WTF is Wellness with Carlos Quirarte


News flash! Poplar and CBD are for men too! We are beyond excited to share our next WTF is Wellness profile - and yes, you guessed it - we are chatting with a dude! But, not just any man, the amazing, kind, and multi-talented Carlos Quirarte, known by most as the co-owner of The Smile. Over coffee and snacks at The Smile on Bond Street we chatted all things weed.

The Facts
Name: Carlos Quirarte
Instagram: @cqsmileny
Profession: Hospitality / Director of Cultures @shinola
NYC Neighborhood you currently call home: East Village
Originally from: The Mission in San Francisco

More Facts Get to know him... quick questions we served up that get down to business. Our own little personality test if you will :) Yoga or Cardio - Cardio Beach or Pool - BEACH!
City or Country - Country
Tap Water or Bottled - Bottled
Ski Vacation or Beach Vacation - BEACH AGAIN!
CBD or THC - Both! Favorite dish at the Smile: Prime RibFavorite drink at the Smile: Smoke on the water (mezcal)

Some Q&A:

Question: Ok, let’s start with the basics - WTF does wellness mean to you? Hint: We love one word answers to this :)
Answer: Relief

Question: You have been very vocal about using weed. So let's dive in - tell us about your relationship with cannabis - both CBD and THC.
Answer: Yes - when we first started getting press around The Smile - we had an interview and I shared that I love to smoke a joint to relax. And I thought Matt, my business partner, was going to loose his mind. Even my friends perpetuate the stigma and it’s so crazy!!!! On the one hand, everybody is finally talking about using cannabis but it is still so taboo. And it’s nonsense - because we all know the war on drugs is all about money, but we will not get into that. Point is, I am honest in every setting that I use cannabis - but some people are shady about it and answer differently depending on who they are talking too... sometimes they are pro and sometimes not. And that’s what I find the craziest.

"On the one hand, everybody is finally talking about using cannabis but it is still so taboo. And it’s nonsense - because we all know the war on drugs is all about money"

Question: Ooohhh. Tell us more. Any juicy examples? Answer: Well, we (the hilarious and beautiful Anna Speckhart and daughter June) split our time between in Illinois, where we have a farm, and NYC. Before the rec bill passed in Illinois, I would overhear people saying “I am totally against it, unless it is legal and then I am ok with it." What does that even mean? Are you pro or not? You can be for it and still respect not using it when it’s illegal. People just don’t have common sense when it comes to weed. One time, we were entertaining and one of our guests started talking about how he was not pro-cannabis. But, truth be told, I smoked with him about a year before. So I couldn't help myself and I proded him a bit... He continued, “Oh no, I don’t support cannabis legalization“ and he added of his own volition “and I definitely don’t touch it personally.” And of course, I called him out. I was like dude, you smoke weed. Who are you trying to fool? Question: Ugh - fair weather cannabis supporters are the worst!So tell us - what is your routine? What do you use? Why? Break it down. Answer: Sorry about that tangent - so my routine! I love it all! A couple of years ago in Colorado, I bought a topical for my knees. I run - before my baby girl June I ran daily. Weed changed my running game... I found this amazing THC topical, I slather it all over my knees and it works!!! People say weed makes you lazy - that's bullshit. Weed is my secret running weapon. It helps me focus. Pre-long run I pop an edible and then I can totally zone out. Because let’s be honest, running for exercise is sort of pointless. The idea that cannabis makes you lazy is just false. Let’s be honest - it’s way better than alcohol. We now know that alcohol, even in small doses is essentially poison. I mean, have you ever heard someone say, I ate an edible then beat my wife and kids?


Question: Tell us more about running... feel like there is another good story there.Answer: I didn't do any fitness until 6/7 years ago. The Smile was getting a lot of press and I was like - "shit, I am fat". A friend had given me a pair of Nikes that connected to my phone - so, I put them on and went for a run. I ran 3 miles, 6 miles, and then a buddy asked me if I wanted to run a marathon and I stupidly said yes - twice. I ran NY and Philly. I just wanted to break 5 hours. I like running because everyone can do it. You don't need equipment or money. I remember the starting line of NY - I looked around at all those different people and it was amazing... This one guy, an old Puerto Rican man, music blaring, covered in stuffed animals - I thought to myself, see ya old guy. Then mile 20, I hear the merengue - and I am going so slow and he blows right past me. Running is crazy. The next day - at a post-marathon party, I chatted with a guy - he was skinny and tall and definitely had a six pack and when we chatted times, it turns out I did better than him. I was so excited that I actually did better than someone who looks super fit. Not to be a dick about it.

Running/exercise then changed from pure vanity to - a requirement. I remember when I first started dating my wife Anna - and she said, "you eat really unhealthy". It didn't matter than I was running - I was having steak for snack. I would tell the guys in the back - "Fire up a steak!" Anna said I want you to get a check up. I was like - Why? And she said, I want to be with you for a long time... and then it sunk in. Health and wellness wasn't just for me anymore. I don't want to be like my mom - she was not in the best shape. And I am an older dad - I am hoping when June is a teen she wants to hang with me and I want to be able to hang.
I also notice my state of mind is better when I work out - of course. When I am in NY, I run 5 days a week and do jiu jitsu down the block a couple days a week. It is crazy how important it has become to me. Every aspect of my life is better when I'm working out.

Question: So, do you ever think of cannabis as part of your wellness?
Answer: Yes - I need to give my mind a break. I drink coffee all day - I am wired. And weed helps me take a break.
I also really like to use weed before I interact with people. Like I guess how some people need a drink to come out of their shell. I consult with 2 brands, and I was talking to one of the owners, and he asked, "How often do you eat edibles?" and I said, "once or twice a week plus before meetings". And he was like - "What???? You are stoned in meetings. Which ones?" I tell him which of course and his response is "Holy shit - you were good in that meeting!" One kiva chocolate covered blueberry. I know when it will hit me, that night I sleep like a baby, and there is no hangover.
One time, Alex Williams from the NYTimes was writing an article on Shinola and all the management was together for a day of meetings. At what I thought was the end of the day, I ate an edible. Then, he asked for a quote. I told him my edible is super kicked in but we went for it anyway :) And he ended up closing out the article with my quote where I compared Shinola to the Home Team everyone should root for.

Question: Ok, last question. 3 favorite Poplar CBD products?
Answer: Anything for sleep or pain!!!!
I guess I’m showing my age?!?! 43.