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july/august2016

issue

12

the virtuoso We sit with world acclaimed tattoo artist and painter Carlos Torres

The games changed, but the hustle remains the same.

merry jane Tokewell sessions with the crew behind the most revolutionary site for cannabis culture.

lost art We rap with two young entrepreneurs that reveal to us the Lost Art of success.

$4.20 U.S. $5.20 CAN


july/august 2016

38

contents features estevan oriol

38

The games changed, but the hustle remains the same.

24

lost art

We rap with two young entrepreneurs that reveal to us the Lost Art of success.

50

5 Editor’s Letter

merry jane

Tokewell sessions with the crew behind the most revolutionary site for cannabis culture.

chain reaction

Jackie Chain reveals how his hustle has moved him to the top of the rap game.

columns

60

artisinal collective: the virtuoso

74

We sit with world acclaimed tattoo artist and painter Carlos Torres.

departments 8 The Word: State of the Vape Union 12 The Word: A Message from CASAA

16 New Products 88 Gastronomics: Ajos y Cebollas

on the cover PHOTO BY LEAH MORIYAMA Estevan Oriol. Page 38.

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issue 12 | jul/aug 2016

Published by fr3shLAb creative group, llc President, Founding Partner Richard Coyle RICH@TOKEWELL.COM Creative Director, Founding Partner, Ryan Furuya RYAN@TOKEWELL.COM Editor-in-Chief Richard Coyle Co-Founder, Senior V.P., Operations Cindy Galindo CINDY@TOKEWELL.COM Director of Finance Yvonne Morton YVONNE@TOKEWELL.COM Contributing Writers Leilani Anderson, Alex Clark, Cindy Galindo, Rene Galindo, Jim McAlpine, Maximilian Sterling Contributing Photographers Richard Coyle, Kenji Furutani, Merry Jane, Leah Moriyama, Estevan Oriol, Taadow69K Tokewell Magazine is published bi-monthly by fr3shLAb creative group, llc. Tokewell Magazine does not condone the illegal use or obtainment of cannabis. All content within this magazine is copyright protected and may not be reproduced in part or in whole without explicit written consent from the publisher. Tokewell Magazine is strictly for entertainment purposes only, and is not to be held liable for any misleading or inaccurate material produced herein.

Š2016 Fr3shlab Creative Group LLC. All Rights Reserved. tokewell po box 444, alhambra, ca 91802 Ad Sales INFO@TOKEWELL.COM tokewell.com tokewell tokewell

4 tokewell magazine


Welcome to Tokewell Magazine. We strive to bring you to the cutting edge of technology, design, lifestyle, and culture for both MMJ and Vapor. Within both of these paradigms, we have come to a point where good ol’ home innovation and inventiveness is meeting real world design and production. The black markets have exploded upon the legitimate business world to the tune of billions of dollars. Regulation and legislation that we have fought long and hard for, are finally coming to fruition. Yet, this is only the beginning...We as a community must remain vigilant and ensure that these fledgling industries continue on the correct path on our way to freedom, health and wellness. We must monitor ourselves as well as our compatriots because we are living on the bleeding edge. There are no established experts but ourselves and as we carry our torches into the darkness, we must keep in mind that we are paving the way for all those who follow. Information is our most valuable weapon and our most precious ally. With this in mind, I invite you to join us on a journey of discovery and enlightenment leading to victory and liberty. Stack Paper, Catch Vapors.

W

e’re mid-way through 2016 and some pretty amazing things have transpired over the course of what seems like weeks. The Cavaliers rallied back from a 1-3 deficit and ended up winning the finals amidst all odds. On the political landscape, we are bearing witness to one of the most polarizing elections in our lifetime. On a positive note, our POTUS primaries are bringing along MMJ legalization with their administrations. In direct contrast, the burgeoning vape industry has taken a significant hit with the FDA’s imposed regulations which would eliminate 95% of the current industry. The legal age to vape has now been raised to 21, which means you can enlist in our military at the age of 18, but when you come home from leave, you’re committing a crime by purchasing a bottle of your favorite e-Liquid. Clearly, something has absolutely gone terribly awry with this system and it needs to be remedied immediately. I firmly believe regulation is necessary, but it must be within reason for both industries. If we want to continue to exercise our right to vape and medicate, we need to be about it and not just post about it. While I extend the high praise to companies in the vape game that are actually stepping it up and doing something about it, there are other brands out there that seem to be here just to exploit it for as long as they can. Having said that, the industry needs your help, and by help, I don’t mean blowing the dopest jellies or biggest clouds because that shit doesn’t matter unless you’re in it for likes. There’s so much more at stake here than being internet famous. The next few months are going to be critical for our country, so let’s make sure we pave the way for others to follow and leave our footprint for future generations. I believe in us and our strength in numbers. United we stand, divided we fall. #TogetherWeRise Sincerely,

Richard Coyle Editor-in-Chief


state of the vape union

WILL FDA REGULATIONS WIPE OUT VAPING?

the word

WORDS STEVE MAC, CO-FOUNDER & CO-OWNER, ECC CO-OWNER, THE VAPE EXHIBIT CO-OWNER, E-CIG ADVERTISING GROUP

be moved and the majority of the brands on the market can stay in business and continue to produce products that get smokers off of deadly cigarettes.

The vaping industry as we know it may be facing extinction. Over the years we have fought many battles at the state and local levels. We’ve won some and we have lost some. The victories have been sweet and the losses have been bitter. However, last month we received our first real potential death blow from the United States Government by way of the FDA Deeming Regulations. It is unlike any challenge that we’ve ever faced. The FDA Deeming Regulations are so strict that some experts say they will wipe out over 99% of the thousands of small businesses that make up the vaping industry as we know it. The regulations apply to all vapor products that were introduced on the market after February 15, 2007, and the pathways to FDA approval are unreasonably expensive with NO GUARANTEE of FDA approval. The only way our industry will survive is if we get the predicate date (February 15. 2007) changed to a more reasonable date which would allow current products to stay on the market. You may ask, how can we change the predicate date? Well, there are two pieces of legislation in Congress that contain language about moving the predicate date to the effective date of final regulation. These two pieces of legislation are the Cole-Bishop Amendment to the Agricultural Appropriations Bill and H.R. 2058. If either of these are successful then the predicate date will

8 tokewell magazine

How you can help: If you’re reading this then you must have at least some interest in the future of the vapor products industry. Visit www.august8th.org right now and learn how you can contact your lawmakers and petition them to support Cole-Bishop and H.R. 2058. Every action counts, even yours. So before you turn the page and continue reading the rest of this Tokewell magazine, visit www.august8th.org and let your lawmakers know that the predicate date needs to be changed to prevent the vaping industry from being wiped out. Lastly, you can help by supporting the companies and organizations that have filed lawsuits against the FDA. Nicopure Labs, Lost Art Liquids, and R2B Smoke-Free Coalition have filed individual lawsuits against the FDA. I’m currently vaping the mystery flavor by Lost Art Liquids and I’ve been telling everyone I know to buy Lost Art juice from vape shops or their online store. After this bottle is finished I’ll be vaping the new Tribeca by Halo (Nicopure Labs). To make a monetary contribution, visit r2bsmokefree.org and click on the red support button. Together we can make a difference, and I personally ask you to take action and help save this industry that has saved millions of lives including my own, with millions more that need saving.

