By George Alberts
Telecommunications have come a long way since the development of the television in the 1920s. Over the decades, it has become an integral part of our lives and something we canâ€™t seem to step away from; but when we do, we now find ourselves glued to our computers because of the internet. Since its commercialization in the mid-90s, the internet has reshaped and redefined the way we communicate and entertain ourselves. Laptops and computers have become the new TV and people use them for everything: entertainment, news, and information. We have combined technologies and satisfied a generation. It adds a new dimension to our way of thinking and the way we live.
In order to successfully make a name for yourself on the web, you have to rethink the existing elements to come up with something creative enough to survive, something people can really get into, like Hemp Beach TV. Originally founded in 2003 by â€œSkunkâ€ and G_Mon_420, Hemp Beach started out as a social community for stoners in a virtual world on the web; a place where likeminded people could come together to speak on the subject and share common interests. In the following years, the community grew. But when Skunk and G_Mon_420 found out their virtual world would be folding, it inspired Skunk to extend their brainchild onto the open web with Hemp Beach TV in 2008.
HBTV is unlike anything you are used to watching on the internet. Itâ€™s a refuge where stoners can get the latest in 420 entertainment, news, events, and product reviews. It isnâ€™t some low-end site and show that covers limited aspects of our community; it truly focuses on the values and norms of the culture and the politics weâ€™re facing with legalization. And with the likes of Freshman McFresh, Max Toker, and some special guests, Hemp Beach is a refreshing step forward for curious minds, cannabis junkies and activists that spotlights the creative, talented, and compassionate side of the cannabis community. It represents everything hemp and the growing support behind it.
Regardless of their busy schedule, Skunk, Freshman McFresh and Max Toker were able to make a little time for some Q&A with NUG Magazine.
How would you guys describe yourselves?
The â€œBill & Teddâ€ or â€œWayneâ€™s Worldâ€ for our stoner generation.
Do you guys have day jobs? Or what were your jobs like before your career change?
We have done it all, most likely. All of us have worked in the service industry and we all had to start from somewhere. And yes, we still keep it true. All of us still have day jobsâ€¦gotta pay the rent, bills and food. We never ask for a dime from our fans. We know they would, so we always say â€œSupport Hemp Beach by supporting our Sponsors.â€ And we believe in a strong economy and it goes in a full circle.
What were your lives like back then?
Ha! We still live like Clark Kent, even though once a week we turn into the characters you see on the show: Skunk, Freshman, and Maxâ€¦even though weâ€™re still the same in real life.
Why did you decide to start Hemp Beach TV?
Because there was nothing like it on TV or the Internet; plus, the conversations we were having were crazy and we thought it would be a good idea to put a camera up and record something. It worked out, so we decided to put it online and the rest is history.
What were your hopes and goals for the show when you got started?
We just hoped that people would like it, so we could get feedback and be interactive. It was like if you were home alone with no one to smoke with; we would always be there for youâ€¦and we still are to this day.
What have been some obstacles for you guys?
Just the regular trials and tribulations of any start-up. We have done everything you see ourselves: website, editing, marketing, so on and so forth.
If you could sum up your motivation in one sentence, what would it be?
TO BOLDLY SMOKE WEED WHERE NO ONE HAS SMOKED WEED BEFORE…
What do you want watchers and fans to take away from your show?
Any news, information or resources they can while being entertained at the same time. And to know that they will always have someone to smoke with on Hemp Beach!
What has the feedback been like for HBTV?
99% are the best things anyone can say about another person. The 1% is what we consider haters, and we love you too! But for the most part, it has been awesome!
What is it you enjoy most about your job?
The fact that we get to give back to the cannabis community and hang out with our friends like usual while making new ones all over the world. And we get the messages from half way around the world telling us they love everything we do and stand for. That is just amazing and we are so grateful to be making any kind impact like that. It just means that we are doing our job and having fun at the same time.
What is your most memorable episode?
I would have to say Hempisode 118, where we went to our very first dispensaries in San Diego, One on One PA and The Green Door Collective, with one of our best friends and sponsor Jonny B with The Digger One Hitter. We got to hang out and see what was up and everything in between. We made some new friends, like Hopper, Kandyman, and Kron Greathouse. After that, we hauled ass over to Vegas for the CHAMPS Trade Show last February, where we were also a sponsor at our other friend/sponsorâ€™s event, Philly Blunts from Glass Gripper. We rented out the Hugh Hefner Playboy penthouse suite for the night and held our â€˜High Societyâ€™ party. CHAMPS was sick as hell as usual, so that Hempisode was almost 2 hours long. Our longest Hempisode so far.
You guys always have some badass glass or sick products in your Hempisodes, what kind of smoking utensil(s) do you guys prefer?
When it comes to weed, what is it that you guys look for or crave in a strain?
Skunk: I usually go for a good Indica or a 60-40% mix.
Max: Sativa or a nice mix; more Sativa than Indica.
Where is HBTV headed in the near future and beyond? Any new formats or segments you guys plan on running?
We plan to add shows as we go along and grow our network. We have Hemp Beach TV, The Rotation, and we just added the show â€˜Munchie Minute,â€™ which is a quick â€˜munchie fixâ€™ show where people can submit their stoner munchie recipes that we make on the show. Those episodes are released every Thursday on www.HempBeach.com. And we have messed with a stoner gaming show â€˜Chronic Gaming Reviewâ€™ and are working on bringing it back in full force again soon.
What is next for you guys?
Expand, grow and get bigger. We are looking at some new things in the future, but we will keep that under wraps for now. But our fans should know that we are working on some of their biggest requests and will be implementing them very soon.
If you have yet to check out Hemp Beach TV, go to www.hempbeach.com and enjoy yourself; thereâ€™s something for every patient and enthusiast.