The top nominees at the 2019 Oscars won’t all go home with awards, but they won’t go home empty-handed either. The honorees receive lavish six-figure Oscar goody bags, complete with cannabis-friendly products.
The 91st Academy Awards will be held this Sunday, February 24 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The annual event honors the best actors, producers, directors, and technicians in the film industry. All 25 nominees in the acting and directing categories — which include awards for best actor and actress in leading and in supporting roles — will receive the gifts in the week leading up to the event.
This year’s Oscar goody bags feature goodies from Coda Signature. The company produces a line of bath balms, salves, oils, and artisan chocolates. The colorful, handmade chocolates are made from ethically sourced cacao and are typically infused with 10 milligrams of THC. Coda’s Crescendo and Forte collections come with six truffles in three different flavors — burnt caramel, earl grey, and juniper lemon.
However, according to a statement from the company, because cannabis products cannot be shipped across state lines,, these chocolates won’t contain THC.
Swag bags will also include skincare products from High Beauty, according to a CNBC report. The company makes a line of certified organic facial oils and moisturizers. Products are made with cannabis sativa seed extract and contain no THC.
This year’s nominees will also receive a week-long stay at Golden Door Spa, an Amazon cruise, and a Mister Poop emoji toilet plunger, among other items, according to CNBC.
The legendary Oscar goody bags are just as famous as the gold-plated bronze sculptures. Each bag is valued at over $100,000, and are full of luxury freebies. Previous gifts have included international vacations, spa retreats, designer jewelry, vampire breast lifts, and even vibrators.
Last year’s gift bag included a 12-day vacation for two to Tanzania, a year’s supply of skin and hair products, and a donation of Halo pet supplies/meals valued at $8,000 to the celebrity’s shelter or rescue of choice.
Bags are provided by Direct Assets, a marketing company with no affiliation to the Oscars. While the actual value of Oscar goody bags is not disclosed, the company ensures it contains six-figures worth of gifts. Previous bags — like those given at the 2016 Oscars — were reported to be valued at upwards of $230,000.
Companies donate the items included in the bags. Brands are known to pay an average of $4,000 in order to have their products featured in the annual giveaway. Direct Asset’s founder, Lash Fary, told Forbes in 2016 that the gifts are not part of a philanthropic effort. Rather, “We are gifting them for the same reason that they are paid upwards of $20 million for a single film…because their personal brand has value as a commodity.”
The Oscars — otherwise known as the Academy Awards — is put on by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). This year’s nominations for best movie include Bohemian Rhapsody, A Star is Born, Roma, and Green Book. This year’s honorees include Melissa McCarthy, Yalitza Aparicio, Mahershala Ali, and Rami Malek, among others.
Les Club des Hashischins: How Hash & Hallucination Dazzled Western Culture
When Napoleon Bonaparte’s army arrived at the great pyramids in Egypt, they were met by a fleet of 10,000 soldiers on horseback. Sometimes described as a mad man, Bonaparte is famous for his exhaustive crusades into foreign lands with superior militaries and home advantage. In the mid-1790s, Bonaparte had already defeated Austrian armies against the odds on behalf of his country. After claiming new territory for the French government, Bonaparte set his sights on Egypt.
The goal of the French invasion in Egypt was to disrupt the trade routes of a dreaded rival, the British. While the French achieved a degree of success in their Egyptian military endeavors, the nation’s expansion into the East sparked a new, oft undiscussed cultural shift back home — Napoleon’s crusade introduced 19th-century France to psychedelic drugs.
A Forbidden Herb at Les Club des Hachichins
According to Robert Clarke and Mark Merlin, authors of Cannabis Evolution and Ethnobotany, archeological researchers estimate that the use of hashish in Egypt dates back to the 12 century C.E. In its early days, archeologists suggest that hashish was most often eaten, with its active chemicals absorbed underneath the tongue and digested when swallowed. If historical records prove accurate, the cannabis paste was cheaper than other substances and was unrestricted by Islamic religious authorities at the time.
As such, hashish consumption rose in popularity until the 20th century, inspiring feelings of euphoria, provoking a meditative state of mind, and promoting sociality. The herb was particularly popular among the lower classes, who arguably consumed it as a more economical alternative to alcohol or opium. When French soldiers arrived on the scene, they were quick to introduce themselves to such a pleasant and unique social custom, much to the dismay of Bonaparte. For the first time in the modern history of France, cannabis was banned.
In October of 1800, Bonaparte issued a decree to his troops:
“It is forbidden in all of Egypt to use certain Moslem beverages made with hashish or likewise to inhale the smoke from seeds of hashish. Habitual drinkers and smokers of this plant lose their reason and are victims of violent delirium which is the lot of those who give themselves full to excesses of all sorts.”
