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LOS ANGELES

THE NEW NORMAL

6.2018

This summer, go green + get away!

happier

CAMPER S P E CI A L REPOR T

the PROBLEM with

PLASTICS UP L IF T ING P O T T E D P L AN T S TO E L E VAT E YOUR H OM E

get growing

Insta-worthy Experience: The CADO + The Skinny on the French Dip + More!


sensimag.com JUNE 2018 3


4 JUNE 2018 Southern California


sensimag.com JUNE 2018 5


6 JUNE 2018 Southern California


i am

VITALITY

(n.) The state of being.

sensimag.com JUNE 2018 7

t: 1.833.ARTEMIS www.iamARTEMIS.com ig: @iamARTEMISca


8 JUNE 2018 Southern California


ISSUE 6 // VOLUME 1 // 6.2018

FEATURES 40

S P E C I A L R E P O RT

46

Ugh, Plastics

As the cannabis industry matures, can it move away from petroleum-based plastic containers and toward more green solutions?

HOME GROWN Elevate Your Potted Plants

46 Cannabis in the House

Elevate your home decor with potted pot plants.

56 Is it Organic? Try Not to Panic. Toxic pesticides used to grow cannabis are even more dangerous when smoked and processed into concentrates. In the absence of federal organic standards or certification, here’s how to find clean, green weed. SLEEP LIKE A STAR Pitch Your Tent in Your Happy Place

34

every issue

66

11 Editor’s Note 12 The Buzz 20 CrossRoads

EXTRA INSTA-WORTHY Get Inside the CADO

GREEN CANNABIS

26 TasteBuds

LA ORIGINAL: FRENCH DIP

34 AroundTown

THE GREENEST GETAWAY

66 Here We Go

BE EXTRA AT THE CADO

Sensi magazine is published monthly by Sensi Media Group LLC. © 2018 SENSI MEDIA GROUP LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Sensi magazine would like to acknowledge an error in our Masthead listing for PotDrive, Inc. Previous listings have implied a connection between PotDrive and Kush Candy. These two companies have separated and will remain distinctly separate. PotDrive, Inc. is a leading software development and digital advertising platform committed to driving innovation in the world’s fastest growing industry. We apologize for the oversight and any confusion.

sensimag.com JUNE 2018 9


sensi magazine ISSUE 6 VOLUME 1 6.2018

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DISCONNECT

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TO RECONNECT

editor’s

NOTE

Planning to get away this summer? Wherever you go, go green. When it

comes to travel, camping has one of the lightest ecological impacts, especially if you follow the “leave no trace” principles: Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. According to The American Camper Report, 40.5 million Americans camped at least once in 2016, and 4.7 million were first-timers. Put down your phone, pack up your tent, and head out into the wild. Getting into nature not only benefits you, as research continues to prove. There are a ton of studies about how connecting with nature is associated with increased well-being, from life satisfaction to vitality to happiness. Being connected to nature is shown to have a big role in health: the natural connection helps you meet challenges of stress, provide resilience, If you’re connected to nature, you’re likely to seek it out. And then the idea of supply in demand rises: if we use green spaces, more green spaces are supplied. But if you live in a city, getting into nature to reap some of those benefits can be a challenge. Access to all this beauty and nature is within easy reach, and you can trade your urban surroundings for a whole range of other environments, from sandy coastlines to rocky desserts to mountain forests. Southern California has it all. And we try to highlight some of the bounty in this issue. Happy reading.

SIVA // BUSINESS CONSULTING Spiked Soil // SOIL Success Nutrients // CULTIVATION CONSULTING The Right Dosage // PACKAGING Therapy Tonics & Provisions // INFUSED DRINKS Thrive CBD // CBD CONCENTRATES

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Marijuana Business Daily Minority Cannabis Business Association National Cannabis Industry Association Students for Sensible Drug Policy sensimag.com JUNE 2018 11


THE NEW NORMAL

sensi

buzz

West Coast Wild

A new coffee-table tome celebrates California’s architectural anomalies.

In this vivid new examination of a rogue architectural style by luxe book imprint Taschen, you’ll discover the attention-grabbing roadside structures of California from the dawn of the automobile age. Fresh discoveries and several pictorial essays explore how these buildings became synonymous with the West Coast and how the power of personal expression championed any architectural establishment with structures eccentric, innovative, and bizarre. They flourished in Southern California, as proprietors indulged their creative impulses in the form of giant, eccentric constructions—owls, dolls, pigs, and ships, coffee pots, and fruit. Their symbolic intent was guileless, yet they were marginalized by history as being California crazy. Brimming with the best examples of this architectural genre, the 324-page California Crazy includes essays exploring the influences that fostered the nascent architectural movement, as well as identifying the unconventional landscapes and attitudes found on Los Angeles and Hollywood roadsides which allowed —Taschen these buildings to flourish in profusion. California Crazy. American Pop Architecture by Jim Heiman, $60. taschen.com.

Sea Change

June 16 is International Surfing Day.

Surfrider describes itself as a community of people who passionately protect the ocean, waves, and beaches. The mission is to “ensure clean water, healthy ocean, and coastlines, and accessible beaches for all to enjoy.” They do all sorts of work. Locally, the org helped California pass its ban on plastic bags—and then helped the state keep the bill ban in place after the big plastics industry tried to have it overturned. On Saturday, June 16, they pause to celebrate the beaches and waves they work so hard to protect. On International Surfing Day, June 16, they encourage everyone to “share the stoke 12 JUNE 2018 Southern California

of surfing” by heading to the beach, taking someone surfing for the first time, participating in a beach clean up, and making your voice heard. Over the past decade, International Surfing Day has brought together over a million people in more than 30 countries and removed more than 20 tons of trash. Lend a hand—with a total of 160 chapters and clubs, Surfrider’s extensive network covers the coastline, so you’ve got a bunch of local chapters you could join: Huntington Beach, San Diego County, Los Angeles, Long Beach, to name a few. Check out SURFRIDER.ORG to find the ones by you.


NOTABLE+QUOTABLE

“Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”

Give Me S’More Summer like a pro.

With over 500 concrete fire rings, Huntington Beach is one of the very few places on California’s coast where you can still build a bonfire and enjoy s’mores—that simple yet incomparable combination of toasted marshmallows and chocolate pressed between two graham crackers. If you want to take that experience to a whole new level, add some THC-infused dark chocolate to the graham cracker and marshmallow mashup. It’s a whole new level of awesome, and you don’t have to feel guilty about it in the slightest. Chocolate is a mood enhancer, a soothing treat, a comfort food. And there’s research that shows good chocolate— the kind that’s more than 70 percent cocoa—is good for your heart, brain, and circulatory system, among other health benefits. So swing by a dispensary for a bar on your way off the grid. Or on your way home. A toaster —SW oven makes an excellent s’more in a pinch.

—Hans Christian Anderson

Smells Like Rebellion Cannabis is the hot new note in hipper perfumes

The plant’s deep green aroma—robust, earthy, flamboyant—portends all sorts of sensual satisfactions as it perfumes clothing, cars, and rooms. The fragrance is olafactory bliss for cannabis lovers. And it used to be probable cause for law officers. If you’re looking to add some formerly forbidden scents to your fragrance wardrobe, you’ve got options. But it’s a good thing you’re used to paying three figures for an ounce of flower. These perfumes aren’t cheap. —Robyn Griggs Lawrence

Black Afgano by Nasomatto

Forbidden by House of Matriarch

SELF-DESCRIBED: “the best quality

SELF-DESCRIBED: “rooted in layers

of hashish, the result of a quest to arouse the effects of temporary bliss”

of historically feared and even outlawed aromatics”

Smoke for the Soul by Killian

Jack by Richard E. Grant

SELF-DESCRIBED: “a flirtation with the forbidden, an escape into the stupefaction of the sharp-sweet plant”

SELF-DESCRIBED: “an addictive combination of both earthy and citrus notes culminating in a hypnotic fragrance”

Cannabis Flower by Demeter

Reefer Madness Collection by Xyrena

30 ml for $150. nasomatto.com

50 ml for $275. bergdorfgoodman.com

SELF-DESCRIBED: “slightly floral,

slightly spicy, unmistakably cannabis” 29.5 ml for $21. demeterfragrance.com.

