.com). The women behind the clean skincare brand are advocates for the legalization of cannabis, and they say their goal is “to enlighten and educate on the many wonders of cannabis for everything from chronic disease and pain management to its incredible skincare benefits.” $1 from every Emerald Deep Moisture Glow Oil sold goes to Americans for Safe Access, an organization that supports safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research. 3 DRESSING DOWN: I don’t remember the last time I wore pants with a zipper, and my platform Converse are now considered a dress shoe. Will I ever wear heels to work again? Heel no!

Cannabis vaginal suppositories mean a restful night.

Hello Again vaginal suppositories are made for menopausal women, and the CBD/THC combination in their sleep suppositories ensure a deep and happy nighttime. Made by women for women, Hello Again suppositories come in two options: everyday and sleep. Everyday is made for staying focused and creative during the day with an 8:1 CBD:THC combination, and Sleep is a 4:1 THC/CBD ratio intended to help curb those bouts of insomnia, and their all-natural ingredients aid the many other sleep issues women-of-a-certain-age have to battle. You’ll dream soundly, feel rested and ready for the next day, and live up to Hello Again’s motto: bring harmony back to your V-force. Available in Los Angeles, OC, San Diego, and Santa Barbara dispensaries and delivery services such as heyemjay.com, budandbloomoc.com, and thefarmacysb.com. Retails $54/8-pack / HelloAgainProducts.com

4 FRESHEN UP: Some might consider fresh flowers a frivolous

PHOTO COURTESY OF HELLO AGAIN

indulgence amid a pandemic that’s decimated my bank account, but I consider each stem an investment in self-care. Tip: Find a local wholesale florist open to the public for ridiculously low prices and an incredible selection. At Denver’s Associated Wholesale Florists (on Mississippi between Federal and Santa Fe), I picked up a few hydrangeas stems last week for $1.80 a pop.

“If you truly pour your heart into what you believe in, even if it makes you vulnerable, amazing things can and will happen.” —Emma Watson, Actor/Writer/Proud Feminist

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THE BUZZ

VOX POPULI

Question: How are you getting your culture fix while we’re all laying low?

KAITLYN RODRIGUEZ VICTORIA J. REAVES Event Planner San Diego

Designer Thousand Oaks

___________________

___________________

I’ve been participating in live-stream concerts with some of my favorite artists.

I’m getting my culture fix by following artists of many facets and Black brands that are pursuing their passion in unique ways.

I will say it’s the thing that I use too much, and LINDSAY FULTZ I need to stop, but the F-word Through food! Some of is pretty great. the best chefs around the world are sharing When you say it, recipes via Instagram including my favorite it’s so viscerally @angelzapatabarrafino in London, so now I can strong. attempt to make them at Global Influencer Marketing Strategist Los Angeles

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home across the pond.

—Hasan Minhaj, Comedian/Activist

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Walk This Way

Sustainable shoes may seem a little out-there, but All Birds in Venice Beach would have to disagree. Hellbent on getting Carbon Neutral Certification, All Birds footwear, socks and underwear are certified environmentally sound and sustainably made. The shoes are made using recycled bottles in the shoelaces, castor bean oil in the soles, cardboard in the packaging, and wool fabric. All Birds gives new meaning to intentional climate consciousness. Making running and everyday footwear that you can wear with a clear conscience, you will also have complete comfort, arch support, and everything you need in a well-made shoe. They also offer undies and socks for both men and women. Buy local and support green brands every chance you can. Allbirds.com

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CBD The Beauty of

The “it” cannabinoid is the hottest ingredient in skincare, but will it really make you hot?

PHOTO CREDITS (FROM LEFT): JACOB LUND, ADOBE STOCK / COURTESY OF SAINT JANE

TEXT STEPHANIE WILSON

The CBD beauty market is on track to reach $25 billion globally in the next 10 years—a mind-blowing figure when you consider that five years ago, most of us hadn’t even heard of CBD. I hadn’t. Then I did, and soon it was everywhere, being sold as a potential cure for everything, hawked by everyone—the gas station attendant pushing CBD gummies; the elderly neighbor talking about the CBD tincture that got him back on the pickleball court; and even the

girl from high school who stumbled into my DMs reciting practiced MLM scripts and urging everyone in her orbit to join her marketing mission, to get in on the ground level of the cannabinoid craze. I think about that girl often, especially as I click through my inbox, which received an average 11 unsolicited emails related to CBD every day of 2019, many of those pitching stories on the latest and greatest and most innovative, game-changing CBD product to hit

the (already saturated) marketplace. She’s got a whole lot of competition. And it grows by the day. The “it” cannabinoid roared onto everybody and their grandmother’s radar in 2018, and today’s infused offerings run the gamut from awesome to abhorrent. Sometimes it’s not easy to tell the difference between the two, but fret not: We’re here to help. CBD is a beautiful thing with plenty of potential in the beauty industry. Many readers have asked me about CBD beauty products,

so I put together this tutorial for you all. If you like it or if you’re new here, don’t forget to click “like” and subscribe and let me know in the comments. Appreciate you! First, the Legalities In late 2018, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) federal law, changed the definition of “marijuana” to exclude hemp—a type of cannabis sativa that contains less than 0.3 percent THC by dry weight. Any CBD derived from hemp is A-OK with DEA.

Saint Jane Luxury CBD Beauty Serum With 500 mg of fullspectrum CBD, plus 20 potent botanicals, this antioxidant-packed superblend promises to hydrate, calm redness, detoxify pores, and restore your natural glow. $125 / saintjanebeauty.com

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THE LIFE

D O N ’ T T RY T H I S AT H O M E

PHOTO CREDITS (FROM LEFT): JACOB LUND, ADOBE STOCK / HUMBLE FLOWER

CBD pillows exist. The science behind the maker’s claims that sleeping on one delivers any cannabinoids to your system, however, does not. Buyer beware.

Oversight of the popular cannabinoid now falls under the purview of the Food and Drug Administration, which retains authority to regulate products containing cannabis or cannabis-derived compounds (hemp included). That said, the FDA doesn’t do much regulating of the cosmetics industry in general, only stepping in to prevent

products from maiming or killing consumers. The FDA defines cosmetics as “articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced to, or otherwise applied to the human body or any part thereof for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance, and articles intended for use as a component of any such articles.”

Basically, anything you’d find at Sephora. So to recap: cannabis + cosmetics = legal. But are cannabis cosmetics beneficial, or are companies just capitalizing on the hype, snake-oilsalesman-style? Ingesting cannabis is known to have benefits, but does it do anything when it’s just slathered on your skin? Does it have any beauty benefit? That’s subjective, since beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all. The science behind these cannabinoid-laden skincare and beauty products is definitely not full coverage. To use another makeup analogy, it’s more Alicia Keys than Ariana Grande. But you can find worthy products that fit your needs: do some research, ask friends for recommendations, and read up on the products and the companies you’re considering. And do as any Sephora VIB (Very Important Beauty, of course) would: check the customer reviews, which more often than not offer more insight about whether a product is right for you than any marketing campaign ever could. Talking Shop Most department and specialty stores have a growing number of cannabis-related prod-

ucts in their portfolio of offerings. But to find the high-end products worthy of your attention and your dollars, start with the high-end stores employing discerning buyers whose job it is to vet products before agreeing to sell them to their customers. You’ll find top-quality lines with price tags to match at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and so on. At Sephora, you’re likely to find the most robust number of cannabis-derived beauty boosters for your perusal. Sephora’s lineup includes items such as Herbivore’s Emerald CBD + adaptogens deep moisture glow oil ($58), made with full-spectrum CBD oil, plus hemp seed oil. Farmacy makes the Better Daze Ahead CBD moisturizer ($68); Kiehl’s has a cannabis sativa seed oil herbal concentrate ($50); and Milk Makeup has KUSH mascaras and lip glosses made with hemp-derived cannabis seed oil. It’s worth noting here that cannabis sativa seed oil, cannabis seed oil, and hemp seed oil are the same thing, and that thing is very different than CBD oil. You’ve likely used hemp seed oil before—it’s been around for centuries, and it’s often used as a base in-

370% The increase in online searches for “CBD beauty” after the US legalized hemp-derived CBD in 2018 SOURCE: Allure

Humble Flower Jasmine & Rose Body Lotion With 500 mg CBD, botanicals, and pure essential oils, this silky cream delivers instant hydration. $75 / humbleflower.com

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THE LIFE

Check This List Thinking of adding some CBD to your skincare routine? Look for quality products that mention these components or practices on the label: • Full- or broad-spectrum CBD, with the quantity clearly listed. Some companies are adding trace amounts to justify jacking up the prices. No official dosage recommendations exist, but if it’s more than a single serving, expect triple digits.

PHOTO COURTESY OF PRIMA

• Organic cultivation practices, free of pesticides, herbicides, and other harmful materials • USA-grown hemp: Imported hemp may have been exposed to chemicals banned by the US. • Third-party lab testing, with results available online

gredient. It’s inexpensive; it’s a good moisturizer; and it doesn’t clog pores (so it’s unlikely to cause breakouts).

CBD oil, on the other hand, comes not from hemp seeds, but from the plant’s stalks and stems. Because it comes

from the whole plant, it contains the same valuable vitamins, minerals, and nutrients found in hemp, as well as the cannabinoids. This magical combo is thought to be why CBD oil may calm irritated skin and combat acne. CBD has antioxidant properties more powerful than vitamins C and E. It’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, and it has conditioning/lipid-producing properties that makes it a great moisturizer. Dr. Cheryl Bugailiskis, a board-certified pediatrician and cannabis specialist with HelloMD, spoke with online magazine Bustle about why our skin can potentially respond very well to CBD. Turns out, the skin has the highest concentration of cannabinoid receptors, to which cannabinoids like CBD bind upon application, working with our endo-

cannabinoid system to help the body reach a state of balance. Bugailiskis says when CBD is used for therapeutic purposes tied to the skin, it’s believed to work by impacting our skin’s cannabinoid receptors “to better regulate pain, inflammation, bacteria, lipid production (which can lead to acne), the release of histamine, as well as skincell proliferation (which causes psoriasis). While more research is needed, some studies indicate CBD could be effective in calming irritated skin and reducing redness, helping to lessen visible signs of aging, and as a potentially powerful way to combat acne.” Clearly, there’s a lot of goodness packed into one plant. And our bodies are basically designed to reap its benefits, so slather on a liberal application and reapply as needed.

