They Know Why The Grass is Greener
Illustration By: Olivier Desrochers
Cannabis is the blazing hot topic on everyone's lips across America: its stigma, its culture, the innovation in industry, and the growing potential for pot-related products made possible by more progressive state legislature.
By Kesu James
In the last few years alone, the increase in demand and economy has been mind-blowing, no water pipe required. In an industry long associated with counter culture ideas, green-leafed entrepreneurs work double duty: making inroads to legitimize and de-mystify their practices, trail-blazing each step of the way. But even though cannabis products are new to the mainstream market, the men behind them are far from green about their business.
DTK spoke with a few of the budding moguls to learn who they are and how they do what they do.
Tripp Keber, founder of Dixie Elixirs, “The Future of Cannabis in America” http://dixieelixirs.com
Dixie Elixirs offers multiple cannabis product lines ranging from candies to carbonated beverages. Often cited in the media as a thought leader in the industry, Tripp is passionate about changing perceptions about cannabis every day.
“What we are doing has never been done. There’s never been a nationally branded line of cannabis-infused products. We’re kind of making this up as we go along…we want to... we need to do it right.”
An self-admitted workaholic and zealot for the satisfaction of growth, Tripp works seven days a week to develop the brand, but makes time to relax outdoors, skiing or fishing, because he believes that a healthy body creates a healthy mind. But he’s not too heavy-handed about it, when asked about what his food preferences are, Keber replied “Tequila. Food is fuel. Tequila is happy.”
Favorite greens – I do not eat greens, I am a “meat and potatoes” kind of guy.
Guilty pleasure - Cigars and tequila, preferably at the same time with a “good lookin’ friend”
Boxers or briefs - None of your business ;-)
Favorite fidget – I don’t fidget, I am a man of action.
Favorite method of consuming cannabis - When I do which is rare, I use either Dixie Dew Drops or Dixie Prime Pure.
Steve DeAngelo, founder of Harborside Health Center, “Cannabis Innovation, Activism, Medicine, and Compassion” http://www.harborsidehealthcenter.com
A major player in cannabis advocacy circles and veteran promoter of the responsible use of cannabis, Steve Angelo’s iconic, playful sense of style transcends mainstream societal standards while remaining true to himself.
Angelo has no problem donning a suit for his daily business activities, but eccentric hats, long braided hair and off-center accessories make it immediately apparent that Steve is not just another suit shuffling in the rat race. If anything, we’d say he’s flying high above it.
“My style is a reflection of my inner being”, he states matter-of-factly.
“Tell us then, boxers or briefs?” Bikinis. Thongs almost.
As the founder of Harborside Health Center – an ultra-modern cannabis dispensary with two locations in California’s Bay Area – Deangelo ensures that every customer feels welcome and respected while distancing them from every aspect of the illicit drug market.
A self-proclaimed “model for weed legitimacy” Steve works tirelessly to bridge the gap between mainstream society and the cannabis industry. Though Harborside is his magnus opus of Mary Jane to date, Steve’s record of activism and achievement withstands the test of time, extending all the way back the eighties when he launched “Hemp Tour” to promote Jack Herer’s seminal book The Emperor Wears No Clothes.”
When asked about his clothing choices, Steve recounts how he arrived at his signature style. “Years ago, I was at Burning Man and the sun and the heat were ripping up my hair, so my girlfriend braided it and I threw on a bowler hat that was just lying around. When I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror I realized I resembled one of my historical role models, Quanah Parker. He was one of the last Commanche chiefs and fiercely loyal to his tribe, but wisely chose assimilation over annihilation and lead his people from war to peace. On the reservation he dressed unapologetically in white man’s shoes and ties, with a bowler hat, and his long glorious braids underneath. The symmetry and symbolism of me looking like that personal hero of mine really resonated with me, so from that moment on I embraced the look.”
Steve also travels his nine pound Chihuahua mix “Goliath”, his companion and evergreen fashion accessory, whose name is as irreverent and playful as Steve himself. “I call him Goliath because he’s got a very big heart. Also, he’s really well endowed.”
Favorite greens - Collard Greens. Best w some good neckbones thrown in there.
Guilty Pleasures – A powerfully addictive white powder....Sugar. (laughs)
Favorite Bad Movie – Superchick.
Comic Book Fan – Not really.
Favorite method of consuming cannabis – Edibles. But I make my own because I like them highly concentrated. I consume between 500 and 1000 mg of THC per day, enough to render a normal human being semi-conscious. Plus, I don't like the lung damage associated with smoking.
Dooma Wendschuh, founder of Ebbu, “Whatever you are into there’s an Ebbu for you” www.ebbu.com
Always on the move and forever restless, Dooma Wendschuh is one the promising new Movers and Shakers in the cannabis industry. His company Ebbu – a state-of-the-art cannabis distillery, extracts THC in specific proportions, and after rigorous testing and analysis, delivers the buzz in a range of products that is measured, predictable, and reliable. The swell of anticipation behind his offering is gargantuan, and some say he is in prime position to revolutionize the industry. Expertly fidgeting with his pen and shaking his leg incessantly as he speaks, Dooma shared with DTK the secrets of his success. “The Karma is in the Details,” he says. “I’m motivated by doing things that matter. To do things that matter you have to pay attention to the details.”
And he’s not just blowing smoke. Born as Michael Wendschuh, Dooma’s name is an example of a detail that matters. He recalls fondly, “It happened my first day at Princeton. I was in a crowded freshman hall, some social thing, where most people were really clean cut, wearing khakis and polo shirts. I had long hair, bellbottoms and wore funky shirts. I felt really out of place. Then I noticed one other kid on the other side of the room with dreadlocks and baggy pants who also looked a little out of place. A few awkward minutes went by and then he came up to me and said ‘Yo man, what’s your name?’ I said, ‘Dude, Mike.’ He thought I said ‘Doodmike’, so that’s what he called me. I liked it, kept it, and eventually shortened it to Dooma.” And as for the kid who gave him the name so may years ago? “He’s a dedicated cannabis consumer and one of my best friends to date. See? Karma and details.”
What’s revolutionary about Ebbu is its potential to change the way people think of cannabis products. “When you look at a bottle of vodka you don’t say ‘Oh, there’s some potato juice.’ The same is true for Ebbu’s products. It’s not marijuana. It’s something new made using cannabis as a raw ingredient.”
Although Dooma is confident that cannabis legalization will spread across the country, he is all too aware of the many hurdles ahead before cannabis can be fully embraced in America. But when it comes to the future, he is optimistic about the green in more sense than one: “Eventually humanity is going to get our act together and treat the planet right,” he says, adding “Maybe by then we’ll have national endorsed legislature for cannabis. But until then, I’ve got a lot of work to do.” When we asked Dooma what he does to relax he replied simply, “I don’t.”
With most budding businesses, its a whole different story. Here at DTK, we tip our hat to Dooma, Tripp, Steve and the other cannabis-minded ambassadors who are working hard to make their dreams come true. If there is one common instinct behind them all, its that they are not just motivated, these men are Highly Driven. Stay up, Fellas!
Pet Peeves – People who aren't willing to work hard for what they want in life.
Guilty Pleasure - There are so many things in my life that I feel guilty about, but things that give me pleasure don’t fall in that category.
Boxers or Briefs – Boxer briefs.
Favorite Bad Movie - The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonsai Across the 8th Dimension. I think it’s a work of genius and people that don’t like it need to work a little harder to understand it. Or try my products first.
Favorite Means of Consuming Cannabis - Film strips – (like what Listerine made popular). Thin strips are now the flagship delivery method of Ebbu products.