Tarostrology Gemini Season

By Anna Ervin

May 21, 2022 – June 21, 2022

Though I write this editorial nearly a month before it’s published, I can already see how the cards for Gemini season deliver unlimited possibilities. Many of the signs drew messages that resonate with their individual characteristics. For example, I pulled the King of Wands for my own sun sign (Aries), which puts me right in my element and reminds me of my leadership abilities. Pisces drew the Hermit, a card that many (like myself) might find intimidating while sweet Pisces placements often enjoy their alone time.

Lately, I’ve found that the card of my rising sign seems to resonate with me the most If you know your rising sign, or ascendant, I recommend reading that first. Use the following guidelines along with your natal chart to give the cards a deeper meaning (for example, the card that falls under your moon sign will apply to your subconscious and emotion).

Sun: identity
Moon: emotions
Ascendant: personality
Venus: love

Gemini – Page of Wands
Curiosity, exploration

Happy Birthday sweet Gemini! You might find that this season delivers a bit of a playful, explorative tone as the page of wands indicates taking a child-like approach toward creative ideas and projects. Consider allowing yourself to quiet that ever-so-active mind of yours and allow your intuition to take the lead. Get curious about the way you allow energy to flow in your life. Children are unattached to ideals and outcomes, allowing them to explore and create beyond the limitations that many of us, as adults, place on ourselves. Are there any areas of your life where you could afford to relinquish some control and open up to new possibilities?

Adopting an open mind and exploring new ideas allows me to have fun with the natural flow of energy in my life.

Cancer – Five of Pentacles
Lack of resources, victim-mentality

Nothing tells me that Cancer is going through it right now better than the five of pentacles. This month could deliver a series of hardships, leading you to feel alone in your struggles. I’d like to invite you to consider this: are you feeling helpless because others refuse to help, or could it be that you refuse to receive help? Sometimes it feels like you’re drowning while the whole world keeps swimming around you. It’s not that your friends and family don’t care about you, they might not even realize the weight of the burdens you carry. It’s important to learn how to communicate your needs with the world around you, and to open yourself up to receiving.

I am safe and supported. My needs are met when I communicate clearly with the universe.

Leo – Eight of Swords
Feeling stuck, mental blocks

Leo, the card I drew for you this month should feel familiar because I pulled it just two moon cycles prior. The eight of swords once again invites you to examine the limitations and boundaries that you allow to tie you down. It’s time to unbind yourself from those burdens and open your eyes to the reality of your situation– the only person holding you back is you. What kind of limiting beliefs have you allowed to occupy your headspace? Do the people and energies in your life support your best interest or limit your mobility? It’s not always easy to face the truth, but you and I both know you can’t stay stuck here forever.

I am dissolving the limitations of my own mind. My thoughts support a healthy flow of energy.

Virgo – The Devil
Unhealthy attachments

Fear not, sweet Virgo, for the devil card is not nearly as scary as it looks. This month invites you to consider the attachments in your life that are holding you back or keeping you chained to lower vibrational frequencies. It’s time to take a closer look at the relationship you have with the people in your life, technology, and your own vessel. Unhealthy attachments can come in the form of addiction, toxic relationships, and self-harm. What is it time to let go of?

I lovingly release that which no longer serves me, which never served me to begin with.

Libra – Three of Swords
Heartbreak, loss

Libra, it’s likely that you’re already aware of the heartache that the three of swords implies. Sometimes our lives move in a different direction than that of those we care for. Trust that the absence of others, or the end of a relationship, no matter how painful, will likely help you grow into the version of yourself you long to be. Everything is in alignment with your plans, Libra, but sometimes that means having to walk away from people and situations that are not.

I gravitate towards healthy love. The relationships in my life are in alignment with the highest version of me.

Scorpio – Strength
Emotional strength

The focus for Scorpio placements this month is strength, but I’m not talking about the kind you build at the gym. This type of strength will require you to better understand the inner workings of your heart, and learn how to transmute your deepest emotions into lessons in healing and growth. What can you learn from the things that bring you sadness, and alternatively, the things that bring you joy? When you feel angry, what is your heart trying to communicate with you?

My sensitivity gives me strength, and my vulnerability makes me resilient. My open heart is a blessing.

Sagittarius – The Sun
Childlike bliss, euphoric

I can’t think of a more perfect card for my sweet Sagittarius friends than the sun itself. This joyous card predicts forecasts of sunshine and blissful days. Gemini season will likely invite Sagittarius placements to tap into their inner child and look at life as one big adventure— something that should come easily for most of you. Let yourself bask in the light, fulfill your sense of wander, and find space to hold gratitude for each of the tiny blessings you find along the way.

When I send love and joy into the universe, love is returned to me, joy surrounds me.

Capricorrn – The Star
Inspiration, hope

Capricorn, if you have recently found yourself in the midst of turmoil, the star indicates a renewed sense of hope and faith in the universe’s plan for you. The struggles you have faced have taught you important lessons about the role you play in this world, and the values you hold dearest to you. It’s time to open yourself up to a fresh perspective and new sources of inspiration. Allow this hopeful energy to carry you to new heights in the pursuit of your dreams.

I am in alignment with the universe’s plan for me. I find hope in both darkness and light.

Aquarius – The Moon
Illusion, subconscious energy

Sweet Aquarius, this month, the moon’s dreamy message indicates that you may be experiencing subconscious breakthroughs, or a persistent “gut feeling” lately. Allow those intuitive thoughts and messages to flow. The universe is trying to help you to notice energies that require a deeper awareness to perceive. Keep a dream journal, pay attention to synchronicities, and trust the natural flow of your subconscious thoughts.

My subconscious allows me to witness the natural patterns and synchronicities that surround me.

Pisces – The Hermit
Alone-time, personal growth

The hermit implies comfort in solitude for Pisces placements this month, which should make this dreamy sign feel right in their element. Pisces may enjoy the company of others, but typically have no issues being on their own. Right now, you are being challenged to use that alone time for personal growth and development. Cancel your plans, turn your phone on DND, and dive whole-heartedly into the things that inspire you to learn.

When I sit comfortably in my own silence I learn valuable lessons about myself and the world around me.

Aries – King of Wands
Entrepreneur, visionary

Aries, this Gemini season should invite confidence in your leadership skills and success in your entrepreneurial efforts. Fiery Aries placements are often known for being visionaries, and the king of wands emphasizes following through with these goals. Move with intention, stay focused, and believe that you have the power to achieve great things.

I lead my life with intention and meaning, because I know I have the power to manifest great success.

Taurus – Six of Wands
Celebration, victory

Lovely Taurus placements should be gloating with pride as the six of wands invites a season of celebration and accomplishment. It appears as though whatever you have poured your efforts into lately has met some milestone of achievement. You might find yourself surrounded by people cheering you on, and it’s important to allow this sense of pride and victory to remind you of all that you are capable of.

I humbly applaud myself for each milestone of success and reward my efforts with celebration.

Medicated Stir-Fry

By Anna Ervin

serves: 4-5 I dosage: 15-20mg per serving


Infused Sauce
• ½ C coconut aminos
• 2 Tbsp maple syrup
• 1 Tbsp infused olive oil (1 used 50mg)
• 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
• 1 tsp rice vinegar


• 1 C quinoa or rice (cooked)
• 1 sweet potato (diced)
• 1 C pineapple (cubed)
• 1 C shiitake mushrooms
• 1-2 stalks fresh swiss chard
• 1 Tbsp garlic (minced)
• ½ C cashews (roughly chopped)
• ½-1 tsp vindaloo curry seasoning
• salt o. pepper to taste
• fresh dill for garnish


Cook quinoa or rice per package instructions, set aside. Whisk sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

Heat 1-2 tbsp water in a large pan over low-medium heat. Add sweet potatoes and cover, allowing to simmer for 5-10 minutes, until soft enough to stab with a fork. Drain remaining water from the pan and add pineapple, mushrooms, and half of the sauce. Cook over medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add cooked rice or quinoa, swiss chard, garlic, cashews, and seasonings
(excluding dill for now). Continue to stir and cook over medium heat for another 2-3 minutes, until swiss chard begins to wilt. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Drizzle the remaining sauce over each dish and garnish with fresh dill to serve.

The Budtender Diaries – Building Trust


by Anna Ervin 

I think that “I don’t know” might be some of the most unappealing words you could hear come out of a budtender’s mouth. Sure, we all have to use them at times, and hopefully we follow up with a quick “but let me find out for you,” before proceeding to dig for more details… but what happens when those details aren’t readily available to us? Or we’re fed misinformation about the products we’re being asked to sell? I’m convinced that there is no greater shame than being unable to answer a question a patient has asked about the medicine they choose.  

I’ve always been naturally self-competitive, so this kind of setback has been a difficult pill for me to swallow. There have been occasions that made me want to melt into a puddle of embarrassment on the dispensary floor after a patient left without making a purchase. This has little to do with monetary loss for me. Sure, I would want the dispensary I work for to succeed, but at the end of the day the thing that gets me is knowing that I failed to make the process of shopping for medicine easy and transparent for my patients. Looking back at a time when I was just a patient, I can remember feeling pretty discouraged when the people selling me medicine weren’t able to answer my questions about where it came from, or how it was cultivated or processed. I’m now positive that they felt the same.  

I think I speak for most budtenders when I say that we want our customers to leave happy, empowered, and informed. At the end of the day, we need our patients to trust us, and the source of that trust traces back to both our own responsibility to stay informed, and our relationships with the brands that stock our shelves.  

Now, I’m not here to whine about the issues I see without proposing at least a few ideas for solutions. I don’t have the type of brain that allows me to recognize a problem without coming up with a million ways to solve it. At the same time, these are just ideas. The goal is simply to offer a new perspective. Hopefully, this is only the beginning of the conversation. So where do we start? 

Last month the focus was how cultivators and processors could better provide the resources and tools budtenders need in order to create a solid bond with dispensaries. This month, I’m turning the tables, but that doesn’t mean that both sides of the industry won’t find a little insight here.  

I’ve said this before, and I will continue to reiterate for the rest of my career, but it is a budtender’s responsibility to continuously educate themselves about industry standards, as well as the science that goes into cultivation and extraction. I know this is a daunting task for some (like me). So instead of droning on about topics I don’t fully understand (yet), today I’m offering a list of tools budtenders and dispesaries can equip themselves with in order to build a foundation of trust and transparency, furthermore empower their patients to make educated choices when shopping for medicine.  


Easily Accessible Lab Results 

I know this seems obvious, but hear me out. I have worked in one dispensary, so I can’t speak on how many of the others operate. However, I will say this, it is gut-wrenching how grateful my patients were that I actually had test results on a shelf behind me for literally any of the products they asked for. This shouldn’t be something patients are surprised to see, it should be something they are used to. Having lab results that are easily accessible not only provides valuable information for patients that understand those results, but it gives budtenders a tool to help them sell products they may not know as much about. 


Understanding Cannabinoids and Terpenes 

Buy a poster for reference, make flash cards, do whatever you need to do, but learn your cannabinoids and terpenes. Though research is sparse, and we’re only just beginning to understand the effects these components contribute, this is hands down one of the most useful tools you could utilize to help you recommend products to patients. The most important thing to remember is that the research that’s currently available is just a starting point. Cannabis affects everyone differently, so while you might begin by explaining that terpinolene can provide energy and focus for some, you would also benefit from explaining that it can invoke anxiety or even sedation in others. This level of transparency with your patients not only empowers them with useful knowledge about cannabis, but it inspires them to pay closer attention to how different components of the plant benefit their experience or overall health.  


Knowing the Right Questions  

Rather than getting caught off guard on the sales floor, equip yourself with the knowledge your customers may seek before the products you sell even hit the shelves. What were the cultivation methods used? Processing methods? Are the extracts full-spectrum, distillate, or some form of isolate? Were solvents used in extraction? Are the products single-sourced or did they come from a collective of licensed cannabis businesses? The list could go on. These may be a bit on the extreme end, but there’s nothing worse than being surprised by a question that indicates your customer knows what they’re talking about. Talk to your cultivators and processors. Even if you’re not entirely sure what you’re asking yet, keep asking. I promise most of the people investing their time and livelihoods into cannabis are eager to share their expertise with you– and if they’re not, you should definitely ask more questions. 


Building trust with our patients begins by building a foundation of trust in our cultivators, processors, employers, and ourselves. Put yourself in a patient’s shoes (this shouldn’t be difficult for most of us). Wouldn’t you want to purchase products from someone who takes the time to educate themselves and research what they’re selling? What are your thoughts? Let me know! 



The Budtender Diaries 

A monthly column which aims to shed light on important topics within the cannabis industry, and invoke positive change by inspiring empathy, awareness, and independent thinking. If you are a member of this community, you have the potential to help create an industry that benefits both patients and the makers of their medicine. If you have questions, stories, or topics you’d like to add to the conversation, please submit them to anna@herbagemag.com 

Empower through Education, by Anna Ervin

Tarostrology: Taurus Season

April 20, 2022 – May 21, 2022

by Anna Ervin

When I think of Taurus season, I picture myself visiting a local lake as a kid and absolutely covering myself in Oklahoma’s cool, red mud. This is one of my favorite times of the year, and not just because opening day falls on my favorite cannabis holiday. April 20th will also mark the part of the year when nothing but forecasts of sunny days and warm weather activities lie ahead (at least in our little corner of the globe). As the atmosphere heats up, I can’t think of a better time to tap into Taurean’s warm, earthy energy and go play outside. 

Lately, I’ve found that the card of my rising sign seems to resonate with me the most If you know your rising sign, or ascendant, I recommend reading that first. As for your other major placements, here’s a quick refresher on how to give yourself a deeper reading. Use the following guide to give yourself a deeper reading (for example, the card that falls under your moon sign will apply to your subconscious and emotion).

Sun: identity

Moon: emotions

Ascendant: personality

Venus: love

Taurus – Two of Wands

Planning, energetic expansion

What are your summer plans, Taurus? While many of us are gearing up for busy summer schedules, or perhaps a lazy summer break, the two of wands indicates that you are making plans for major growth. Though still in the beginning phases of this energetic expansion, now is the time to dream big, and start thinking about your short and long-term goals. Where do you see yourself in 1 month? 6 months? 5 years? Expand the horizons of your imagination and reach for the sky. You have the whole world at your fingertips, and nothing is unattainable.

Affirmation: I am open to expansion. I put forethought and intention toward the direction of my goals. 


Gemini – Five of Swords

Mind games, intimidation, manipulation

Sweet Gemini, this month you may find yourself wrapped up in conflict. Who’s right or wrong is not for me to determine, but there’s certainly something darker going on beneath the surface here. As swords represent the mind, and fives often point to change or conflict, there could be some form of mental manipulation or psychological warfare going on between you and your opposing parties. Be careful of the effects your actions carry when in pursuit of a “win.” Sometimes it’s better to take the loss than to walk away with a stolen prize. 

Affirmation: I allow myself to flow with change and face challenges without force. I love myself enough to walk away from a situation that is not safe or healthy. 



Cancer – The Hermit

Solitude, enlightenment

Cancer, The Hermit indicates that you have entered a season of personal growth. You may find yourself feeling compelled to make time for solitude and self-reflection, for the sake of enlightenment. Step outside of your daily hustle and bustle, experiment with silence and see what you can find when you allow yourself to explore all of this newfound space. Consider this, maybe loneliness isn’t that lonely until you acknowledge that you’re alone. You’re never truly alone, Cancer. Get to know the soul that lives inside of your human vessel. 

Affirmation: I am comfortable in my own presence. I learn magnificent things about myself when I just spend time with me. 



Leo – The Tower

Structures collapsing, catastrophe

Fear not, Leo, for when this hellacious card appears it’s likely that you already know the reason for its presence. If anything, it should come as a sigh of relief that you’re finally able to understand where that feeling in your gut is coming from. The tower reminds you that whatever collapses in your life during this time was built upon a shaky foundation. As difficult as it may be to hear, this tumultuous occasion is of your own doing, and the only thing you can do now is wait until the dust settles. Don’t resist, just observe. What can you learn from these setbacks?

Affirmation: I am resilient, yet humble. I understand where room for improvement lies, and I allow myself to grow from my experiences. 


Virgo – Seven of Pentacles

Pause, reflect

Virgo, the seven of pentacles indicates that during this time you may feel obliged to take a step back and re-evaluate your work, or the path your career leads. Find a good stopping point and take a moment to both admire and critique your progress thus far. Are you where you hoped you would be? Is it time to start brewing up something new? Only you can answer these questions, but the point here is that you need not be hard on yourself if you need to take a breather from your daily grind, a task that may not come easily to some of my Virgo friends.

Affirmation: I honor where I am at on my journey today. Even small progress is still progress. 


Libra – Knight of Cups

Emotional awareness

Dear Libra, not only are your emotions finally beginning to take reign over your logical and intellectual heart, but you may even find yourself adopting a sense of pride and protectiveness over their fluidity. You’re likely making slow, deliberate advances in the direction of emotional discovery and awareness. This comes as no surprise as this logical approach to something so fluid is typical of Libra. Continue to nurture and protect the matters of your heart, sweet friends. 

Affirmation: I am open to exploring my emotional truth. I am ready to discover the language of my own heart. 


Scorpio – The High Priestess

Esoteric wisdom, reaching new heights in spiritual awareness

Scorpio, if I recall correctly, the card I drew for you last month was the hermit (check out Cancer’s reading this month for a refresher). Was your time invested in self-reflection and enlightenment beneficial? The high priestess suggests that you have indeed reached new heights in spiritual awareness and esoteric wisdom. If you have no idea what these words mean, just know this card is probably an indicator of your sudden interest in divination, ie. Tarostrology. 

Affirmation: Pure light surrounds me as I enter a new realm of spiritual awareness and divine guidance. 


Sagittarius – Knight of Wands

Taking action, running with ideas

Sweet, brave Sagittarius, this season brings the determination and drive to turn thoughts and ideas into action. If you’ve been sitting on your plans and ideals for some time, the knight of wands is encouraging you to utilize this newfound sense of motivation and initiative to charge forward in the direction of your goals. On the other hand, if you are someone that tends to be rather trigger happy and reckless with your ideas, try to slow down and regain your sense of direction. 

Affirmation: I charge forward with passion and deliberate action in the direction of my dreams. 


Capricorn – Eight of Wands

Quick action, fast progression

The eight of wands indicates that my Capricorn friends may feel as though their lives have picked up the pace a bit this month. Things in your life might be progressing quicker than expected during this time. Whether these progressions are positive or unpleasant is not up to me to decide. Either way, energy and ideas flowing at this momentum might feel a bit overwhelming for a sweet earth sign like you. Just remember, nothing is entirely out of your control. How you respond to these trials will determine their impact on your life. 

Affirmation: I am grounded and safe. Even when it feels like life is moving too fast, I trust that Divine light will protect me. 



Aquarius – 6 of Wands

Celebration, parading accomplishments 

What are we celebrating, Aquarius? The six of wands indicates a season of celebration and reward for your recent accomplishments. Those who know you best have witnessed your efforts and applaud your great success, and you finally get to enjoy your lap of victory. This feeling of pride is not for nothing, sweet Aquarius. Remember to give yourself a pat on the back and enjoy this moment. 

Affirmation: I applaud my victories and strengths with humility and grace. My accomplishments have shown me just how much I’m capable of.



Pisces – Five of Wands

Conflict in energy and ideas

Dreamy Pisces, this month you might find that something is disrupting the flow of energy in your life. Is someone challenging your ideas? This could look like unsolicited opinions from those around you, opposition in the pursuit of your goals, or a sudden disruption of energy created by someone who just doesn’t understand you. Communication is muddled and you may find it difficult to understand those who disagree with you right now. Stand your ground and hold true to your beliefs.

Affirmation: I have the strength and courage to speak up about matters that are important to me. My voice is powerful.


Aries – The Moon

Illusion, dreamstate

What is your subconscious trying to tell you, Aries? The moon indicates you may be experiencing vivid dreams, or a persistent “gut feeling” lately. Now is the time to try to allow those intuitive thoughts and messages to break through. The universe is trying to make you aware of something that could catch you off guard. Keep a dream journal, pay attention to synchronicities, and trust the natural flow of your subconscious thoughts. 

Affirmation: I am open to receiving signs and messages from the Universe. My subconscious allows me to witness the natural patterns and synchronicities that surround me. 



Read more by @cannabanana__


The Budtender Diaries- An Introduction, by Anna Ervin
Tarostrology | Pisces Season

Lessons 27 taught me

by Anna Ervin
Photography by Ginny Dorsey | The Herb Chronicles

I cry every year on my birthday. I know this might sound a little dramatic, but as far back as my
17th birthday, I can’t remember a single year that tears were not shed on this supposedly
celebratory day. And while I rarely find myself in mourning or despair all day long, I can’t help
but take a moment to just feel the weight of another year of my life passing by.

Until recently, I didn’t really understand why I felt this way. I thought it was just fear, but through
further investigation, I’ve found that the heaviness which claims me has much more to do with
feelings of love, gratitude, and deep compassion for the experiences I’m granted in life.
It all just feels a bit overwhelming at times.

Twenty-eight should be no different, as throughout the last year I have witnessed myself grow
and evolve in ways I never imagined I would be capable of. Some of the memories from this
past year are painful to look at, but those moments also brought the most empowerment and
light into my life, so I will honor them nonetheless. On the other hand, many of my memories
have carried frequencies of love and joy into my existence and still do, even today. They will be
the hardest for me to let go of. It’s difficult for me to even think about it now.

In a way, though, it’s sort of like spring cleaning. I have to allow myself to let go of the moments that no longer serve me, no matter how magical or powerful they felt. It’s all part of my process, spending the day fearfully yet courageously cutting ties with the person I’ve spent the last 12 months nurturing, in order to step into a greater version of Her. A version that’s a little closer to understanding her destiny. To do that, however, I must first honor the lessons I have gained over the last year.