15 ml for $120. matriarch.biz

100 ml for $123. jackperfume.co.uk

SELF-DESCRIBED: “the world’s first line of strain-specific cannabis” 50 ml for $74.50. xyrena.com

sensimag.com JUNE 2018 13


sensi

buzz

Chx & Blnz is a full-service accounting and business consulting group focused on assisting cannabis companies with bookkeeping/accounting, tax services, audits, compliance, first-time business setup for start-ups, product/service consulting and financial analysis software to give business operators the information they need to make decisions with confidence, and manage with success. Our staff include licensed CPAs, professionals with advanced degrees in Masters of Business Taxation from USC, Masters of Business Administration and Masters of Project Management.

Summer of Style Fancy Feet

Colors are the smiles of nature, so it’s only natural that Ugg’s Insta-worthy LaaLaa sandals make you smile. Ugg was founded in Southern California in 1979 by a local surfer, and the style caught on with his crew before gaining international acclaim as the basic footwear of #basicbitches (like Tom Brady). The new sandals are anything but basic, making waves with vibrant, fluffy footwear in a rainbow of sorbet hues. The sheepskin strap is removable—which means it’s also interchangeable, so swap yours out with a different color for a personalized pair. The style: blistering. Your feet: blister free. Ugg Women’s LaaLaa Sandal, $60. ugg.com.

500 FIGURE THIS

That’s the number of drought-tolerant trees being planted in San Diego’s Balboa Park*, part of an initiative to help reestablish the tree canopy depleted by the loss of more than 1,500 trees during recent drought conditions. *SOURCE: Balboa Park Conservancy 14 JUNE 2018 Southern California

Soak up the sun In 2017, Los Angeles reclaimed its title as the leading city for solar rooftop installations after briefly losing the No. 1 spot to San Diego in 2016.


Make a Splash

It’s 2018. You’re woke. You recycle. You compost. You drive an electric car. You don’t buy disposable fashion. You shop at H&M. No, really: you do. You look for items with the green Conscious Choice tag, and you wear them without guilt, knowing the company’s commitment to sustainability isn’t just lip service. By 2020, they aim to use 100 percent sustainable cotton; by 2030, they’ll only use recycled or other sustainably sourced materials, such as recycled polyester, an article fiber made from oil. This CONSCIOUS Swimsuit with Ruffles is made partly with that recycled material. And it’s only $14.99 hm.com

Angel Inspired

No one uses more recycled polyester than Nike. Inspired by the beauty of a Los Angeles sunrise, the Nike LA Cortez launched this spring. And because 75 percent of all Nike shoes now contain some recycled material, you’re all good and green when you wear these pink kicks. nike.com

sensimag.com JUNE 2018 15


THE NEW NORMAL

sensi

buzz

Raising Expectations Picture this: The leaders of California’s wine industry coming together for a three-day tony block party that celebrates the fruits of their labor while raising money to benefit the whole community—including the workers who travel through the region to work the annual harvest. The late Robert Monday founded Auction Napa Valley in 1981, and it’s raised $180 million for the community in its 38 years thanks to live-auction lots of

experiences beyond imagination. (A custom global adventure aboard a private 757, for example. Or a private Lady Antebellum concert for you and 38 friends at a vineyard.) This is what happens when the wine industry leaders gather. And now picture this: the Auction California Cannabis. It’s not a thing…yet. But with the cannabis prohibition coming to an end, the world is —SW ripe with opportunity. 

Grow Far

farms around the world. Several WWOOF hosts are located in Colorado, where you can receive free room, board, and meals in exchange for working the farm just half a day, all while getting a killer workout and learning real-world sustainable farming techniques. WWOOF is also a great gateway for world travel on

Industrial-scale farming forever changed the way modern societies function, but organic farming is the epitome of self-sufficiency. Get your hands in the dirt. If you’re hungry for a hands16 JUNE 2018 Southern California

on organic farming experience, check out Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms WWOOF.ORG. WWOOF can connect an aspiring farmhand with one of the organization’s 19,000 organic

a budget. The organization provides a low-cost boarding option for journeyers who prefer exploring foreign, rural countrysides while living with the locals. The only catch? Farmhands must arrange their own travel arrangements to and from the WWOOF site. 

—Randy Robinson


sensimag.com JUNE 2018 17


18 JUNE 2018 Southern California


sensimag.com JUNE 2018 19


{crossroads} by R I C A R D O B A C A

20 JUNE 2018 Southern California


THREE POPULAR MYTHS AB0UT GREEN CANNABIS An uncomfortable fact: There is significantly more we don’t know about cannabis than what we do know.

MYTH

GREEN CANNABIS = ORGANIC CANNABIS While the idea of organic cannabis seems like an innocuous concept that should be a legit thing in 2018, it is ab-

As such, no marijuana business in Col-

the monolithic difficulty of creating a

orado can technically use the word in

successful, compliant-with-all-regu-

its name or in selling its product, ac-

lations, plant-touching cannabis busi-

cording to officials and industry insid-

ness. And yet I would argue that most

ers. Potential fraud penalties under

Americans in mid-2018 think these

the Colorado Consumer Protection Act

businesses are basically printing

include fines of up to $10,000 per vio-

greenbacks inside their cultivation fa-

lation. Federal rules say that business-

cilities.

es wrongly selling a product as organic could face fines of up to $10,000.”

But no, a cannabis license is not an automatic gold mine. To truly see

There are a few non-USDA third-par-

green while holding a plant-touching

ty organizations with certification pro-

license to grow, process, or retail mar-

Back in September 2015, I remem-

grams for marijuana—including Clean

ijuana and pot products, while still

ber getting a call from a source deep in

Green, Certified Kind and the Cannabis

abiding by some of the most demand-

the industry that the Colorado Attor-

Certification Council—but until canna-

ing regulations in any industry any-

ney General was going after marijua-

bis is legal federally, the word organic

where, an entrepreneur needs excep-

na businesses using organic or organ-

will continue to be treacherous territory.

tional attention to detail, access to

solutely not.

ically grown in their names, websites and marketing materials. The resulting story changed how state-legal

heaps of non-bank-derived capital, a MYTH

trustworthy team, and a lot of luck. Let’s approach the process of

cannabis was marketed throughout

starting a cannabis business chrono-

Colorado and beyond.

logically. First, you need a license to

As my former colleague David Mi-

operate. These licenses are incredibly

goya and I wrote for the Denver Post

valuable and rare in most state-regu-

back then: “Because marijuana is illegal under federal law, and use of the term ‘organic’ is federally regulated, a licensed

GREEN CANNABIS =

lated markets, which means you need

MAKE MONEY-MONEY

access to capital immediately. Be-

“Money basically grows on marijuana plants, right?”

cause cannabis is federally illegal, banks won’t lend you that capital as

cannabis business cannot be certified

Not quite.

they would if you were starting a

as organic—no matter its practices.

It would be impossible to overstate

business in most other industries. So sensimag.com JUNE 2018 21


either you have the money or you’re

new endeavour, you’re suddenly gob-

able to borrow the money from

smacked when you find yourself pay-

friends, family, and investors or … you

ing an effective tax rate of up to 70

don’t. And if you don’t have the capi-

percent—compared to the 30ish per-

tal, you’re already out.

cent any other non-plant-touching

MYTH

But let’s say you get that capital

business is paying. Yes, IRS code

and are lucky enough to land a license.

