Blunts & Bogeys by Michael Kinney
Jake Spiegel could be heard from far away. After dropping a long birdie putt, he and his playing partners screamed in excitement before giving out high-fives and fist pounds between each other. “I’ll tell you right now, this is the team you want to be a part of,” Ryan Bloemke said of the group. “The energy’s high. The weather’s great. The atmosphere’s great. Everybody’s having a good time. We couldn’t ask for more.”
This display of jubilation wasn’t at the Masters Tournament, which was being played at the same time hundreds of miles away, or some stuffy corporate retreat. Bloemke, Spiegel and the rest of their foursome from NexLeaf Cultivation were competing in the Blunts and Bogeys Golf Tournament. Hosted by Herbage Magazine, the tournament brings businesses and individuals from throughout the Cannabis industry together for an afternoon of golf, fun and Networking. The tournament was held Saturday, April 8 at the Choctaw Creek Golf Course.
“This event is important for team camaraderie and a little bit of exposure,” Bloemke said. “Just kind of exposurewith the community. But with that being said, I mean, we’re just here to have a good time and try to spread some awareness.”
With the temperatures hovering around 80 degrees, 30 teams convened in Choctaw for an afternoon on the links. But it was Exotic Cultivators who came out on topafter shooting an amazing team score of 52 over the 18 holes. Even those who didn’t take the top prize, couldn’t have been more pleased with the day, which included some very full and valuable gift bags, a catered lunch from DOPE Chef Jay , beverages and all the medical cannabis that patients could load onto their carts.
“We got blessed with the best day of the year so far for golf,” said Jamie Marshall of Dazed Cannabis. “So that along with the company getting to spend time with each other outside of work is always a positive thing. Andgetting to meet new people and getting to see what they’re doing and how they’re doing it is always interesting and fun.”
However, according to James Bridges, the Herbage Magazine founder and creator of the Blunts and Bogeys Golf Tournament, the event has always been more about bringing the industry together than the final score.
“We definitely wanted to show the overall unification of our community across the state,” Bridges said. “We had dispensaries there, we had growers there, we had processors there, we had photographers there. We had event people and festival throwers. We had distribution companies there. We even had apparel companies involved. And so, with all of these people, and with all of that, the thing I think of most is that it is VERY possible to have a group of like minded individuals gather onto a field of grass and play together as equals. Not just one sector of the industry. We can look at all the different sectors of this industry and have them come together and meet each other and have a good time and do all the things that we did in a big way. And we proved it.”
Sponsors and participants were made up of an eclectic group from around Oklahoma. They included: Oryon Cannabis, THE COWBOY CUP, Livesource Cloud, Electric Avenue Farms, Resonant Cultivation, 4H Pharms, HWY-Lines, Dazed Cannabis, NexLeaf Cultivation, The Laughing Goat, Well Rooted, The Cowboy Cup, UFCW 100, 77 Farms, Exotic Cultivators, Ruby Mae’s, Jagged Quail, The Pott County Hideout, Drip Cultivation, Stay at Home Dabs, B&K Buds, Bono-Ape, Pharm Phresh, Alliance Oklahoma, Holiday, Level Up, RX3 Gardens, and Vibe OKC.
During the past few years, Herbage Magazine has held several different golf tournaments. That includes the Herbage Golf Fall Classic, which was last held in September of 2022. Yet, this edition of the Blunts and Bogeys Tour is by far the largest he and his team have put on.
“I was more than pleasantly surprised,” Bridges said. “I think everyone benefits from it. The people that attended, participants, all of our sponsors. The golf course itself and the community of everyone that was involved. I think it was an overall success. So much so that we have scheduled our next two golf events for this year alone.”
Dan Carmel, owner of Oryon Cannabis, was excited. “As proud sponsors of Herbage Magazine’s Blunts and Bogeys, we at Oryon Canna were thrilled to see cannabis and golf enthusiasts come together. Our team is passionate about promoting the positive effects of cannabis, and events like these help us do just that. We can’t wait to continue supporting the cannabis community. Thanks again for having us, and we’re grateful to play a small part in the growth of Oklahoma’s cannabis culture.” Brandon Leinberger from Oryon Cannabis agreed with Bridges’ assessment of the need for the importance of industry-wide events like Blunts and Bogeys.
“It definitely ties people together,” Leinberger said. “No matter what you’re going to do, it’s got to make the community feel more together when you’re doing things representing the same thing and sharing fun experiences.”
The growth in the tournament can be tied to the growth in the cannabis industry and its strong ties in Oklahoma. Since medical marijuana became legal in the state, cannabis has evolved and expanded to become a lifestyle, a way of community support, commerce, and even fun.
“It’s been a great event to get together, connect and network with other owners, employees, everyone in the industry,” said Mike Cataldo of NexLeaf and LiveSource. “It’s good to be outdoors and be active and do something besides sitting around. It’s good to be out and about on a beautiful day and network. It’s good for being together with the employees as well as just talking to people. I think it’s important because it shows that you are part of something larger than just yourself. Just being part of the community is important to us and the Oklahoma cannabis community.”
