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Cash Only’s 420 Recs: Brett Heyman, Founder of Luxury Cannabis Line Edie Parker
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Like her cannabis company’s slogan, Brett Heyman is “here for a good time.” The founder of accessories brand Edie Parker — as well as its luxury cannabis arm, Flower by Edie Parker — has an infectious confidence and sense of humor that exudes “life of the party” energy.
During a video interview, the brains behind one of the more stylish weed lines had me cracking up in earnest — a rare treat for an introductory chat over Zoom. Edie Parker has been described as the “Coco Chanel of Cannabis,” and that makes sense; Coco was funny on top of being fashionable, too.
Heyman’s vibe made it very clear how a former fashion exec (she used to spearhead PR at Gucci, and previously worked at Dolce & Gabbana) could achieve the not-so-simple task of merging haute couture and cannabis under one seamless umbrella. The boss knows what she likes and what she wants, from her personal consumption preferences, to her thoughts on design and culture. Her convictions trickle into a cohesive vision, which in turn inspires good products and an exciting brand.
As such, Flower by Edie Parker offers a myriad of products, including tabletop lighters, sexy handmade ashtrays, flavored crush cones, wearable one-hitters, and premium flower (currently sold in Massachusetts and Illinois). Their releases sometimes remind me of Jonathan Adler’s tastefully absurd, drug-inspired decor — but more youthful and femme. In any case, Edie Parker ephemera is ideal for potheads and fashion enthusiasts alike. (They’re also charitable; peep The Edie Parker Foundation.)
In our interview below, Heyman sounds off on how her husband originally sparked her adult relationship with cannabis, explains how the couple does at-home R&D on their pipes, and speculates about the future ties between weed and fashion in NYC.
What was your first time smoking weed?
Brett Heyman: I haven’t answered this in a while. It’s embarrassing, but I started smoking weed for a boy. I was in high school and I was a little bit afraid of drugs — I had very, very conservative parents. They had me thinking that cannabis was really bad, anything that was illegal was really bad. Certainly any other type of drug was really bad. And I was very into music. I played guitar, I loved the Dead. I loved all these things that made my parents very uncomfortable, so they were distrusting.
I did a lot of ceramics in high school, and I won the pottery award, so I would come home with ceramic little mushroom things, little pottery pieces that I made. And my dad would always come in and like lift them up because he was always looking for drugs. And the irony is I didn’t do drugs.
And then I had not a boyfriend, but a best friend who I really liked. We were like Ross and Rachel — his words. But he smoked a lot of cannabis. And so I started smoking pot through him when I was in ninth grade. It definitely took me a while to figure out how to use weed in a way that worked for me. I’m still like this as an adult, where less is more for me. I like to have a little bit of cannabis a lot of the time, you know? I never like to be ripping a bong or dabbing. I don’t do any of that. So I have a very good relationship with cannabis now, but it took me a long time to figure it out.
At what point do you think you fell in love with the plant? When it wasn’t just a rebellion or recreational thing?
I’m gonna sound like such an anti-feminist, but again for a boy [laughs]. A different boy, totally different boy, who’s my husband now. So I had a relationship with cannabis through high school and college, but again, it would be the kind of thing where I’d get really drunk — or I would do other substances — and then I’d smoke cannabis in order to go to bed.
It wasn’t until I lived in New York City that I truly got into cannabis, but it wasn’t immediate. What happened was I went on my first date with my now-husband. I had agreed to go to lunch with him. That day, I didn’t eat breakfast, I exercised in the morning, and then I had two martinis at lunch… and that was it; I never left his side. But after lunch, we decided to go home and watch Almost Famous. He had cannabis at home and I was like, “Oh, I haven’t smoked in a while. Great.”
We used this ridiculously obnoxious pipe with a girl’s butt on it, which we still have. So I smoked with him and I think it was the first time where it was the right amount of weed. Maybe he had better stuff than I’d tried before. Anyway, it finally felt like having an adult relationship with cannabis. Not getting crazy, but just enjoying the plant in the way that I enjoy it now. So I think I fell in love with it then. We started dating when I was 26, so that’s the age I developed a real relationship with cannabis.
