Green Queen - Shelby Hartman of Double Blind
This week we talked with Shelby Hartman, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of DoubleBlind, a biannual print magazine and digital media company at the forefront of the rapidly growing psychedelic movement. Shelby is also a reporter and editor specializing in psychedelics, cannabis, drug policy, and mental health, with work in VICE, Quartz, the Huffington Post, and Rolling Stone, among others.
Shelby worked in broadcast news production for CBS News, covering presidential elections, protests, natural disasters, and other breaking news. Spurred by a passion for print and investigative reporting, she transitioned to magazine writing, working as an editor at Pasadena Magazine and receiving her Master’s Degree in long-form journalism from Columbia University in 2015. Since, Hartman has worked as a columnist at LA Weekly and an editor at Herb, the largest cannabis media company, with extensive features on the cannabis industry, the psychedelic research boom, the popularization of ayahuasca, and post-traumatic stress disorder in the veteran community.
Madison and I both began as cannabis reporters and segued into psychedelic reporting. To be perfectly honest, I’ve been smoking weed about once a week since I was in college, but I never wanted to get into the cannabis industry. The opportunity sort of fell from the sky when I was asked to be a cannabis columnist at LA Weekly. At the time, even though I smoked weed sometimes, I didn’t want to spend my time thinking and talking about it. That changed fast though. My first cannabis story for LA Weekly was the night of the 2016 presidential election. That same night, California was also voting on Prop 64, the measure to legalize recreational cannabis in the state, and I was covering a party of cannabis industry folks watching the results come in. My perspective on the industry totally changed that night: I met cannabis lawyers, activists, entrepreneurs...incredibly brilliant and kind people. From then on, I realized that writing about cannabis was really an opportunity to write about everything: big pharma (and how it’s not working), politics, mass incarceration, you name it. From then on, I was hooked.
What are you passionate about?
Healing. That’s really what all of this is about for Madison and I—how we can shift the conversation around historically stigmatized plants so that more people have access to them.
What does authenticity mean to you?
Wow. Good Question. I spend a lot of time meditating. When I do that, I’m largely working on transcending my thoughts to get in touch with a deeper, more intuitive force that can guide my life. I would say authenticity for me is speaking and acting from that place of connection—being kind and loving in the way you communicate, but also speaking clearly and not apologizing for it.
What makes you authentic?
I speak my truth—I feel it’s my responsibility to do that.
What is your mission in life?
My mission in life is the same as my passion: to create meaningful work that helps heal others. I know it’s a lofty goal, but I really believe that everything from personal turmoil to political conflict comes from a need for healing.
To follow along with Shelby and DoubleBlind, check out the links below!