April Showers Bring May Flowers
It may be time to shatter any illusions you have of yourself or others. Peel away these misconceptions about your life and see yourself for the amazing being that you are and how you were intended to be. There is nothing wrong with you. Break those illusions they are not true. You or someone you love may be suffering from something painful confusing or unpleasant. You must endure and push yourself through these moments in life. You should know that you are strong and it may be incredibly hard to know that in this moment you will move past this into better times. You are not alone. Think about what it is you sincerely want out of life and whether you’re showing people your true self. Align your different personas into one and doing so you will conserve your energy. Think about situations where various personas work together to support your authentic self. Release the excess baggage from those personas so that you can find a free pass for your spirit and soul. Plan your next steps with an eye to the long term. Have patience; there are more good things to come. This is a time to end those addictions or codependencies. The difficulties are lifting. Information is coming to help you. It may be a bit uncomfortable to hear, but be present in your emotions and speak your truths with kindness Letting go of the belief systems that no longer serve you. Important life changing events and situations that will lead to significant opportunities of assistance in the forms of money, advice, and career. The outlook is bright when lead with your passion. Take a breath and know the stability you have been seeking is near.New friends will arrive and romance will flow. Take a break from society and commit to your spiritualgrowth. You have the potential to make life great!
Lettuce Learning by Chet Tucker
With a saturated cannabis market here in Oklahoma, it’s important to understand not only basic economics but also how your product or service fits or outshines. At the date of this writing, we have over 6,800 licensed growers serving a medicinal market that makes up about 10% of the state’s population (aka Med-Rec with the ease of getting a medical card). That number would still be considered high even if it were serving the 4 million residents (and those traveling in) had the vote gone recreational. Obviously, had our vote gone recreational, it would have “bailed” out thousands of
businesses that are fighting for survival. Add the fact that we have 1,800+ processors and we all get the picture … there’s no green rush! That ship has sailed for the foreseeable future which means those that are here for the long haul have to continue finding ways to improve and diversify to remain.
Specific to the wholesale vendors, how do your businesses do more than survive in such a flooded marketplace? I believe it takes a plethora of angles to do more than make ends meet. First, I believe you have to truly have a passion for what you’re producing and selling. Sounds like a no-brainer but like any other business or product, there has to be a rooted passion for what you’re doing to truly excel but even more critical in a market that has nearly 10,000 different businesses competing for consolidating dispensary shelf space. So, whether you’re here producing flower, carts, edibles, topicals, tinctures, etc., you first have to be all-in with your work ethic and passion for setting you and your business apart!
Next, you have to determine how you’re setting yourself apart from the parking lot full of vendors vying for dispensary and patient need and desire. Flower makes up a majority of sales, especially if you consider pre-rolls which are followed by carts, edibles, concentrates and then to the even tighter market of the variety of products that make up the remaining 5% of sales. If you’re diversified in the space, it could certainly help if you’re standing out in a few different product categories. With so many options for patients and dispensaries to choose from, what makes your product or service stand above the rest? Is it a unique or sought after product or strain? Is it backed with product guarantees to the dispensary and patient? Is it professionally packaged and distributed properly? Is it consistent quality? With the state of the market, it really needs to be all the above!
So, how do you even make it in the door? One of the first wins in business is being “first to market”. For those that’ve been here since inception or have expanded from other states, they will have a much higher success rate than those just entering the market. Dispensaries and patients have had years to become familiar with and trust the quality and consistency of the vendors that have established themselves. For the thousands that have come in over the last year or two, it’s about all of the aforementioned and the value add of being professional and consistent in your sales approach. In my last article, I shared that you certainly have to be patient and kind as you understand that not every dispensary will carry your product and let’s be honest, there are some that you may not want to be in or that can afford certain tiers because their geography within the state doesn’t match the dollars that can be spent.
When the market first took off, dispensaries were scrapping for any and all products they could get in and even when trying to build long term relationships and/or contracts, most weren’t willing to make said deals because of the supply and demand and the uncertainty of whether those businesses would last. However, the market is still lopsided with the supply being high (yes, I said high) and the demand not meeting the level of production that’s coming out of cultivation and processing facilities. Sadly, there’s been many frustrated with this flipped conundrum and taking it out on each other. That’s not good business. If you’re in a single lane (not vertically integrated), it’s important to understand that while some dispensaries may be negotiating at high margins, many are passing on the savings to the patients to compete at the retail level. Retail cannabis spaces don’t have the “luxury” of the expense write-offs that other cannabis businesses are able to leverage. Additionally, they will typically have a higher cost of real estate (lease) and more compliance certifications and fees within their respective city limits. Last, they are responsible for the 7% marijuan tax on top of all other taxes and expenses. Let’s wrap with some of the basics and etiquette that can be shared between both the retailers and wholesalers.
It’s important to respect each other’s time and business space. For vendors that are out there hustling face to face, store to store, be respectful and mindful of the retail space in which you enter. You certainly will always take a back seat to any patients/customers that are in the store and I believe most everyone gets this “rule of thumb”. If you do come face to face, bring your professionally packaged samples/products … and bring your best. Too often, I’ve personally heard, “well this isn’t what we currently have” or “this is some older stuff, our new stuff is much better”. You will quickly lose any credibility if you’re bringing older samples or stuff that isn’t professionally packaged to display/pitch. There are far too many that have it together so you’ll be wasting your gas and time if you’re not coming to make the best impression. Next, respect the owner, purchasing manager, or budtender that may say “no” to even seeing the product or declining it. They may have other appointments or they may not be taking in new products at that time. Shoot for a date and time on a calendar if they are interested. If they do agree to check out your product, make sure you’re sharing what you need and that you’re not taking up too much time. The good ol’ elevator pitch of 2-3 minutes should be enough to make the impression needed for a small chance at an on-the-spot sale or a chance to come back for a sale and delivery.
For dispensaries, I feel it’s equally important to be open and honest about where you’re at with products and needs. No need to waste anyone’s time if you’re not taking on any new products or if you are only looking for a specific product. Additionally, it’s not hard to be kind to the person that’s out trying to share their products and earn a living. If they call or come in, be kind and respectful and guide the person for a future date or sharing that you will take a card or look them up and get back with them. Most importantly, if an appointment or sale delivery was made, someone should be there for the appointment or to call and reschedule ahead of time if they aren’t going to make the appointment. If there is a delivery, it’s critical that money is there and the transaction is completed. I’ve personally experienced deliveries to dispensaries where there was no money or they weren’t prepared for the delivery even though it was properly communicated. That’s unfair to the vendors and the person that’s on a schedule of deliveries. Last, many dispensaries have websites with customer/vendor contact form to make appointments. It’s a wise use of everyone’s time to leverage these for making appointments or avoiding wasted time with a business that’s not interested in taking on new products. All in, it’s common courtesy and doing your best to respect your fellow man. Next month, we’ll dive into the power of online awareness and communications and how they can streamline and improve credibility and opportunities.
A Toke of Wellness
Delta 9 thc, commonly known as just THC, is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis. It is responsible for most, but not all, of the plant’s medicinal effects. When inhaled, ∆9 THC is absorbed directly into the bloodstream and swiftly distributed to cannabinoid receptors throughout the body. This rapid absorption means onset time is quick, but the effects aren’t as lasting as edibles. When ingested in oil form, ∆9 THC is metabolized by the liver and converted into a new compound, 11-hydroxy-THC.
11-Hydroxy-THC is more potent and longer lasting than ∆9 THC. However, in this case “more potent” and “longer lasting” don’t automatically mean “better” or “more reliable”. With 11-hydroxy-THC the onset and duration of its effects can be more unpredictable than ∆9 THC. This is because the time it takes for the liver to metabolize ∆9 THC can vary depending on the person’s metabolism, the dose consumed, and whether they ate shortly before or after.
Full-Spectrum Extract refers to extracts that contain all of the natural compounds found in cannabis plants, such as cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Rather than a single compound on its own, this combination of compounds work together and rely on each other to produce a greater therapeutic effect.
BROAD-Spectrum Extract The CBD market, defines broad-spectrum cannabis extracts as a type of extract that contains a variety of terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids (minus THC). However in the THC market, broad-spectrum refers to an extract that maintains a variety of cannabinoids, but no terpenes or flavonoids. While terpenes are medicinal compounds, they are volatile oils that often get destroyed in digestion and are better absorbed via inhalation.
ISOLATE Extract To obtain a single cannabinoid from the cannabis plant (like CBD or THC), an isolate extraction is utilized. In this process, all other components of the plant, such as terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids, are removed. Typically, harsh techniques, like solvents, are used to strip the targeted cannabinoid from the rest of the plant material. The end product is a highly concentrated, powdered form of the single cannabinoid. Most of the cannabis products on the market that are formulated with specific ratios of cannabinoids (1:1, 12:1, 1:1:1, etc.) typically rely on cannabis isolates to achieve these exact ratios.
CANNABIS OILS , whether they are full or broad spectrum, are highly concentrated extracts made through various extraction methods. However, when cannabis oil is consumed in an edible form, most of the therapeutic cannabis material is destroyed during digestion as oil and water do not mix, and the human body is mostly made up of water. As a result, only a small amount of the ∆9 THC in the oil can be absorbed by the body. Once absorbed, it is metabolized into 11-hydroxy-thc which is responsible for the “edible high” from oil-based edibles.
NANO EMULSIFIED / WATER SOLUBLE Cannabis oils can be made more bioavailable by emulsification. This process breaks down cannabinoids into small particles, increasing their surface area for better absorption. Nano cannabinoids can be up to 10x more bioavailable than traditional oil-based cannabinoids, thus improving their therapeutic effectiveness. Nanoemulsions keep THC from being converted to 11-hydroxy-THC, bypassing liver metabolism and entering the bloodstream directly. As a result, the effects are more predictable and consistent, reducing unexpected side effects.
NATURAL FLAVORS + COLORS Cannabis edibles can be flavored and colored with many natural ingredients. Most of them are made from essential oils, extracts, or distillates of natural ingredients: fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, minerals, and animal products (unless they’re vegan!). Natural ingredients are often preferred over artificial because they do not contain synthetic chemicals or artificial
ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS + COLORS Synthetic and artificial ingredients can pose processing challenges for the body both in the short and long term. These components have the potential to disrupt the body’s metabolic and hormonal functions. Often, artificial ingredients are derived from natural sources and chemically modified to enhance flavor or color. In contrast, certain ingredients such as Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Red 40 are entirely synthetic.
SUGARS + SWEETENERS Edibles can be sweetened with natural or artificial options. Fruit puree contains naturally occurring simple sugars, fructose and sucrose, making it a natural choice. Allulose, found in some fruits, is a rare sugar, but not necessarily environmentally sustainable when produced at scale. High fructose corn syrup is a cheaper, commonly used sweetener, but associated with health risks such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Sugar-Free can be beneficial for some patients’ particular needs, however artificial sweeteners are often substituted in place of natural sugar to achieve a sweet sugar-free edible.
MELATONIN Sleep and wake cycles are regulated by melatonin, an essential hormone produced by the body. Supplemental melatonin can disrupt the body’s natural production and can sometimes cause unwanted side effects such as daytime drowsiness, headaches, and nausea. Reishi mushroom, which encourages the body’s own melatonin production, is a more natural sleep aid.
GELATIN is derived from collagen found in the skin, bones, and connective tissues of animals, usually cows or pigs. It’s commonly used in the production of cannabis gummies to give them their shape and texture. Because gelatin is derived from animal collagen, it is high in certain amino acids that can be difficult for the gut to break down. Occasionally consuming gelatin is not harmful, but regular consumption can cause health issues such as irritating the lining of the gut, bloating, gas, and constipation.
Raise Your Highbration
Vibrational medicine is a wealth to add to anyone’s skill tree, be it a novice smoker, or a seasoned stoner! After all, just because someone’s proficient in an art doesn’t mean there’s nothing left to learn, and we all want the most holistic high we can create for ourselves, right?
Let’s begin by defining ‘vibrational medicine’.
Everything and everyone has a vibration. It’s a state of being that can be high or low depending on the stimulus on your everyday environment and how you choose to relate to it internally.
Cannabis has a vibration too, and that vibration changes the more the plant is tampered with, for example, with PGR’s (plant growth regulators) or even the disposition of the grower as its tending to budding plants.
Interestingly enough the plant, alongside carrying its own vibration acts like an enhancer for the overall current an individual carries with their vibration at the time of ingestion. So what does that mean exactly?
It could mean many things. It could mean that if you’re buzzed at a party you don’t even want to be at, but are because you’re actively people pleasing, have 89 problems on your plate and no solutions, only complaints – the weed that your deciding to ingest is going to shut you down and numb you out, or on the other end, make you panic.
Low situatons breed low results.
Alternatively, it could mean that you just took a big step for yourself in terms of self care and set a healthy boundary with a friend or family member, moreover you had a balances nourishing meal and took the time to meditate like you keep reminding yourself to do.
So when you sit back for the evening, and partake in some choice cannabis, it’s going to generally Inspire you and cradle that warmth you’ve shown yourself that day, because you matter! Great job!
Now those are two random situations, the point is if you’re surrounded and full of self love, the medicine is going to enhance that as long as you’re medicating smart for your body.
If your focus is chaotic and honed in on failure, stress, and the opinions of others before your own, your medicine will latch onto that state of ennancement and bring little benefit and more distraction.