Yet, it is still considered in its infancy, which is why industry events, like HerbageGolf, are important, said Hunter Hoppy from 4H Pharms. “You know the cannabis community is not too big in Oklahoma right now,” Hoppy said. “It’s still growing. So, getting everybody together and making sure everybody has their own back was good.”
Hunter used as an example the recent failed vote on State Question 820 that would have legalized the sale of recreational marijuana to anyone 21 and older as an example of why the people in the industry need to work together even more. “I work in the cannabis industry, and I work in the mobile home industry. They’re both small industries, but there is a lot of money in both industries,” Hoppy said. “So, we always stay tight-knit and we have each other’s back. I think that’s what it takes to be able to make this thing work. The vote for adult cannabis use just got voted down. I think doing things like this will keep everybody together and help make that happen one day.”
According to Cataldo, Blunts and Bogeys forces business owners to delete their more individualistic tendencies and look at the bigger picture. “I think events like this are a necessary part to grow together versus as individuals,” Cataldo said. “A lot of times we are closed off within our company and we just worry about ourselves. Events like this create partnerships where we can all grow together versus individually.”
One of the first-time competitors at the Blunts and Bogeys was Joe Lee, an organizer with UFCW 1000. His union was one of the tournament’s sponsors and provided the golf carts. As Oklahoma’s cannabis industry grows, Lee said his union wants to be part of their growth and make sure people understand just how specialized the workers are. “Cannabis workers are highly skilled professionals and should be recognized as such. They are extremely dedicated, knowledgeable, and passionate about the industry. They deserve to be recognized and have a voice in the workplace. That is why the Blunts and Bogeys tournament is so important. It gave him a chance to meet and talk to business owners about what it’s going to take to help the industry grow and get stronger.
“We bring a lot of things to the table as far as political connections, affordable health insurance and retirement plans. Things like safety on the job and just helping support the industry as a whole,” Lee said. “There is a lot of people’s hard work, sweat and blood that’s gone into this industry and we want to help the industry survive and maintain.”
Almost to a person, the main word that was used throughout the day was community. Everyone seemed to know that whatever lies ahead for the Oklahoma cannabis industry, it is going to take the entire collective to keep it working and growing. “I think it’s important for us to have opportunities to get to know each other and spend time together,” Marshall said. “Because at the end of the day, we’re all in the same industry, in the same business. And there are a lot of things that it’s going to take a long time to get through all of this. I think we’re going to have to have a lot of cooperative things that we do right in order to overcome some of the challenges that we have and that we’re going to have.”
It may seem unrealistic to some that a friendly golf tournament can help strengthen and expand the cannabis industry. But those who have attended any of the past outings will co-sign on what the experience has done for them in terms of bringing people together. Bridges says that he has been grateful that the community can find a way to unify. “I know there are so many other creative ways we can accomplish such positive results. I hope others in our community can come up with new creative ideas. As always, I hope Herbage Magazine can contribute to that positive outcome in any way possible. We will continue to reach our goals by staying true to one another.. We all want the same thing. We all want people to have a better way of life. We want them to have a choice and we want them to not feel bad about that. In a way we truly are a big family.”
RX3 has the R3m3dy
“Just a couple of old school stoners using new school tech to create innovative, clean, and highly potent cannabis products.”
That’s how Hopper and Ron, the team behind RX3 and R3m3dy Gard3ns describe their companies. A lot has changed in the 30 years since Hopper first started growing cannabis, and RX3 is evidence of that evolution.
The entire product line is single source, full spectrum, and solventless. It features the usual suspects- gummies and prerolls, but it’s the other products that put them on the next level. RHO is a solventless hash oil that Hopper developed while living in Humboldt County, California. The clean, solventless
version of Rick Simpson’s infamous cancer killing RSO is so powerful that a dose the size of a grain of rice is recommended to begin. He thought RHO was the pinnacle of potency, but then along came the newest addition to the lineup- RX3 Nanograms. Nanograms are made with RHO, using Nano technology, which increases the bioavailability of THC from roughly 9% to 90%. Bioavailability is the ability of a substance to be absorbed and used by the body. Simply said, it gets you really high, really fast, and lasts a long time. As Hopper calls it, “High school high”. The tiny amount needed for a big effect makes it especially user friendly. It can easily be added to any food or beverage, or drop a few drops directly in your mouth. Think everything from sushi to salsa to yogurt. The possibilities
really are endless. A package of Nanograms may only contain 25 milligrams, but because of the high bioavailability, it’s theequivalent of roughly 200 traditional milligrams, and unlike traditional edibles which may be full of sugar, dyes, animal products, and common allergens, Nanograms can be safely
used for any set of dietary needs or lifestyle preferences. Keto, vegan, low sugar, low fat, or vegetarian, it’s compatible with them all. This is truly the future of cannabis consumption.
