Happy Wednesday and — oh, would you look at that — happy 4/20. The holiday, which was once considered counterculture but is becoming more mainstream as support for legal marijuana grows, is dedicated to cannabis-oriented celebrations and conversations.
Cannabis is a multibillion-dollar industry and there are plenty of movers and shakers in the Capital Region influencing the field. To learn more about this new industry (sale of marijuana was only legalized for recreational use in 2016), start here:
- As director of California Department of Cannabis Control, Nicole Elliott oversees the licensing and regulation of the industry without a roadmap.
- Pets and their people are finding relief from anxiety and other ailments thanks to a recent explosion of CBD use in pet health care.
- A nonprofit coding company creates an initiative and uses its tech to clear the records of 140,000 marijuana-related convictions.
- A UC Davis professor publishes a groundbreaking study revealing that counties with access to legal cannabis dispensaries see a significant decrease in opioid overdose deaths.
4/20 aside, our stories this week seem to have an uplifting common thread: the joy of relishing in recreation and discoveries in our own backyard. Syncing right up with April’s mixed forecasts, we explore all manner of indoor and outdoor diversions (not to be confused with “innie” and “outie,” although references to those can be found in our recommendations section!).
Here’s the latest Capital Region Rundown:
UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May answers some of our most urgent questions surrounding the forthcoming Aggie Square; restaurants that have become lonely outposts of former franchises still attract loyal patrons in spite or because of their storied pasts; road trips and staycations in picturesque small towns offer a fulfilling alternative to national and international travel; Capital Region record shops that banded together during the pandemic are resilient and ready for Record Store Day; UC Davis renovates and reopens one of its historic buildings as the first Graduate Center within the UC system; and the California State Library shows off its hidden treasures.
Recommendations from our editors:
In this section we editors share what we’re reading, listening to, watching or even eating. Here’s what we’re consuming this week:
Vanessa: Last week I finished the dystopian drama series “Severance.” What a ride! If you haven’t heard, the show, which is so visually immersive and well-acted, imagines a world in which people can elect to undergo a surgical procedure that splits their consciousness between work and home, essentially creating two versions of self (an “innie” and an “outie”) with two separate lives. Like all good sci-fi, the premise plays with the very real predicament in which we find ourselves, where we’re constantly tasked with separating work from home.
Judy: Ever wonder about one-hit wonders like I do? There’s “My Sharona” by The Knack, “Spirit in the Sky” by Norman Greenbaum and “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin to name a few. The Atlantic looks into why some artists have just one hit and others have many, and the lessons that can be applied to business and marketing. A Stanford psychologist finds audiences are drawn to what’s familiar, but they also become loyal to what’s consistently distinct.
Jennifer: I finally got around to watching “Encanto” and was struck by its resemblance to Gabriel García Márquez’s 1967 novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude.” Now I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole of online discussions pointing out the direct homages to the book in the Disney musical.
Odds and ends
After five years of planning, Aggie Square has broken ground in Oak Park. We chat with Chancellor May about how the project’s partners are responding to concerns and what Aggie Square aims to bring to the region.
We explore the lonely outposts formerly part of a family of franchises. Although they have no corporate parent to provide updated decor or menus, these idiosyncratic restaurants are still well loved by many Sacramentans.
As national and international tourism decreased during the
pandemic, regional visitation saw a boost. We profile three small
picturesque towns that got a big increase in visitors.
Get excited for Record Store Day on April 23 with this photo essay of some of the region’s most beloved, idiosyncratic shops.
UC Davis’ new dedicated Graduate Center opened this month, giving graduate students access to offices, lounge space, meeting rooms, a kitchen and more.
There is much magic to discover at the California State
Library, whether you visit for research or pleasure.
The institution’s keepers take us on a tour of some of
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