If you know me, or if you’ve read any of my past work, you’ll find that I’m pretty adamant about writing sh*t down. Much of the enlightenment I have found throughout my twenties has come
from reviewing old journals and musings of earlier years. It’s something I believe passionately
in, turning my own voice into something tangible, something nearly permanent. So whether
you’re still reading this or have skipped to the end, I have chosen to share those words here
today. Not because I feel they might resonate with you (though I hope some of them do), but
because I will continue to return to and reflect on them for years to come. Despite the emotional
responses they may have invoked at one time, these are the memories that I will allow myself to
carry into the rest of my adult life, and I hope to embody the truths they have revealed for years
to come.

Lessons 27 Taught Me

1.) Pour yourself wholeheartedly into the things that you love. The last thing you want to do
is look back on each day and wonder what would have happened had you given more of
your time and energy to the matters you hold closest to your heart. I’m not just talking
about the people around you, but the work you take on, the hobbies you entertain, and
the mundane tasks that help you curate the life you want for yourself. Give those areas
of your life as much passion as you would your family or a romantic partner… This
brings me to my next lesson in strength and love– self-love.

2.) It’s not only unselfish to take care of yourself first, it’s actually quite necessary if you
want to bring positive change into the world around you. I don’t feel the need to reiterate
that you can’t pour from an empty cup… we’ve all heard it, and that’s not the point I’m
trying to make. The point of putting yourself first is not to be able to readily give back to
the people in your life, but to give yourself the space you need to take on the passions I
mentioned before. I believe that most of us will make the greatest impact by simply doing
the things that make us happy. For example, I never would have imagined that spending
hours turning words into stories would open the hearts of so many, or that sharing my
favorite hobbies would inspire exploration and curiosity within my audience (check out
my piece on Tarostrology).

3.) A bad decision is just a decision that carries undesirable consequences. You’re not a
bad person for making a mistake, and it’s time to stop beating yourself up for being
human. Nobody is perfect, and our missteps in life challenge us to grow and become
better far more than our successes might. Brush yourself off and make your amends,
and know that life is never going to “just be easy.” At times, you may feel like you’re
invincible while at others, you find yourself humbled. I think the trick to this is teaching
yourself to find gratitude in both the good and the bad.

4.) Nobody is ever going to love you the way you have the potential to love you. You have
all the tools you need to give yourself empathy, compassion, and tenderness. It’s okay to
be alone sometimes, utilize that space to learn empowering things about yourself and
respond to your deepest emotional needs. Write yourself love letters, set the mood in
your home, take yourself all the places you’ve ever wanted to go with someone else.
You might be surprised to find that sometimes the best company is your own.

5.) Let those who speak over you wonder what they might have learned had they chosen to
listen. Stay true to yourself, banana. You have come so far in the last year, and you will
continue to blossom into the person you are destined to be, so long as you choose to
stay committed to your truth. Your intuition and logic have brought you this far, please
don’t start doubting them now.

I love you.

The Budtender Diaries- Empower Through Education



by Anna Ervin

“Hi there! I just read your article in the newest edition of Herbage and it really made a lot of sense! We were wondering if you might have some insight for us as a producer/cultivator on how to better reach and connect with budtenders. We have had some ideas like giving out swag, but does something like that really work? Or it is more of a personal connection that will seal the interest. Thanks a bunch, also congrats on the new column, really love your work!” 


Hello friends! Thank you for the feedback, I am so grateful to hear that my words were received well. I am also thankful you brought up such a great question. The relationship between cannabis brands and budtenders is a topic I’ve been eager to explore. I’ve seen many different sides of the industry, from production to sales, and finally, retail. I understand the dedication and time that it takes to cultivate medicinal cannabis, both the tenacity and psychology that go into sales and marketing, as well as the social awareness and constant industry research that fuel successful retail storefronts. 

Retail is where I’ve found myself most comfortable recently, so I don’t pretend to understand the exact sciences that go into the process of cultivating or processing cannabis products. At the same time, I wouldn’t expect the average cultivator to fully comprehend the processes of marketing or moving products off the shelf. Each field requires its own set of skills and confronts a unique combination of challenges. That’s why I wanted to start this series; to bridge the gap and invite empowering and educational conversations to take up space in the industry. 

From a budtender’s perspective, I see three essential tools that every vendor and cannabis broker can utilitze to help dispensaries move their products off the shelves… Because that’s the ultimate goal, right? The faster your products move, the sooner you’ll receive another order from inventory. I know that seems obvious, but you’d be surprised by the number of brands I hear about that reportedly believe delivering their products is the final step in solidifying a spot on the sales floor. The problem is, this method isn’t sustainable. Sooner or later, orders stop flowing in because products that lack the necessary marketing tools and information sit stagnant on dispensary shelves. 

So what are those tools, and how can they benefit vendors?


Budtenders Are Patients Too

First and foremost, it’s important to remember that the majority of people that make up the cannabis industry are also patients. If they aren’t, they probably have someone close to them who relies on cannabis for some sort of relief. In my opinion, this basic understanding is the key to empathizing with anyone you work with regarding cannabis. 

Get to know the people selling your medicine. I carry a lot more confidence in the products I  have been able to try firsthand. Samples are a great way to get into the dispensary, but once you are on the shelves, challenge yourself to actually sell those products to the budtenders first. If you can convince us to buy, you’re also empowering us to understand how to recommend that medicine to patients. 


Empower through Education

Nobody wants to be bad at their job. A budtender’s responsibility is to understand the products they are selling, and for the most part, that entails a lot of industry and market research. When I am selling products that boast words like “organic” or “full-spectrum” but neglect to elaborate on what exactly those processes look like, I am forced to rely on a broader definition of those terms. Anyone reading this with an inkling of knowledge about cultivation or extraction likely knows that organic and full-spectrum can both look like a lot of different things. 

I’m not implying that budtenders shouldn’t also actively seek out this knowledge, and the appropriate questions that we should ask vendors about their products is a topic I would love to explore further later on. The point I’m trying to drive home is that information and education go a long way on the sales floor. Give your partners in retail a reason to talk about your brand. 


Visual Representation

So what is the best way to get all of this information across to the sales floor? You could walk into the store and simply vocalize it, but if you’ve ever played a game of telephone as a kid you probably understand how spoken words often get lost in translation. Budtenders are often tasked with the daunting (but not impossible) task of remembering valuable information about each item they retail. In some cases, this can mean dozens of different brands or hundreds of unique products. 

I often find myself looking for visual cues that help me relay information to the customer. So, when vendors bring in infographics, product flyers, and merchandise, I’m much more likely to spend a little more time talking about their brand. When I’m trying to move items that don’t boast as much information, I will typically look online for more resources, and I’ve been disappointed at times to find that some really great brands provide very little marketing material on their website or social media. 

Visual representation is everything. Sure, swag and merchandise fall into that category, customers are more likely to ask about a brand if I’m wearing their t-shirt to work once a week, but I feel like the priority should once again lean toward the spread of information and education. 

When you go the extra mile to understand your market (budtenders making up a good chunk of that), and provide valuable tools to educate and empower the sales floor, you are ensuring dispensary staff that this is a team effort, and that you understand your responsibility to help move the product beyond the point of delivery. I hope these thoughts have been helpful and have answered your question! As always, these are just my opinions, and I certainly don’t speak for budtenders, or the industry, as a whole. If you have any questions, stories, or comments about the Budtender Diries, please submit those to anna@herbagemag.com


Tarostrology | Aries Season

March 21 – April 19, 2022

by Anna Ervin

Welcome to my favorite season of the year, Aries season. Every March, whether the sun comes out or not, I crawl out of my winter slumber and come alive once again. The cards I pulled for my own placements this cycle seemed to carry an overall theme of stepping into my own power, taking time away from society’s hustle and bustle to focus on inner strength and growth, and continuing that theme, stop caring so much about what other people think. Easier said than done, right?

Remember that you can use your big four, or even the entire birth chart to give yourself a more in-depth reading. For a quick four-card spread, read your cards using the following placements:


Sun: Ego, the core of your being

Moon: Emotions

Ascendant: Mask, surface value

Venus: Love, intimate relationships


Aries – King of Swords

Mental clarity, intellectual power, authoritative thought patterns. Firm and traditional ways of thinking. 

Which comes first, the thought or the action? For most of the human race, the answer to this question is quite simple, but for Aries (myself included), it’s almost reminiscent of the old chicken-egg riddle. The king of swords, however, invites us to slow down and give a little more consideration to our thoughts. Perhaps they do come first, we’re just too hasty in our reactions to even notice them. Perhaps… they have a little more power than we realize. What can you learn this season from the role your thoughts play in dictating your actions? Could you afford to discipline the workings of your mind? Try taking control of your reality by shifting the narrative you feed yourself to one that boasts authority and power. “I am the protector of my thoughts, my goals, and dreams.” “I am in charge of the thoughts I allow to flow, the actions I allow to manifest, the reality I create.”



Taurus – Five of Wands

Conflict in energy and ideas, confusion, lack of understanding.

Something in your life isn’t quite flowing, Taurus, and it’s likely it involves the ideals of the people that surround you. This card is a clear indicator that the people and situations in your life are challenging your ideas. This could look like unsolicited opinions from those around you, opposition in the pursuit of your goals, or a sudden disruption of energy created by someone who just doesn’t understand you. It’s possible that those around you are not able to clearly communicate their feelings at this time, creating a lot of confusion around the conflict. Now, more than ever, stay true to your beliefs. If something in your life is working for you, it shouldn’t matter what anyone else thinks. 



Gemini – King of Wands

Leadership, strong vision, authoritative energy.

Dear Gemini, this is your season to get sh*t done. If you’ve been waiting for a sign to finally tackle that project, take off in your career, or fully embody your own entrepreneurial spirit, this is it. The king of wands is a clear indicator that you have tapped into your inner boss, and you may find that your leadership skills have been fine-tuned for the endeavors that lie ahead. The people in your life might look to you at this time for direction, and the universe is inviting you to share your unique vision with them. Right now, you have the determination and foundation to not only follow through but to create opportunities for those around you. 



Cancer – Ace of Swords

Blessings in the form of intellect, a new perspective, mindfulness.

Have you ever heard the quote, “change your thoughts, change your world?” The ace of swords reminds my sweet Cancer friends of the empowerment they can find through mindfulness. New perspectives and thought patterns should flow into your life with ease at this time, inviting you to shift the narrative of your external reality as well. The only challenge here is asking yourself what kind of perspective and thought patterns you’re willing to entertain. What are those patterns trying to teach you? What sort of new information becomes available to you when you’re able to shift your perspective? There is something to be learned from everything right now. Keep your eyes and ears (and mind) open. 



Leo – Queen of Swords

Boundaries, independence, intuition.

The queen of swords’ quiet, cold nature may not feel the most natural for fiery Leos, but I’ve never known a lion to back down from a challenge. This season brings lessons in the responsibility you carry to honor your limitations. While being the warm, inviting, happy-go-lucky character in everyone’s life has always been your pride and joy, you are now being called to take a look at the standards you hold yourself to. If you’ve been feeling taken advantage of, depleted, or overwhelmed, it may be time to reinforce some of the boundaries you hold within your relationships, home life, and career. 



Virgo – Nine of Pentacles

Material abundance, success in home and career through spiritual awareness.

This month is all about enjoying the fruits of your labors, Virgo. We all know you’ve worked hard to earn the abundance that now flows into the areas of your life that earth signs covet the most: home and career. The nine of pentacles can also indicate success correlated to spiritual awareness and growth. If this has been a season of enlightenment for you, that newfound relationship with the Divine could be playing a beneficial role in your material world. 



Libra – Ten of Pentacles

Wealth, inheritance, support through family

The ten of pentacles is always a good indicator for your material well-being. This month should bring financial blessings and abundance into your life, Libra. Sometimes an indicator that these valuable resources could come through your family or community, you can certainly expect to see you, and those in your life, finding a bit more comfort within the home when this card comes up. At the same time, you may feel a responsibility to help those in your life or give back to your community. You worked hard to achieve this success, Libra, and in my opinion, you’ve earned the right to share it however you choose. Never let anyone tell you what to do with that big heart of yours. 



Scorpio – The Hermit

Solitude, stepping away from society, quiet

The hermit is a card that should feel familiar to many Scorpio placements. Stepping outside of society’s norms, taking time off for the sake of self-improvement and growth, and keeping a quiet, reserved attitude when necessary can be your greatest strengths. This month delivers an ideal time for you to step into a season of solitude and self-reflection, in order to improve yourself and your state of life. It’s okay to take some time for yourself, just don’t get too cozy in self-isolation. This is just a season. 



Sagittarius – Six of Pentacles

Community, giving back

Fiery Sagittarius, the cards this month place emphasis on your community work or the energy you give to others. If you’re someone who always looks out for others and plays a major role in giving back to the community, are you ensuring that the scales are balanced? On the other hand, if you’re someone who hasn’t invested much time or resources in others, can you find a cause that piques your interest? Energy (time, resources, money) works best when it finds a healthy flow, so take a step back and ask yourself if any of these areas in your life have become stagnant. 



Capricorn – Four of Swords

Meditation, reflection

Sometimes we get so involved with the thoughts and worries occupying our minds, that we find ourselves overwhelmed and anxious. The four of swords reminds Capricorn placements that a little bit of quiet reflection can go a long way. Take a step back if you’ve been trying to tackle everything at once, and try to take it one step at a time. Practicing intention with your thoughts will help you build strong intellectual foundations that help you process and handle the hurdles life throws your way. 



Aquarius – Four of Cups

Discontent, closed-heart, stubborn

Aquarius, the universe is offering you blessings in your love life and relationships, but you’re refusing to see them for what they are. If you’ve been praying for one specific outcome to happen, try to detach yourself and open your heart to new possibilities. These blessings may not look quite as appealing at first, but they offer important lessons and growth in love, intimacy, and emotional connection nonetheless. Perhaps the love or connection you seek can be found within you, rather than from others.  Of course, it’s okay to expect and strive to achieve more in your relationships, just make sure you are still practicing gratitude for the little things you receive and learn about yourself along the way. 



Pisces – The Chariot

Clear direction, intention, willpower

Sweet Pisces, this month the chariot invites a season of progress and potentially great success. Now, more than usual, your energy is perfectly focused and your vision is clear. Pair this wave of intention and determination with your natural ability to dream big and you’ll be unstoppable. This is a good time to really charge forward with your goals and plans, take action on a new project or life path, and trust your vision. The chariot reminds us that direction, discipline, and follow-through can help you build momentum and set you up for success. 




Read more by @cannabanana__


The Budtender Diaries- An Introduction, by Anna Ervin
Tarostrology | Pisces Season



by Anna Ervin

Vetmaps, an initiative established by James Ladabouche of Midwest City, is an organization seeking to bring veterans and dispensaries together by working to ensure that Oklahoma veterans have access to a medical marijuana card. Once Vetmaps is launched, the platform will list dispensaries that are veteran-friendly, including discounts and incentives on their menu; as well as educate vets on the benefits of cannabis as an alternative to other highly addictive medications.

James, a veteran himself, feels strongly about this mission because of his own journey with cannabis. Opioids prescribed for an injury in 2009 forced James down a deadly, self-deprecating path. He was taking pharmaceuticals just to feel “normal”, but the dependency became too overbearing. After watching his wife, children, and friends walk out of his life, James
felt that he no longer had anything worth feeling normal for.

It wasn’t until after he tried to commit suicide that someone introduced cannabis into his life.
Cannabis didn’t just help James overcome his opioid addiction, it tackled the root of the issue by helping combat his anxiety, depression, neuropathy, and PTSD. Through his journey, James was able to trade in a slew of pharmaceutical prescriptions for one mi-
raculous plant. He has made it his to share his journey with other vets who may be struggling with addiction or opioid dependency. James hopes to help veterans to understand that there is an alternative.

You can help James and Vetmaps achieve their mission by making a donation to sponsor a veteran. The average cost of an Oklahoma Medical Marijuana license is $125, or $45 for those with Medicare or Soonercare. Your donations will help provide medical cards to veterans free of charge, host special events, and manage Vetmaps’ digital platforms for


The Budtender Diaries– An Introduction

The Budtender Diaries– An Introduction

by Anna Ervin

It wasn’t until I gained firsthand experience in a dispensary that I realized the weight of the responsibility that the role of a budtender carries. I hear about a lot of people diving into the entry-level position because they see it as the easiest way to get out of their stressful 9-5 situation and into an industry they think they’ll love. However, what I don’t often see are most of those people maintaining a job in the cannabis industry with that kind of mindset. 

Budtenders are the bridge that gaps patients and cultivators, the gatekeepers of a purchasing manager’s attention, and the final set of eyes to fall on the medicine that gets distributed to our friends, family, and neighbors. Tending buds is not for the faint of heart. It requires a certain amount of responsibility, initiative, and passion to fill these shoes, and if you can’t keep up with industry news and standards you’ll quickly find that this field can bring just as much discomfort as whatever position you previously held.

The vast majority of patients who shop for cannabis look to their tenders for advice on product selection, dosage, and consumption methods. In a lot of cases, if you aren’t equipped with the right knowledge (or willingness to learn alongside your patients), those customers will chew you up and spit you out. Put yourself in their shoes. While most of us find ourselves actively engaged in this industry daily, the average consumer isn’t likely to have quite as much access to the wealth of information or networks that we do. When a patient asks about a product, it’s a budtender’s responsibility to be informed about the cultivation, processing, and consumption of that product. And in my opinion, patients are entitled to learn as much as they want to about their medicine. 

Another important role a budtender plays in this industry is holding the keys to their purchasing manager’s gaze. I don’t know if all dispensaries work like this, but in my experience, it is nearly impossible for brokers to get past a good budtender without an appointment with the store’s buyer. We can smell you from a mile away, and it’s not that we don’t care about the product your pushing, it’s just that you’re the 7th person we’ve turned away that day. If you really want to get your foot in the door, consider the first 30 seconds of your presentation walking into the dispensary to be your most crucial for making an impression. We don’t always have time to hear the whole spiel, but managing to pique our interest could potentially get you a lot closer to putting your product on shelves. I’d love to dive into this topic more, but look at it this way: budtenders are the ones that have to move whatever you leave in inventory, so sell it to us the way you’d want it sold in our store. 

Finally, the most important responsibility that falls in a tender’s lap is a final inspection of the product being sold before it lands within the hands of the consumer. This requires a certain amount of knowledge about industry standards and the biochemistry of cannabis. The last thing anyone in our industry wants is to find that a faulty product found its way into the pocket of a patient, and the last thing a patient wants to hear is that they consumed something unsafe or not up to par with industry standards. 

A patient’s individual role in purchasing cannabis is to advocate for their health. It’s important to share as much information as comfortably possible, particularly when asking about dosage and consumption methods. Nobody else knows your body better than you do. Keep a patient journal, report your experiences with each product, and let your budtender know what works for you next time you hit up the dispo. With that being said, a budtender’s responsibility to continuously learn, educate, and inspire healthy choices never truly ends. 

My hope is that this column will help create a safe space for tenders and patients to find common ground, inspiration, and education. I would like to invite both parties to submit any questions, stories, or topics that might come up in the dispensary. Please send your submissions here → cannabanananutbread@gmail.com

Tarostrology: February 15 – March 15, 2022


February 15 – March 15, 2022

by Anna Ervin

The universe never fails to amaze me. Though I have pulled these cards for February 15th through March 15th, I am presently sitting underneath an Aquarius new moon. I can already see how some of the cards I’ve pulled here today might relate to everything we’ve been going through over the last few weeks. 

For me, the last month was all about uncovering the mysteries of my own existence, seeking a healthy flow of energy in my material world, and taking some time away from my day-to-day worries to find a little inner peace. Meanwhile we can acknowledge but also ignore the knight of pentacles in my Venus placement.. for now. Moving forward, I might find myself mourning the loss of those attachments while also untangling myself from the limitations that I allow to hold me back.

Because I’m beginning to see the flow of energy between the cards I pull each month, I’ve decided to touch on the things that came up for us during the last cycle. As always, if something resonates with you, claim it. If it doesn’t, write it down and come back to it later. And if you’d like to use your “big four” astrology signs for a deeper reading, remember to consider the following placements:

Sun – ego, identity, the root of your personality

Moon – your emotions

Ascendent – surface value, how you’re perceived, your “mask”

Venus – love, your intimate relationships

Pisces: Ten of Swords

As we get ready to enter Pisces season, the ten of swords indicates that these sweet water signs may be feeling a bit down and out. If this applies to you and you’re feeling like you can’t take another hit from the universe, trust that this difficult time will soon be over, and things can only look up from here. If it’s helpful, tap into the new ways of thinking and intellect that you managed to pick up during last month’s cycle. Bad things don’t happen in our lives for a good reason, but they do carry the potential to help us learn and grow. If nothing else, this month will soon help you realize just how unbreakable you are. 

Jan/Feb: ace of swords

Aries: Five of Cups

Aries, last month the seven of cups invited you to read behind the lines and uncover hidden truths that might surround you (and during a mercury retrograde, bless). Perhaps you were able to reveal someone’s true colors, or see a situation in a new light. Though not always a negative experience, shining light on shadows can create a call for change. Today, the five of cups reminds you that it’s okay to mourn the loss of the things you once loved (or maybe still do), just keep in mind that you still have so much life and love to look forward to. Allow yourself to grieve because it’s an essential part of your journey, but don’t lose hope in all of that sorrow. Consider taking some time to journal and reflect on the lessons that heartache can teach us. 

Jan/Feb: seven of cups

Taurus: Page of Wands

Lovely Taurus, the knight of pentacles last month gave you an opportunity to examine and get serious about your income, finances, and home.  I’m sure that you’ve been hard at work curating a healthy home and material world for yourself and those you love, but you may be feeling that it’s time to step a hair outside of your comfort zone. Challenge yourself to be a little more playful with the way you allow energy to flow in your life this month. The page of wands asks that you approach ideas, both new and old, with a childlike sense of curiosity. 

Jan/Feb: knight of pentacles

Gemini: Page of Swords

After what might have been a month full of difficult lessons in both accountability and surrender, hopefully my Gemini friends have been able to pick themselves back up and dust off the debris from the tower’s wrath. However, now is not the time to let your guard down. The page of swords invites Gemini placements to heed caution surrounding the energy that feeds your thoughts. In some cases it can be explorative and insightful to allow your thoughts to take on a curious or playful nature, just make sure you aren’t being reckless or hurting anyone else in the process. 

