If you are a cannabis adventurer, you’ve got to check out The Highly, a niche travelogue focused on helping you find the very best cannabis products and experiences when you travel.
This week, b.Blunt sits down with tastemaker and Founder, Nina Fern, who is all about giving cannabis seekers the ‘Guide to the Good Good’. She has curated her best recommendations of dispensaries and favorite local products for travelers visiting LA, Vancouver, Portland, Seattle and The Bay Area (Denver and Boston are up next).
The Highly has been described as ‘Michelin meets The New Yorker’ with tried and true reviews, insightful conversations and light hearted comics. The site is informative, easy to navigate and free to use.
I love the concept of a travelogue for enthusiasts looking for recommendations when they travel. How did you come up with the idea? What were you doing before?
I had retired from my career in finance. When I was introduced to this new type of cannabis, i.e. organic and in different applications, I started traveling around looking for the very best for myself. It’s just who I am and how I operate. Upon landing in a new destination, the reviews were so useless. Fluffed up, too many, and the budtenders weren’t helpful. I figured I’m doing this anyway, why not make a list that can empower others to make better decisions when it comes to cannabis? When people asked me where to find the best cannabis, my answer was always the same ‘you have to travel for it’. So, I created The Highly. Here’s where you go, what you get, but most importantly, here is why it’s good.
What is the best way for people to use the City Guides?
Visit us at thehighly.co – it’s free.
Where do you get all of the recommendations?
It’s all tried, true and funded by us. We are the consumer for the consumer. It’s quite a process and takes a few months to finalize. We travel to the area usually 2-3 times. We live with products for weeks and then again with another batch for consistency. There are lots of great brands, but we are looking for the ones we would reach for over and over and over. The brand we would gift to a loved one and take pride in passing along. We contact the brand and fact check what we have been told and voila!
How often do you add new cities?
We try every few months, however, I’ve been working on Denver for quite a while as it has been very tricky. It took three trips and the fact-checking process has us crossing off a few brands that we were hopeful for.
There is a section on your website called “Conversations”. You’ve talked to some amazing advocates, I love that you are sharing their stories (and the illustrations are incredible!). Which was your favorite interview and why?
Steve DeAngelo was my favorite. He was my first interview ever. I edited it for at least 100 hours. His words still play in my head and are motivating for me. Especially about cannabis culture. “I think cannabis can teach a whole range of lessons about creativity and about patience and playfulness and honesty and intimacy.”
What were some of the things that you learned unexpectedly since starting The Highly? What was the reaction of your peers?
I was not a social media person before The Highly. Understanding this dynamic for the first time has me shocked, sometimes sad, but always fascinated.
Some peers love it, some find it disruptive. But, The Highly demographic is finding their way in and that’s all that matters because that’s who I’m talking to.
How did you get introduced to cannabis, and is it a part of your everyday life?
Cannabis is a part of my everyday life. I was always an on and off/take it or leave it user. With age comes aches and pains and somehow I lost my tolerance for alcohol. Cannabis is my go-to for so many reasons. In general, I gravitate towards all-natural options for everything first and cannabis is consistently the winner. There is just nothing else out there that is so therapeutic across the board.
Where are you located? What’s the weed scene like there?
I’m based in NY and NJ. The scene is not appealing. It’s all sketchy looking trucks parked on random corners. When I whip something out that’s labeled and actually explain what it is and how to figure out your dosage, people are amazed.
How can you be reached?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org of follow on Instagram @thehighly_