Q&A: ‘High End’ Documentarians Show The Way Bud Becomes Bougie

The fashion and culture website Highsnobiety.com has debuted its first short form documentary from the U.S., and its focus is marijuana. But not just any type of bud — the luxury kind.

The 24-minute documentary, “High End: The Regal-ization of Cannabis,” expired on the website on April 20, 2018. The project interviews some key movers and shakers from the area of luxury cannabis.

“We have talked about cannabis at length here before. “What we just noticed … those really great high-end brands that make cannabis.

Here’s what DeLeon and Andrew Keegan, “High End” co-director, co-producer and co-writer, had to say about their new documentary.

Q: What inspired this documentary?

DeLeon: We’re approaching it from more of a lifestyle perspective. We’ve always prided ourselves in identifying best-in-class product and branding. So for us, in terms of getting in on the conversation about the legalization of marijuana, we just thought it aligns well with what we’ve always done, which is picking out the coolest new sneakers, the best upcoming brands. We noticed that there were cannabis companies like Bloom Farms, Beboe, and MedMen who were really hoping to create and sell products that were designed with intent, and had a fresh message they were trying to build around — that sort of speaks to the idea that the whole stoner stereotype is dead, right? So what the documentary asks is: How did marijuana go from being transported in Ziploc bags to Chanel bags?

It’s a luxury in the sense that it’s something that you don’t necessarily need to get by, but it will make life a little bit better. That’s how we would typify the audience for this specific merchandise … a super-discerning consumer that’s as picky about what goes outside their body, so why shouldn’t they be discerning when it comes to what they put inside.


Q: What products and services are showcased and how were they selected?

DeLeon: Bloom Farms really attracted us for their Highlighter Plus pen. For us, the rose gold stood out.

Keegan: Every brand we profiled has a special perspective in the marketplace. [Bloom Farms] oil is single-origin reserve, more so in the way you would think about a winery — very highly curated strains.

DeLeon: We have Beboe. Scott Campbell is a co-founder, and he’s already relevant in the fashion industry and as a tattoo artist. The product is just as attractive. Additionally, it speaks to a cannabis consumer that may not have smoked before but is open to taking the pastille or smoking a vaporizer pen, that’s sort of supposed to address a new entry-level sort of consumer that wants to educate themselves about the item. And in many cases it’s sort of dipping their toe into bud. It’s definitely not a hardcore user. It speaks to the growth potential of this market. Scott has essentially said that a whole lot of the products that Beboe makes are for people who have smoked a great deal but now may not have the whole day to get high. For us, that was the perspective Beboe brought was comprehending the packaging and the product is as essential as having a high-quality product within it.

MedMen sort of encapsulates everything that’s offered from the retail perspective. It looks like an Apple store.

Lowell we are calling out specifically because of their pre-rolled items, which seem really great and tell a story and have been contain really well-cultivated strains.

For us it wasn’t about covering all of the brands that are out there.


Q: Who is this high-end weed consumer?

DeLeon: Best case illustration is in “Master of None: Season 2,” you’ve Aziz Ansari heading out to really nice restaurants, wearing really wonderful designer clothes. And in certain events, he just happens to take a vape pen and share it with his date.     They’t come from this cannabis closet, so to speak. Cannabis is now a part of a lifestyle in precisely the identical way that anything else is a part of a lifestyle, whether it’s drinking a really wonderful wine, enjoying high-end liquor and eating out at fine restaurants. And due to the advent of vaping, it’s never been easier to do it in a social context like indoors at a bar, lounge or hotel bar.

It’s going out and opening a box of those Lowell pre-rolls. Or you’ve got the [individuals in their]30s and 40s using the gummies in place of some type of other ailment-aid. You have the old generation who’s really going after the blossom. Lowell has a flight, which has eight different strains, all doing eight different things.

DeLeon: I’d say it runs the gamut between sort of fans and neophytes to marijuana but what unites them is this appreciation of quality merchandise and purposeful design.


Q: What else can audiences expect in the documentary as it pertains to California marijuana culture and government regulations?

DeLeon: We do touch on regulation, we do touch on coverage. But for us, it’s always been about the products. For us, it was really putting exposure to this trend of branding and design as it applies to the cannabis market. But for the scope of a 25-minute documentary, we believed, what makes most sense for us to pay as a website that hasn’t really dealt with politics or advocacy or regulation is who is making the best product.

Generally we have been more focused on highlighting the makers and what they create.


Q: What do you want audiences to escape your documentary?

And for the more experienced user it’s a whole world now, it’s highly curated, meticulously curated strains of marijuana that are a great deal more potent than what people were getting before.

DeLeon: For me, I think it’s the perfect analog to streetwear and road culture, and how it has developed from being on the fringes of the fashion industry to being one of the driving forces.


Keegan: What surprised me most was the tax that’s on cannabis and how everyone’s paying it without even blinking an eye.

Published at Fri, 11 May 2018 16:30:09 +0000

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