Hopper explained that he had to leave behind the old school mindset of growing just to produce flower, and open his mind to everything that could be made with the plant, because the real product is the THC, not the flower. He also knows that you have to work with the best to get the best. That’s why they have partnered with Arcadia Brands in Edmond to make edibles and concentrates. “I’m not a gummy maker, so I found the best one there is” Coincidentally, Hopper had seen Arcadia owner,
Robert Cuthbertson, years before on a Pure Pressure YouTube video. Little did he know they be working together in the not so distant future. With their mutual love of full spectrum solventless extraction, Hopper knew it was the perfect fit. RX3 and R3m3dy Gard3ns are a labor of love and perseverance for both Hopper and Ron. The things they’ve been through since the beginning of the two ventures would have broken most, but they have chugged along. Hopper survived a near fatal case of West Nile Virus, and Ron tragically lost his brother to a senseless murder. If recovering and grieving while running a small business sounds hard, that’s because it is. “It was a tragic end to the year, with the murder of my brother,” Ron told Herbage, “but we’re back with a vengeance. We’ve been in the lab processing and making a lot of new products over the past few months. We brought our Elixir and Nanograms to market, and we’re working on a full spectrum, solventless disposable cart now. We have been working really hard these past couple of years, and on May 7th we’re going to celebrate.”
Coming up on May 7th, RX3/R3m3dy is putting on a concert at the Brickhouse Saloon in downtown Shawnee. After all the hard work they’ve been doing, it’s time for some fun, and they want everyone to come out and join them. Hed(pe) will be headlining the show sponsored by friends and business partners of RX3/R3m3dy. There will be tons of giveaways, lots of smoke, and maybe even a surprise or two. Tickets are available now on Eventbrite.
By: Pamela Jayne
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.
Seed to Buds
Meet Randon. He’s the operator of Well Rooted Genetics here in Oklahoma and he’s a connoisseur of consumption, with food and cannabis! He’s a big time foodie and has a memory with smells that take him back. He has learned about curation and flow with the different experiences he has had, with the plant having more textures and smells than any other species we have. He enjoys a good salad mix and bringing people together, because we’re ALL artists.
I had the opportunity to attend the very first exploration dinner, “Seed to Buds”. Which was an experience where artisans of two separate crafts came together to create. This is where the Underground Ghost Kitchen comes in. It was an experience curated by Randon with Well Rooted Genetics and the UGK team. Roger curates the events and Jesse is the main chef for private dining events.
By providing experiences like this in Oklahoma, we’re essentially bridging the gap and blending the two worlds, by elevating the state and opening up new doors for the evolution of plant medicine. The goal of this dinner pairing was to utilize all of the plant in ways that compliment luxury ingredients.
Upon walking into Randon’s beautiful home, I was greeted with a cocktail and smiling faces. More people started rolling in, all faces of industry gems. Conversations and laughter flowed throughout the whole night. There was good hash rosin present, along with glass tip joints, that I have to say I need more of in my life! The glass tips are such a game changer when it comes to taste and flow, so take note. Everyone found a seat at the table, with a guided menu on what to expect for the evening and then it began.
There were many many intricate dishes that made this experience special, along with the option for mocktails for those that requested them. The UGK team also caters to those with food allergies and different preferences. The dinner menu was set up to complement strains like Zacio, Birkinz, Frosted Waffles, and Gelenade. Here are some descriptions on what I got to taste!
The snacks were a favorite of mine and consisted of Pani Puri, herbed boursin, greens and a lavender clover club cocktail to pair with Gelonade. There was also a cauliflower salad with asparagus, espuma and a Monstro Striga Cerasuolo d’ Abruzzo to pair with Zacio, and for the main course we had an herb crusted loin coated in East Side OG kief, with peas, potato, and a Maison Passot Fleurie wine paired with Birkinz. To cleanse our palates, we smoked Superboof that was rolled with a glass tip by Zenoa Cultivation, along with orange granita, mango sorbet and strawberry. (the mango sorbet was a favorite of mine). We then followed that with a dessert that was a creme fresh honeysuckle lemon cake with a Lambrusco drink, paired with Frosted Waffles. All of the signature craft cocktails were made by bartender Paul, with Thirst Wines.
We had Chef Jessie Gomez explaining every dish to us, down to each ingredient and herb used and why. As the dishes were presented at the table, it was something I appreciated so much! It brought an intimate experience for everyone there. The cocktails were all so delicious and I truly enjoyed every one, with every dish!
What an experience this seed to bud dinner pairing was! Such a beautiful thing to be a part of. From all of the yummy and refreshing drinks to pair with the food and different tasty strains from local growers, it was beautifully curated with so much intention and passion poured into it, from the creative minds that brought an experience like this to life!