WEB SI TE:

august8th.org


the word

a message from casaa WORDS ALEX

CLARK, LEGISLATIVE COORDINATOR, CASAA

attempting to unload stock in advance of the August 8th (2016) effective date. As a result, retailers are having a hard time remaining competitive. There are also other services offered by many vapor shops that will be disappearing like rebuilding coils and free sampling. All of this is compounded by a public that is being misled about the risks of vaping, Just as many in the vapor industry have been

resulting in an overall drop in sales.

trying to get a handle on what the vapor market will look like after August 8th, CASAA

When we explain the impact of the deeming

and our membership have been trying to

regulations to lawmakers in our legislative

imagine what products we will have access to.

advocacy efforts, the focus has a tendency

There is no sugar coating it: The harsh reality

to lean toward lost jobs and lost revenue.

is setting in that many of the vapor products

With well over 1,000 manufacturers supplying

we have come to rely on and enjoy will be

roughly 10,000 retail locations across the

disappearing from stores well in advance

United States alone, those are large and

of the August 8th, 2018 premarket tobacco

obvious numbers. But it is important to

application (PMTA) deadline.

remember that the real cost to society is the impact that this prohibitive regulation will

Having sat with several business owners over

have on 40 million smokers in the US who

the past couple of days in Pennsylvania, I

are being misled to believe that the only

heard accounts that wholesale prices are being

option available for them is to quit smoking

slashed as manufacturers and distributors are

or die trying.

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6.2%

Only

of US smokers will quit this year.

(http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/mmwrs/byyear/2011/mm6044a2/intro.htm)

If you are reading this, it is absolutely vital that you take action NOW. Go to www.august8th.org and

Do we tell the other

43 million

to just keep smoking?

send a message to your US Representative urging them to support legislation that will update the 2007 predicate date in the Tobacco Control Act to August 8th, 2016. This predicate date change is absolutely necessary if we hope to live to ďŹ ght another day. And even if we don’t see this legislation pass in 2016, we will still have taken a giant step toward supporting our legislative efforts in 2017.

WE BS IT E :

casaa.org

SUPPORT TOBACCO HARM REDUCTION POLICIES www.CASAA.org A public service message from the Consumers Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association

issue 12 july/august 2016

13


new products Grab your passports and get your visa because the purveyors at Vape Chemist are taking you on a tour across the globe to the Philippine Islands. Priding themselves on authenticity, Vape Chemist has painstakingly created the most accurate rendition of the following fruit-avored vape goodness.

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SPC STRAWBERRY POUND CAKE (S.P.C.)

by Vape Chemist is a delightful mix of natural strawberries perfectly paired with classic poundcake!


Vape fashion heavyweights Wick & Wire have done it again with the Summer release of their Black Edition apparel and accessory lineup. From their diamond stitched stash cases to their Nero caps, you and your mods (box or mechanical) are sure to look fresh rocking this limited release amongst a sea of blandness. Whether you’re on vacation, backyard BBQ’s or grinding at your hustle, Wick & Wire has you covered. WEB SITE:

wickandwirebrand.com

PHILIPPINE MANGO PLUS (PIMP) Vape Chemist’s

famous Philippine Mango with a slight hint of menthol.

PHILIPPINE MANGO (PIM) The Philippines is known for producing the sweetest mango on the planet. Experience this amazing Philippine Mango from inhale to exhale. Ripe mango never tasted so good.

PINK MATTER (PM) This is not a Frank Ocean song. Pink Matter is the perfect combination of juicy strawberry and cool menthol you’ve been craving for. WEB SITE:

vapechemist.com

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new products A single shirt design that stated the word “Represent” in a non-assuming cursive font began popping up in MMA, boxing and jiu-jitsu gyms, at triathlons and at main events in the UFC and also, more importantly, in everyday lives of countless day-to-day lifestyle landscapes across North America. Co-founder and iconic lightweight UFC fighter Nate Diaz became the perfect driver of what has become a tidal wave of support. Represent yourself,

represent your team, represent your favorite athlete and represent your life have become household terms and creeds to live your life by. As a brand, Represent LTD. advocates becoming the best possible version of you and represent to the fullest in everything you do regardless of geographic location, race or hustle. Your culture, your lifestyle, your sports activity are all representations of your life, represent accordingly. WEB SI TE:

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rephard.net


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new products TOBACCO FREE NICOTINE (TFN™ NICOTINE )

Amidst all the proposed FDA regulations and contrary to popular belief, August 8th, 2016 will not be the end of vaping, but in fact, be the genesis. Vapings strength has always been innovation and technology, so prepare yourself for the new vape revolution. The Tobacco Free initiative has begun and it is groundbreaking. TFN™ Nicotine , the only authentic brand of nicotine that is not derived from tobacco leaf, stem, or waste dust. TFN™Nicotine is odorless & tasteless and allows for a purer and more refined flavor profile. Check out of some of the most premium brands that employ this ingredient.

20 tokewell magazine

Stay tropical for the Summer and make NKTR your next all-day vape with three juicy, mouthwatering fruit flavors that will be hard to put down: Mango, Pear, and Guava. NKTR Sour is a premium line by SQN that takes fresh fruit flavors and gives them a sour twist that you can taste from start to finish.


Melt by SQN is a white chocolate dessert that is both decadent and delicate that will have you your taste buds melting! Stay poolside ready for the summer and indulge in white chocolate bliss minus the empty calories. W E B SIT E :

vaperev.com

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Lost Art WORDS

RICHARD COYLE

SNAPS

LEAH MORIYAMA

Failure and success are often two words that are usually never written in the same sentence, with the exception of Steve Jobs and two young entrepreneurs from Southern California Brian Worthy and Ryan Thomas. We sit and talk trials, tribulations and triumph and how a pair of Yeezy Red Octobers with a little bit of luck helped kickstart one of the most sought after brands today Lost Art Liquids.

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C

hances are if you’re reading the digital version of Tokewell it’s probably on a device made by Apple. What a lot of people don’t realize, especially millennials is that Apple was heavily scrutinized and nearly blackballed from the technology community under Steve Jobs reign to the point where the company was about to dissolve and go out of business. Some people might say they were ahead of their time, and they were. Years after going back to the proverbial drawing board, apple reinvented and rebranded themselves to the tune of over $700B. Steve Jobs famously quoted, “Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.” Those words couldn’t be any truer both for Apple and the subjects of this month’s cover story, which features another innovative California company whose success has in part, been due to their ability to capitalize on their

products industry. Lost Art Liquids has quickly become an internationally recognized lifestyle brand that celebrates the company’s Los Angeles roots, and love for pop art and vape culture. “We look to infuse elements of LA and the Southern California vapor lifestyle into all of our products and brands” said Brian. He added, “We know we are extremely lucky to be headquartered in a place like downtown LA, with unique access to homegrown, world renowned artists who we love to collaborate with like OG Slick”. What Brian is alluding to is the artwork OG Slick created for Lost Art Liquids’ colorful lineup of popular e-liquids which includes flavors such as “Cotton Tail