280E is the federal government’s re-

Congratulations! But because no gov-

ality check for these entrepreneurs, a

ernment had ever regulated cannabis

constant and (yes) taxing reminder

When we think green, we think

before 2009, they’re new at this, too,

that their chosen commodity remains

eco-friendly—and cannabis would

and they’re still figuring out their own

illegal at the federal level.

seem to fall under that umbrella at

GREEN CANNABIS = ECO-FRIENDLY

first look. It’s a plant that allegedly

best practices for licensing, zoning,

So next time you hear someone

and beyond. When you open up shop,

waxing eloquently about the thought-

you’re most likely operating in a high-

less profitability of the green rush,

Yes and no.

ly competitive marketplace. Whole-

mention these barriers to entry, the

Cannabis is a plant, but as I men-

sale prices are down. The number of

lack of consistent and traditional

tioned earlier, it’s one of the most

competitors is up. And profit margins

banking services, the heated and

tightly regulated plants in the world.

are slimming.

sometimes reckless competitive en-

And because we’re still emerging from

But you make it through the first

vironments, and the IRS’s unfair con-

nearly a century of prohibition, this

couple months of business, and when

tinuation of America’s war on mari-

plant is grown indoors more than it is

it comes time to pay taxes on your

juana to set them straight.

outdoors in these modern regulated

22 JUNE 2018 Southern California

“grows like a weed,” right?


environments, requiring high-intensity

alent of the electricity used by 1.7

lights that mirror the sun’s powerful

million homes.”

rays and fuel the plant’s growth and maturation.

While states like California, Oregon and Washington allow outdoor culti-

While these lights are extremely

vation—allowing growers the oppor-

energy intensive, they’re only part

tunity to get away from much of the

of legal marijuana’s concerning re-

energy consumed by these lights, hu-

source problem. Those lights that

midifiers, and air conditioners—grow-

burn so bright also burn so hot, re-

ing cannabis outdoors can also have a

quiring a carefully calibrated suite

negative impact on the environment.

of machinery and technology to

When marijuana is cultivated

offset the lights’ heat—including

outdoors responsibly, the plants

systems that fully ventilate, dehu-

still consume nearly twice as much

midify, and cool these indoor culti-

water as wine grapes, according to

vation facilities.

one University of California, Berke-

As

Think

Progress

reported,

ley study. When it’s cultivated out-

“Cannabis cultivation annually con-

doors irresponsibly, the environ-

sumes one percent of the United

mental impact can be even worse,

States’ total electrical output, which

as poorly managed outdoor mari-

for a single industry growing a sin-

juana cultivations can degrade land

gle crop, is a lot—roughly the equiv-

and erode soil.

So while this plant-based industry inevitably has a more sustainable and profitable future ahead of it, the hangover of prohibition is real. RICARDO BACA is a veteran journalist, thought leader and founder of The Cannabist. His content agency Grasslands works primarily with businesses and individuals in the cannabis and hemp industries on thought leadership, publicity and marketing projects via thoughtful, personalized content campaigns.

sensimag.com JUNE 2018 23


24 JUNE 2018 Southern California


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{tastebuds} story and images by RY P R I C H A R D

COLE’S FRENCH DIP 118 E. 6TH ST, LOS ANGELES 213-622-4090 @COLESFRENCHDIP

At this landmark LA saloon, the French dip took its first dunk in au jus. Or did it?

I DIP YOU DIP WE DIP

26 JUNE 2018 Southern California


There are many “who did it first?” food battles across the country. Restaurants are known to stake claims to iconic dishes, with no less than five people taking credit for the invention of the hamburger, for instance. In Minneapolis, Matt’s Bar and the 5-8 Club have waged a long battle over the credit for inventing the “Juicy Lucy,” a two-patty burger with the cheese encased inside the patty instead of on top. Even the most Chicago of all sandwiches, the Italian Beef, is also in dispute, with Al’s Beef claiming credit but others arguing that the sandwich’s murky origins in the meatpacking industry and

Cole’s and Philippe’s both opened their doors in 1908, but the accounts beyond that are murky at best, with different versions of how the sandwich was created and when, as well as disputes about the name itself.

Italian “peanut weddings” (weddings

story goes like this: a customer was complaining of sore gums due to recent dental work and could not comfortably eat the French bread on which Cole’s was serving their sliced beef sandwich. Henry Cole, the owner and chef at that time, dipped the bread in the au jus created from the beef cooking process to soften it, which caught the eye of several customers also eating at the restaurant, who quickly made the same request. Thus the Cole’s French Dip was born. Philippe’s account is less clear, with the restaurant claiming to have actually invented the sandwich in 1918 (Coles claims their was created in 1908, a full

which provided cheap food such as peanuts and cheap cuts

ten years earlier), partly because the name “French Dip” is

of beef to their guests out of necessity) make the creation of

associated with their original owner, Phillipe Matthieu, who

the sandwich impossible to claim.

was a Frenchman and operated several restaurants in those

One such battle has been taking place since at least

early years in the Frenchtown neighborhood. There are two

1908 in Los Angeles, with two of the oldest operating

main stories: the first involved a customer seeing gravy (au

restaurant/bars in the area (Cole’s Pacific Electric Buffet

jus) in the bottom of a pan and asking the chef to dip his

and Phillipe’s) claiming to have invented the iconic French

bread in it; the second (and more likely) is that a customer

Dip sandwich. The sandwich itself blew up in popularity

complained of the bread being too hard and the chef dipped

quickly and now has since become a staple on the menus

the bread in au jus to soften it and still make the sale.

of sandwich-centric eateries all across the country. Though

To complicate things further (or perhaps to clarify, as

its invention is a disputed claim, nobody questions that it

Cole’s would say) in 1974, the City of Los Angeles declared

did in fact start in Los Angeles.

Cole’s as Historical Landmark Site #104 and a State Point

Cole’s and Philippe’s both opened their doors in 1908, but

of Historical Interest for its location and history, as a part of

the accounts beyond that are murky at best, with different

that, it was also declared to be the inventor of the French

versions of how the sandwich was created and when, as

Dip. While the battle between the two restaurants contin-

well as disputes about the name itself. For Cole’s part, the

ues, Cole’s seems to have won the war via city officials. The sensimag.com JUNE 2018 27


…I again was surprised at the bun, which was perfectly formed and had great texture…

28 JUNE 2018 Southern California

restaurant continued operating as it

Cole’s is old school in the best possible

was through 2007, when it was pur-

way, with rich wood everywhere and the

chased by 213 Hospitality Group and

original historic bar situated near the en-

closed for nearly a year for a thorough

try, bartenders furiously shaking drinks

$1.6 million remodeling project, includ-

almost non-stop.

ing a menu and bar program revamp led

My first experience with Cole’s classic

by leading LA chef Neal Fraser, who re-

sliced beef French dip was back in 2012,

formulated the sandwich to utilize USDA

when I was out for the first ever Canna-

prime beef and local ingredients. The bar

bis Cup in downtown Los Angeles, a cra-

program included the addition of the

zy affair that took place on the same day

Varnish, a swank, speakeasy-style craft

as the Grammys and Whitney Houston’s

cocktail bar which was created inside an

death. This time, being the pastrami

old store room.

fiend that I am, I opted for the pastrami

I found myself at Cole’s seeking both a

dip to see how it compares. My server

taste of the French Dip as well as the

recommended getting the spicy garlic

classic cocktails in which they specialize,

version of whatever side I ordered (ei-

having had a delicious Negroni at their

ther fries or tots), then I spied the Spicy

LAX location on a business trip a couple

Garlic Chili Tots, which checked all the

of weeks prior. Walking down the stairs

proverbial boxes. I also ordered (again, at

from street level, I sat down in a gor-

the advice of my server) the house Old

geous red booth that reminded me of 70’s

Fashioned to wash it down.