Clean wellness and beauty brand Prima uses hemp-based CBD in its award-winning line, which is now available at Sephora stores nationwide. $16–$96 / prima.co

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LOR MEOMR EI PISNUFM O

THE LIFE

Bus prempor dit Robyn quunto Graham tem Personal ipis alit aut Branding exped Strategist quia cum robyngrahamphotography.com eliciet audam renit, eaquat ute

SELF-IMPROVEMENT

A Brand New You Expert Robyn Graham shares why everyone needs a personal brand.

PHOTO BY ROBYN GRAHAM PHOTOGRPAHY

TEXT JENNY WILLDEN

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THE LIFE SELF-IMPROVEMENT

but how do you stand out? Show why you’re the expert, why you’re the go-to, why you do that work betWhat makes up a ter than anybody else. personal brand? People are also findA personal brand ining their next employee cludes a logo, mission statement, branded pho- through LinkedIn and social media sites. Recruittography, and your coners won’t stop on a person tent. You have to prioritize those based on what who has a gray head and no profile pic. Just having your audience values. A that professional headlogo is very important shot shows you care about because it makes you quality and want to repreinstantly recognizable, sent yourself for advancebut the logo is not going ment—not just the dayto build the like, know, to-day grind. and trust factors. If you If you can’t afford a have a set budget and are professional headshot, looking to build a perI offer a free e-book sonal brand, start with that helps you use your visual content through smartphone to take betprofessional photography. People will get to see ter headshots at home. your personality firstHow do you start hand and how you work building your brand? in your business. Even if you can’t afford Identify your niche first. a full-blown photoshoot, You need to know who you’re serving. Combine you should get a professional headshot. Your eyes and smile are gateways to your soul. As for your mission statement, it lets people know who What is personal you are and why you do branding? It’s that infusion of your what you do. This will inspire them to want to personality into your business so people online work with you. can immediately get to Who needs personal know you, like you, and trust you. Before, people branding? would decide in person if Everyone needs a personal brand. I say this they liked you, but since Instagram and LinkedIn because even if you’re corporate, you have a hit the scene, business personal brand. You may people now meet online work for someone else, for the first time, and

PHOTO BY ROBYN GRAHAM PHOTOGRPAHY

Personal branding expert and photographer Robyn Graham didn’t always help people craft their public personas. But after growing tired of her job in pharmaceuticals, her husband suggested she pursue her love of photography, and she jumped at the chance. After launching her photography business (robyngrahamphotography.com) Graham quickly honed in on personal branding and now works exclusively in this space. She calls the career her “second phase” and uses lessons learned along the way to help others through her podcast, named The Second Phase. “I’ve learned from so many mistakes,” Graham says, “and I can help people not make those same mistakes and brand their business from the getgo.” We asked Graham all about personal branding.

how you’re perceived in that space matters.

your values, vision, and passion to help identify your niche. Once you’ve done that, you can start identifying your ideal client. Then use your mission statement to connect with your audience and get them to trust you. Branded photography is used to get your personality out there. People don’t buy products and services; they buy personality. That’s why big brands use people in their ads to represent their brands. It helps you connect with the products, which converts to sales. How do you find your audience? Once you’ve identified your niche and audience, find out where they hang out. For me, LinkedIn is an incredible tool because I want to work with

SATISFIED CLIENT This client of Graham’s is a life coach and her brand looks friendly and open to fresh convrsations.

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E DO THE WORK 

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THE LIFE SELF-IMPROVEMENT

PHOTOS BY ROBYN GRAHAM PHOTOGRAPHY

professionals. I do get business from Instagram, but LinkedIn is where my ideal clients are. From the real world to online, find where your best potential clients are and connect with them there. In the age of social media, do people still need personal websites? If you have a business, even if it’s a service industry, you need a website. People need to be able to find you, they want to see you, and they want to know what your “why” is before they call or email you. Even one page of who you are and what you do is critical. A website adds credibility to your brand. Often people just have an Instagram and Facebook page,

but to me, that’s not representing you as professionally as a website. What else do people need to build their personal brand? An email list. This allows you to touch base with your audience any-

How do people work with you on brand-building? I do a free 15-minute strategy call. I ask them to send me their website and social media links prior to our call and give them, in a nutshell, an idea of what I think would benefit them. I also offer a one-hour strategy session where I tell you how you can do the least to grow the most. You get a recording of that session and time you want. Whether then I type up recomyou’re running a special mendations. My brand or have an update to your insider program is a business, having that customized package touch point is powerful that includes a website, for a personal brand. So- photography, copy, and a cial media may not work logo. I have a studio just or a company could fold, outside Philly, but I also but your subscriber list is come into the city and I always yours. have clients all over.

SATISFIED CLIENT The personal brand of this client (top center), a fashion stylist for Worth New York, is sleek and inviting.

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THE LIFE JUSTICE

PHOTO BY RAWPIXEL.COM, ADOBE STOCK

What Does Cannabis Law Have to Do with Racism? The story of cannabis law in America is one of injustice, with people of color bearing the brunt of a system weighted against them. TEXT ANDREW DEANGELO

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THE LIFE JUSTICE

As with many things in America, the cannabis experience for white people has been different from the cannabis experience for people of color. White citizens have used and traded cannabis at nearly the same rates as Black and brown people, but Black and brown people have been arrested nearly four times as often. In most cases, people of color have done jail time while people like me were able to accumulate wealth

mid-level bureaucrat Harry J. Anslinger ascended to be the nation’s first drug czar on the backs of Black jazz musicians and Brown citizens, a tale both shocking and unsurprising for 1930s America. For 30 years Anslinger promoted racist propaganda and policy that resulted in much higher rates of drug-related arrests and imprisonment for people of color. Then in 1970, President Richard Nixon, anoth-

Cannabis prohibition was really just a war on people of color, another way to rob them of opportunity and justice. in the cannabis industry—both underground and, more recently, legally. There is no doubt that the color of my skin has given me untold advantages others do not enjoy. The racist history of federal cannabis prohibition in the United States is the subject of Fab 5 Freddy’s Netflix documentary masterpiece Grass Is Greener. With his cast of musical icons, the filmmaker exposes the story of how

er racist in a position of great power, launched the Controlled Substances Act—famously classifying cannabis as a Schedule I drug so he could go after his two biggest enemies, Blacks and hippies—and the DEA was born. Old Anslinger even came out of retirement for the ceremony. “It was never about the cannabis,” Freddy tells me, “but about the people who were using it, plain and simple.” O C TO B E R 2020

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THE LIFE

M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N

PHOTOS COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Read the full article on Playboy www.playboy.com/read/the-dopetutor-answers-what-does-weedlaw-have-to-do-with-racism

Cannabis prohibition was really just a war on people of color, another way to rob them of opportunity and justice. Ronald Reagan rode a wave of conservative promises to the White House in 1980. With the launch of the “Just Say No” campaign promoted by First Lady Nancy Reagan, mandatory minimums and racial sentencing disparities proliferated. Widespread workplace urinalysis testing arose in the 1980s, further putting pressure on communities of color as jobs were lost, income obliterated and children removed from families due to a failed drug test or a weed possession charge. As funding for the drug war skyrocketed, even public schools began to embed police and practice urinalysis screening.

JUSTICE

“The fight is trying to clean the American house of this evil infection called racism that is the root cause of everything.” —Fab 5 Freddy, director of Grass is Greener

The so-called schoolto-prison pipeline that haunts some Black and Brown communities to this day is due in large part to the unjust cannabis policies and over-policing that targeted those communities. So how do we right these wrongs now? “The fight is trying to clean the American house of this evil infection called racism that is the root cause of everything from drug wars to a lack of ownership in the legal cannabis industry, or any other industry,” says Freddy. Today, Black Americans own just 4 percent of the legal cannabis industry, while whites own 81 percent. Those in the cannabis business have a moral obligation to commit to social equity (not least because that aligns with the values the plant teach-

es us). Given the gross injustices of the past, Black and Brown people must be empowered in the legal cannabis industry to have ownership, equity and wealth created for and by themselves. This is the true promise of cannabis law reform. Kassandra Frederique, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, put it simply in Grass Is Greener: “The solution has to be more comprehensive than the damage that has been done.” Most importantly, social equity represents a sacred promise that our industry must keep to right the wrongs of the past and begin to heal the inequities that permeate our society. That promise cannot be kept until more people of color attain positions of power and ownership in the legal cannabis industry.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andrew DeAngelo is the cofounder of the Last Prisoner Project. This article is the first installment of DeAngelo’s new Dope Tutor column for playboy.com, an early advocate for cannabis rights

BELOW: Protestors in downtown Los Angeles, in response to the killing of George Floyd.

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THE LIFE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mona Van Joseph has been an intuitive since 2002. She is an author, columnist, and the host of Psychic View Radio. She created dicewisdom.com, which also has a smartphone app. mona.vegas

HOROSCOPE

OCTOBER HOROSCOPE What do the stars hold for you? TEXT MONA VAN JOSEPH

SEPT. 23-OCT. 22

LIBRA

Doors opening are meant for you. Accept all invitations because they are leading you to the next step in something important. It’s time to create your network.

made an incorrect assumption about someone (or something), so it’s time to do your research and get the real story. Avoid those with stinking-thinking.

this vibration by choice, and it may be time to take care of that one thing to finally free yourself.

DEC. 22-JAN. 19

Recommit to personal discipline. It could be diet, exercise, avoiding negative people, reconnecting with spirit, going on a fast, or taking a class. Pick something to do every day in October.

