Mariah Hagenbach: Cannabis and the Art of Visual Storytelling
What does it take to have a fire Instagram? Oregon-based photographer, Mariah Hagenbach, shares the inspirations behind her cannabis journey.
Starting her photography journey capturing the breathtaking natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, Oregon-based Mariah Hagenbach transports her 50,000 Instagram followers to an atmospheric world of moody landscapes, confident women enjoying the pleasure of the herb, and, of course, stunning cannabis shots. Cannabis Aficionado spoke exclusively to Hagenbach about visual storytelling and cannabis in her home state.
Cannabis Aficionado: How did you get started as a photographer?
Mariah Hagenbach: I bought my first “big kid” camera when I was twenty to take on all my hikes and adventures. I was really interested in capturing long exposure waterfall shots when I first began shooting, just kind of as a hobby. That is really what started it all though.
What connected cannabis and photography for you?
I helped open a dispensary back in 2014 where I worked a bud tender, social media manager and photographer. It all kind of stemmed from taking nug photos for our Leafly menu and social media platforms. I was inspired to combine cannabis and humans a few years ago when I saw Jennifer Thomas doing it. I loved the way she was capturing the beauty of the plant and person without sexualizing either.
What do you look at for inspiration of your unique style?
I get inspired by everything; other photographers, nature, songs, memories. I try my best to make my audience feel something when they look at my images. Sometimes they tell a story, but other times they are just meant to make you feel.
Your Instagram account is beautiful. What’s the importance of social media for you?
We are living in a time of exponential growth and change and having the ability to reach tens of thousands of people is so incredible. I’ve been using my platform to not only post my art but to spread knowledge. I love being part of this cannabis prohibition movement.
I’m hoping what I do is helping normalize the cannabis industry while ending the stigma associated with cannabis and the people who consume it.
Do you have any favorite cannabis photographers?
So many! The list keeps growing as other states continue to legalize cannabis and the cannabis photography world grows. Morgan Leigh English is one of the main people who inspired me to go this direction with my photography. I’ve had the opportunity to shoot with Oleg Zharsky a few times now and I just love his style/uniqueness. I feel like Bess Byers kind of started it all. She paved the way for a lot of us.
What are your go-to strains and why?
I love all things kush! Sativa strains make me a little anxious/paranoid so I tend to stick with indicas and indica dominant strains. My preferred method of consumption will always be smoking out of my bong but if that’s not available, or I’m traveling, I love joints.
Do you have a favorite strain to photograph?
Anything colorful really. I love the purple strains.
Do you have favorite strains from specific growers?
Resin Ranchers flower is always incredible, I don’t think I could pick just one from them.
Do you have a favorite ever shot?
That’s so hard. Every time I try something new, I end up with a new all-time favorite. I think that’s my favorite thing about photography though, I’m constantly growing and changing my look. I love that there are no rules with art.
Nature plays a key role in your Instagram. Where are your favorite places to get away from it all?
I love hiking in the forests around Oregon. I’m absolutely obsessed with the moss and the fog we have here.
How do you rate Oregon cannabis to that of other states?
Since I live in Oregon I may be biased/haven’t tried every states cannabis. With that being said, Oregon has the strictest testing laws and a sincere commitment to craft and sustainable growing. I’m proud to support these farmers and their terpene-rich strains. Also, our laws allow us to choose the nugs we like! This promotes a more dedicated trim and cure which brings out the full potential of our varieties.
Any thoughts on the reported saturation of cannabis in the state?
It’s great for consumers who are looking for some of the best cannabis in the world for the lowest price, but it’s unfortunate for farmers who are barely able to make it by, especially the ones who have been in the industry since the beginning.
Any advice for budding photographers?
Photograph what you’re passionate about-. Find your own niche. Make sure you’re doing it for you and not a following on a social platform.
What do you never leave the house without?
My phone, my planner, and my weed.
See more of Hagenbach’s work in her curated gallery above. Want more? Follow her at @muh_riah.
Tyson 2.0 Launches New Mike Bites Cannabis Gummies
Nearly 25 years after he was disqualified from the World Boxing Association Heavyweight Championship for biting his opponent’s ears, Mike Tyson’s Tyson 2.0 cannabis brand has just released ear-shaped edibles, Mike Bites.