Unfortunately for the General, however, the ban was a lost cause. The march into Egypt opened the first doors to the cannabis drug trade in France, and it was the educated elite that warmly welcomed the intoxicating herb into their social and intellectual lives. The primary attraction? Hallucinations.
Hash Eating Hallucinations
Without television or the radio, Victorian-era elites resorted to more unusual forms of entertainment. For prominent French writers, artists, and scientists of the time, that entertainment came in the form of a hash-eating club. Attended by famous names like Alexandre Dumas, Victor Hugo, and Charles Baudelaire, Les Club des Hachichins was formed in 1844. Writers and artists attended out of creative curiosity, while at least one doctor attended to study mental illness and drug-induced mental alterations.
Inspired by new imports from Egypt, the group famously mixed hashish into coffee, along with pistachio, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, sugar, and other flavorful spices. The end result was, apparently, downright hallucinogenic. After consuming a lump of hashish rumored to be the size of an adult thumb, writer, journalist, and philosopher Théophile Gautier reports spiraling into a world filled with visionary creatures, ones which had only previously come to life in the visual arts.
“An enigmatic personage suddenly appeared before me,” writes Gautier in Les Club des Hachichins. “His nose was bent like the beak of a bird, his green eyes, which he wiped frequently with a large handkerchief, were encircled with three brown rings, and caught in the knot of a high white starched collar was a visiting card which read: Daucus-Carota, du Pot d’or….. (a reference to the fairytale writing of E.T.A. Hoffmann).”
“Little by little,” he continues, “the salon was filled with extraordinary figures, such as are found only in the etchings of Callot or the aquatints of Goya; a pêle-mêle of rags and tatters, bestial and human shapes.”
These visions, it seems, continued into Gautier’s dreams. According to a 1974 paper by Harry Cockerham, during the hash eater’s dreams, senses seem to blur into one another — a synesthesia that confuses taste, color, scent, and sound. Gautier writes in a local newspaper: “I had the most bizarre dreams: I heard flowers singing, I saw blue, green, and red musical phrases which smelled of vanilla.”
And yet, not all effects of hashish were frightening. In fact, Gautier articulated that the herbal concoction was far superior to alcohol. “I could no longer feel my body,” he writes in Le Club des Haschichins, “the bonds of mater and spirit were loosened […] I imagine this is how souls must be in the world of essences […] I understood, then, the pleasure felt by spirits and angels moving in the ethereal regions.”
After observing Les Club des Hachichins for several years, Dr. Jacques-Joseph Moreau, an influential figure in modern psychology, reported in his several-hundred-page investigation Hashish and Mental Illness, “I saw in [cannabis] a mean of effectively combatting the fixed ideas of depressives, disrupting the chain of their ideas, of unfocusing their attention on such and such a subject.”
They say history repeats itself. With cannabis, this common aphorism is proven true again and again. In 1800, cannabis products were banned by Bonaparte. Yet, the desire to explore the mind and test the boundaries of consciousness was too appealing for soldiers and civilians alike.
This same desire to explore persists today, despite decades of tension between policymakers hoping to control, and spirited wanders breaking laws to find freedom of mind.
Creator of Jelly Belly Just Launched CBD Jelly Beans
David Klein, creator of the iconic Jelly Belly confectionary, is entering the cannabis industry with his newest sweet treat — CBD jelly beans.
David Klein revolutionized the candy industry with his invention of the Jelly Belly jelly beans in 1976. Four decades later, he’s re-creating them — this time, infusing them with cannabidiol to create CBD jelly beans.
The miniature, gourmet beans are piece of Americana, thanks especially to Ronald Reagan. The 40th president of the U.S. fell in love with Jelly Belly beans after he started snacking on them as a way to help him quit smoking. His affection for the candies grew. He ordered cases of them (60 per month); always had a jar nearby, and even sent some to outer space on the Challenger in 1983.
Now Reagan’s favorite treats are, ironically, being infused with CBD.
Klein, a candy inventor from Los Angeles, can remember the moment he conceptualized the Jelly Belly; it was 8:15 p.m. on a Thursday evening, and he was watching an episode of “Happy Days.”
It wasn’t long before his dream of creating the “Rolls Royce of jelly beans” came to fruition.
Klein has been in the candy business for 45 years and counting. “I love candy,” he told Cannabis Aficionado. “Not a day goes by where not only do I eat candy in some form, but I think about new candy ideas.”
Klein recently became aware of the benefits of CBD, he explained, “And I said to myself, ‘is anybody doing a jelly bean with CBD?’”
