AACE Interview: Mary Vallarta of High Standards

I met Mary at the RuNTS: Blunt Talk earlier this month, the event was a panel of cannabis industry leaders, Defonce Chocoltier, YummiKarma, Sparks + Honey and Felix Fang (Master Chef). Mary and I talked about Asians in the cannabis industry and how we are represented both in numbers and as a market. Later that week I was invited by Mary to her first get together for women in the industry held at her super cool DTLA office. Mary has so much spirit and an aura of support for those around her. High Standards is an event, marketing and showroom company specializing in cannabis.

What spurred you to enter the cannabis market?

A trip with my partner to Napa for a friend’s wedding spurred my entrance into the cannabis market. Every time I visit Napa, I’m always in awe of the beautiful grandiose estates, vast acres of vineyards, and luxurious mansions. I see how much care and respect wine makers, sommeliers, and visitors have for wine, and just how much interest there is to taste, buy, and experience wine. That’s when it hit my partner. He turned to me and said, “wouldn’t it be cool  to do a cannabis tasting?” We knew that legalization was on its way to passing in California so we made a pact to hold a cannabis tasting event in L on 4/20. We decided that they best way to market our grand 4/20 idea was by having little events leading up to it. So, we hosted our first mini cannabis tasting in the Hollywood Hills on January 2017. It was a sold-out event and at that moment, we knew we were onto something special. We continued to put on monthly tasting events, in addition to events that involve yoga, beauty, and music. After positive responses from attendees, press, and brand sponsors, we launched High Standards, a marketing agency and the world’s first showroom for elevated lifestyle brands.  It’s the perfect organization to continue doing what we do best - putting the best elevated lifestyle brands in front of their target consumers - throwing events is just one way we do that! Oh, and we did do the big 4/20 event. It was a sold-out crowd of 80 people enjoying a delicious delicious 3 course dinner, cannabis, live music, and epic conversations. 

What is your favorite strain and your favorite way of ingesting (vape, pipe, edible, joint, volcano, vapexhale…etc)

My favorite right now is Blue Dream for the flavor. Love how it has just the right amount of sweetness. However, my usual go-to is OG Kush. I just love how it relaxes me and I usually do go for the indica dominant strains. Favorite way of ingesting right now is through joints and a vape pen. Vape pens are super convenient and perfect for on-the-go, which is most of my life, at this point. Joints - I like the way it feels in my hands and appreciate its rawness. 

How did you come out of the 'green closet" with your parents?

It was really quite unexpected and surprising. It happened recently, maybe 2 months ago. I told them that I started a company with my partner and that we work with cannabis brands since legislation passed. I even showed them the packaging of one our clients, THC Design. They first asked if I sold cannabis and I later explained to them that we are a marketing agency and showroom for elevated lifestyle brands. They did’t get it, but surprisingly, they reacted very well. My dad even asked for some edibles and my mom was open to trying vape pens to help with her insomnia. I guess my parents were cooler than I thought and at that moment, I’ve decided to continually be more open with them. Since then though for about a week, my mom always ask if whether the food I give her, since I tend to bring home desserts when I visit, has “MJ” in it, in her words. lol.