Cheers to some really good company and really good cannabis. So cool to see it! This is what we need here in Oklahoma and I’m stoked to have been a part of this in Oklahoma City. It’s amazing what all we can do together when we combine the things we all love.
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.
About The Cover – Czr Prz
Star Child 16’x20′ painted for Plaza
Walls Mural Festival Oklahoma City
Czr Prz is an urban contemporary artist working in sculptural fabrication, large scale aerosol murals, and all manner of design.
Born and raised in working class Chicago, Prz’s 20 year creative career has spanned America all the way to Europe. Across their multifaceted media, Prz’s artworks tell stories in the folklorico tradition instilled by his Latino-Caribbean upbringing.
Prz recovered from Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2015, a battle that halted his trips abroad, resuming his creative practice without missing a beat. In the
past year alone, Prz has painted murals for CATAN in Albany Park and Paint Memphis Fest in Tennessee. Prz’s fine art fabrication has shown at Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco and Epiphany Center for the Arts, where he’s the curator behind Idol Hands, a group show centered around craft on view through Feb. 2022.
Prz is also one half of Ava Grey, a creative firm based in Chicago’s South Side.
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
Steve Miller – Essential Tremors Breakthrough Using Cannabis
This is an update and a breakthrough discovery regarding Steve Miller and his battle with essential tremors. Miller has suffered from severe tremors his entire life. A group of cannabis researchers have come up with a formula they believe could lead to a solution for many who suffer the same.
By Michael Kinney
Steve Miller has tried to live a peaceful life. Despite numerous medical battles, he does his best to stay stress-free.
However, in early July, Miller was at his breaking point. It was a place he had been just a few times in his 69 years of life. But this time it was worse.
Miller suffers from a disease called Essential Tremors. It causes his body to violently shake, especially when his anxiety rises. As Miller cared for his sister, who was going through her own issues, he had what he called a psychotic break that affected him mentally, emotionally and physically.
“When she was trying to get off alcohol and stuff we both kind of started feeding off each other’s anxiety she ended up in the hospital and going to the emergency room because she didn’t know how to handle it,” Miller said of his sister. “I didn’t know how to help her. She actually had seizures that morning. So, I called an ambulance and got her. And then she got back home. And I, I can’t tell you how many days it was, but about 3, 4, 5 days later, I had to call 911 for me and take me to the emergency room, full chest pains.”
Miller said the pains felt like he was having a heart attack and he couldn’t breathe
“I had been shaking so much for so long and so hard that my intestines were just tied in a knot,” Miller said. “. Once you get anxious, you kind of get a little bit psychotic when it gets real bad.”
Produced by Herbage TV – For more shows and information visit
🍁 Connecting cannabis community since 2018.
🧠 Empowerment through cannabis education and destigmatization.
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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 Path Continues
The Path Continues
By James Bridges
“That was a long year.” How many times have you heard that? Usually in a negative tone it seems. Well, it has been a long year. A year is a long time. 365 days to be exact. Each and every one of those days are long too. Each day. Each Minute. Each second. Soak it up, buttercup.
What are you going to do with it?
There was an abundance of, what seemed like, magic in the air starting from the moment SQ788 passed. It seems so long ago. However, sometimes it’s a blur. There have been so many shifts in the industry as it matures. 2022 may have been the ugly pre-teen years, if you were to compare to what I believe is to come.
You need to remember why you wanted cannabis to be legal in the first place. That, my friends, is your own personal choice as well. Medicine comes in many different forms. No one has the right to tell you differently.
I’ve witnessed the market in Oklahoma shift from a territorial atmosphere into what has now become more of a collaborative effort to navigate not only the market trend, but also the constant changes tossed down from our governing bodies. This, in my opinion, is key. If there ever were a plot to kill legal cannabis, then this idea of collaboration could indeed squash it.
Now I go to my creative mind. I like to imagine dark,angry, and dried up individuals sitting around a boardroom table and pounding their fists out of anger and frustration. One of them stands and screams, “Why must they fight together!” The dark “overlords” smoke their smokey cigarettes and discuss ways to split the damn pot heads up. I digress.
The simplest way to kill something is to gain its trust. It is a shady way of doing things. It’s a way of doing things that we all must look out for. It’s ok to listen to your intuition… Unfortunately many businesses in the cannabis industry have failed. That’s not uncommon in most industries, to be honest. However, the way that it has come about is a tad tacky in my book. I don’t speak much about politics publicly, but I do love my community.
There are mom-and-pops in this great state that feel robbed. They feel that the system which was put in place during the first years of legalization in Oklahoma was a money grab. They blame many players involved in the governing bodies. They feel that those players would benefit the state rather than the industry itself. Some feel that this grew into an even more greedy situation. Major players within the cannabis industry itself have been accused of having a hand in the pocket of some of those benefitted.
It’s been interesting to observe to say the least.