CAPRICORN

Communicate and release SCORPIO your perceived failures this You can’t do what you want month. Recognize that they all by yourself right now. are actually lessons in disIt’s time to allow others to guise. It’s supposed to be a help you get what you want. month of freedom for you, Open most conversations and the last tether is these with, “I need your help,” and old issues. then be grateful that they can and will. JAN. 20-FEB. 18 OCT. 23-NOV. 21

AQUARIUS

A long-standing situation SAGITTARIUS gets addressed this month. Give people the benefit of You are tired of feeling the doubt this month. You’ve trapped or limited. You’re in NOV. 22-DEC. 21

FEB. 19-MAR. 20

PISCES

MAR. 21-APR. 19

ARIES

Be totally committed to your work. Whether that is to find a job or rededicate to a current one, this month is all about you being “all in.” You are the king or queen of cooperation this month.

APR. 20-MAY 20

TAURUS

LIBRA, ACCEPT ALL INVITATIONS BECAUSE THEY ARE LEADING YOU TO THE NEXT STEP IN SOMETHING IMPORTANT. IT’S TIME TO CREATE YOUR NETWORK.

Stay in control of your emotions because it’s time to reevaluate your relationships in an almost businesslike way. It may be time to cut your losses and let go of what’s not working. MAY 21-JUNE 20

GEMINI

the people who don’t. Your connection with spirit will be stronger than ever and will send you signs to guide you. JULY 23-AUG. 22

LEO

You are magic this month because spirit is guiding you toward the life you’ve always wanted. Look at every single human as though they are conspiring for you to be happy and successful.

All the crap you’ve been going through in 2020 will make a great screenplay. But that will shift if you pre- AUG. 23-SEPT. 22 pare in October for forward VIRGO movement in November. This will be your luckiest month of the year. While JUNE 21-JULY 22 that doesn’t necessarily CANCER mean you’ll win Megabucks, More than ever, you’re discov- it does mean your hard work ering your priorities, the peo- is about to yield some pretty ple who align with you, and amazing results. O C TO B E R 2020

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So, you want to get a job in the cannabis industry? Better sharpen your digital networking skills. The competition is fierce. TEXT ROBYN GRIGGS LAWRENCE

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PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY JOSH CLARK / ORIGINAL IMAGES VIA ADOBE STOCK


PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY JOSH CLARK / ORIGINAL IMAGES VIA ADOBE STOCK

C

OVID-19 has turned the cannabis job market on its head. Before the pandemic hit, employers were struggling to find and retain talent in the lightning-hot cannabis industry, which boasted one of the country’s fastest-growing job markets, with a job-creation rate of 110 percent from 2017 to 2020 and a median annual salary of $58,511 (11 percent higher than the national average), according to Forbes. Cannabis companies competed mightily for quality workers amid record low unemployment. In Canada, the shortage was so dire that companies were importing workers from the US (those were the days, eh?). Then in March, it all came to a screeching halt. “For the first time in five years, we had zero job openings for a week,” says James Yagielo, CEO of HempStaff, which does hemp and cannabis recruiting and dispensary training. For a moment, no one knew what would happen. Denver experienced the shortest prohibition in history when Mayor Michael Hancock closed dispensaries and stores, then opened them a few hours later after dangerous crowds swarmed, looking to stockpile reserves. Unlike the travel and hospitality industries, cannabis bounced back in an extreme-V recovery as soon as it was deemed an essential business in most states where it’s legal. Sales have soared throughout the lockdown and beyond, and New Frontier Data predicts they could reach $13.1 billion by 2025. By the end of April, Yagielo says, job listings were back up to about half of what they were pre-pandemic. After the Fourth of

July weekend, when people began to realize their federal unemployment benefits were about to run out, far more resumes than job listings began flooding in. Recruiters say a lot of resumes are coming from people who have been ousted from jobs in other industries, people who might have considered cannabis too risky or controversial before but couldn’t help but notice that dispensaries and cannabis stores remained open—and quite busy—while the rest of the world shut down. Being deemed essential did a lot for the industry’s reputation. “What COVID-19 has done, really, is address the stigma around cannabis on the broadest scale,” says Brian Sekandi, founder of Careers Cannabis, a smart-search platform that connects talent with companies in the global cannabis industry. “Everybody was confronted with the fact that cannabis is an essential business

across North America, and that really confronts the idea that cannabis is bad. It’s no longer this nasty underground industry.” “When it was deemed an essential business, that was a big mindshift for a lot of people,” says Kyle Arfsten, client relation director for Kforce (kforce.com), which builds and manages technology, finance, and accounting teams for top employers, including cannabis companies, nationwide. “People who typically wouldn’t attempt to get into the industry are now open to the idea.”

TOP JOBS The highest-paying jobs in the cannabis industry are consultant (unlimited), COO and CFO ($125,000+), extraction technician ($75,000 to $125,000), grow master ($80,000 to $100,000), and edibles chef ($40,000+), according to Investopedia.

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All that means “a lot of people are trying to transition into the industry right now,” says JR Hindman, founder of Marijuana Resumes, which has been providing job seekers with resumes and cover letters coded for the industry since 2016. “They’re unemployed, sitting at home, and thinking, ‘what is my next move? Why not switch gears and pursue a career I never thought possible?’ These are weird times, so why not get weird with it?” QUANTITY DRIVING QUALITY In July, HempStaff advertised a customer service job in Los Angeles. More than 1,600 people applied. “Companies are running into the issue where they have an abundance of people applying for jobs, and they have to sort through them,” says Arfsten. “There is definitely an increase in the talent pool—like the old saying goes, quantity drives quality.” In addition to all the newcomers from shuttered restaurants and retail hubs, the cannabis industry was already accumulating a stable of experienced workers laid off as the young industry went through some necessary reality checks in the months leading up to Covid. After being out of work for upwards of six months, Yagielo says, these professionals are willing to take a pay cut if it means steady employment. He has seen master growers’ salaries drop from upwards of $100,000 to $80,000. “I used to tell people it would take six to eight months to break into the industry,” Yagielo says. “Now, who knows how long it’s going to be. We’re seeing people with industry experience take six to eight months to find a job.”

“EVEN THOUGH THERE’S TONS OF OPPORTUNITY IN CANNABIS, IT HASN’T BECOME EASIER TO GET IN.”

LEAN OPERATIONS Industry recruiting platform Vangst surveyed 39 US companies about their hiring intentions this year and found that 36% reduced headcount while another 33% used temporary employee furloughs in response to the pandemic. SOURCE: 420 Intel

—Brian Sekandi, cofounder of Careers Cannabis

LOW AND SLOW Wildly uncertain economic times certainly aren’t helping job seekers right now, as a lot of companies take a more conservative approach and slow down on hiring until they have a better sense of what the future holds. “Unfortunately for individuals in this market, even though there’s tons of opportunity in cannabis, it hasn’t become easi-

er to get in,” says Sekandi. On top of all the barriers to entry, the type of jobs available and how much they pay have both been diminished since the pandemic hit, Yagielo says. Budtending jobs, which pay between $12.50 and $18 an hour, are the most abundant and available. Budtending has been the most common way of breaking into the industry since the beO C TO B E R 2020

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ginning, but budtenders are more in demand than ever as cannabis retailers open their storefronts back up while maintaining curbside pickup and delivery (which became way too popular during lockdown to let go). Reviews of budtending as a career starter are decidedly mixed. It is, after all, a retail job. You have to be able to deal with the public and, sometimes, managers with dubious if not nefarious leadership skills. You may have to throw out a few people who refuse to wear masks in your store, but you’ll also get to be an ambassador for people who have never experienced cannabis before. “The pay is shit, but the perks are great,” is how one Redditor recently summed it up. “I love getting

free samples all the time. Brands and growers are always kissing our asses with free stuff, and that makes the lousy pay worth it.”

“The folks who stand out in this environment are the ones who do a little bit extra, put in a little more effort,” says Sekandi. “Put yourself out there. Be willing to EXPERT ADVICE learn and listen. Engage without Standard advice for job seekers getting something in return. The in any industry is to get out and key is to get on people’s radars.” network, but as Hindman points Sekandi says his own network out, “it’s not like you can go out has exploded now that he is no and shake hands and kiss babies longer limited by physical boundthese days.” aries. He’s constantly online taking In this age of social distancing, classes and participating in Tech Hindman says, networking has Stars programs and conferences, shifted to LinkedIn and social mewhere he finds ample opportunity dia—so you better get savvy there. to meet and connect directly with Taking an online training or cerparticipants and speakers. tification is another way to meet “In chaos, the world becomes people (while also beefing up your flat,” he says. “I now have access resume), he adds. “People have to so many people who were just to start thinking outside the box if too busy pre-COVID-19. Today they want a career in this industry.” they’ll take the time.”

SCISSORS OUT Want to be a grower? You may have to start as a trimmer. It’s the most common entrylevel position in cannabis cultivation, according to Cannabiz Team.

HIRED.EXE

Start your online job search with these nine cannabis-centric career aggregates: 420Careers / 420careers.com Full- and part-time jobs and gigs

HempStaff / hempstaff.com Hemp and cannabis industry recruiting

Cannabiz Team / cannabizteam.com Places talent in all areas of the cannabis industry

Marijuana Resumes / marijuanaresumes.com Helps job seekers write resumes and cover letters coded for the industry

Cannajobs / cannajobs.com Jobs in growing, technology, and more

PHOTO BY SPAXIAX, ADOBE STOCK

Careers Cannabis / careerscannabis.com Smart-search platform connecting talent with companies Ganjapreneur / ganjapreneur.com Searchable job board

Ms. Mary Staffing / msmarystaffing.com Dispensary recruiting agency THC Staffing Group / thcstaffinggroup.com Boutique recruitment firm for the cannabis industry Vangst / vangst.com Cannabis industry job board and more

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Danish artist Lilo has found a home in Los Angeles, empowering women and seeking to help us all find mental stability and joy in uncertain times. TEXT ELI DUPIN + DAWN GARCIA

COURTESY LILO

I

n the heart of Los Angeles, Danish-born artist Lilo (just Lilo) is living her best life creating art that has a flow of movement that emits energy, joy, sensuality, and connection. Using a single continuous line that dances

on the awaiting canvas or paper, in a way that’s reminiscent of Picasso, Lilo finds beauty in what some may perceive as ordinary. The result is art that acknowledges the infinite possibility of the feminine shape and ongoing narrative.