Distraction may show auick results, but in the long term it’s not doing anyone any favors.
Now if you’re anything like me, step by step can really put it in perspective, so maybe treat it like a nightcap ritual, or a morning motivator if you have the ability! Dedicate some time just for you and your medicine.
A Toke of Gratitude
The pace of life today is fast and stress is an inevitable part of that, but it doesn’t have to take over your daily experience. Stress can be turned into a helpful ally by cultivating a better relationship with it, thereby increasing resilience, and
improving your overall well-being. The article discusses the role of the endocannabinoid system and cannabis in addressing stress, as well as tips for reducing your stress levels and feeling more peaceful every day.
First, we need to understand how stress works in the body. When we perceive a threat, our bodies release stress hormones. This activates the Sympathetic Nervous System, preparing us to fight or flee. In order to protect us from danger, the Sympathetic Nervous System provides energy and strength to overcome the threat. When the threat subsides, the Parasympathetic Nervous System takes over. The system promotes relaxation, rejuvenation and repair. It also reduces the activity of the Sympathetic Nervous System and stimulates digestion and reproductive functions – bringing our bodies back into balance.
The key to building a resilient relationship with stress is to promote the Parasympathetic response so that it can work its magic! There are many tools that we can use to do this, including mindfulness, movement, and plant medicine.
Cannabis + Stress
Cannabis helps manage stress through its interaction with our internal endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS functions like a control center in our bodies that helps keep things balanced and working properly. It does this by using special molecules called endocannabinoids, which connect to receptors in our bodies to regulate things like our mood, hunger, sleep, and how our bodies feel pain.
Consuming cannabis is a great way to promote a Parasympathetic response, initiating our body’s healing state. Cannabis contains powerful compounds called cannabinoids (THC, CBD, CBN, etc.), which bind to our body’s endocannabinoid receptors and help calm down the nervous system, control inflammation, promote balance, and ultimately reduce stress.
Double Your Stress Support
Incorporate a gratitude practice into your cannabis consumption! By focusing on what you are grateful for, you can become more mindful and present. This shift in perspective can help to calm the mind and soothe the nervous system, reducing the effects of stress and promoting feelings of peace and contentment. We call this a “Gratitude Sesh” and here’s how you can try it for yourself
You’re Prepared to Sesh Intentionally!
At the end of the day we don’t have control over what’s happening around us, but we do have control over what happens within. By harnessing the benefits of plant medicine and promoting a positive mindset, you create a more balanced relationship to stress and can cultivate a happier, healthier, and more peaceful life.
Bridget is a practicing embodiment coach. She
holds certifications from AFPA in holistic
nutrition, as well as specializing in herbalism
from Herbal Academy. Bridget founded Inner
Calm Co., (@innercalmco) a wellness company,
with the desire to help her clients find balance
and confidence in their wellness journeys.
HERBAGE MAGAZINE MARCH ‘23
Digital edition of the MARCH 2023 print issue #51 of Herbage Magazine.
Herb•age strives to bring you fresh content regularly. We cover a wide range of cannabis culture and medical marijuana-related issues from around the state of Oklahoma and beyond. In other words, It is our mission to be the voice of the growing cannabis industry in the state. Through fair and open discourse we hope to continue the trend of bringing cannabis out of the shadows and into the mainstream where it belongs. So, please join us and help us grow with Oklahoma!
Dict For V-Day
by James Bridges
I broke up with that disgusting and dreadful monster 4-years-ago and I think about her every day.
I couldn’t help the temptation. The blissful period when the thoughts stopped swirling in my head was my muse. She was, without a doubt, the one that would always be there to comfort me when I needed her. I told myself at a young age that one day we would part. In actuality, I counted on the fact that I would forget that promise to myself one day and my relationship would last forever.
I thought I loved her, but I realized, not as quickly as I would have liked, that I was under a spell. That spell that she cast had a hold of me and would not allow my thoughts to wander too far away.
Many other people have had “relations” with this overbearing and smothering polygamist. Though she is very committed to seeing that your side of the relationship is followed through, she could care less about the expectations that any of us have had of her.
She is the epitome of everything I know, love, and hate with a passion. “But it’s been 4 years!” you say, and I hear it. I just can’t wash it away. Sadly, I believe it may have been true love…
My thoughts have shifted over time. I’ve invested in the “new” me. I noticed early that I judged myself constantly. I started to think that this must have been the way I’ve acted toward myself for the majority of my entire life. Who was I to judge?… Then I started to wonder why I would do this to myself. With that, of course, came more self-judgment.
I’ve entered into a new space, now that it’s been 4 years. This space does nothing to take me away from the love that I still feel in my heart for her. I can’t seem to shake that. However, I am doing my best to play an active role in creating more changes for the betterment of my life. This new level of clarity is definitely becoming the most psychologically challenging aspect of my growth. It’s just so hard to get away from that cold hearted beast.
I struggle with calibrating my thoughts to align with my actions. I see it with my mindseye, yet I cannot fix it. It feels electric. The vibrations and emotions that are flowing as you watch yourself behave as if you are no longer in control. It’s a very unusual and strange experience. I’m sure many of you can relate.
I’m told it’s just a phase. Another stepping stone to get away from attachments, which may lead me back to her. Even though, a lot of the time, I struggle to have any desire to lift my foot, in hopes she may call again.
For now I will replace my old Valentine, called addiction, with something a little more pleasant. The thought of what is to come. This keeps me going. I know that someday my relationship with her won’t be so rocky. Maybe then everything will be aligned.
HERBAGE MAGAZINE FEBRUARY ‘23
Digital edition of the February 2023 print issue #50 of Herbage Magazine.
Herb•age strives to bring you fresh content regularly.
We cover a wide range of cannabis culture and medical marijuana-related issues. In other words, It is our mission to be the voice of the growing cannabis industry in the state. Through fair and open discourse we hope to continue the trend of bringing cannabis out of the shadows and into the mainstream where it belongs. So, please join us and help us grow with Oklahoma!
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HERBAGE MAGAZINE PLEASE CONTACT STUFF@HERBAGEMAG.COM
Herbage Golf – Spring 2023
THE BLUNT & BOGEY TOUR –
BEST BALL SCRAMBLE
WIN PRIZES & ENJOY AN AFTERNOON WITH FRIENDS!
WHEN: Saturday, April 8, 2023, 10:00 AM
SIGN UP HERE
Plan to arrive by 10:00 AM for registration. Shotgun start at 11:00 AM.
Look forward to having fun and enjoying friends while your team participates in playing the “Best Ball” hit down the fairways.
We will have guest dab bars and plenty of giveaways available from our amazing sponsors.
Plenty of fun contests will be on the course, including a $50,000 prize for Hole-In-One!
Win prizes – Network with cannabis industry colleagues – Have fun!
AWARDS & SESH: 4:20 PM
WHERE: Choctaw Creek Golf Course and The Country Club Restaurant, 2200 North Hiwassee Road, Choctaw, OK 73020
SIGN UP HERE
The Cultivation Corner January ‘23
Brought to you by Smokey Okies Cannabis
It’s a new year, and for many people, that means making resolutions and setting goals. Well, if you are a home grower, or aspiring home grower, I encourage you to take a big picture look at your grow schedule for this year. Don’t have one? That’s okay. The purpose of this article is get you thinking in terms of an annual cultivation plan, as opposed to just planting some seeds and hoping for the best. Don’t know how to put one together? That’s okay too. In this article, I am going to show you.
First, we are going to tie in the last couple Cultivation Corner articles that had to do with veg, and I am going to show you how to apply that advice to the context of your situation, within your annual cultivation plan.
Sound like too much for a beginner grower? Just keep reading, I promise you will see the big picture by the end of this article.
First, get a clear vision of the end goal
When you plant your seeds or clones, you will have this tiny little plants in small pots. Now in order to know how long you will keep these plants in a vegetative state, you must have a clear outline for the entire growth cycle.
As you put together you plan, consider the following:
• How big is your grow space?
• How many strains do you want to grow?
• How often do you want to be flowering or harvesting?
As you ponder those questions, you will want to ask yourself a few more:
• Do you want to grow only a few but large plants?
• Would you instead prefer many small plants?
• Do you want to get as many harvests as possible in a year?
• Are you satisfied with fewer harvests?
Once you start asking yourself these types of questions, you will get yourself in thinking in terms of the big picture. Don’t just grab some seeds and talk about planting them. No, instead, I want you to think about mapping our your entire year!
Creating a Cultivation Plan based around your Grow Space
If you have a small grow space, such as a tent, you must acknowledge your limitations. The most obvious is ceiling height. Compare that to a 2-car garage. A grower using his home garage has more space than a person using a tent. But killer out-comes can be achieved in both scenarios, if you have a plan!
Tips for Small Grow Spaces
For small spaces, the goal is to grow small plants. Which means you get to master the art of getting a decent yield out of small plants. Part of the secret to getting yield with small plants is to simply increase the number of plants. You cannot grow big plants in a small space, but if you do things right, you can grow many small plants in a small space.You therefore want a shorter veg cycle. But as you condense your veg cycle, you shorten the amount of time you have to get all your chores done! That is okay, you can adjust.
You will want to first use smaller containers. You don’t need 7-gallon pots for a small tent. Stick with 2-gallon. You could even go smaller. The smaller the pot, the more plants you can fit in your tent, and that means more strain variety. You will need to top these earlier in veg in order toget the plant to start forking out, which will control your vertical growth. Remember, plants will double in size during flower, so we can’t let them get too big during veg.
Keep your veg cycle to about 4-5 weeks. Get at least one topping session in, and at least one pruning session, either before or after your topping session. At this point, you are ready to switch to 12/12.
Your 2023 Cultivation Plan
With a small grow space, you can focus on get-ting in multiple runs this year. With two weeks for a seedling phase, or for a clone to root, combined with a short veg (4-5 weeks), plus an 8-week flower cycle, you can get three and a half flips in this year. That means you will harvest 3 times and have a fourth cycle halfway completed going into the new year. With this type of plan, you get multiple harvests, a decent strain variety per run, and best of all….Lots of practice! Which is the most important feature here.
Getting three bites at the apple per year, you will triple your experience level than if you only had one run per year. If you have access to additional grow spaces for vegging your next batch of clones or seedlings, you can increase that number to five flips in a year. Imagine your experience level after a couple years of doing that! Of course, you could go with an entirely different plan of growing really big plants and aiming to get the biggest yield per plant. We will talk about that type of a strategy in next month’s issue
For Obvious Reasons, No Receipts
For Obvious Reasons, No Receipts
By Kathleen Barker
Oh how far we’ve come from 1986 and getting our weed through reefer Rick! Though I think many of us can agree that we’d drop a lot of cash to do a deal with Eddie Munson. But here’s my question, what kind of flower does our favorite metalhead prefer? Is he more of a sativa smoker? Or an Indica kind of guy? And what about Terps?
Let’s ask some loyal Tumblr fans what they think, aye?
Lei: “Ooh, my first instinct is to say he’d go for a sativa. He’s a high energy kind of guy, I think that he might want something that would stimulate his mind and fuel his creativity when playing guitar or writing campaigns. Though perhaps on other occasions he may want an Indica just to be able to chill out and wind down, become one with the couch so to speak. He sells it so he’s got choices you know? Options at his disposal for different needs. The terpenes that stand out to me with Eddie in mind are Limonene, Myrcene, and Pinene. Limonene for the elevated mood and anti-depression. Eddie is a naturally positive person so I think he’d appreciate added benefits here. Myrcene for the added creativity that psychoactivity brings, and Pinene for memory retention and alertness since it seems pretty clearly to me that Eddie has ADHD and would really benefit from some help in those areas!”
Johnny: “Given that he’s well-versed in alternative medicine, maybe even a damned witch doctor due to being a dungeon master, he probably smokes both, but as far as a preference goes I guess sativa. He has lots of high-yielding energy, he’s very outgoing, so I don’t see his preference leaning towards couch potato vibes which would be Indica. As far as Terpenes go? Definitely some Limonene but after that shit with Chrissy? Linalool. He needs to relax and sedate himself after all that.“
Tess: “Eddie Munson is definitely a mood smoker. Majority of the time, I see him smoking a sativa dominant hybrid. His creativity is flowing and he is Vibing like the true metal man he is. However, when he is wanting to play guitar alone in his room, I can see him appreciating an Indica. No matter which mood he was sporting that moment in the day, he is definitely lighting up something skunky, linalool, or alpha – pinene dominant.“
Becca: “So I strongly feel Eddie goes for the sativa strain. As a musician and a Dungeon Master he needs all the alertness he can get and Indicas do the total opposite. Indicas I feel are more for relaxing. As for the Terps, I see him being into limonene, Myrcene, Linalool, Borneol, and Eucalyptol.“
Well there you have it puppet’s! Majority rules in favor of sativa for the Master of Hellfire! Personally, that was my vote as well, it just seems to make sense for our lovable metalhead. But hey, maybe Kas the bloody handed will have a different taste…dun dun DUN!!!! He’s alive dammit, there’s no convincing me otherwise. UNTIL NEXT TIME – Kat
Herbage Magazine January 2023
Digital edition of the January 2023 print issue #49 of Herbage Magazine. Herb•age strives to bring you fresh content regularly. We cover a wide range of cannabis culture and medical marijuana-related issues from around the state of Oklahoma and beyond. In other words, It is our mission to be the voice of the growing cannabis industry in the state. Through fair and open discourse we hope to continue the trend of bringing cannabis out of the shadows and into the mainstream where it belongs. So, please join us and help us grow with Oklahoma!
