Dad Grass CBD Joints Are Here to Help You Chill Like a Suburban Dad
They come with a cool stash box, man
Every morning I wake up to a text from my dad. Barring any significant family news, it begins with a terrible joke. Today’s was “Why did the Viking buy an old boat? Because he couldn’t a-fjord a new one.”
It’s this type of corny humor that Los Angeles-based cannabis brand Dad Grass channels in its pre-rolled hemp CBD joints.
Now, to my knowledge, I don’t believe my dad consumed any cannabis in his youth. But Dad Grass co-founder Ben Starmer recalls a conversation with his own father, “I was driving to the college dorms with my dad,” Starmer tells InsideHook. “He was giving me the ‘have fun but not too much fun’ talk in the car and as that wound down, he shared that he in fact used to smoke a lot of weed early in his high school days.”
That moment of connection, and Starmer’s father sharing “these nostalgic stories of ‘grass’ back in the day,” ultimately led Starmer and his friend and fellow Dad Grass co-founder Joshua Katz to launch the CBD cannabis company, with a focus on humor, quality and positivity.
The idea of a pre-rolled CBD joint isn’t exactly revolutionary. As recreational marijuana has become legalized in more states across the country, and with the apparent ubiquity of CBD products, you’ve likely come across sunscreen, or coffee, or dog treats infused with CBD. CBD (or cannabidiol) is one of the many cannabinoids present in cannabis plants. But, unlike THC, the primary psychoactive element of cannabis, CBD doesn’t produce a “high.” Instead, it can offer a sense of calm as well as pain relief among other potential health benefits. Those are the qualities Katz and Starmer sought out with Dad Grass.
Joshua Katz and Ben Starmer met while working at Levi’s in San Francisco and shared a passion for cannabis. But they agreed that “today’s weed gets you too damn high,” as Katz puts it.
“A friend turned us onto CBD hemp and to be honest I was really skeptical of it,” says Starmer. “Hemp in my mind was for braiding necklaces with puka shells in 7th grade.” But thanks to the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized industrial hemp on the federal level, “a lot of growers began to focus on organic hemp, instead of trying to bolster the THC content,” Starmer explains. “They put a lot of care and love into the rest of the cannabinoids, the primary one being CBD.”
Katz and Starmer found a product they were actually excited about using. They could roll up joints of quality CBD hemp and indulge in a relaxing, high-less cannabis experience. And while they initially anticipated Dad Grass to be a product for folks in states that hadn’t legalized recreational marijuana but where CBD was legal for consumption, they quickly realized that some consumers simply wanted a change of pace. “We’ve seen just as many people order Dad Grass in states like Illinois, California — places where cannabis is recreationally legal,” says Katz. “It’s not just necessarily a THC alternative.”
Nor is it simply a wellness tool. CBD is often positioned through the lens of a medical treatment or a holistic cure to an ailment. But in the same way that kombucha, which is a fermented tea, provides a healthful dose of probiotics alongside a casual beverage, CBD products can be both curative and casual.
“Smoking any plant material certainly has its downsides,” Katz is quick to point out. “And we’re not going to deny that. But it is very evident that smoking is the best way to take the best advantage of the plant. Not to be too hippy dippy about it but it is plant medicine.”
But Katz and Starmer wouldn’t blame you for being skeptical of CBD as a cure-all.
“Part of the problem with the mainstream CBD world — and part of the hype — is that people have been putting CBD distillate into virtually everything without much concern for the bioavailability of CBD in a given form,” Katz explains. “I think that has presented some challenges broadly for the conception of CBD by the wider audiences.”
As a result, Dad Grass prioritizes R&R. “This is not just a pill you take with your daily vitamins,” Starmer maintains. “It’s an experience that enhances moments but also keeps you really clear, happy, and relaxed.” And hopefully provides some laughs.
Part of Dad Grass’s charm is the company’s vintage suburban dad aesthetic. With tasteful merch and a line of tongue-in-cheek decoy stash boxes that mimic boxes of nails or cassette tapes, Katz and Starmer wanted to create a brand with humor. “The weed industry in some ways got so serious,” Katz bemoaned. “It doesn’t mean that we’re not sincere but if you can’t have fun when you have a weed brand, you’re really hurting.”
Plus, it’s good marketing. Leading with a playful attitude that invites their customers in, Katz and Starmer have eschewed connoisseurship for accessibility. And they credit that to their experience in the service industry. “If you never meet the people who use your products, I don’t think you can have the same empathy and understanding for the people you’re serving,” Katz explains. “When you come from a background in hospitality, whether you like it or not, you’re interacting with those people every day.”
That’s not to say they don’t create a quality product. Dad Grass works with sustainable, certified organic hemp farms growing top-notch CBD hemp. “We want to work with great people who have good practices and are working to ensure that quality,” says Katz. All of their products are tested by third-party, independent labs and the results are available for review on their website. Additionally, because Dad Grass uses high-quality hemp in their products, the joints are rolled right before packaging in a heat-sealed wrapper for every pack and a glass “doob tube” for every Classic or Twoobie. “Unopened, the joints can sit for months without worry,” shares Starmer. “Once open, we suggest consuming within four weeks for best results.”
In addition to making a good product, Katz and Starmer wanted to use Dad Grass to do some good.
“There are so many people that have been unjustly affected by cannabis laws and obviously they are disproportionately people of color,” Starmer adds. “And fathers, or people who never got to be fathers, because of this terribly unjust system. That’s always been something that we wanted to and needed to address.”
Dad Grass’s cannabis equity has taken shape in both short-term campaigns like donating a portion of proceeds in a given month to a dedicated organization, and by incorporating a “roll up” program where online customers can round up their order (like you might at your local supermarket) with that money going directly to the Last Prisoner Project, a nonprofit that aims to bring holistic reform to cannabis laws and justice to the cannabis industry.
And while these are serious and significant issues facing the industry, Katz and Starmer are committed to taking the small steps to creating an equitable — and fun — cannabis community. And those steps can be as simple as smoking a little of dad’s grass. As Starmer explains to us with a laugh, “Smoking joints does not have to be complicated.”
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