“I could not find any,” he continued. But he did see was an opportunity with CBD jelly beans to do what he does best: create candy, and help people.
Altruism is ingrained in Klein’s blood. While his saccharine confectionaries have captured our hearts (and stomachs), he is recognized most for his benevolent nature.
Klein details his experience creating and losing the rights to the Jelly Belly brand in the 2011 documentary, “Candyman: The David Klein Story.”
Klein created Jelly Bellys with “an investment of $800, no credit cards,” he said. “[…] When it first came out, nobody wanted it.”
In 1980, he sold his rights to Jelly Belly. In 2001, the Herman Goelitz Candy Co. changed its name to the Jelly Belly Company. The company continues to rake in $190 million in net profits annually.
Though he’s called it the worst mistake of his life, the experience didn’t hinder Klein’s love for candy or his need to spread sweetness.
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Now, the King of Jelly Beans is officially back in the bean business.
His company, Spectrum Confections, produces CBD-infused jelly beans, which come in 38 different flavors.
“Toasted marshmallow, pina colada, strawberry cheesecake… which is one of my favorites,” Klein continued. Other flavors will include cinnamon, spicy licorice, and mango.
“Our mango tastes more like mango than mango does,” he said.
“[…] The jelly bean is perfect for the proper dosage [of CBD],” Klein continues, “we are putting 10 ml in each [bean]. If people want a small dose, they eat one. If they want 20 ml, they can eat two,” and so on. “They can decide what their proper dosage is.”
This is not Klein’s first venture back into jelly beans. “Jelly beans and I go way back,” he quipped. He continues to create new flavors almost constantly. In 2016 he embarked on a mission to create a line of “Original Coffee House Jelly Beans,” and in 2011, a gourmet beans called “David’s Signature Beyond Gourmet Jelly Beans.”
Spectrum Confection’s CBD jelly beans will also come in sugar-free varieties – a welcoming alternative to the vast amount of sugary, junky infused goods on the market today.
Spectrum Confections’ inventory features an assortment of sweet, sour and sugar-free jelly beans. Selections include: Sour Cherry Goosebumps, Sweet and Spice and Everything Nice drops, and a CBD 7-day pack.
Candies will not include THC, as the company is focused on creating CBD-only varieties for now. The patent-pending recipe will include fruit juice, said Klein, “We are trying to make it so that it can be as healthy as possible.”
He doesn’t want to make any health claims, but is confident he’s creating a product “that will help the world.”
Despite his history with the iconic Jelly Belly, Klein remains slightly dazed that — nearly 40 years down the line — he’s creating a cannabis-infused version of his most famous creation. He believes legalization is on the horizon, adding, “About two years from now, everybody is going to laugh at how long it took to get there.”
In the meantime, keep a lookout for Spectrum Confection’s gourmet CBD jelly beans, or order your own at SpectrumConfections.com.
20 African American Cannabis Entrepreneurs You Should Know
Whether it’s opening a dispensary, starting a unique line of strains and products, or infusing cannabis culture into mainstream society in new and unusual ways, we thought it fitting to honor Black History Month by celebrating 20 African American cannabis entrepreneurs who are pioneers in the pot industry. Remember these names, as they’ll likely be making a huge impact within the industry — if they haven’t already.
You don’t often hear the mention of cannabis on talk shows, but Oren Lomena, host of The Graux, mixes in sports, cooking, and weed in an attempt to make cannabis conversations a part of normal life. It helps when your sibling is a correspondent for MSNBC, too. Lomena’s resume of cannabis activity is long, making him an ideal person to take this leap.
Not only does Jesce Horton own and manage a high-end growing operation in Portland, OR, but until recently he also acted as the director of the Minority Cannabis Business Association. The group’s mission is to increase diversity within the industry, yet as his plants at Panacea Valley Gardens began to gain more and more attention, he stepped down from the MCBA to spend more time with his family.
Tsion Sunshine Lencho
A background as an attorney has served Tsion Sunshine Lencho well, as she co-founded Supernova Women in 2015. A networking platform for women of color who are looking to break into the industry, Lencho’s organization offers a variety of workshops and advocates for ex-offenders who are going through the process of rehabilitation.
Snoop has been a cannabis advocate for as long as anyone can remember. You may be familiar with his line of strains. Leafs by Snoop, which is currently involved in a lawsuit with the Toronto Maple Leafs over his logo. He also launched Merry Jane, a digital cannabis resource.
Perhaps one of the most recognizable names in the cannabis industry, Charlo Greene revealed that she was the owner of a cannabis club in Alaska while also quitting her job on the air. She now hosts The Weed Show, an online resource where she shares interesting ways to incorporate marijuana into your daily life. Greene initially faced decades in prison but has since had all charges dropped.