Cover Artist – Sean Vali
By Sean Vali
I get so hypnotized when I’m drawing or painting. everything around me can disappear in a deep State of Trance that can really place you inside of the moment. Creating for me is trying to capture a vision that’s popped into my head and attempting to translate it into a physical form. like a still photograph from a dream that blooms and unfolds in so many ways.
Some images are formed in the smallest of moments While others grow over a longer time. Of time before they make it to the physical world. That’s where it all starts for me. all the while designing and redesigning and illustrating them in my head before finally taking it to the SketchBook to get the idea pushed further.
Some pieces have deep meaning and symbolism While others are more fun and free-flowing. like taking a hike through the forest or looking at the deciphering clouds. Then there are the pieces that are just for fun. What would a deer with weed plants as antlers look like?
Cannabis has been very close to my artwork for a long time. It has a way of quieting down the hustle and bustle of the world and allows me to focus and encourage the Deep Thoughts of creativity.
Can I create art without cannabis? Absolutely! It just doesn’t sound like very much fun to me.
Follow Sean on Instagram: @seanvali
HERBAGE MAGAZINE AUGUST 2022 ISSUE 45
One Tiny Drop
By James Bridges
I was at a breaking point on a couple of projects that were nearly finished. My director, at the time, had been going through a ton of personal issues. His loved one had recently passed. This had been someone that he loved dearly. Someone that passed entirely too soon.
Many around him could tell that this had affected him greatly. I would often have talks alone with him and became quite comfortable talking freely about our personal life. I knew that he was not in the right frame of mind. I could feel a sense of non-enthusiasm coming from him. I started noticing him working up a 12 hour day sweat like the old days in areas of the building that he may had once even managed. He was searching for something, as if he were searching for a purpose.
One day I overheard someone talk poorly of my director’s performance over the past couple of weeks. I was very curious as to why my colleagues would stoop so low as to start rumors. I shrugged it off. I respected the man they chose to speak poorly of. I knew of his long career and dedication to his people and his family. I could not show respect to anything that would shed a dark light on him.
A few days passed by and we received a visit from the “big wigs” in the company. Otherwise known as cost cutters. Corporate ninjas coming in to cut the fat. I noticed many of my colleagues collecting around the group of ninjas. They were offering them lunch. They were throwing out fun “after-hours” ideas for the group. You know….buddy, buddy…
Meanwhile my director sat in his office going over numbers. He was no longer considered a leader by some. I witnessed as some used him like a ladder to gain approval from the cost-cutters.
The “ninjas” wanted to have a round table discussion with the group. For some reason they felt it would be just fine to leave my director, the head honcho, out. I felt uneasy as I watched people that had worked in the industry, a fraction of the time that my director had, talk badly about his work ethic. My jaw simply would not shut. They acted as if the flow of the office was more important than humanity. It was like watching an angry mob throw rotten vegetables at the heroic knight after he fell.
I thought of all the time he had put into his career. In the past he told me stories of projects that he spearheaded. He spoke of tasks that I would have killed to be involved in. I respected this person as a human and a master of his craft.
As I witnessed the rumblings of a coo, I worried that what had been said would never be forgotten. I worried that the group could never really trust one another again. I worried so much about everyone else. I wondered if my director would ever catch wind of what was said in that room. I felt a deep sense of shame for the group and sadness for the man.
A few days later my director announced his retirement. Another chapter in the books for him. I can’t say whether or not that discussion had anything to do with the announcement. However, I do know that he could have never made a better decision.
I wonder sometimes how 5 minutes of rumors could make 35 years of dedication and experience turn into a tainted bucket of water.
I realize now that that bucket was only tainted in the eye of the beholder. I look at this person’s path as somewhat of a discovered journey. One that makes no difference as to who is liked or disliked. One that has broken chains of being attached to opinions of a group of people that know nothing of his very own craft.
Now I see him from afar. I still admire his ability to remain authentic and pure to his craft. I read his words when there’s the chance. I still love (almost) every piece. I love to imagine myself to one day attain the position that he has. His position in life. His sense of self shows with his actions and hardly ever his words, unless they are written.
It’s kind of funny how something that seems so dirty can actually be some of the purest liquid of life, if it’s simply allowed to settle.
It’s The Little Things
By Charles “Uncle Chuck” Duncan
The term “everyday things” refers to something which happens or is used every day. We tend to make those items not important and make big things like vacation trips and anniversaries our “big ticket” items. Photo-opts and scrapbook fodder. Posed grins and smiles to complete the experience. Ironically, we spend the majority of our waking hours earning money to try and recreate those “memories”.
I believe real life is just the opposite. The culmination of all the mundane little things we do is what makes a life. When people toast others at weddings or remember their loved ones at funerals, they speak and remember the things we do or did most. They say things like, “they always had a smile” or “they loved” this activity or that sport. They remember the big ticket items for a story to share but what you are to them really is contained in the little things you did most of the time for them and with them. Your amazing hugs. Your dad jokes. Your ability to make the most amazing lasagne. Your weakness for anything Star Wars related. Those memories come from attending the many wonderful shows that are you. The real you. Even the not so flattering ones. From laugh snorting to rolling the ugliest doobie. We all have some negative qualities. Those of us with anxiety and depression, tend to magnify those latter qualities, to the detriment of the former.
Those “everyday things” are not so easy to do when you have anxiety or depression. The majority of your time is spent alone and away in your own world. You think, no one can hurt you or be hurt if you just stay in your own world and come out for the big ticket items. But that’s not life. Life again, is full of many small moments.
Everyone knows that alcohol helps tear down those barriers and can turn an introvert to an extrovert faster than a new Ryan Reynolds appearance. But unlike Ryan Reynolds, alcohol comes with tons of baggage all its own when used too often.
Cannabis has proven on so many fronts that it is the best natural medication for certain anxiety and depression symptoms. The only thing standing in the way between the patient and the plant are politicians. Politicians who are either pandering to a lobby and/or just ignorant when it comes to the science behind cannabis. As an advocate, that’s on me. I need to do a better job at advocating and educating the public. But we need your help. We need more and more non-advocate, regular, non-industry tied members of the public to stand up and question your representatives. Ask them why they are making it hard, or in some cases impossible, for those among us who suffer from anxiety and depression to obtain a plant and start experiencing their “everyday things”.
Happy Father’s Day
By James Bridges
I peaked over the top of the couch to see if I could catch what was happening outside. Something was going on that made my sister, mom, and the voices going on in this 8-year-old boy’s little head.
I watched as my family’s belongings were taken away. They were stripped away in my mind. I noticed my mother in a frantic state. My sister was a couple years younger and she had no idea. I myself knew of financial difficulties, even at that young age. It just wasn’t avoidable. I wanted to do something so badly to make it all stop. I couldn’t control what was happening in my head. My stomach started to roll. Then I looked over at something that made me feel as if I could make it through anything.
I watched as my dad reacted and witnessed what he had built up for his family over the last few years be repossessed. The look on his face was one of experience in these matters. I knew after watching what he had done in the past that he would overcome what was just set in front of him. I knew and I learned from his calmness in that situation. I could barely breathe, yet he smoked his cigarette as if it were a normal mid-morning break.
I learned a lot over that time of our life. I knew that money was fragile and it really meant nothing when it came to family and love. The support of one another in those times was the most important part of my childhood that I can ever imagine. The humor that was involved would make any down-and-out punk take a pause to laugh. Saturday Night Live had nothing on our skits. We were a tight family.
Sometimes my dad seemed to be in the background after those “crash” days. In other words, he worked his ass off to get what we needed for a family of five and only one income that recently busted. He would work nights and sometimes weeks at a time trying to get it all back. He taught me that no matter what happens, there is a way to dig out, and to always stand by your family and loved ones. That is what matters most.
My dad was simple and straight to the point. Still is. That’s one thing I admire him for.
Now that I am a dad I have been able to look back at my childhood with a much finer tooth comb than I normally would have. I have been able to pull from those winning moments that my dad had with us at that age. I have been able to imagine the failures and how to attempt to avoid them.
Funny thing is that what I learned the most from my dad was that you do not attempt to avoid failures. You navigate through them. Much like the path that I have chosen for myself over the past several years. Even though it seems much like accepting a challenge it’s really not. The hardest part is actually getting yourself to follow through on the “not attempting to avoid failure” part.
Recently I lost more in finances than my dad earned in almost one full year. The gravity of the situation is nearly incomprehensible to someone that comes from what I come from, which is nothing, financially. I have spent my entire life trying to avoid having to peek over that couch again. The loss has affected me greatly. The thought of my son experiencing a replica of that moment haunts me. However, I soon remember the kind of man my dad was. I remember how awesome it was to witness what he had done. That’s when I started idolizing him. I needed a father figure in my life that knew how to stand up for his loved ones, and he was it.
My son is almost 8-years-old now. I tend to see myself in his eyes. I know I shouldn’t, but sometimes it’s involuntary. I assume that he is thinking the same way that I was thinking at that age. I realize that I am totally wrong in that notion and it can actually be dangerous to his own psyche if I were to explore that realm further. So, I watch and learn.
I am able to witness the simplicity of life through him. I can have a near devastating hiccup in my normal daily routine and he somehow seems to know exactly what to say to help. I’m very careful to not become dependent on the words and emotions of my son, but it’s hard. As a parent you have to know…
When my son was born I could hardly handle the positive energy that was flowing. I was able to see people that I had not seen in such a long time. It was as if my son’s birth was a reunion of sorts. It was great.
Soon after I was back to hiding my emotions and calming the voices through alcohol and pills. I couldn’t help but think of the day when he would see me fail. My friends and I would have drunken talks at night about our fathers. It was ridiculously self-serving. It was the kind of talk you would think a bunch of sappy drunks would slur about so they could outdo one another.
The one thing that one of my friends did ask that stuck out to me was, “Do you remember the day you discovered your dad was not superman?” I did remember. It was the father I call dad today. It was the asshole that beat my mother and did many bad things before my real superman dad came to save us.
Finally it got to me. The drink. I had to stop or I was going to no longer be of this realm for much longer. The one true thing that keeps me sober is the love that I have for people that I care about. The most important person in my world is my son. He has given me wings in order to step away from the poison and fly high alongside him a little bit longer in life.
I also attribute my health and sanity to cannabis. I have never thought of myself as a cannabis dad. I still don’t. I think of myself as a dad. I consume cannabis so that I can keep the quality of life that my son deserves to see his father have. That’s what cannabis does for me as a father. However the magic comes from my children.
Many do not know this about me unless you know me well. I have another child that I am also very proud of. Jessi was born in 1993. I was a child myself. I had no education, clue, money, experience, or even a highschool diploma when Jessi’s mother was pregnant. What I did have was a beautiful child that I loved dearly and had ZERO clue as to what the hell a young couple with nothing was going to do. So I did exactly what I learned how to do in these situations. I navigated through it. I started working.
I worked a lot and was gone a lot. Jessi was born and we did like any other young and struggling couple that mistakenly thought they knew everything. I had rented a house that just so happened to have an address that was very close to the university in Ada, Ok. Irony? Poetic? Or just another slap in the face by the universe?
I worked many different jobs over the short time we were together. From painters helper in an auto body shop to heat & air installation. I was a jack of many trades. Not all mind you…
I soon found myself in a courtroom. I was being asked to give permission to allow my child to leave the state lines without me. I reluctantly gave in. Though, I knew her mother meant to do well.
Years passed and lives evolved as you can imagine. I reconnected with my child in the teenage years. It went well, but ended not so well in a father’s eye. We didn’t speak for years after that. However, as I stated before, the moment that my son was born reunited many of us. It also brought my other child home for a short while.
At that time I was heavily drinking and taking whatever I could put inside of my system to alter it. I was even hiding it. My own ex-wife had no clue of the amount of alcohol I drank to stay functional. I wasn’t a violent drunk. It was as if that became who I was over time. I was literally drinking for breakfast and then topping it off at night with some sleeping pills and alcohol for the buzz.
Jessi was staying over at my family’s house for a bit while in town trying to find a reason to move back. I was pushing it of course. I wanted nothing more than to have all of my kids and wife in one area. It was like a fairy tale in my head that everyone in the world seemed to keep saying was impossible, yet I knew it wasn’t. I knew deep down inside that I could change it. I could make my family whole again. If I could simply hold it together and make everyone happy things would change for the better.
One night I went back to a room where Jessi was staying. I wanted to talk about things. I was in a head space that I shouldn’t have been in. At that time I had started feeling dizzy every day. I fell once and hurt my head. I just chalked it up to that. I sat down on the edge of Jessi’s bed. The next thing I remember is falling over to the side of the bed and I couldn’t focus. It was strange. I had not drank any more than I normally had. However, the amount that I normally drank was preposterous.
I remember making it to my bedroom and crawling on the floor. I couldn’t get off the floor. Soon after I discovered that I had done too much damage to my body over the years and it was time to make a decision.
I could hear the voices talking as I laid in my closet for days. I noticed my son walking by and looking in the door. I could hear Jessi pleading to someone to take me to the hospital. I thought I started talking to spirits from the past. Even some from the future. I was under a spell that only those that have experienced liver failure or something like it can fathom. I wanted nothing more than to take back what I had done.