What’s your day-to-day use like now? Are you a nighttime smoker? Is it a medicinal tool?
I mean it’s not just medicinal for me; I really like the pleasure aspect, too. I like to smoke either a little bit or have a gummy before I go to bed. Those Wyld gummies are really good for sleep; I love those. But mostly, my relationship with cannabis is still the pleasure of it. So I really love combining sex and cannabis, especially when you’re married for a long time. You just need something to spice it up, and make it feel like, “Oh, this still feels good.” Just kidding [laughs]. We have a house in the country now, and we take a lot of walks. So we’ll smoke a little bit of cannabis and then I’m like, “The green is so beautiful, and it’s different every season!” My husband is my partner in all of that and he loves it. I think it’s really like a pleasure center for me, but I do use it for bed.
I wanted to ask you about the Edie Parker flower line. Do you have any current favorite strains?
The real, tough truth is that I don’t get a lot of Edie Parker all the time because we only sell it in Massachusetts and Illinois. So no, I don’t have a favorite Edie Parker strain, unfortunately. But I think our goal is to offer flower that inspires really consistent, good experiences — not just weed that will knock you off your chair. So things like THC percentages in the low 20s. As I said, I don’t like to be so stoned where I can’t see straight and have to lie down. So it’s about offering a consistent experience. Obviously, sometimes I want to feel headier or sometimes I want a body high, but both are options with the flower we sell.
Do you have a preferred consumption method when you do use flower?
I like to smoke. Well, I like to smoke a joint, but just like a little bit — for me, one or two puffs of a joint is perfect. And that is my favorite consumption method. I’ve never talked about my husband so much in an interview, but we also have this really romantic tradition where our brand makes a lot of pipes, so we are always testing them. Very sweetly, he likes to fill up the pipe for me, light it, and then give me all the cool smoke after he takes the hot hit. That’s so thoughtful. No one ever did that for me before, but he always does it. He’s like, “Oh, let me hit it first, and then you just take all that beautiful, cool smoke.” So we do that a lot — R&D for our products, as a couple.
Of all the ancillary products that you make, which one do you personally use most?
Um, I’m kind of lame. I’m not like a good joint roller, so I use the pipes a lot. But also, we have these cones that I think are great — and we just launched crush cones, which have a flavor profile. I like those and think it’s really nice to have something that’s functional and quick and New York-y. I like things to be quick and efficient, so I like the cones and use them. I like the pipes, obviously. I also love our tabletop lighters and have one in every room. They’re really pretty, there’s an ashtray built in, and they’re handmade. They’re labor-intensive products that last forever. They combine our heritage of being this handbag and accessory brand that went into cannabis. So products like this have that obvious marriage and compatibility. I just love these things.
Are there any brands out there that you think are kindred spirits to Edie Parker? Brands that you respect what they’re doing.
I mean, I respect everybody that’s doing it because it’s so hard for sure. But I love Pure Beauty and think they’re doing interesting things culturally. Their collaborators are interesting, their photographers are interesting. I think that’s amazing and I love that. And what I think we do is help with that conversation around the mainstream-ification of cannabis, like using collaborators from different industries — whether fashion or art — to just put a different spin on cannabis. Pure Beauty does that, too.
I also like Houseplant. I think they’re doing an incredible job with accessories. They have very different aesthetics than us, but their stuff is amazing. Seth [Rogen] has really created something special and popular; it is amazing how their stuff sells out so quickly. I also really like 1906. I love a 2.5mg THC product, so I really like the THC pills they make.
I would say you’re one of the pioneers or trailblazers when it comes to combining fashion and cannabis in a high-level way. I’m curious if you think that type of synergy between fashion and cannabis will continue to either evolve or feel more omnipresent in the future.
