It’s 5 p.m. and the late-August sun is beaming-hot while Claudia Mata Gladish, the founder of the CBD wellness brand Vertly, preps for a casual, end-of-summer meal in the backyard of her Craftsman-style home in Marin County, Calif. Before her guests arrive, she snips herbs from a verdant garden and creates table arrangements with her children, Diego and Mila.
Three years ago, to be closer to family, Claudia and her husband Zander Gladish moved from New York to Northern California, and reoriented their cooking and exercise routines, deepening their commitment to healthy living. In their wraparound backyard there are orange, lemon and apple trees, fragrant gardenias — and several poolside cannabis plants. “Cannabis has been legalized, decriminalized and normalized,” Zander says. “In Northern California, it’s not taboo to have a cannabis plant,” Claudia continues. “I think if people start to see it as a tool for wellness and not as just an illicit substance — which we don’t think it is — a lot of the negativity surrounding the plant will change.” Claudia and Zander are business partners in Vertly, and now work with local herbalists and cannabis farmers to source all organically grown ingredients for their line of CBD-infused body spray, lip balm, and pain-relief lotion.
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In celebration of the launch of their skin-care line, and to close out the summer, the couple gathered friends around a table surrounded by towering redwoods and coastal oak trees. “This house was the perfect place to grow up with three brothers, running around,” says Zander of the house, who inherited the land from his parents. “It’s a magical playground.” For dinner, he clipped fresh tomatoes for gazpacho, bunches of kale for salad, mint leaves for CBD-infused cocktails, strawberries for a jam cake and bright-white hydrangeas to decorate the table. “We only treat our plants with organic and natural ingredients — like neem oil,” he says, referring to the seed found in India and Pakistan that is often used as an organic pesticide. “It’s good for the cannabis plants as well as the roses.” To ensure quality and maintain control over the ingredients that go into Vertly’s products, the couple set up a lab in nearby Novato, where they are able to press their own oils and extract herbs over an intensive, weekslong process.