In my head I had not been patient enough. By that, I mean I had given up on my ultimate goal without even knowing it. I couldn’t stand the anxiety of it all. In my head I was about to die and I didn’t have enough time to make amends with what I had ju
st realized. It was as if I was dreaming of my own burial. I was alive inside the coffin and couldn’t scream.
After that moment I never touched a drop of alcohol or opiates to cope. Cold turkey. What has opened my mind to the opportunities that I actually have now as a person is cannabis. I medicate regularly with cannabis. I smoke it for anxiety. I smoke it to get high and have fun. I smoke it because it tastes good. I smoke it because I love to party sometimes. I smoke because I want to be there for my children. I smoke because I want to be there for myself.
I am assuming this is the definition of a cannabis dad. Who knows? But what I do know is that cannabis has helped me to become who I really am. Authentically I am a good and loving father and I recognize that my children are their own entities. I understand that each of them has a path that they will choose. I hope that they both are fulfilled greatly as they travel down those paths. I hope that I can be there for them if they ever need my loving support.
I do know something for certain. I am the most authentic self that I can be at this moment and time. It is not perfect and I am so happy that it is not. I love my child Lincoln and my child Jessi with all that I can muster. I love my dad for being the superman that did what he did for us back then.
Even as failure continues to attempt to elude me from achieving my tasks, I appreciate each and everything around me as much and the best that I can. I do have to give gratitude to cannabis. Not only did it bring me to my senses, it brought a ton of my loved ones back together in some strange way. Happy Fathers Day Ronnie. I can only hope that one day my children understand as I do you.
(Taking a look at Neurodivergence and Cannabis)
By Kathy Barker
Have you ever missed a stair in the dark? It’s like your heart stood up too fast, whilst being in the process of a dizzying white out blindness, before pulling on your lungs for support. SO. naturally, your chest tightens and you start sweating because OBVIOUSLY something is wrong. Welcome to anxiety. There are many ways to placate this beast. However, there are equally as many ways to Piss it off. Fun fact to start us off. Cannabis can do both!
Let’s take a look at both perspectives shall we?
In the right corner we have William Terrell weighing in at : Extremely Anxious.
I asked him how our beloved cannabis helped to quell the nonstop barrage of brain chatter?
“It’s as if I live my life with an old TV in the corner, with static blaring all the time. The static distracts my thoughts, slows them down, But THC turns that TV off for a couple of hours. It’s as if I’m a different person. I’m not fighting to exist in my own mind. I can think and feel and experience things so much more clearly.”
It was surreal the way he was describing it, because I too could relate with the static. For me however, It wasn’t my own static, but the static from other people’s minds. Hints my aversion to crowds. I continued my curiosity with the question of who was he when the TV was on as opposed to off?
“I’m nothing when it’s on, the motivation to exist isn’t really there. The complexity of Life hits me too hard. Life feels too stimulating, especially social interaction. When it’s off I can be me. I find myself mirroring others less when I’m smoking. I allow myself to be me rather than what others want me to be.”
I think we can all agree that’s pretty intense. William shared that it was a long road before he actually smoked regularly, but when he did make the decision, it was because he noticed the plant’s healing gift of “quieting the noise.” For him, his most noticeable setback was lethargy. But the benefits out-way the cost considerably. Furthermore, between Vaping, smoking, and eating THC, it was never concluded that any of the methods were “bad” per say. Simply, different.
Now in our left corner Sits Jaszi the Bunny Butler weighing in at : So anxious, she has the capability of transforming into a mute.
That’s no exaggeration either. With the wonderful privilege of being able to call her heart warmingly important for four years now, I can confirm she usually stumbles over sentences and giggles until she just stops trying to use words all together.
But honestly it’s not quite so cut and dry. I asked Jasmine for her perspective on anxiety and how it manifests for her, there was a simple reply.
On a common day to day? : “Sweaty hot feet, or rabbit paws if you prefer. I feel like I’m gonna pass out, I start seeing in tunnel vision. I can feel my heart’s just not having it at that moment. I get palpitations.”
She went on to mention that those symptoms become more severe when she’s in social situations or figures of authority are speaking to her. Now when she smokes weed it’s a completely different ball game. When I first met Jasmine, she was always down to puff, in fact she could nearly out-toke her best friend, my husband Johnny. (Being a dialysis patient, he medicates quite a bit)
“It put me in a mellow state of mind and I could do anything I wanted to, socially, without caring and now I can’t function in public. I can’t even leave my bed.”
I wondered when it had all started for her. How early? The answer was a resounding ‘VERY’. “Just before I turned eleven, three weeks before in fact,” she answered. By a lot of standards, that’s fairly young. But when life immediately gives you lemons…you make lemonade. Alas, Medicating with Mary Jane wasn’t fated to last. She took a two year break and it turned into a breakup.
“The last time I smoked weed I took a hit and I was fine. Then I took another hit and it instantly hit me. My head got hot, my body started to shake, I couldn’t form words, I was dizzy and couldn’t move. It lasted for about three hours. It felt like I was trippin’ on acid.
Everything was moving, colors were bright and everything was nauseating”
I couldn’t close my eyes without feeling like I was falling.”
That in itself is a pretty persuasive reason to stop, or at least take a few steps back. But what was the real kicker?
“There was a time in my life when I was going to the hospital almost every day. I told the doctors I had cyclic vomiting syndrome, (CVS) and they asked me if I smoked weed. I told them yes, and then they told me that I had Cannabis hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) and that I needed to stop smoking. I went in two weeks later for my heart monitor and it turned out weed was slowing my heart rate down when I slept and spiking it during the day, giving me more palpitations. That was the last time I went to the hospital and I stopped smoking after that.
I haven’t had a CVS attack since then”Well what about CBD? Does that do any good for you?
“Cbd helps in gummy form, but only in gummy form.”
What do the other forms do for you?
“Nothing really, they just give me a hand to mouth smoke fixation”
Got any advice for all the readers out there?
“Go into it with a good mindset, be in a good place with friends.” “Keep some water nearby and something too munch. If you can relate to any of my experiences, consult your physician, is all I gotta say.”
Thank you for reading everyone!
The Chronissuer – DOC FERGUSON
Time To Dab
Reviewed by Hopper
Written by Pamela Jayne
If you would have told me 30-years-ago, 20-years-ago, 10-years-ago…hell even 5-years-ago, that I’d be setting up a cannabis grow operation with intentions of it to be tracked by law enforcement, I would have bet money that would never happen…but here we are. Fresh out of METRC deadline hell with all plants tagged and everything in full compliance.
Like a homie of mine said, “Hell didn’t freeze over, but Hopper went legal, so that’s pretty much the same thing.” I know a lot of you were putting in long hours to make the deadline too, and we’re probably thinking pretty much the same thing.
I know I took a little trip down memory lane while I was tagging plants, thinking about how far we’ve come. I’ve got nothing but love and respect for the black market because it’s where I’m from. There would be no white market if it weren’t for the risks taken and innovations made by the black market. Sorry about the tangent, l just get super passionate about that subject.
Anyway, when James with Herbage Magazine handed me the goody bag of reviews and I saw that this month is all about concentrates. I was beyond stoked to fire up the Puffco and change gears for awhile. The fact that it’s technically considered “work” reminded me what a gift it is to be a part of this industry and community.
#1 Chem Dahlia Budder by Double Down Dabs
This buttered up beauty has a beautifully creamy, opaque sheen to it, and it has a really interesting nose. The first words that come to mind are “poopy funk” if you know what I mean. There’s definitely a hint of citrusy limonene in there, too. The texture is perfect. It’s like scooping up a dab of buttercream frosting. I can already tell this is going to be epic as I sit here not so patiently waiting for the Puffco to heat up. Wow! It was worth the wait, for sure. The flavor is super clean and crisp, full bodied and well balanced. It’s not sweet citrusy, it’s more acidic citrusy…but that’s a good thing. It’s a heavy hitter that expanded the lungs nicely but didn’t choke me out. The hit is just as clean as the flavor, and provides instant head to toe relief of physical and mental stress. It frees the mind of whatever has been occupying it, and lifts the spirits. Nothing will be able to weigh you down after a dab of this. Not even METRC, haha.
#2 Kush Mints Wax (Doc Ferguson and Rams Head collaboration)
This Kush Mints wax is a nice buttery blonde color and has a crumble like consistency that is very easy to work with, which is nice. Aromatically it’s like a mash up of Pinesol and a freshly picked mint leaf. It’s also kind of gassy and I get a little bit of a garlic smell, too. It hits super smooth and tastes out of this world. Its flavor profile is gassy lemon pine with undertones of garlic pepper. I love the Kush Mints flower, so of course I’m really digging this wax. Doc Ferguson and Rams Head really knocked it out of the park with this collab. Just one big hit of this really sat me back in my chair and had me thinking about life and what a beautiful trip it is. It’s a nice little cerebral vacation that won’t knock you out physically but does help with muscle tension and the aches and pains that come with a hard days work.
#3 Mimosa Diamonds by Double Down Dabs
Chunky and pale blonde with some golden highlights, the Mimosa diamonds is a beautiful champagne color. The bright white in it really highlights its golden hues. It’s a really good looking, top shelf concentrate. The nose on it is mostly on the limonene/pinene tip, and also has a slight eucalyptus aroma. It also kind of smells like Tiger Balm. You know that old school stuff for muscle aches? I haven’t thought about that stuff in years, but that’s what this sort of reminds me of. The hit is mouthwatering. I mean it literally made my mouth water and gave me a nice punch to the lungs with substantial expansion that got me coughing pretty hard and gave me an instant head change followed by shoulder dropping relaxation and cerebral euphoria. This one is a homerun for concentrate lovers.
#4 Sugar Diamonds (Double Down Dabs and Rams Head collaboration)
I’m already excited to try this one because the last Double Down Dabs and Rams Head collab was amazing! They’re both crushing it hard. Hats off to you guys for setting the industry standard. This platinum blonde colored Sugar Diamonds is a visual stunner, and the nose has a slight hint of a gas/fuel like terpene profile. I can’t wait to get this in my lungs and see how it feels. Here we go…It hits you right in the sinuses and gives you a little terp sneeze. You can feel it all through the nose, eyes, and forehead. It offers a focused, cerebral euphoria. It’s great if you want to get into a creative project or just zone out to some tunes. This one is all about the head. You’ll almost immediately feel your eyelids get heavy and your mind start to drift off…It really gave me the munchies too, and I don’t get the munchies very often. A Dr. Pepper freeze from Braums sounds amazing right now. Huge thanks to Doc Ferguson for bringing some bangers this month. I really enjoyed them and I actually really needed the time out from dealing with all the METRC bullshit.
Before we wrap it up I want to thank everyone for coming out to the King Klick and Blaze Ya Dead Homie show at the Brickhouse. I had such a great time celebrating the launch of RX3 and R3M3DY GARD3NS with all of you and look forward to many more awesome events in the future.
THE CANNXIETY CHRONICLES PART 4…
Charles “Uncle Chuck” Duncan
You know those commercials that show a man on one side of the screen and a woman on the other and at the end they let you know that he makes much more pay than her? Have you ever wondered to yourself, why are they telling me? It’s not like I control her (or his) pay. It’s safe to say that the majority of people seeing that commercial have little or no control over anyone’s pay. There are more worker bees than manager bees in the world. The short answer is, they are recruiting you to be an advocate for equal pay between men and women. They want you to get out and demand a change. That is the goal of advocacy. To support a change. To really make a change, in my opinion, you have to be willing to share your story. Why are you interested in the specific change for which you advocate?
We each have our own story and they are as important as they are unique. Fear and embarrassment often hold us back from telling our story and working toward receiving the help we need and living our best lives. This is my personal story and I truly hope that by telling it I inspire others to do so as well.
Opening oneself to the world, or in this case the followers of my articles, blogs and podcasts, is no easy task. It’s hard enough to talk to your family and friends about your mental health. Telling people you have never met and putting it in print often opens up a whole new set of challenges. Even more so for some battling anxiety and depression. It’s often difficult to talk about an illness when that illness contributes to your silence. But ironically, talking about it is one of the strongest weapons you have when battling these mental health issues. Like leaving a job you’ve hung on too long, it can be very liberating to open up to others about your challenges. And when you do, chances are you will be amazed at the number of people who want to help. Nurturing is in our DNA, it’s just not in the DNA of those responsible for most of the media and advertising so you don’t see it. But it’s there.
My testimonial on my battles with anxiety and depression started when I was very young. My father was in the Air Force so we moved often. Like almost every year. This combined with a skin condition made life very interesting and sometimes cruel. Interesting in the fact that I got to see new places and meet new people all the time. I was the new kid and I had a skin condition. That made me easy fodder for the attention seekers and bullies of the world. I fought back with humor and finding ways to get along with who I could. I did, in hindsight, develop more friends than enemies but since we moved a lot, i never really got to see those friends for more than a year. Then it was a new state, new set of friends (and bullies.
All that ended in 6th grade. My dad finished his stint in the military so our annual migration ended. And so did I, being the new kid. The skin condition and bullies were still there, but so were friends. Friends I would have this year, next year and in some cases decades later. Friends who learned about my skin condition and came to me with love and empathy and not hate and ignorance. These traits of love and empathy, as I would soon learn, would benefit me more than I could ever imagine.
