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Learn | 12.14.2021

Letter To Santa Mary Jane: We Asked 8 Famous Cannabis Aficionados To Share Their Gift List For 2021

Gratitude goes a long way, and the plant deserves all our recognition. We invited a handful of key stakeholders working in different branches of the cannabis industry to share some lessons learned in 2021 and provide an outlook of what’s coming in 2022. 

Valeria Hinojosa

Photo courtesy of Valeria Hinojosa

Eco-conscious creator; Founder @intu.rituals 

A vegan, yogi, and entrepreneur, this Bolivian-born (known online as @waterthruskin) has incorporated cannabis into her holistic healing therapies and meditation sessions for years. So much so, that in 2021 she decided to launch her own company: Intū, the world’s first plastic-free CBD made with organic, sun-grown, and pesticide-free ingredients.

Dear Santa Mary Jane:

 What a roller coaster this past year was! I can’t even distinguish between 2019, 2020, and 2021. It’s almost like being in a time warp (I’m sure some of you can relate) full of mental and spiritual challenges.

But hey — we managed! Let’s give ourselves a round of applause and much love. Because even though we might’ve faced some challenges, instead of letting our worlds crumble, we rose above. 

I saw these hurdles as an opportunity to analyze my fears, insecurities, and understand how they affected my health. I was reminded about the interconnection between mind/body and the importance of trusting my instinct when it comes to my own healing.

It guided me to choose holistic therapies and natural medicine (yes, including you, mama ganja!) to heal old patterns and traumas, and bring relief without the need to take steroids and painkillers doctors had recommended.

I’m slowly feeling whole again, and have been sharing my journey on social media to inspire others to discover, connect with, and protect the magic of nature, ancestral medicine, indigenous communities, and the magnificent wisdom we find in the forest.

Now, back to the task: what do I wish for next year? 

-To see more people having the freedom to think outside the box, break taboos and reform toxic generational patterns. 

-Psychedelics becoming legal worldwide. Nature isn’t illegal!

-Humans see animals as souls instead of commodities and corporations are finally held accountable for the amount of unnecessary waste and planetary damage they create. 

-Justice, compassion, and kindness as our guiding principles. A world where collaboration is more important than competition. 

I know, I know… I’m dreaming big! So here’s a more realistic one:

-Niu’s electric mountain motorbike. This one is going to come in handy to travel around—without emissions.

With that being said, my dear Santa Mary Jane, I look forward to 2022!

Donte West

Photo courtesy of Donte West

A decriminalization and anti-incarceration advocate, Donte experienced the oppression of the criminal justice system, changing his life forever. With a no criminal record score, and nothing illegal in his possession, Donte was arrested and convicted on charges that were later overturned. He spent three years imprisoned, fighting his charges until he was released in 2020. Donte is currently re-establishing his life in northern California, where he works with the Last Prisoner Project to help free anyone incarcerated on cannabis-related charges.

Time is so important. Balance is something to be mindful of as the 2021 year comes to a close. We determine who we are with consistency and determination with whatever we pursue in life. 

Dear Santa Mary Jane, 

-let’s release all the State and Federal prisoners incarcerated for cannabis; they are missing valuable time with their families and they will not get that time back. 

-Please use your cannabis photosynthesis to pass policy reform on all levels—in particular, let them de-schedule cannabis and fix the harsh sentencing laws imposed on cannabis prisoners worldwide. It’s sad that there are people being sentenced to death over our precious planet. 

-Bringing awareness is critical. The more people we get out of prison over a plant the more stories we can tell to inspire change. 

-Lastly, allow me to continue to bond and spend more time with my brothers this holiday season because I need to make up for the lost time. 

I’m looking forward to creating one of the most iconic brands in cannabis next year (“West by Donte West”) and bringing awareness to other stories such as mine. 2022: let’s continue to write History. FREE THE 40K.

Lesley Nickus

Photo courtesy of Lesley Nickus

Senior Manager, Brand Strategy at Weedmaps

Lesley oversees owned content and brand campaigns at Weedmaps, bringing creativity to the space through her strong journalism background (she used to work at the L.A. Times) which allowed her to work with cannabis experts over the years). She’s an expert on cannabis history, non-technical plant science, and product selection.

Dear Santa Mary Jane,

My favorite parts of 2021 were settling into a new role at Weedmaps, and exploring Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks. I like to take full advantage of my time off to disconnect and enjoy nature.

Five things I’d like Santa Mary Jane to grant in 2022:

-Broader access to the industry for medical patients and businesses throughout the supply chain that supports compassionate care. The decriminalized industry was born from helping patients with terminal and chronic illnesses find relief. As adult-use cannabis access is expanded in the US, it’s important that we don’t forget about the patients. 

-Municipalities taking stronger action on their expungement commitments and beginning to genuinely focus on reducing barriers to entry for those negatively impacted by the War on Drugs. 

-A chance to visit more outdoor grows in 2022. I grew up in a farming community and have a deep respect for the plant as an agricultural commodity as well as the role cultivators play as stewards in the broader environmental landscape. My happy place is surrounded by fragrant, healthy plants and if I can be surrounded by a few more of those, that would be great.