gangster flicks. I looked at the wall next to

I was able to get a look inside the

me to see a photo on the wall of the former

kitchen with Cole’s chef Leonardo Lira,

owner with a very svelte True Lies/Kinder-

who showed me the housemade

garten Cop-era Arnold Schwarzenegger,

French rolls sitting on racks, tray after

and another of him posing with a grinning

tray of spice-coated beef, and his sig-

young Tom Hanks. The ambiance inside

nature dessert creation, which he lov-


ingly called “my fat kid invention”, the

pickle and a steaming cup of aus jus for

Churro Waffle (more on that later). I

dipping. The tots came out in a ceramic

left the kitchen and walked back to my

crock, fresh from the broiler, incredibly

table impressed that this place can

crispy despite bring smothered in a

churn out the number of sandwiches it

richly beefy chili. I again was surprised

does on a lunch shift while also mak-

at the bun, which was perfectly formed

ing the bread in-house. Most restau-

and had great texture that held up even

rants take the path of least resistance

after a 5 second dip in the jus (Cole’s

and just purchase bread, but it speaks

menu on the table recommends only a

to the chef-led renovation that oc-

2 second dip, for the record). The pas-

curred in 2007 that Cole’s ultimately

trami happened to be one of the only

took a different approach.

things that they don’t make in-house,

The attention to flavor and ingredi-

but it is sourced from RC Provisions, a

ents was evident in the sandwich,

Burbank-based wholesaler famous for

which was delivered simply, with an

their pastrami (they also provide to

incredibly spicy Habanero-kissed spicy

Langer’s)—needless to say, it was

sensimag.com JUNE 2018 29


pretty much perfect. The Old Fashioned was a classic execution, with an Amarena cherry and both a lemon and orange twist. After putting down the majority of the tots and all of the sandwich, Leo came out from the kitchen to invite me to

30 JUNE 2018 Southern California

watch the construction of the Churro

fevered expectations, getting ridiculously

waffle. It starts with a Belgian-style waf-

crispy and definitely mimicking the senso-

fle that they make earlier in the day,

ry experience of a hot, fresh LA churro.

which allows it to dry a little bit and be

Following my unrestrained gluttony,

less absorbent of oil in the fryer. The waf-

I had to go through the back of the

fle is fried crisp, then dumped into a con-

restaurant to check out The Varnish,

tainer of cinnamon-sugar, where it

which has a slim menu of 5 craft cock-

comes out sparkling and looking much like

tails as well as a suggestive “Bartend-

a churro. Finally, it gets a dollop of vanilla

er’s Choice”, where the staff will try to

ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup.

pull your proverbial card with a custom

The thoughts running through my carb-

creation. They also have a selection of

starved brain at that moment could best

bar snacks such as roasted nuts, pick-

be described as “frantic”. It lived up to my

led veggies, and even a pound cake, all


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Cole’s has brunch service on the

would usually opt for the custom cre-

weekends and just recently added full

ation, I wanted to try one of the menu

kitchen service until 1 AM. The latter is

selections and chose the “Dr. Funk”, de-

significant because there are only a

scribed on the menu as “funky rums,

handful of restaurants open at that hour

lime grenadine, demerara, and absinthe”.

in DTLA. Bar-hoppers usually have to re-

Being a weirdo rum enthusiast (the

sort to a street cart or make the trip to

most interesting of which are generally

K-Town to properly soak up their revelry,

spelled “rhum”), the drink was right up

but now there’s another great option. I

my alley and eminently drinkable.

walk out of Cole’s into the crisp night, up the stairs that millions have walked before me, and soak in my fortunateness at living in this amazing city.

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{aroundtown} by S T E P H A N I E W I L S O N

GO GREEN This summer, escape from the grind and let mother nature spoil your soul with five-star amenities. You’re not slowly going mad while you’re going nowhere

Getting away from the city is good for you on a ton of

in rush hour. Southern California is indeed more crowded

different levels. Research has shown that people who live

than it used to be. In 2017, the region’s population passed

in cities may suffer more psychological stress than people

the 18 million mark, and the five counties in this region are

who live in rural areas, with higher risk for anxiety and

the state’s most populated, and Los Angeles ranks as the

mood disorders. Don’t let that news stress you out

most traffic-congested urban area in the world.

though—you don’t need to move to middle-of-nowhere

Whatever. Sure, California’s car culture is a drag when

Iowa for the sake of your mental health. Drugs aren’t the

you’re trying to get across town during the oxymoronic

answer either. There’s an all-natural antidote and it’s with-

“rush hour,” but the tall, skinny palm trees flanking the

in easy reach: connecting with nature. Study after study has indicated that nature plays a vital

minders that we live in paradise. This summer, getaway

role in human health and well-being, and connecting with

from the grind and immerse yourself in Southern Califor-

nature increases life satisfaction, vitality, and happiness—

nia’s splendor.

and it reduces stress. Technology, however, increasingly

PHOTO COURTESY OF VISIT CALIFORNIA

sea of tail lights clogging the 405 are emblematic re-

34 JUNE 2018 Southern California


disconnects us from it, and that is not just bad for us, it’s

often as you can. Use your vacation days. Fewer Ameri-

bad for the environment.

cans left unused vacation days on the table in 2017 than

An analysis of scientific research reviewed by San Diego

previous years, but 52 percent of workers still did. Much

State University’s Dr. Sara Unsworth found that contact

like connecting with nature, taking a vacation has scien-

with nature fosters not only individual happiness and

tifically shown to have a ton of health benefits, from

well-being, it leads to environmentally responsible behav-

stress reduction and heart disease prevention to better

ior. When you’re surrounded by nature, you see the impor-

sleep. And that’s just any vacation. Imagine how good for

tance of it—of protecting it. Basically, if you spend some

you a vacation in the great outdoors is for your mind,

time in the forest, you may emerge a tree hugger. And

body, and soul.

that’s the best kind of hugger there is. Around here, you’ve got all sorts of trees to hug. I prefer the palms, but you do you. Just make sure you do it as

So basically you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t go camping this summer. And don’t worry, it’s not too late to plan a getaway.

sensimag.com JUNE 2018 35


There are more than 14,000 campsites in

sourced beans are as fresh as possible

California State Parks alone, not to men-

when they go into your french press? Tree

tion the national parks, private camp-

hugger.) Just be sure to follow “leave no

grounds, and other properties where

trace” principles and take nothing but pic-

you’re welcome to sleep under the stars.

tures, leave nothing but footprints.

Start your search at HIPCAMP.COM, which

So just ask yourself what do you

empowers people to share their land

want to see in those pictures? Car camp

with campers. The site unlocks access to

by the ocean and let the sound of the

ranches, nature preserves, farms, vine-

surf lull you to sleep. Head to the desert

yards, and public campgrounds across

and lay awake awestruck staring at a

the US, and you can book tent camping,

sky filled with more stars than you’ve

treehouses, cabins, yurts, primitive

ever seen. Pitch a tent amid a cactus

backcountry sites, car camping, air-

garden on a hippie homestead. Your op-

streams, tiny houses, RV camping,

tions are basically endless, and while

glamping tents, and more.

some of the best spots do book up ear-

The options are nearly as endless as the wilderness is vast. Wherever you go, go green. When it comes to travel, camping has one of the lightest ecological impacts, especially if you keep your consumerism in check. (Do you really need to buy the solar-powered coffee grinder to ensure your ethically

36 JUNE 2018 Southern California

ly, this is a big state and the wilderness is vast. And it’s calling. Get out there. For your own good, and for the good of nature. Naturally.