You see, having the pleasure of not being the new guy and being able to hang out with friends that I knew for more than a year shined a spotlight on a previously undiscovered condition I suffered from, other than the previously mentioned skin affliction. Anxiety. More specifically, anxiety when speaking to large groups. Something I never had to experience before as my circle of “friends” stayed small until now. Also lucky for me, my new circle of friends included someone who would introduce me to cannabis. Not as a party drug but specifically as a way to battle symptoms of anxiety. Did it work? Well I currently advocate for groups that sometimes number in the thousands. And I got here by telling a friend 35 years ago of my anxiety. Imagine who you might help by just speaking your story to a friend, pro fessional or family member.
By Chet Tucker
At what point did we wake up to realize that we’ve been indoctrinated into a system that curbs our natural instincts of being at one with ourselves and our provider, earth? Who decided that a truancy officer could enforce a dictated governmental (govern mental states) school systems that box our thinking and funnel our energy to learn so many irrelevant idealisms? When did we give up our individual and parental rights in exchange for what some foreign entity deems right for our minds? What form of being freely born unto a planet formed without ownership have we misinterpreted? Why does some collective bureaucracy dictate what we can and can’t do with our bodies, land, and property? Really think beyond a “that’s just the way it is” and realize that’s how programmed we are to accept the current state.
We’ve clawed back civil liberties and still haven’t won all the battles for self autonomy … but we’re getting there and just have to continue standing and speaking up. No single other person should control our individual rights. Not a single other person. If we are doing harm to another human then that’s where the line is drawn. However, to trust a collective of suits and ties to make decisions about our right to cultivate plant medicines, amongst other self liberties that I’ll not address here, is giving up our own rights. At what point were we convinced to keep pretty green lawns in exchange for spraying down some amazing and healing “flowers/ weeds” (cannabis aside) like dandelions. At what point did we wake up to realize the propaganda to spray DDT and other chemicals in the interest of our health?
So, what do we do to press forward a powerful republic of Oklahoma and put our rights above the “rulers” that say cannabis, again trying to keep it down this narrowed scope but it relates to so many other liberties, must be managed so tightly and that we allow a government to spend these tax dollars in ways that aren’t fully accounted for … only to spread their tentacles of control as if they’re doing us a favor? Whether you see it as medicinal or a basic right to a plant, it’s our right to consume as we may and without so much governmental overreach. The additional costs for tracking businesses and the rising taxes that stack up on the back end only comes out to cost the consumer/patient more. And for what benefit? The consumer then is faced with paying more for a plant than possibly their government assisted pharmaceuticals that are proving more and more to be less helpful than plant based medicinals. In addition, it creates a marketplace that’s considered as the illegal black market. Ironically, it’s more of a free market trade without all of the strings and costs attached.
I’ve passionately shared before that there is a need for regulating testing and dosage because we know that it’s important for consumers (patients) to know what they are taking. However, the tax monies earned by the state should be leveraged for honing in these test results with developing more useful and educational ways for the marketplace to thrive. THC, cannabinoids, terpenes, and how they interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) could only further illustrate the power of the plant, especially when the variety of characteristics are understood and illustrated for a better result for all. It’s not just indica, sativa, or hybrid; it’s how does this particular flower or processed flower product assist me personally?
I hope that words are read and digested to continue helping not only Oklahoma but other communities of people to demand transparency and more individual rights. A right to cultivate is a born right and we certainly don’t live in a “free” country if we are taxed to death (and sadly after too) and dictated as to what we can or can’t do with our bodies, lands, and property. The key is in our hand, not the other way around. Hanta Yo!
Could Raw Cannabis Be The New Superfood?
Written by Dr. Pepper Hernandez ND, Ph.D., CTC
Award-winning, Board Certified Holistic Health Professional
So did you know that cannabis is a superfood? I have been well aware of that starting over a decade ago when I started juicing leaves for health and wellness benefits. Cannabis is an incredibly unique plant that contains over 400 different chemical compounds. The number of vitamins, essential oils, and acids found in cannabis has leading experts calling cannabis a “dietary essential.” Cannabis is a particularly special plant in the world of nutrition because the herb contains extremely high concentrations of cannabinoid acids. Turns out, these acids are incredibly important for a human basic cell function.
Among the main cannabinoid acids so far studied are THCa and CBDa. In the process of smoking, vaping, or cooking cannabis, these acids are broken down into slightly different chemicals. Specifically, some convert them to psychoactive THC and cannabinoid CBD via metabolism. Activated THC and CBD offer their own benefits, but the one downside is that your body can only handle a limited amount of these newly activated cannabinoids. Decarbing is the process of converting these cannabinoid acids into their active form.
Raw cannabis is capable of processing extremely large amounts of THCa and CBDa without any issue. The body then converts these acids into the nutrients it requires through its own metabolism. The endocannabinoid system helps your cells communicate with each other when you consume these cannabinoids. By consuming more cannabinoid acids, chronic diseases caused by deficiencies in endocannabinoids may be prevented. Endocannabinoid deficiencies are thought to play a major role in the development of medical conditions like:
If you are going to start consuming leaves, grow your own, grow organic always, and learn how to choose the correct cultivar for your health and wellness needs. Start by adding leaves to your juices and smoothies. To keep the raw acids intact do not cook or heat the leaves. Eat them raw. #craftcannabis
The information in this article is provided solely for educational purposes. Research gathered from external sources has been used as a basis for the content. Before beginning any new diet or lifestyle change, check with your Cannabis Educated Physician or Cannabis Therapy Consultant.
Dr. Pepper Hernandez ND, CTC, CNHP is a Naturopathic Nutritionist, Cannabis Therapy Consultant, Founder and Education Director of the Cannabis Holistic Institute. To find out more about her private practice, educational programs, videos, and other offerings you can find her on the massive inter-webs, social platforms, or at drpepperhernandez.com.
Go forth, Go Cannabis…
We Gotta Take the Power Back
The Killer Whale on the Frontlines with State Questions 818 and 819
by Jessi Lane
Are you ready for the rec, retroactivity, abolishment, and rebirth that is about to be the Oklahoma Cannabis Medical and Right To Use Acts? If ever we needed a call to arms, this is it. Zack De La Rocha said it best, “We need a movement with a quickness. You are the witness of change. And to counteract- we gotta take the power back!”
State Questions 818 and 819 have the industry a buzz. Oklahomans are tired of this “shot-gun approach to chop up our medical program” says Brandon Rust, and they are moving to take the power back. State Question 818, also known as the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Enforcement and Anti-Corruption Act, protects the Oklahoma medical program and “makes it part of the state constitution, not a health code as it is now,” Rust says. This progressive grassroots stride for change and reclamation of power for and to the people can be attributed to the tireless efforts of the Oklahomans for Responsible Cannabis Action or ORCA.
Founded by Jed Green, Oklahomans for Responsible Cannabis Action is a 501(c)4 not for profit incorporation. According to their website, ORCA’s “task is to establish the organization and structure with the intent of stepping back into ancillary support roles as the organization grows and a long-term structure developed based on interest and support from the cannabis community and industry.”
But SQ818 isn’t just about cementing in the rights and privileges of licensed cannabis as medicine patients. Oh no. Leaving no stone unturned, ORCA developed a hefty fourteen sections that make up 818, with the goal of permanently establishing an unbreakable constitutional amendment and medical program Oklahomans deserve. Beginning with the disbanding and break down of the OMMA and the creation of a new state agency called the Oklahoma State Cannabis Coalition (OSCC).
OSCC would be comprised of a twenty-member board including a representative from the Oklahoma Department of Health, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Environmental Quality, the Oklahoma Tax Commission, the Fire Marshall, and the office of the Attorney General. They would share this panel with licensee representatives for subgroups like Growers and Dispensaries, Patients and Caregivers, and many more. The coalition would be led by a Governor-appointed Commissioner who, additionally, must be approved by two thirds majority of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
OSCC would assume authority over cannabis and hemp, plant-based medicines, and the products and services therein. 818 would also hold OMMA accountable for potential misspending of funds that may be found via an audit and require the funds paid in a structured, timely manner to an established OSCC General Fund- also named and included in the sections therein.
All funds collected and spent by the OMMA, OSDH, and the Oklahoma State Tax Commission from June 26, 2018 to the date of passage would have to undergo an audit, report, and accounting of, and be publicly provided by, the State Auditor within a specified timely manner. Any funds found by the Auditor to not have been spent in a lawful manner would be returned to the OSCC General Fund by the agency which expended the funds. However, if said agency is unable to transfer within 30 days, the transfer would come from the Oklahoma General Fund.
Speaking to Oklahoma cannabis business owners Rust says, “If you want to get rid of METRC this is the only way. The contract is with OMMA.” If Oklahoma votes to disband the OMMA through State Question 818, the contracts made with said agency would also cease to exist. The goal is to keep Oklahoma cannabis money in Oklahoma not Lakewood, Florida, the location of METRC’s headquarters. Under SQ818, OSCC would be tasked with the creation of a new tracking system that is “no more restrictive or burdensome than federal guidelines for hemp harvest batches”, according to ORCA.
Currently Oklahoma cannabis business owners are excluded from state tax write offs. 818 would allow for state tax deductions and exemptions for licensed cannabis businesses. It also provides and regulates tax credits for hemp businesses and separates hemp from cannabis excise taxation. According to ok.gov, over three million dollars in state taxes has been generated by medical cannabis sales. In the taxation section of SQ818, 7% excise tax would be collected on cannabis sales at the point of sale. Should we go rec, this percentage may increase up to 15% on non medical purchases. A portion of the excise tax would go into a Research Fund, another portion into a Rural Impact and Urban Waste Remediation Program Fund, and another to the Dept of Ag to provide mitigation support efforts and insurance related to crop damage caused to our agricultural non industry neighbors by accidental overspray. There are portions of the collected taxes allotted for emergency mental health response programs, to fund addiction recovery programs, and to support mental health crisis training for law enforcement.
SQ818 outlines patient and caregiver rights including parental rights, offering protection from state agencies like DHS. It protects those patients seeking housing, healthcare, employment, or public assistance and those wanting to own firearms from denial due to licensing. It defines the limitations and annual fees of commercial, patient, and caregiver licensing. For example, the newly drafted Marijuana Handling License requires dispensary employees to undergo a minimum of two hours of cannabis related education every two years. Just knowing what’s fire won’t be enough product knowledge for a budtender under 818. An education license would provide license holders with the opportunity to apply for grants to develop cannabis materials and curriculum.
Due Process and Equal Protection Rights would protect persons under state supervision from penalization based on cannabis consumption as it is outlined in SQ818. Furthermore, cannabis can not be used as reasonable cause for search, seizure, or arrest nor can the cannabis itself be seized. 818 also states that the existence of THC alone in one’s system does not assume a position of impairment while operating a motor vehicle.
SQ 819, the Oklahoma Marijuana Regulation and Right to Use Act sets out to legalize cannabis for anyone 21 years of age or older and structures the regulation therein. It allows for existing medical dispensaries to also function as recreational dispensaries without any additional licensing. Like SQ818, there is consumer General Protection Language specific to housing, healthcare, employment, etcetera. Parental rights and firearm ownership rights would be protected for 21 and up recreational consumers as well. Due Process and Equal Protection Rights are covered in 819. Most notably, the Retroactivity section of 819 states that those with cannabis related convictions may file a petition for resentencing, modification, reversal, or dismissal of their sentence.
Under 819, tax rates are built to reduce over time for medical cannabis patients. The excise tax is also divvied up in 819. Portions would go to DHS for the benefit of persons with developmental and physical disabilities, the OK Water Resources Board, to agencies with the end goal of increasing access to evidence-based low-barrier drug addiction treatment as well as job support, housing, and counseling for people living with substance use disorders. A portion would fund mental health and addiction services grants and law enforcement mental health crisis training, like 818. The Research Fund, Rural Impact and Urban Waste Remediation Program Fund, and the Dept of Ag are all allotted a percentage of this excise tax.
Brandon reminds us that all these rights and privileges could be provided to us in the following months if we collectively sign the petition -95,000 signatures will be required within 90 days- and vote Yes on the November ballot. If you’d like to get involved with ORCA to best ensure positive Oklahoma cannabis industry change for the people, fill out their volunteer form at https://orcaok.com/volunteer-sign-up/
The Chronisseur – Essential Flowers
Words by Pamela Jayne
Review by Hopper
Photo by Ron Eberhart
And we’re back! I want to start by giving a huge shout out to everyone I saw and smoked with on 4/20 at The Brickhouse block party. It was a perfect day, with nothing but good vibes and great, likeminded people at a chill event celebrating this beautiful plant that has brought us all together. I can’t wait to be back at The Brickhouse on June 2nd for the Underground Alliance Tour presented by RX3 and Herbage Magazine, featuring King Klick, Blaze Ya Dead Homie, and Stacc Styles. This show is gonna be sick and the smoke will for sure be thick, so you do not want to miss it. Now let’s load up this DGAF bong gifted to me by the homie Chucky Chuck and get started…
Cookie Mac by Essential Flowers
Visually, it’s an impressively chunky, resinous, good sized nug. It’s incredibly dense and heavy, and has solid structure. The color is a paler shade of green due to the large amount of resinous trichromes, and it has extra-long orange pistils weaved throughout the knotty, swollen calyxes. It’s a looker, for sure, and it also smells amazing. I can’t wait to get this in my lungs and see what it has to offer. So it has a pretty heavy, substantial hit and cough that produces an instant head change. Do a big hit or two and you’ll be immediately relaxed, and able to forget about the stresses and frustrations of the day and get some clarity and motivation. The last time I smoked this, I went to pick up Ron at the airport. I rolled a fatty and we had a nice, productive ride back to my place while we took some phone calls and had a little RX3 mobile meeting sesh. I’d say this is a great strain for the working stoner. Even though Cookie Mac is a strain that tends to be more cerebral, it does also have some physical benefits. Shoulders relax and tension melts away, and you’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits of medicating, and still get shit done. Don’t get me wrong, you’re gonna have a chill, stony time with the Cookie Mac. It’s great for helping you laugh and see things in a positive light. You’re just not gonna get glued to the couch wondering why you can hear your hair growing. I think this is a great strain for both newer and more experienced patients, just adjust your dose accordingly.
