Beth Schwartz – Editor
Since becoming involved in the industry three years ago, it’s been extraordinary to watch the rapid evolution of food’s integration with cannabis. When we started our ‘Cooking with Cannabis’ monthly recipe feature at elevate in 2015, finding chefs who cooked with cannabis and were willing to submit infused recipes was easier said than done. They were as rare as finding truffles growing in Nevada.
Slowly, as cannabis became more acceptable to speak about openly, more chefs outed themselves as having knowledge in the cannabis arena and were willing to share their expertise.
Now, there are cookbooks, scads of chefs who are dabbling in the space, loads of edible brands, and even gourmet infused dining experiences.
As the former editor of a luxury magazine for over a decade, gastronomic experiences have always been a mainstay of my journalistic wheelhouse and one of the most tantalizing highlights of my job. As I heard whispers of infused dining experiences springing up in Colorado once marijuana was recreationally legal in 2014, I started salivating at the thought of such experiences. I often wondered when such dinners would find a home in a state where an international culinary destination resides and offers an obvious synergy between cannabis and gourmet fare. I didn’t have to wait long.
Local food scribe and esteemed bon vivant Jim Begley happily accompanied me to my first canna-infused gourmet dinner in May. Mr. Begley recounts the sumptuous meal prepared by the culinary wizards at Exclusive Chefs in his story Infused & Enthralled on page 8. To say the least, my taste buds were dazzled and satiated into submission as we feasted Game of Thrones-style on the multicourse canna-extravaganza. I was most definitely not disappointed and if this sounds like something you would like to wrap your tongue around, check out Begley’s story for the feast Exclusive Chefs is planning later this month.
Our gourmet coverage continues on page 13 as canna-chef Deborah L. Costella contemplates where all the scientists, artists and adventurers have gone only to find some of them have ended up in the kitchen. Finding them behind the stove in her loving paean to The Food Whisperers, Costella explores how chefs are reinventing epicurean delights with the addition of cannabis to create an appetite for sensory seduction.
elevate’s cinema expert Josh Bell weighs in on the ten best films to watch when you have the munchies in Meals on Reels on page 32. Also in the food realm, elevate strain and product reviewer Justin Alexander has spent the last few weeks on a terpene search for his latest review The Taste of Terpenes found on page 18.
But the most significant cannabis-related food development of late is in the world of edibles. James Beard Foundation Award winner Mindy Segal has entered the cannabis space staking her fork in edibles and candy. Hailing from Chicago, Segal will be introducing two edible collections, Mindy’s Kitchen and Mindy’s Artisanal Edibles; first launching in Nevada this month then in California and Arizona later this year. This marks a major turning point in the cannabis conversation as the self-described Mistress of Deliciousness ventures from non-dosed treats into the canna-verse. The renowned pastry chef definitely has the gravitas to turn cannabis’ edible space upside down. Welcome Mindy, it’s going to be sweet!
Educate with a more informed understanding of the benefits of medicinal cannabis
When we decided to start Elevate Nevada it was a result of a wholehearted belief that an instrumental component of the medicinal cannabis debate was missing from the overall discussion. The stigma of cannabis was preventing people, who are/were suffering with major diseases or general illness, from learning about and trying marijuana alternatives that would aid in healing their bodies in an all-natural way.
We believed the market was missing a forum for discovering the positive aspects of medicinal cannabis. We wanted to create this publication to better educate the community about medicinal marijuana as another option to combat pain and illness — specifically an option that is all-natural and removes the toxicity of pharmaceuticals from the equation. In today’s world, doctors prescribe medicinal cannabis as a treatment for everything from sleeping disorders, aches and pains to PTSD and the effects of medical treatments such as chemotherapy.
With Elevate Nevada we endeavor to create a resource that presents the educational aspects of medicinal cannabis — a subject that is rapidly gaining interest in Nevada. This interest stems from the fact that as of this year, state law allows for legal dispensaries as well as the cultivation and testing of cannabis for treating medical conditions.
Our motivation to start Elevate Nevada also came from personal experience. Several of the Elevate team had family members who suffered from diseases and could have experienced great relief if medicinal cannabis had been legal and available to them. When you care about someone and are watching them suffer, every option is on the table and so we wanted to create a forum for people to investigate the option of medicinal cannabis and make informed decisions for the sake of their loved ones.
We hope you leave this site educated and with a more informed understanding of the benefits of medicinal cannabis.
Guy Bertuzzi – Publisher
Socrates so sagely said: “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but building the new.”
Change is here and I honestly never thought I would see cannabis, marijuana, dope, weed, pot, grass or whatever you like to call it become legal in my lifetime. But here we are Nevada–breaking ground and building the new.
For the people who are still on the fence or on the other side of the fence about the legalization of cannabis, this is your chance to understand, educate yourself, explore and learn the powers of the healing properties of this plant. Even though we use verbiage like recreational and adult-use, cannabis is still preventative medicine. Just in the last few weeks I have experienced its medicinal benefits.
In my recent travels around the state getting to know people in the industry, I was lucky enough to meet Marina and Jackie from CBD for Life, which is a line of cannabidiol (CBD) infused pain management and beauty products. elevate editor Beth Schwartz swears by CBD for Life products, remember the line from our January 2016 cover? Beth was so delighted with the results of CBD her enthusiasm resulted in the headline: “Forget smoking cannabis, we should be smearing it all over our bodies.” It was my turn to try the wonders of CBD topicals and golly gee whiz Beth was onto something. (Editor’s note: Just shaking my head over here.)
I decided to try it for an issue that has plagued me my whole life from when I was 13 years old and chunks of my scalp were falling out. Kids were making fun of me and teasing me that I had lice. I didn’t have lice, it was the beginning of a lifelong battle with psoriasis, which is on several areas of my body including my elbows and hands.
Until recently people would ask me why I had white paint on my elbows, that’s how severe psoriasis affects me. I was telling Jackie about my psoriasis and how it makes me feel a little insecure, and because I had tried everything I was doubtful anything, including CBD, would work. Jackie instructed me to loofah my problem areas and use CBD for Life’s face and body cleanser and lotion several times a day. She was right! My psoriasis looks better than it ever has–well, there’s really not much to see anymore just fresh pink skin. CBD doesn’t cure it, but you cannot see the flaky white skin, or traces of psoriasis on my hands or elbows right now.
Because it was such a transformative experience for me, I just sent my dad some Pure CBD for Life Rub for his arthritis, and he reported back, after being doubtful, that it is indeed helping. So, whatever your feelings are on Nevada’s laws and the legalization of cannabis, keep an open mind. Stop fighting the old and focus on the new because, and I hope you don’t, someday you or someone you love may need the healing benefits of cannabis.