“Every piece and story starts with me and is a reflection of how my life is at the moment I create it,” says Lilo. “I guess you can say the narrative is a simple version of special moments in my own life.”

A portion of Lilo's 190foot mural on Victory Blvd. in North Hollywood. The full text reads, of course, "Hollywood."

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COURTESY LILO

Lilo grew up in Denmark and she remembers the simplicity of youth. “My childhood was full of fun moments," she says. "My parents were really young when they got me and my sister.” Lilo recalls her parents throwing frequent parties, being open to trying different careers to see what they loved, and adapting to being parents while still growing up themselves. “I really appreciate my childhood. Our house had a constant flow of people in and out. Some lived there for a while, some just visited, but everybody was always welcome. I had the freedom to be whoever I wanted to be, as long as I put in the effort and didn’t take anything for granted," she says. In the wake of the recent state of the world, we are in need of creative release—perhaps more than any other time in our lifetimes. Maybe art can’t save us entirely, but it certainly does act as a gateway for humanity. Lilo agrees: “I don’t think that art alone can save the world, but if we let it in, it can make it a better place and heal our fears for sure.” As the political scene in this nation—and around the world—continues in a frustrating cycle of uncertainty, there is a collective voice that seems to be absent. Perhaps art can step in. “The political scene is getting so vicious. I am really missing a tone and a place where we all respect and try to understand each other and our differences instead of creating more hate, fear, and more division,” Lilo says. “We need the communities we live in to be places where we respect and inspire each other to be better and do better.” It’s been said that art deeply affects us both consciously and

LINES OF QUESTIONING

Rapid-fire Q&A with Lilo

What books do you love? Two books have actually followed me from Denmark: My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durell and Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet. The first is about a British boy living with his widowed mom and siblings on a Greek island. The humor—the unconventional ways problems are solved—so reminds me of my own family and always has me laughing out loud. I love reading that when I am down or miss my family. The second is a thin book with valuable spiritual wisdom. The book is divided into chapters of a certain topics, so whatever guidance you want, you can find in a certain chapter. My copy is totally worn out! What inspires you as a woman? People do. Us, and our tangled relations to each other. I think the reason my art ends up being sensual is because to me, sex is a universal language. It is something we all experience and desire at some point in our lives. It is the ultimate intimacy for me. It is where we connect on more than an intellectual level and where I can get a little closer to solving the mystery of our special bonds.

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COURTESY LILO

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: “Naked Truth I” “Selfloving” “Pure Heart” “Chilling”

subconsciously. A 2016 study in Art Therapy: The Journal of the American Heart Therapy Association revealed that a brief experience of art making can lower cortisol levels regardless of prior experience with art, media type, or demographics. “There has been a lot of research on how art (music, movies, paintings) affect us. Science tells us that the brain reacts similarly to art as it does when we have food, sex, or drugs,” says Lilo. “So no doubt about it. Art does make the world a better place! There is no right or wrong in art. Everything is up for interpretation and it can bring us together on so many levels. Where would we be without our favorite song, movie or painting?”

Positivity, Sensuality, and Hope Fueled by the belief that art is provocative, fragile, sweet, fun, sexy, and scary, Lilo feels art can be used to help spread messages of inspiration and contribute to people achieving more in life. “The Black Lives Matter and Kobe Bryant murals all over LA are a great example of how art can bring community together.” Her brand, Lilo on Paper, is an extension of everything Lilo embodies and believes in. She sees the feminine essence as power and strength. Through the fragility and understated simplicity of her creations, she is able to emit positivity, sensuality, and hope. “Art is a luxury,” says Lilo. “It is not economic. Art forces us to reflect on our qualities as human beings that make us more posi-

tive. That's something I think the world needs right now.” She adds, “A lot of people pick art that goes with their interior design. I get it. But art doesn’t have to be pretty. It can be so much more.” Art can improve mental health but it’s also tied to academia and critical thinking. “If art can make you question things, spark your imagination, or break out of monotony, that can take you to a place of wonder,” says Lilo. “To me, art has to surprise me in some way, take my imagination to another place. When you make, find or purchase art that does that? You’ll never tire of it!” Lilo’s advice to anyone looking to purchase art is to ask themselves two questions: Why do you want to buy it, and what about it do you relate to? “Art can change O C TO B E R 2020

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LEARN MORE

Lilo creates several commissions a month including murals throughout Southern California. liloonpaper.com

Art forces us to

as human beings that make us more positive. That’s something I think the world needs right now.”

us and engage us to emotionally develop if we let it. It’s a positive thing that is so much more than we expected and so much bigger than what we’ve wished for,” she says. Love brought Lilo to Los Angeles from Europe. Once here, the life of flip flops, pink sunsets, drinks by the pool, and the undeniable creative spirit of the city entranced her and so she stayed. Lilo on Paper is her body of artistic creations yielding subtle hints acknowledging artistic greats like Picasso and Matisse with a fiercely undeniable feminine prowess. The underbelly of her work exists in the fine lines, the playful endlessness of discovery, and the sense of recognizing and appreciating the female spirit.

COURTESY LILO

—Lilo

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REMEDY FOR A DREAM Is THC inhibiting our dreams? TEXT LELAND RUCKER

ORIGINAL PHOTO BY PIXEL-SHOT / ADOBE STOCK

I

was at home in bed, surrounded by friends, when I began singing “The Tattooed Lady,” an old novelty song from my childhood. I wouldn’t stop, even when begged, and finally they all started trying to strangle me. That’s when I awoke, sweating and uneasy, kicking my legs and sending my covers in all directions. It wasn’t until I settled down that I realized it had just been a dream. It wasn’t the first time. Over many years, whenever I stop using cannabis for more than a week, the crazy dreams return. I’ve partied

with famous people, traveled to distant landscapes, been suffocated by my friends, and transcended time and place, all within my own head and bed. It’s almost as much fun as, well, getting elevated. But I’ve always wondered why this happens. Why are dreams more intense when I stop using cannabis, or do they just seem to be that way? Does cannabis inhibit dreaming, or do you just remember your dreams better when you’re unelevated? And is any of this necessarily good or bad for you? I’m hardly the only one. Type “marijuana and dreams” into any

search engine, and you’ll find many examples of cannabis users who have experienced the same kinds of vivid dreams when they stop. I decided to try and find out more about it. That’s not as easy as it may seem. All cannabis research is limited because of the usual reasons: The process to get the permits required by the federal government to study cannabis is challenging to say the least, and scientists whose studies are approved have to use only government-produced marijuana grown at the University of Mississippi. That marijuana has

This article was originally published in the July 2018 edition of Sensi Denver/Boulder.

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been shown to be little more than old ditch weed, nothing like the legal cannabis people are growing and using across the US. Beyond that, it’s also challenging to know what affect cannabis use has on dreams because we don’t know very much about sleep cycles and what part dreams play in our lives and well-being. THE IMPORTANCE OF (TANGERINE) DREAMS Sleep scientists generally characterize slumber as occurring in three basic phases, or stages: light sleep, deep sleep, and REM sleep. We spend our snoozing hours moving through these phases, with an average cycle lasting about 90 to 110 minutes, although it’s different for everybody. Each cycle apparently fulfills some kind of physiological or neurological function, although beyond their restorative roles, we don’t really know what those functions are. Some believe that dreams have meaning for our waking lives; others try to learn to explore and control them. We can dream during any of the sleep stages, but we dream more and are most likely to remember dreams we have while in the REM stage, the one characterized by rapid eye movement, a slight rise in respiration rate, and increased brain activity. We are less likely to remember dreams we have in the deep-sleep stage, when we’re gen-

erally harder to wake, than we are ones we have while in REM. Early studies on the effect of cannabis on dreams measured brain waves and eye movement and suggested that cannabis use somehow inhibits the REM portion of sleep, which in turn suppresses dreams. Discontinuing cannabis use lets your body catch up,

so to speak, with what many call an “REM rebound.” While your body catches up on REM sleep, the reasoning goes, it’s also catching up on dreams, which makes them more vivid and memorable. As I began to look deeper, I noticed that most of this preliminary research is from 40 to 50 years ago. Often cited is a 1975 study that, for

EARLY STUDIES SUGGEST THAT CANNABIS USE SOMEHOW INHIBITS THE REM STAGE OF SLEEP, WHICH IN TURN SUPRESSES DREAMS.