SLEEP BY THE SEA Wake up by the waves at Southern California’s State Parks. As of press time, sites were still available in June and July at these spots. Don’t sleep on it. Visit reservecalifornia.com to book. S A N O N O F R E S TAT E B E A C H The San Mateo Campground is a short distance inland from Trestles Beach— the world-famous surfing spot known for its consistent waves. D O H E N Y S TAT E B E A C H Some of the sites are just steps from the sand in this Dana Point surf spot. S A N C L E M E N T E S TAT E B E A C H Camp high atop the bluffs of rugged sandstone cliffs towering above the mile-long beach.

sensimag.com JUNE 2018 37


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SP ECIAL R EP OR T

As the cannabis industry matures, can it move away from petroleumbased plastic containers and toward more green solutions? by LEL AND RUCKER

We are in love with plastic. WHY NOT? IT’S ONE OF THE MOST USEFUL SUB-

that billions of plastic containers wind up in landfills and junkyards after a single use. Some of it ends up in that noto-

STANCES EVER CREATED, PRESENT TODAY IN

rious vortex of plastic trash the size of Texas that whirls

LITERALLY EVERYTHING FROM BOTTLED WATER

around in the Pacific Ocean, where it is ingested by birds

TO LAWN FURNITURE. IT WOULD BE DIFFICULT TO IMAGINE LIFE WITHOUT PLASTIC. IT’S PART OF THE KEYBOARD YOU TYPE ON, THE MOUSE YOU MOVE. PLASTIC MAKES OUR LIVES INFINITE-

and marine life. A beached whale recently was found with pounds of plastic in its stomach amidst other human debris. Product packaging, including for cannabis, is considered responsible for more than 40 percent of all plastic waste. “If you look at the life cycle of whole-plant marijuana from

LY EASIER, AND KEEPS OUR FOOD, DRINKS—AND

seed to consumption, environmentally, it’s pretty atrocious,”

CANNABIS—FRESH AND SAFE.

says Brandon Pitcher, whose company, Blue Circle Development, works with businesses worldwide to develop more

Many Americans like their cannabis, too. If you live in a

sustainable products. “The energy, the nutrients, the water

state where it’s illegal, you might just have a bag of weed. If

consumption, and the packaging are ultimately unsustain-

you’re a user in a legal state, it’s a lot different. A glance to the

able. You can buy a joint that has three layers of plastic be-

right of my desk reveals eight plastic containers with varying

fore you even get to it.”

amounts of product in each. Next to those is a pre-rolled joint

Each state has its own packaging rules, but all have

locked inside a plastic tube with a plastic, child-resistant cap.

four basics in common. Anything that holds cannabis

When they’re empty, I’ll toss them into the recycle bin.

must be in a container that is child-resistant, opaque,

This thirst for convenience has a serious downside. Plastic is an oil-based product. Numbers vary, but it’s safe to say 40 JUNE 2018 Southern California

tamper-resistant, and includes a label that gives accurate consumer product information.


sensimag.com JUNE 2018 41


“Our number-one task is protecting

California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon,

forward. “There is a lot of waste within

public health and safety,” says Shan-

Washington, Illinois and Colorado.

the cannabis industry, and it makes

non Gray, spokesperson for the Colora-

“For such a green industry, aren’t you

me wonder what kind of carbon foot-

do Department of Marijuana Enforce-

surprised at how much plastic is be-

print we are leaving for future canna-

ment Division, the state’s regulatory

ing used?,” he asks rhetorically. “Peo-

bis users,” she says. “There are ways

agency. “The rules are created to en-

ple are so conscious about the envi-

around this. The hemp industry

hance public safety and keep it out of

ronment until you ask them to pay

should be more green than it is, but we

the hands of minors.”

more for packaging.”

have to change our mindset.”

Cardboard and glass are also preva-

Offering a fully recyclable, stain-

Ron Basak-Smith and James Eich-

lent in cannabis packaging, but plas-

less steel can to hold cannabis buds

ner are part of that changing mind-

tic is the most used material, adds

brought some serious pushback at

set. They met in graduate school at

Dominique Mendiola, deputy director

first, with most complaints centered

the University of Colorado and bond-

of policy, regulation & communica-

around the higher cost and the fact

ed over music, skiing and cannabis.

tions for the MED. “It’s not limited to

that you couldn’t see the product. But

Basak-Smith says that he has been

plastic, but I would say that, more

as businesses started to consider the

against plastic, single-use packaging

commonly, most packaging that has

advantages of a recyclable product,

since he was a child, and both grew

child-resistant qualities is plastic.”

Martin says those objections have

to especially dislike the popular plas-

mostly faded. N2 is now designing a

tic, pop-top containers that tend to

see-through lid.

pop their tops at inopportune mo-

Given the growing concern in this country about oil-based products, should we be doing more about all

“To be honest, we were ahead of

this plastic—especially in an industry

the need,” he admits. “People didn’t

that prides itself on sustainability and

want to put cannabis in something

“We were upset as customers. Here

being green? The introduction of re-

that looked like a cat food can. They

we were with these sustainably based

cyclable cans, hemp-based plastics,

didn’t care about preservation be-

products, and they’re in this crappy

and other non-petroleum products

cause they were selling it as quickly

packaging,” Eichner says. “The other

could help speed the way to more sus-

as they were growing it. That started

thing was the fact that being a cylin-

tainable packaging. The main obsta-

to change when companies started

der, it was too reminiscent of a pill bot-

cle is cost. Plastic is simply cheaper

thinking long term.”

tle. We wanted to move away from the

than any of its alternatives.

ments, like in your pocket when snowboarding or skiing.

There are now bills in front of both

shape of a pill bottle. Cannabis can be

Rao McMurthy is CEO of Denver

houses of the US Congress that would

medicine, but it’s also a lifestyle thing.”

Custom Packaging, which developed

allow hemp, one of the most sustain-

They took a class in Sustainable

the Doob Cube, a child-resistant alter-

able crops on the planet, to be treated

Venturing, which got them excited

native to the popular pop-top contain-

like any other agricultural product, for

enough to look into hemp. They

ers. He says that packaging accounts

the first time in almost eighty years.

formed Sana, with offices in Colorado

for two and a half to five percent of the retail price, which can make more expensive alternatives a tough sell to businesses with already tight profit margins. “What it comes down to is

“Our number-one task is protecting public health and safety.”

that everybody’s a start-up,” he says, “and nobody wants to pay the bump

Hemp was grown by the Founding Fa-

and California, and they have already

up for biodegradable plastics.”

thers and was an ingredient in many

created hemp-based, child-resistant

One alternative is stainless-steel

medicines to building materials. Could

boxes and are expanding into other

can packaging. Scott Martin is CEO of

hemp, a cannabis product, become part

containers that can be used for more

N2 Packaging, based in Twin Falls,

of the solution to all this plastic waste?

than just getting your cannabis home

Idaho, which has patented a recycla-

Lara Gonzalez, who works for Ora

from the store. “We made it so con-

ble, stainless-steel can packed and

Care,

Massachu-

tainers nest inside each other to make

sealed with nitrogen to preserve

setts-based company that sells CBD

them more efficient for shipping and

freshness and is in dispensaries in

products, says that hemp offers a way

storing. The lid won’t pop open, and

42 JUNE 2018 Southern California

a

Springfield,


you can turn it over, and it makes a great rolling tray,” Eichner says.

waste is a little over the top.” He says that, ultimately, the burden

it more competitive with traditional plastic offerings, and give his small

Beyond cost, since it’s still illegal fed-

for keeping cannabis away from mi-

erally, there is no infrastructure for

nors needs to shift more to the parent

“It begins to be cost-effective in large

hemp products to be grown, processed,

than the package, especially when

numbers,” Sherman says. “And we can

and sold in this country. Legalizing

cannabis is being sold in a store where

tag along and ride their coattails. I want

hemp here would go a long way in al-

children have no access. It would also

to show that you can build businesses

lowing investment dollars for the devel-

allow for more innovative packaging.

that are benefiting the environment

opment and construction of the facili-

“I would think from a legal standpoint

rather than taking it away. Now, I’m

ties necessary to make hemp more

that it would be easy for law enforce-

part of the problem. I’d like to go back

competitive. Given that the industry is

ment to prove it’s not contributing to

and be part of the solution.”

literally starting over, we are still at least

kids getting cannabis,” Beck says.

several years from that happening.