Jan/Feb: the tower

Cancer: Nine of Swords

Cancer, last month invited you to evaluate the way you give and receive energy; time, money, and resources. Were the scales balanced? This month, the nine of pentacles indicates that perhaps you’re being kept up at night by anxieties that are bigger than you. It’s okay to acknowledge your fears and concerns, but ask yourself if the energy you feed those anxieties is helpful or proactive. Be cautious of worrying about things that don’t actually effect you, taking on other people’s tension, or letting fear paralyze you. I’m not here to preach that any of that is easy, but your sanity will thank you later. Deep-bellied breathing is a good place to start. 

Jan/Feb: six of pentacles

Leo: Eight of Swords

Feeling trapped, Leo? Perhaps you missed the memo on last month’s cue to avoid stagnation, and now you’re unsure of how to move forward. Either way, the eight of swords invites you to unbind yourself from the limitations and boundaries that you allow to tie you down. It’s time to clear the smoke and open your eyes to the reality of your situation– the only person holding you back is you. What kind of limiting beliefs have you allowed to occupy your headspace? Do the people and energies in your life support your best interest or limit your mobility? It’s not always easy to face the truth, but you and I both know you can’t stay stuck here forever. 

Jan/Feb: four of pentacles

Virgo: Five of Pentacles

Last month the six of cups invited Virgo placements to face people or memories from their past. If this is true for you, it’s possible that some of those influences brought opportunities or blessings into your life. This month, the five of pentacles indicates that you may be feeling isolated or alone in any struggles you’re currently facing. I’d like to invite you to consider this: are you feeling alone because others refuse to help, or could it be that you refuse to receive help? Sometimes it feels like you’re drowning while the whole world keeps swimming around you. It’s not that your friends and family don’t care about you, they might not even realize the weight of the burdens you carry. Open your heart, virgo. It’s okay to ask for support. 

Jan/Feb: six of cups

Libra: Ace of Swords

After a moment of reflection over the craft or trade you’ve built for yourself, my sweet Libra friends might be seeking just what the ace of swords is intended to offer. This month brings blessings in the form of intellect and new ways of thinking. Communication should flow effortlessly, your studies may suddenly become more appealing, and brain power seemingly limitless. When it comes to the inner workings of your mind at this time, your cup overflows. 

Jan/Feb: seven of pentacles

Scorpio: Ten of Pentacles

The ten of pentacles is always a good indicator for material wealth and a happy home. Scorpio placements may find that family (whether chosen or not) bring opportunities and blessings into their lives at this time. After a month that called for reflection and solitude by the four of swords, comforts coming from your nearest and dearest should make you feel warm and fuzzy– unless you’re a November Scorpio, in that case I’m not sure you feel anything at all. Kidding. Kind of. 

Jan/Feb: four of swords

Sagittarius: Eight of Cups

Sagittarius, while last month invited you to embody the emperor’s authoritative and disciplined presence, hopefully you can use that sense of entitlement and foundation for this next card. The eight of cups indicates that it may be time for you to walk away from something that no longer serves your greatest good. It’s possible that you’ve built strong emotional attachments to whatever this is, and walking away won’t be the easiest choice, but it’s the right one. If you’re feeling uneasy about leaving a situation behind, remember that closing some doors can help others open. Tap into the emperor’s courage and strength that you were encouraged to develop in the last cycle.

Jan/Feb: the emperor

Capricorn: The Fool

Last month, Capricorn placements were invited to have a little fun with the way they handle money, career, and the material by the page of pentacles. Keeping that same lighthearted theme for this cycle, the fool invites my Cap friends to take a literal leap of faith into a brand new adventure. The journey that lies before you may not reveal itself just yet, you may never know if it’s the “right” move to make, but now is the time to put your faith in the universe, lean into your childlike sense of wonder and exploration, and jump in anyway.

Jan/Feb: page of pentacles

Aquarius: Ace of Pentacles

Another beautiful cycle of blessings for sweet, dreamy Aquarius placements. Last month the focus was love and relationships but today we’re shifting into the material. The ace of pentacles indicates that blessings and opportunities in the form of income, career, or material wealth will flow into your life with ease during this time. You may feel especially connected with the earth, something that may not always come naturally if you spend a lot of time in your own mind. Investing a little energy in nature could help you feel even more grounded in the tangible, physical world, and potentially help you manifest more abundance from the universe. Gratitude, always. 

Jan/Feb: ace of cups

How I Overcame My Fear of Terpinolene (and my fear in the process)

How I Overcame My Fear of Terpinolene (and my fear in the process)

by Anna Ervin

It’s no secret that the terpene profile is an important factor to consider when shopping for cannabis. This data offers patients a deeper look at the aroma, flavor, and experience that each strain might offer, especially in conjunction with cannabinoid percentages. I recently took on my first bud-tending role, and through a quick training course on the science backing the medicinal benefits of cannabis, I was lucky enough to learn a little bit about the terpenes present in my medicine.

Anna Ervin, Portrait by NagyMedia

I use cannabis to help regulate my mental health, combat depression, and ease anxiety. However, as most patients are probably aware, at times those little green buds can induce or provoke anxiety. For years I had been experimenting with different consumption methods and paying attention to the different applications of cultivation in the industry, unable to crack the code and understand why feelings of paranoia and dis-ease sometimes accompanied my high. Finally, I was being presented with a whole new series of potential triggers to explore, and that’s exactly what I did. 

Terpinolene is one of the most commonly found terpenes in the plant, and is responsible for the citrusy, piney flavor many active strains take on. Its benefits are reported to be cerebral focus, mental clarity, and mood enhancement; but it’s important to note that in some cases the pendulum can swing too far, inducing anxiety, paranoia, and, well, too much clarity. In my eyes, I had finally pinpointed the root of my anxieties. Terpinolene must be the problem. 

Now, if you’re under the impression that I am here today to educate on the characteristics of terpenes, I’m sorry to disappoint. However, the majority of the research available can be found through a quick read-up on weedmaps or leafly. The reason I chose to write about this topic is more-or-less focused on consumer experience, and exploring a mindset that I feel I might share with others when shopping for cannabis. Before we dive any deeper, though, I should share a little bit about my background with plant-based medicine.

Cannabis Terpene Guide Information Chart. Aroma and Flavor with Health Benefits and Vaporize Temperature.

A week before my high school graduation, I lost my dad to liver failure. Years of taking prescribed pharmaceuticals destroyed his already weak liver, leaving me to enter adulthood questioning everything I had ever known about authority, medicine and trusting professionals. I hated the pharmaceutical industry for a long time, and I still remember spending much of my time scouring the internet for studies and stories which affirmed my distrust in big pharma. 

A few years later, my mom suffered her second major heart attack. By the grace of the universe she survived, but only after a near month in the hospital and a terrifying road to recovery. For weeks I watched doctors poke and prod at her seemingly lifeless body, and signed off on procedures that threatened her mobility, but would ultimately save her life. During this time my perspective on healthcare softened, and I found myself feeling a tinge of gratitude for the life-saving capabilities of western medicine.

Instead of blaming big pharma for all of the world’s illness, I decided to take a deeper look at preventative health, and explore how both of my parents ended up in hospital beds to begin with— furthermore, how not to end up there myself. 

These experiences invited me to consider how I take care of my body; the way I move, the ingredients I feed it, how often I hydrate. I began eating organic and natural foods, cutting animal products out of my diet, refusing to even touch pharmaceutical or over the counter medications. I consumed cannabis regularly at this time, but it wasn’t until I dove into Oklahoma’s cannabis industry in 2020 that I began to connect the dots and understand the role it played in my biochemistry as well. 

Fast forward to my surface-level research on terpenes: following my new discovery, I took about a 2 month hiatus from strains with high concentrations of Terpinolene. During this time I was settling into my new job at the dispensary. I had finally found a place that felt like home, was beginning to rebuild my finances and taking time to heal and nurture my body. Anxiety was a foreign concept to me, and for that I found myself grateful. I thanked the cannabis gods for allowing me to finally find a way to consume my favorite medicine without any negative side effects whatsoever. I even decided to write a story about Terpinolene and its devilish effect on my mental health. *oh, ehrm… hi*

In order to write this story, however, I needed to do a little more research. After all, what kind of journalist would I be if I didn’t make a habit of reporting first-hand experiences? So, on Monday of the most stressful week of the entire year (if you guessed Christmas we’re the same brand of Grinch), I brought home

 2 of the dispensary’s most active strains, boasting up to 2% concentrations of terpinolene: Heartland Farms’ XJ-13, and Native Veteran’s Windwalker. 

Anna Ervin, Portrait by NagyMedia

Other patients had warned me about the latter, “if you have anxiety, Windwalker is not for you,” but to my surprise, I found both strains to offer pleasant, uplifting, sometimes even dreamy experiences. Confused by this response, and a little disappointed that my story had seemingly slipped away from me, I at the very least found a little joy in discovering two new favorite strains to add to my roster. I began to accept the fact that there simply isn’t enough research on cannabis to help me confidently identify the perfect cocktail of terpenes to cannabinoids to ease the anxious mind… then it happened.

As I rushed out of my house Christmas morning, I decided to take a considerably large bong rip of another beloved favorite of mine by Resonant Cultivation, Monkey Berries. While I typically find myself relaxed and comfortable with this variety, on that particular morning I became overwhelmed with anxiety. My head was racing, I couldn’t focus, I wanted to crawl out of my own mind just to find some peace and quiet. I began thinking about how I had expected this very experience to come from XJ-13 and Windwalker. 

At that moment, the following revelation brought me more peace than any substance, plant, or therapist has instilled in me in my entire life. 

I have to stop blaming cannabis for my anxiety and start asking myself what I’m meant to learn from these moments of distress. 

It’s not the fault of anyone terpene that I sometimes find my thoughts spiraling, nor is THC to blame for the slew of negative thoughts that swim through my mind, promoting paranoia. Cannabis merely brings these issues to the surface in an attempt to help me heal. Sure, Terpinolene might be more or less likely to bring up those feelings, especially when paired with high percentages of THC, but at the end of the day, cannabis is working with my endocannabinoid system to bring my body into a state of homeostasis. In other words, all of these yummy terpenes and cannabinoids are working together to give my body exactly what it needs. 

So, next time my anxiety makes an appearance, I’ve decided to stop asking myself “what did I smoke to cause this,” and instead start taking a deeper look at the emotions those moments of discomfort are bringing up for me. For example, if my fear signals are sounding off like an alarm in my body, what are they trying to communicate to me? Am I safe, taking care of myself, and honoring my boundaries? Or, on the other hand, if the stress is unnecessary and I find something in my life repeatedly causing it, what can I do to shift or diminish its influence? 

I’m sure you’ve seen this quoted somewhere on the internet recently, but healing is not linear. It’s not a straight shot to a healthy, happy lifestyle, and there is no concrete destination. Healing is a constant journey full of highs and lows, giant leaps and major setbacks. Cannabis is simply a compass to help us find our way. It may not always lead us in the easiest direction, but we can count on it to point us in the right direction.


Anna Ervin, Portrait by NagyMedia

Tarostrology: Tarot for the Signs


Tarot for the Signs

by Anna Ervin

Welcome to 2022! Congratulations, you’ve survived another year around the sun. While the astrological new year doesn’t happen until March 21st, I thought we’d kick off 2022 with a fun new feature for our tarot and astrology lovers. 

Because I’ve only just begun to dip my toes into astrology, I’m going to leave the interpretation of stars and planetary alignments to the real experts. Tarot, on the other hand, comes much more naturally to me, so I decided to pull a card for each of the zodiac signs as we venture into the first couple of months of 2022. If you know your whole chart, you can look for your sun, moon, rising, and venus signs to give yourself a reading that offers a little more depth. 

Remember, each of these entities reigns over a different area of your life or personality, so pay close attention to where they fall in your chart. Here’s a quick refresher:

Sun – ego, identity, the root of your personality

Moon – your emotions

Ascendent – surface value, how you’re perceived, your “mask”

Venus – love, your intimate relationships

For example, I’m an Aries sun with a Leo moon, so the Seven of Cups might indicate that curiosity and exploration are hyper-present in my personality right now, while the Four of Pentacles suggests that an emotional response could be causing me to hold on too tightly to the material rather than allowing energy to flow. When I take a closer look at how those two influences work in conjunction with one another, I can further identify how and where they apply to my life. 

So without further adieu, here’s what we can expect from the first 6 weeks of 2022:

Capricorn – Page of Pentacles 

As we approach the end of Capricorn season, Cap placements may find the coming weeks an opportune time for shifting the handling of finances, property, or career, into methods that are a bit more playful. Depending on the other placements in your chart, this could either feel like an incredibly exciting task, or your worst nightmare. However, at this time this energy could feel more natural than usual.  The page of pentacles is all about taking a childlike approach to our relationship with the material world. Let yourself be curious, take a class on finance or something you’ve always wanted to learn, get creative with the way you interact with money or within your career– while still being mindful of your responsibilities. 

Aquarius – Ace of Cups

It’s no surprise that the Ace of Cups appears as we prepare to head into the season of your sign, Aquarius! This happy, hopeful card indicates an abundance of new love, relationships, and blessings coming into your life. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised by lovely new emotions, bonding with new friends or love interests, or potentially gaining a deeper connection with a partner. The best way to embrace this period in your life is to allow yourself to feel deeply, practice gratitude for this happy time, and reciprocate that same loving energy back into the universe. 

Pisces – Ace of Swords

Sweet, dreamy Pisces, the Ace of Swords invites a season of intellectual abundance and mental stimulation for you. This may be a time when you find yourself invested in higher education, adopting a new thought process or pattern, or simply gaining mental clarity over a situation in your life. It isn’t always easy for an emotional creature such as yourself to allow your thoughts to reign over your feelings, but you may find more ease in such matters over the next month. 

Aries – Seven of Cups

Aries, the Seven of Cups indicates that you may feel empowered or influenced to take a deeper look at certain energies in your life at this time. You aren’t tapping into any kind of psychic wisdom or magic here, though at times this energy can feel mystical and alluring. This card simply means that using your curiosity and wisdom to uncover hidden truths surrounding the energies that approach you in the coming weeks will come naturally. If you aren’t already feeling this energy, this is your reminder to dig deeper when your intuition is asking for more intel. 

Taurus – Knight of Pentacles

An earth card for an earth sign, the Knight of Pentacles invites Taurus to do what Taurus does best– move with careful deliberation and intention in the areas of their life that involve finance, career, or material possessions. This could be a time where you find yourself taking extra consideration before making any decisions that could affect your material well-being, or one which leads you to study your current financial or professional situations and potentially look at new ways of dealing with those aspects. Either way, you should feel right at home in this energy.

Gemini – The Tower

The Tower is a card that most Geminis with experience in Tarot likely find themselves familiar with (let’s be honest, anyone with experience in tarot has become well-acquainted with this card at some point). Gemini, however, seem to manifest The Tower and her crumbling of foundations just for the fun of it. This card indicates that if you’re currently feeling like the world is crashing and burning around you, it likely has a lot to do with the thought patterns you’ve allowed to grow so out of control, you’re now being faced with their destructive consequences. You may or may not have been aware that the ground you built your faith upon was shaky, but The Tower is here to remind you that this is of your own undoing. The best way to embrace this period is to allow yourself to let go of any patterns or behaviors that continuously hold you back or lead you astray (you already know what they are). 

Cancer – Six of Pentacles

Cancer, the Six of Pentacles invites you to take a closer look at how that deep-seeded empathy and compassion within you plays a role in the way you give back to your community or those around you. If you’re currently invested in taking care of others, are you ensuring that you have taken care of yourself first? Alternatively, if you’re feeling betrayed or hurt, this card could indicate that giving back may be just the medicine you need. This card typically rules over the financial, professional, and material aspects of our lives, but time and energy are equally as resourceful as money. Make sure you’re maintaining balance in any type of energy exchange at this time. 

Leo – Four of Pentacles

Leo, your hard work is beginning to pay off and you’re seeing the beginning of a foundation form in your material/financial life. It may feel tempting at this time, especially coming out of Capricorn season, to hold on tight to everything you’ve built thus far. However, the Four of Pentacles would like to remind you that money and energy work best when they flow. Does this mean you should spend every penny at the nearest mall? No, no, no. But finally making a reasonable investment in that stock, or property, or software that could help you advance your career/financial gains? Go for it. 

Virgo – Six of Cups

Cups rule over watery emotions, so when it comes to earth-sign Virgo, things can get… muddy. The Six of Cups deals with some kind of emotional influence returning from your past. This could be an old friend returning to your life, childhood memories resurfacing, or even an old attachment planting itself in your line of vision once again. It’s likely that many of my Virgo friends will approach this energy with some reservation, but you need not worry as this card indicates that opening yourself up to these gifts from the past could bring blessings and opportunities into your life. 

Libra – Seven of Pentacles

Sweet Libra, the Seven of Pentacles invites you to slow down and take stock of your material world, specifically your craft or trade. This card indicates a period of pause and reflection, which isn’t a foreign concept to the thoughtful Libra. With that in mind, if you have been stuck in this energy for some time, this card may be reminding you to get out of your head and back into your work. Either way, the way your thoughts interact with your material world during this time will likely bring clarity into your life if you allow it to. 

Scorpio – Four of Swords

The Four of Swords brings my Scorpio friends (and my own ascendant/stellium) into a season that will require quiet reflection and meditation. Swords rule over our thoughts, and fours are all about creating stability, so you may find yourself doing a bit of foundational work in your own mind. This is a great time to tend to a regular meditation practice, record a dream journal, and focus on tuning out the noise projected by the external world in order to tune into your own inner peace. People with Scorpio placements are often drawn toward divination practices, so this energy may feel very natural to you. 

Sagittarius – The Emperor

I won’t lie, I laughed a little when I pulled The Emperor for Sagittarius. I don’t mean to tease, but to be fair, most Sag’s I know could use a little Emperor energy from time to time. The Emperor symbolizes the father of the tarot, he radiates authority and power in tradition. He is rigid, while Sagittarius are… flighty. The Emperor’s influence can bring stability and structure into adventurous, restless Sagittarius life. The thing is, as much as you guys love new experiences and constant motion, there’s something appealing about the potential to buckle down and find that same rush of excitement by settling into a comfortable life. It’s not impossible, so if you’re feeling the need to slow down and create a little more structure, now is the time to lean into this authoritative and disciplined energy.

For more information on Tarot, or to book a personalized reading, check out @cannabanana__ on instagram. 

New Year Numerology 

New Year Numerology 

by Anna Ervin 



One year ago I wrote an article titled “building foundations,” which explored the overall theme for the years 2020 and 2021, according to a practice called numerology. Numerology is the belief that the numbers 1-9 each embody their own unique vibrational frequency, and these energetic properties manifest to have very real influences over our personalities and life experiences. You can find the energetic property of any number by reducing it to a single digit. For example, my birthdate is 04-19-1994. If I reduce that date down to a single digit by adding each of the numbers together, that digit is my Life Path Number. 

4 + 1 + 9 + 1 + 9 + 9 + 4 = 37 

3 + 7 = 10 

1 + 0 = 1 

Life Path Numbers can teach us a lot about who we are as individuals, but what I find even more interesting is the “Universal Year Number,” which affects the inhabitants of our planet as a collective. 2020 was a “four” year. During this time our collective focus as human beings (whether conscious or subconscious) was on building stability and strong foundations to prepare us for 2021, which was a “five.” Five years bring up unexpected shifts and, furthermore, plenty of opportunity to come to terms with unrealistic expectations.

In case you haven’t yet begun to connect the dots, 2022 is a “six,” which indicates a universal focus on family, compassion, and responsibility to those we love. It makes sense, really… When I think about the shifts I faced both in my own life last year, as well as some of those I shared with the vast majority of souls on the earthplane, I’m reminded of the bond that is forged between a crew of coworkers in a stressful work environment. You know, the kind that can only happen within a group of people who share a battlefield together (whether literally or metaphorically). 

2021 was hell for a lot of people. It seemed as if nothing went according to plan, and many were forced to re-evaluate their values and ethics as individuals, businesses, markets, and even governments took on a season of turbulence and insecurity. Hopefully the foundations we built the year prior were sturdy enough to weather the chaos, but don’t beat yourself up if some of the structures in your life still managed to crumble (it might have been exactly what you needed in the bigger picture). 

When things were at their worst for me last year, I was reminded who my family are, and reassured that I could always lean on them if life became too much to bear. This year, my focus is on showing up for those people. At the same time though, I’m asking myself why, if family are often the people we choose anyway, don’t we choose to treat more people as such? After all, could the world not use a little more compassion, empathy, and sense of responsibility toward others? 

Happy New Year, sweet friends.

Big Houses

Big Houses

by Anna Ervin


For as long as I can remember, I have dreamed of one day having a big family. Those who know me well are probably laughing as they read this (I’ve never been a fan of the idea of having kids), but today we’re not talking about family in the traditional sense of the word.


For years, I have had a recurring dream where I find myself in a large house, surrounded by people from both my past and present. Over the years, the souls who have occupied this house with me have changed, over time becoming fuzzy in my memory. However, the dream is always the same.


It feels like a vacation at first, and I’m running around excitedly ensuring that everyone has the best time. This is what I do best, the place in which I thrive. I’ve always been an entertainer, constantly seeking the thrill of making people feel warm and fuzzy. 


In this setting, the faces that appear in my dream feel like family. Sometimes old friends from high school, others, they are new acquaintances from work. Regardless, when they approach me in my dream world I recognize a feeling of deep understanding and love for that person. 


At first my efforts in pleasing this crowd are rewarded ten-fold, finding smiling faces in every room of the home we share. “This is where I’m meant to be,” I think, as I embark on yet another mission to bring someone in my circle joy and comfort. Eventually, however, things begin to take a nasty turn. 


It always happens before I can stop it. The fun we’ve had begins to reap consequences, debts start bubbling to the surface for the steep price of each individual moment of joy, and I find myself so exhausted from keeping everyone satisfied that I can’t put nearly the same energy into cleaning up the messes I helped create (though this never stops me from trying). 