Totally. But it’s a layered answer because a thousand percent I think it’ll happen more. First off, one of the reasons fashion is important is because it’s very much reflective of what’s happening at a specific time. Maybe we don’t always see it, but we do when we look back in the rearview mirror. So I think fashion is important in that way. And I think that what is happening now culturally, with social justice and criminal justice reform and all that… cannabis is what’s happening. So I think there will be more synergies with fashion because of that.
I also think that New York will be transformative. I think there are so many fashion creatives working in New York. I think there are so many creatives, many whom I know personally, and they smoke a ton of cannabis. And now that New York has legalization, soon there will be a lot of people in fashion who dip a toe in the cannabis space, whether through collaborations or otherwise. I think that will absolutely happen. Culturally, these things will be synergistic and really important.
I’m noticing it myself. Like Laquan Smith had a fashion week party, and a delivery service I know was there giving out pre-rolls. That felt like something that would not have happened five years ago.
Totally, Laquan Smith, Brandon Blackwood, and others. These are people who are very public about their cannabis use. They’re giving out cannabis at events. They will definitely do cannabis collabs. They’ll partner with somebody and have a cannabis launch. So I think, yes, absolutely. I don’t think big brands like any LVMH brands will touch it for years, but I think it will absolutely continue to happen with the independent creators in New York.
Is there any activity that you like to do when you’re really high? Whether a particular hike, digging on Etsy, or going to a particular restaurant with your husband?
I don’t like to go to restaurants when I’m stoned. I like to watch TV in bed. I like to take walks in our backyard. We have lots of trees and pretty flowers in Connecticut, so I like to do that. As I said, I like to have sex while high. And then shopping while high is a real problem for me. It happens a lot, especially when I smoke to go to bed and then I sort of delay going to bed and instead buy a fuck ton of stuff online. I end up having to return so much. My penchant for shopping online while high can be problematic.
What about something you like to watch when you’re stoned? You mentioned The Real Housewives before, but what city?
Okay, great, thank you for asking that specific question. I need to watch that show if I’m too high because it calms me down like nothing else. I find Housewives very comforting. I don’t like the weird, Jesus-y Republican cities. So I don’t like OC. I don’t like Dallas. But I love Beverly Hills, New York, Atlanta, Potomac, and New Jersey.
I love The Real Housewives because the show makes me laugh. I make this joke that there are no roles for women in Hollywood over 40 other than the Housewives. This is where all these women go to work and die at a certain age. And they’re just so unaware of the joke. They take themselves so seriously, and I find that to be a trainwreck that I cannot stop watching. I think feeling compelled to watch it all the time is a real waste and I will never get those hours back, but I love it.
What do you like to listen to when stoned?
Definitely music, not so much podcasts. I have a problem where I feel like music stopped being good after the mid-90s. I’m having a big Mr. Mister resurgence, which is very weird. It’s a little bit like my high shopping where I’ll hear a song, it will remind me of a whole genre that I haven’t listened to in a while, and then I’ll do a deep download and have a whole ’80s or ‘90s-era dance party by myself. I am a real secret singer by myself, too. So anything that I can sing at the top of my lungs. So I’m listening to Annie Lennox again, as well as music that I can dance and sing to alone. That makes me very happy.
What do you like to read when high? Any books, magazines, or particular writers?
I read articles in The New Yorker and The Atlantic, but it takes me days. I’m a slow reader. I just bought the new David Sedaris essay book and I’m obsessed with him. So anything humorous like that. If I’m high at night and I’m not shopping, I’ll read something like that to go to bed. I like to read the news. It’s a tug of war with myself because I get sad reading the news and it makes it hard to get out of bed after, but I feel that I have to be informed and confront what’s happening. So I read a lot of news.
My last question is if you could have a dream blunt sesh with anyone alive or dead, who would be at your pot party?
Who do I like? I like a humorist. So I feel like someone like David Sedaris would be fun, although I don’t know how fun he would be when high. Who do I admire? Maybe someone like John Lennon, who I’d just like to meet. Also, John Waters, Jesus, and Chris Hemsworth (but only as Thor).
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