“Kids can figure out how to get into

Colorado just announced a new set

tamper-proof things, anyway.”

of packaging rules that took hold in

Until then, companies will have to

July, and Mendiola says the state

continue to innovate on their own. Ari

brings together focus groups and stake-

Sherman is co-founder and president

holders to talk about ways to improve

of Evo Hemp, a Boulder, Colorado com-

its regulations. “I expect more interest

pany that makes hemp extracts, pro-

in environmentally friendly packaging

tein snacks, powders, and seeds. While

in future meetings,” she says.

developing its protein bar, Sherman

Many people hope state legislators

was introduced to Innovia Films, one

will begin to rethink some of the

of the world’s largest packaging sup-

strictest

rules

on

company access to better prices.

child-resistant

pliers based in England. The company

packaging to more accurately reflect

offers a line of film, or packaging, that

the new normal. “I think we were

looks like plastic, feels like plastic, and

more green before the state regula-

works like plastic, with one major dif-

tions,” says Jason Beck, a California

ference: it can be composted. Innovia

dispensary owner who’s had to react

is now working with larger brands to

to a lot of state rule changes over the

invest in better facilities for producing

years. “The sheer packaging and

the compostable film, which will make

What You Can Do as a Consumer?

1 2 3 4

sensimag.com JUNE 2018 43


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CANNABIS in the

HOUSE by ROBYN GRIGGS L AWRENCE

I INGES TED

cannabis

FOR YEARS

BEFORE I CAME FACE-TO-FACE WITH A REAL, LIVE PL ANT. IT WAS A MOMENT. WOWED BY HER MUSCULAR, FIERCE FEMININITY AND OVERWHELMING AROMA, I COOED AT AND PETTED HER WHILE MY FRIEND WHO GREW HER PROUDLY ROLLED HIS EYES. MY RELATIONSHIP WITH CANNABIS WAS FOREVER CHANGED, AND I BEGAN GROWING MY OWN MEDICINE. I LIVE IN COLORADO, SO I CAN—WITH RESTRICTIONS.

46 JUNE 2018 Southern California


“Should we expect PLANT NURSERIES where we access our trees, ornamentals and bedding plants to begin CULTIVATING CANNABIS in those regions of the country WHERE IT IS LEGAL TO DO SO? Yes, that process is underway as you read this.” —Turf magazine, August 2016 I can’t grow my six plants (three in flower, three in vegetation) just anywhere. They must be in an “enclosed, locked area that can’t be viewed openly,” which means, according to the state’s website, “plants can’t be outside.” That’s not entirely true. Amendment 64 to the Colorado Constitution makes growing outdoors “not unlawful” if it “takes place in an enclosed, locked space” and “not conducted openly or publicly.” That’s confusing, and a lot of other states have followed Colorado’s lead. Oregonians can grow four plants anywhere on their property, but citizens in California, Massachusetts, and Alaska must keep their plants hidden and secured, and gardeners in Maine must also tag them. Keeping up with state and local laws, which can change on a dime, isn’t easy. Still, law reform is opening up a world of possibility for gardeners across the country who— like me—embrace cannabis as an exotic new plant. Susan Sheldon, a landscape architect and master gardener in sensimag.com JUNE 2018 47


Susan Sheldon’s Guide to Cannabis in the Garden

OBEY LAWS. Make sure your space complies with all local regulations. BE DISCREET. Hide plants with other plants or structures. Cannabis is still federally illegal and could invite thieves.

PLANT A DIVERSE ECOSYSTEM. If possible, plant cannabis among beneficial companion plants (a list is at projectcbd.org/tags/companionplanting-cannabis) with good light penetration and air flow. GIVE PLANTS SPACE. Cannabis plants need at least 2.5 to 3 square feet. The more space you give the roots, the larger your plant will grow.

FEED THEM. Go online or visit a grow store to find the best nutrients for your plants. Don’t be stingy, but don’t overfeed them. WATER AS NEEDED. Let plants dry out between watering, then thoroughly saturate them. If plants are in pots, place the pot in a tub of water and let the plant drink from the bottom up. If pots are in trays, don’t let them sit in water.

PRACTICE GARDEN SANITATION. Remove diseased plants or plant pieces immediately. Clean pruning shears with rubbing alcohol between plants. BEWARE OF MOLD. Plants in damp climates are most susceptible, but mold can happen anywhere. Check plants daily if not twice daily. In late season before harvest, shake off dew and fan them. KILL POWDERY MILDEW. PM Remover, a spray made from potassium bicarbonate, lactose, and garlic powder, works.

The Feng Shui of Cannabis Interior designer and feng shui master Jami Lin, who uses CBD oil in her Hempress Youth Duo skincare line, can’t grow hemp plants at her home in Florida. If she could, she would place them in her home’s southeastern and eastern corners, where according to feng shui’s “five elements theory,” the wood element resides. Plants are wood elements, so they feel comfortable and thrive there. Lin says you can also place cannabis plants, with intention, in the southeastern or eastern part of individual rooms. In the bedroom, they would grow opportunities for deepening relationships; in the office, professional and financial opportunities; in the meditation room, subliminal and unconscious head spaces. 48 JUNE 2018 Southern California


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Amherst, Massachusetts, is one of them. Despite years of rigorous training, Sheldon had no idea how to grow cannabis. (It’s not discussed at the Garden Club of Amherst.) She learned online and now has cannabis sprinkled among the hyssop, borage, basil, chamomile, and mountain mint in her herb garden full of native pollinators. “The flower is amazing to watch develop,” she says. “There’s no other plant like that.” Growing cannabis takes knowledge, time and attention, Sheldon adds, but anyone with good intentions can do it. “You’ve gotta have the attitude that you’ll win some, you’ll lose some, and it’s a learning experience,” she says. (Sheldon’s tips for growing cannabis in the garden are on page 48.)

Happy Houseplants People who don’t have the luxury of enclosed, secured outdoor space or who want to live more intimately with cannabis are turning to another alternative: keeping it as a houseplant. Ganjasana yoga founder Rachael Carlevale, who lives with her husband on a hemp farm in Berthoud, Colorado, keeps plants in her living room and on a kitchen window sill alongside aloe (which she says is a great cloning agent). Carlevale trims off leaves to make organic juice that she drinks for health reasons. “Cannabis is a plant, like any other plant, that happens to have medicinal properties,” she says. “It’s also a very beautiful plant.” Jeanine Moss, founder of Los Angeles-based AnnaBís, which makes luxury “aroma-bloc” handbags and accessories, keeps four plants that were given to her by a friend in her home, and they make her smile every time she walks into the room. “They make me feel like I’m getting good air all the time, and I get a huge amount of pleasure out of having beautiful green trees in my house,” she says.