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mistakes, and capture the imagination and attention of hundreds of thousands of people through art, a common culture, and transformative technology. That company is Lost Art Liquids; the brainchild of Angelenos Brian Worthy and Ryan Thomas who have singlehandedly changed the landscape of the vape industry forever. Like the founders of Apple, these two young entrepreneurs have successfully navigated major pitfalls that commonly plague startups and the entrepreneurs who lead them. Similar to Steve Jobs, these gentlemen at Lost Art have never let the speed bumps derail them from their goal of changing the game. Always humble and looking to learn from their missteps and mistakes, Brian and Ryan have been able to turn Lost Art Liquids into one the most rapidly growing, ultra premium e-liquid brands in the still nascent, yet burgeoning $8 billion dollar global vapor

Cream”, “Space Rockz” and “Unicorn Puke”. (Note: OG Slick is one of the most dominant street clothing designers and artists in L.A., who has worked with Ice Cube, BooYaa T.R.I.B.E. and Pharcyde, and the creator of the iconic “L.A. Hands.”) Having the desire and foresight to collaborate with leaders in the creative class, is one key component that has helped Lost Art Liquids surpass nearly all competitors. “We remain committed to creating engaging branding and new products that fall far outside the box” said Ryan. “We want to give our customers the best tasting, highest quality products, and the greatest level of customer service coupled with an original and fun user expe-

rience. An important part of creating that user experience is making sure we keep things fresh and interesting through unique art and iconography distinct to LA and of course, unique to Lost Art Liquids and our style.” Ryan and Brian’s love of LA, art, pop culture and all things great about vape, seems to be a microcosm of what the market likes and wants. As a result of their hard work and strategy, Lost Art Liquids has earned a highly engaged, large, loyal and ever growing following that spans far beyond LA. Not only has Lost Art Liquids paved the way as local LA business leaders for others to follow, they are trying to “save vape” for everyone, by


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taking a hard (and expensive) stance against the Federal Food & Drug Administration’s new rule. According to Los Art Liquids’ federal complaint, FDA’s new regulation illegally deems vapor products such as e-liquids, to be tobacco products. Lost Art Liquids retained attorney Phil Daman and Daman & Associates, LLP, a national law firm whose vapor law practice is renowned by those in the vapor community. Daman and his firm have represented other high profile and prolific vapor technology companies throughout the globe including vape companies owned by John Cameron, and his brother film maker James Cameron of “Avatar” fame. Daman

28 tokewell magazine

& Associates’ vapor law practice group was the first of its kind in the country and dates back to 2011-a time when most people didn’t even know what vape or e-liquid were. Lost Art Liquids leads by example as evidenced by being proactive and launching a David versus Goliath-like initiative to sue the FDA. Their lawsuit serves as a guide and a blueprint for legislators and laymen alike who are confused about vapor law and seeking clarification from constituents and the courts. “We are not a tobacco product and should not be regulated as such.” said Brian. “FDA didn’t follow the law which requires them to take into account the

economic impact that would such harsh regulations would have on our economy and public health. Last year, $8 billion dollars of US vapor products were sold to 30 million vapers worldwide. $3.4 billion dollars of these vapor products were sold in the US. The current regulations will wipe most everyone out of business and make it impossible for people to legally access the products. 30 million is a lot of consumers that would not have an access to vapor products and if the industry goes under, hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost.” “We are technology, not tobacco”, adds Ryan. The team at Lost Art Liquids are avid sup-


years. Brian reached out to me and offered an opportunity to go into business making juice together and I was excited at the thought of building a business based around a personal passion I had and still have for vaping. B: I had one of the first stores in LA called the Vapor Mart on Melrose. In fact I actually sold Ryan his first vape kit. I opened another store in Beverly Hills called Majestic Vapes. Stores were popping up everywhere and I realized that I needed to do something proprietary and unique. Ryan and I had a conversation about making juice and we started drawing out our business plan on a little 4’ x 4’ table in the back of my vapor store. We soon committed to making the investment of time and money needed to get Lost Art Liquids started. porters of global vape advocacy and philanthropy as evidenced by their sizeable donations to SFATA (Smoke Free Alternative Trade Association), the International Vapor Association and many United States Veteran organizations. HOW DID LOST ART COME TO FRUITION? R: I was a cigarette smoker and

was a trainer at Equinox. It is somewhat ironic because as a trainer, I was conscientious about eating healthfully and exercising regularly, yet I knew smoking was dangerous and I knew I needed to quit. That’s when I went to Vapor Mart on Melrose and met Brian. I started vaping and that became my hobby for a couple

B: Absolutely. After our first year,

we discovered we needed to change our entire branding. All of our flavors are 90’s nostalgic names and we wanted our imagery to reflect that. We got so big, so fast and we went through the trials and tribulations any startup would go through from a branding and marketing standpoint. As you can see, we love pop culture and graphic art. It is an important piece of who we are and how we express ourselves. It is important to us that we preserve our 1st Amendment rights of commercial free speech and expression and protect our intellectual property. Equally important is our commitment to being responsible corporate citizens and ensuring that all of our products, which are for adults only, are not marketed to, or used by minors.

BEING ONE OF THE CONTROVERSIAL AND WELL-RESPECTED

HOW DID YOU AVOID FAILURE

BRANDS, HOW DID YOUR SUC-

AND CONTINUE YOUR UPWARD

CESS COME ABOUT SO QUICKLY?

TRAJECTORY?

B: We started off by making a fla-

B: We had to buckle down,

vor called, “Kaptain Peanut Butter Krunch” and it took off like crazy the next day. The phones were ringing off the hook. In a matter of 48 hours, we went from selling e-liquid into just my 2 stores to 50 stores. Ryan was especially astonished as his main concern about going into business together was if we could even make $100 a day in sales [laughs].

remain focused and vigilant. We were unprepared for any of this. We sought out top attorneys, worked out our rebranding strategies, and invested significant capital into our state of the art ISO clean rooms. We also made investments in obtaining top level liability insurance, began labeling our batches, and created a manufacturing facility which continues to grow as we expand domestically and internationally. We have outgrown our US facility which is 10,000 sq ft. We are looking for new space here and

WITH QUICK SUCCESS OFTEN TIMES COMES TRIAL AND ERROR. DID YOU GUYS EXPERIENCE ANY OF THOSE PITFALLS?

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30 tokewell magazine


overseas so that we can meet growing consumer demands. THERE ARE LOTS OF COMPANIES OUT THERE THAT “SHOW OUT” IN REGARDS TO THEIR SUCCESS AND LIFESTYLE. WHY HAVEN’T YOU FALLEN INTO THAT GAME? B: We stay humble, focused and

remain professionally minded. This is a serious business and affects not only the employees and people who work with us, but all of the consumers who vape our products throughout the world. People vape for different reasons: some for recreation, others as an alternative to smoking cigarettes. People trust us and we think it is important to stay on point so we don’t abuse that trust. We reinvest capital back into the business and into the industry that’s given us so much. It is nice to be popular but we know fame is fleeting and we are in this for the long haul. We always try to think strategically and always try to be the first to innovate by bringing new and interesting product to market that illustrate our culture and mindset. LOST ART IS ALSO KNOWN FOR

our attorneys Daman & Associates, are leading the way with respect to legislative reform and the need for reasonable vapor regulations. Vaping is a global phenomenon and we think it is more productive to think internationally as vaping transcends all geographic boarders. We invest time and money on attorneys and trade association lobbyists to help us engage with and educate local, state and federal legislators about vapor technology. We want them to understand how vape tech is the most transformative and disruptive tool we have to address the 480,000 deaths caused by smoking each year and the billions of dollars spent in caring for those who get sick from smoking. Vaping has also played a key role in creating jobs at a time when our country is still working its way out of a recession. The industry is going from having no regulations at all, to a new regulatory climate. While we are in favor regulations, the new regulations are inappropriate and illegal, and confuse and conflate vape with smoke and tobacco with technology. We need to be that positive beacon and lead by example in the quest for sensible vapor products regulations.

