This is Jerry!
Photo Courtesy: Mozen
Mark and Brian Davis – Cofounders of Mozen
Warren Bobrow: Where are you from? What did you want to be when you grew up? Why Cannabis? When did you first try it?
Mark and Brian Davis= MBD: We grew up in Encino, California (SF Valley – suburb of Los Angeles). We both grew up wanting to work in our father’s Ethnic Health and Beauty Aid distribution business (i.e. Afro -Sheen) – his company managed distribution into all retail stores on the west coast. Then Michael Jordan joined the NBA and people shaved their heads bald to “Be Like Mike”. People ditched the expensive “Jheri-Curl” suite of maintenance products – and switched to an inexpensive pomade or natural fade. Basically, our young dreams of taking over the family business faded away like an MJ jump shot.
WB: Why cannabis?
MBD:Because cannabis always brought us balance and made us happy. We always loved the social bonding – going to concerts, hanging out with friends, talking together and laughing at life. For the two of us, it actually helped form a stronger connection as brothers when we grew older. Our family went through some difficult times, and cannabis brought us closer together as brothers and as friends.
We both tried cannabis in high school through separate people. Brian remembers the first time he tried to buy a bag of weed from someone and the guy sold him a bag of oregano. Mark remembers meeting his friend’s “Uncle Darryl” who introduced him to high potency Chocolate Thai-stick and other high-quality strains (not the typical seeded schwag-weed we usually got).
WB: Tell me about your company? What is your passion? How did you get started?
MBD:Mozen is the Hebrew word for “balance” and everyone we know is searching for ways to find a bit more balance in their lives. We see people looking for balance anywhere they can get it: through exercise, through food, and through personal connections. But mainly we noticed a lot of people turning to opioids’, prescription drugs or alcohol to help them with issues relating to stress, pain, sex, and sleep. Mozen isn’t a cure – it’s just a healthier option than pharma to help people deal with their problems and find their balance.
We started the Mozen brand because we couldn’t find any other brands that were speaking to professionals and families in a smart, funny, and simple way. Most of the products we saw were marketed to the cannabis connoisseur and used industry lingo and specific strain names in their branding. These brands were difficult to understand and not marketed to people like us. As parents, we saw a common and disturbing trend among our friends: unending stress, escalating health concerns, disconnect from spouses and partners, and the inability to simply relax. Raising children, maintaining financial stability, supporting aging parents, and the abundance of mindless technology were knocking people we know out of balance and affecting their overall health and well-being.
Our passion is helping people live better and laugh more. We created Mozen to simplify the cannabis experience, put smiles on lost faces, and offer people an alternative modality for dealing with their shit. (Versus popping multiple pills in order to to solve multiple problems.) Each Mozen All-In-One pen contains a terpene (terp) profile specifically designed to address the main issues our customers face: stress, pain, sex, and sleep. Our fresh terps are the best in the biz – and that’s always been our edge. Sometimes it’s sexy-time with sweetie – sometimes it’s getting through a holiday dinner – sometimes it’s after a workout at the gym – and sometimes you just need a good night sleep. At Mozen, we’ve got you covered.
WB: Do you cook? What’s your favorite Jewish Holiday food? Do you make your own Matzo Ball soup? Care to share the recipe?
MBD: Our family loves to cook, especially during and around the holidays. Passover is our favorite holiday because of the lessons and values found every year at the Seder table. Plus – we each get to drink four cups of wine – it’s written in the actual prayer book “drink Glass 3 here” – it’s a mitzvah!
We both absolutely love brisket and each year we make a few different types of briskets for family holidays (cooked with a can of beer is a favorite). Brian prefers a savory brisket (harder texture) and Mark prefers the softer and flakier texture.
Our mom makes killer fluffy Matzo Balls – we demolished them at each and every family holiday.
Below is her favorite recipe:
5 EGGS (BEAT WITH A FORK)
1 CUP MATZOH MEAL
¼ TSP. BAKING SODA
¼ TSP. WHITE PEPPER
½ C. VEGETABLE OIL
1. Mix until well blended
2. Let dough rest for 15 min on counter top
3. Make into small balls and drop balls into slowly simmering water
4. Cook 25-30 min. (no top on pot)
5. Remove with slotted spoon and place in a bowl of cold water
6. Add to soup whenever you are ready
** Makes approx 10 large matzoh balls…don’t make them too large or they will fall apart
WB: Where do you see yourself in six months, one year? What do your parents think about what you do? How do you deal with stigmas? What would you suggest to combat them? Indoor or outdoor grown? Any favorite grower for the inexperienced cannabis user?
MBD: In the next six months, we see Mozen growing into a true lifestyle brand as we add new product categories to our assortment. Within a year, we see Mozen expanding into other states outside of California and establishing itself as one of the premier cannabis brands.
Our parents have been huge supporters of Mozen. It is kind of ironic that twenty five years ago we had to find innovative ways to sneak around our parents in order to smoke. Now our parents and their friends are using Mozen pens to help with their anxiety, muscle pain or sleeping issues. Our father does some bookkeeping and our mom occasionally hosts a “Mozen party” and invites all of her friends. They are proud that we have focused on educating people about cannabis through our in-home education events and also find these events a good social outlet.
Dealing with stigmas around cannabis has been a lot easier than we initially thought. As with everything else in life we preach balance. As we face the issues of modern life, nothing is all-good or all-bad. Cannabis isn’t the cure for everything that ails us, but cannabis can sure help in a variety of situations and often in untapped or unknown ways. There are people that still can’t get around cannabis being federally illegal – and we respect that stance even if we don’t agree with it. Yet in general, the vibe in our communities is positive and “canna-curious”. We’ve seen so many friends and family who we know would never have considered using cannabis even two years ago, now embracing it and seeing as part of their weekly toolkit to get through life.. We don’t think the ”stoner stigma” will ever go away completely – but we do see this new group of professionals, parents and retirees now looking towards cannabis to help “find their balance”.
They key is “finding YOUR balance” – and discovering how this amazing plant fits into your life. We try not to think of cannabis in terms of: outdoor or indoor — sativa or indica – grower A or grower B. Each strain has their time and place when properly matched to the experience at hand.
WB: If you could be anywhere in the world, right now- where would that be? Doing what? With whom?
MBD: We would be back hanging out on the beach in Israel with our families. We’d be playing games, watching the World Cup, sipping beers, and enjoying a few Mozen pens. We’d be with our kids and friends laughing and playing in the Mediterranean as the sun sets on another picture-perfect day in the land of milk and honey.
Thank you for sharing your personal history with me. I cannot wait to try the Matzoh ball recipe from your mom. Cheers all. WB