“It’s not a Ficus Tree” Pointing out that cannabis is referred to, after all, as a weed, both Moss and Carlevale take a relatively handsoff approach to their plants. Less is more, both women say, and branches dripping with fat nugs is not the goal. When Carlevale’s houseplants flower, she and her husband call it “free weed.” “I’m never going to go and fawn over my plants and trim their little leaves and spritz them. I can barely get away from my desk for a couple of seconds, and if I do, it’s 50 JUNE 2018 Southern California


Your Guide to Cannabis

as a Houseplant

Cannabis is an ideal houseplant because when it’s kept in its vegetative state, it provides more oxygen than any other leafy plant and an ongoing source of nutritious, delicious leaves. Unlike the complicated process of cultivating plants for high yields and potent flowers, growing cannabis as a perennial is fairly simple. Every cultivar is different, but all cannabis plants have the following general needs. LIGHT AND AIR. Photo-responsive cannabis gets big

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A 3-GALLON OR LARGER POT. Cannabis plants have fast metabolisms and need a lot of water, but with large enough root systems, they don’t have to be watered every day. A 5-gallon pot is ideal. ORGANIC SOIL. Support companies that support your ideals. Go local if possible.

WATER. Don’t overwater! Water only when the soil is dry and the leaves begin to droop. Once you’ve developed a relationship with the plant and understand its cycles, try to water the day before the leaves droop. FOOD. Sprinkle organic granule fertilizer on top of the soil and scratch in with your fingers.

ROOT LOVE. To prevent fast-growing cannabis from getting rootbound, paint the inside of its pot with Micro- Kote, which has copper that prevents roots from circling. If you skip this step, you’ll need to prune annually. Pull out the plant and cut off about 3 inches of roots and 3 inches around the edges and bottom of the soil, then fill in with fresh soil. PEST CONTROL. Water predatory nematodes, which clean up bad bugs and become bioavailable plant food, into the soil when you plant. To kill fungus and mites, spray the top and bottom of your plants’ leaves with a mix of 5 milliliters of Bonide, a micronized sulphur, and a gallon of water. POSITIVE ENERGY. Cannabis plants like exchanging energy with us. They need love and affection.

SEAWEED. It’s their favorite snack.

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not to do that,” says Moss, who did transplant her plants into larger containers and does water them on a two-day on/one-day off schedule. Even under Moss’s minimalist care, her plants are producing small flowers. “If they have some THC, I’ll be happy,” she says. “If they don’t, I’ll still be happy. I’m enjoying them as plants and a little bit of décor.” That makes sense to Carol Venolia, a Santa Rosa, California-based architect and author of Get Back to Nature

Without Leaving Home, who is amazed at how similar the benefits of simply looking at greenery—reduced blood pressure, muscle tension, stress, and pain perception and speedier recovery from surgery —are to those of ingesting cannabis. “With cannabis as an outdoor or indoor plant, you get all those benefits plus the fun of your association with cannabis’s many pleasant effects and the fun of sitting in a chair and just popping a leaf in your mouth,” she says. “It makes a statement. It’s not a ficus tree. It’s saying you’re cool, or crazy, or normal.”

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You can LIVE with I’m in love with these emerging products that make it possible to grow indoors without tents, fans, or timers. ROOT (GROWWITHROOT.COM), launching now in the Bay Area and expected to roll out nationwide in the fall, is a 1-square-foot smart indoor garden system, or “deployable farm,” that automatically waters and aerates plants at their root systems and mimics natural sunlight with full- spectrum LED lights. Cute enough to put in a hallway or office, the planters let users control food, water and lighting through an app. The company’s website promises to take amateur growers “from hydro-panic to hydroponic” so they can “experience the farm without the fear or frenzy.” SOLTECH SOLUTIONS (SOLTECHSOLUTIONSLLC.COM) recently released Aspect, the first LED grow light designed to blend beautifully with home decor. CEO Paul Hodges designed the shaded lights as an alternative to currently available grow lights and envisions Aspect lights hanging over bonsaied cannabis plants in lofts from Denver to Portland and beyond. “You could get cannabis from the plants, but not all the cannabis you could ever ask for,” he says—and that’s not the point. “It’s about reflecting your lifestyle. People want their living room decor to be a reflection of themselves, and growing cannabis is a great way to bring that connection even closer.”


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As an adult, I overcompensated for being an agro-chemical industry victim by moving to Boulder, Colorado (epicenter of the organic food movement), helping to fight for national organic food standards—we won a rare victory, though the USDA regulations are continually being downgraded—and editing a magazine

IS IT ORGANIC? TRY NOT TO PANIC. Toxic pesticides used to grow cannabis are even more dangerous when smoked and processed into concentrates. In the absence of federal organic standards or certification, here’s how to find clean, green weed.

about natural lifestyles. I fed my kids local, non-GMO, humanely raised, fair trade, certified organic meat and produce (and, not gonna lie, a lot of Annie’s organic mac and cheese). When it comes to organics, I’m a believer. So, naturally, when I stepped into a Colorado dispensary for the first time in 2009, I had questions for the budtender. “Is all of this organic?” I asked hopefully, already mesmerized by the jars of glistening, fragrant flowers. “Organic? Um, yeah,” said the budtender. “Were any chemicals used to grow it?” “Well, yeah, I don’t know. I have a list of chemicals we don’t let growers use. You want to see it?” “But you have no way of knowing whether they used these or not—or what they did use? No certification, no testing?” “Um, no.” That’s a big reason I grow my own.

by ROBYN GRIGGS LAWRENCE

In Massachusetts, "A Very Chilling Message" To be fair, Colorado has done a lot to address pesticides in cannabis since my first dispensary visit. In 2015, Governor John Hickenlooper declared pesticide-tainted cannabis a public safety risk, and the state began a string

I GREW UP IN A MIDWESTERN CITY RINGED BY FIELDS OF CORN AND SOYBEANS SO HEAVILY SPRAYED WITH CHEMICALS THAT IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO GROW THE PLANTS ORGANICALLY ANYWHERE IN

The toxins from those fields were in the air we breathed and the water we drank. WHEN THE VICINITY.

I WAS A KID, THIS SEEMED PRETTY BEASTLY.

of recalls. The initiative was a PR nightmare for the industry—and appears to be working. Last year Colorado found residue of unapproved pesticides in 13 percent of cannabis samples tested in response to complaints, down from 49 percent in 2016. sensimag.com JUNE 2018 57


I’m thrilled about that, but Colorado still doesn’t require cannabis to be tested for pesticides and mycotoxin contaminants. I’m not taking the chance, and neither are my friends across the country in Massachusetts, where non-organic pesticides are banned but third-party testing for pesticides isn’t required, either. Ethnobotanist and natural food industry pioneer Chris Kilham planted a cannabis garden in his Amherst backyard after he read the words “may not conform to pesticide standards” on the label for flower he bought from a local dispensary. “I was like, what the hell?” he says. “That is a very chilling message.” Boston medical marijuana patient Laura Beohner turned to a caregiver who grows in small batches in Maine after the concentrates she bought from a dispensary gave her headaches. Beohner is confident in her grower, whom she knows personally, and says using only organically grown cannabis and solventless rosin have made a huge difference in her health and energy. For her CBD topicals business, The Healing Rose Company, Beohner takes

Holy Vigilante! “Never underestimate the power of the vigilante consumer,” Anita Roddick, the late founder of The Body Shop, once said. Her words are even more relevant in the nascent, unregulated cannabis industry, where there are no agreed-upon organic standards. If that makes you a little bit crazy, don’t despair. You can be like Batman next time you buy cannabis. Ask questions! And more questions! The budtender should know how cannabis was grown and processed; whether synthetic fungicides, insecticides, and pesticides were used; whether it was sprayed with synthetic materials while in flower; and whether it has been tested for pesticides (and by which lab). If she can’t answer any of these questions, take your business somewhere else. Spend money in stores that test for pesticide and fungal content. Vote with your hard-earned dollars for businesses that are doing the right thing. Request the manufacturer’s Certificate of Analysis. Dr. Mary Van, a Florida-based clinical pharmacist and functional medicine practitioner who specializes in cannabis therapy, advises patients to call and ask for this document, which contains lab test results for pesticides and contaminants (and a lot more), when buying cannabis products. “Transparency is everything,” Van says. “No third-party Certificate of Analysis—no go.” If you’re able, give flowers a smell test. Trust your nose. If cannabis smells sharp or metallic, like sulphur or chlorine, pesticides were likely used and improperly flushed. A musty, mildewy aroma portends mold. If you’re able, inspect flowers under a microscope.Don’t buy cannabis if you see brown, yellowing leaves, white spots, or cobwebs. Don’t buy anything if you feel like you’re being hustled. That budtender who keeps trying to sell you cannabis from a full jar on the top shelf, and even offers to throw in a free joint? Yeah, no.