BEING STAUNCH SUPPORTERS OF VAPING ADVOCACY AND OTHER

WORD ON THE STREET IS LOST ART

NONPROFITS AS WELL. TELL US

IS SUING THE FDA. IS THAT TRUE

ABOUT THAT.

AND IF SO, WHY?

B: We are. We have donated checks

B: Yes, we were the first e-liquid and

up to $70K to SFATA and gave $100K worth of e-Liquids to U.S. Veterans to help provide an alternative to smoking. We also support the International Vapor Association (“#theIVA”) as they are an amazing group and see the significant overlap on what is happening here in the US and abroad. The IVA along with

vapor lifestyle company to file a law suit against the FDA. You can read the actual lawsuit at https://cdn. shopify.com/s/files/1/0743/0327/ files/Lost-Art-Lawsuit. pdf?15196720680143068969 The FDA, really left us and the industry with no choice. We spent years engaging with the Office of

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the Management of Budget at the White House, Congress and FDA. Despite this, FDA came out regulations which “deem” vapor products to be “tobacco products” under the Tobacco Control Act. (“TCA”). Under this deeming rule, which goes into effect August 8, 2016, FDA will officially regulate vaporizers as tobacco products. This is inane. Vaporizers have micro processor, air flow sensors and are made of circuitry, acrylic, metal, and wiring. E-liquids are not the same as tobacco such as cigarettes which the TCA was meant to govern. Cigarettes have been proven to be the most deadly cause of preventable death and disease known to man. To regulate vapor products like e-liquids, many of which zero nicotine, in a manner similar to cigarettes, which are things you light on fire and burn, and emit over 8000 chemicals,

32 tokewell magazine

is ludicrous. If you read the TCA, which was signed into law in 2009, its clear that Congress never gave nor intended to give FDA the authority to regulate vapor technology products, including e-liquids. Even if FDA did have authority from Congress to regulate vapor products under the TCA, which FDA doesn’t, they have failed to regulate in a legal manner. Our lawsuit explains this better but essentially, FDA completely ignored the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) or the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) which are laws we discuss in our lawsuit. FDA can’t just make rules which decimate our entire industry (which is exactly what this deeming rule does) without first proving that there is justification for doing so based upon some great harm. Here, our products create jobs, have

the potential to save billions lives and dollars which are otherwise spent by state and federal governments on treating death and diseases caused by smoking cigarettes. FDA, has a misguided and ill conceived opinion of vape and via this deeming regulation is trying to shut it all down. We are technology, not tobacco. We agree there needs to be regulation, but fair, well thought out and reasonable regulation. Analyzing the costs associated with the new regulations, it’s going us in the neighborhood upwards of $100m for our SKUs and even then, there is no guarantee that FDA will allow us to remain on the market. The insane part is that is just for the application. FDA is wiping out a million jobs and forcing people back to smoking. Bottle makers, juice makers, flavor makers and that would have a huge negative impact on


the economy. The deeming regulation also has the unintended consequence of handing this disruptive industry over to Big Tobacco. Lastly, if the laws are not change, consumers will no longer have accessibility to and innovation in vapor technology. We believe, it is vapor tech which has the greatest chance, if regulated properly, to save millions of lives and billions of dollars over the next 5- 10 years. R: We are not a tobacco product and the TCA’s as applied to vapor products is draconian and example of gross bureaucratic abuse, overregulation and misguided but perhaps well intended action by the FDA. We believe that is possible, that FDA is heavily influenced heavily by Big Pharma and public health officials who are the physicians of major cities that take millions of dollars in free Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) products from Big Pharma, like Nicorette each year. Vape poses a threat to NRT and Big Pharma. The FDA’s Center or Tobacco Products is staffed with ex-Big Pharma folk. FDA largely ignored the 70,000 comments that were submitted to them regarding the deeming regulations. FDA, by its own admission, didn’t take into account what the sociological, medical, or economic impact the deeming regulation would have on businesses like ours or people like me who are adults looking for an alternative to smoking cigarettes. Euromonitor reported just last week that $8 billion dollars worth of US vapor products were sold to 30 million vapers worldwide. 30 million vapers worldwide are buying a US exportable product. That is a lot of gross national product for our country to export which is a good thing for our economy and for cross boarder relations. Plus, we believe it is a benefit to individuals all over who want to have an alternative to smoking and community to be part of.

The same report showed a 2.1% worldwide decline in cigarette smoking from 2014-2015. We believe there is a correlation between the rise in popularity of vapor products and the historic decline in cigarette use. 20% of adults in the world smoke cigarettes. There are 7 billion people on the planet so that means this historic 2.1% drop in cigarette smoking accounts for 147 million people.. I would think, that if every politician and government official took the time to learn about vape and studied the possible public health and economic benefits, they would rush to become public health champions by embracing vape. We expect they will help smaller businesses like ours get meaningful regulations in place that are sensible to protect the vapor products industry and allow for continued accessibility and innovation to vapor products for adults who want them. WHAT DOES THE VAPE INDUSTRY HAVE TO DO TO CONTINUE TO FLOURISH AMIDST THE DEEMING FDA REGULATION? B: I think the vapor products industry and

every person who vapes, knows and cares about a vapor, or wants to give someone an alternative to smoking via a vapor product needs to immediately contact their Congressperson and Senator and tell them vape is “Technology Not Tobacco.” Then we all need to ask for new, reasonable and thoughtful regulations that distinguish vapor technology from tobacco. We know that a bill will be introduced into Congress soon that does this and we want everyone to support it. If we do this thoughtfully, we can all be public health champions to some extent, as global society connected via vape, we can embrace and leverage the tech to do the most good. When millions of people take the time to make “Technology Not

issue 12 july/august 2016

35


Tobacco” an election issue, our legislators will take the time to listen and act and the laws will change. We need to talk about vaping-a lot. We need to change this false narrative so that it is more truthful as the anti vaping groups have been misleading folks for years. For example the Center for Disease Control published a study in June said smoking rates among teenagers has hit a historic all time low and is down 41%. If that is true, how can the CDC also argue that vapor products are a gateway to smoking cigarettes? If that were true, smoking rates would be sky rocketing as

36 tokewell magazine

vaping increases in popularity. . Instead, since the advent of vaping, smoking rates are lower than ever. Vaping is not a gate way to smoking and yet, it’s a common argument the anti vaping movement wants everyone to regurgitate. Congresspersons are sensitive to calls, visits and those who reach out with a concern on social media. We need millions of supporters to engage with their elected officials, talk to them about vape and why its important to you, so we can change the current narrative. , We are working hard with others to support a new bill we expect will be introduced into Congress

that properly distinguishes vapor from tobacco and regulates vapor more thoughtfully as technology and not tobacco. We hope everyone in the vape community supports this bill. Simply being “grandfathered in” as tobacco product doesn’t fix the problem and in fact, we know that even if grandfathered in, FDA can still ban “grandfathered” products. WHATS NEXT FOR LOST ART? B: We can’t rest on our laurels.

