Meet Kipps, a West Coast cannabis brand that’s strong enough for bodybuilding, made for healing. In fact, that’s the very story of its founder Darren, a professional athlete who has loved the plant since his teenage years and experienced its health benefits as he found success in his fields, but also found solace in medical cannabis when an emergency shifted everything he’d known. Recently, the brand partnered with breeder SureFire Selections for the release of Lemon Rose, the first Kipps hash collaboration; it’s receiving much acclaim from those in the know. As Darren’s motto goes, “I want people to smoke good around the world” - and boy, does he mean it! 

Check out a sneak peek of Kipps' hash collaboration with SureFire Selections, Lemon Rose:

What Should You Know About Kipps? Cannabis, Fitness, And Healing

For the love of cannabis, here are five things you should know about Kipps.

Kipps founder Darren in his snowboarding days (C) Kipps

Darren was a professional snowboarder in the 1990s.

“I would’ve gone to the [1998] Olympics, the first to have snowboarding events, in halfpipe if it wasn’t for sticking up for my little brother in a fight.” (At least you know he’ll always have your back.)

Darren during his bodybuilding era (C) Kipps

He’s also a bodybuilding star.

“I wanted to be the next Mr. Olympia, and made it to the national level of bodybuilding after gaining over 100 pounds of muscle at my peak. [Later], I decided that was not my life path.”

(C) Kipps

Cannabis helped Darren accomplish his earliest dreams.

“I fell in love with the marijuana plant and its benefits for [my health] at an early age, 15 years old. It helped me achieve my goals in snowboarding and bodybuilding. Being in the snowboarding community in Vermont and Northern California in the 90s allowed me to see extremely high-quality plants and cultivators. I learned what real quality was early on, and the effects that had on me physically and mentally.”

Darren in his custom Kipps sweatsuit designed by @trapis_designs (C) Kipps

A rare condition nearly cost him everything.

“Didn’t get hurt snowboarding or bodybuilding, but then at 35 years old, my body failed me, to the point that I thought I had [multiple sclerosis] or Parkinson’s disease. But I had a neurological issue which led to me [needing] to have an emergency surgery called a double laminectomy on my C1 and C2 vertebrae. Extremely high-risk surgery that worked, but left me with a life of pain. It was so bad, my doctor said he doesn’t want to know me in my 60s.”

(C) Kipps

Cannabis inspires him to live each day to the fullest.

“Now, I am entrenched in this plant and what it does for my life more than ever. [I’m] dedicating the rest of my life and then some to education and forward progress. I don’t know where my life would be without marijuana - as a medical patient, I can’t live without it.”

For more information on Kipps, follow @dd7_501 on Instagram. 

*A version of this article originally appeared in Honeysuckle's 17th print edition, featuring Havoc of Mobb Deep. Get your copy now at dispensaries nationwide or click here to order!

(C) Kipps

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Featured image: Darren, founder of Kipps, doing what he does best (C) Kipps