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instance, noted changes in rapid eye movements and shorter REM periods of sleep in longtime cannabis users. But that study tested only seven people, hardly enough to produce enough data to draw any serious conclusions. And there’s another thing. Many people, including some scientists, suggest that cannabis users don’t dream, and—at least in my case—I know that isn’t true. Just last week, I wound up in a room with former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, but just before I could start peppering him with questions about his quaint stance on cannabis, I woke up. SWEET (BLUE) DREAMS Dr. Timothy Roehrs is director of research at the Henry Ford Sleep Disorders and Research Center in Detroit and a professor at the Wayne State School of Medicine. He spoke about the frustration of trying to mount sleep studies using cannabis and corroborated that most studies on cannabis and sleep date back to the 1970s and 1980s. Only limited research has been done in the 21st century. “We’ve been wanting to administer THC in the sleep lab and haven’t been able to do that,” he says. “To properly study it, you need to give a measured dose of

THC to a participant over a prospective number of days. Right now, it’s terribly difficult to get measured doses of THC. We’re left with anecdotal information, and you never know for sure what dose was being used and being taken on a given set of nights.” While he hasn’t been able to properly study the effects of cannabis on sleep, Roehrs has conducted many studies on the effects of alcohol on sleep, which confirm the REM rebound effect that causes people to “catch up” on dreams. During REM sleep, he says, one is more likely to wake and report having dreams. In those early sleep studies on cannabis and dreams, the marijuana seemed to suppress REM sleep much like alcohol does. Roehrs isn’t so sure it’s that easy. “What that means is that you have increased amounts of REM sleep also fragmented with brief and rapid awakenings. If I take you and put you in the sleep lab, and I awaken you out of REM sleep by shaking you vigorously, that rapid arousal from sleep gives you a sense of being present in the dream,” he says. “Those are the vivid images that are likely what is happening with discontinuing marijuana.” Roehrs cautions that he isn’t suggesting that this is anything

more than speculation on his or anyone else’s part. We really don’t know what significance REM dreaming or suppression might have on our well-being. Still, this makes more sense to me than the theory that cannabis use stops people from dreaming. For instance, he says, common antidepressant drugs used by many Americans suppress REM sleep while they normalize mood. “And, unlike marijuana, these antidepressants continue to suppress REM sleep, and you get this REM insomnia-like experience,” he explains. “When people who were taking antidepressants stop, they can have REM rebound. Not only do we not know if it might be bad for you, if you have mild depression, dreaming might improve your mood. But we don’t know these things.” If you’re one who doesn’t like the crazy dreams, this isn’t much solace. But since I kind of enjoy them, until we find out more about the subject, I’m satisfied. Meanwhile, I’m still trying to get back into that dream with Jeff Sessions. O C TO B E R 2020

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PARTIES FOR THE PEOPLE COVID-19 makes serving cannabis dinners a little more challenging and a lot more meaningful. TEXT ROBYN GRIGGS LAWRENCE

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F

ebruary was an incredible month for my young business, Cannabis Kitchen Events, which provides private cannabis-infused dinners and cooking classes at people’s homes and short-term rentals in Denver. We catered our first wedding on February 22, and our up-

coming calendar was packed with bachelorette and birthday parties well into the summer. We were ready. It was go time. And then, as we all know too well, it wasn’t. When we suspended operations in mid-March and postponed all events until further notice, I had no idea if we would ever serve Canna-Mango Mules again. Would anyone be willing to invite

possible COVID-19 carriers into their homes or to gather around tables to share meals? Who would get on an airplane or rent an Airbnb? We held out hope, taking the pause as an opportunity to refine and improve some of CK Events’ systems and develop stringent COVID-19 safety practices based on everything we could learn from Dr. Fauci, the City of Denver, and O C TO B E R 2020

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the State of Colorado (the most trusted sources we could find). Food service is all about food safety, so we were already well-versed in handwashing and disinfecting, and we had plenty of boxes of gloves in our inventory. Adding masks to the equation was easy enough. In June, as Colorado began to open back up, we had our first rescheduled event, a birthday party for 10 that was held on the patio of a private home. Soon we had another, and then another, as Colorado continued to flatten and decelerate the curve. Turns out a lot of people are more willing to eat a meal prepared for them in the safety of their own home than they are to venture out into a restaurant. By July, we were back to where we started— and then some. People were ready to party. In a July 3 New York Times article, Harvard Medical School infectious disease epidemiologist Julia Marcus summed up how all of us were feeling when she said: “Why can’t the message be: ‘We understand you want to gather with friends. There are ways to do this safely.’ We’re just telling them not to gather. That doesn’t recognize basic human behavior and basic human needs.” DEEP RESPONSIBILITY Catering has never been an easy business. Nurturing happy clients takes some physical and mental heavy lifting. But it’s worth every minute of the labor and stress when we get to watch diners sigh with pleasure as they enjoy a delicious, perfectly dosed meal and share some deep laughs with their favorite people. We get to help

“WE’RE JUST TELLING [PEOPLE] NOT TO GATHER. THAT DOESN’T RECOGNIZE BASIC HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND BASIC HUMAN NEEDS.” —Julia Marcus, Harvard Medical School infectious disease epidemiologist

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people create occasions they’ll never forget, experiences they may never have again. We take that responsibility seriously. We sell our clients a lot more than a cannabis-infused meal. We sell them safety. When they sit down to dig into Grilled Colorado Tri-tip with Cannabis Chimichurri, they can be certain they will consume just the right amount of cannabis—never too much. We’re vigilant about this. And now, we’re just as vigilant about making sure none of our clients gets COVID-19. Has it made things more difficult? For sure. We have to constantly monitor the staff for any symptoms or potential contacts with the virus and train everyone in the new COVID-19 protocol. We have to be happy and never whine about cooking in masks (it’s harder for some of us than others). Prepping and events take longer than they used to because of all the extra cleaning, and the exact ingredients we want aren’t always available. But we always make it work. In the end, it makes us a better company. We communicate more than we did before, and we’re all genuinely concerned about each other’s health. We’ve learned to be more creative in the kitchen and with our menu planning. Sometimes the substitutions we make for impossible-to-find ingredients are better than the original. Most of all, after weeks off and facing the potential of never cooking for people again, we have a lot more appreciation for just getting to do what we do—make people happy. The pandemic may have driven us into isolation, but cannabis is bringing us back together.

SAFETY DANCE

Throw a dinner party without becoming a super spreader by following these guidelines. • If possible, hold your dinner outside. Indoor spaces have less ventilation, and it can be harder to keep people socially distanced. • Have one designated server handle all serving utensils. • Keep food covered when it’s not being served. Bring back those old-school cloches, the dome-shaped ceramic or glass covers for your serving dishes—easy to find at thrift stores. • Give everyone their own straw that they can slip under their masks to sip. • Keep the music down so people don’t have to shout, which expels more respiratory droplets. • Serve beverages in open tubs of ice and segregate them by type so people don’t have to go rooting around for the bottle or can they want. • Set up hand-washing stations for guests and staff. • Disinfect all surfaces, including serving areas and guest tables, before, during, and after the event. • Require all food preparers and servers to wear masks and gloves at all times and to change gloves frequently. • How you handle mask-wearing in the privacy of your home is up to you, but make sure all your guests are on the same page. For guests with underlying conditions, it’s just as important to know if masks won’t be required as it to know if they will.

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Canna-Mango Mule Makes 1 mocktail

I N F O R M AT I O N

Made with freshly squeezed citrus, the best ginger beer you can find (it’s worth spending a little extra), and water-soluble THC or CBD, CannaMango Mules were the runaway hit of Summer 2020 and promise to remain CK Events’ most popular mocktail for the rest of the year. 84

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INGREDIENTS

2 ounces mango nectar ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice (preferably key limes) ½ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice 2 ounces ginger beer 1 packet Stillwater Ripple or other water-soluble THC or CBD product 1 lime wheel, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

• Fill cocktail shaker with ice. Add mango nectar, lime juice, and Ripple. • Shake well. Strain into ice-filled glass or cup. • Pour ginger beer to fill cup. • Garnish with lime.


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Muse Everybody from Carl Sagan on down swears by the ability of cannabis to influence creativity. Is there anything to it, or is it just an illusion? TEXT LELAND RUCKER

“Cannabis helps my creativity.” How many times have I heard this over the last four decades? Big thinkers like Carl Sagan and Steve Jobs are on the record as a scientist and CEO, respectively, who used cannabis. Musicians from Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday to Willie Nelson and Nicki Minaj swear by it. I have never said that cannabis causes me to be creative, but I have argued, like the painter on Sanjay Gupta’s first CNN Weed special, that “It's my favorite way to work.” But is there anything to this? Is there really a connection between using cannabis and being creative, and if so, what is it? Does cannabis actually stimulate people to be more inspired, imaginative, inventive or artistic? There are no easy answers, as is the case with much we are still learning about cannabis. It is generally believed and understood that

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cannabis and THC stimulate activity in the frontal lobe of the brain, which is where dopamines (sensitive neurons generally associated with reward, attention span, and short-term memory) are located. Beyond that, trying to even quantify creativity is a sticky wicket. Psychology researchers can’t define it. Is creativity the end product of creative work, or is it reflected in the personality of the person? More interesting is whether creativity might have something to do with the differences between convergent thinking, which is the ability to follow logO C TO B E R 2020

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ical steps to a conclusion, and divergent thinking, which centers around a less linear process to come up with answers. Most research on the subject relies on tests, generally done against time constraints, to measure “creativity.” One, for example, asked the subject to name as many words as they could in 30 seconds. Though that might be an appropriate scientific way to approach it, I’m unsure that it helps us understand anything about the process. And some of the research seems biased. A 2012 study admitted that little is known about how drugs affect the mind, but suggested that cannabis use might stimulate the sections of the brain (i.e. the frontal lobe) that lead

to divergent thinking. A different test two years later denied those conclusions vehemently. “The improved creativity that they believe they experience is an illusion,” Dr. Lorenza Colzato of the Institute of Psychology at Leiden University said about his study. “If you want to overcome writer’s block or any other creative gap, lighting up a joint isn’t the best solution. Smoking several joints one after the other can even be counterproductive to creative thinking.” Those methods don’t even hint at what’s going on when I write under the influence, especially since I’m never being asked to come up with as many words as I can to describe something in 30 seconds to test my creativity. And

they do nothing to explain why so many creative people still use cannabis to produce outstanding, innovative work. So I began to talk to cannabis users to find out what they see as the link between cannabis and creativity. Most find it hard to accurately describe their experience, but all mentioned some variation on the “divergent thinking” concept. “I like a ton of input and jam it into my brain,” says Sebastian Vidali, founder of Arcana, Inc, a cannabis-focused brand development group. “Smoke allows an almost Tony Stark thing, or

READ MORE ABOUT IT The Natural Mind: A New Way of Looking at Drugs and the Higher Consciousness. Andrew Weil’s groundbreaking 1972 work offered a different way to look at consciousness at the same time that cannabis was designated a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act.

“I like a ton of input and jamming it into my brain.” —Sebastian Vidali, Arcana Inc.

