When I first heard that there was an opportunity for DOPE Magazine to cover The 4th Annual Hollywood Beauty Awards, my initial reaction was intrigue and surprise. Surprising because it’s not every day that you see cannabis media outlets covering Hollywood award shows, but intriguing because they were specifically looking for coverage of their #HighOnBeauty campaign. The Hollywood Beauty Awards recognizes the architects of beauty in hair, makeup, photography and styling in Film, TV and Music, as well as those artists who create celebrity looks for the red carpet and editorial. Pamela Price, the Vice President of the HBA’s, had also clued me in that they would be awarding CBD For Life, a CBD infused pain management and beauty product line, Product Line of the Year. This was also to be the HBA’s first cannabis product ever awarded.
So with suit in hand, I made my way from Las Vegas to Los Angeles to attend the Hollywood Beauty Awards at Avalon Hollywood on Vine. Upon arriving, I met fellow DOPE-fam member Dan Schmink, who was styled vibrantly in his dapper blue plaid suit. We had a quick get-to-know-ya toke to ease the nerves and headed to find our position on the green carpet. Once we tested our WiFi connection, we MacGyvered a cell phone mount to our tripod rental and set the stage for an electric two hour live stream on DOPE’s Instagram profile.
The presenters, nominees, and those receiving awards started arriving around 5PM. It was a whirlwind of celebrities, fashionistas, and some of the most talented artists on the planet. I moved back and forth between the live stream and the photographer pit to capture as much content as possible. We were surrounded by media outlets with microphones and camera crews, but it didn’t stop us from getting interviews with A-list talent. One of the first celebs to stop and discuss cannabis with us was Smokey Robinson. He received the Gentleman’s Award that evening for his kind heart toward those around him throughout his music career. Smokey doesn’t spark up nowadays, but is very excited and happy for those who now have access to cannabis.
We also spoke to a number of cannabis-friendly nominees and awardees about CBD and cannabis within their fields; such as Ellen Mirojnick, Matthew VanLeeuwen, Camille Friend, Joel Harlow, Riawna Capri, Johnny Wright, and Sarah Tanno, the personal makeup artist for CBD advocate, Lady Gaga.
Some of the other stars that made it to The Hollywood Beauty Awards to support their friends and colleagues being awarded were Kat Graham, Lionel Richie, Danielle Savre, Elizabeth Banks, Tinashe, Danai Gurira, Angie Everhart, Cheech Marin, Kelly Washington, Jane Seymour, Britney Spears, and my dude, Samuel L. Jackson. Sam even took the time to let me know that while he “hasn’t smoked weed since the 90s,” he is still in full support of what is happening with cannabis in America.
Cannabis is still a touchy subject for many people. Not everyone who I spoke with was thrilled to talk about marijuana, but as journalists and writers it is our duty to ask the questions no one else is willing to ask. The HBA’s are a beacon of hope for cannabis within the health and beauty industry. President and founder, Michele Elyzabeth, intends to increase the amount of cannabis influence each year, so that the true medicinal value of the plant can continue to be recognized by Hollywood and mainstream America.