the additional step of having every hemp extract that comes in the door tested in a laboratory for pesticides, residual solvents, heavy metals, and microbiological contaminants—an additional expense

which certifies organic food, won’t touch

she believes is well worth it. “I can show

erated in an unregulated setting, vari-

cannabis until it’s federally legal.

ous practices have been adopted that

the results to people at trade shows and

Cannabis producers can state that

send them to wholesale people so they

are at odds with accepted regulations

plants were “grown with organic

feel good about what they’re selling,” she

regarding human safety and environ-

methods,” but that’s tough to verify. In

says. “A lot of our customers value us and

mental impacts,” CSI states in a white

legal states from coast to coast, grow-

continue to come to us because of our

paper. “Chief amongst these is the un-

ers and dispensers have, for the most

promise of all-organic ingredients.”

regulated use of pesticides, which has

part, been left to police their own pesti-

potentially serious public health and

cide use—with, as we’ve seen in Colo-

environmental consequences.”

"Potentially Serious Public Health and Environmental Consequences"

rado, sometimes disastrous results.

In California, where stricter regula-

And Colorado is far from alone. In

tions and testing requirements will be

Oregon, the Cannabis Safety Institute

I’m far from alone in wanting to see

phased in next year, University of Cali-

(CSI) found pesticide residues exceed-

organic standards and certification for

fornia-Davis researchers report that

ing allowable levels for an agricultural

cannabis growers and processors. But

pesticides are widely used in the canna-

product on close to half of the retail

despite our growing voice, that’s not like-

bis industry. Last year a startling num-

products it tested. “Given that canna-

ly to happen anytime soon. The USDA,

ber of entries to the cannabis competi-

bis production has developed and op-

tion at the Emerald Cup were rejected

58 JUNE 2018 Southern California


The Dirty Half Dozen

"Like Injecting That Pesticide Right into Your Bloodstream"

nabinoids also concentrates pesticides,

Researchers have been working

found 10 times more toxic pesticides on

for decades to establish safe levels of

cannabis concentrates than on flowers,

pesticide consumption, but almost

at levels that “grossly exceed tolerances

every study is based on eating food.

for pesticides on any commodity.”

CSI states. The institute’s researchers

Smoking presents a whole new set of

This is alarming, to say the least, and

risks because chemicals enter the

it’s good to see states beginning to ad-

These chemicals, commonly used on cannabis, are toxic to people and the planet. Some are possible human carcinogens. All are best avoided.

bloodstream at much higher, more

dress these dangers. Until more prog-

concentrated levels and are not fil-

ress is made, however, it’s up to us. We

tered through the digestive and he-

have to ask difficult questions, demand

patic systems. Pesticides in canna-

Myclobutanil (Eagle 20)

systemic change, and make purchasing

bis can be transferred into smoke

decisions that support conscientious,

Imidacloprid

with efficiencies as high as 70 per-

ethical agriculture.

Avermectin B (Lucid and Avid) Etoxazole (TetraSan5 WDG) Bifenazate Piperonyl Butoxide

because they contained pesticides, and Steep Hill Labs found that 41 of 44 cannabis products in Los Angeles contained

cent, CSI found.

It may be too late for Iowa’s glypho-

“It’s really like injecting that pesti-

sate-soaked corn and soybean fields,

cide right into your bloodstream,” Dr.

but it’s not too late for cannabis. By de-

Jeff Raber, CEO of Los Angeles-based

fault, legal states will lead the conversa-

cannabis testing lab The Werc Shop,

tion about organic cultivation and

told NBC Los Angeles. “It could cause

chemical use. As citizens and consum-

damage to your kidneys, to your liver,

ers in these states, we have a rare op-

or other organs.”

portunity to make our voices heard.

Cannabis extracts—oils, waxes, shat-

We

need

to

speak

up

now.

ter, etc.—magnify the situation. Using

The agro-chemical beast is already

butane, pentane and CO2 to extract can-

circling.

pesticides at levels that would get them banned in Colorado or Massachusetts. It’s a sticky situation, no matter what state you’re in. Chemicals make growing easier and more efficient. (Just ask the few farmers left in my home state.)

Certified

Super effective at fighting off spider mites, powdery mildew, and other pests and microbes that can destroy crops and harm consumers, pesticides are cheaper and easier to control than organic methods like no-till living soil and beneficial insects. That’s why cannabis growers have come to rely on synthetic fungicides like Dow Chemical’s Eagle 20, a brute against powdery mildew. Trouble is, Eagle 20

In the absence of federal oversight, these organizations offer third-party certification for growers using organic cultivation methods. Look for their labels. CANNABIS CERTIFICATION COUNCIL // CANNABISCERTIFICATIONCOUNCIL.ORG Nonprofit standard-holding body that offers a national third-party certification program and seal for organic cultivation and fair labor practices. CLEAN GREEN CERTIFIED // CLEANGREENCERTIFIED.COM California-based third-party certifier that mimics federal organic standards in California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and Colorado.

contains myclobutanil, which releases hydrogen cyanide—a poisonous gas— when it’s heated. And even more trouble: azadirachtin—an organic pesticide that many growers use instead—can cause a

CERTIFIED KIND // CERTIFIED-KIND.COM Certification standards equivalent to internationally accepted norms for organic crops and processed products in Oregon, Nevada, California, Colorado, and Washington.

potentially debilitating toxic buildup known as hyperemesis syndrome. sensimag.com JUNE 2018 59


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{HereWeGo} by S T E P H A N I E W I L S O N

Be Extra

Rock out with your guac out this summer at the CADO popup in San Diego. In LA last month, Happiness was a place made for Instagram. This month, the California Avocado Commission is opening a Story-worthy experience in San Diego that’s going to be dominating your social feeds. Because really, this is a photo shoot masked as an experience. In a 6,700square-foot structure comprised of 16 mobile shipping containers fused together and housing seven exhibits that put you at the pit of guacamole’s green goddess. Walk down the 100-foot-long ombré hallway covered in thousands of 3D tiles that play with your perception. Enter the Ripe Room and press into the avocado-skinned walls, squishy yet firm. Smell the “California sunshine” and fresh air of an actual grove. Taste avocado fare that’s CA AF. There will be clean beauty hacks and face masks in the Powder Room. There will be cassette tapes and Walkmans and Jason Mraz. And there will be surprises. If you saw any of the pink snapshots emerging from the popup Ice Cream Museum in San Francisco this fall or from the Happiness Museum in Los Angeles last month, think of the CADO experience on the same level. Except instead of pastels, you’ve got ripe greens and sunny yellows. Check out the @thecado.co on Insta and dress accordingly. You don’t want to clash with the backdrop. For tickets, go to thecado.co. 66 JUNE 2018 Southern California


Profile for Sensi Magazine

Sensi Magazine - Los Angeles (June 2018)  

Sensi Magazine - Los Angeles (June 2018)

Sensi Magazine - Los Angeles (June 2018)  

Sensi Magazine - Los Angeles (June 2018)