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that’s the way it feels, anyway. It connects things together in a fluid way and helps create a new picture. I feel less held back by other factors. I’m always running multiple strains of thoughts, and it feels to me that I can dive into one thread and make connections. It clears the noise in a way.” “It’s hard to explain, but it opens up the creative river, gets those creative juices going,” says Patrick McGregor, a painter and muralist who works in a lot of different media. “I’ll be uninspired, take a lunch break, smoke a little, and it’ll bring me back into the painting.” Neil Haverstick is a master at almost any stringed instrument. He says cannabis is more common than you might imagine in the music biz. “I would say I’ve know many hundreds of musicians that smoke pot; in fact, I’ve only known a few that haven’t. Of course, I’ve also seen a lotta alcohol use, cigarette smoking, and cocaine sniffing over the years in my field, but fortunately, not much usage of heroin.” he says. He doesn’t really like playing live while elevated, but cannabis is an important part of his writing process. “When I start to play my guitar (or oud), I find that I often start doing things that I have never done before. I have ideas that take me beyond the things I usually play— different melodies, rhythms, concepts,” he says. “I surprise myself. Sometimes, I think, ‘where did that come from? Never played that before.’ And that is the key word: surprise. I am often able to create new shapes, patterns, something that did not previously exist.”

Everybody I talked with says cannabis makes them see and think things in a different way. Sebastian Marincolo is a neuroscientist who lives in Stuttgart, Germany, and has studied the positive potential of cannabis for the last decade. His most recent book, What Hashish Did to Walter Benjamin: Mind Altering Essays on Cannabis, looks into how cannabis was used positively by historical figures like Sagan, Rudyard Kipling, and Miles Davis, among many others, and tries to explain how judicious use of the marijuana high helped them and can help others. Marincolo began looking into the connections between cannabis and creativity while working on his doctorate in philosophy and neuroscience. His roommate was studying toxicity, and they began to research marijuana as it related to mind enhancement. They weren’t interested in the medical aspects. “We started looking into how it can help cognitive enhancement of episodic memories,” Marincolo says. “People have reported, and I have experienced, an enhanced episodic memory—like for instance, you remember events from childhood in greater detail.” Another fundamental element they found was a hyperfocus of attention. “Whatever you tend to be thinking about is more in focus,” Marincolo says. “Because of that you have an intensification of experience. Things seem to be more detailed and intense because you’re more focused and have the ability to imagine things. Imagination is crucial for creativity. And it’s not just images, it’s also im-

“That’s the key word: surprise. I am often able to create new shapes, patterns, something that did not previously exist.” —Neil Haverstick, Instrumentalist

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portant for people who compose music or for a chef who is imagining a taste for a dessert.” He says that many people experience a mind acceleration that is generally associated with a slowdown in time perception. Haverstick mentioned “new shapes and patterns,” and Marincolo corroborated that musicians seem to be especially tuned to this. Using Miles Davis as an example, Marincolo says some artists “can see patterns and similarities between patterns and better understand musical patterns.” Marincolo also found that many users experience an enhancement of body perception. “Some describe how they can feel cold water going down their throats,

or that they have better touch or sex experiences," says Marincolo. Users report the ability to understand and connect better with the emotions and moods of friends, children, and partners. “They see patterns in the behavior of other people and understand them better. There can be an enhancement of language understanding, to get into flow of other languages.” Nobody I spoke with seemed to be of the opinion that you just hit the bong, and boom, the creativity gong hits you in the head. “My conclusion is that I think there is abuse in countries with prohibition, where people have access only to poor quality, black-market product, and they can abuse it as a form of escapism,” says Marinco-

lo, who offers online classes that include hands-on advice for personal growth, introspection, and dealing with personal relationships and sex. The classes emphasize how strains, terpenes, and ingestion methods can influence your creativity. “We all have different needs, and cannabis has a lot to offer—especially now that we are learning about the cannabinoid system and how different terpenes have different chemical profiles. We need to have this knowledge.” I think we’ll be waiting a long time for science to catch up with the connection between cannabis and creativity. Until then, Marincolo’s studies and my discussions with other users make sense to me in ways that traditional methods and research don’t. First, of course, cannabis has to be decriminalized, legalized, and de-stigmatized throughout the country and around the world. “It’s a cliché of sorts that musicians use ‘drugs,’ but I don’t think of marijuana as a drug,” Haverstick says. “I believe it has many useful properties, and now that it’s becoming legalized for both medical and recreational usage, we’re starting to see just how helpful it can be in a wide variety of situations.” “We need to consider it as a tool,” Marincolo says. “But only if you know how to use it.”

READ MORE ABOUT IT What Hashish Did To Walter Benjamin: Mind-Altering Essays on Marijuana. Sebastian Marincolo’s 2015 series of essays looks at significant figures in history and their connection to cannabis.

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My Life as a Loser Your parents’ bad diets weigh heavily on how you nibble today.

Someone in my house was always on a diet when I was growing up. Sometimes it was my older and younger sisters who followed various diets, and sometimes it was my older and younger brothers. My dad—an anesthesiologist who struggled with his weight—believed in burning more calories than you eat. My mom, the former nurse, was a chronic dieter throughout her life, from the Scarsdale, South Beach, and Atkins diets to 96

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the Cabbage Soup and Grapefruit ones. She was one of the very early adopters of the original Weight Watchers. More often than not, she was on the Pall-Mall-cigarette-and-black-coffee diet. “I didn’t want to be like my mother, Nanna, with her hanging stomach,” my mom would later say. She started smoking as a teenager to control her weight and inhaled for more than 70 years. We all got the not especially subtle message.

I was the middle child and on a diet for half of my youth. I know all the euphemisms. Chubby. Heavy boned. Overweight (or is it under-height?). The most feared was the dreaded obese, uttered by our terrifying family pediatrician who expressed apocalyptic opinions about my weight. Fueled by shame, Catholic guilt over failed willpower, and sublimated anger, I was well on my way to the vibrant dysfunctional relationship with food that

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TEXT JOHN LEHNDORFF


stack of diet-related pamphlets and cookbooks, some now dating back 70 years. I started flipping through them recently and was stunned by the absolutely idiotic—if not dangerous advice and language that now would be labeled offensive, patronizing, and misogynistic.

has inspired my best writing over the years. I was a great student, but I got a lot more positive feedback when I lost 10 pounds than when I got straight As—even if it was the same 10 pounds I’d lost (and gained) repeatedly. They called me “Fatso.” Under the moniker “Fitchburg Fats,” I penned a high school editorial against overweight prejudice. In college, I became “Big John.” Eventually that became simply “Big.” I learned to wear all black clothes because, as Mom said, “It’s slenderizing.” One summer, I lived on tomatoes, cottage cheese, grapefruit, hardboiled eggs, and burger patties. I tried low calorie, high protein, heavy on the broth, apple cider vinegar, and artificial sweeteners from saccharin to stevia. I wanted to be a loser. My fatness was blamed on my Sicilian heritage or my Austrian parentage. Now, with genetic testing, I blame it on my Jewish heritage too. Mostly, I blame it on bad messaging. When my mother moved out of our family home, I grabbed a

Simply Because They Eat Too Much The oldest of the pamphlets includes some of the most truthful tips. “Overweight and Underweight” (1950) by MetLife takes a matter-of-fact approach: “Overweight people are apt to develop diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure … die younger … are poor surgical risks, and have less resistance to infection.” The volume offered some decent advice including: “Never eat when emotionally upset or overtired. Relax or rest first.” Reducing Without Tears The pamphlet promises we can learn “how to eat as much as you

want and lose weight” without falling into the usual diet despair: “If you follow the rules, you will not be hungry, or depressed, or irritable, or weak for one minute during your reducing program.” “The rules” largely center around the word no. One page is a laundry list of excluded foods including no jam, raisins, soft drinks, candy, macaroni, cakes, pies, white bread, grits, corn, potatoes, drippings, lard, bacon, cheese, chocolate, fatty ham, ice cream, beer, wine, or whiskey. According to the pamphlet, you must confess your sins. “Keep a record of the times you forgot and took sugar in coffee, just one bite of French pastry, just one cocktail.… Write all the forbidden foods you take in the Out of Bounds column.” Allowed snacks ranged from bouillon, carrot sticks, and lemonade sweetened with saccharin to tomato juice, cantaloupe, and black coffee. Two appetite-supressing recipes are boiled beef heart and broiled smoked tongue.

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THE SCENE

The Reducing Cook Book and Diet Guide, published in 1951, offers some good news: “No longer is overweight just a subject for condescending humor. Today, practically everybody knows that [being] overweight threatens health and longevity.” Three-Day Slimming with Pleasure Plan “If you’ve been hitting the calories a little too hard, you’ll be surprised how peppy and energetic a three-day rest from heavy meals will make you,” offers 1952’s “Best Diets from Good Housekeeping.”

The paperback book warns that exercise is not the answer to being overweight: “There is only one way to proper poundage: The quick way, the simple way, in fact, the only practical way to attain a pretty weight, and stay there, is to control your diet. So, don’t think you can play a few more sets of tennis, or do 50 bends a day, and take off fat.... To take off just one pound, you must walk about 36 miles or wash clothes on a washboard for 28 hours.” If You Can Cut Out Just 50 Calories “Tempting Low-Calorie Recipes” (1956) turns to “science” to provide answers. The Cream of Celery Soup recipe includes “½ teaspoon monosodium glutamate.” In fact, flavor-enhancing MSG appears in multiple recipes, including a lamb kabob and the always-popular jellied veal loaf.