Once again I find myself running around excitedly, trying to ensure that all of these problems are solved without anyone else having to break a sweat. Only this time, I look around and the faces I adore so much are no longer smiling back at me. The joy in their eyes is suddenly replaced with discontent, doubt, and blame. I feel alone. I begin cursing them for not stepping up to offer a hand. They look back at me with confusion. 


How can I blame them? They had never asked for this, to receive my love and devotion so intensely. They were simply just existing in my world, and I made it my own personal mission to entertain, please, or “help” them— emphasis on the quotation marks around help.


This all feels so familiar. I’ve been here a hundred times before, and not just in my dreams. I have revisited this setting various times throughout my life. The house might not be relevant, the faces occupying it rarely the same, but I always find myself falling into the same pattern. It has taken me years of dreaming this same dream, existing in the same pattern of reality, to finally realize that I’ve been trapped in a cycle of codependent behaviors and their consequences. 


I have spent my entire life trying to please everyone around me, and if they’re already content with me, I take it a step further by attempting to “help” or “fix” them. This makes me feel needed, validated, and appreciated. I have been relying on the dependency of others to fulfill my own sense of self worth. Mirroring my own feelings to reflect the joy, amusement, confusion, or discontent that I find in the eyes of those who surround me, rather than to sit with and acknowledge my own emotions. 


As I find myself embracing these lessons in healing and growth, I’ve struggled with how to finish this story. For months I’ve stumbled over words, as this chapter of my life is still being written. I explained this to one of my sweet friends recently, and he told me that no matter where I decide to go from here, that I should act courageously. And that gave me chills. 


To hear those words; to think of the bravery it would require to start establishing healthy boundaries, to honor my own feelings all alone, and to build a big house within myself honestly felt… terrifying. But, isn’t that the whole point? To let go of the safety that can be found in validation from others, and to step into the discomfort of knowing that no matter how much I allow others to lean on me, I’ll never truly be satisfied until I learn to provide for myself first. 

“The Universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them.”  -Elizabeth Gilbert

I Promise My Story Gets Happier (but it’s ok if that takes some time)

I Promise My Story Gets Happier (but it’s ok if that takes some time)

by Anna Ervin


“I get paid again in three days,” I think to myself as the noises around me condense into a low hum, “and that should be enough to cover bills and groceries, but what about gas? … can’t forget to find a dog sitter for those Saturday events… do I have anything to wear for work—” 


My thoughts are interrupted by the sound of my own name. “Anna? Are you okay?” My mom is staring back at me, confusion and concern flood her expression. She’s been telling me about a conversation she had with, well… I couldn’t actually tell you. I’ve been dissociating like this for weeks now. As hard as I try, I can’t seem to focus my attention on whatever’s happening right in front of me. My mind is clouded with anxieties bigger than I have ever imagined for myself.


I have been avoiding my friends and family, isolating myself for fear of disappointing those I love as I find myself seemingly stuck in this lower vibration. The notifications on my phone begin to stack up as weeks go by and I haven’t quite found the courage to open them— is it ever the right time to come up with an authentic and thoughtful response?  Not being able to be a patient, mindful, and present companion for my friends and family makes me wonder if I deserve them at all.

The fear and concern that I have adopted over the problems in my life are now seeping into my relationships, the way I communicate with the world, and more importantly, the way I communicate with myself.  


I don’t write this to look for sympathy or make excuses for myself, but to be honest about a chapter of my life that hasn’t been quite as eloquently written as many of the others. I know that I can’t go on like this forever, and I think that a truthful analysis of where I find myself today is a good place to begin shifting the narrative.


This isn’t easy for me, I typically try to focus my attention on the positive energies in my life, and I think that this character trait has served me well in a lot of ways. When gratitude is the focal point of my perception, I’ve noticed that I manifest more abundance. However, that gratitude has to be genuine, and in hindsight I’m beginning to question whether it has been recently.


Life threw a series of major shifts my way this year. Through everything, I think I was so hell-bent on focusing on whatever felt happy and safe that I glazed over crucial pieces of my journey that begged for tenderness and healing— pieces that required a little more bravery and depth. 


Don’t get me wrong, I’m not implying that a positive mindset isn’t courageous. At certain times in my life, looking for something positive in my reality felt like the most empowering thing I could do for myself or those around me. In those moments, I recognized the need for that mindset through self-awareness. At other times, though, that same awareness has invited me to take a closer look at some of my darker feelings, and I haven’t always embraced the challenge. Lately I have made a bad habit of ignoring those feelings, which has inherently led to an even nastier habit of allowing my focus to drift away from the present moment and into some inauthentic, fairytale reality. 


This lack of awareness has caused a mountain of problems in my life to pile up around me as I have allowed myself to tiptoe around them, focusing solely on the glimpses of light I might find in their valleys. But as the mountains grow bigger, the light that reaches those valleys becomes sparse. I realize that now, the most abundant light exists on the peaks that surround me, those that will require a lot of dedication and hard work to reach. 


I think I’m not alone in feeling that sometimes the whole self-help/self-love movement tends to focus more on “love and light” than the dark, scary shadow work that is sometimes required for deeper healing. I know I’ve been guilty of this in my own writing at times. The uncomfortable truth is that in order to embody the highest versions of ourselves, we have to be able to acknowledge the darkness just as much as the light.  Finding a way to balance the two as our lives constantly shift into new planes of reality is half of the challenge.


I think that for me, taking accountability for the role I play in my own healing looks like moving through life with a lot more intention. Rather than making gratitude and positivity my sole focus and mission in my life (which I now realize became a bit of a reactive tactic I used to avoid difficult feelings) I’m now shifting my mindset to one of unconditional awareness, and challenging myself to sit with my observations, no matter how uncomfortable they may be. 


Affirmations + Journal Prompts: 


I acknowledge and lovingly release feelings of inadequacy, fear, and frustration. 


I maintain a mindful awareness of all of the feelings my soul is asked to process on this journey.


I embody my most authentic truth.

Oklahoma’s Fresh Sesh Spots

Oklahoma’s Fresh Sesh Spots

by Anna Ervin

What truly sets Oklahoma apart from other cannabis-friendly states, is that SQ 788 was set up to allow cannabis patients to medicate anywhere that cigarette smoke is allowed. Granted, private businesses and establishments may have their own set of rules, creating a bit of uncertainty around where it is or isn’t okay to consume. To make things a little easier, I’ve created a list of 420-friendly establishments, ranging from large to small, that openly allow cannabis-consumption on-site. 


Is this a list of every 420-friendly space in the state? Absolutely not. Oklahoma knows no bounds when it comes to creative entrepreneurs opening up lounges, concert venues, and coffee shops with cannabis-consumption in mind. It seems as though new spots are popping up daily, and there are a plethora of great venues that invite patients to medicate openly. And while I’d love to include every single venue on the list, today I’ve chosen some of our favorite locations here at Herbage, and divided them into four categories. 


Community and Culture spaces serve as great settings for large industry events and markets, while the Elegance and Style locations offer an opportunity to host more intimate gatherings in atmospheres curated with luxury in mind. As far as the Shop and Sesh or Food & Drink categories go, well, I think those are pretty self-explanatory. So, whether you’re looking for a venue to reserve for your next holiday event, or simply a place to sit down and enjoy your medicine in peace, I’m positive you’ll find the perfect smoke spot using this guide! 


For Community & Culture


Tumbleweed Dance Hall is a name many Oklahomans have been familiar with, long before cannabis became legal in our state. I remember growing up in Western Oklahoma and hearing about the notorious “Calf Fry” event, held at the Stillwater venue each spring, which invites college students and young adults from all over the state to enjoy a weekend packed full of live music, beer, and of course, calf fries. Today, the festival continues to live up to it’s legacy and work in sync with Oklahoma’s budding cannabis industry, adding brands like Cowboy Cup, Prime Time Cannabis, and our very own Herbage Magazine to it’s roster of vendors. 


However, what makes Tumbleweed’s space so special to Herbage is the annual Cowboy Cup that takes place on the grounds of the indoor/outdoor facility each December. This two day event was triple-crowned Oklahoma’s best Cannabis Industry Event, Best Cannabis Cup, and Best Cannabis Festival in our 2021 Best Of Contest. Drawing in a crowd of young adults, business owners, cannabis connoisseurs, and industry experts, the Cowboy Cup’s mission is to give the community an opportunity to learn, celebrate, medicate, and network while also introducing at least a dozen different musical and artistic performances.


While Tumbleweed may be a little too sizable for most people to consider hosting an event here, you can always stop by Thursday through Saturday night to check out the facility and enjoy some live country tunes. 



OKC Farmer’s Market

In the heart of OKC sits the state’s oldest and most historic event space, first opened in 1928 on the grounds of Delmar Garden’s Amusement Parks. Fast forward to today, you might stumble upon a roller derby match, edm concert, or one of many private events that take place in the second-story ballroom. There’s something whimsical about the atmosphere inside the Farmer’s Market building, whether you’re picking out fresh produce early one Saturday morning, or bobbing your head to one of your favorite local sounds, it’s impossible not to recognize the historic features that mark the venue. 


At this point you might be wondering why I’ve included this space without a single mention of cannabis, but I promise we’re getting there. While I wouldn’t recommend sparking a joint next to Mama Sarah and her three kiddos as they browse the venue’s weekly Farmers Market, I will suggest keeping an eye out for some of our state’s most exclusive cannabis industry events that tend to pop up here from time to time, such as Cloud Fest, Phreshtival, and Cough Fest. 


Like Tumbleweed, this massive space could host at least 20 times the crowd you might draw in for a community “pot”-luck or small event. The real potential here lies in an opportunity to host that cannabis-friendly wedding you’ve always dreamed of (I cannot be alone in this). According to their website, the OKC Farmer’s Market building has hosted many happy brides and grooms, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a few of those clients were invested in *ahem* greener wedding practices. 



Gateway Event Center – Tulsa

The Gateway Event Center, tucked into the southeast corner of Tulsa’s historic Greenwood District, offers a unique, eclectic vibe that seems to flow naturally throughout the building. Outside you can find the walls of the building blanketed in colorful murals and graffiti art that contribute a playful feel to the surrounding streets. 


When I asked Andrew of Sherweed Forest, why he chose the venue to host his first ever Throwdown Bazaar, he told me that the Gateway Event Center was special for them because “it felt like there was an opportunity to tell a story there that had not yet been told.”


“It’s not Cain’s Ballroom or one of the current trend spaces,” Andrew said, “so I felt it was a place for us to make our mark on the city of Tulsa.”


Throwdown Bazaar is the first event I have attended at Gatewood, but it certainly won’t be my last. The building offers an open concept, serving as the perfect space for a vendor’s market, and according to Andrew, the manager of the property encourages the cannabis community to rent the space. “We plan to use the space for months to come as long as we keep seeing success and growth in what we’re doing,” he reported. 



For Elegance and Style


Hempton Heights – Vinita

This list would not be complete without our favorite weekend getaway. Tucked into the northeast corner of the state, Hempton Heights serves as the perfect spot for family reunions, weddings, retreats, or industry conventions. Owners Nicole Holt and Jeff Lipe designed this cannabis-friendly, boutique-style resort to host guests who just want to medicate in peace. 


With over 16 uniquely styled accommodations (some featuring jacuzzis), a salt-water swimming pool, event barn, and 30 acres of woodland to explore, hosting a gathering, or even just finding a little time for yourself at Hempton is sure to feel like a luxury treat. The best part? You can find a dispensary on site offering some of Oklahoma’s favorite medicine. 



The Magnolia – OKC

You know those old loft-style apartments that sit on top of old buildings? The ones with beautifully aged wooden-framed windows blanketing the walls, and layers of paint and plaster exposing old brick foundations… That’s what stepping into The Magnolia feels like, perched on the top floor of a historic building primely located in OKC’s Automobile Alley. Home of one of Oklahoma’s popular cannabis meet-ups, The Sesh, this venue offers a vintage-styled, open-concept space perfect for weddings, intimate events, large classes, and industry gatherings.


Natural light fills the space from nearly all directions during the day, and glittering twinkle lights blanket the ceiling to illuminate the room at night. However, my favorite time of day at the Magnolia is right before sunset, when golden sunlight spills in through the windows on the west side of the building, highlighting glimpses of OKC’s downtown skyline. Now add a little smoke to the setting and you’ll understand why this venue made the list as one of my favorite consumption-friendly event spaces. 



Agora – Tulsa

Featuring a breathtaking view of Tulsa’s city skyline, Agora offers an elegantly decorated space for intimate community events, weddings, and meetings. While their website doesn’t advertise a consumption friendly venue, Agora has hosted some of our friends and fellow patients for some pretty great community events, like Kenny Wilmath’s Herb&Art Night, or the recent 1-year anniversary of The Sesh. 


When I asked William Nagy, co-owner/coordinator of The Sesh about the venue, he reported that Agora exceeded expectations. “We chose this place because every inch of it felt classy and comfortable. We are looking forward to booking this venue again.” 



For Shopping and Seshing


Gator Alley

Nestled into Oklahoma City’s downtown area, PlantMed created their 420-friendly patio with patients in mind, providing a safe and convenient space for outdoor consumption. Adjacent to the dispensary, Gator Alley is open to patients Monday through Sunday, but occasionally reserves the space for birthday parties, industry events, classes, and so much more. 


All talk of convenience aside, you can count on finding some of Oklahoma’s favorite brands on display inside the dispensary, as well as one unique feature that truly sets this space apart from the rest. Plant Med is home to one of the first fully customizable blunt bars in the state, and this just might be the reason Gator Alley was voted as Best Sesh Spot in Herbage Magazine’s Best Of contest earlier this year. 




The newest spot on the list, Smoklahoma Lounge in Tulsa, is just opening up their space for private events this month. Complete with a dab bar, pool table, free wifi, and storefront loaded with smoking accessories, this 4000 square foot space serves as the perfect setting for parties, meetings, or a quick sesh with friends. 


While you don’t need an OMMA license to visit Smoklahoma, as with any sesh spot, you will need one in order to medicate. Low stash? Stop by the Mary Mind Dispensary located just next door! 



For Food & Drinks


Three Cubed

Located on the corner of Sheridan and 4th St in Downtown OKC, Three Cubed is a restaurant and bar with a 420 lounge on site. With a menu that serves a majority of dietary needs, and (in my opinion) some of the best cocktails in OKC, Three Cubed is a great spot to bring your laptop and finish up some work for a daytime sesh, or grab some friends and enjoy a toke with your meal, but their consumption-friendly lounge can also be rented out for private parties and events. Either way, make sure you check out their Boozy Brunch on the weekends! 




Tacos X Mezcal – Tulsa

Word on the street is that you can find some of the best authentic Mexican street food in Tulsa at Tacos X Mezcal, located on SE 18th Street. After a little more digging I found that you can also book their patio for consumption-friendly parties. Offering a menu loaded with items made from fresh ingredients, including a plethora of vegan and vegetarian options (I am geekin’ out over this), I don’t see why TXMZ shouldn’t be at the top of your list for holiday parties, birthdays, or a classic lady’s night out. Taco Tuesdays anyone?



The Beany Bar – Clinton, OK

I just could not fathom putting this list out there without including one of my favorite places in the state. Aside from that, I haven’t had the opportunity to show Western Oklahoma any love, so that brings me to my final stop: The Beany Bar. Located between Weatherford and Clinton off of historic Route 66, this historic farmhouse has been redesigned as an open-concept bar and lounge that feels like home. The Beany Bar sits adjacent to and is under the same management as White Dog Hill, a scratch-kitchen steakhouse that offers western Oklahomans a unique experience. While you typically need a reservation to visit the steakhouse, the Beany Bar is open to the public Wednesday through Saturday. 


Perched on top of a hill that overlooks the city of Clinton, this spot offers one of the most whimsical sunset views in the state, in addition to some of the most unique cocktails I’ve ever seen. And while they don’t openly advertise a consumption-friendly space, I’ve had no issues bringing a vape pen or pre-roll and discreetly medicating on their outdoor patio. This one is worth the drive.


Seven of Cups

Wish fulfillment – Illusion – Lack of Clarity – Deception

Have you ever wanted something so badly, perhaps even for a large amount of time, but by the time your dreams finally come into fruition, you realize that they’re not at all what you had imagined?

The power of manifestation is heightened this month. Your wishes may soon be fulfilled, but not in the way that you thought. Be mindful of your affirmations, no matter how positive they may be. If possible, avoid making major decisions without first seeking full transparency and clarity on the situation.

Try shifting your perspective or instead of just waiting for the confusion to pass. Practicing patience and diligence will serve you well at this time.

~Anna Ervin

Dear Banana

Dear Banana,

Hi, it’s me, but also you. The truest version of you, the little voice that soothes you when you’re upset, or encourages you when you’re searching for strength, or fills you with light when you find yourself alone in the dark. I am your intuition, that feeling you get in your gut when things go wrong, or the “butterflies” you feel in your heart when everything is right – the subconscious part of your mind that communicates even more clearly through your dreams and written words.

Speaking of words, I’m writing to you today from a place of love, because you haven’t seemed to give yourself a surplus of it lately. I know it can be hard at times, which is why I’m here to gently nudge you back on course. Sometimes the slightest change in perspective, or subtle encouragement toward the right direction, is all you need to find your way back to yourself. 

Did you ever in a million years imagine your life looking like this? To any unsuspecting bystander it probably seems as though things are going swimmingly well for you lately, and that’s certainly not an inaccurate observation. However, I know that the glimpse of your world that you so meticulously grant to others does not tell the whole story.

When sharing your life with even the people closest to you, you tend to draw more attention to your wins than your losses, or your joy, rather than the pain. I have silently observed thus far because I know you don’t do this out of pride, but instead a relentless fear of either burdening others or victimizing yourself. You’d rather let everyone think you have it all together, that there’s no need to worry, than to see the bits of your life that don’t sparkle quite as much.

I wish you would accept that it is okay to let others see you struggle every now and then. That it is not your responsibility to protect them from bearing witness to your journey on the more difficult days. 

That when someone asks you how you’ve been, it’s okay to sometimes say “I could use a friend,” if that is your truth. That if someone chooses to be in your life despite the weight of your emotions, they probably don’t see you as the burden you think you are. I wish that you could trust that even though sharing the depths of your soul can scare away the wrong people, it can also bring you closer to the right ones. 

Furthermore, I wish you understood that it’s okay to allow yourself to feel all of the things, no matter how ugly they may be. I know you’re afraid that if you stop pretending that everything is okay, even when you have absolutely nothing to prove, things will only get worse. But we both know it’s important to process even the most difficult feelings if we’re ever going to learn how to make things better. 

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, please don’t mistake me for a fool. I know that you are not so easy to convince when it comes to seeing your own worth, or potential. Your stubborn little banana heart remains skeptical of any mention of self-improvement unless someone makes you believe that it was your idea to begin with. 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a thousand more times before I die, words are fucking powerful. So, I’ve chosen a few that I will be reciting religiously, whispering them into your existence until you believe them wholeheartedly: 

I am safe in my feelings. I allow them to flow freely, without resistance or hesitation. 

I love myself unconditionally, and the people in my life match that energy.

I learn new things about myself when I allow myself to explore feelings of fear, anger, and sadness in a healthy way. 

I attract positive, empowering and healthy relationships into my life that make me feel supported and appreciated. 

Portrait by Casedgod

No-Bake (but will get you baked) Cookies

No-Bake (but will get you baked) Cookies

by Anna Ervin

If you are not keeping the necessary ingredients for no-baked cookies in your pantry at any given time, chances are you’re doing the whole munchies at 2 a.m. thing wrong. I love nothing more than a recipe that I can throw together in one pan to avoid a pile of dishes later. Even better, it only takes about 10-15 minutes to whip up this sweet treat. The traditional no-bake cookie recipe is loaded with acidic dairy products and high-cholesterol fats, so I’ve decided to share an infused version that’s a little easier on the stomach.

The cookies I made are infused with 200mg of canna-coconut oil in place of butter. I swapped the dairy milk for an oat-based option, but cashew, almond, coconut, and soy would all work well here. For the sugar, I decided to go with raw because if I’m going to eat sweets – the less they’re processed, the better.



3 ¼ cup oatmeal (opt for GF-option)

½ cup THC-infused coconut oil

½ cup peanut butter

½ cup oat or cashew milk

2 cups raw sugar

¼ cup cocoa powder

¼ – ½ tsp Himalayan salt


  • Add canna-coconut oil, peanut butter, milk, sugar, cocoa and salt to a large sauce pan, stirring frequently over medium heat.
  • Bring mixture to a boil, continuing to stir for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and quickly stir in vanilla, bringing the mixture to a boil.
  • Add the oats and combine evenly. Scoop 1” rounds onto wax paper and allow to cool before serving, or savagely eat the warm cookie “dough” out of a bowl.

Store at room temp for 2-3 days (if they last that long).

Star 46 Farms

Star 46 Farms

by Anna Ervin

When Hilary Campbell suffered a freak accident in 2006 which left her with a rare nerve disorder, she knew she would face a daunting road to recovery. Confronted with numerous surgeries and medical procedures, alongside a cocktail of pharmaceuticals prescribed to treat symptoms rather than the root of the issue, Hilary spent nearly two years bedridden. Fast forward to years later, when Campbell finally discovers and begins exploring the benefits of medicinal cannabis, and the healing that takes place is powerful enough to drive her entire family into the industry.

I drove out to Norman, Oklahoma this month to meet with Hilary, Head of Sales, and her husband Mike Campbell, Co-Owner of Star 46 Farms. Newlyweds of just 6 months, Mike and Hilary have built this indoor and outdoor operation from the ground up, with patient advocacy and education at the forefront of their mission. “We saw the benefits it provided for me and my family,” Hilary told me. “We just felt so strongly about helping other people and saw so many people that were going down the road that I was on.”

“When we started this,” Hilary began as she welcomed me into their facility, “this was an arena for horses. Last year my boys and I came down to visit for spring break. In the middle of their break, Covid happened, and we ended up staying for four months. It just happened to be the exact time that we need to do this.”

“I was in medical sales at the time,” Hilary explained. “Unfortunately, my department was shut down in January due to Covid and we needed someone to create a sales force and establish the sales team within our company, so I decided to step in and take on that role.”