Collision Kush by Essential Flowers
Up next is the Collision Kush (Triangle Kush x Kush Mints), also from Essential Flowers in Shawnee. I could wrap this one up right now in just three words- Damn near perfection. I mean, it’s just an absolutely stunning bud. Hats off to the grower. You can see the love and knowledge that was put into growing this. The super swole bud has phenomenal structure with very tight calyx formations. I can’t believe it’s even more dense than the Cookie Mac! The coloring is art. It has so many different shades of green ranging from emerald to olive to lime, and there are a few dark purple leaves in there too. It’s draped with these thick, burnt orange pistils and coated in trichromes that give it a really pretty sheen. And wow, it smells soooo good. The terps are LOUD LOUD LOUD. I get major notes of limonene with undertones of that traditional skunky/poopy kush aroma. The first hit expands the lungs just the way I like, and the second hit really opens you up. This is another strain I’d recommend for basically anyone. It gives you that classic, on the couch type of relaxation, so if that’s what you’re looking for, get the snacks ready and enjoy the munchies, and have a laid back night. You’re going to be introspective and talkative, in a positive way. It also opens up the mind and encourages creativity and long conversations. It really is more of that stereotypical high, which I personally love. I really can’t say enough good things about the Collision Kush. You’ve really got to get down to Essential Flowers and try it. I’m actually gonna head there myself soon to see what else they have to offer, because judging by these two selections, their shelf is pure fire.
That’s it for this month, check back in June to see what Oklahoma is gonna be smokin’ on this summer, and follow me on Instagram @hopper448 and let me know what you’re putting in your lungs. Peace!
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).
Gemini – Page of Wands
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
The House Bills of 2022
Change on the Horizon of the Oklahoma Cannabis Industry Landscape
By Jessi Lane
The Oklahoma cannabis industry is preparing to buckle down in light of the May 26 roll out of METRC, Oklahoma’s contracted seed-to-sale and tagging system, as well as the introduction of several new House Bills designed to tighten up our Medical Marijuana program. As Legislature shifts their gaze to marijuana licensing and commercial grow reporting and closes in on retail counter flower engagement, cannabis industry professionals and patients alike question how these changes will affect them directly.
All state laws originate as bills. On average, roughly 2,500 to 3,000 bills are introduced each session (Farmer 2022). The sessions are held the first Monday in February through the last Friday in May, allowing legislative committees four weeks to consider new bills. Once a bill passes House and Senate, either in its original or amended form, it is known to be “enrolled.” The bill then goes to the Governor and becomes a law once signed (Gerrish 2022). However, only about 20 percent of legislative proposals become law. “When a bill reaches the governor’s desk, he has three options. He can sign it, making it law. He can veto it, sending it back to the Legislature. Or he can leave it lay. During the legislative session, if he leaves it lay for five days, it becomes law without his signature” (Farmer 2022).
There are a number of House Bills regarding medical marijuana at play this session. While the OMMA catches up on their backlog of pending license reviews, inspections, and investigations, House Bill 3208 places a 2-year halt on any new (non-renewal) dispensary, processing, and commercial grow business licenses to begin August 1, 2022. Upon completion, OMMA’s Executive Director, Adria Berry, may lift this moratorium.
HB 4056 creates a marijuana testing laboratory license category through OMMA. This bill also lays out who can and cannot operate the contracted lab and the ways in which OMMA may oversee said lab. A proposed substitute for HB 2179 suggests a tiered licensing commercial grow fee, determined by the size of the grow. The big guys and the little guys would no longer be required to pay the same fee. HB 4055 requires commercial growers to report their utilities and allow for data tracking. HB 3530 focuses on state tax revenue for the purposes of inspections. This bill allots five million dollars annually from state marijuana sales taxes to fund a county sheriff’s office grant to implement annual cannabis business inspections by the county Sherriff’s Department.
Another bill to sweep the House floor on Lincoln Boulevard with 8 yeas and 0 nays is HB 4287. This bill – drafted by District 98 Representative Dean Davis (R) of Broken Arrow, who is a member of the House Committee on Alcohol, Tobacco, and Controlled Substances for the State of Oklahoma – is known as the Flower and Pre-Packaging Act. It directs processors and commercial growers to sell cannabis flower, trim, shake, kief, or other flower-based product not defined as a concentrate to retail dispensaries in prepackaged containers no less than 3.5 grams and no more than one ounce. Engaging with the flower, known as “deli style sales,” is prohibited under the Flower and Pre-packaging Act, however, the packaging -usually drams and mylar bags- is no longer required to be opaque as long as it meets all other state requirements and is in an opaque exit bag, per proposed HB 3019. State compliant allocated smell jars at the retail counter will be allowed (Legiscan 2022).
Considering the nature of open container engagement at the retail counter paired with the current health crisis, and by citing preservation of the public peace, health or safety, the Flower and Pre-Packaging Act has been moved to Emergency status. The emergency clause is a provision that allows the bill to become effective immediately upon the signature of the Governor or at a specified date (Oklahoma Policy Institute 2022) and will “take effect and be in full force from and after its passage and approval” (Legiscan 2022). As introduced, HB4287 states that upon approval this act shall become effective November 1, 2022 (Legiscan 2022). Representative Scott Fetgatter tells Oklahoma City’s KFOR, “if all goes to the Republican’s plan, the earliest these policies would be put into action would be sometime in June” (2022). Until then, Oklahoma medical marijuana patients and industry professionals will stay tuned.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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).
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
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
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
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
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__
Don’t Judge A Book
by Charles “Uncle Chuck” Duncan
When asked to list famous cannabis users you will typically hear names like Cheech & Chong, Jeff Spicoli, Eric Foreman, Tom Petty, Snoop and Dre. There are currently many, many more celebrities (and fictional characters) that can stand in the green spotlight more comfortably(numb) than any time in recent history. Not since the early days of jazz or the later days of the summer of love, have so many famous people been ok showing their love for the herb.
I sincerely hope that this time around we evolve and acknowledge those among us that consume cannabis and are not necessarily the stereotypical“stoner”. As an advocate, it would make my job a hell of a lot easier if cannabis didn’t have the “dazed and confused” stoner persona. Of course, that laid-back attitude also helped grow the many grassroots programs that have helped propel legal cannabis across the nation. It’s 4:20 somewhere, right?
There are many problems with letting stereotypes be accepted as fact. People who smoke cannabis are lazy and have brain damage. People with depression are always sad and should just get over it. People with anxiety just want attention. These are no more true than are the claims that cannabis is a gateway drug and leads to hard drug use. None of that is true. But people believe it. And a lot of times the same people I meet at one of my classes or out advocating. You can’t believe the misinformation that still exists out there. Stereotypes don’t help.
So how do we fight against misinformation? With facts. There is more data coming out every day to help you in informing the public on the benefits of cannabis. I would argue that informing people about the benefits and advocating for its open legalization are two separate battles. One to win the hearts and one to win the minds. It’s also extremely important that we do not provide rumors or sales hype as facts. This just feeds into the hands of those who still want cannabis to be controlled and/or illegal. Cannabis has enough beneficial properties that it shouldn’t need fake news.
Testimonials are also important. Not just in the fight for legal cannabis but also in the battle against stereotypes. We need to hear from the surgeons and scientists who use cannabis. We need to hear from the moms and dads who use cannabis and still keep the family running. The cannabis users who hold down a 40-hour-per-week, or more, job. Speak up. Grandma enjoys a joint before bed, you say? Awesome. Let’s tell people about it.
Like announcing you are gay (or a vegetarian), announcing you use cannabis might shock people in your family or circle of friends. But it’s time to take a deep breath and inhale some cannabis education classes, like the ones I give at theuccc.com or at your local dispensary. Combine that with your personal experience and get out there and tell the world that you use cannabis and it helps you live your best life. If everyone did that, we would legalize cannabis and smash generations of stereotypes at the same time. A Puff Puff Win if I ever heard one. Thank you again my friends for joining me in my conversations on cannabis. Let’s keep the conversation going. Cannabis legalization on a federal level is within our reach. But there are still many hurdles. Hurdles your testimony can help us jump. Until next month, remember, Educate and elevate.
THC’s endocannabinoid counterpart
by Kevin Ferdowsian, JD
Kevin is an attorney, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and homeopathic practitioner. Kevin graduated from Duke University and OCU law, and lives with his wife Anna and two children, Ivan and Arthur.
Because cannabis sativa contains more than .3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it is classified as a schedule I – status drug by the US federal government and is subject to a host of restrictions as a controlled dangerous substance. These restrictions have severely limited broad-scale rigorous studies on THC and its therapeutic value. That’s not to say research hasn’t been done. In fact, nearly $2 billion per year is spent to determine all the harmful effects of cannabis. The conclusion of our tax dollars at work? For people over eighteen, cannabis is relatively harmless.
So, we don’t have a lot of research on THC consumption in regards to therapeutic benefits. We do know some applications at this point; for PTSD, opiate addiction, and various neurological disorders to name a few. But there is growing evidence that THC and cannabinoids in general, possibly in concert (entourage effect), may have substantial therapeutic applications. These include alleviating symptoms from cancer, inflammation, blood pressure and heart rate disorders, metabolic disorders, fevers, locomotion disorders, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, colon disorders, reproductive disorders, bacterial endotoxicity, cirrhosis of the liver, sepsis, central nervous system disorders, and even aging. That is an extensive list of ailments for which THC may treat.
If federal research has not been funded, and even private research is so highly regulated, how do we know these potential applications? Basically, even though researchers are limited in their study of THC, there have been robust studies on its endocannabinoid counterpart: Anandamide. Anandamide (from the Sanskrit for “inner bliss”) is an endocannabinoid synthesized in all animals including primitive creatures, such as nematodes. It binds to the same receptor as THC (CB1R) and induces similar psychotropic effects. These compounds, though molecularly distinct, are pharmacologically similar. The list cited above is taken from recent studies on Anandamide; considering that THC mimics Anandamide and initiates the identical process, clearly future research should focus on THC as a therapeutic for many of these ailments.
As a co-owner of multiple cannabis businesses, I am interested in the advocacy of researching THC for its therapeutic value as well as its cultural acceptance. We all should be. THC, along with other cannabinoids, could open the door to accessing the endocannabinoid system, a fundamental governing system that appears to regulate the activity of every other physiological system.
From My Heart To My Fingertips
By James Bridges
I sailed through the complexity of the day. I woke up thinking about cannabis and what it has done for me and my friends. I usually go to sleep thinking of damn near the same thing. Hopefully by the end, some of those benefits would have kicked in.
One would say I have a love affair with a plant.
There’s actual romance happening within the connection between her and I. I accept it. I write about weed constantly. I live around it daily. I connect with others that see the same light from her.
It’s overwhelming to think of those that have not been helped. Some tend to forget. Some tend to turn away from why we are here. I know that I do.
I was frustrated at the work that still hadn’t been done and the time in which to do it. I was rushing around. I wanted a little processing of the brain time.
The weather was starting to energize out outside. Inevitably, the texts and calls warned me of my impending doom. The noise seemed to be coming from everywhere except the actual storm. I started sweating.
I was thinking about some of the things that had happened that day. Some personal. Some business. Happenings nonetheless. I found myself getting worked up. Mentally, I desperately needed to check out.
I noticed the time.
I realized I would never finish anything I started unless I desired to fight being cross-eyed while looking at a computer screen. So, I checked out.
While laying in bed I scrolled through the never ending fulfillment of comedic relief, which is my Instagram feed. I realized that I had forgotten. I turned away from one of the reasons why I exist.
Quickly, I scrambled out of bed. I needed to find a way to make this right. I hadn’t forgotten overall. I had solutions to any obligation currently set in place. It was merely something that I needed to correct for my own personal sanity.
So I wrote this. I wanted to personally thank those that have served in the military. Like many, I was caught up in the whirlwind of chaos, which is life. Even though I had everything set in motion, I still forgot the most important part.
That part is you.
On 11, 11, 2021, Remember Veterans Day.
Get Me Out of Here
By James Bridges
The car was directly across from me at the stop light. With tears from the heavens washing over our vehicles we patiently waited for the light to turn. The ridiculousness of the situation revealed itself as our two lonely and drenched vehicles sat waiting on an empty street for a light to tell us when it was safe to continue moving. Need I say more?…
The music was vibing and the rain kept pouring. Sitting in the driver’s seat with no apparent goal in mind, I felt the need to drift into what I like to call escape mode.