-Steady access to fresh, tasty, beautifully cured flowers.

-Some peace of mind. In whatever form that happens to take.

We’re working on some exciting projects at Weedmaps that will roll out in 2022 and while you’ll find me short on details now, I’m looking forward to sharing the fruits of our labor with the world when they’re ready!

Jimi Rage

Photo courtesy of Jimi Rage

The eclectic artist, budtender, and cannabis enthusiast based out of Los Angeles, he’s the creator of the eponymous brand Jimi’s World, showcasing visual and wearable art inspired by plant medicine. He has a charitable partnership with the Last Prisoner Project, making merch centered around the message to “Free All Cannabis Prisoners” (20% of the proceeds are donated).

Dear Santa Mary Jane;

2021 has taught me that whatever gets removed from my life will be replaced with something better. A major lesson this year was realizing that we’re not always able to control the outcome of a situation, only the way we respond to it.

As long as I am moving from a place of true intention and trusting the process, my life will become more of what I envision it to be. Life is like an endurance sport, you’ll see the fruits of your labor only if you continue to move forward and stay on track. 

Five things to ask Santa Mary Jane for 2022

-Freedom for all cannabis prisoners 

-That every state legalizes cannabis in the United States

-That medicinal and recreational cannabis becomes legal everywhere

-To continue learning and growing within the cannabis industry

-I would love to see more BIPOC folks enter the space from an entrepreneurial and cultivation standpoint 

As for 2022, I’m looking forward to seeing the cannabis industry grow even further. Seeing more collaborations built between cannabis and the tech industry would be amazing. I’m excited to continue building within the industry and traveling.

With psychedelics being engaged in more conversations, I anticipate the legalization of these plant medicines. Fingers crossed, but I’m hoping the world collectively finds more peace in the midst of the chaos life tends to bring.

Lelen Ruete

Photo courtesy of Lelen Ruete

Cannabis Photographer

This Argentine established a name for herself in the creative and cannabis industries of Uruguay, where she currently resides. From the heart of Montevideo, South America’s first stoner capital, she runs The Rabbit Studio, a branding atelier working with different companies, including the Copa Canguro, one of the longest-established marijuana competitions in the region. 

Dear Santa Mary Jane,

I promise this year I’ve been nice. I’ve worked a lot—and smoked a lot too! (Luckily, the latter doesn’t count as being naughty anymore in Uruguay. An extra reason to celebrate this season).

In 2021, I focused on creating a bold message that highlighted the power of the plant as strongly as possible, connecting with people from all over the world. It’s fulfilling to come across more and more people that feel the same way about cannabis, and I hope the community continues to grow worldwide. 

My wish list for this Christmas includes: 

-The Puffco Plus, because it fits in my small purse, or the Peak Pro which is great and has controllable options, and also they have a pink edition (they donate a percentage of sales to the Breast Cancer Foundation)

-I wouldn’t mind receiving a new instant camera—there’s something unique about the format that digital cameras can’t translate.

-Any beautiful coffee table book—or the final push to create my own. I have so many incredible pictures that are still in my archive and are waiting to see the light of this world. 

-At a social level, I’d love to see more acceptance. Not just for the plant, but amongst each other too. I’d love to see more people realizing that we are all one.

-Collectively, I’d like for the world to stop living in fear and raise awareness and consciousness of our own inner abundance and power.

-When it comes to wellness, as a mother I realized we would all benefit from food education based on real nutrition at all schools. Mom’s: stop feeding your children candies and junk food!

This 2022 I would like to meet more people who appreciate art and cannabis, continue bringing elegance and aesthetics to the 420 worlds, and make it more elegant, attracting a new demographic.

I hope that in this new year I come across more opportunities to talk about social matters related to the plant, as well as find more brands willing to connect and work creatively together. 

Finally, I’d like to thank you, Santa Mary Jane, for spreading happiness around the globe!

Vic Styles

Photo courtesy of Vic Styles

Content Creator

Although Vic considers herself a ‘freelance life-liver’ she’s probably busier than most of us. The stylish digital creator is also the CEO of cannabis brand Good Day Flor, co-founder of Kontent Queens, and the brains behind Black Girls Smoke, a cannabis-friendly space dedicated to women of color. Each of her projects focuses on erasing stigmas, color lines, & gender biases in the weed industry.

Dear Santa Mary:

2021 was a year of curation for me. I purged my entire life of things, people, ideas, and habits that were no longer serving me in healthy ways. They were replaced with mindful relationships, new customs, businesses, and more.

I was really intentional about making my life a piece of art that I truly admired. After spending most of 2020 alone, it made me realize how much I value peace, and how we all have the power to create the type of peace we need in our own lives. 

Okay, so if I could ask Mary Jane for 5 things (also, how could I ONLY choose 5 things?!?!) for Christmas they would be:

-Collective holistic healing. We ALL deserve to be mentally, physically, and spiritually healed. Cannabis is a catalyst for many forms of healing, and I think we all could stand to be a little… healthier.

