Nina Fern: “The Highly”Intellectual Cannabis Periodical

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Photo Credit: Nina Fern

Nina loves what she’s doing right now. And that would be raising her daughters and establishing her future in the virtual space of online publishing. And what a beautiful space it is!

Nina wants to be known for publishing a very special guide, in the vein of the famous Michelin Guide, but on finding the very best cannabis in places like Seattle, The Bay Area, Vancouver, Canada, Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon.
The Highly is a intelligently written shoppers guide to the ‘good, good’ cannabis. Not just the common swag that’s sold as top shelf, or the ‘so-called’ kind that disappoints the true connoisseur who subscribes to The Highly.

Nina strives to be the very best and share with her readership her personalized finds, from around the country. Her subjects and conversations take place where cannabis is permitted to be sold legally because these are the places where Nina’s guide is essential. Nina wants to share with her readers her opinion on what it means to be at the top of the house, to offer their customers the very best. Where you go to find that everything is green and submarine. Well, to paraphrase the famous Pink Floyd lyric, Nina is heading in the right direction. At least chronological anyhow.

Nina lives in the now, not the person who used to work in finance while all others slept. No one is complaining. It brought her here to publishing her unique online publication. The present is what she is proud of and it’s named The Highly. What Nina does is produce  processes, people, places, products and emotions, all that are emotional, pure and deeply authentic in the cannabis space. They involve sourcing and locating, through Nina’s guide, the finest cannabis that money can buy. The Highly serves as a guide to living better, about wellness, fabulous health, good living intellectualism. The wealthy with high-end tastes are aging like all of us- and their individual methods for alleviating ills through the use of cannabis can be quite revealing. Gazing through the brightly illustrated pages what Nina has founded is a form of brilliance. Actualizing a magazine such as The Highly only comes through utter determination, passion and an entrepreneurial spirit. Nina wants to share her fabulous taste in cannabis with you!

“The good stuff is out there, we’ll help you find it!”

Forbes: What does cannabis mean to you? What do you do in the cannabis biz? Tell me about your publication.

NF: Cannabis, to me, calms the nervous system and allows me to get back to being me. It gives me clarity when I’m stuck, it helps me isolate my muscles when I’m tense, and it adds humor and creativity to my life, which are all essential to my health and happiness. The Highly is a practical guide for those in search of the finest quality cannabis products while traveling. All cannabis is not created equally and we believe the most positive, effective experience begins with quality. In a space that already lacks trust, we felt there was a need for honest, independent reviews. We do the research, the visits, the sampling—not once, but multiple times for consistency. It’s an ongoing international pursuit for the best products each city has to offer, that can blend into a holistic lifestyle. We have insightful long-form interviews with the pioneers leading the industry. Last but not least, embracing cannabis culture, we find the humor as we go along and create jokes for our illustrations.

Forbes: Why cannabis? Why now? When did you first try cannabis? Who were you with? What were you wearing?

NF: In my late thirties I took a fall that slowly brewed into pain and migraines. By 40, I retired while at the height of my career in finance, because I was starting to fear for my health. I worked long hours in Asian markets and knew I needed the hours back to really get to the bottom of things. That’s when things went from mildly bad to horrific. I spent five years desperately trying to find a solution and did everything: NYC’s “Top docs”, eastern docs, osteopaths, nutritionists, acupuncture, you name it, I did it. I just kept getting worse. I knew cannabis was a medicine, but during that time — and being an East-Coaster — I couldn’t get my hands on the good stuff. Poor quality cannabis was pointless and gave me negative effects, so I went without. When I finally did get my hands on the good stuff, it was this new type of cannabis: organic, properly labeled and in a variety of applications. Being a type A+++ personality, once I saw it was working, I traveled all over the world seeking the very best and trusted for myself. That experience of landing in a new city, with a bunch of poor resources filled with fluffed-up reviews that led me on inconvenient ‘stoner’ excursions, inspired me to create The Highly – a guide to the good good. As soon as you land at the airport, you know where you’ll find the best stuff and the well-informed people, then you’ll be efficiently set and can move on with your holiday. Now at 47, having lived through the cycle of greed in this country —with food and medicine — I feel we have a real chance to raise the bar in this industry, by demanding what we want through the purchases we make. This is a consumer-led revolution. We have to figure out ways to keep each other safe, because our government clearly will not. It was 1983, I was thirteen at a my first High School keg party in a park. While I can’t remember exactly what I was wearing, pretty good bet it was high-top Reebok sneakers, pants from a flea market, a Benetton rugby or an off-the-shoulder number, definitely a Swatch watch — and no doubt, sky high hair! I was so out of it. It wasn’t enjoyable at all. We walked to a diner after the party. I can still taste the french fries and gravy.

Forbes: Do you cook? What do you like to cook? Who taught you? Is there anything that you eat/drink that brings a tear to your eye when you eat/drink/smell it? Why?

NF: My mom was not a cook. A bagel and cream cheese was her signature dish. At a young age, I would scrounge up extra change for food delivery and since then, my favorite pastime is dining out. I find a Danny Meyer or David Chang experience the most emotional. I love an ambiance where we can enjoy each other’s company, taste new flavors and not be rushed.

Forbes: Do you use social media? What is your elevator pitch?

NF: I use Instagram. I’m gearing up for Twitter. Before The Highly I didn’t use social media at all. I miss that uncomplicated life.

“The Highly is a city guide for quality-minded cannabis seekers looking for the very best cannabis when they travel.”

Forbes: If you could be anywhere in the world where would that be? Doing what? With whom?

NF: I would be bopping around Europe without a plan, enjoying the slower pace while soaking in the culture, art, and fresh food. I see sunshine and beaches in this equation too. I love being with my two teenage girls, and I love being by myself.

Thank you Nina!

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