Many recipes such as Harvard beets call for saccharin, a substance that would be declared carcinogenic a decade later. Why Be Fat When It’s So Easy to Slenderize? “The Slenderizer Unit System Calorie Counter” (1958) proudly proclaims that it “recommends no starvation diets, no steam baths, or tiresome exercises—nor any other unpleasant experiences.” However, it does recognize one reality: “Realize that it’s impossible to reduce your weight and at the same time freely indulge in alcoholic beverages.” The Slenderizer includes calorie counts for a lot of foods most folks no longer consume such as Liederkranz cheese (100), gum drops (25), creamed chicken (150), chopped chipped beef (300), ladyfingers (25), fried ham (250), and banana custard (100). O C TO B E R 2020

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THE SCENE

VIRAL IN VOGUE

In the 1962 bestseller Sex and the Single Girl, a crash diet consisting of black coffee, hardboiled eggs, steak, and wine—“one bottle allowed per day”—promised weight loss of 5 pounds in three days. The “Wine and Eggs” meal plan appeared in Vogue in 1977.

SECTION

Men Never Get Chatty with Gals Who Are Fatty The dieting artifact that made me cringe the most was “The Fat Boy’s Calorie Guide,” published in 1958. It is a treasure trove of antique insults. It offers wisdom like “Men never get chatty with gals who are fatty” and bad advice, as in: “To lose one pound, you have to take 370 steam baths.” Under the heading “The Fat Boy’s Bartender,” the pamphlet reminds readers that “one jigger of Scotch has less calories than a glass of prune juice.” Look at a Pound of Lard “For many and many a year, people have been inventing doodads to shake the fat off us, or to roll it off, or knead it away, or cook it out of our systems, or sweat it away,” notes the 1962 Edition Diet Handbook. The book discourages excess eating by contemplating pig fat: “In a pound of excess human weight, there are about 3,500 calories. Look at a pound of lard. It contains about 4,100 calories.” One of the book’s 320-calorie lunches gives you 3 ounces liverwurst, 6 leaves lettuce, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1 cup skim milk. However, it includes a warning: “Notice whether a too-light lunch leaves you faint in mid-afternoon.” You Can’t Eat Cigarettes Under the heading of “Cigarettes and Your Appetite,” the Weight Losers Cookbook & Diet Guide (1967) offers dieters a low-cal option: “You can’t eat cigarettes, but in a pinch, they can serve as food until something better

avoid certain suggestive motions: “[Avoid] the hip-rolling act.… This posture is vulgar as the lady throws herself about like a GradeB-Movie-Trollop-on-the-Prowl, until people fear she will become disjointed.”

Seeing these diet pamphlets and books after all these years, I’m amazed my relationship with food is not even more messed up than it is.

comes along. By smoking you can dull the pangs of hunger until you hardly knew you had an appetite … If you hold a cigarette in your fingers you can’t hold a chocolate.” To be fair, the pamphlet notes that there is no evidence that smoking is a desirable health habit, and considerable evidence that it isn’t. The paperback’s attitude toward women—the main target of all these volumes—is typical of the times. It recommends exercise but warns ladies to

Avoiding the Sleeping Beauty Diet However, despite how little they knew about nutrition and metabolism at the time, much of the advice remains true today. Seeing these diet pamphlets and books after all these years was like getting my 23&Me report and finding out my family is screwier than I ever imagined. Frankly, I’m amazed my relationship with food is not even more messed up than it is. I live near Boulder, an area swarming with profoundly trim and fit adults (from age 20 to 90) who fast-walk past me on the trails and outswim me at the rec center. I think I thought living here—instead of say, Green Bay, would inspire me, and maybe it has. At least I’ve avoided the worst diet idea I’ve ever heard. The “Sleeping Beauty Diet,” an approach reportedly favored by Elvis Presley, pairs sedation with starvation. Dieters knock themselves out with sleeping pills and, since they’re asleep, they can’t eat. I still need to lose 25 (or 50 or 75) pounds, and I may well let them go for all the best reasons. I looked into the keto, Paleo, and Whole30 diets, and decided that a modified Mediterranean diet works best. I make small incremental changes I can maintain while supplanting Camembert, pie, and French fries with nonedible forms of joy. I’m a work in progress.

A B O U T T H E AU T H O R

John Lehndorff writes “Nibbles” for the Boulder Weekly and hosts Radio Nibbles on KGNU.

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THE SCENE HIGH PROFILE

High Desert Beats

PHOTOGRAPHY BY AESTHETIC

Get to know Frankie OG.

The story of up-andcoming rap and musical artist “Frankie OG” Gonzales speaks to many of us. Gonzales grew up in the high desert of the Inland Empire, where life was slow and recreational activities included listening to music, hangin’ with friends, and, as he got older, partaking of his favorite cannabis strains. When Gonzales was about seven years old, his mom bought him a new stereo with a CD player and a few albums, including Usher’s Confessions. That is when his love of music, beats, and lyrics took hold. Memorizing every lyric on the album, Gonzales finally felt he connected to something on a deeper level. It was music that got him through his parents’ divorce. Music allowed him to understand his feelings, the anger and displacement he was experiencing. In high school, his friends would take the bus to his house and play beats, freestyle and, in his words, “just chill”

TEXT DAWN GARCIA

in the backyard. This was when he developed into a young artist who tells the story of truth, love, justice, and finding your way through the messy web of life. Once Gonzales graduated and moved to South Gate, he ran into an old friend who had a home studio. Soon after, Gonzales, who evolved into Frankie OG (named for his favorite strain), dropped his first track, “All Gas No Brake.” Four years in, Frankie OG is making music on the daily and his beats, fresh perspectives, and powerful lyrics leave a lasting impression. With words that have the heart and conviction of old-school hip-hop and rap, Frankie OG is bravely changing the music landscape. His lyrics are hopeful, honest, and they quietly demand that you look within. It’s the kind of rap music you want your kids to listen to. Curious about the road that led him here, we caught up with Gonzales for a rapid-fire Q&A. O C TO B E R 2020

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THE SCENE HIGH PROFILE

With words that have the heart and conviction of old-school hip-hop and rap, Frankie OG is bravely changing the music landscape. His lyrics are hopeful, honest, and they quietly demand that you look within.

What was the first song you remember hearing that changed your life? The first song I remember hearing as a child that impacted me was “Summer Nights” by Lil Rob. I was about five or six. My older sister and my cousin were the ones who played it for me. I remember hearing it and immediately feeling a sense of peace and happiness. It became our summer anthem and we played it at every BBQ and every day that summer. Now every time I hear it, it brings me back

to so many memories I had as a child!

It wasn’t until my parents went through their divorce that everything What was your changed for the worse. I experience growing up? was the only one out of My life from ages four my siblings to witness to seven was full of the last fight my parents so many good memohad, and let’s just say it ries. All I can honestly was a drunk mess. remember was going to I remember being school and playing with traumatized by that friends on weekdays, and night for a very long on weekends my parents time. After the fight were either taking us to settled, my mother and Las Vegas, Mexico, or we I had to immediately were having a barbecue leave our house and we at one of our family started walking in the members’ houses. There middle of the night until was never a dull moment my aunt came to pick us during that time. both up.

My mother, sisters, and I moved into a two-bedroom apartment. It wasn’t long after that that my mother met her first boyfriend. They dated for a long time and he was in my life for all of my childhood after that. It was months before I saw my father again and when I did, it was only on the weekends. My dad was always so busy with work so even on weekends it was rare to see him. It was hard for me to have to deal with all of that at once. O C TO B E R 2020

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THE SCENE

MORE INFO

Visit @frankie0g97 and listen to his music on iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, and Tidal by clicking on the links here: linktr.ee/FrankieOG

I was angry, confused, and overwhelmed. I was getting into trouble at school, getting into fights. And when I came home, I did what I wanted because my mom had to work multiple jobs to support us. My older sister was only 13, so you can imagine what we got into at that age. There were so many hardships, deaths, tragedies, and changes that have affected my family and me. I’ve learned that I am still learning to heal from those things even now. The fact that I can express myself in the world through my music is the greatest form of release. I’m not good with talking to people, but creating is my passion and it opens up a different part of me. You’re a fan of the OG strain. What about it makes you feel peace? Honestly everything about OG Kush brings me peace. From the terpenes—pungent earthy smell, to the big dense buds and especially the high it gives you. It’s just a beautiful flower overall and I have yet to find a strain I love more than OG. What creative outlets outside of music do you have? I would definitely have to consider myself a

HIGH PROFILE

“The fact that I can express myself in the world through my music is the greatest form of release. I’m not good with talking to people, but creating is my passion and it opens up a different part of me.” —Frankie OG

gourmet foodie! I love to travel to different cities just to try the best local restaurants and dishes. The food I eat and the places I choose always depend on the mood I’m in on that particular day. Healthy meals are usually my go-to, but I like to switch it up every once in a while. I recently started cooking as well, which has been a fun process. I’ve never been one to cook in the past, but now that I’ve been putting more time and effort into it, it’s becoming one of my favorite things to do when I’m at home. It’s very relaxing and I enjoy the challenge when making something I have never made before. If you could go back and talk to your 10-year-old self, what would you tell him? I would simply tell him to pray more. I would tell him not to be so angry at the world. I would tell him to spend more time praying and to ask God for guidance. I would tell him to forgive and to let go of those ugly emotions and feelings he held in. I would tell him to listen more and talk less. But then again, who knows if the 10-year-old me would have even listened! O C TO B E R 2020

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M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N

THE SCENE

To see the detailed descriptions of each state’s initiatives, visit sensimag.com/elections2020

ELECTIONS

Pot in the Polls PHOTO CREDITS (FROM TOP): VASYL, ADOBE STOCK / IMAGEPIXEL, ADOBE STOCK

Cannabis legalization is on November ballots in five states this November. Here’s what you need to know before the 2020 election. TEXT STEPHANIE WILSON

As of September 2020, 33 states have passed medical marijuana laws, and 11 states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for adult use. And according to New Fronteir Data, 98.6 percent of the US is living in a state with a legal cannabis market. The last presidential election year was a banner one for cannabis legalization, as measures passed in eight out of the nine states with legalization on the ballot. This year looked as if

it was going to put the final nails in the War on Drugs coffin, with voters casting ballots in favor of spreading legalization across the land. Alas, the thing that spread across the land this year was a pandemic. As a result, 2020 will be a big-ish year for cannabis legalization at the polls. It would have been bigger had COVID-19 not taken over the collective consciousness, forcing us all to drop whatever we were doing, go home, and stay there. “Before the

COVID-19 pandemic derailed legalization efforts in a handful of states, there were as many as 11 with momentum toward legalizing cannabis for adult use in 2020, with another 12 considering legalization for medical use,” explains Kacey Morrissey, senior director of industry analytics for cannabis industry authority New Frontier Data. In November, voters in four states will be deciding whether to approve cannabis for adult (aka recreational) use: Arizo-

na, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota. Two states—Mississippi and South Dakota—are voting on medical marijuana legalization. Just as every year that cannabis is on the ballot, this will be a year of firsts. South Dakota will be the first state to vote on recreational and medical marijuana in the same election. And if New Jersey’s legislation passes, it will be the first state in the Mid-Atlantic region to legalize cannabis for adult use.