You know what they say, “The cream always rises to the top.”

WEB SI TE:

lostartliquids.com


WORDS

RICHARD COYLE

SNAPS

LEAH MORIYAMA /// ESTEVAN ORIOL

You’ve seen his work from the rap album covers you’ve bought, music videos you’ve watched, and the infamous “LA Chola” fingers that grace thousands of t-shirts. We sat with OG and L.A. legend Estevan Oriol to discuss today’s photographers, biters and his vantage point of West Coast culture, and why he wants to show us what his world is like from the outside looking in.

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F

or those who know, Estevan Oriol is a certified OG in the game whose photography transcends genres from the grittiness of boulevards to the corporate boardrooms. Estevan Oriol is a visual artist, a global icon, and tastemaker whose works of art and influence has been seen from Estrada Courts in East LA to the Museum of Contemporary Arts. Estevan’s works have allowed millennials and white collar suburbanites entry to view Los Angeles street culture through his lens. Much like his predecessors in the game like Helmut Newton, Robert Frank, and Irving Penn, Estevan has changed the black and white photography forever. Today's photographers still reference Estevan's body of work as he remains the gold standard in black and white photography. But as you’ll soon find out, he’s much more than a photographer. He’s the conduit between a cultural translator, curator of the west coast street scene and corporate America. When we asked what was the main differentiators were between himself and contemporary photographers, he said,“Sure, there are all kinds of new photographers now, but they could never get the content I can. I can go from the hood to a corporate boardroom and be respected.“ That couldn’t be any truer because he has definitely earned the respect of the streets which allows him zero barrier of entry to the most perilous and sketchy neighborhoods you wouldn't dare get caught slippin’ in. In direct contrast, he’s also shooting on the set of Hollywood's ruling elite. In the early 90’s Estevan started off as the tour manager for the legendary Los Angeles rap groups Cypress Hill and House of Pain. Estevan developed his passion for photography by way of touring the globe coupled with an early influence along with an old camera his father gave to him; photographer Eriberto Oriol.

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Estevan began chronicling life on the road and developed a name for himself during the golden-age of hip-hop. Almost 2 decades later, Oriol’s extensive works showcase the juxtaposition of Hollywood's glitz and glamor along with the grit and heart of LA’s counterculture. He’s shot the likes of Floyd Mayweather, Blink 182, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Dennis Hopper, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and Snoop just to name a few. He has also directed shoots for globally-acclaimed photographers such as Luca Babini for GQ Italy and Ellen von Unwerth for Sang Bleu. In addition to producing campaigns for Fortune 50 companies, Estevan has designed numerous album covers and directed music videos for heavyweights including Eminem, Cypress Hill, Blink 182, Snoop Dogg and others. His work has been showcased in several esteemed galleries and institutions such as the Mesa Contemporary Art Center, the Smithsonian, the Petersen Automotive Museum, and The Museum of Contemporary Art with the groundbreaking and game-changing: Art in the Streets exhibit. If his body of work wasn't enough, he’s also released two best-selling books: LA Woman and LA Portraits. Both of which garnered him critical acclaim and cemented him as Los Angeles’ unofficial mayor and tour guide by way of his lens. Estevan takes time out of his hectic schedule to sit with us and talk about being original and how biting styles would garner you an asswhooping back in the day. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN SHOOTING FOR?

Early to mid-nineties is when I started really getting into it and realized I could make money doing it. WHAT ARE THE MAIN DIFFERENTIATORS BETWEEN PHOTOGRAPHY NOW AND BACK THEN?


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It's so much easier for photographers now. You don’t have to pay for the film so you could keep shooting until you get the right shot. Back in the day, I feel you had to have a better eye and more skill. We didn't have the luxury then to spend endless money on film. Back then, you had to be good; whereas now, you have the luxury of software editing and endless amounts of shots to take. Nowadays, anybody could be a photographer, but can you make a living doing it? That's what separates the men from the boys, or women from the girls. If not, half the shit you’re going to end up doing is not what you want. It’s not inspirational.

get beat up for that shit. Nowadays, it’s the cool thing to do. Remember, when fitted hats were the shit back then and snapbacks were wack? Well, at one point, copying and biting was wack. To me it's disrespectful. DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR AN UP AND COMING PHOTOGRAPHER?

I would just tell people now to shoot as much as you can and be influenced by people you like, but make it your own. I actually stopped looking at other people's shit because I didn't want to be influenced so much to the point where my shit started looking like theirs. It’s easy to copy others, but hard to do your own shit.

WHY DO YOU OPT TO SHOOT BLACK AND WHITE?

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON TECH-

I got my photography from my dad and he shot a lot of black and white. I used to go with him all the time to this lab called Focus and they used to develop and print for Helmut Newton all the big guys and Fotek for color. I always gravitated toward black and white. It makes your pictures timeless and I just like that aesthetic better.

NOLOGY IN TERMS OF PHOTOGRAPHY?

YOU HAVE TRAVELED ALL OVER THE WORLD. HAVE YOU GRAVITATED OVER SHOOTING OTHER SUBJECT MATTER?

I like to shoot everything. The thing is, people try to pigeonhole me and label me as this photographer who only shoots hip-hop, lowriders, gangsters or girls. I can shoot anything.

I used to be a film freak. I used to hate digital because I thought it was cheating or you didn't have the skill. I can go out in the sun and determine my ASA or ISO on my film and determine what my F-Stop should be or shutter speed. A digital camera just does it for you. With film, you need a light meter or just wing it because you were that good and that's where I got to. With Instagram, you now have filters and borders. When I did it back then, the sloppy borders were made in a dark room with a certain type of frame that made the border. I thought it was just foul back then. BEING IN THE INDUSTRY FOR SO LONG,

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON PEOPLE

HOW DO YOU STILL MANAGE TO STAY ON

COPYING YOUR STYLE?

TOP OF THE GAME?

You see the influence I have given to people. It’s cool, but it doesn't do anything for me. I don't get a check for that. Back in the day, nobody bit your style. You just didn't do it. You would

You could get lost in the negative or step your game up. One time I got caught up in what people are doing now in terms of biting. I had a conversation with this old school cat and he

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told me, "be more Estevan Oriol than Estevan Oriol." Shit blew my mind. Especially when an old OG tells you that. Shit really hit home. It’s a constant battle you go through in your mind to stay 10 steps ahead of everybody. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN SKETCHY SITUATIONS WHILE SHOOTING?

I always have to watch my shit. If you’re from LA, you just have that mentality, LA came up with the term, don't get caught slippin’. Know where you are and know your environment. TELL US ABOUT YOUR BEST-SELLING BOOK LA WOMAN

My publisher wanted me to do LA Portraits first. But that was when the digital age really started picking up and tons of people were shooting that type of gangster shit. If you were Mexican, you had a cousin or friend who was a cholo. I was so burnt out from that and I wanted to just go a different route. They asked what do you want to show? I said I have tons of pictures of women in LA and they thought it was a mistake, but I thought worldwide people would like girls more. For the most part, everybody loves women, straight, gay,men, women, they all love a beautiful woman and it ended up a success. WHAT'S NEXT FOR ESTEVAN?