Upon first meeting Hilary, I instantly knew we were going to get along. Though quiet and somewhat reserved, she is likely one of the most headstrong individuals I’ve ever had the privilege of meeting. After a quick glance, you probably wouldn’t guess that this woman spent nearly 10 years fighting to get her life back. Aside from a boot on her left foot from a recent broken bone, Hilary would appear to have led a fairly simple and healthy life, however her journey with health has been far from easy.

After her accident in 2006, a doctor in Austin managed to save her leg, but her journey to recovery had only just begun. “It took me nine months to be able to walk again,” Hilary told me. I could see that telling this part of her story was difficult for her, but she continued anyway, “I developed a nerve disease in my leg which is called RSD: Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome, also referred to as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. That led to a lot of problems.”

“In a very small set of people,” she continued, “RSD can spread. Since I had other health issues at the time, I was just the perfect specimen for everything to go wrong, and everything did. I just spiraled downhill from there. It moved into the whole right side of my body.”

After over twenty surgeries, three spinal cord stimulator implants, and years of her life spent bedridden, Hilary began to feel like a test subject as her doctor fumbled through procedures he had little to no experience with. “Eventually I got sick of it,” she recalled. “I realized that they were just killing me, slowly, one surgery at a time.”

“I knew enough about my body to know that they were not treating the illness. They were treating the side effects. Because of my history in the medical industry, I knew enough about the medications I was given to know that they were not the answer.”

After investing years into research over her health issues, Hilary was beginning to understand that the medications she had been prescribed were just masking the side effects of other medications in a seemingly never-ending cycle. Quickly losing faith in her physicians, she knew that she needed to get off the slew of pharmaceuticals her doctors had placed her on.

“Obviously there is a place for medication,” she stated carefully, ensuring that she wasn’t sending the wrong message. “We all need medication and pharmaceuticals, but I think that the doctors have used it as a crutch for so long that they stop seeing the person that is standing in front of them.”

“My ex-husband was a pharmacist,” she explained. “My dad is also a pharmacist. I had knowledgeable people around me, and they helped me get off of the medication. I do not recommend anyone one to do what I did. It needs to happen under medical supervision because you can die from withdrawal, but I felt that I had nothing left to lose. So, I did it one medication at a time.”

“I didn’t make the immediate transition into cannabis until later in recovery,” Hilary recalled. “Once I was off of the medication, I could face the problem head on because I could identify what the illness really was. That is when I began researching alternative therapy. I understood integrated medicine, but finding an integrative provider is very hard to do. I just decided I had learned enough that I felt that I could do it on my own. Mike is actually the one that introduced me to cannabis.”

I found this interesting, considering that Mike himself informed me that he was not a cannabis user. “I watched several family members and friends really benefited from cannabis,” he explained before allowing Hilary to continue her story. My heart couldn’t help but flutter a little as I realized just how precious this couple’s story is. This man opened his mind and heart to a medicine that is so often shunned by society, when he saw that someone dear to him was running out of options for relief.

Hilary began researching the benefits of cannabis and what the different terpenes could do for each of her illnesses. Once she was legally able to medicate, she went all in. “I had searched for years to find pharmaceutical relief to no avail,” Hilary stated, “but with cannabis my life changed in an instant, and my symptoms began to diminish one by one. I started understanding what it was doing to my body and how it was affecting each of my symptoms in a positive way.”

“As patients we have to understand what the full spectrum of the flower can bring to us,” Hilary said when I asked if she had advice for anyone experiencing chronic pain or illness who might benefit from cannabis. “In my opinion, in order to get the most complete medical benefit, you need to try different variations of the product. Entourage effect, understanding your pain, researching terpenes, and understanding which products carry the terpenes for the effect that you are looking for are essential.”

“Go slow. Really know your body. You have to understand where the pain is coming from and why.”

“To this day,” Mike added, “we are still learning this and that about every little aspect of how everything blends together to create an entourage effect. On some of the online forums people will just ask how much THC it has. Well, for medical purposes it is not all about that. It is everything involved in the plant.”

“As the sales director of our company,” Hilary explained, “educating the budtenders is very important to us. It is very important for us to provide not only test results, but also additional product information that describe the terpenes in the flowers that we provide. We want them to educate their patients not just on the THC content, but also on how different terpenes can treat different ailments, and how they can benefit from those.”

“I wish that we could get further along with our education as a state,” Hilary continued, “so that we understand the full benefits of marijuana. It is not just about THC. Too many people do not understand that. It’s frustrating that so many people think it is just about getting high.”

“During harvest last October,” Mike chimed in, “we had a couple of strains that were at least 28% THC, and around 3% terpenes. We were also fortunate to have a strain that was 1:1 THC/CBD. That was my first real experience with flower that was high in CBD, and that really allowed us to dive into the benefits of consuming both cannabinoids together.”

I loved the holistic perspective Hilary and Mike seemed to adopt when it came to their medicine, and I noticed that their operation seemed to reflect that sentiment as well. Star 46 works with an Aquaponics system, utilizing the symbiotic relationship between plants and fish. This sustainable process means that the crew uses 85-95% less water than the average grower.

The system Mike has created for their indoor facility relies on a combination of nature and technology to sustain itself. From utilizing lady bugs to prevent pests, to Koi fish feeding the soil, and electronic irrigation systems to monitor water levels, seeing the way this grow had the capability to nurture and care for itself (under the watchful eye of its master, of course) felt familiar. I thought about Hilary finally being able to recover once she had created the right environment and regimen to support her body in healing itself naturally, but only after medical procedures and pharmaceuticals had served their purposes as well.

Sometimes it’s easy to end up on one end of the spectrum or the other. Either shunning all pharmaceuticals or considering natural remedies to be “hocus pocus.” Hating doctors or hating naturopaths. Allowing nature to take it’s course vs. fighting mother earth every step of the way. Meeting Hilary and hearing her story made me realize the need for balance between the extremes. Allowing both the good and bad, the natural or the man-made, the yin and the yang to flow equally, supporting and nurturing and strengthening one another. A symbiotic relationship, if you will.


The Duke

The Duke

by Anna Ervin | Herbage Magazine

Imagine spending your whole life moving from state to state, exploring new cities, and picking up experiences from all over the country. Most people would dream of that kind of upbringing, and for Oklahoma City rapper Zach Rowland, AKA Hugh Glass, it was a reality. However, constantly searching for that sense of home or foundation of friends and family can get tiresome. It wasn’t until Hugh entered Oklahoma City’s hip-hop scene that he found that solidarity.

I first met Hugh at the Magnolia Room in Oklahoma City, OK. He performed some of his latest releases like “Big Checks” & “Socrates.” I had just written an article about his producer and mentor, owner of the 88 Record label, Josh Sallee, who had spoken highly of Hugh’s talent. His name was fresh on my mind, but he suddenly seemed to be popping up everywhere I turned. From cannabis industry events, to open mic nights at Hubbly Bubbly, this OKC artist has been creating waves in the community.

Photo by William Nagy @yerboytakespics

Hugh’s team is currently working on releasing a new album, so I invited him out for lunch to fill me in on his journey.

We sat down at one of my favorite local spots, the Picasso Cafe, Hugh immediately began asking me questions about my work. At first, I couldn’t tell if he was nervous about telling his own story, or just genuinely interested in the day-to-day of a cannabis lifestyle journalist. It was not long before I got the feeling that the person sitting across from me was as much of an empath, if not more, as I consider myself to be. Realizing this, I felt like Hugh probably had a story of his own that was worth hearing, so I asked him what inspired his interest in music.

Hugh’s father passed away when he was just five months old, and his mother, a hairdresser, had the ability to find work no matter where they landed. “It was a lot of fourteen-hour car rides,” Hugh explained. “We went from Oklahoma City to Woodward, to Dallas Texas, to Mississippi, to North Dakota, then back to Oklahoma.”

He may not have realized it at the time, but those long drives set the tone for Hugh’s career in music. His mother would play Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ray Charles, along with many other influences from the ’70s. One day, on a long trip to North Dakota to visit family, Hugh discovered his love for rap music.

“When I was around twelve,” Hugh began telling me, “My mom had bought the Marshall Mathers LP. It was a 15-hour trip, and we just played it on repeat. We picked up my cousins, and this song comes on. By that time, I have it all memorized. So, I am sitting there in the backseat with my little cousin, and I start rapping to her. She starts laughing, and I can tell she is having a good time. It was that moment when I realized this is what I want to do.”

“I never really understood at the time,” he continued, “I was too young to grasp it, but that is where my interest in music came from – being stuck in a car, not having any fucking friends, listening to Eminem, Kayne West, and Ray Charles. That is where it all started.”

“I also played basketball my whole life, so I was this hip-hop basketball fan. They are similar in the way that individually you can express yourself. Every basketball player wants to be a rapper, and every rapper wants to be a basketball player.”

As Hugh got older, he began citing lyrics from some of his favorite influences, like Tupac. “My mom had married, and had a daughter with Edwin,” Hugh began, “I call him Emo. I was writing Tupac lyrics at the time. I didn’t know what I was doing, or why I was writing his lyrics, and I put the n-word in it because I didn’t know better. My mom found them in my laundry, and showed them to Emo, who was like, ‘hey, I’m glad you are passionate about it, but you need to be socially aware of this.’”

“Being that young,” he continued, “and being able to hear that from him was a good lesson to learn.” Hugh decided that if he couldn’t write other people’s raps that he liked, he should probably write his own. So, he quietly began learning about instrumentals: how to use beats, free-styling, and writing his own songs. As he got older, word spread amongst friends that he could rap.

“About the time I started going out and partying and stuff, sixteen, seventeen years old, when you get drunk and high in the backseat with your friends,” Hugh laughed as he reminisced on the nights he spent entertaining his friends, “and we would all freestyle.”

“At first it was like a joke, and I did not know what the fuck I was doing. I was literally getting high and rapping to my friends in the backseat.”

But as Hugh unknowingly built the foundation for his career, life hurdled a new set of responsibilities his way, fatherhood. “I had to figure out what this rap thing was,” he told me, “So I took a huge risk, and I did not do it the right way the first time. I fucked up the whole family thing. I have a great relationship with my son and his mom now, but it has been three hard years.”

When Hugh’s son was born, he was going to the studio and writing songs while attempting to keep his career under wraps to prevent rocking the boat at home. “That is where Hugh Glass came from. I could not be Zach Rowland rapping, because my son’s mom would find out.” The truth eventually came to light, and the fallout resulted in Hugh spending the following two years sleeping on couches or in his car, trying to get his life back on track.

Though he stopped making music, he never stopped writing. “Ironically,” he explained, “Most of the stuff I was writing at that time is what is on this album. It worked out perfectly, in the weirdest way. I took that risk, and now we are here.”

“I feel like I am taking the same kind of risk today – taking the leap and doing this music thing, but now I have the support of my son and his mother. I have this team around me. People like Josh, and Nagy. It’s not just some leap of faith, now there is this goal, and I feel like everybody sees it.”

The title of Hugh’s upcoming album is after his late father, John Wayne Rowland, nicknamed the Duke. “When we were going through all of that and I was writing,” Hugh elaborated, “I was also trying to figure out how to be a father, because I lost my dad.”

“So, there is Zach, then there’s Hugh Glass – that’s where I was running from Zach. The Duke is me figuring out what I needed to do to be a father. From sleeping on couches and not seeing my son once a week, to being the example for him that I want to be. When shit gets hard, how much sweeter is it going to be in five years when it works. I want that to be the story I tell him.”

“In a way, I am looking for my dad in the album,” he pointed out. “Here I am risking it all when my own son needs that. That is the duke. The guy that goes and risks it all. That John Wayne type. It might not look pretty, or look the way that you want it, but it is going to get done and I am going to make sure that it is handled. At least to the best of my ability.”


I recently had the opportunity to visit the set of Hugh’s latest music video, and while I can’t say that Zach Rowland fits “The Duke” persona in the traditional sense of the title, Hugh’s creative style and willingness to venture into the weird, or wild, or unknown, 100% fits the bill. Regardless of the character, he’s stepping into at any given moment, Hugh is the type of person you just want to see succeed. Now that someone who I consider to be both a friend and inspiration in my own life, I can see that Hugh’s story is only just beginning, and I cannot wait to watch the next chapter unfold.

Check out Mister Hugh Glass on Instagram and Spotify.

IG: @misterhughglass

Chocolate Fever: 4 Medicated Chocolates for Every Type of Consumer

Chocolate  Fever: 4 Medicated Chocolates for Every Type of Consumer

by Anna Ervin

Anyone who knows me can tell you how much I love edibles. They might also tell you how much of a lightweight I am when it comes to cannabis. Let me just paint a picture for you: a 2mg gummy is a good starting point for me, 5 is typically a comfortable dose, 10 will give me the giggles and a strong urge to procrastinate, while anything beyond 20 might just put me to sleep.

I’m sure you can imagine how daunting of a task it was to write this article, however, I’m a foodie. So anytime I’m presented with the opportunity to eat a bunch of medicated chocolate and call that “work,” I’m not about to back down from the challenge.

I know there are many different types of cannabis consumers out there, so I tried to include a variety of different types of infused chocolates. Whether you’re looking for flavor, dosage, or quality ingredients there’s something for everyone on this list… Unless you don’t like chocolate, an atrocity that I may or may not judge you for.

Because I chose such a broad variety of products, I decided to organize them into five categories: best overall flavor, full-spectrum product, high dosage, and low dosage. Supporting local businesses is important to me, so each of the brands I selected are 100% Oklahoma-owned operations, aside from Dabba, a Denver company that moved into Oklahoma’s markets with a product I simply could not overlook (it’s that good).


Best Overall Flavor – Dandy Lion’s Salted Caramel Butterscotch Bar

25 mg – 250 mg per bar

This category was tough to fill because every product on this list tastes amazing, but one brand went above and beyond when it comes to flavor. Dandy Lion’s Salted Caramel Butterscotch bars taste like something you would pick up in a gourmet chocolate shop, and they look the part too. Infused with distillate and hand painted with an abstract design, this is one of those edibles I would almost prefer to have not infused, simply so I could eat as much as I want without overmedicating.

Dandy Lion offers a number of different flavored chocolate bars. If milk chocolate isn’t your thing, check out their Strawberry Shortcake or Mint Dark Chocolate bars. You won’t be disappointed.



Full Spectrum – Bison Extracts’ Infused Milk Chocolate Bar

200 mg per bar

With so many products on the market, it can sometimes prove difficult to find edibles that provide the entourage effect that our endocannabinoid systems crave. Bison Extracts uses full-spectrum, CO2 extracted cannabis oil with native terpenes to infuse their products, making these rich-flavored chocolates strain specific. This makes it easy for consumers to find a product that works for their specific needs, by paying attention to the terpene and cannabinoid profiles unique to each strain.

Bison also offers micro-dosed Chocolate Espresso Beans that are 5mg per serving for those of us looking for a richer flavor, smaller dose, and hint of caffeine.



High & Low Dosage – Oklahoma Medicine’s Peanut Butter Cups

50 mg – 150 mg per package | offers 500 mg CBD option

Have you ever experienced the disappointment that comes with trying an edible that reminds you of your favorite candy, only to find that the familiar flavor you hoped for is completely missing? Had these peanut butter cups come from any other brand, I might have been hesitant to try them. However, Oklahoma Medicine consistently delivers top notch products and these sweet, savory peanut butter cups are no exception.

Not only is this Oklahoma born company providing products using the purest ingredients, but they also offer a variety of dosage options for each type of consumer, including those looking for strictly CBD-infused products.



Sleep Aid – Dabba Raspberry Chocolate Bar with Melatonin

110 mg per bar

I had never taken melatonin before trying this chocolate because I’ve never really felt like I needed it. I typically have no issues falling asleep, but sometimes staying asleep can be more difficult. I felt weary of taking something that might make me feel drowsy the next day, and I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Infused with both THC and CBN, a 10 mg serving of Dabba’s Raspberry Chocolate bar gave me the absolute best sleep of my life, and I will absolutely be keeping a constant stash of these in my bedside table.

This Denver-based company also offers options without melatonin in an array of different flavors.


A Better Bloom

A Better Bloom

by Anna Ervin


Edmond local Cindy Keeton remembers eagerly watching the 788 movement unfold. She owned a flower shop for three years before launching a virtual and mobile doctor recommendation clinic, A Better Bloom Health and Wellness.

“In my flower shop I would listen to podcasts about 788 and the movement,” Cindy recalled, “I told my employee at the time, ‘I think that this is coming.’ Now here we are.”

It took years to really get to Cindy. It was much clearer once I began working alongside her at patient drives. I’m big on taking pride in my work, and I believe that foundation is built upon the integrity and values of my employer. Cindy is one of those employers.

I fell in love with watching the way she would walk patients through the process of getting their recommendations with patience and compassion. I asked Cindy what inspired her to open up her clinic, she claims she was tired of receiving first hand knowledge that some doctors were taking large sums of money from their patients without helping them through the entire application process.

“I volunteered for one of the first companies that started medical marijuana patient clinics in Oklahoma,” she said. “The doctor was sending the patients out without finishing any of their paperwork. They were paying ridiculous amounts of money to get this done, and they did not have a clue what their next step was. The patients would call the doctors and the doctors either wouldn’t return their calls, or they had no clue. It made me mad.”

Cindy keeps a staff of “up-loaders” on hand at each clinic to help patients complete their application. If you’ve had to navigate the OMMA’s lengthy and somewhat confusing application process, you’ll probably understand why going the extra mile to help patients through this is so important.

“I think that other companies are dropping the ball right in the middle,” Cindy said. “If their application gets rejected for some reason, then they are not willing to go the extra mile and fix it. They do not have a live person on the other end of the line. They do not have anybody for the patient to talk to about it.”

“I do think that those things are important,” she continued, “especially for the geriatric patients that we see. Computers are too complicated for them. A lot of them still have flip phones. They have no clue what Skype, or Zoom, or anything else is. That is where I think our specialty is, as far as getting patients seen from the beginning to the end. We help them through that whole process.”

Over time it has become obvious to me that Cindy has a big heart for those who cannot or who have a hard time advocating for themselves. Before she opened the flower shop, and later the clinic, she worked in childcare for nineteen years.

“I love kids,” she told me, “I have always loved kids, but I had to do something different because of my kidney. Kids carry a lot of germs and diseases, and my immune system was compromised. I like to make sure that the kids are taken care of. My passion is to hopefully get an event going where we can do pediatric recommendations. I mean, we do them now, but not in an event setting yet.”

“In the works right now is an event that will hopefully come to fruition in August,” Cindy continued, “there will be pediatric and regular recommendations. We are working out the details. I have named the event, Love You to the Moon Pie and Back. Parents say, “love you to the moon and back to their child.” The place we are going to be at is called Moon Pie, so I think that is a really fitting name for this event.”

“I do not want to charge our vendors an arm and a leg. I want to make sure that everyone is taken care of.  I am not doing it for the money, but I am doing it to give back.”

I thought about how many patients Cindy assists on a weekly basis, and remembered my own experience helping people of all kinds apply for their medical marijuana card. You are in a position to really listen to all kinds of stories about people. So many have discovered the relief cannabis provides. In some cases they would talk of all of their fears and expectations about trying cannabis.

I asked Cindy what advice she had for anyone thinking about getting a medical recommendation for cannabis.

“I do know that there are a lot of mental health issues here in Oklahoma,” she began. “Oklahomans are really hard-working people. I have seen so many people with arthritis and their fingers are wrinkled up. This medicine really does help you with that. It helps you live better. I believe that you should get your card. You should live better. I have family members that are older, and they medicate with cannabis and they feel so much better when they do. It helps them so much.”

“My kidney problems stem from a hereditary disease, so I did not even start using cannabis until after I had my transplant. Even then it was kind of an iffy thing with the transplant. One of my doctors told me if he would never have to give me another opioid again then he was just fine with cannabis. I started using cannabis in 2018 to help with sleeping. I don’t really consume cannabis during the day if it is not needed.”

“I really do think that eventually cannabis is going to be used, if not to replace opioids, but at least give opioids a run for their money. I hope it actually replaces opioids. I really do.”

A Better Bloom Health and Wellness betterbloomclinic.com


Infused BBQ Pulled Jackfruit Sammies with Medicated Broccoli Slaw

by Anna Ervin & Dondi Cobb

It’s that time of year again, either a vegan’s worst nightmare or the season they’ve been most looking forward to. I personally fall into the second category, but not for a lack of many, many awkward backyard bar-b-que’s spent picking through a side salad and, if I was lucky, a few grilled veggies as everyone around me enjoyed their favorite summer flavors.

Eventually, I learned that if I wanted to enjoy the full cookout experience with my family and friends, I was going to have to come prepared. I have an entire arsenal of sides, entrees, and salads at my disposal, but today I wanted to share the one that grants me the most suspecting looks.

“Pulled” jackfruit looks a lot like pulled pork. The flavor and texture may not be spot on, but it’s more than enough to satisfy my craving for familiar comfort foods. Enter a cannasugar-infused BBQ sauce, as well as fresh, crunchy broccoli slaw with a touch of medicated olive oil, and this plant-based sandwich might just become the most popular item at your next outdoor gathering.

The best part? No grill required. Although, I wouldn’t blame you if you decided to smoke the jackfruit before you marinate!


Click here for the full recipe!

July 2021 Tarot: Nine of Cups

Contentment, Pride, Feeling Fulfilled.

This month we are basking in the glory of the experiences we have created for ourselves. You are likely feeling pleased with your life right now. Lately it feels as though all of your wishes have come true. This feeling won’t last forever, make sure to soak up all of that blissful, euphoric energy while you can!

June 2021 Tarot

Allow yourself to splurge a little this month, not necessarily through spending money, but also spending time on yourself and the things you love. Continue to count your blessings and thank the universe, yourself, and whatever higher power you believe in. Gratitude, always.

Practice: gratitude journals, laughing meditations, noticing the little things


Write that shit down.

by Anna Ervin


I have not managed to live in one place for over a year. I have moved from apartment to apartment, sometimes from state-to-state, every year in the last decade. I get tired of frequently packing up my life, but I think the constant change in environment actually excites and motivates me to keep working towards new lessons and experiences in life, abundance, and love.