At an early age I developed something in my mind. I have no clue as to how. However, it happened and it works. For the most part…
It’s the same reason some have no television. I can put myself into a dream-like state and at the same time function as an active member of our society. I’ve often wondered if I were chasing something inside for no apparent reason. Then I start to remember.
My dad was always there for me when the time came. He was dependable. He was a bit old school with his sternness, but it was required. He always seemed to step up to the plate when things needed to be done. He taught me something as a child. He would tell me things like, “pain is only in your head,” or “you sleep when you die.”
He was definitely on to something.
That’s when I discovered the escape.
As an adult I am able to tap into that “escape” constantly. At one point in my life I could see it becoming more of a problem than a solution. So, I decided to change the way I go into the escape.
It’s still somewhat of an “escape”. But you should really see some of the $hit going on inside.
What helps me do that? Cannabis.
Look Into the Damn Window
by James Bridges
The shell of my body stands silently looking into nothing.
You’ll notice something strange if you step outside of your body while your mind is racing. You are simply standing there.
Everyone else sees you as that. It’s strange to ponder. It’s as if someone slipped you some sort of wild hallucinogen and you look into a mirror to fix your face. You just can’t fix it…
My thoughts are racing through galaxies of what was and what could be. It’s overwhelming at times.
I get overwhelmed imagining myself trying to crossfit train. Although, those giant conditioning ropes have always intrigued me. When I step outside of my body for meditation I grab ahold of that rope and shake it. I shake it until the thoughts and emotions and racing memories come to a halt.
At that moment I step back into my body.
I try to let go of all of my judgments, prejudices, likes & dislikes, desires, and even memories. I try my hardest to understand that others have their own roles to play in the latest greatest feature film. (Conveniently titled as their name)
I do my damndest to truly ingest what others have to say.
So easy is it to slip into the uncomfortable anxiety of vulnerability. Isn’t the feeling of vulnerability only a “feeling”? That “feeling” is what keeps myself and so many others from really doing the best that they can in life. It’s a fear of becoming so vulnerable that you can no longer function. It’s a self destroying cancer that lingers until the little demons spread their dark wings and fly.
Unless you get in front of it.
The shell of my body stands silently looking into nothing. Suddenly I realize, it’s time to go to work.
Stop Looking At Me
by James Bridges
The floor squirted off its sounds of worn years as I walked toward the door. I stepped outside and spat. The chair invited me to settle in. A nudge around my leg as a pitch black cat sat down.
I knew this cat knew that I had recently been experimenting with some things the instant he started speaking and I could understand.
The sleek creature started his tales. He told me of a tunnel. Then somehow he showed me.
We began walking through a dark hallway. There was no roof. Only the tallest stone-faced walls and the moon. I needed a torch at the next turn. I saw the darkest twists and turns that I never looked into for fear of what might be looking back.
Curiously I wandered on. We made it through a tiny opening at the end of the cave. It was at that point everything became a perfectly shaped pattern. I felt as if I were walking into a giant mandala. The stones were moving just a smidge as I approached the edge.
I glanced over at my feline friend. His expression told me he wasn’t impressed.
There was a female figure waving to me to come closer. I did.
She spoke. She told me of her desires and how much she has loved. She says she’s been thrown away to the wind and nothing but lies has made her misunderstood. She said she once had a vision. She knew what it was once to give. She’s alone.
She was happy as long as she never ever does the same thing again. She showed me her guidance and then I knew where she had been. She told me to follow her and she would give me my own.
Wrapped in white satin was this thing she held so dear. She lifted her hand and said, this will guide me through my journeys. But there is only one thing I must do. Never ever look into this thing that tells everything that is true.
It was a mirror. I looked at her with confusion and asked why.
She told me that she is trapped in the tunnels and that she was on her journey a long time ago. She told me to never do what she did. Somehow you have to restart and give it another go. She said to never judge guidance for it may stab you in the heart. What’s behind is behind. Never look back. Unless one day you find yourself wishing to fall apart.
The Door Closed
by James Bridges
There was laughter coming from the other room. I walked in and noticed a familiar someone laughing with another on a sofa. The blurred faces caused me to wipe my eyes, but to no avail.
I walked closer.
I started to realize that this was me. But was it? I was me… Confusion set in as I rounded the couple, somehow unnoticed.
He, I mean me, I mean whoever, was laughing and carrying on with the other. I felt alone. They were having fun without me. Enjoying the evening with some sort of spirits in the air. Music was laying a nice bed for the atmosphere. It looked grand.
I was alone.
The one with the long hair and the blurred face began to caress the one who seemed to be “me”. I could tell he wasn’t me as he had a smile on his face that was slightly visible. He was enjoying the company. He wasn’t alone. It wasn’t the real me.
I watched as he pretended to be who he was. I watched him act and dance.
Face still blurred.
He left the room. She sat silently. It was at that moment that I discovered I was not alone. Her eyes became clear as she glanced my way. A little gesture to let me know she knows I am there. I smiled a little. I wondered how long she had been here.
She told me to be quiet and to watch what she does. “I’ll make him crawl and weep and you can save the day. It will be brilliant. This is all he needs.”
I watched as he got his way. I watched as she played her role. She glanced up at me with an uncomfortable frequency to make sure I was still in the room. She did her will, then crushed his heart.
Exactly as she planned.
I waited for my turn. The one to make everything better. The one to cuddle when no one else is there. The one that really listens when you speak. The one that tries to understand your world. The only one that can really matter to any victim. I am the savior.
The storms will always be on the forefront no matter how many dances we do around the fire. We do not need to play the victim yet we still do. Toxic relationships exist. Especially the one within. We can become consumed by them or we can try to manage them.
It starts with you.
Did You Find Me?
by James Bridges
The mirror talks in slow motion. He wants to be seen. He wants to be heard. Blurred. I can’t see. He’s screaminging and jumping with his arms in the air. Still blurred.
I have to face this as we all do. This overwhelming fear of the unknown. This spirit crushing form of resistance we all know too well.
The fear of finding oneself.
He was tall. He looked like a biker. A badass. The “boss” of the kids that rode in the back of the bus. Yeah. That bad motherfuc*er.
He wore a black leather jacket. He had greasy black hair. Picture Judd Nelson from, “The Breakfast Club”. The black fingerless gloves and all. I looked up to him and he didn’t know it.
I wanted to be him. The idea of him. I wanted the motorcycle, the free flowing roads, the kick ass bar fights, the anti-establishment marches, the “criminal” activities, and the women that this “idea” had. So I tried.
This little square kid from Oklahoma actually loved each and everything that he has been able to try. My quest to be like “him” was only one of many desires. I have been in a couple of kick ass bar fights, however the more adventurous “criminal” activities may have only been through a TV screen.
It changed me. At that time I was scared. I was scared to be different. I was scared to be him. But I made myself. I started acting like him. I started dressing like him. I even started listening to the same music. I fell in love with it.
I saw something that I wanted and I didn’t care what others thought was popular. I knew what I thought should be popular. So I went for it.
Our lives are filled with characters that we must play in order to appease the masses. However there’s only one character that matters most.
For those of us that are still in search of that true self by diving back into the past…stop. Consider this:
You are now at a threshold and you can either walk through or pass by. Once you pass that threshold, pause. Look back once. Look back two years ago. Now take a look at your thoughts and memories of how you might have felt during that period. If you look at yourself now you will realize that it’s been you this entire time. You’ve just been on a journey.
Sometimes, if we stop searching, our “self” will let us know there really was nothing to fear in the first place.
Look At Me
by James Bridges
I find it fun to make eye contact with random strangers across a room and overly recognize the fact that you both have connected. Especially when I am overly medicated. I can’t imagine where this desire would derive from, but it’s there and I can’t help myself.
Try it. It’s a fun game. Especially if it’s completely unexpected and out of the blue.
Once I made eye contact with the most beautiful woman in a room of about 200 people. She was one of those girls that commanded presence when she walked into a room. You could swim in the essence of her confidence.
No worries. Once we made eye contact my instincts kicked in and I was able to lipsync with her. She couldn’t tell what I was saying. Later that night she asked me what I was saying. I told her that I was saying “later tonight you will come ask me what I am saying.” She didn’t find it amusing, but I did.
The most fun ones are the ones that act back. Those are typically the ones with the largest imaginations. The kids.
While dining on a pier enjoying my fish and chips I recognized a rather interesting fellow that could have easily been the doppelganger of Patrick Renna from The Sandlot. He was walking toward the exit as he turned around and made eye contact.
He took the bait. Now to get it in the boat.
Eyes locked. Straight faced. Both of us like solid statues daring one another to blink. He continued to walk toward the exit following who was presumably his parents. Eyes still locked.
This kid had skills.
It lasted for a good 47 seconds until he bumped into the people in front of him.
Who’s the winner? This guy!
Once I was driving in Santa Monica and showing some friends what Hollywood wanted people to believe Hollywood was like. I was stuck in traffic as I looked over to my left. There he sat in the rear seat as his driver was cursing traffic. The king of eye contact. The stare down master, Robert Downy Jr.
As he smacked his gum we locked eyes. The fan in me was a little off putting to my game, but I was still managing to keep up. Chomp, chomp, chomp… This guy could chew some bubble gum. Let me tell you… We went at it for a good solid 30 seconds. I wasn’t going to back down from the master, yet he did have my respect.
As he drove off I believe we considered it to be a draw as he double raised his eyebrows, smiled, and zoomed off. Something inside of me says that he was the big winner that day.
Maybe one day there shall be a rematch. But we have to smoke a blunt first.
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!
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
by James Bridges
Some of you may know a little something about my personal journey. Some probably could care less. For those that do I thought I would give a little something…
While I continue to heal, on all fronts, I’m reminded of something. I have been very much in tune with myself, my surroundings, my intentions, my sense of intuition, and things I never paid much attention to.
I have been able to visit with my shadows without realizing that I was doing anything “special.” I have been able to specifically sense and see purpose. My dreams have always been vivid. During this healing those dreams have been off the charts. Colors have been more clear. I barely use my glasses for the prescription. I could go on, but most important, to me, is the sense of stepping outside of oneself to discover the true self in an inviting and natural way.
I never want to lose that.
I’ve experienced fun things like talking to voices. These weren’t hallucinations. They were conversations that I was having with the universe on such a high level that many times I couldn’t comprehend.
It still continues today.
I’m writing this down for selfish reasons. I feel that once something is written it lasts longer. I never want this feeling to end.
I have experienced the most nurturing and comforting feeling during this time of healing. I could literally feel the warmth when I allowed it to glow. It wasn’t just a person or a pet or anything of that nature. It was whatever “this” is.
There have been many times in my life where I felt as if there was something inside of me that needed desperately to get out. I never knew what it was. All this time I was convinced that I was opening the right doors. I have come to the conclusion that it is not about opening those doors. It’s about stopping yourself from closing them.
Thank you for inspiring me to stop being a doorstop.
Bee Responsible, Grow Weed
By Tab Moura
There’s been a lot of buzz around Cannabis lately, and I’m not just talking about legalization. So we know that Cannabis is beneficial, it’s been known to treat numerous health conditions, head to toe, from Glaucoma to Plantar Fasciitis… but what if our beloved Devil’s Lettuce is also capable of saving the bees?
I was reading a post about dwindling bee populations this morning, and it was just so unBEElievable, that I had to google this further. I, for one, tend to look at everything through a “what are my options” filter… so I decided to put on my researcher-hat and answer my own question: what are our options to help save the bees? This led me down an interesting rabbit hole. Many humanitarian projects can take years to produce results, so I didn’t just look for ways to “save” them, but ways to attract them- ways to feed them.
An article out of Environmental Entomology stood out– as did their solution.
So we already know that the Cannabis plants are nutrient dense, despite being famous for their psychoactive benefits, because it’s also beneficial in its raw form. Now, take humans out of the equation, and think of the Cannabis plant as a crop with flowers. The plant is so powerful that it’s pollen rich flowers have been found to draw up to 16 different bee species, including the Honey bee. And they also found that the taller your cannabis or hemp plant is, and the more you plant, you can see an increase of up to 17x more bees visiting your crop.
The most interesting part of this study is that Bees do not have an endocannabinoid system, thus they do not directly benefit from the plant’s medicinal properties. Also, this isn’t like traditional flowers, because it
lacks a nectar taste and is not the usual amber color they prefer. Scientists admit they don’t completely understand what draws Bees to cannabis plants, only that they have observed bees visiting these sites in growing numbers. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that bees prefer flowering male plants, over their
female counterparts, but their presence in your community will increase pollination among all outdoor plants.
Did you ever imagine you could help save the planet by growing your own weed? Uncle Sam might not be easy to admit it, but we weren’t exactly waiting for their permission anyway.
Let’s grow weed and save the bees.
Strain of the Month: May 2021
By James Bridges | Herbage Magazine
It started raining. I looked at the clock. After cursing myself for working entirely too late and long into the next day I decided to stop.
I recalled stopping another time that week and my fresh hunt was waiting on me in the other room and I nearly forgot.
The aroma that oozed from the sac, (that’s right, I said sac), shouted old school. No…not blunt old school. Further… Yeah, there it is. Where are my papers?
This ground-up perfectly. I was wondering when the bad would hit. Rolled and….
Still waiting on that bad…
Fire makes things happy in my head. Especially the fires at the end of my sticks. The rain kept coming…
By the way. I was impressed with my roll.