I won’t give you a BS promotional speech that makes you feel that there is a pot of gold waiting for us all. What I will do is encourage you to keep moving forward. Make a more collaborative effort to accomplish your goals. Stick together and create your own ideas. Have fun doing it. We are in a cannabis industry.
That’s supposed to be fun right?
Those that oppose our lifestyle and understanding of what good medicine is are waiting for us to trip up. Make sure they trip first. They want this to fail. When it all comes down to it, this is about money. The blanket of fear that is covering the eyes of justice must come down once in a while. At times Justice needs to look the liar in the face in order to gain access to the truth.
Pressing For Gold – Wellevate Farms
By James Bridges
We pulled into the parking lot of what was obviously a structure built to move heavy machinery and vehicles, I noticed the sign for Wellevate Farms, but I couldn’t help but wonder. I thought to myself, “Why is that large, roughly 75 foot tall, gas rig blocking my parking space?” Then I took a good look around. I noticed more heavy equipment, trailers, and yes, even more rigs that stood tall and inoperable. I thought to myself again, “Maybe I should open my eyes and stop listening to that constant repetitive voice coming from my speakers?”
I felt as if I had driven into the wrong address until I recognized a smile. The smile was large and the man behind it couldn’t seem more welcoming. Adam Stockman presented himself as one of the directors. The man that wears many hats with a team of fellow multi-hatters designed to accomplish whatever is put in front of them. We were invited inside.
John Hughes himself would have been jealous and may have even made the motion to dial his attorney if he were to walk into the facilities at Wellevate Farms in Skiatook, OK. The large, almost circular interior structure with a maze/classroom aesthetic would have him screaming at the old troupe to gear up and shoot The Breakfast Club 2.0.
“So this room will soon be the house dispensary.” Adam pointed over my shoulder. “That’s why we picked the one with the exterior door.”
We met Adam during the Cowboy Cup in December 2022. One of the late nights of the cup led both myself and Brook Miller to a table where Adam and a new product awaited our introduction. The product is actually designed and offered by Wellevate Farms themselves. It’s called the WelleVape.
I will do my best to describe the product. The product is vaporized inside of the device. The vapor then flows and fills the chalice or glass. Then bottoms-up! You drink and repeat. It’s surprising, unique, and comes with an experience to accompany your meds.
We were invited to repeat as many times as desired. We made sure we had plenty of “introduction” time for one another.
“We found a way to procreate our own dispensary.” I listened as Adam opened up more. “Yeah. and, we’re about 60 days out. We were lucky for how we found ours though. I mean, I’ve heard $$$$ over and over, and we found something nowhere near those numbers. We were able to acquire this and even own the building. Most licenses are not available the way ours was, and for that we are very grateful.”
He must have noticed the twitch in my brow as he spoke and peaked my interest. Adam continued, “Yeah. The old owner just didn’t ever put anything together here. We took it off his hands. We think we can do something special with this place. That’s what we are here to do.”
The informed and intelligent Adam pointed out that the goal was to become more of an appointment only dispensary. They want to offer medicines to those specifically in the area that are in need. However, because that is where their cultivation and lab is located, they feel it best to keep the main gate closed to the public.
“Everyone always says they want to carry our product.” Adam showed that giant smile again. “We know we have the right product.” Adam’s confidence was sure. “Our sales have already given us a very positive projection. Now it’s time to network, continue marketing, and advertising so we can become more top of mind for patients when they choose.”
These guys definitely have a “There’s nothing in getting our way” attitude. They have a fully operational grow facility. They are smashing killer solventless hash rosin on a press made for giants. They have 120 Square Feet of freeze drying space. They even have their own CO2! Afterall, we were essentially standing on top of a natural gas well. I couldn’t have been more impressed.
Adam continued to show us around. “I mean, with the equipment that we have and the facility that we have, it’s been a long haul. We are all-in on the investment, time and money. More than I could have fathomed. So it’s a long game. We’re honest with ourselves though. We have an accountant. Other than accounting, we don’t really outsource anything. Everything is pretty much created in-house, even metric.”
The team at Wellevate was surprisingly small compared to the output of the facility. There’s Adam Stockman who is the general manager/all hats, and a very knowledgeable lead cultivator, Brandon Summers.
We ran into Devon Gaines and Chad Upton. Both are hash washers for Wellevate. They help press the magic, which is Wellevate Farms signature hash rosin. Fluid for the god’s, if you will. We actually had the opportunity to witness the making of said fluid.
The press was more than a press. We walked into the dedicated press room and sat back and watched as they prepped the product. At 180 degrees this beast will smash 3 full 15 gram pouches at one time. That is 45 grams in one press. They use a Low temp V2 Medusa. They have also fabricated a custom mechanical arm, which adds tilt to the base of the press to assist the drip. The team claims that they have noticed a slight change in quality since implementing this lift system. I was more than impressed.
