Golden Era owner Steve Giardina, 67, died Friday after a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer.
In honor of his life, characterized by his commitment to his community and its collective health, Nevada County’s Center for the Arts premiered a documentary Sunday on Steve’s search for alternative cancer treatments.
One of Steve’s big goals was opening Golden Era in November 2015, according to widow Cindy Giardina. She said her husband operated the business with three priorities in mind — hospitality, ambiance and product.
Submitted to The Union
Ricky Beaty, longtime customer and friend of Steve Giardina, said he co-produced the documentary “Hill Witches of Nevada County” alongside Steve to dispel “reefer madness” stereotypes and explore how the medical benefits of cannabis improved the quality of life for an unlikely patient.
Beaty said Giardina was resistant to alternative treatment options recommended by friends and locals until his first round of chemotherapy.
“At the lounge after 10 p.m., more than half the clientele are growers and cultivators in the cannabis industry,” Beaty said. “They would come in and say you need to take Turkey Tail (a mushroom) or Rick Simpson oil.”
Beaty said Giardina self-identified as “a Western medicine guy” who stuck with what the doctors told him to do “until that just about killed him.”
“He was against cannabis, but after his first chemo treatment he thought ’What do I have to lose?’” Beaty said. “He started taking cannabis and his quality of life was so much better, but he had to argue with doctors about whether or not he should do it.”
Giardina’s daughter, Jessica, and wife, Cindy, said they believe Steve not only managed his cancer’s serious side effects with the help of cannabis, but that it