In the culturally diverse RiNo Arts District of Denver, Colorado, amongst the murals, sculptors and street art exists The Nug Nation, a remarkably creative production company that has dedicated itself to bringing cannabis to life — literally.
The Nug Nation is utilizing high-quality stop-motion animation to transform cannabis into walking, talking characters, or “Nugs” as they refer to them. Each character is named after a popular strain of cannabis like Sour Diesel, aka “Diesel,” Grand Daddy Purple, aka “Daddy” and Girl Scout Cookie, aka “Cookie.”
What started as a humorous and creative way to allow cannabis businesses to showcase brands and sponsor content without violating strict marketing bans in the industry, the good folks at The Nug Nation have carved out a unique niche in an ever-expanding and growing market.
Mikey Peterson, a seasoned filmmaker and Denver native, came up with the idea shortly after cannabis was legalized in Colorado in 2014. And although Peterson is the CEO and founder, he is quick to give credit to his entire team for their dedication and work ethic.
“I recognized the opportunity to bring comedy and cannabis together while creating something completely distinctive that didn’t focus on stoner humor,” said Peterson. “Because the landscape of consumers has changed significantly, we sought a way to reach a broader audience while providing a marketing tool to cannabis brands.”
The initial episodes of The Nug Nation show were created as short-format programs easily consumed on social media platforms and which often reflected current events. In The Nug Nation Episode 2: The Debate, which aired in August of 2016, the team expertly parodied the presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton with hilarious results. This got the attention of BurnTV CEO Jason Santos, who quickly worked to bring The Nug Nation brand to their line up of programming.
“At BurnTV, we specialize in bringing a broad scope of cannabis and lifestyle entertainment to the masses and The Nug Nation show is the perfect fit for our brand,” said Santos. “Their uniqueness, quality and ability to bring the funny, without the obvious stoner humor, was a welcome addition to our line up. We look forward to partnering with them on future shows and building our brands together.”
As the show began to gain some traction, The Nug Nation expanded its offerings by creating “Potty Talk With Bong Burgundy,” a spin-off, interview-style show. One of the only non-cannabis strain inspired characters, Bong Burgundy became a fan favorite and since the team had access to some musical artists, the show was created. The first guest was the director, producer and MC legend Redman.
The interviews take place in a public restroom and can be, as the title suggests, somewhat offensive or incredibly funny, depending on your perspective. Since launching the initial episode in 2016, Bong Burgundy (voiced by Aaron Howell, a musician and vocalist in his own right as the frontman of MF Ruckus) has interviewed musical artists Nappy Roots, Scotty ATL, Jarren Benton and legendary Afroman for the series. Rittz was recently interviewed and his candid and amusing episode is scheduled to be released in 2020 on YouTube, social media and the company’s flagship site, thenugnation.com.
After enduring some funding obstacles in 2017, the team started pursuing sponsors and outside work with more enthusiasm, landing contracts with cannabis companies like General Cannabis, Dixie Brands, Chiefton and Salt Creek Hemp.
Startups are never easy, as the good folks at The Nug Nation certainly understand. But their luck would change in early 2019 when commissioned to create a music video for chart-topping artist Billy Ray Cyrus’ new song “Angel in my Pocket,” fittingly about smoking weed. With the assistance of mainstream producer Potsy Poncinelli, they were able to complete the project in spite of an almost impossible 10-day deadline. A job that should have taken two months was accomplished in just ten days by working around the clock shifts and securing additional staff.
In the first of its kind music video, BRC is literally turned into a character made of weed in the stop-motion animated video. In it, Billy Ray gets fired from his dead-end job at the local gas/convenience store before going on a Dukes of Hazzard inspired car jump into a hemp farm. Along with his trusty sidekick, a giant joint, the two battle in an old-west style brawl before they blast into space in a rocket before finding a peaceful place to land and smoke a joint.