“It’s a lot like a family around here.” Adam explained a common scenario in the cannabis industry. However, this one seemed to be run by individuals that have the mental capability to set boundaries around those emotions. They were there for business, and they all knew it. “Yeah. I wouldn’t say that on any given day, we all get along by any means. But at the end of the day, I also know that if I need something, I’m going to call one of these guys. We butt heads, because we all have real high expectations of what we want to happen. We know that we’re on the right team. We are like a bunch of brothers and sisters around here. We’d probably be better off with some boxing gloves some days. In the end we love and respect one another.”
Adam walked us through the place as if he were showing us his newly remodeled house. I felt that if Adam had a second home it would have been the apartment he slept in and paid rent for about an hour away. I even had the thought of asking him for random shop items. I had an inkling that he would be able to whisp off for a minute and retrieve anything that I requested.
I was curious about his thoughts on cleanliness and managing quality and testing. Knowing now of how small the crew was that operated such a large space, I wondered if there might be issues. As I looked around in every room there were signs of constant cleaning. Some of the spaces looked as if the equipment had just been installed. These guys had the process down for sure. The convincingly honest Adam opened an eye, “My strategy for taking lead for testing is to reach my hand into the big tub and get five grams of random nugs. I’m not cutting the top. I’m not cutting the nicest, prettiest bud off the top of the nicest, prettiest plant in the room. I literally want to take an honest sample. I think it causes us to get lower numbers sometimes. But, I’d rather somebody get a bud from us that says 25% and they get home and they get 30%.”
One of the largest factors keeping the overhead so low while also giving Wellevate Farms the ability to operate with a crew of only five is automation. “Whenever we harvest, we’ve got the bucker.” Adam started pointing at massive and sometimes intricate pieces of hardware inside the expansive main floor. “We’ve got the sorting table, I’ve got the machine trimmer, and we have a room over here that holds 288 plants. We can harvest that in one day with only three people. Our goal is always to go from a live plant to the freezer in a maximum of 45 minutes. If we can hit 30 to 40 minutes, that’s where I’m happy. An hour is acceptable, but not desired.”
After viewing the rooms, which included three mom rooms, a separate clone room, and 13 others used for cultivation, I was asked to enter another part of the building. As I walked through the doorway I felt as if I had entered a portion of the building which was its financial nucleus. It was warm and inviting, yet very much more formal than the rest of the building. I was introduced to two partners. Blaine Heg and Gary Lewis were welcoming and relaxed. I felt comfortable as we spoke.
“When you get the right people all pushing in the same direction it’s hard to stop.” Blaine seemed very savvy. His demeanor demanded respect, however I felt the desire to give respect even with my eyes closed. He seemed very well established and I could sense that any ventures that peaked his interest would certainly be solid.
“We’re more hands on.” Blaine took the lead, “We come from a world where we realize that everything mechanical is gonna break and it’s nice to know we can fix it. One of the biggest things for us is the ability to have everything right there. If we don’t we can usually find it or fabricate it ourselves.”
The owners at Wellevate Farms have been able to incorporate the use of other subcontractors. “We’ve brought subs in on our buildouts. These are local electricians, plumbers, contractors, builders, and more. We work side by side with them. Honestly the questions they’ve asked have been game changing. It’s valuable because I never thought of it the way they bring up specific issues.”
Many leaders in cannabis, as well as so many other industries, tend to think they can purchase success. Some go out and purchase the “best” lighting systems. Maybe go look for the most expensive starting quarterback when all they needed was to look around at the team. Blaine and Gary didn’t want that. They had no desire to go scouting. They wanted to build a strong and long lasting environment with people they knew and trusted. So they did both.
Fortunately they did, in-fact, find the experts fit for Wellevate Farms. However, in this case, they didn’t have to go out and seek it.
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!
The Feminine Divine
Nobody Puts Tessy in a Corner; From Crunching Numbers to Liberating Oklahomans, a Woman’s Story of the Reclamation of Her Own Power
by Jessi Lane, Patient Advocate
Tessy Copeland-Dukes, EA is a trusted, kind-hearted woman with a take-no-bull disposition. She understands that you can catch more flies with sugar than you can vinegar. She strives to end generational patterns, traumas, and stigmas with herself, so that her children can live lives bigger than she had. She is warm, caring, and wise beyond her years. Tessy is one smart cookie. When she has something to say she is clear and concise and holds a captive audience. If she were running for District Rep, you would cast your vote for Tessy. Her passion for the cause is contagious. Tessy Copeland-Dukes embodies the Divine Feminine.
Tessy comes from a long line of strong, independent, empowering women. Tessy’s late grandmother Dorothea Copeland was a standout female plumber in the 1960s, who went on to work till age of ninety-three. She owned a plumbing shop and once earned top saleswoman for Kohler. Her Aunt, Mary Jo Copeland, was the first female Mayor of Tecumseh, Oklahoma – a quaint city comprised of fifteen square miles total, where Tessy’s family still resides. The late Mary Jo Copeland was the mother of Mary Copeland Fallin, who served as Oklahoma’s first female and 27th Governor from 2011 to 2019. While Tessy has so much admiration for these women before her, she also respects their differences in views. She has set out to create her own journey.
