Pubdate: Sun, 19 Mar 2017
Source: New York Times (NY)
Copyright: 2017 The New York Times Company
Author: Alex Williams


Recreational cannabis may be legal in California, but buying the
actual stuff still makes Scott Campbell, a celebrity tattoo artist and
fine artist, feel like a class-cutting teenage stoner.

"You go in to buy weed, and it's like visiting your parole officer,"
said Mr. Campbell, who lives in Los Angeles. "You get buzzed through
three metal gates." Inside, cannabis products are often packaged with
loopy Deadhead-style graphics and goofy dorm-humor strain names like
Gorilla Glue and Purple Urkle.

Mr. Campbell hopes to change that with Beboe, an upscale line of
cannabis vaporizers and edible pastilles that he founded with Clement
Kwan, a former fashion executive, that caters to design-savvy
professionals who value premium goods manufactured with an artisanal

Beboe, which is starting to be embraced by the Hollywood A-list as the
Hermes of marijuana, was unveiled at a lavish dinner party on Thursday
in West Hollywood, where the likes of Orlando Bloom, Sharon Stone and
Justin Theroux attended. "You know where you would go to a dinner and
bring a fancy bottle of wine?" Mr. Campbell said. "That's what we
want, dinner-party culture." Continue reading the main story

In that spirit of gentility, Beboe's wares could pass for the latest
French fragrance on sale at Bergdorf Goodman. The company's disposable
vaporizers, which retail for $60 and are good for about 150
marijuana-infused drags, are sleek in design, come in only one color -
rose gold - and would not look out of place poking from the breast
pocket of a Saint Laurent suit.

The packaging, too, is Instagram-worthy: white boxes festooned with
elegant line drawings by Mr. Campbell. The company also sells low-dose
edible pastilles in tins of 25, for $25.

"You can eat one of the candies, and it's five milligrams," Mr.
Campbell said. "You don't get high off one candy, it just makes your
day a little bit warmer, a little bit better. It's little like
'mommy's little helper.' You could eat one at 3 p.m., and your boss
wouldn't know. You don't have to worry about being in the fetal
position on the sofa crying for four hours."

(The dosage strength of legal edible cannabis products has become a
health issue as more states have legalized the drug. In 2015, the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning about
edible cannabis after a 19-year-old man in Colorado consumed an entire
cookie containing 65 milligrams of THC, marijuana's main psychoactive
ingredient, and jumped to his death from a fourth-floor balcony in

Beboe is hardly the first company to try to take cannabis upscale.
Tetra, a company founded by style and design writers, sells designer
pipes and stash boxes worthy of the MoMA Design Store. A social club
called the Beverly Hills Cannabis Club sells select strains of
marijuana wrapped in gold foil for $700 an ounce.

Even so, the clout of Beboe's founders gives it an unusual head start.
Until last year, Mr. Kwan was the president of Yoox North America, the
online luxury retailer; before that, he was the business projects
manager for Dolce & Gabbana.

Mr. Campbell, meanwhile, has inked the likes of Heath Ledger, Penelope
Cruz and Marc Jacobs. He is married to the actress Lake Bell, and was
the best man at Mr. Theroux's wedding to Jennifer Aniston in 2015.

Beboe's A-list investors include Rose McGowan, the actress; Carmen
Busquets, an early investor in Net-a-Porter; and Joanne Wilson, the
angel investor who runs the popular entrepreneurship blog Gotham Gal.
The marijuana upstart is named after Mr. Campbell's grandmother Be
(short for Bernice) Boe, who used to buy dime bags to make brownies to
ease his mother's pain as she battled cancer when he was a child. "I
remember one time, after a fresh batch of brownies, my mother put one
of her chemo wigs on a remote control car of mine, and chased our dog
around the house with it," Mr. Campbell said. "She and Grandma
couldn't breathe, they were laughing so hard."

Mr. Kwan, meanwhile, helped finance his tuition at the University of
California, Berkeley, where he studied corporate finance, with a
hydroponic operation that produced some 20 pounds of marijuana a month.

While Mr. Kwan said he avoided any run-ins with the law, he was forced
to shut down his multiple grow rooms when he became a
mergers-and-acquisitions analyst in the tech sector. "I was
heartbroken," he said. "I love, love, love cultivation."

Neither founder sounded particularly worried that the Trump
administration may enforce a federal crackdown on legal marijuana in
California, the only state where Beboe is being sold. (Despite the
fact that cannabis is now legal in some form in 29 states, as well as
the District of Columbia, marijuana possession remains a federal
offense, and a first possession conviction is punishable by up to one
year in prison and a fine of $1,000).

Mr. Campbell hopes that upscale marijuana brands like his will make
the drug more socially acceptable.

"There's always that moment, like at the Chateau Marmont, where you'll
go to this dinner, and then at one point in the meal, between entrees
and desserts, a handful of people will sneak off into the bushes and
smoke a joint," Mr. Campbell said. "We're just trying to make it so
they don't have to leave the table."
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