With the momentum of the “Angel in my Pocket” music video, The Nug Nation has worked with several new brands to launch some new and exciting shows. Including Hempire, a smokers’ lifestyle brand who was one of the sponsors of the music video and eventually partnered with The Nug Nation to create the upcoming series Hemp 101.
“Hemp 101” is a stop-motion animated short-form social media series focusing on basic hemp education, with a comical twist. Topics range from the differences between hemp and cannabis to more traditional hemp applications. The host of the show will be an anamorphic “joint teacher” giving educational lessons in a classroom setting. Social media influencer and cannabis aficionado Izzy Blazee lends her voice as the teacher. The concept for the joint teacher was inspired by the Billy Ray music video in which his sidekick was a life-sized joint branded with the Hempire logo.
For their part, Hempire is optimistic about the shows’ potential. “Hempire is a sustainable smoke connoisseur lifestyle brand with the ambition of becoming the preferred hemp alternative in the dispensary and smoke shop channels,” said Nicolas Pettersson, Hempire Brand Manager at Swisher International. “The Nug Nation has been identified as a strategic partner to develop unique and engaging online content that speaks to our adult consumers. We are very excited to have The Nug Nation team on our side as we continue to grow our business nationwide.”
As The Nug Nation looks ahead, the future shines as brightly as terpenes on a nug. With several other shows in various stages of development, you can expect more collaborations with emerging and existing brands in the cannabis space and beyond.
New G Pen & B Real Collab Seamlessly Fuses the Best of Cannabis Culture
In these days of uncertainty and social distancing, it’s refreshing to finally see some good news. Two pioneers of cannabis culture, Grenco Science (G Pen) and Cypress Hill frontman B Real have joined forces to launch a range of co-branded products.
“B Real has been a cultural force in both music and cannabis, and together with Grenco Science, we are reinventing the cannabis experience for our customers who have come to expect quality and innovation like only Grenco Science can provide.”
Grenco Science’s new partnership with the critically acclaimed artist and entrepreneur behind Dr. Greenthumb’s Dispensaries will see a line of products introduced to the market, that is set to include co-branded product offerings and fully integrating the G Pen line into Dr. Greenthumb’s Dispensaries with custom build-outs in California.
Sex & Sinsemilla: The Pleasure Enthusiast on Using Cannabis to Reduce Pain During Sex
For many a cannathusiast, sex and weed make the best of bedfellows. From helping you unwind and taking you out of your head, to increased sensation and pleasure, for some, the herb can be a natural aphrodisiac. An entire sub-category of cannabis products has been developed to help people enjoy sex more, whether it be to reduce pain during sex or to increase their connection with their partner.
However, there is also research that suggests smoking herb increases orgasm length, raises sperm count, that cannabis improves their experience and people who partake in weed also partake in sex more frequently.
Enough sexy data talk. Valentine’s Day seemed like the right time to debut the sex and sinsemilla advice column from Cara Cordoni, Cannabis Aficionado’s resident Pleasure Enthusiast, who will be answering your questions around cannabis, intimacy and sex, as well as offering up product reviews and suggestions to help you maximize your sexy times.
Dear Pleasure Enthusiast,
I want to have a sexy night with my partner, but I’ve been experiencing pain during penetration. I’ve heard that cannabis can help… can it?
– Sexy ‘n Suffering
Dear Sexy ‘n Suffering,
You’re not alone in experiencing pain during sex — and the first order of concern is to explore the root cause. Has there been an injury? Are you emotionally comfortable and safe? Is there an underlying condition like an infection, endometriosis or fibroids? Have you been to see a medical professional? Understand the source before addressing the symptoms. Once you know what’s up, then yes, cannabis could help reduce pain during sex.
Many of us gals feel pain due to lack of lubrication, which can be addressed with relaxation, foreplay and the use of a sexual lubricant like Intimate Oil by Privvy Peach, Smooth Operator by Quim, Awaken by Foria or Quiver by HerbaBuena.
