Meet Adrian Farquharson, the Founder and Chief Creative Officer at MARY, The Mature Voice of Cannabis Culture. Farquharson chats with us about how he has stayed true to MARY's vision, how important cannabis is to his daily routine and his tips to staying calm in 2020. Grab a Sweet Reason and dive in.
What does a typical day in the life look like for you? How does it include CBD/Sweet Reason?
Life has drastically changed for us all in 2020. My at-home routine now begins around 8:30 each morning and I usually have a cup of tea, and either vape or take a few hits of my bong to help wake up the spirit. After I take care of my morning shower regime and get ready to work from home and organize my workspace for the day and begin my tending to priority emails and then working my way down my list.
During the recent weeks, I have added Sweet Reason to my diet and the effects of hemp helped during a time when I was dealing with a death in my family, providing a sense of calm during a very tough storm.
Why did you start using CBD?
I began using CBD to fight inflammation and feed my body the medicine of cannabinoids that I wasn’t receiving from THC. My favorite forms of CBD to consume are topicals, tinctures and capsules. If I am trying CBD flower, I prefer to mix in some THC to give me the experience I’m looking for.
Social Stigma or Socially Acceptable?
Hmm, we’re seeing this see-saw effect with cannabis across the global - our society has been opened up to or shifted their view on cannabis due the miraculous effects of the plant and how it interacts with and heals our bodies. However, when it comes to political relationships and cannabis, there’s a long list of hurdles we are facing from imprisonment, equity, funding, state and federal laws. Facing COVID-19, we’ve seen that cannabis and cannabis businesses have been deemed essential, so without a doubt there’s a new acceptance but the fight is still here.
What inspired you to start MARY mag?
Growing up in the 90’s and learning about the world through print and television and developing a love for quality publications from world culture, design, travel, fashion and music and doing my college internship at Esquire, then going on to work at outlets such as Mass Appeal further continue my love for the printed words, photography and the joy print can give you while in your hands.
The fall of 2014, is when I had the idea to introduce a quality coffee-table magazine that would attract people of all colors and social classes that would provide a literary approach to being the mature voice to cannabis culture. At the time, the only publications that existed were the traditional glossy paper magazines but with the shift that was taking place in Colorado and California had a surge of new companies entering the industry and I felt that all deserve a visually attractive outlet to help tell their stories along with the benefits of cannabis throughout all aspect of modern world culture.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned through the process of bringing MARY mag to life?
I learned that you MUST stick to your vision and not let outside voices try to steer you away with their opinions and suggestions. We’ve had potential investors tell us to change the name, change the size, change the price, etc and we clearly didn’t take their ideas into consideration. Also, I learned during this time with MARY and the ever-changing laws and the ups and downs of the industry and economy, that you should never give up and maintain survival and follow your passion through.
How would you describe the role cannabis plays in your life?
Cannabis helps keep my stress-levels right where I want them, it aids with the creative process, silencing the mind, sleep, friendships and tapping into that inner self and being connected to nature.
How did you come to shape The Mary Mag’s voice and content?
I looked at coffee-table magazines that I loved and still have in my personal library and looked at what made them special and then dived into my personal interests of cannabis and what I would want to see in this new publication, focusing on it being the “mature voice of cannabis culture”, I also asked a few trusted creatives who are cannabis consumers and got their thoughts on a few things and all those steps along with a few others help me create the theme guide and table of contents for MARY.
What does it mean to be the mature voice of cannabis culture?
During 2014 and 2015, when I was shaping the first issue and looking at the current landscape of cannabis media, marketing, social media – there was and still remains the cliché stereotypes of what a cannabis consumer looks like and the lives they lived and as we all know, those are false perceptions so MARY set out to be the “mature voice of cannabis culture”. Each issue of MARY is unlike existing magazines. There's a theme per issue and we have more literary articles into the people who use the plant and their relationship with cannabis and not just photos of flower as I was seeing as I looked across the media sphere at the time.
MARY explores ways to educate and enlighten our society on cannabis culture; change negative impressions and eliminate stigmas; and cultivate community and togetherness with family and friends.
The fight for marijuana legality has been growing for decades. But while new legislation, legalization and global acceptance are at an all-time high, our society has remained void of a mature literary voice for cannabis culture — until the emergence of MARY.
How do you see your role shaping the current cannabis industry?
I think it’s very important as legalization progresses that there is a media company that speaks to both men and women, people of all races and economic levels. As well as being a Black male CEO, there’s representation and voices that need to be heard and amplified and there’s no secret of the racial issues that plague the cannabis industry and the politics behind it, so to be a successful media brand that evolves into the media empire I vision is very paramount for me.
Favorite moment or memory while CCO at MARY?
Definitely all parts of raising my media baby are precious to me but some of the best moments come when it’s time to review the editors version of the print releases. Viewing months of work come to life in a tangible item and see the dream come to life each time is very gratifying.
Launching a company and a calm, quiet mind usually don’t go hand in hand. What were your go-to tips to handle stress?
Great question! Thinking about the end result is always key – respect the journey but what the end goal is truly matters! I also do my best to live a healthy diet – herbal tea, about a gallon of water a day, no meat just seafood, spending a lot of time in nature, working out, limited time on social media, avoiding mainstream news, growing plants, etc. We each have to find ways to destress in the environments we live in and find positive elements to feed our minds. If you spend your time, thinking negatively or feeding negative thoughts to your brain… then expect negative outcomes to things. Mind over matter!
What does unwinding look like for you?
Most likely cannabis in some form is involved. Who doesn’t enjoy a great shower or a movie you’ve been wanting to see! A cup of tea (pick a flavor!), going through a few chapters of a book I’ve been reading… or putting the finishing touches on a great meal to enjoy for the evening!
Mantra of the moment? Plan Your Work, Work Your Plan
Lifestyle summed up in one sentence? New York State of Mind + Brooklyn Lifestyle + Buenos Aires Frequent Flyer Miles = Transcultural
Mindful Tip? Mind your business and no distractions.
Favorite way to relax? It can range from playing music or enjoying some quiet time. There’s so many to think of.
What are some of your hobbies? Cooking, painting and other art projects, studying botany and growing plants, traveling the world (pre-Covid),
Best piece of advice you ever received? Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t accomplish what you want!
What does success mean to you? Reaching financial goals and achieving a large portion of the business goals I’ve set forth for the MARY brand and maintaining my overall happiness.
Brand you love? Papa & Barkley, LoudPack, CannaRiver, Potli, GRAV Labs, Tarot CBD and Luma California.
Currently inspired by? Mother Nature
Most played song right now? “G.E.D.” By Lute
Favorite current read? The Book of Changes and The Unchanging Truth by Hua-Ching Ni
If you could grab lunch with one person, who would it be? Samuel L. Jackson
Favorite Sweet Reason flavor? Cucumber Mint