Skip to main content


Sensi Turns One, Leland Looks Back

May 10, 2017 12:23PM ● By Leland Rucker
Working for a monthly magazine doesn't offer much time for reflection. We're working on stories months in advance of their publishing dates. But since Sensi celebrates its first year of existence this month, I thought I'd get off the train for a moment. 

A good part of our mission here is to illustrate that, for most people who use it, cannabis itself isn’t a lifestyle, it’s part of a lifestyle. The people we profile and talk with all use cannabis in various ways, medically or recreationally, but cannabis doesn’t rule their lives. They use it for pain or anxiety relief or just to feel good. It’s really not much more difficult than that.

Talking with people over the last 12 months, I’ve felt a warm, palpable sense of community. People are reaching out to others to establish common ground. Even an old cynic like me was knocked out by the incredible enthusiasm and support I witnessed at the Women Grow Leadership Conference earlier this year. As someone tired of male dominance everywhere, it was soooo refreshing to see women finding allies and taking charge of their destiny.

At the same time, I’m hardly the only one to notice an emerging professionalism eclipsing the initial burst of entrepreneurship that happened after legalization. Today’s dispensaries and retail locations are modern and sleek, and the trend toward marketing moods over highs continues. If there’s anything that I picked up on from a year talking with industry officials and business owners (including those in this month’s story about local brands going national), it’s that if you’re going to succeed today, you had better be willing to be more than just a true believer. The counterculture has given way to business culture, and you’d better have your ducks in a row if you’re going to keep up with the market.

It begs the question I have been asking people lately. As larger groups move in, making bigger investments and buying out smaller ones, how long will that glow of camaraderie last? Everybody I’ve talked with acknowledges this shift, but no one offered answers. It could easily become a bigger challenge, and it’s a question we’ll be asking even more in the next 12 months. Glad you’re along for the ride.