Last night, I had the most amazing show at Milk Studios complete with my all my photography work and lowriders and it was a perfect event for West Coast culture. That has set the bar and now I have to figure out how to top that. I had been working on that show for a year. I had a goal of releasing 25 books in my lifetime and now, I have 23 left to do. Next year Cartoon and I are doing to be doing something dope for our 25 year anniversary of working together.


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WHAT ARE YOU THOUGHTS ON THE CURRENT CANNABIS MOVEMENT EVOLUTION?

I think it’s great that people can smoke legally now. I mean you can drink until you pass out, drive and kill a whole family? You should be able to smoke a joint, chill and relax and people that need it for medical reasons. It’s opened a lot of opportunities for entrepreneurs. You can do a lot with technology. There’s a lot of money in that game.

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No, Jackie Chan has not switched over to the rap game. However, Alabama rapper and entrepreneur Jackie Chain is killing it. Earning his stripes hustling the corner blocks down south lead Jackie Chain to being incarcerated which turned out to be the best thing to happen to him. “I went to prison when I was 19 and rapping is how I passed my time. Once I got out, I started making mix tapes for the homies and shit just took off from there,” says Chain. He honed his craft while doing time and spit about what real life was like on the streets as a certified hustler. While he doesn’t fit the mold of your stereotypical rapper from the south, Chain is as authentic as they come. He’s not manufactured by a label or frontin’ about what he’s experienced that is clearly reflected in his music and as a result, Complex Magazine named him one of the 10 most underrated new rappers early on. On tour promoting his latest mixtape “On The Run”, Chain takes time out of his busy schedule to session with us at Sullen TV studios. We talk about how his passion for cannabis has led him to become more involved in advocacy and how that got him involved in Tuffy’s fight.


chain reaction WORDS

MAXIMILLIAN STERLING

SNAPS

TAADOW69K

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WHAT IS THE CORRELATION BETWEEN YOUR MUSIC AND CANNABIS?

When I released my first mixtape in 2005, I wrote heavily on weed because I was selling it just to support my habit. I never talked about cooking bricks or nothing like that. It was something I was always connected to and as I got more into the culture and movement, I started seeing the medicinal benefits and what it had to offer besides getting high. TALK ABOUT TUFFY AND YOUR INVOLVEMENT WITH HER.

I have a project coming out called Croptober. It’s a fun album about smoking weed, but it also has an emphasis on the medicinal side of it. We’re raising money for this young autistic girl; “Tuffy” who has epilepsy. Cannabis oil has decreased her seizures by 95%. Since she began using cannabis to treat her seizures, she has gone from experiencing 300 seizures per day to less than 20 per week. That’s just one of the many people we’re trying to help. WHERE DO YOU THINK THE FUTURE OF CANNABIS IS HERE IN THE US?

When I first moved to LA, I opened up a dispensary on Melrose. I thought it was going to be totally different. I thought it would be people coming in just to get high, but what I found out was; it was 40% elderly or people that needed the cannabis for medicinal purposes. You have cancer patients, soldiers with PTSD and even people with arthritis. People that don’t need to be on pharmaceutical drugs. The only side-effect of weed is that you get hungry. It’s a multi-billion dollar business and it’s booming. I feel like it’s going to be fully legal in all 50 states soon with Alabama being last. It’s crazy that people are getting locked up and doing time for weed. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THE RAP GAME AS YOUR CHOICE OF HUSTLE?

I can’t sing, shoot the ball or throw that pigskin, but I could rap. I went to prison when I was 19

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and rapping is how I passed my time. Once I got out and made tapes for the homies, shit just took off from there. I’m a hustler man. I don’t do nothing for a hobby feel me? Once I saw that I could make money doing this, I was all about it. I just talk about what I see in these streets man and people feel it. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON CURRENT WEED CULTURE?

Being in hip-hop, I think we dictate what’s poppin’ right now. We have a voice. Like Berner’s Cookies brand is killing it. It might not widely be accepted as recreational, but medically there’s too much information out there now and proof. Numbers don’t lie. Medically, it already makes sense. Where I’m from; the Bible belt, it’s going to take longer, but it’s going to get there eventually. WHAT ARE YOU FAVORITE STRAINS RIGHT NOW?

I’ve always been an OG man. I also love that Jet Fuel - shout out to the homie B-Real. My holy trinity would be OG Kush, Sour Diesel; that real Sour Diesel and that real GDP; that Purp. If the world ends today and I got them seed, I’m Gucci!

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TELL US ABOUT YOUR SHOW ON DASH.

I co-host a show on Dash called Niteryders with myself. DJ Dirt he was part of Ballers Eve and Gangsta boo from 36 Mafia. We on every Friday at 10p. Don’t sleep. THANK YOU FOR DOING THIS, DO YOU HAVE ANY LAST WORDS BEFORE YOU BOUNCE?

Go to my social sites to be up on Tuffy’s fight and we’ll keep you posted on how to get involved and raise awareness. I’m trying to artistically change the stereotype. It’s cool to smoke weed and get high, but there’s so much more to this plant man. Christopher Columbus’ sails were made of hemp. The Declaration of Independence was written on hemp. The first pair of Levi’s were made of hemp. Thank you and go cop my mixtape available for free on livemixtapes.com or my other work on iTunes.

jackie_chain jackiechain74

IN STAG R A M : T W IT T E R :

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merry jane WORDS

LANI ANDERSON

SNAPS

LEAH MORIYAMA

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R

ecently launched at TechCrunch Disrupt in 2015, MERRY JANE is the brainchild of acclaimed rapper and entrepreneur Snoop Dogg and media heavyweight and serial entrepreneur; Ted Chung. Snoop, being the cultural icon that represents the cannabis legalization movement, is the perfect ambassador to help normalize and spearhead the legalization movement. He and his team were ahead of the curve in understanding the moment when cannabis made its way into the forefront of mainstream culture. As people began to truly be more openminded

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to the acceptance of cannabis and its beneďŹ ts, MERRY JANE, a digital platform that was connecting all who supported the movement on a global scale, quickly became one of the leading cannabis lifestyle and education sites today. Since launch, MERRY JANE has developed a diverse slate of original programming initiatives, exploring the growing cannabis industry with innovative content spanning across genres ranging from entertainment to news to politics to sports and education. The platform has grabbed attention of top tier media, including Vogue , Buzzfeed , VICE ’s Noisey and more with


the site’s offerings. Since launch, MERRY JANE has been able to secure exclusive content with a wide range of top celebs and personalities, including Rick Ross, Khloe Kardashian, Ice Cube, Ilana Glazer (Broad City) to top executives advocating marijuana, including Lagunitas CEO, Tony Magee. Covering everything from news to culture, food, cannabis, and even health, MERRY JANE is the perfect middle ground that embodies cannabis’ cross over into mainstream culture. Rather than overwhelming its users and community with marijuanacentric content,

MERRY JANE integrates the best highlights of the cannabis lifestyle with other exclusive and more relatable content, making it feel more intuitive and userfriendly. From the branding to the logo, to the website’s design and utility, MERRY JANE is the perfect way to dip your toes into the world of cannabis from your comfort zone while staying up to date and informed on everything else you love. We session with MERRY JANE’s COO Scott Chung, Jim Baudino, VP of Biz Dev and Editor-in-Chief Noah Rubin to rap about what this movement is all about.