The new ear-shaped edibles are complete with a missing chunk where Tyson removed a portion of Evander Holyfield’s cartilage in what became known as The Bite Fight. After Tyson bit off a chunk of Holyfield’s ear, the 1997 match resumed. However, after attempting to snack on Holyfield’s second ear, Tyson was disqualified and his boxing licence was withdrawn. The Nevada State Athletic Commission handed Tyson a a $3 million fine for his actions and he didn’t fight again for over a year.
Mike Bites gummies will be sold at dispensaries in California, Massachusetts and Nevada.
Wiz Khalifa Debuts New Taylor Gang x Stündenglass Collab
Wiz Khalifa and his entertainment company Taylor Gang Ent. have collaborated with Stündenglass, the world’s first gravity-powered infuser, to introduce the iconic gold and black Taylor Gang x Stündenglass.
“I’m honored to have collaborated with long time friend Wiz Khalifa, who is as passionate about this product as I am. Our mutual admiration for Stündenglass made it a natural collaboration,” Stündenglass CEO Chris Folkerts said via a press release.
Taylor Gang x Stündenglass is an authentic collaboration developed after the multi-platinum-selling, Grammy-winning, Golden Globe-nominated Khalifa discovered Stündenglass and began enjoying it regularly as seen on his Instagram.
“I love my Stündenglass, and I’m pumped everyone gets to experience this with me now,” Khalifa.
The infuser features a patented 360-degree gravity system that elicits a powerful and immersive experience. It generates kinetic motion activation via cascading water, opposing airflow technology and the natural force of gravity.
The Taylor Gang gravity bing comes in an exclusive black and gold colorway and features two glass globes on a metal base made of aircraft-grade aluminum, surgical grade stainless steel, and high-quality Teflon seals.
Taylor Gang includes artists Ty Dolla $ign, Juicy J, and Berner among others — the former of which has his own line Stündenglass collab with his Cookies brand.
“We’re very excited to launch the official Taylor Gang x Stündenglass. We use glass in our everyday lives, so it only made sense to team up and create an exclusive Taylor Gang collaboration for the fans,” Taylor Gang said.
No Super Bowl for Brock Ollie
With medicinal marijuana being legal in 37 states and recreational cannabis allowed in 18, we should be seeing commercials for companies, products, and services almost as frequently as commercials for sports betting, which is permitted in 30 states in some form.
However, mainstream cannabis advertising continues to be non-existent, as demonstrated in the recent news that NBC has rejected an ad by cannabis e-commerce and advertising platform Weedmaps from being shown during the Super Bowl LVI event his coming Sunday.
Weedmaps reportedly approached the network late last year about airing a Super Bowl commercial that would be “similar to a PSA,” according to reports. Execs volunteered to present some of their earlier educational-based programming, assuring NBC executives that it would not contain any direct-sell messages, which are still forbidden under federal law.
“The answer was a hard no — they wouldn’t even entertain the conversation,” Weedmaps Chief Operating Officer Juanjo Feijoo told Adweek. “We see ourselves as trying to be trailblazers in the industry and making new inroads where others haven’t gone before in cannabis advertising. So it was disappointing.”
The contentious ad personifies cannabis as Brock Ollie, a head of broccoli, the veggie emoji commonly used as a visual representation of cannabis in marketing. The 30-second ad takes viewers through a day in the life of Brock Ollie, whose superfood identity is in jeopardy as he is repeatedly misidentified as cannabis. The ad offers a lighthearted take on the industry’s issues, such as social media censorship and a lack of clear advertising standards, which limit cannabis-related commercials during nationally televised events like the Super Bowl.
“Despite three quarters of the country having legalized cannabis and the bipartisan enthusiasm we continue to see in support for change at the federal level, the industry continues to face roadblocks that inhibit competition in the legal market and stifle opportunities to educate,” Chris Beals, CEO of Weedmaps said. “There’s an irony in the fact that the biggest night for advertising will feature an array of consumer brands in regulated industries, from beverage alcohol to sports betting, yet legal cannabis retailers, brands and businesses have been boxed out.”
The game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams will be played Sunday in L.A.