These lubes combine cannabis, in the form THC, CBD, or both and known herbal aphrodisiacs like passionflower extract to provide pelvic relaxation, increase blood flow and reduce inflammation. Many women experience enhanced sensitivity with these infused lubricants, as well. Quim is aloe vera based and safe with latex, while Foria is coconut oil-based and not latex friendly. Luckily, there are many options on the market in legal states, or with CBD for everyone. I always recommend a patch test before applying to your privates. And if the first one you try doesn’t suit you, don’t give up, try another as each is unique.
I applaud you on your journey of pain reduction and pleasure enhancement.
The Pleasure Enthusiast at Work
QUIM: Smooth Operator
Squirt squirt; a slippery, opaque, white liquid coats on my fingers. Smooth Operator reminds me vaguely of semen, which is both titillating and disturbing. I apply it liberally to myself for a solo test flight. I wait for the 5-7 recommended minutes for the serum to penetrate and take effect feeling hopeful and skeptical. Yet as I read Quim’s elegant pamphlet, the slippery serum feels fantastic on my clit and labia and I notice that blood flow is visibly increased. Everything is gently engorging and I like it.
Foria: Intimacy CBD Lubricant and Awaken
I apply four squirts of Awaken directly to my vulva. I like the smell: it’s faint, the slightest edge of thin mint. The feeling is almost immediate, a coolness, very subtle and engaging, then a warmth. I see and feel blood flow increasing.
I then pour Foria’s clear coconut oil-based lube into my palm — it’s messy, some runs down the bottle. Coconut oil is my preferred lubricant when there’s no latex involved, so this liquid oil feels nice. After some experimentation, I find Foria’s products are super helpful with anal play, where the relaxing and slightly numbing qualities work best.
Do you have a question about sex that you’d like the Pleasure Enthusiast to answer? Get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cannabis Aficionado’s Guide to a Luxurious Valentine’s Day
Treat yourself or that special someone with the Cannabis Aficionado guide to partaking in a luxurious Valentine’s Day. From precious jewels to pleasuring lubes, silky robes to stylish home decor, the dankest weed to delicious chocolate treats, there’s something for all you lovers out there.
Lovers Edition combines five herbal aphrodisiacs with cannabis to create what they call “the best sex drug in the world.” It’s formulated for both a physical and psychological high, working to increase blood flow while also helping you relax and get out of your head.
This multi-aphrodisiac blend is formulated for people with vulvas, to enhance tactile sensation and pleasure while decreasing tension, discomfort and dryness.
Genifer Murray and Glenn Murray are expert jewelry makers as well as being passionate cannabis advocates. This beautiful sativa leaf pendant necklace is artfully crafted from 14kt gold and is available in a variety of sizes.
Jacquie Aische designs jewelry with the intention of empowering women. Join her tribe with these stunning Dream Catcher Hoops from her Sweet Leaf collection.
The Ganja Urn from Jonathan Adler’s Botanist collection is the perfect bougie scene-stealer — a must-have for all cannabis aficionado’s to stash their secrets.
Maria Valentino is a cutting-edge formulator and leader of green beauty and wellness for conscious consumers. This statement ring from her fine jewelry collection features pave diamonds, emulating the plant’s natural trichomes, and is set in 14k gold.
House of Saka
Toast to love with House ofSaka’s luxurious sparkling pink wine. Based on grapes from Napa Valley’s terroir and infused with the finest craft harvest. The resulting experience is intended to leave the imbiber feeling invigorating, clean and relaxed.
Mario Guzman aka Mr. Sherbinski grows some of the finest cannabis you’ll ever experience. His Pink Panties cultivar is a cross of Burmese Kush and a Florida Kush backcross. It expresses dense, medium-sized buds that reek of tart and tangy citrus alongside a strong floral bouquet.
White Fox on this planet is to formulate, alchemize and create specific effect driven medicine with the intention of showing you your own true greatness. Using a 2,000-year-old ayurvedic formulation, they have developed vape pens to increase your sexual energy and sensitivity.