Sara Payan is a nationally recognized and award-winning cannabis educator, speaker, public policy advocate and writer. She is the Public Education Officer for The Apothecarium in San Francisco, a member of the San Francisco Cannabis Oversight Committee and was vice-chair of the San Francisco Cannabis State Legalization Task Force.
With over 14,000 hours of hands-on experiential medical cannabis patient research, Sara has consulted with many large healthcare organizations such as Kaiser and UCSF, to help them better understand the role cannabis can play in their patients’ lives. She has led large-scale industry trainings and lectures at accredited schools nationwide. Sara created and taught the first cannabis education workshop series for City College of San Francisco. Her experience as a stage III colon cancer survivor and her civil rights background fueled her passion for creating safe access to cannabis.
Sara is the host of the “Planted with Sara Payan” podcast, an ongoing conversation encompassing the vast world of cannabis with a focus on education. Her guests have included politicians, policy makers, media professionals, industry leaders, fellow educators and more.
1. Sara Payan - Hey! What’s the Rush
Before cancer led me to my work in cannabis, I was a jazz and blues singer/songwriter. When I started lecturing nationally, people would often Google my name and get confused when they came across a music website: “Is that you?” they’d ask. And then the next question would be “I really like what you’ve put out, can we use the music for our conference?” I love this particular song because it’s upbeat with a summertime vibe. The instrumental version is also the intro music on my podcast.
2. Robert Glasper feat. Musiq Soulchild & Chrisette Michele - Ah Yeah
I’m a huge hip-hop jazz and neo-soul fan and Robert Glasper’s Black Radio album is such a gift. It has a chill vibe — perfect for kicking back with your favorite smoke. The man is a genius. Check out his Tiny Desk concert. The creativity in the songcraft and the players leaves me in awe every time. A very chill awe, but just the same…
3. José González - Slow Moves
Folk music and classical guitar = dreamy music to float with or have as a relaxing background for a sesh. Like a lot of my family who fled Iran during the Islamic Revolution, Jose’s family fled Argentina after a conservative regime change in the ‘70s. After a busy day at work his music brings me back in my body, sometimes accompanied by a cannabis epsom salt soak. Also, it’s a good one to listen to if you’re a little too high, it will help soothe any anxiety you might be feeling.
4. Joel Plaskett Emergency - Fashionable People
I first heard this song while watching one of my favorite shows, Letterkenny. It’s a hilarious show, especially if, like me, you are from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, which is practically Canada. I was smoking some Cherry Cheesecake when this catchy tune came on and got my head bopping — totally original quirky songwriting with a fun beat. There are so many amazing Canadian artists that we miss out on.
5. Nina Simone - In the Dark
One of my idols. I was fortunate to see her in concert a few years before she died and could she command a room! Every song got a standing ovation, especially her more political ones. Imagine sitting in a candlelit room with the light flickering on the walls, the smoke trail from your joint, and her voice permeating the night. “In the dark / It's just you and I…” The epitome of smoky, sultry wonderfulness.