Tessy herself is a well-educated analytical person. Having graduated from East Central University with a master’s degree in Accounting, Tessy spent 11 years overseeing large corporate banks and multi state corporations as a Senior Tax Accountant. She poured her life into her tax job, working seventy to eighty hours per week in a male-dominated industry while raising her children. “Within that male dominated upper management environment came a lot of expectations without recognition,” she says. “No, I don’t expect to be patted on the back, but when you’re relied upon to deal with duties above your pay grade because ‘you’re the best one for it’ or ‘the staff respects you more,’ you would think that would be enough to prove your worth.”
Having personally cared for her father for 16 years battling by his side through addiction, mental health, liver failure and transplant, his PTSD, Cancer, and suicide of their loved ones, Tessy continued to pour into others, including her mother who at that time lived with alcoholism. Tessy was determined to create a healthy life for herself. During her time in college, Tessy befriended her now business partner Melinda while doing odd jobs including a position in Melinda’s custom drapery shop. Years later, in producing quality foods for Oklahoma farmer’s markets and co-ops across the state, Mittie’s roots budded with the 2012 opening of Mittie’s Kitchen – when Melinda started a commercial kitchen with the support of Tessy from a tax accounting standpoint. Mittie’s Kitchen was named for Mittie, Melinda’s grandmother. With the 2018 passing of State Question 788, Tessy and Melinda felt their calling. It was time to merge their shared passion of providing small batch, high quality goods with their life-long enthusiasm for cannabis as medicine – and in April 2019 they did just that.
Mitties Medicinals is a family owned, female owned, small batch cannabis processor. A locally renowned mom and pop brand, Mittie’s Medicinals’ boutique full spectrum product line includes nano emulsified drink mixes, tea bags, suckers, and Cannagars. Combined with their gummy and hard candy selection, Mittie’s provides a plethora of reliable patient consumption possibilities. Mittie’s products are made with love from the Mittie’s family including her spouse, Mikie, who comes from a human resource and finance background and is a valuable business resource. “[Mikie] handles a lot of the Cannagar production. He packs, I wrap them,” Tessy says. Currently he is still juggling his primary job to provide health insurance. Tessy notes their business has given them a platform to do something they both love together and strengthen their marriage in many ways.
With Mittie’s power-packed line of wellness products, and the life changes folks – including Tessy’s own mother – are accruing because of it, comes a new-found level of respect and admiration from her peers Tessy never felt in accounting. “I don’t want to work in corporate America,” she told High Hopes podcast (Spotify, 2022), “I don’t want to run my business like corporate America. I don’t want to run my business like big pharma.” While Tessy fully believes in what she is now doing and her pure intentions to help patients, she says she “has spent many years being sat in the corner, quietly counseled for advice that was portrayed to the masses as theirs. I was never given the deserved respect for my successes but quick to be reminded for my failures.” Tessy often finds herself inundated with Imposter Syndrome and gets uneasy with praise and recognition but says that Mittie’s has given her a new sense of being.
While industry professionals trust and respect Tessy and patients rely on her brand for consistent, quality cannabis as medicine, there are unavoidable peaks and valleys along her entrepreneurial journey. “Such a struggle feeling like you’re doing everything for [the] right reasons but then you hit so many roadblocks that make you want to just turn around.” She says some days that is how she feels about every part of her life. “[The industry] started to get more corporate,” she told High Hopes. She went on to say, “I started feeling discouraged in the last few years. It was like more regulation, more regulation and it felt so much more like big pharma – like companies were taking these more corporate styles the way they were putting their products out there and I didn’t want that.” Tessy and Melinda wanted it to be like their roots, like the farmer’s market. “I wanted it be more like that atmosphere – like we got to really help patients,” said Tessy.
It is common knowledge that Oklahoma’s market was so outlined to inevitably result in oversaturation across the board. The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority June 13, 2022 licensing report shows 2,266 licensed retailers and 1,449 licensed processors. Recently, commercial processors have experienced varying burdens with the state-wide transition to the contracted METRC seed to sale tracking system. “METRC is not really developed for small manufacturing which presents a lot of challenges in the way we manufacture edibles,” Tessy says. “Testing, quality, and compliance is very important to us but so is efficient manufacturing.” She explains that METRC is set up for mass production. Only after mass production does it allow you to test products, which she finds is a very inefficient way to produce goods at their scale.
