Three-time GRAMMY winner and Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart announces the launch of Mind Your Head™, an innovative cannabis brand produced in California in partnership with Left Coast Ventures™.
Mind Your Head is inspired by the groundbreaking culture of creativity and community that Hart helped create and continues to foster through his art and his band, Dead & Company, which launches their summer tour on May 31st at Shoreline. FULL PRESS RELEASE
When we received news that the Drummer for the Grateful Dead was launching a new cannabis brand, we couldn’t resist getting on the phone with the man himself to discuss the product launch details, Here’s a transcript of the telephone interview, with music legend and now cannabis entrepreneur – Mickey Hart.
Interview with Mickey Hart – Transcript; By Andrew Shaw, Publisher of Treatingyourself.com
AS – Mickey its great to be on the phone with you and get this news, how are you?
MH – I’m fine Andrew, how are you?
AS – You know, really, really well – we’re up here in the Great Green North as I like to call it in Canada so, we’ve been watching all things happening in the USA and clearly when news like this crosses our desk we’re very, very happy to speak… I mean you’re a legend in the music business, rock and roll hall of famer, past drummer of the Grateful Dead who need no introduction, and now you’re launching this new cannabis brand Mind Your Head – First of all, what a great name to connect with the massive tribe of loyal fans, I mean how did that come about? Just intuition?
MH – Well, no actually – it came about when I was in Bali many years doing a recording session, and our guide he had a Volkswagen with that door that opens out, you know, so people can get in the back, and every time I used to get in, he used to tell my wife.. “Mind your head, madam, mind your head”.. and I though wow. How interesting, you know? I always remembered that, and then when all of this happened – I thought geez, well that says it all. Because that’s what its all about.. minding your head. And the connection between how a Grateful Dead show lead to Chemdog which was just extraordinary because at Deer Creek Amphitheater, I think it was in ’91, the seeds were um, exchanged by this fellow named Chemdog, then Sour Diesel and Kush and all those other clone brands started appearing after Chemdog, then Chemdog went away… for a while, and um, now Chemdog is back and [laughs] and so having the opportunity to work with the original Chemdog himself, the man – and our friends here at Left Coast, you know it was too good of an opportunity to pass up so, that’s where the Magic Mini’s were born and the Mind Your Head brand started.
AS – It fits beautifully, in terms of like, the iconography of the Grateful Dead of course, relative to sort of your connection there – The magic minis and Chemdog, I read a little bit about some of the strain attributes, and you specifically say in terms of creative ideation and music, it had a tremendous impact I guess, as an experience – maybe you can talk a bit about how it helps your music, in terms of that you’re deep in music therapy by the looks of how you provide services and also your history, but tell me how it works in terms of a music creator – How does it help?
MH – You might well know, different strains do different things. You know? Some strains put you to sleep, other strains do other things. This is a very creative strain, which allows vision – it brings you into the ‘zone’ right away. Bang. You are in there and of course, its all about the neurological function to the brain and Chemdog is pushing gamma (sic) beta waves which are kind of brain waves you want for creativity. So, it’s a creative tool I use as a tuning mechanism myself, it goes perfectly, it calm, centered, but very energetic simultaneously – it doesn’t put you to sleep… it really keeps you right on target, like I said – it brings you into the now, the moment.
AS – Would it be classified as a dominant sativa strain then, from what you know from the measurements?
MH – Absolutely, absolutely – I would call it a dominant… I mean very dominant [sativa] strain.
MH – But yet – You have to be careful using these very powerful strains, you know.. uh, so I don’t usually smoke a whole doobie, you know – I like to just do small doses of it. And like, that’s where the dog walkers come in.. I don’t like to light a doobie a second time really, because of the taste.
AS – And the carcinogens.. and taste
MH – Yes.
AS – And in terms of the Magic mini pre-rolls, the first launch product you’re coming out with I see that it’s available right now at select Bay area stores, including – Urban Pharm (San Francisco), Berkeley Patients Group (Berkeley), Hi-Fidelity (Berkeley), Airfield Supply Co. (San Jose) and Mercy Wellness (Cotati)
AS– Now, In terms of your roll out strategy you’re targeting the legalized states first, do you have international plans, for example is it coming to Canada?
MH – Oh, there’s a lot of plans, and they all will definitely roll-out eventually but I just want to focus on this, I mean it’s like putting your toe in the water, its one of those things – it’s something manageable, it’s here in California, and so these are all special things. These are special. I’m not selling it internationally.. and of course I can’t sell it federally as it’s against the law.
AS – And that’s a good segue actually into the state of the market now, as there’s been increasing talks about the US farm bill, they’re trying to do federal legalization and it looks like the word is not before 2020, of course, but do you forsee that? And if that does occur, I mean clearly your product should have wide appeal and you’d think that’d be good for business – but what’s your view on the industry as a whole, is it going too commercial? Is it going too far into the financial market realm? I mean largely it’s a cultural tool for personal experience… what are your thoughts on that kind of juxtaposition?
MH – Well it’s finding its own level.. actually. It’s finding it’s way because this is history-busting. Remember not until 1937 it wasn’t illegal. It’s a 12,000 year history from China so many of the great thinkers of the ancient world like Pythagoras and plato and so forth used this kind of cannabis in their visions and in mystical flights, and you know coming up with all that great stuff… Thinkers, great thinkers, so you know this is kind of like another incarnation of how we are going to deal with this as a people, this is a creative strain. And like I said, different strains do different things.. and this one’s definitely in the visionary, I would put it in the visionary / energetic category – because I like to go. I go. And I do. I do. And I go, and that’s what this thing is all about.