Election day is TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 3. Yes, we’re yelling. Because this is IMPORTANT. Vote like your life depends on it. Now more than ever, it does.

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®

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THE SCENE

COURTESY OF DOWNTOWN SAN DIEGO PARTNERSHIP

REPRESENTATION

All Black Lives Matter How an artistic partnership is bringing vitality and unity to San Diego. TEXT DAWN GARCIA

Downtown San Diego Partnership is a member-based, non-profit with a mission that resonates deeply: Promote the economic prosperity and cultural vitality of Downtown San Diego. Currently, the partnership is working with San Diego-based artist Antho-

ny Tyson to inspire ongoing conversations about the importance of equity and justice. Tyson’s art installation, “All Black Lives Matter” consists of banners that are a tribute to the Black community, a creative means to express his feelings about racial injustice. O C TO B E R 2020

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THE SCENE

MORE INFO

The banners begin at the Spreckels Theatre at 121 Broadway. Wethesouth. me @thesouthernsultan / downtownsandiego.org

“First when you see the banner I want you to see the color,” says Tyson, a Navy vet who founded his company, Southern Renaissance in 2017.

REPRESENTATION

one racial inequality in America. One banner features a photo of a Black man with the words: “San Diego: All Black Lives Matter.” The

“I wanted to show you that it’s not just black and white. There are different colors, same as there are different people. And the same way you look at the different colors, you must accept these different types of people.”

COURTESY OF DOWNTOWN SAN DIEGO PARTNERSHIP

—Anthony Tyson, Artist

“Everyone always sees things so much in black and white, that’s why I illustrated so much color into these banners. I wanted to show you that it’s not just black and white. There are different colors, same as there are different people. And the same way you look at the different colors, you must accept these different types of people. There is no other way to shape or form it. We are who we are.” The exhibition draws attention to the growing need for unity and

other banner reads: “Black Lives Matter. Every age, gender, preference, past, future– matters! Change.” Other banners along Broadway include images of Black man and a child, and the third is a Black woman. “We need to start giving Black artists and creators credit,” says Tyson. The project is a beacon of hope and transparency. In the midst of an urban renaissance, Tyson is one of the beautiful threads weaving this San Diego community together. O C TO B E R 2020

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A DV I S O RY B OA R D WA N A B R A N D S

Category: Edibles Author: Nancy Whiteman, CEO of Wana Brands

Embracing Veganism and Plant-Based Diets

Vegan and plant-based lifestyles are appealing from a health perspective as well. Health is at the forefront of all our minds these days, and plant-based diets have myriad benefits. If given the option, many people— even non-vegans—choose plant-based products for the benefits to both health and the environment. Most of us in the cannabis community are committed to finding better ways to live, and that includes embracing sustainable, eco-friendly products whenever possible. When deciding between products, it’s worth asking whether the brand reflects your priorities. Is the brand genuinely committed to sustainable, id you know that both Plant-Based Food Association data. humane, environmentally-friendly The Economist and Vegan diets consist of only plantForbes magazine debased foods. Vegans do not eat meat, practices? Do the products contain clared 2019 as the Year eggs, cheese, honey, or other products only natural ingredients? As a vegan or plant-based consumer, of Vegan? They were on to something. In containing animal-based products. you shouldn’t feel as if you have to make 2019, sales of plant-based food products For example, mayonnaise and a lot a trade-off between health and taste. grew much faster than their conventional of baked goods contain eggs, making With the burgeoning interest in vegan animal-based counterparts according to them non-vegan. Gelatin is another products, businesses are dedicating more sneaky animal-based ingredient that can show up in unexpected places like time and attention to creating products that are both healthy and delicious. candy, marshmallows, and even in Wana’s industry-leading food cannabis edibles. Gelatin is made from scientists have spent years refining and animal skin, bones, and connective perfecting the flavor and texture of its tissue of various farm animals.. vegan-friendly Wana Gummies. Wana Many people don’t realize that gelatin is a common ingredient in Brands uses fruit pectin and other glufruit-flavored gummies. Most cannabis ten-free, natural ingredients, offering gummies on the market today include a high-quality enjoyable product for gelatin in their recipes, but Wana Gum- everyone, vegans and non-vegans alike. mies are gelatin-free, utilizing vegan Cannabis and plant-based lifestyles go natural fruit pectin. hand-in-hand when it comes to bringWhy do plant-based ingredients matter? ing balance and wellness to your life. For vegans, the decision is about Fortunately, there are a growing number more than a diet. It’s a conscious, of options on the market, whether your deliberate lifestyle choice. Veganism purchase decisions are motivated by is a way to minimize our impact on health, climate change, or animal welfare. the climate by eschewing resource-intensive meat and animal products. The Sensi Advisory Board comprises select Vegans also share a concern for aniindustry leaders in a variety of fields, from mal welfare and the intensive farming education to cultivation. They are invited to practices used to produce meat and share specialized insight in this dedicated section. For a full list of board members, see page 20. other animal-based products.

Learn more about the environmental, ethical and health benefits of plant-based products. And why you should check your gummies.

D

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THE END

Mask Up One Orange County designer’s bespoke idea could make a big difference.

Founded by Designer Raad Ghantous, Tailor Made Face Masks is a bespoke mask company made for modern times. In the wake of the pandemic, masks have quickly risen in the ranks as a fashion necessity and Ghantous wanted to custom-make a mask that not only looks chic and sophisticated but also fits snugly to your face. The

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masks come in custom fabrics and can be tailor-made with your company’s logo or your initials. Ghantous’s mission is simple: Keep the community safe and healthy without compromising your personal style. Working with local community businesses, Tailor Made Face Masks is a company doing more than keeping you stylish and safe,

it’s making a difference. Proceeds from each purchase go to giving a mask to Cedar Sinai Hospital Los Angeles, Age Well Senior Services, Hope Centre for the Arts, and Orange County Business Council in support of their #MaskUp campaign. $25 and up + free shipping with promo code: SENSI / tailormadefacemask.com

PHOTO BY FRANK SALAS

TEXT DAWN GARCIA


FUEL TO THE HIRE Break into a canna-career

PARTY LIKE IT’S 2019

COVID-proof social gatherings

THE MUSE

FUEL YOUR HIRE

Does cannabis boost creativity?

Break into a canna-career

PARTY LIKE IT’S 2019

COVID-proof social gatherings

CBD IN BEAUTY

FUEL YOUR HIRE

Is it more than skin-deep?

Break into a canna-career

MICHIGAN

C O LO R A D O

NORCAL

OCTOBER 2020

OCTOBER 2020

OCTOBER 2020

PARTY LIKE IT’S 2019

COVID-proof social gatherings

CBD IN BEAUTY

Is it more than skin-deep?

CBD IN BEAUTY Is it more than skin-deep?

GANJA GLOW-UP High-end decor for the cannabis connoisseur

WE SPEAK FOR THE TREES Protecting our local Redwoods

PARTY LIKE IT’S 2019

COVID-proof social gatherings

CBD IN BEAUTY

Is it more than skin-deep?

CANNABIS AND RACE

FUEL TO THE HIRE Break into a canna-career

The systemic roots of weed law

PARTY LIKE IT’S 2019

COVID-proof social gatherings

CBD IN BEAUTY

FUEL TO THE HIRE

Is it more than skin-deep?

Break into a canna-career

M A RY L A N D

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

NEW ENGLAND

OCTOBER 2020

OCTOBER 2020

OCTOBER 2020

PARTY LIKE IT’S 2019

COVID-proof social gatherings

CBD IN BEAUTY

Is it more than skin-deep?

ARTSY ONE-LINERS Local artist Lilo uses lines to unite and inspire humanity

OUTDOOR ART MUSEUM

FUEL TO THE HIRE

Andres Institute of Art showcases sculptures from international artists

Your guide to achieving a cannacareer

FUEL TO THE HIRE Break into a canna-career

N E VA DA OCTOBER 2020

PARTY LIKE IT’S 2019

COVID-proof social gatherings

CBD IN BEAUTY

FUEL TO THE HIRE

Is it more than skin-deep?

Break into a canna-career

PARTY LIKE IT’S 2019

COVID-proof social gatherings

CBD IN BEAUTY

FUEL TO THE HIRE

CBD IN BEAUTY

Break into a canna-career

Is it more than skin-deep?

Is it more than skin-deep?

PENNSYLVANIA

F LO R I DA

OCTOBER 2020

OCTOBER 2020

VEGANS, BABY! Pioneers like Diana Edelman bring the lifestyle to the Strip

A socially distant beer garden opens in Pittsburgh

THE MUSE Does cannabis make you more creative?

SEE ALL THE OCTOBER EDITIONS NOW AVAILABLE!

Profile for Sensi Magazine

Sensi Magazine - Southern California (SOCAL) - October 2020  

Welcome to the October issue of Sensi Southern California! This month's feature's topics include: "How to get hired in the cannabis industry...

Sensi Magazine - Southern California (SOCAL) - October 2020  

Welcome to the October issue of Sensi Southern California! This month's feature's topics include: "How to get hired in the cannabis industry...

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