Infusing cannabis into fine cuisine is no small feat, and chef Miguel Trinidad does so with an exceptional level of skill. His underground and invite-only eatery, 99th Floor, features five courses of food that’s simply out of this world. He’s also expanded his cannabis ventures to create a line of edibles found in select California dispensaries.
Business ventures and a passion for art have come together in the cannabis world for Erik Range, Board Chair of Minorities for Medical Marijuana and co-founder of ART 420. Using cannabis-inspired art with a traveling business model, Range can communicate just how normal, and beautiful, cannabis can be for all.
You may recognize Al Harrington from the NBA, but this former player has made a major career change in what many would say is the right direction. Together with Daniel Pettigrew, he’s co-founded Viola Extracts, one of the nation’s top medical marijuana companies. Inspired by his own grandmother Viola’s battle with glaucoma, Harrington works hard to spread the message of just how effective cannabis can be in a pharmaceutical setting.
Dr. Rachel Knox & Dr. Jessica Knox
We know, technically there are two people listed here, but the Knox family includes four doctors, all of whom counsel patients on the uses of medical marijuana from their Oregon-based clinic. The Canna MDs as they’re called take a therapeutic approach to the plant and educate patients about how it can enhance their health and overall well-being.
Aside from her stellar career in Hollywood, Whoopi Goldberg is committed to making waves in another big way – by manufacturing cannabis products designed to help women with their monthly cycle. She’s partnered with Maya Elisabeth, founder of Om Edibles, to supply California and Colorado with soaks, rubs, edibles, and more. Launched in 2016, Whoopi & Maya has since become one of the biggest brands on the market.
Owner of District Growers in Washington DC, Corey takes a community approach to his cannabis cultivation. The team partners with other businesses in the area and provides individuals with ha igh-quality medical product. Pre-rolls, infused teas, and uncommon edibles like granola bars all make up half of their offerings, while others turn to Barnette for expertly grown flower.
Cannabis use is still heavily stigmatized even in urban areas across the United States, but Andrea Unsworth is dedicated to changing that through her collective named StashTwist. A non-profit and woman-operated business in the East Bay of California, their products include topicals, oils, vape pens, and more.
The cannabis industry is still relatively new in the grand scheme of things, and entrepreneurs don’t always know where to begin. That’s where Shanita Penny comes in with her consulting firm Budding Solutions. Based in Baltimore, MD, she offers services that include product development, branding assistance, help with applications, and much more.
Named the 2018 Cannabis Industry Organization of the Year, the group at Minorities for Medical Marijuana have made huge strides thanks to founder and CEO Roz McCarthy. The team offers advocacy, training, and education to communities across the nation. To date, they have 23 chapters in the US and run their operations in Orlando, Florida. As if that wasn’t impressive enough, McCarthy was included in the High Times 100 Most Influential People in the Cannabis Industry during 2018.
To be the first at something is pretty special, and together with business partner Scott Durrah, Wanda James was the first black woman to own a dispensary in Denver, CO. With a name like Simply Pure, the group obviously focuses on high-quality cannabis and creates organic edibles, concentrates, and CBD oils.
Hope may be a part of a hugely popular entertainment television show, WAGS Atlanta, but her talents aren’t limited only to the big screen. She’s also the owner of Mary & Main, a dispensary in Prince George’s County, Maryland. It doesn’t sound that impressive, until you learn that she’s only 25, making her the youngest dispensary owner in the United States.
Khalifa is just one of a dozen celebrities to jump on the cannabis bandwagon as he’s developed his own line of weed in conjunction with RiverRock Cannabis. The Colorado-based dispensary released the line-up on 4/20, and includes flower and concentrates that Khalifa said took years to perfect. It’s rumored that the strains are modeled after effects that the rapper himself prefers.
A one-woman powerhouse in the marijuana world, Adams initially founded Marijuana Investment & Private Retreat and has since moved to C.E. HUTTON, a firm specializing in business strategy for a range of cannabis organizations. She’s deeply ingrained in the industry and with decades of experience is often one of the first people that entrepreneurs will turn to for help.
Business owners don’t always have the time to attend seminars or make appointments with consulting firms, but Comfy Tree is changing that thanks to Tiffany Bowden’s revolutionary ideas. She’s created a series of e-learning courses that are tailored to each individual’s sector, offering valuable information that’s easily accessible.
Elevating the cannabis experience is a huge focus of the industry, as the desire to completely banish typical stoner stereotypes is strong. Through Apothecarry, owner Whitney Beatty offers some of the most luxurious and discrete cannabis products the market has ever seen, encouraging cannabis users to break free from being a “smoker” and instead become a “conscious consumer.”
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