MH – Its powerful, and strategic – It works on a certain part of your brain that really boosts the consciousness raising capabilities of it, and that’s really what I had in mind. It’s all about consciousness enhancing stuff, smoke – just like the Grateful Dead.
AS – Yeah! I mean that’s certainly a very valid observation too – I mean, like what used to be considered counter-culture which is now being normalized and how the cannabis plant is moving through our contemporary culture and contemporary society, the music has maybe been the only piece of continuity that has sort of I guess in post modern American culture – music has been where cannabis has existed, so it seems to me like a great loop, where you’re tying things back together from their origin.
MH – Yes. That’s true – and even in the old days we were willing to get arrested because smoke was important to us. In order to create these visions and the music. Just like psychoactive drugs were. They were both allies. To the musician. So yah.
AS – I sit here imagining, but I can’t imagine the depths of your personal experiences and it’s wonderful to see, um sort of the representation now, now that the rest of the world is waking up to what those that went first already knew, or knew of – its a bit of validation, vindication I think in that regard, and it’s wonderful to watch trailblazers like yourself now being able to take new advantage of the situation and state of affairs, right?
MH – Certainly, absolutely it’s a good observation, yes. We stayed one step ahead most of the time. In front of the law, remember – we were outlaws moving from city to city and you know we got nicked a few times, but that didn’t matter. We were going to choose the road we wanted to be on no matter what so yeah, it took a lot of bobbing and weaving the last 50 years [laughs] to stay ahead, keep our freedom which was being taken away by smoking this, but we didn’t care. We certainly didn’t want to go to jail, jails not fun.
AS – Yeah, no – that’s definitely not an outcome anybody wants.
MH – I’ll go to jail for what I believe in.
AS – Every good principled stand in history typically has that start point, and to the victor go the spoils – I’ve seen it best said on Facebook “The War on Drugs… Drugs Win” you know? The current state of affairs with the imprisoned, all the drug criminals out there who are based on possession- it really is a cultural crisis – and I think its appropriate to draw attention to that issue in times like these.
MH – Now, how’d you get hooked up with the folks from Left Coast Ventures?
They just came up to me and wanted to talk about a relationship, it seemed like the right time, and the connection between Chemdog and The Grateful Dead you know, it was founded at Deer Creek amphitheater at Shakedown Street, the parking lot, ’91 you know, that’s were it culturally started with the Dead Heads so it was part of our scene, and it just kind of really worked. And now with the resurgence of the original Chemdog, Mr. Chemdog, the origin story is taking on a new meaning… you know? We’re still here, and the strain is still here, and getting stronger.
AS – I am certainly looking forward to getting my hands on some [laughs], now that I’ve heard how the genesis of it comes to be, I mean the fact it does have that heritage is so interesting, and the fact – wait, So.. how did the strain [resurgence] go? Did someone just have a bunch of seeds kind of tucked away for 10 years and just blew them off? Or, was it more like the fact the strain has reemerging again is interesting – perhaps is there a shout out for the grower? Or maybe best not to say? Is there a special relationship with a certain grower you’re working with?
MH – Yeah Chemdog.
AS – He’s actually the grower?
MH – Chemdog himself.
AS – Okay fantastic, so that answers the question. Alright, in terms of any last thoughts for our readers and listeners, maybe statements you want to make on the current now, on what the new evolution of yourself is, and perhaps how people should view it?
MH – Well – I would say that if you’re interested in raising consciousness and enjoying the best things in life, and also being able to maintain a creative output – See this, I only use this in the creative process, that’s really when it comes in, I use this, I am thinking, I am playing, I am imagining. Anything I can imagine, It’s I like to roam free. And, so the mind goes to places it would not normally go to. For me, it’s about music, and family. And so, this works fine. It’s a perfect recipe for me. Because you can interact normally with your family, easily with your family and everything seems to be really flowing. It’s a stream of consciousness kind of thing. It’s a magical plant, its not necessarily a drug. It’s a plant. So yeah – everything seems to be in the right place, the stars are aligned, right – and I just hope everybody enjoys the minis. It feels like the perfect dose, not too much, not too little – just about right. So dog walkers, people really loving the dog walkers. I’m really happy about that.
AS – Now, in terms of the artwork on the tin I hear that’s special too, like limited collectible tins that you guys are packaging, maybe a little bit about that? What’s the theme there?
MH – Yep sure – the idea is that the skeleton is a psycho-pomp. It represents a guide for the soul to the other side, in history, that’s what psycho-pomp’s do, they’re a guide. In a way, the Mind Your Head Mini’s are kind of like that. They take you to the other side, and bring you back. Safely. That’s what any enhancer does.
AS – I was going to say – that’s wonderfully said Mickey. Ok well, I’ll tell you – Thanks again Mickey Hart, preeminent music legend and now cannabis entrepreneur – once again, the product is Magic Mini’s by Mind Your Head Cannabis Brand, a fresh new roll-out by Left Coast Ventures in California.
Grateful Dead Fare Thee Well photographed at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL July 2, 2015©Jay Blakesberg