Wiping my eyes I walked back into my dining room for something wet. There was a blur and I was in my happy place. Swirling around in my house I caught glimpses of paintings and colors popping from corner to corner. The bubbles were there. Only a few strains do this for me and this was definitely one of them. Pop. Pop. Pop.
I had to take a load off. I felt as if magic were coming from my brain and I just needed a second to restore. I found myself still asking, “When will the bad part hit?” It never did. I threw myself onto the chair, not like a ragdoll, but as if I were actually a rag doll. I didn’t move and it was glorious.
That’s when I realized this strain was insanely accurate when being named
Grower: Hermetic Flower
Total THC: 23.27
The Brain: Mind and Body
by Tab Moura
I was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2019. I was 29, married, a mother, and I dabbled in MLMs and influencing. I’ve always loved writing, but those days I felt like I was slipping into oblivion and It felt so comfortable that I didn’t even think to stop it anymore.
I was hosting one of those online parties for the book company I worked with, where you have images in a queue, and you post them at specific intervals, actively answer questions, share product links, etc. You aren’t just watching the minutes, you’re watching the seconds. It goes fast. When I was a few minutes into a party, I felt tired, but that didn’t feel like a good excuse to interrupt things. I powered through.
I thought, “I’ll just navigate over to this tab and grab that link I need to give Jane, and then–”
What was I doing?
Oh my goodness, I have so many notifications.
Oh my gosh, where did those 3 minutes go?
And then 5 minutes later I stood up to grab a power cord, and as I stepped into the hall it happened again.
*poof* What was I doing?
I didn’t have the mental capacity to understand that I was having seizures. I finished my party, it wasn’t amazing (not that I can remember anyway), and then I passed out on the couch watching a show.. I woke up the next day, barely able to move my right side. We thought it was a stroke, so I saw a doctor. MRI was clear. When we reflected on the day of my party, with my doctor, we could tell I’d had a few other events as well, but they seemed like seizures. If I’d known then what I know now, I would have canceled my whole evening. It took months to get an EEG, but we eventually found that I had right frontal and right temporal lobe seizures, secondary generalized as well. These are lobes associated with personality, impulse control, perfectionism, depression and emotionality, etc… you know, all of my buddies. So things were beginning to make more sense.
When I reflected, I could trace back memories of these sensations to when I was 5. I was homeschooled, we didn’t have a strict schedule, no bells, no anxiety to get from A to B independently. I never would have known if I was missing time, what was time? My seizures have never been fully convulsive, some as innocent looking as daydreaming or fidgeting.
I still experience compulsive and intrusive thoughts when I am early-seizure, but it tells me when something is wrong. It used to be impossible to get me out of a compulsive process, now I am able to break away to medicate. If I push my brain too hard, it eventually crashes; even doing things I enjoy, like puzzles or cleaning. This is why I can only do these things while medicated. I have nights where all of the trains of thought are moving at the same time, it’s so busy and startling, as though being slapped in the head from the inside, with no point. I understand now why I just thought this was normal. I am an excellent example of how there is a lot we don’t know about the cross-over between neurological disorders and psychological ones…but we do know that they both (frequently) enjoy cannabis. Without my mental health awareness, I wouldn’t be able to break my cycle and grab my medicine… but without cannabis, I wouldn’t be able to escape for more than a few moments. Same organ, same team.
Sugar with Coffee & Cream
by James Bridges | Herbage Magazine
A situation arises in a person’s life when they first venture out into the unknown.
I was a young Okie. I was born in some other, most likely gawd awful, state, but I was raised an Okie. In my personal journey, I had never, truly, experienced culture other than what I grew up with. So when I turned 19-years-old I hit the road.
I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but I had a feeling that “different” was going to be interesting.
If I were to create a perfect social experiment to see how humans can relate I would cram a bunch of 19-year-old boys from all different parts of the country into one living area for roughly 8 to 9 weeks. Sound familiar?
From the day I landed into that “social experiment” I realized the world that I knew my entire life was far more interesting than anything I have ever dreamed.
Here was this white as can be Okie tossed into the mix with a surfer/salmon fisherman from Portland, a self-proclaimed beatbox master from Jersey, a kid that smelled like he just walked out of the swamp, a Satanist from Arkansas, a super short white dude from Brooklyn that swore he was friends with all of the Beastie Boys, then there were 6 guys in the very back where I was headed. These guys were tall, except one. He had to look up.
Arms folded, looking down the nose, they watched as I dropped some luggage. I was intimidated. They knew who I was just by looking at me. A little scared white boy from Oklahoma. The tension in the air…
Laughter instantly broke out from all of them. Crisis averted. I knew this was going to be something I would always remember. Three of my new close, (our sleeping arrangements were very tight) friends were from the west coast. There was Long Beach, Torrance, and Covina, California. The other three were from, that’s right, the east coast. There was the Bronx, Brooklyn, and of course Queens. This was in the early ’90s. Imagine the banter/threats of murder in your sleep that flew around. It was quite interesting. I learned a lot.
I learned more about culture during that 9 week period more about the world than I ever learned in any school ever. I discovered a lot of things about people. Culture, fear, anger, brotherhood, and especially about myself.
Though I still have yet to discover which group was right. West Coast or East Coast. I’m sure that may go on as long as there are coasts to argue about. The congregation of all of those coasts, including from the banks of the farm pond, would not have been possible in a closed-minded environment. We must learn from one another. It’s actually fun.
If you take away geographical devotion to a human-generated power scale structure society that we now live in, the color of one’s skin, and most of all money, the result is simple.
Plant Medicine for Change
by Tab Moura
The house is quiet, babies are sleeping, and the sun is down for the day… it’s time to get to work. I am staring at a stack of moving boxes, child-art in crayon cover the sides. We’re moving. The time has come to graduate from this season into another. Unlike what we know about Earth’s general weather patterns, there’s only one thing I know for sure at the moment… this is all new.
We’re heading for a major transition, and that got me thinking: can we prepare for the unknown?
So I dug. I am passionate about plant medicine so my first stop was a google search for essential oils that support transition. If I could find the essential oils that work, it would be a short leap to understand what cannabis strains support transition as well. I wasn’t surprised by the oils that popped up in my search, I just haven’t tried these combinations before – always something new to learn!
Cedarwood, Pine, Sandalwood, etc
I’m a big fan of wood-fragrances at bedtime, paired with Lavender, but I hadn’t considered what role the wood scents played. These are great essential oils and terpenes for unwinding and releasing stress, but depending on what they are paired with, they can also support motivation, creativity, and focus. Woodsie terpenes include Cedrane, Pinene, Camphene, and Carene.
Lavender, Jasmine, Chamomile, Sage, etc
I’m an avid consumer of herbs, from whole leaf teas to essential oils. The benefits are broad, but did you know they can promote emotional stillness? Bringing you to the present, these fragrances and their terpenes are powerful during any stressful time- especially transition. As for finding these benefits in cannabis, look out for terps like Linalool, Bisabolol, Geraniol, Phytol, Caryophyllene, and Humulene.
Citrus: lemongrass, lime, lemon, etc
Great for an uplift when you need them, citrus oils are a valuable asset to navigating transitions and looking on the bright side while you’re at it. You can find citrus terpenes like Limonene, Valencene, Nerolidol, etc at your local dispo. If you aren’t sure what to smell for, you can always ask to see the lab results.
The truth is, any major life change is going to come with grief, which may be a source of many different emotions. It’s ok if it looks messy, it’s ok if you need to process it slowly… but I hope that whatever life throws your way, plant medicine can be of some comfort to you.
by Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish, Cannabis Lawyer
Harborside was brilliantly briefed and argued before the Tax Court by my International Cannabis Bar Association colleague, Henry Wykowski, an exceptionally talented cannabis attorney headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area.
If you are in the cannabis industry in Oklahoma or, for that matter, anywhere in the United States, you likely have heard of 280-E and the infamous 2018 Harborside decision of the U.S. Tax Court. If not, you need to know about both, along with a new decision filed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on April 22, 2021, upholding the Tax Court’s Harborside decision.
What is the Harborside Decision?
In Patients Mutual Assistance Collective Corporation d.b.a. Harborside Health Center v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 151 T.C. No. 11 (November 29, 2018) 2, the Tax Court determined Harborside, a well-known dispensary and brand based in Oakland, California that was co-founded by cannabis legend Steve DeAngelo, owed approximately $11 million in back taxes because it took business deductions and exclusions “in connection with the sale of a federally illegal substance.”
Harborside appealed the decision in Patients Mutual Assistance Collective Corporation, d.b.a. Harborside Health Center v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, No. 19-73078, filed April 22, 2021. On appeal, the issue considered by the Ninth Circuit was whether Harborside, a dispensary that purchases and resells marijuana and uses the cost method to value its inventory, must account for its inventory cost in accord with Section 1.471-3(b) of the Treasury Regulations.
While the issue sounds complicated, the impact on OMMA licensees is simple: for purposes of federal income tax, the only deduction available in calculating gross income is the cost of purchasing or producing the goods being sold (“cost of goods sold” or “COGS”). No standard business deductions are available to cannabis businesses in our country.
What is Section 280E and Who Cares?
A provision in the Internal Revenue Code known as Section 280E prohibits cannabis companies from claiming deductions and exclusions available to every other business in the country. Section 280E was enacted in 1982 after a U.S. Tax Court decision allowed a drug dealer to deduct expenses associated with his illegal business activities and provides:
No deduction or credit shall be allowed for any amount paid or incurred during the taxable year in carrying on any trade or business if such trade or business (or the activities which comprise such trade or business) consists of trafficking in controlled substances (within 2 the meaning of schedule I and II of the Controlled Substances Act) which is prohibited by federal law or the law of any state in which such trade or business is conducted.
Since marijuana remains a Schedule I illegal substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”), then OMMA licensees doing business within Oklahoma’s medical marijuana system are considered to be “trafficking in controlled substances” under the CSA and, as such, are not allowed any deduction or income tax credit for amounts paid or incurred in the course of their business activities.
To simplify how this impacts Oklahoma cannabis businesses, it means that the only deduction available in calculating gross income for purposes of federal income tax is the cost of purchasing or producing the goods being sold by that business (COGS). This would include, for example, the wholesale price of medical marijuana a dispensary owner pays to a grower or processor, or the cost a grower incurs from actually growing medical marijuana. It does not include expenses such as wages or rent.
In practice, Oklahoma medical marijuana companies (and cannabis businesses across the United States) often pay a tax rate of 80% to 90% to the IRS, unlike other businesses. Even if an OMMA licensee has a net loss on its books, the company will still incur significant federal tax liability.
So…what’s the take-away?
The Harborside decision, along with the IRS’s admission it has been training agents for at least eight years “in the finer details of auditing marijuana companies, using PowerPoint presentations that outline everything from legal precedents to questions that should be asked during interviews with business owners” should send you running to your cannabis CPA—which, by the way, is a must-have member of your team.
Information contained herein provides general information related to the law and does not provide legal advice. It is recommended that readers consult their personal lawyer if they want legal advice. No attorney-client or confidential relationship exists or is formed between you and Ms. Parrish as a result of this article.
Herbage Magazine May 2021 Issue 32
Digital edition of the May 2021 print issue of Herbage Magazine. Herb•age strives to bring you fresh content regularly. We cover a wide range of cannabis culture and medical marijuana-related issues from around the state of Oklahoma and beyond. In other words, It is our mission to be the voice of the growing cannabis industry in the state. Through fair and open discourse we hope to continue the trend of bringing cannabis out of the shadows and into the mainstream where it belongs. So, please join us and help us grow with Oklahoma!
by Tab Moura
It’s time we unpack my cannabis origins… I did not have a positive relationship with cannabis until 2016. In fact, I was anti-cannabis until life put me in my place.
My husband broke a bone in his back, a few bones in his hand, and bruised his hip when he fell from his motorcycle. Thankfully he was wearing his gear, otherwise we know he would have fractured his skull and additional bones in his back. His helmet, coat and backpack were trashed. We followed his care instructions, but ultimately his pain was so severe that his prescription couldn’t keep up, and with a history of addiction in his family, we didn’t want to experiment with more pills. I was unable to lift him myself, and he was having trouble getting around, so he stayed with his parents for a few days while I focused on our girls. While there, my brother in law gave him some cannabis, and within a few moments my husband was feeling relief. It was so little… and yet, it was everything.
Before, while I was still watching him writhe in pain, it made me wonder. If the prescription isn’t working, and if addiction is such a slippery slope… then what else can people do? Even if something OTC, like Ibuprofen, could help with that degree of injury, it’s not like it goes without affecting you in other ways. In big and small ways, he has dealt with lingering pain from that accident for almost 5 years… if we had relied on pills, I already know what his trajectory would have looked like. I told myself that I would rather we ‘play-chicken’ with cannabis, than with pills.
In that time, our family has grown from 4, to 5. He’s daddy to three sweet mini-hims; our youngest is 3. I was terrified to go down this road, because I believed what they said about weed… being toxic. How it makes people’s brains shrink= makes people dumber. I grew up where cannabis was this big, ugly topic that we never spoke of, and I didn’t want my children exposed to it. Little did I know that cannabis would answer many, many questions that I would have over the course of the next few years.
I prayed about it. I researched it. I took classes. I met with growers and processors. I spoke with people who know and respect the cannabis plant. I dove in, because I knew this was very serious for us. I wanted to know if there were any skeletons in the canna-closet… but the truth is, all I found were Stoners hot-boxing. So I joined them.