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HOW DID MERRY JANE COME TO FRUITION? SC: MERRY JANE started from our relationship with Snoop. Snoop has been the most vocal advocate of cannabis culture for nearly three decades. We were ahead of the curve in understanding that mainstream culture would be pivoting towards acceptance of cannabis culture. When that happened about two years ago, we started really looking into the space through the creative minds of Snoop and Ted Chung.

WHAT WAS THE CATALYST, THE MOTIVATION BEHIND IT ALL? SC: This was really about embracement and ‘coming out of the green closet.’ There is already an understanding that tons of people utilize cannabis, but many are afraid to openly talk about it, whether in fear of their livelihoods or social stigmas or whatever. We’re breaking down those walls and normalize it so that it’s not looked down upon, but rather treated as something that’s just another part of society. It’s about the lack of education, lack of awareness of what cannabis actually is, and the benefits that come with legalization. You’ll open doors to a lot more than just getting high, and that’s the point we’re trying to get across that’s where our site comes in.

SPEAKING OF, TELL US A LITTLE MORE ABOUT YOUR SITE. JB:

People come for the

content, and not because it’s cannabisfocused, but lifestyle focused. When they see cannabis products integrating with our content, they’ll see something like [for example], “Blue Dream” and think, “Oh, what’s Blue Dream?” So they read and learn about Blue Dream and think, “Well, where can I get it?” That’s where our dispensary locator comes in. “Oh, there’s a dispensary down the street!” [You’ll also find articles on] things like how to talk to your kids and your family and friends about cannabis, which is great, especially for those in the middle of the country where this is all still kind of new. All this ties together like an ecosystem, and that’s what we’re really focused on. That’s one of the reasons why we carefully chose to launch at TechCrunch this company’s base is a digital platform. It’s not the just website. We have new apps being released on both iOS and Android, and in order to have the global impact that we wanted to have, this was the best way to do it. This was the best way to reach all of Snoop’s fans, all of Seth [Rogen]’s fans, all of the people who care about this movement, immediately. It was also meant to provide utility, not just information. It’s education, and it’s interactive “What is this?”, “Where is this at?”, “How can I learn more about this specific product?” We’re letting people know where they can learn

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more about these products and where to find them. We’ve created a community of users who share the same ideas, and it’s all of those ideas mixed together that allows us to accomplish all these goals we have. YOUR BRANDING IS SECOND TO NONE IN THE CANNABIS SECTOR, ESPECIALLY THE LOGO. IS THERE A STORY BEHIND IT?

Yes, there is. We could’ve gone with the conventional stoner design, but that wasn’t the style path we wanted to go down. A female design team from New York was commissioned to design the logo and the website. SC: The idea behind it was inclusion rather than exclusion. For so many years, not only has the movement been ostracized, but groups within the movement itself have been even further polarized. We wanted to bring [the movement] together and show that we all believe in one thing the legalization of cannabis, and that it’d be beneficial to society as a whole if we make this plant a shared experience. That’s the bonding agent here. JB:

WHAT ARE THE MAIN DIFFERENTIATORS BETWEEN MERRY JANE AND OTHER ONLINE PROPERTIES? NR: The way that we’ve positioned ourselves as a media outlet, we are all of the culture. Even with cannabis in our DNA,

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in our blood, we can still speak on the same level with as broad a voice as a GQ or Esquire. We’re not just a cannabis media outlet, but the same as any other mainstream outlet that covers progressive, cool culture. MERRY JANE is the same sort of broad lifestyle that covers all of culture from a cannabis aficionado’s perspective. I think because our core has sort of been in mainstream entertainment for so long, combined with the celebrity attachments that we have, we speak as a pop culture voice for cannabis. Cannabis is turning a figurative corner right now it’s becoming an integral part of mainstream culture rather than relegated as a subculture, and that’s what we embody. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE LOOMING FDA RESCHEDULING? NR: I think that rescheduling cannabis will be a great thing because it will eliminate a lot of the ambiguity that businesses and state entities have to deal with. State by state, city by city, it’s a very fractured landscape. The amount of gray area that people are forced to deal with on a daily basis is obviously an incredible hindrance to the growth and development of this ecosystem. I think action on a federal level will enhance the overall industry in a really positive way it’ll open the floodgates and give the people clear and proper guidelines to operate under.

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WHERE IS MERRY JANE 5 YEARS FROM NOW AND WHAT CAN WE EXPECT NEXT? SC: MERRY JANE is the leading

voice in cannabis culture. That’s really where we hope to be. For us, this isn’t something that should stop stateside; this is global. The rest of the world needs to embrace cannabis, to see its benefits and virtues. Hopefully the U.S. will be one

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of the trendsetting countries for beneficial mainstream movements, whether it’s this or civil rights or whatever they may be. We hope this takes wind and spreads worldwide, and hopefully that voice is amplified by the people we are affiliated with who do have a global voice, such as Snoop, Seth Rogen, and Miley Cyrus.


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A R T I S A N A L

tTE

C O L L E C T I V E

/Xx‚†n|p WORDS SNAPS

RENE GALINDO TAADOW69K /// CARLOS TORRES

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A

n artist can start with a blank canvas and transform it into something beautiful. Whether that canvas is textile or the human dermis, this practitioner of visual arts has graced them both to critical acclaim. We sit down with the man who's changed the art game forever Carlos Torres. Growing up in the South Bay in the 90’s, life wasn't easy especially for young teens. With gang violence being so prominent in the neighborhood and lack of guidance, kids that were raised on the streets of Gardena had every opportunity to go down the wrong path and many did. However, that familiar script of hard knocks coupled with growing up in the hood, having an absentee father and joining the ranks of street soldiers, was not part of Carlos Torres’ narrative. Fortunately, the world acclaimed painter and tattoo artist; Carlos Torres was determined to not fall victim and become a statistic. Being raised by a single parent, it was the love and respect he had for his mother paired with his passion for the arts is what kept him on the straight and narrow. His penchant for drawing kept him out of trouble and out of fights because, come on, who wants to beat up the neighborhood artist? “As nerdy as it sounds, it was art. I had a lot of crazy friends, but because of art, it gave me a little bit of an out. No one ever wanted to beat me up.”, says Carlos. Consequently, his artistic aptitude garnered Carlos as the “go to” guy for tattoos when his friends involuntarily anointed him as such by making him a homemade tattoo machine and tasked him to go to work. You can say his stardom to tattooing was kind of forced upon him. With logic and his mother pressuring him to get a real job, fate intervened. While not fully committed to tattooing, Carlos eventually succumbed to societal reality and got a job working at LAX refueling planes. While he was content working his blue collar job for the rest of his life, destiny

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stepped in. A freak accident at work forced him to go on disability and it just so happened at that time, a buddy of his was opening a tattoo shop and asked him to work for him. “It’s funny how something negative could turn into a positive situation. If I never hurt my hand, I never would have had the drive to tattoo. I did

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it out of necessity. I never would have quit my job at the airport to tattoo.�, reveals Carlos. Like most budding artists, he tried to get an apprenticeship with a reputable shop, but when no one would take him in, he took to honing his craft on his own. Carlos also sought an apprenticeship during the

time he was sidelined from the workforce, and through tenacity and hustle, he was able to get help from Ethan Morgan on how to improve the work he'd done and have it critiqued. He would later learn that Ethan only offered to critique his work so he would stop bothering him not thinking that he would actually


drive down to bring his work. Nevertheless, his perseverance had paid off and Carlos was able to land a gig at SoCal Tattoos in San Pedro, CA. It was there that he would grow to be one of the prestigious tattoo artists for black and gray realism and surrealism today. Fast forward 18 years later, he’s become one of

the most sought-after and influential tattoo artists in the game today and his brushwork has garnered him numerous awards and accolades across the globe. Not bad for a kid from the hood. Now, when he’s at LAX looking up at the wings of a plane, he’s not wondering where it’s going, he’s already on the way there.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BE A TATTOO ARTIST?