-Nationwide decriminalization and legalization of cannabis. This would aid my first wish is coming true. The more access that is provided to the plant, the more people that will have access to the healing it has the power to bring.

-A Minhle Studio bong. They are honestly some of the most incredible pieces of cannabis art I’ve ever seen.

-A beautifully curated cannabis-friendly hotel in America. I travel a lot, and it’s not always easy finding places that fit what I want aesthetically but also allow me to smoke.

-More spaces in the cannabis industry that really center around healing, wellness, and women.

I hope 2022 will be a year when we shift our energy from being spent mostly online, to being more present in real life. I’m really looking forward to that… that in-person human connection that I feel faded due to COVID.

Adriana Mary

Photo courtesy of Adriana Mary

Content Creator 

A Rhode Island native, Adriana (known as @hashishqueen) is a first-generation American with deep Greek and Egyptian roots. Pairing cannabis with wholesome travel, food, and positive energy, her intention is to share the highest quality products in the market, utilizing her degree in public relations and knowledge about the cannabis industry to reach the masses. 

As I reflect back on this past year, I have much to be grateful for. I’ve put a lot of work into learning about cannabis and all it has to offer. I think there is real bravery in people who stand up for what they believe in.

With more open minds and open hearts, we are free to create and be innovative! I am so excited to see what the new year brings for us. 

Making a list of five things to Santa Mary Jane was not the easiest thing for a cannabis lover like myself. However, I do enjoy sharing some of the brands that are doing it RIGHT. 

-Puffco Peak Pro (Indiglow)

My go-to color is black base and shadow black glass attachment. But then the Indiglow limited edition came out. You know it’s a Puffco Peak, so sleek but at the same time, it brings you into a whole other dimension than their original design. It only gets better and better. 

—Puffco Hot Dab Knife (Indiglow). It’s the tool you never thought you needed until it hits your hand and then you are done for, instant love affair… And the Indiglow iridescence limited edition is not to be missed. 

-Dab Rite Temperature Reader. I absolutely love the innovation behind this product. I’ve tried a few different temperature readers and the Dab Rite allows the user more customization for their dabbing experience.

-Travel. One of the best things that have come from creating an organic community on social media has been being able to connect with people from all over the world. This year was even better than last because I was able to meet some in person and we celebrated cannabis together! 

-Wyld Gummies. I have a sweet tooth. I love their THC line, but I really value their products with other cannabinoids such as CBD and CBN. I think this brand does an amazing job giving their consumers a positive experience from the unique packaging to the efficiently dosed, delicious gummy.

My goals for the New Year are to continue growing my platform and community while also showcasing some of the best quality brands. To all my fellow cannabis content creators, let’s keep the trend alive of putting a smile on peoples’ faces.

All of you who continue to give us a safe space within cannabis and allow others to be comfortable, I salute you. I hope you all have a safe & happy holiday season.

Simon Folmann

Photo courtesy of Simon Folmann

Founder HØJ

Through his experience running HØJ, Simon knows that design is very important to help reposition cannabis in the global scene—and Nordic aesthetics play an important role in it.

The fact that his brand has now expanded worldwide is proof that the herbal revolution is stronger than ever. 

Dear Santa Mary Jane,

2021 has been a ride and, even though there have been ongoing challenges with COVID, we always have to remember that every problem we face is only a solution in disguise.

This year, HØJ managed to ship products to more than 105 countries, launched the second generation of KØL, and, most importantly, expanded our HØJ family by welcoming more awesome team members. 

Five things I want to ask Santa Mary Jane: 

-That more governments open their eyes and really listen to their people. Seeing the fantastic benefits coming from cannabis policy reform across the world, I’m hopeful 2022 will only bring more legalization and decriminalization!

-That those in power recognize the harm done through unjust criminalization and take action to reduce the stigma that has limited the potential of countless people – socially and professionally – upon their release.

-I’m wishing for more moments to be with my friends, family, and loved ones. Living in another country under travel restrictions has forced me, like all of us, to talk via video calls; nothing beats a high-five, a hug, or a kiss.

-I also wish and fully expect, to continue to be inspired by our community to create better experiences that elevate our incredible industry. Every year, we get thousands of emails from people sharing their ideas, or just giving us their feedback…both good and bad. I thrive off every single one because we don’t just create products for ourselves; we create products for all of us.

-Last, but certainly not least, I’m wishing to meet more of our awesome customers in 2022. We’ve only had the opportunity to go to national events in England due to travel restrictions, and it’s given us a burning passion for continuing with our work. With customers worldwide, we would love to go to every country and meet all of you!

I’ve promised myself that I will learn an instrument in 2022. I’m totally tone-deaf but, I’ve always believed it’s vital to turn your weaknesses into strengths. I still haven’t decided which instrument yet, so if anybody has an idea, feel free to message @hoj.life on Instagram with suggestions.

Hopefully, if all goes to plan, I can eventually play to all of our HØJ team members in person as, ultimately, that’s what I’m looking forward to most – spending more time with our global team face-to-face.

Enjoying good food, good wine, and a good smoke with the people working so hard to make ‘the new high’ everyone’s new reality. Glædelig Jul all! 

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