I am moving again this summer, and as I have been going through my belongings, I found an old journal where I jotted down a few of my goals and dreams. When I read through the list, I realized I could check off nearly everything I had written down just years before. I have always believed that words are powerful, but something about seeing my own writing on paper gave me chills.

I still remember how silly I felt as I scribbled the words “move to Denver,” and “host a wellness retreat” into my notebook. Back then, those goals were so far from manifesting that I couldn’t imagine what it would feel like to achieve them. That didn’t stop me from trying. I used to spend hours daydreaming about being surrounded by mountains or sharing divinatory practices with a tribe of likeminded women.

I knew at that time that I was not yet prepared for these goals to come to fruition, but I also knew that if I told myself they would happen, I would eventually trick my brain into believing it. This reminds me of a quote by the late president of Bi-Lo supermarkets, Frank Outlaw:

“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

Our thoughts are powerful, but our words carry even more weight, further influencing our actions, character, and sometimes even our fate. So what happens when we apply those words to paper? Or when we practice visualizing the process of our dreams becoming reality?

Practicing mindfulness with my thoughts, and speaking with intention I can alter the way I perceive and even experience reality. To me, this is the essence of manifestation. Abundance, success, love, or whatever you’re trying to manifest won’t just magically poof into your life (although if you’re not paying attention, it can sometimes feel this way). They slowly creep in through your thoughts, words, and actions as you shift your habits to match their frequency.

If I’m trying to manifest love, I’m going to focus on love – write about it, envision what it feels like, act the way someone in love would act, then let it go and trust that the universe will deliver. Eventually, the universe is going to become aware of my intentions and efforts to attract love into my life, and therefore love will work its way into my world.

I know this is easier said than done, and I do feel that it’s important to be mindful of intention when working with words. To close, I wanted to share three helpful exercises that I tend to lean into when I’m ready to start manifesting healthy changes in my own life:


Start a Vision Journal

I like to write about my biggest dreams, the goals I’ve always wanted to work towards, the cities I want  to live in, and the type of home I hope to keep. Sometimes I can be very descriptive, other times I’m a little more vague, focusing more on manifesting things that are simply in my best interest, rather than specific things with many expectations. I write about them as if they have already come to fruition: “I live in the house of my dreams,” or “My career is fulfilling and rewarding.”

Write the Universe a Love Letter

In my opinion, the best way to manifest the things I want is to practice gratitude for all that I’ve already been blessed with, and the universe gives me an insane amount to be thankful for.

“Dear God, Angels, Spirit Guides, Universe,

Thank you for nurturing and providing me with everything I need to be healthy and happy. I am so in love with your sunshine, and the way it breathes life and energy into me. I’m thankful for the soil that keeps me grounded and provides nutrients to sustain my body…”

Switching my mindset into one of immense gratitude and love, as well as recognizing the divine forces of nature that always have my back, helps me draw more of that energy into my reality.

Draw Out a Plan

When I first thought about hosting a wellness retreat, I never imagined it would actually happen, but I made a list of the menu items I would provide regardless. I even went as far writing out an entire meal prep schedule to feed 10 people just to show myself I could. When I actually did host the retreat years later, my menu looked a lot different, but I already knew exactly how to work out all of the little details.

Even though I had simply written my plans down for fun, I think the exercise shifted my thought process from “I wish I could do something like this,” to “I am absolutely capable of pulling this off.”

You have so much magic that lives inside of you. I hope you can see it.

The Dude

by Anna Ervin

With the 9-year anniversary of my dad’s passing behind me, I’ve been thinking about him a lot lately. I often think about the legacy that he left behind for me, and I wonder if he’d be proud of the life I’ve created for myself.

Anna and her Father

My dad was a self-taught auto mechanic for over 25 years. He could completely overhaul a vehicle’s transmission and send the driver back on the road in a matter of days, often to never see them back in his shop. He had customers drive from all corners of the state for his service, but he hated his career. I can still picture him placing his hand on the doorknob that led from my mother’s office into his shop and saying, “when I die, if the door to heaven looks like this, I’m going to hell.”

The career he had built with so much pride, although successful, would continue to eat away at his spirit up until the weeks before he passed.

It wasn’t all bad though. Over time he found ways to chase his dreams outside of work. He loved art, music, traveling, and of course, cannabis. I remember walking into my living room on a handful of occasions to see him leaning over a guitar, or a pen and paper, writing a song amidst the faint smell of something I was too young to identify.

I sometimes think that he made a point to pursue these passions late in his life to set an example for me. Like he wanted me to see the value in making time for the things that I loved, so I didn’t fall into the same 9-5 trap that he did.

Whether this was his intention or not, it’s still the most valuable lesson I think I could have learned from him in our short time together. I’ve always had a hard time settling for jobs or career paths that didn’t make me feel challenged, or fulfilled. Throughout my life I’ve often found myself throwing in the towel, saying “this isn’t the right job for me, I know there’s something better out there.”

This mindset led me to explore some pretty cool, creative fields of work over the last several years. But it wasn’t until recently that I found the job that allows me to explore the things that I love through my work. The job that made all the other seemingly pointless jobs I had worked previously finally make sense.

Although I had grown up watching my father dread his weekdays, I never saw him falter when it came to his work ethic. He took a lot of pride in everything that he did, and rarely backed down from a challenge. I’ve given every job I’ve had my all, and I’ve learned a few things along the way – things that have allowed me to adopt a more positive perspective on my previous employment, one that fills my heart with gratitude.

Some of the organizational skills I acquired working in my first office setting are the same methods I use to keep myself on track today, both in my career and my personal life; the creative (and sometimes eccentric) marketing skills I learned while working at a trendy doughnut shop equipped me for the colorful and expansive world of publishing and content creation; and finally, the ability to adapt to just about any kind of work environment has prepared me for the ever-evolving roles that my current position demands.

So, I’m thankful to my dad for instilling confidence in me to keep chasing my dreams, and avoid settling for less than anything that makes me feel happy and passionate. I’m thankful that he taught me the value in hard work and believing in myself.

In fact, the more I think about it, the more I realize that the best way to ensure that my dad would be proud of me is to continue to be exactly the person that I am – the daughter he raised to be inspired, courageous, and resilient.




By Anna Ervin


Have you ever met someone with such an incredible attitude, that the more you get to know them the more you want to know them? The first time I worked with OKC photographer Jeff Hooten II, better known as CasedGod, I knew he was going to be one of those people.

Jeff is the type of person who greets you with a smile and a warm hug every time you meet, and never shies away from the opportunity to add a little light and color to someone’s world. However, his desire to make the world a more compassionate place was born out of his own struggles with opioid addiction. At the age of 19, Jeff overdosed on heroin for the second time in his life.

“The first time,” Jeff began explaining, one Thursday afternoon over pizza, “I was revived with Narcan. But the second time, I just woke up. And when I woke up, I didn’t have the same urges or desires anymore. I just had the desire to help people and I didn’t know where to place it.”

While attending a leadership academy in Arkansas, Jeff fell into the film track, learning to operate a camera and edit videos, among other things. “I was home,” he recalled. “It was like picking up a drug again. I picked up a camera and there was nothing better than that.”

“Addiction kind of isolates you as a person,” Jeff continued, “so you see the world through a different lens, or different perception. Because of that, I feel like I can see pictures before they happen, and time myself to be perfectly positioned to capture people in a light they may not typically get to see themselves in.”

“With my camera work all I want to do is inspire people to be the better versions of themselves. There was one point in time when someone showed me a picture of me, I was like, ‘woah. That’s me?’ In that moment I had instilled confidence, I had hope, I had faith. And I just continued to build off of that.”

I had invited Jeff to meet me in the Plaza in OKC to give him an opportunity to tell his story. Being the driven guy that he is, he showed up with all of his equipment and gear, ready to shoot. After reminding him that we were just there to chat about the things going on in his world, he laughed and admitted he’d been a little overbooked lately. Jeff is currently the CMO for 1440 Processing, on top of managing a photography business that takes him all over the state.

“The reason why I call myself CasedGod,” Jeff began when I asked about his brand name, “is that throughout my time in sobriety, I used cannabis and my faith to get through that. The bible talks about when you ask Jesus to come into your heart and transform your life, he comes and lives inside of you and works outwardly through you. It’s like a Cased God, or Encased God.”

“I’ve never been to college,” he explained. “I’ve never had any formal marketing training so everything I have and I’m able to do, I give all the glory to God. I used to stick needles in my arm and go hang out at a skate park. Never in my dreams would I think, ‘I’m gonna go shoot 50 cent tomorrow.’ Like that’s what I get to do.”

His journey to becoming one of OKC’s best event and cannabis photographers hasn’t always been easy, though. When Jeff first moved to Oklahoma, he wasn’t quite sure what he was doing in the cannabis industry. “At that time,” he told me, “the cannabis industry didn’t have such a social media presence as it does now. So I feel like I kind of had to carve my own path in that regard.”

Working at a local dispensary, Jeff began taking the opportunity to ask vendors to let him highlight their business or products free of charge. “For a good 6 months,” he explained, “I did a bunch of work for free, just kind of proving myself. And it was the best time in my life. I got to meet all the best processors, growers, chefs, cultivators, and extractors in the industry.”

“What it eventually did is it made a network for myself that, wherever I went, I had really really great relationships.”

This work ethic and dedication to his craft grabbed the attention of his current employer. “The boss had told me that he had been watching my Instagram for 6 months. His exact words were, ‘I love the way that you show people. I love the way that you highlight people’s businesses. I want you to work for my team.”

“With 1440,” he continued, “I’m representing some of the best brands in the nation. I’m actually going to get to travel around the country and film for Viola’s cultivation tours. I’m excited about that.”

Backtracking to his remark about the valuable relationships he had created through his work in the industry, I asked Jeff if he had received any noteworthy advice or inspiration from his community. He left me with this:

“Keep your head down and keep grinding. Don’t pay attention to the attention, because when you focus on anything but your work, you’re losing time. As hard as you can work, while you can work, do that.

“Don’t pay attention to people who are going to be negative. When you are succeeding, when you’re continuing to rise, you will be tested at every level, and if you’re not then you’re not truly making any progress.

“Any progress is forward progress. Pay attention to your micro wins and macro wins. Even the tiniest little bit of progress is something to be completely celebrated.

“When you’re going through trials, don’t get yourself down on it. Don’t focus purely on what the negative thing is, because at that point you’re giving your attention to it, and when you give your attention you give your energy, and the universe moves with energy.

“Get yourself out of the hole and continue to have a positive mindset and you’ll produce positive things. That’s the only reason why things have turned up for me through those tests & trials.”



Josh Sallee


by Anna Ervin

It’s 2013. I’m at the gymnasium at my local university surrounded by cowboy hats and red solo cups. One of my friends is eager for me to hear a new artist he’s been listening to. Despite the number of steel-toed boots on the gym floor, I’m surprised to hear a handful of hip hop tracks coming out of the speakers. After the show, we get an opportunity to meet the artist. I purchase a flat billed hat that says “DOPE” across the front and he signs it “Josh Sallee.”

Fast forward to 2021, where I’ve found myself sitting across from Josh at one of my favorite local coffee shops in OKC. He’s been busy throughout the pandemic getting ready to release his new album, and I wanted a chance to catch up with him during his down time.

Sonya Spears by Anna Ervin

“Wooooow,” Josh exclaimed as I brought up the 2013 show, “with Stoney LaRue? What was it called, ‘Chaps and Raps?’” Sounds about right.

“I started making music in 2011-2012,” Josh explained, “when I was just getting out of college. 2014-2015 was when it started becoming a career. At that time, I had just dropped an album and had a release show. We were getting booked on so many shows. We were taking whatever we could get, no matter what it was. If it was $50, or $1000, we would do it.”

“We were just trying to make new fans, and here we are years later,” he gestured towards the table, “so it came full circle.”

Although Josh has been making music for the better part of a decade, the pandemic forced him to take a step back from certain aspects of his career, like performing. Looking back at the handful of his shows I’ve seen in the past, it’s clear that he puts a lot of love and intention into his time on stage. I couldn’t help but wonder how he had been coping with the absence of that.

“It’s been horrible,” he said. “One of the best parts about making music is one of those shows where the energy is up, and in that moment there’s really no thought going on. You’re just having the best time of your life, you’re just trying to express yourself.

“At the same time,” Josh continued, “independent touring is really hard. For every great show there was a shitty show. I don’t miss that part, but I definitely think that coming back, the music industry is about to have a massive boom. There are a lot of people that are ready to go. I’m ready to get back out there.”

When I asked if he was planning on gracing the stage again anytime soon, he explained that he’s been doing his best to maintain social awareness and responsibility. “Oklahoma has been pretty open during the whole thing, like obviously we still have masks but now, it’s pretty much back to normal. I’ve seen places that are at full capacity. It’s hard because you don’t want to offend anybody and you don’t want to pull the trigger on your show too early. You want to just be respectful of it and that’s kind of what I’m doing.”

“I’ve had a bunch of show offers,” he explained, “but I’d rather roll it out with the album, not just perform to perform.”

Josh’s album, Flamingo, is expected to be released during Summer 2021. “In a quick summary,” Josh said, “it represents artist purgatory. Flamingo is this place that I’ve been stuck in while making this. Now I know I’m out of it, but that’s what the album talks about. I didn’t know if I was done. I was in between quitting and I had to reflect on all of it.”

“Flamingo also derives from Oklahoma sunsets when they’re pink,” he continued. “That moment when they’re pink is super fleeting. You gotta be out there for maybe 3-5 minutes or you’ll miss it. I just want the songs to be like that.”

“This album has been almost 5 years in the making. It’s cool that I really wasn’t rushed. This is going to be the album I want to put out, I don’t care if it takes 5, 10 years. At this point I’m not even nervous. We’re going to put the work in and we know the music is good.”

I began to wonder who “we” might include, so I asked Josh if any other artists were to be featured on the album. “My best friend Blev produced a couple of songs,” he reported. “What’s cool is that it’s just me and Blev, and that’s how it started years ago. I didn’t bring in any big producers, it’s just all in house.”

“I’m excited for people to hear the album,” he continued, “because there’s some talent on there and they’ll get to hear these new voices that I haven’t worked with before.” Flamingo will also feature artists signing to Josh’s label, such as 24-year-old local, Hugh Glass.

“He’s incredible,” Josh told me of Hugh. “I’m just happy for him that he has a team around him now and we all believe in him, so I’m excited for him and for that. I think that even the music is better if you’re doing that – your songs have a camaraderie feel to them.”

I could tell his family of artists and friends meant a lot to him. “Every Monday night,” he explained, “whoever wants to will come by and jam, listen to the albums that we have, hang out… It’s turned into this vibe of a Monday night thing at my studio. The energy in that room is really crazy right now. We actually got what we’ve been working for and for me it’s taken so long.”

Josh’s record label, 88 REC is currently awaiting a contracted deal with an investment firm out of Houston. “I’ve passed on record deals,” Josh said, “a lot of them coming up. Some were really bad deals with really good companies.” He told me of occasions when he doubted his decision to pass on those deals, but in the end his patience paid off.

“This is one of those moments,” he said, “where you’re like, ‘no, you were doing the right thing and now you got what you wanted.’ It’s cool when you trust in yourself. That doesn’t always happen, it can be really shitty and hard but sometimes it works out.”

Working on his own independent label gives Josh the opportunity to move forward with his work in whichever way he sees fit. I was eager to find out what he planned to do with that freedom once covid restrictions begin to lift.

“I want to put the albums out and do some community projects,” he began. “I want to work with some videographers now that we have the budget that I never thought I could. I’d like to be traveling and hopefully on tour, I want to get out there and push the art to the coasts. Even if it’s just on the weekends, just trying to get back to being in front of people.”

“It’s fun when you have a new album to perform,” he continued, “and you get to see how everybody reacts and which songs go crazy live. Usually the songs that mean the most to me end up meaning the most to others. It’ll be interesting to see.”

“There’s one that is so dear to me. It’s something I’m so proud of and connected to, every time I hear it I feel more positive about myself. That one I think people will like, but it’s not a single, so it’ll just be tucked away on the album and they’ll have to find it.”

As Josh continued to reflect on his journey over the last decade and the exciting future that awaits him, I asked if he had any advice that he would have liked to hear back in 2013.

“Slow down,” he said firmly. “You don’t have to rush to get things out. Move around, get out of Oklahoma. And don’t be afraid to work with more people. I think I have improved my life a lot just as a person by trying to be more aware of who I was and how I treated people.”

Stay up to date on the latest from Josh and his label: @joshsallee and @88rec_ on Instagram




Medicated Macaroni Salad

by Anna Ervin & Dondi Cobb

You know those dishes that just taste like summer? Like one bite instantly takes you back to camping trips at the lake, or BBQ’s with your family?

If you’ve been following my recipes for a while, you’ve probably noticed that I begin the majority of my recipes with a blurb about how my mom made this for me when I was a kid, and how I’ve adapted it to fit my diet and lifestyle.

The reason I use so many of my mom’s old recipes is that through those familiar flavors, I can relive some of my favorite memories.

I think a lot of people realize that cutting animal products out of your diet is a pretty major lifestyle change. It doesn’t take long after exploring a vegan diet to realize that 90% of your favorite recipes include the ingredients you’re striving to avoid. When I first made the switch, it was the home style comfort foods that I had grown up watching my mom create that I missed the most.

I made it my goal to transform as many of those dishes as I could into something that I could enjoy with a healthy conscience. I share them today because I want people to see that eating plant-based doesn’t always have to mean sacrificing the flavors you love (unless that flavor is prime rib, I still haven’t figured that one out).

This is one of those side dishes that you could easily buy a tub of at the store, but my mom took the time to make it at home summer after summer, which just made it that much more special. We would have it during camping trips, hikes, and backyard hangouts. I honestly have very few memories from summertime during adolescence that didn’t involve this salad. We still enjoy it to this day, only now it’s in a way that the whole family can experience.

The recipe calls for regular macaroni noodles, but I highly recommend chickpea noodles for a gluten-free option. I don’t personally have an sensitivity to gluten, but I do notice that my body functions a little slower when I consume a lot of it. As with cannabis, even the most delicious things in life are sometimes better explored in moderation.

Speaking of moderation, I decided to microdose this recipe, depending on how many servings you get out of it. I added 1-2 Tbsp of cannabis-infused oil, amounting to about 75-100mg of THC in the entire dish. For an extra pop of flavor and medication, try sprinkling a little bit of Two Twisted Girls’ medicated Lemon-Lime Beer Salt over the dish.

Check out the full recipe!

Sonya Spears

by Anna Ervin


When I met local artist Sonya Spears at the Surf Bar in Shawnee, she was thrilled to have found another hangout spot with healthy options in her new community. Sonya had moved from OKC just before the pandemic and was only just now seeming to surface from the initial culture shock of small-town life.


“I came up here to Shawnee and it was like, ‘oh… I’m in the sticks. There is nothing here,’” Sonya laughed as she recalled her first impression of the city. “But it turns out that there is a tremendous culture hidden underneath. At the bottom of it there is humanity. I think I have found a great group of people here.”

As she spoke, I noticed that Sonya carried an aura of both curiosity and compassion around her. I thought, this is the type of person who tries not to take anything in life for granted, the type who realizes how precious and unique each moment is. Someone who notices all of the subtle things in life, the little miracles that are happening to us and around us constantly.


I’ve met this type of person before, and I have many of them in my life today, so I understand that this deeper appreciation for and understanding of life doesn’t just exist out of a vacuum. Usually, some thing or event in their life has forced them slow down and shift their perception.


“Someone once told me that I am an outsider artist,” Sonya said. “I’m just self-taught. I didn’t go to college. I don’t have a degree. I just have a passion, and I love to study, and I love people. I just take all those little pieces of my love and I stick them on the canvas.”


“I was really interested in art in school, but when I jumped out into the workforce there wasn’t an easy opening. Oklahoma City was a competitive market. It just became one of those things where I’d say, ‘I’ll get to it, I’ll get to it..’” Instead, Sonya dove into the corporate world. She worked as an office manager for a medical billing company for nearly 25 years, until a severe stroke forced her to shift course.


“I was paralyzed,” she recalled, “but I took a year off to learn to walk and use my hands again. In recovery I decided to tap into that person I was that I had left behind. I went into my storage, and I blew the dust off of whatever I had left and pulled out all of my old art supplies. That is when Scott Barrett found me. He and Sabrina opened up the community gallery, down at the Shawnee mall.”


Eager to get back into her old craft, Sonya found herself right at home doing exhibitionist paintings for anyone who wandered into the gallery. At the time, Covid was making it’s way into the US, hurling Shawnee residents into a pandemic that many had not expected.


“There were a lot of people processing grief because of Covid,” she recalled. “They were losing family members, children, grandparents, wives… People would come by, and they would see that I was doing my best version of realism, that I was really trying to capture the essence of the person I was painting, and they would want me to bring their loved one back to life through that.”


As Sonya began painting Shawnee’s residents, she realized that she was chronicling the city’s healing time, as these individuals were working through their grief processes. “It was heavy,” she remembered. “All of the death, grief, and energy. I was absorbing it as I was working on it. I needed to take a break and do something fun.”


This is when she decided to shift her focus to painting celebrity faces, such as the classic stoner comedy duo, Cheech and Chong. “I have this series that I’m calling ‘The Smokey Dudes,’” Sonya told me. “Anyone that is iconic, I’m going to capture them smoking. That is the time when they have that light in their eyes and their smiles are genuine. It is really impossible to be a fake happy person when you have cannabis running through your veins.”


Later, Sonya took me over to Rob & Son’s dispensary, on the corner of 9th and Market Ave, where a few of her paintings from the ‘Smokey Dudes’ series were still displayed. “When people stop in to get their medicine,” she told me, “they sometimes take a piece of art home with them too.”


I asked Sonya what kind of role cannabis played in her painting.


“I was just an artist,” Sonya continued, “and Rob saw my work. I had no idea that there was an interweaving of art and cannabis. I take it for granted, but here I am sort of being a part of it.”


“There are some occasions,” she began, “when I will find myself in a place where I have creative’ block, or hit a wall. Where the paint or the brushes won’t work, or the humidity is messing with me – I really think that a lot of times it is an internal thing, I’m not functioning. Cannabis takes a lot of the static out of the equation.”