I really had no drive to be a tattoo artist at first. We all had the homies that went to jail and came out with a homemade tattoo machine (laughs) and since I was the guy in the neighborhood that could draw, everyone was like “you should

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tattoo”. So it was kinda like I was forced into it. I never really took it seriously until an accident I had working pumping fuel into airplanes at LAX and that forced me to go on disability. I hurt my hand and while I was off work I was offered a tattoo job by someone who was opening a new shop and said I should come work for them. I really had no business being in a tattoo shop, but you have to start somewhere. It’s funny how something negative could turn into a positive situation. If I never hurt my hand, I never

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would have gotten or had the drive to tattoo. I never would have quit my job to tattoo. GROWING UP IN THE SOUTH BAY, HOW DID YOU AVOID SOME OF THE PITFALLS LIKE GANG LIFE?

As nerdy as it sounds, it was art. I had a lot of crazy friends but because of art, it gave me a little bit of an out. No one ever wanted to beat me up. Everyone likes the artist so I never had to do crazy stuff.. Yeah so being involved in Art pushed me in the right direction.

DID YOU DO AN APPRENTICESHIP? IF SO, UNDER WHO?

I probably shouldn't say this, but I never did an apprenticeship. I was tattooing out of my house. . One day I went to this shop to ask for an apprenticeship and they said, they weren’t accepting any and the owner of the shop; Ethan Morgan said, he would help me out, just bring pictures. Later on, he said that he actually told me that so I go away. “I didn't expect you to show up with pictures”, said Ethan. I would just keep showing up and he would just critique my work and guide me to


get better. One day while he was tattooing me, he offered me a job. I guess he saw a piece I did on the street and the rest is history.

believe it was her way of supporting me and I'm proud that I could do that with my mom.

push the boundaries like them. I'd have to say that they are the ones that inspired me.

IN TERMS OF TATTOOING,

WHAT GENRE WOULD YOU

WHAT WAS YOUR PARENTS

WHERE DO YOU DRAW YOUR

CLASSIFY YOUR STYLE OF

REACTION WHEN YOU TOLD

INFLUENCE FROM?

PAINTING AS?

THEM YOU DECIDED TO PURSUE

When I first started I wanted to do Japanese style tattooing but I always drew different. I always drew things that were surreal and realism. When I saw pieces from guys like Paul Booth, Robert Hernandez and Kore Flatmo it just blew my mind. People weren't doing the things these guys were at the time and made me want to

I'm happy with the term surrealism. As a kid I grew up in Gardena and there was a comic book store down the street from me and I was always into graphic novels, horror magazines, and fantasy art so I'd pick up a few of those comics. So I guess I gravitate towards that and fine art I would say.

TATTOOING FULL TIME?

I come from a single parent home and my mom raised 3 kids on her own. She’s my hero. When I first started tattooing, she told me I needed to find yourself a real job. Now, I take her on a trip every year to a different place. It’s funny she got a tattoo from me and I

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YOU HAVE AN OBVIOUS CORRELATION BETWEEN WOMEN AND THE FEMALE BODY. IS THERE A SPECIFIC REASON OTHER THAN THE OBVIOUS?

(Laughs) honestly it's just the obvious. I mean it's beautiful subject matter. I like that you can make her really pretty, or very sexy, or mysterious. There's just so many variations you can use and that subject matter never gets boring or goes out of style. I mean what's more appeasing to the eye then a beautiful woman.

artist every single day. So the numbers are getting bigger but also the public's more aware. I'm getting people coming to me with a clean slate wanting me to do a whole sleeve for them whereas before people were only coming for tattoos that were small to start off. So I think it's a good thing. There are a couple things that are bad without sounding too negative. Like people can become famous too quickly without working on their skills too much. But I've seen people who have achieved fame and continue to educate themselves in their craft.

SOCIAL MEDIA CAN GIVE A TATTOO ARTIST A GLOBAL AUDIENCE IN A CLICK. DO YOU

DID YOU EVER THINK THIS KID FROM THE SOUTH

THINK THAT'S A GOOD OR BAD THING FOR

BAY WOULD BE WORLD FAMOUS AND WHERE

TATTOO ARTISTS?

YOU ARE TODAY?

I think it's a good thing overall. I mean you can go on Instagram or other social media and find a new

I’ve always been a daydreamer. When I was refueling these planes back in the day, I used to

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literally be underneath their wings and always wondered where they were headed to and now it’s crazy because I'm on the planes. So no, I never thought i'd be where I am right now. I’m eternally grateful to be where I am right now. I've been able to provide for my family and see the world through my craft which is amazing to me. I don't know what I did to get here, but I feel like I lucked out. At the end, when i'm painting or drawing at home, it doesn't feel like work. I blinked and I ended up here. One of my favorite quotes is, “I believe in luck. I find that the harder I work, the more luck I find.” Doesn't feel like work, I’m just doing what I love. WHAT'S CARLOS TORRES DOING 10 YEARS FROM NOW?

I want to continue to hone my craft and tattoo until I physically can't anymore. I want to be like Rick Walters.I also want to continue painting. I do that on my day off anyway. I love what I do. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE LEGALIZATION OF CANNABIS?

I personally am not a user. I don’t see anything wrong with it and if we can help boost our economy then i'm all for it. Hemp can be used for so many different things from a health standpoint and if we can help the environment by using the raw material and from this plant, why not. WEB SI TE:

carlostorresart.com

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F

WORDS

MAXIMILLIAN STERLING AJOS Y CEBOLLAS

SNAPS

amed restaurant Ajos y Cebollas Grill first opened its doors in 1998, in South El Monte, CA. The cuisine we introduced then and still offer today is a blend of traditions from the flavors of Northern Mexico to the California presentation, we call Nuevo Latino Chihuahua Style. The founder of this cuisine, Don Jesus, came to California from Chihuahua in the early 1970s to pursue culinary arts. Throughout his career, he was able to respect and integrate his own mother's craft, a chef herself, into the new techniques he learned in America. His style of cuisine received instant praise from individuals and critics alike, and he was hired to work, conceptualize, design, and open restaurants for many companies throughout California. Don Jesus always dreamed of opening a restaurant with his family, where he could truly express his vision in a family context and, after many years of officiating for other companies, Ajos y Cebollas Grill was finally born. With his family's help, everyone young

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and old involved in designing and operating the restaurant, Ajos y Cebollas Grill became an instant success in the community and beyond, and recognized as one of the best Mexican restaurants in California. Although Don Jesus does not physically work at Ajos y Cebollas Grill anymore, his wife, Dona Maria and son Oscar Treviso ensures his cuisine lives on as we honor his culinary magic. We extend to you his culinary creations, a combination of traditional and contemporary cuisine, and uniqueness that makes him an outstanding chef. A DDR ESS:

1648 Tyler Avenue El Monte, California 91733

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Tokewell issue 12  
Tokewell issue 12  
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