A pair of local entrepreneurs are using their marketing acumen to give cannabis a reputation makeover, and they’re having a party to show off the results of their work.
At 6pm on Thursday, February 20 at the Cellar Door in Visalia, co-founders Cecil Lopez Jr. and Paul Marshall will host a launch party for LEAF Magazine, their attempt to give cannabis consumption the same loving attention often given to fine wines.
“Cannabis has come of age,” Lopez said. “We know adult cannabis users want this. And the businesses that cater to them need a way to reach that audience. LEAF is the vehicle for that.”
The launch party is free and open to the public.
The inaugural issue of LEAF–an acronym for Lifestyle, Entertainment, Art and Agriculture, and Food–is already available free at dozens of locations in Central California, ranging from Three Rivers to the Central Coast. Samples of its contents are also online at leafmagazineca.com.
“Now that cannabis is legal for adults to consume in California, we thought it was time to have some fun with it,” said LEAF editor Dave Adalian. “We’re exploring a whole new world with new adventures, and we want our readers to join us.”
The first issue’s features include cooking tips and recipes from cannabis chef Jesse Garza–native of Farmersville–and a profile of Fresno-based artist Vicken Massoyan.
“Not all our stories are about how, where and when to use cannabis,” Lopez said. “Sometimes, we just like to check out cool stuff.”
The Serious Side of Cannabis
While LEAF is cannabis-centric, it’s not just about consuming pot. It’s about how to enjoy it to its fullest, Adalian says, and it’s about the multi-billion-dollar industry that’s growing along with the plant.
“The feature article in our first issue is about turning an abandoned orange packinghouse into a booming business and tourist destination in Woodlake,” Adalian said. “Cannabis is fun, no doubt, but we want folks to know it’s serious business too.”
LEAF will also feature stories about the growing industrial hemp industry, which promises to be a boon to California’s ag industry. The recent World Ag Expo made this plain by giving 30,000 square-feet of space over to hemp growers.
“People don’t realize how versatile this plant is,” Adalian said. “Basically, anything you can make from wood, cotton or petroleum, you can make from cannabis.”
A Cultural Celebration
LEAF Magazine also aims to be a treat for the eye. The publication features the design talent of co-founder Paul Marshall and the artistic photography of David Swann.
“We wanted to get ourselves away from the so-called 420 culture,” Marshall said. “This isn’t a magazine for kids at all. This is for adults who like cannabis or who want to follow along as this industry turns into a major factor in California’s economy, and it’s also eye candy.”
As graphic designers, Marshall and Lopez bring a developed sense of style to the pages of LEAF. They bring that same sense to LEAF Media, the marketing firm behind LEAF Magazine, helping cannabis businesses of all kinds get their message to their customers.
“When it comes to cannabis and marketing,” Lopez said. “We know what we’re doing.”