Sonya hesitated before carrying on, as if she was trying to decide if she could trust me with what she wanted to say next. “I really feel that when I’m in that state of mind, when I am dancing with the cannabis queen, I feel like I am closer to Spirit. As if I am it’s conduit for creating something, but I can’t really tap in unless I have this great connection with Spirit.”


“Cannabis takes me there,” she continued. “It blocks out all the stuff that doesn’t really matter: anxiety, depression, insecurity, feeling like I don’t really have what it takes… That stuff can get really loud, but cannabis will hush the negative that is rolling through me. It’s beautiful.”



Cover of June issue by Sonya Spears







Two of Swords

by Anna Ervin

Ignorance, Stubbornness, Self-Induced Confusion
If you’re feeling stuck, ask yourself if you might be refusing to see the situation for what it truly is. You might be feeling the weight of a major decision this month. Pay close attention to your environment, influences, and the direction your energy is heading in. Try not to be so stubborn.
Change, by Anna Ervin

by Anna Ervin

In the heart of OKC lies one of Oklahoma’s best kept secrets, that even in farmer’s country you can find a deep-seeded love for plant-based food. Guests often stumble upon The Loaded Bowl, located across the street from OKC’s Farmers & Antique Markets, expecting the type of establishment that most of our readers are familiar with. However, while the LB has certainly adopted a plant-medicine mindset, you won’t find flower or bongs here.

The Loaded Bowl, or LB for short, began serving plant-based dishes to the OKC community in 2013. Initially operating out of a food truck, Oklahoma’s first vegan food truck, they eventually set up a brick & mortar location in the heart of OKC.

Once the pandemic hit, LB’s business over went quite the transformation, so I decided to stop by and see how they have adapted.

Side note- this was not my first time visiting their location. I’ve been one of LB’s biggest fans since adopting a plant-based diet several years ago. I actually love their fresh-baked cake donuts so much that I once had my mom pick up an order before making a 10 hour drive to visit me while I lived out of state.

Change by Anna Ervin

My favorite dish? The Mashed Potato Bowl (think KFC’s Famous bowl, only vegan… and better), but I like to change it up sometimes and order it with maple chili “lb chicken.” LB Chicken is a soy-based protein that takes on the flavor and texture of tender chicken strips. It’s obviously not chicken, but it might be better.


Business, Social Responsibility, and Mac n Cheese (not necessarily in that order)

General Manager, Kaitlyn Burton took time out of a busy Thursday to sit down with me and chat about business, social responsibility, and my favorite topic, mac and cheese. Kaitlyn has been working for the LB since 2016, around the time the company was laying out plans for their restaurant and bar.

“Tevin and Jon Grupe started the food truck back in 2013 with a very small menu of five items or so,” Kaitlyn informed me. “Everything has really evolved but the one thing that’s kind of been there from the beginning was the mac and cheese. The cheese sauce is something John, one of the owners, really dug into and perfected to make as delicious as possible.”

“It’s crazy the amount of specifics that went into it,” she continued, “and that go into it every time we make it, making sure it’s consistent throughout the years and that it has remained true to what it’s supposed to be.”

This is not news to me. I’ve been vegan for nearly 4 years, and in my pursuit to find the perfect cashew cheese recipe, I have all but given up hope that anything can compare to LB’s version. I wondered, is the perfect cashew cheese really the secret to turning one of OKC’s only vegan restaurants into a local hotspot? I had the feeling there was more to the story.

“I meet so many people,” I told Kaitlyn, “who are not vegan and have no interest in vegan food that somehow find their way here and end up loving your menu. Do you feel like there’s a secret to changing their hearts about eating more plants?”

“At the end of the day,” Kaitlyn responded, “the reason people want to eat at The Loaded Bowl is because the food tastes delicious. And who doesn’t love mac and cheese?”

“We aren’t necessarily preaching at them that this is vegan, or this is why its vegan,” she continued. “We will never guilt anyone for not being plant-based or eating whatever they want to eat. We just want everyone to make their own decision for their life and as long as they are doing what is best for them that is all that really matters. And as long as we keep making really good food, people will keep coming!”

My favorite rule to live by is “be the change you wish to see,” a sentiment derived from the teachings of Mahatma Ghandi. The Loaded Bowl, from the way I see it, is setting the bar honorably high when it comes to this, with ethical practices and efforts to give back to the community through charitable contributions.

Their mission? “To provide conscious comfort food™ in an accessible and affordable way,” but what does that look like amidst a global pandemic?

“We wanted make sure from the very beginning of it all that we were keeping our staff safe,” Kaitlyn said. “That we could be a place where our customers can trust that their food would be safe, and that they would be safe. We did close our doors for about 3 weeks. That gave us the opportunity to actually do some renovations in our building and do some really deep cleaning. We also had to restructure and rethink how we were going to move forward with the current safety regulations.”

“So, we have shifted our business model quite a bit. We now have a pickup window and are doing to-go service only. But at the heart of it, our goal has always been to keep our staff safe, keep our customers safe and just keep serving good food.”

I couldn’t help but think about all of the people out there upset about wearing a piece of fabric over their face, while this crew literally reorganized their entire business model to accommodate the public in the safest way possible, without a single complaint.

That’s when it clicked. While plant-based food might simply be a trend or phase for some, it’s a lifestyle at the Loaded Bowl. And as a lot of Oklahomans (including myself) are still struggling to find the right balance of sustainability, social responsibility, and sanity in their lives, LB is giving us the opportunity to enjoy a meal that doesn’t carry with the weight of the world’s burdens. They have taken all of the guesswork out of “being the change” for us, and through supporting their business, we might even find ourselves inspired to adopt a few of those changes in our own kitchens.


The Loaded Bowl is currently serving curbside and delivery only. Visit the www.theloadedbowlokc.com or check out their Instagram page (@theloadedbowlokc) for updates.



by Anna Ervin

When I first started learning about Tarot, cards like Death and the Ten of Swords scared me the most. Today, they are two of my favorite cards in the deck, but only after a little soul searching allowed me to realize their true definitions. The purpose of these cards is not to make you dread or fear your life, and they do not often show up when everything is sunshine and rainbows, only to crash your party with forecasts of doom and gloom.

Foraging in Tulsa with Justin Hope By Anna Ervin

The Ten of Swords usually reveals itself when you are already feeling like you’ve hit rock bottom. It’s actually a reminder that you’ve endured more than you ever thought possible, and through those experiences you’ve managed to learn something about yourself, or your situation, that will soon help you step into a healthier reality. It’s a symbol that not only are you stronger than you imagined, but that the discomfort you feel right now is only temporary.

Death, on the other hand, could show up any time you are facing a major change in your life. 99.9% of the time, this card does not mean that someone is going to die (although, if you’ve recently lost someone, it may show up to help you process that). Because of this, it’s easier for me to refer to this card as “Change.” It’s not the only indicator of change in the Tarot deck, but it is certainly the card that taught me the most valuable lesson on the topic.

Why does change scare us so much? That’s a lot to unpack, but when some aspect of your personality, your routine, or your external reality must die in order for something new to emerge in its place, the uncertainty regarding what will come next can be debilitating.

Venturing into the unknown, leaving everything you know and are familiar with behind, and grieving the loss of those comforts can be a lot to process at once. It can feel overwhelming, but if you’ve ever been dealt this card (either literally or figuratively), the only thing you can do from that point is move forward.

I’ve been thinking a lot about change lately, as my life has recently endured a series of major shifts. I think change has always appeared to come easily for me, and I have my stubborn refusal to focus on anything but the positive to thank for that. However, only looking for the good in every situation, or in some cases, leaving the whole situation behind in search of something a little more uplifting can be both a blessing and a curse.

I think sometimes I’m so focused on looking for that positive underlying message, that I glaze right over the more difficult lessons that were meant to be processed along the way. Of course, I’m not suggesting that we should dwell on or bask in the things that bring us discomfort. But, we’re always going to have to deal with detours and sharp corners on this journey through life, and I don’t think we’re meant to speed right through them just to find ourselves back on a more comfortable path.

Maybe sometimes it’s okay to slow down and take stock of the things that challenge us to dig deeper, or to shift into a new perspective as our external world shifts around us.


Foraging in Tulsa with Justin Hope

by Anna Ervin

When I was younger, I used to think Oklahoma’s landscapes were so bland. My family traveled a lot through the years, and I remember visiting states with clear blue ocean waters, or mountains blanketed in aspens and evergreens. I would think, why can’t I live somewhere like this. Somewhere that flaunts such beautiful sceneries within an hour’s drive of my home.

Not Your Mama’s Potato Soup By Anna Ervin & Dondi Cobb

Each time our family would return to Oklahoma, I found myself scowling at the red dirt, or rolling my eyes at the never-ending span of wheat fields and the vast horizons that boasted no oceans or mountains or even hills, really. I carried this mindset with me for years, but I recently had an experience that allowed me to see my sweet home state through a fresh pair of eyes.

Justin Hope is Oklahoma’s very own weed pimp, volunteer trail guide, and one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. I was lucky enough to meet up with him for one of the most breathtaking hikes I’ve ever seen, through Keystone Ancient Forest.

Located in Northeastern Oklahoma, KAF is a small portion of the Crosstimbers area. With over 1,300 acres of forest containing oak and cedar that have been standing for at least up to 500 years, this virgin land might just be one of Oklahoma’s best kept secrets, and Justin was giving me the VIP tour.

As we started our journey down the Frank Trail, I could tell that this area meant a lot to Justin, and that he had a deep-seeded respect for the forest surrounding us. “I used to run these woods as a kid,” he boasted. “I grew up on the other side of the river, just a few miles away. I always knew this area as the Eagle Reserve. There’s definitely a lot of history trapped out here.”

Indeed, what makes Keystone Ancient Forest such a rare gem in our state is that the land has hardly been disturbed by developers, due to it’s rough terrain, proximity to the lake, and various other landscape-related roadblocks. Lucky for us, aside from a few oil wells that went up several years ago, this patch of raw Oklahoma beauty has been primarily untapped by the industrial world. This is what allows “history” to hold such strong roots in the area (literally).

“They call this a virgin forest,” Hope continued. “The environment here preserves itself, as long as man doesn’t destroy it. We try to encourage people to stay on the trail.” I noticed as we hiked, that one thing that really set this park apart from others I’ve seen was the cleanliness. Aside from the clearly marked trail, there didn’t seem to be any waste left by other hikers. And, in the off chance that we did stumble upon a cigarette butt, or granola bar wrapper, Justin would quietly pick it up and add it to a plastic bag that he kept in his backpack.

“City folk,” he chuckled at one point, “throwin’ trash down.” He collected the leftover item. “Thank goodness there’s more of us, who want to clean up. It’s easy to do, really. If people would just think about it.”

When we found ourselves halfway into the 2.8 mile trek, we decided to pause for a break. The trail had brought us to an overlook of Keystone lake. I think each of us had the same idea in mind as we returned from our backpacks bearing joints and edibles.

Justin has a long history with cannabis, and thoroughly believes in it’s medicinal qualities. Cannabis helped him get off of a sleuth of pharmaceuticals that had been prescribed to him. Pills that felt like they were killing him, rather than healing.

As the smoke began to settle and we geared up to head back onto the trail, I suddenly became hyper-aware of my surroundings. I had not medicated before the hike, and up until that point I had felt like I was simply an observer of the beauty that surrounded us. Now, was fully immersed in it. Had the trees been this alive and green the whole time? Were the birds just now waking up to sing the soundtrack of our hike, or had I just not noticed them before?

I began to feel so small, like a tiny molecule in this massive, living, breathing organism that surrounded us. Picking up on my quiet observations, Justin commented, “If you think about it, you’re just a grain of rice in this bowl. Just a pebble out here in this world.”

He would slow down every now and then to point out the peculiar way the trees seemed to grow. Some appeared to actually grow through the large stones on the ground, while a few of them had trunks that curved to form a near perfect right angle, as if they had been markers set up by travelers long before our time.

Two trees in particular had seemingly wrapped themselves around each other, winding their trunks around the other in a spiraling motion. I sensed that this was not the work of man, only the divine force of nature could create something so pure and beautiful. “They’re holding each other until the day they die,” Hope observed, before excitedly changing the topic. “Have you heard about Cornnabis? Or Cannacorn?”

I was intrigued. “One of my plants started showing half white-yellow, half green on the leaf,” he continued. “It showed signs of mutation. And a couple of weeks later, I find that there’s corn growing right next to it. The plants, kind of like the trees that were holding hands, they grew up together.”

I admired his unique perspective on nature, and the ways of the universe, and realized that they were not much different from my own. Everything on this floating rock we occupy is so divinely connected. Nature has a way of supporting itself for survival, but in a holistic way.

Certain species of trees that are considered invasive, might compete with the other plant species surrounding them. Occasionally, however, when you find something like those intertwined tree trunks, or Justin’s Cannacorn, you realize that two organisms supporting each other can result in something so pure and beautiful.

Imagine what the world would look like if humans supported each other, or the environment, in those ways, building stronger foundations, lifting each other up.

We approached the Wilson trailhead. “Are you allergic to any poison ivy or poison oak?” Justin asked. “This is a little different from the other trail. We have these tapes up so people don’t get lost.”

I knew things were about to get a little more intense, so I packed up my camera and set off to follow him down a slightly rougher and much narrower path. It was difficult to focus on anything other than the ground in front of me, and Justin seemed to move through these woods like he had done it a million times before, and had rehearsed every step. “I’ve got that Indian lightfoot,” he had told me earlier, referring to his Native blood.

I began to slide into a meditative state as we trekked forward, feeling my heart rate increase as the trail became increasingly more challenging. It had been cold that morning, but the sun was beginning to peak through the canopy of trees overhead, and before long I felt a small bead of sweat work it’s way down the back of my neck.

The Frank trail had felt like a walk in the park compared to this, and I was loving every step of our new path. This was the kind of hiking I had been missing in Oklahoma– slight changes in elevation, challenging routes that forced me to carefully plan every step, and that satisfying feeling of being deep in a forest, far away from society and all its noise.

We paused for a break as I caught my breath and took in the scene around us. It was unlike anything the forest had offered so far. Cliffs of oddly shaped rocks towered over us on one side, a waterfall blanketed in dead leaves trickled nearby, and trees upon trees upon trees were scattered around us in every direction.

I wanted to climb the rocks, hike into the trees, and dust the leaves off that waterfall and run my hands through the stream. Then I remembered Justin’s comment about staying on the trail, and I realized that the reason this park had been so well preserved, was that people like Justin had enough respect for the environment to protect and preserve it. So, I set my “Jungle Book” fantasies aside and inhaled another deep breath of crisp, cool air.

We rounded out the Wilson Trail and headed back to our starting point. On the way, we began to discuss our thoughts on the universe and spirituality. I had previously mentioned the recent new moon to my guide, and, bringing it back up, he asked me if I was sensitive to the moon. I dove a little bit into my views on divinity, and how this hike had shown me the way everything in the universe seems so interconnected, but I was more interested in hearing Justin’s ideals on the topic.

“It is all somehow related,” he told me. “I’ve got the red blood in me, the Indian ways, the ways of One. I’m a true flatliner, so I do believe there’s a reason I’m still here.”

I wanted to tell him that maybe this was that reason, helping people realize the healing power of cannabis and nature, that the earth provides us with every single thing we need to survive, but I had a gut feeling he already knew that.


Follow Justin Hope on Instagram (@skunktail_pharms) for a glimpse at the history and beauty encapsulated by Keystone Ancient Forest, or better yet, plan a visit to the park today. www.sandspringsok.org




Not Your Mama’s Potato Soup

by Anna Ervin & Dondi Cobb

Growing up I always believed my mom made the best creamy potato soup… Until I made this recipe (sorry mom). We won’t talk about which ingredients I had to ditch in order to adapt this recipe to fit my vegan diet but let’s just say it was a large chunk of them. In order to make something I knew I would love just as much as her recipe, I needed to add my own twist.

My favorite argument when someone tries to say that vegan food is boring, is that you have to heavily season a chicken breast (typically with plants) to make it taste good, but herbs and vegetables are already packed full of flavor. So, I just added all of those flavors that I love. I like to change up the ingredients based on what’s currently in season but for this recipe, I used rainbow chard, celery, rainbow carrots, and shallots, in addition to red and gold potatoes, duh.

It’s probably the most colorful potato soup you’ll ever see, and with toppings like fresh dill, sriracha, and medicated beer salt, there’s nothing boring about it…

Get the full recipe here!

Do Your Best

By Taylor Brophy


My daughter begged me to sign her up for Cub Scouts. There were girls on the flyer, and it honestly looked like something she would be into so I said, “Why not? Let’s go!”

She was over the moon excited, and because she was so happy my momma heart was smiling. The sign-up station was outside, (because, yah know, Covid) and so of course Emma was running around trying to find as many bugs, birds, frogs, and other lifeforms as she could. I was halfway through  filling out the registration form when I noticed there were no other little girls around, so I asked, “What is Cub Scouts?” The designated parent that was there for sign-up day explained the basics of what the kids do in the program. I listened and nodded, trying to muster up the courage to ask, “So is this Boy Scouts?” The parent laughed and said, “Well kind of.” They explained that in first grade you aren’t considered a “Boy Scout” yet.

You have to be a little older to be an actual member of the troop. Emma would be a Cub, or more specifically a Tiger. I laughed, and explained that I had no idea that Cub Scouts was a lead up to Boy Scouts because the flyer the school sent home showed lots of girls. I knew it wasn’t Girl Scouts, but I had honestly thought that maybe this was some sort of Hybrid. I felt the need to explain that we were not trying to take over Boy Scouts, and that my daughter is simply in love with nature and begged me to sign her up. They reassured me that she was welcome, but the pessimist inside of me was still waiting for the fallout from my baby girl’s decision to become a part of this organization that, for the majority of its existence, has been all boys.

I have been trying to think about what I was expecting from our Cub Scouts experience. I have arrived at the conclusion that I had no idea what we were getting into. I knew very little about the program when we started. If you have never been a part of Scouts, you might not realize how much parent involvement goes into it. I know for a fact that if I had known how much I would be participating I would not have signed Emma up. I will say that not knowing ended up being a major blessing. While I won’t pretend that I enjoyed Scouts from the very first meeting, I will admit that it grew on me. Cub Scouts brought me joy for many reasons. The most obvious being how much my daughter enjoyed it. There is just something about seeing your child happy and excited about an activity that automatically makes you a little more excited to participate yourself. Her excitement is what got us to meetings every week, but what convinced me to sign her up for another year is more complicated.

Cub Scouts put Emma right in her element. I watched her bloom in ways that I did not realize she could bloom. I watched her learn the Scout motto, the pledge, the oath. I watched her become serious during the presentation of the flags. I watched her become part of something bigger than herself, and thrive within it. I also watched myself gradually become more willing to get involved. Each meeting saw me come out of my shell a little more. I began talking to the other parents. I got to know them as people. I became more open to forming friendships with them, something that is not a small accomplishment for me. Letting people in is not something I would describe as easy. My perception changed from, “This is Emma’s thing. I’m only here because she wants to do this, and it is my duty to support her”, to being genuinely excited to go on the end of year camp out. I can’t pinpoint when exactly this shift came for me, but I do know that Cub Scouts has had an effect on more than just Emma.

On May 7th, I watched my child graduate from a Tiger to a Wolf. The amount of pride I felt is indescribable, and was unexpected to be honest. I felt so much happiness in my heart, not just for Emma and the progress she made, but for myself as well. Emma and I had achieved so much together on this journey. We showed up to every meeting. We went to extra activities with our den. We learned rules and guidelines that we had not previously needed to learn. We went camping overnight in a place we had never been. We learned how to play marbles, and how to make a bag to hold them. We met new people whom we might not have met if it were not for Cub Scouts. We became part of an organization that I would have never imagined being a part of. All of this because my little girl wanted to learn about nature and all life that inhabits it.

I was not anticipating the guidance my daughter would get through this program. I knew there would be people there to teach her things, but the overwhelming support was unexpected. The day following our end of year camp out was filled with a lot of new experiences. Emma learned how to shoot a bow and arrow. She actually hit the target a few times too. Her and I both shot a BB gun for the first time. It was unexpectedly empowering, and something I would like to do again. She watched as an older scout worked to make a fire using twigs and dryer lint. By the time we got to the wrist rockets, or as you may know them: slingshots, Emma was exhausted and hungry.

When she wasn’t able to make the wrist rocket work on the first try, she became frustrated. She said, “I can’t do it. It’s too hard.” I went into mom mode automatically. I encouraged her. I told her to keep trying. I explained that most people are not able to learn a new skill on the first try. None of my encouragement or brave words worked. She became more and more upset and frustrated until there were literal tears rolling down her cheeks. I had no intention of letting her walk away from the slingshot station until she had at least completed the task once, but I’ll admit, I was starting to get frustrated with her and her tears. Just when I was about to lose my “nice mom” tone of voice the instructor swooped in. He had a calming presence about him. For whatever reason he was able to get Emma to a state of mind that would allow her to give it another go. Patience radiated from him as he gave her tips and encouragement. Finally, she shot the target.

As we walked back to the meeting area together, I put my arm around her. She was still exhausted and tired, but now she had a sense of accomplishment that comes with completing something you previously thought impossible. As she ran to meet back up with the rest of her den, she shouted, “Guys I did it. I hit the target!” The instructor had given my daughter ten extra minutes of his time, but she left with a lesson that is not always organically learned. He made her promise to never say “I can’t” again, and reminded her that the Cub Scouts motto is “Do Your Best!” Would she have learned to persevere in some other stage of her life? Absolutely, but what Cub Scouts has given us is another opportunity to learn that lesson, and to establish it as a foundational skill for the rest of her life.

I often think about how much of a blessing being Emma’s mom is. She has taught me so much just by being in my life. The love I feel for her is overwhelming. I have truly seen how much I am capable of just through the experience of motherhood. What is surprising to me is how she is able to get me out of my comfort zone so effortlessly. If it wasn’t for her desire to sign up, I would have never given a second thought to Scouts. I am so thankful for the opportunities we have been presented with through this organization, and can honestly say I am excited to see what next year has in store for my little Wolf. I am looking forward to watching her grow more and more with each year.


The Cast Of The POD Variety – Ep 8

Episode 8

Herbage Magazine Presents “the cast of the pod variety”

A weekly obscure podcast covering a variety of cannabis related content within the community. We speak with others that are living with this plant, industry leaders, Herbage happenings, music, film, and more.

Show contributors: James Bridges, Anna Ervin, Scott Wallach

3 Infused Tequila Cocktails

by Anna Ervin & Dondi Cobb | Two Twisted Girls Cinco de Mayo is widely observed in the US as a way to celebrate Mexican culture and heritage. In the spirit of the holiday, as well as the quickly approaching warm weather, I thought we’d share three of our family’s favorite tequila cocktails, the Paloma, Tequila Sunrise, and a classic Margarita… with a twist. Pick one of the three different methods of infusion that we’ve used, or if you’re brave, use all three! Either way, you can’t go wrong with these highly medicated sweet drinks. For a virgin option, use sparkling water or a non-alcoholic seltzer in place of tequila. Check out the full recipes here!

Kind Origins Cannabis

by Anna Ervin

When Camron Owens began growing cannabis in his home garage during the early days of Oklahoma legalization, he knew he had found his calling.

“I’ve been supporting cannabis since 2015 or so, and I just love the product. I love the plant.”

With a little help from his Dad, Camron transformed a 1,600 square foot shop in his own backyard into a proper grow facility. Complete with two grow rooms, and later expanding to over 2,000 square feet, this shop became the initial headquarters for his crew to truly hone in on their craft.

Camron and his team quickly realized they had a great opportunity on their hands, and started making plans for the future of Kind Origins Cannabis. “I was in operation over there for about 2 years,” Camron reported, “and I sold that company to fund this place.”

“We came into this building in February of 2020 and have had plants in the building since around June.” Camron’s wife, Jo informed me, “and we’re just getting started on month-to-month harvest.”

I had arrived just in time to see the Kind Origins crew harvest one of their most medicinal strains, Strawberry Slurpee. When I asked what makes this bud so special, the team reported personal experiences that ranged from pain and muscle relief to “a clear-headed high for focus.”

“Lab testing reflects diverse terpene content,” Camron informed me, “accounting for its delicious aroma. Some of the more common terpenes like limonene, linalool, and terpinolene are used to treat depression, anxiety and prevent infection.”

“However,” he continued, “what makes Strawberry Slurpee really stand out is the presence of more exotic terpenes, like nerol and valencene, which may help with cell regeneration, acne, and sun damage. Farnesene is known as a muscle relaxer, while humulene offers anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-cancer properties. Rich terpene content paired with over 20% THC content makes for effective medicine.”

It’s nearly impossible to find a strain of cannabis that offers a “one size fits all” type of relief. Walking through the KOC facility, I couldn’t help but admire how unique each plant was to the next. As Camron showed off their temp beds, holding nearly 3-week-old plants, he pointed out the distinct difference in appearance between strains that had been transplanted just 2 days apart.

I wondered, if each genetic has its own unique appearance, smell, and medicinal qualities, would the challenges they faced growing them vary as well?

“Strawberry Slurpee is a bit of a low yielder for a strain we would run over and over again,” Camron told me. “The KOC staff made a conscious decision to continue to cultivate this strain, despite those lower yields, because it is excellent medicine.”

“It has a delicious strawberry flavor, beautiful finish, and potent aroma—we feel it’s one of the best dessert strains on the market. We get enough positive feedback that it will be on our roster indefinitely.”

I’ll be honest, it was hard to take my eyes off of what was left of Strawberry Slurpee in the grow room, but one bed of plants, in particular, managed to steal a little bit of that spotlight—Mimosa boasted colors that reminded me of the kind of sunrise you might wake up to amidst the earliest hours of dawn.

“It really does smell like a mimosa,” Camron was excited to share, “it’s delicious. I’ve been using cannabis for a long time, and I just grow the healers.”

As we continued through the building, I noticed that the Kind Origins facility had a lot of space for growth. “The new building is 22k square feet,” Ops manager Curtis Wilson explained, “with acreage earmarked for future outdoor projects. The indoor renovation is about 50% complete.”

“We have products in around 60 different dispensaries across the state,” he continued. “Right now, what we produce, we sell out of.”

With plans to complete their indoor renovations, build outdoor light deprivation greenhouses, and expand their processing from pre-rolls to concentrate extraction, I look forward to seeing where Kind Origins Cannabis takes their operation in the coming years.

For more information on Camron’s rapidly growing operation, visit kindorigincannabis.com

The Cast Of The POD Variety – Ep 7

Episode 7

Herbage Magazine Presents “the cast of the pod variety”

A weekly obscure podcast covering a variety of cannabis related content within the community. We speak with others that are living with this plant, industry leaders, Herbage happenings, music, film, and more.

Show contributors: James Bridges Anna Ervin

CBD For Pets

by Anna Ervin

With more and more people turning to CBD products to not only cure their own ailments, but also those of their pets, I thought it might be a good time to discuss the topic. I’ve actually been using CBD products to help manage my dog’s anxiety for years now. She’s a 15lb mini Australian Shepherd with the biggest heart, but an even bigger fear of loud noises.

Trust the Process, by Anna Ervin

For years, I haven’t been able to leave my house on the Fourth of July, fearful that she will literally scratch her way through the drywall, or hurt herself in the process. Thunderstorms are even worse because we rarely see them coming in time to prepare. So many nights I’ve woken at 2am to find her trying to hide in the toilet, or scratching the tile floors until her paws bleed. CBD doesn’t necessarily have a sedative effect on her, but I have noticed that it helps, especially when we’re administering it regularly.

However, anxiety is just one of many things that CBD has been known to treat in dogs. While we haven’t yet seen any formal studies on how CBD affects dogs, according to the American Kennel Club, ”What scientists do know is that cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid receptors located in the central and peripheral nervous systems, which help maintain balance in the body and keep it in a normal healthy state.”

Research and evidence are even more scarce when it comes to the efficiency of CBD for cats, but PetMD states that “Based on reports from veterinarians and pet parents, CBD itself appears, on the surface, to be very safe for cats.”

So, what are some of the benefits of using CBD products for pets? Pet owners are utilizing the non-psychoactive component to treat a number of ailments concerning their furry friends, but the three that seem to be most common are anxiety, pain, and seizures.

As mentioned before, CBD has been incredibly effective in helping reduce my pup’s anxiety over the years through regular use. However, I’m extremely careful about the products I give her for ingestion due to her sensitive stomach. With that being said, here are a few tips on seeking out CBD products for your pets:

Pay attention to carrier oils

Different oils carry different benefits for your pet’s health, but there are a few that are unsafe altogether. When looking for CBD oils, look for products with a base of hemp, grapeseed, or MCT/coconut oil.

Keep an eye on terpenes

Some studies have shown that trace amounts of terpenes can cause minor digestion issues in dogs, such as diarrhea. When in doubt, choose products made with CBD isolate, rather than full or broad-spectrum.

Get to know the companies making your pet’s medicine

The quality and efficiency of CBD products for pets relies heavily on the way those products were manufactured. Make sure you choose a manufacturer that offers total transparency, and support for all of your questions.

Bicycle Day

by Anna Ervin

When I was a kid, my friends and I used to google our birthdays to see what kind of weird holidays they fell on. Mine was April 19th, and to my horror, I learned that in some parts of the world this is considered Terrorist Day.

Trust the Process, by Anna Ervin

Of course, at the time I wasn’t even aware of the unofficial holiday that fell one day after my birthday. Once I did eventually figure out what the 4/20 culture was all about, I found myself even more disappointed. I tease my mom often, “you couldn’t have waited just 4 more hours to birth me?” To be fair, I was already 6 days behind schedule and making my debut in the world at a whopping 10 lbs.

So, I had come to terms with my fate… Until recently learning that I share my birthday with another odd holiday, one that’s much less aggressive (well, depending on who you ask).

Bicycle Day. Seems pretty innocent, right? Wrong. Bicycle Day has a really interesting origin story, one that actually has very little to do with bicycles.

Around mid-April 1943, amidst a dark time in world history, Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann accidentally discovered the psychoactive effects of Lysergic acid diethylamide, a substance more commonly known today as LSD or “acid.”

According to his writings, the synthesis of LSD-25 had previously been intended to obtain a “circulatory and respiratory stimulant.” However, the substance was deemed useless and set aside without testing for nearly 5 years, when Hofmann decided to revisit the studies. In the process, he managed to drop a small dose on his skin, resulting in what he reported to be a “remarkable experience.”

Hot Flash, by Dondi Cobb

To ensure that this state of mind was in fact influenced by LSD-25, he made the bold choice to experiment further. On April 19th, 1943, at precisely 4:20pm (I know, right?), Hofmann dosed himself with ten times the amount he had absorbed through his skin just days prior. According to his journal, his experience ranged from dizziness and anxiety, to “visual distortion, symptoms of paralysis, and desire to laugh,” but the most notable part of his trip was the bike-ride home:

“Kaleidoscopic, fantastic images surged in on me, alternating, variegated, opening, and then closing themselves in circles and spirals, exploding in colored fountains, rearranging and hybridizing themselves in constant flux.”

If you know, you know.

I have a pretty good idea how the majority of you will be celebrating April 20th this year, but what about April 19th? Obviously, LSD is still considered a Schedule I substance by the DEA, although clinical studies on the therapeutic effects of the substance are taking place across the globe.

So, while I cannot, in good conscience, recommend that you explore such a dangerous and deadly substance (I hope you can feel the sarcasm dripping off your page), I would like to recommend picking up a book by Albert Hofmann himself. Or, I don’t know, maybe ride a bike?

The Cast Of The POD Variety – Ep 5

Episode 5

Herbage Magazine Presents “the cast of the pod variety”

A weekly obscure podcast covering a variety of cannabis related content within the community. We speak with others that are living with this plant, industry leaders, Herbage happenings, music, film, and more.

Show contributors: James Bridges Anna Ervin



Trust the Process

by Anna Ervin

So often I find myself frustrated in the beginning phases of writing a story. I’ll throw my hands up and curse the laptop because the words on my screen aren’t painting the picture that I want them to. You can blame my Aries sun sign for this, patience has never been one of my strengths. In the past, I’ve picked up so many projects only to put them back down because I didn’t get it right the first time around.

But for the first time in my life, I have a job that makes me want to do whatever it takes, however many times it takes, to excel. Because of this, I have learned that when I push through the frustration and put in the real work (the inner work), the end result is so much more rewarding.

So, what does that inner work look like?

To start, it looks like facing your negative emotions head-on, asking yourself, “why do I feel this way and what can I do to work through those feelings?” But that’s a lot easier said than done, right? Changing your habits and the way you react to emotions doesn’t happen overnight. It requires intention, focus, and patience.

So, if a fiery, fast-paced Aries like me can learn to slow down and trust herself, I’m positive that you can too. I’ll leave you with few tips that have continuously helped me better understand my fears, angers, and frustrations, and ultimately work past them:

  • Take a step back. If you’re stuck in a negative headspace and you can’t get out, don’t force it. Take a break, read a chapter in your favorite book, eat a meal, or do something nice for yourself. Sometimes we just need to take a little space from whatever is causing us to feel distressed, in order to gain a little perspective and clarity.


  • Breathe. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Visualize your breath traveling down into your belly, doing a little somersault, then climbing back up your spine and out through your mouth. This is something I learned through yoga, but it helps me so much on a day-to-day basis. We hold all of this tension in our bodies, and sometimes that’s where a lot of our emotions stem from. Breathe into and through those areas to allow that energy to flow a little more freely.


  • Smoke a bowl. Find a strain that uplifts your mood and calms your heart. I respond to a lot of strains differently than most, but Purple Punch seems to really do it for me. Find that strain for you, and have it handy for those moments when you’re feeling the weight of everything.


  • Trust the process. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your problems aren’t going to go away overnight. Trust that whatever you are feeling or going through right now is playing an important role in your journey. It doesn’t always make sense right away, but I promise that someday you’ll be able to look back and see a much bigger picture.

Sophia Massad

by Anna Ervin

If you have yet to tune into the locally produced Play It Loud series by award-winning independent filmmaker Adam Hampton, it’s time to indulge. Play It Loud is sponsored by our friends at Grand Casino and was the topic of discussion between my boss and I when the name Sophia Massad came up.

Sophia is one of the most recent artists to join the series, but I had been seeing her name pop up long before this interview was released. You see, when I first started working for Herbage, I was eager to make more friends in the cannabis industry. So, like any millennial would do, I turned to Instagram.

It was hard to scroll past Sophia’s colorful, sparkly images that came up under geotag Oklahoma City. I loved the way she was breaking stigmas about the use of medicinal cannabis by, well, glamourizing it. Looking at her content, you might never imagine that Sophia, like so many of us, has a history of health issues. The focus of her brand lies not on her disabilities, but rather the capabilities that using cannabis has given back to her.

This inspired me, and I think that was apparent to my boss. It was only a matter of time before he worked his magic and I found myself sitting across from @the_dope_soph herself.

I was a little nervous. Sophia has not only worked tirelessly to create a sound that she is proud of, but also uses her music and her platform to educate and inspire the public about the benefits of cannabis. And she does it with so much fire. I decided to be upfront about how intimidating this meeting was for me, and boy am I glad I did. After bonding over our mutual enemy, anxiety (and laughing at our own fears), we dove right into one of the best conversations I’ve had in a long time.

I couldn’t possibly include every little thing we touched on (I’m not kidding when I say I had to cut over 11,000 words from this story), but I did my best to focus on the topics that highlight the most colorful pieces of Sophia’s journey. I hope that by the time you finish reading this, you’ll see the same shining light that initially inspired me to seek out her story.


Photography by Austin Edwards

Anna: So, I really wanted to talk about your journey with cannabis, and why you are so passionate about using your platform to break the stigma.

Sophia: Well, I was the queen of ‘weed is terrible, and nobody should ever have it. It will ruin your life and then you’ll do heroin.’ After I got my card, I realized that it literally is medicine. I really fell in love with like the fact that it can help you; it got rid of my anxiety, I was able to sleep, and creatively it sparked so much in me. It helped me get over a lot of social anxiety. Because I was homeschooled, I never learned how to interact with people, but when I started smoking it was like, ‘I’m just going to be myself. Fuck it. I’m going to do whatever I want.’

I don’t know if you’ve watched my Play It Loud interview, but now that I’ve said ‘I have Tourette Syndrome, and I’m also a normal person.’ And that I tried to kill myself, and I’m also a normal person. I just love the idea of normal people coming out, and saying ‘Hey, this is what I’ve done, now everybody knows that life is…’ I don’t know-

Anna: I get what you’re saying. You’re not just breaking stigmas about cannabis use. You’re breaking stigmas about mental health and wellness.

Sophia: I’m trying to. I just, so much want people to say, ‘I will stop taking this prescription medicine, because now I have gummies every morning.’ That’s how I feel because I was taking Ibuprofen all the time before cannabis. I was just always in pain. When I first applied for my card I had just gotten in a car accident where I rear ended someone. My head was real messed up, my back was really bad, and cannabis literally saved my life after that.

Yeah, it puts me in a better mood and it makes me think things are funnier, but why would that ever be bad? People say that it’s a bad thing, but I wasn’t a laugher before, and I think things are funnier now.

Like today, I had a busy day and I hadn’t smoked. I was just like, ‘Man, everything sucks. Everything sucks and I don’t want to do anything, and I’m not worth this. Why does anybody care about taking pictures of me, or talking about me, blah, blah blah.’ Then I took a hit of my pen, which is Green Crack, and it’s the best, if you have a Green Crack pen.

Anna: Green Crack is one of my favorite strains!

Photography by Austin Edwards

Sophia: Yes! It just makes me so creative. So, I had a hit of it, and ten minutes later I was like, ‘Dude, you’re a badass. Okay. I know what I’m doing. I got this. I trust myself.’ It was giving me that confidence to do more. I feel like I can sometimes look at things from an outside perspective when I’m high.

Where I kind of got started in wanting to be more of a cannabis advocate was through following Jessi Murray and Ãnna Frost of The Dope Girls (@thedopegrls). I was like, ‘Oh shit. I smoke weed, and I’m so scared of it.’ But I realized they are so successful and active. And then I was like, ‘well, I just have to accept it, let people know who I am, and show that I’m active.’ I’m not hiding the fact that I smoke weed all the time. It’s normal.

I feel like 2020 was a big year for me to say, ‘Okay. It’s do or die. I’m always going to do music, no matter what. And I can also be passionate about things like cannabis.’

Anna: Okay, I have to ask. What’s your zodiac sign?

Sophia: I’m a Virgo. Double Virgo. My birthday is two days before Amy Winehouse’s, and I feel really connected to that for some reason. I feel like we have the same emotions. I love her.

My 12th and 11th houses are in Leo, as well as my Venus and Mars alignments. Everyone is like, ‘How can you be a Virgo, and also be a performer?’ Because I’m kind of Leo, and with that I have always had a strong drive to create and perform.


Anna: So tell me about your journey into making music. Who or what were some of your major influences?

Sophia: My family is really musical, we’re all creatives. At a really young age I realized I could sing. When I was like eight or nine, I remember learning how to belt for the first time, and my parents were like, ‘alright. I see you.’ So, they got me vocal lessons.

I was the kind of person that would just turn on the music, and lay on the ground, and think about life. I remember listening to Kid Cudi and thinking that I want to connect with someone as much as Kid Cudi is connecting with me through his music. I just couldn’t see me getting through that part of my life without him.

I also loved Eminem. One of his song lyrics talks about wanting to do this just to reach people that had similar issues, even if it’s just one person. And I remember thinking, ‘Yeah. I just want to reach one person that has similar issues to me and show them that it’s okay. That I’m here for them and that they can get through.’

Sophia: I always grew up with The Beatles because my dad is so obsessed with them. I’ve seen all their movies. I’ve literally listened to The Beatles everyday, and there would be seasons of my life where I would fall in love with their different albums. Their lyrics are, in my mind and in my world at least, the pillars of song lyrics.

I remember those moments really sparking me to say, ‘this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to write music.’ I started writing really young. My dad taught me how to play guitar and my older sister taught me how to play piano. It was kind of the only thing that I cared about. Listening to music, and then making music.


Anna: What does your creative process look like when it comes to songwriting? Does Cannabis play a role in that?

Sophia: I don’t ever think that I’m making music. I think it’s just music that is coming through me.

One of my new favorite things ever is to listen to Lo-Fi music when I clean. While it’s playing I will write a song to the beat. Then I will take that and make my own beat, change the key, and make a song out of that, which has been really fun. It mostly happens when I’m smoking, I hardly ever clean if I’m not smoking. But I just kind of allow it to flow out of me.

Sometimes I’ll sit down and play an old song or a cover to get started. But sometimes I’ll just find some pretty cords and try to make that into a song. That’s mostly how my songs come about is sometimes I’ll hit a cord and be like, ‘Here’s the song. We got it.’

Other times it won’t happen at all. Most of my life I have really hated that, and I tried to force things. But at this point I’ve realized I’m not really in charge. A lot of people believe that waiting for the magic song writing orb to come amongst you is a terrible way to live, and it’s lazy I guess to some people. But I think it’s real.

Anna: It’s almost like you’re manifesting it.

Sophia: Yeah! But sometimes it comes to me at the worst times. I wrote Alone at Night on my notes and my recorder on my phone when I was teaching at a VBS for a church that I sang for. We had a break and I was like, ‘Oh my God. This is a really good song inside my head.’ So I’m making this song in my head talking about not being alone at night in the church that I’m working at. But it just had to happen then.

My creative process is truly all over the place. But if I’m ever in a block in the middle of writing a song I’ll smoke, or I’ll smoke more. And that will really allow it to just become a song.

Over quarantine I just chilled at home all the time, making music, and I wrote maybe 100 songs, and I just wrote a song a day for most of 2020, just for fun. I remember so many times I would get frustrated and be like, ‘This song is going nowhere. I’m doing nothing. Nothing is worth anything, and I’m quitting music.’ And then I would go smoke a joint and come back and be like, ‘I am amazing, and this song is great, and this is how it’s going to go.’

Anna: I’m laughing because I can relate so much with my writing. I do the same thing. At the end of the day you just have to trust the process. Cannabis really helps with that. 

Sophia: Yeah, it just makes me so much more relaxed and able to notice what’s actually happening in life. I’m such a people-pleaser, and such an over thinker, but cannabis just makes me an artist. It allows me to just do art. So, to answer your question, I don’t have a solid creative process. It is more of a creative creative process.


Anna: If you could give yourself one piece of advice when you first started writing and recording songs, what would that be? 

Sophia: You know, on the Play It Loud Interview I was like, ‘Trust yourself. Trust yourself always.’ And I’ve really been thinking about that because I don’t always trust myself now, as an adult.

Basically, I spent my childhood writing these songs and I recorded them around age 16, releasing them around that time as well. I spent all of my graduation money on the album. And I was just so afraid of other people not loving it.

I guess everything I was afraid of happened. I still have probably 500 albums in my garage of my EP. I was so afraid of what people were going to think of me and I was so afraid of it not being the best thing in the world. But in the end music isn’t about being famous or popular and if it is then it’s probably not the right kind of music.

You should be making music for yourself. It is your own kind of therapy. It is basically journaling out loud. Just doing it is enough. I wish that I had known that making an album was enough. It didn’t have to be a perfect album for everyone. Why would I want to be famous based on an album that I didn’t personally love?



Check out Sophia’s music on Spotify and stay up to date with the latest from her Instagram pages @sophiamassad @the_dope_soph


the cast of the pod variety EP 004

Episode 004

James Bridges and Anna Ervin with Herbage Magazine talk about what’s happening in the cannabis culture, art, business, musicians, comedians, and more…. herbagemag.com

On this episode we visit with Daniel Lewis to talk Cross Roads 2 Cannabis, Cowboy Cup, and more…

We get a small glimpse of a lengthy conversation to come later with Cory Hancock of Hancock Cartoons. Check us out weekly.

For guest details, sponsorships, event news, and more: james@herbagemag.com _______________ #herbagemagazine