Tessy considers the first few years to be continued beta mode and through research and development and life experience believes they are ready to continue steps to expand their patient reach. “METRC implementation and economy has impacted sales more than anything,” she says. “We see that cannabis sales really reflects the economy – when it’s back to school, holidays, times patients have other financial obligations like rising gas and food prices they use less disposable income on cannabis.” She goes on to say, “I think that might surprise a lot of people with the stigmas around cannabis.” In her observations, Tessy has found cannabis incomparable to addictive drugs or even tobacco in this way – when patients do not have that disposable income, she finds they do not purchase. “It’s ok, things are incredibly slow in the market [currently] but on the other hand I’m super low on inventory.” With family emergencies, deaths, and the team spread thin, Tessy is feeling that roadblock, however she remains hopeful, empowered, and ever patient. “Even on the darkest days,” Tessy says, “I know with time the light will shine again.”
After winning the 2021 Herbage Magazine People’s Choice Award for Best Blunt with their Cannagar as well as several edible wins and connecting with the people of Sherweed Forrest, Tessy finally felt like she identified with this community of people that have the same like-minded vision. “It’s about having small batch, high quality products at affordable prices,” she told High Hopes. “I know that I’m not going to get rich in this and that’s okay to me because I am providing for my family, and I am so rich in the community that I have built.” She continues to show out for her brand industry event after industry event, which helps fill her cup, but Tessy understands when it is time to pause for family. The delicate balance of fulfilling both business and personal obligations is not for the weak. You must remain steadfast and steady.
“I’ve lived a lot of life in my 38 years,” says Tessy. “My life is never dull and sometimes feels like more adventure than I signed up for but it’s beautiful – all the good, the struggles, the ups and downs have made me a better human being.” She never looks at adversity with defeat but instead chooses to sit back and look at it from an all-encompassing view. “I accept the reality that it will work, or it will not, but the journey has purpose no matter how hard it is to see – and I do my best to choose grace.” She goes on to say, “I hope that I raise my kids to be better human beings than me. I hope that I build a legacy whether big or small that they can be proud of.” Everything produced by Tessy, Melinda, and the Mittie’s family has a purpose, a passion, and a story. It is about time you join Mittie’s in your own story of healing and happiness.
Jessi Lane, Patient Advocate is a writer and Oklahoma cannabis industry professional since 2018. She is a Certified Cannacian III and Trichome Institute Certified Cannabis Consultant with a “full spectrum” Postpartum Wellness background.
Survive To Educate
By James Bridges
I pulled around the corner of the large empty parking lot. It was mid-afternoon. I could barely stand the sweltering heat radiating from that giant gas globe in the sky. I needed something cold. Something with some sort of quench at the end of it. There was a coffee lounge and an interview waiting just over the next curb.
I had landed. The place was called Aces of 8’s. I knew I was about to get lucky.
Alan Matthew Taylor, AKA the Dab Father, seemed to be setting up shop in the corner of this dark and surprisingly inviting coffee house, which I found even more inviting after grabbing the coldest bottle of liquid I could find.
“Yes. I’d love a dab from the Dab Father,” I announced after the invite was given by Alan. He immediately began serenading me with his open arms and inviting tone of voice.
“The funny part about that name is that it didn’t even kick in until about three years ago,” Alan chuckled. I was, of course, intrigued. I bit.
“Yep. I was not known as the dab father until 3 or 4 years ago. Way back when weed was still illegal in Oklahoma,” Alan grinned. “ Of course, I was still dabbing.”
“So my next door neighbor decided he wanted to come over and start learning how to dab. The first couple of times, he nearly killed himself trying to hit it. He never really damaged anything. He just coughed until he would pee.” We both giggled. Of course. That’s what grown men do when they hear the word “pee”.
“Okay. So, all right now,” Alan continued, “I came to find out that he didn’t really smoke dabs before. So we came to the conclusion that it’s time to teach him. At that time there were about four, five of us friends starting to catch onto this whole dab thing. I myself have been partaking in the art of dabbing for about 10 years.” So, the name Dab Father was just a joke at first. You know, like the godfather of dabs. So, slowly but surely, I started teaching people.”
I was curious how one goes about teaching another to “dab” properly. First of all, let’s talk about what dabbing is for people new to the game. Dabbing is consuming very potent and concentrated forms of cannabis. You use something called a dab rig in order to consume said magical products. This can and does, at times, resemble something straight out of a chemist closet. Yet, let me tell you from experience, it works and it works very well. But still. How does one teach this?
“What I try to do is look at extremes then dial things down in order to create the best results.” Alan dove right in, “So we don’t let you pass out, but we get you right to that edge where you wanna pass out, but you’re still able to function. Eventually, we’re getting you used to your moderation types. It’s at that point when you’re able to understand there is a medicinal value and you simply need to find that value number and dial it in. This is one of the biggest challenges when teaching people how to medicate themselves. It’s not about trying to over do it.”
When I enter situations such as this interview, I tend to reflect. I remember what the thought process was like just a few short years ago. To have to hide in the dark to gain access to such medication and pleasure feels like an eternity at times. Others, not so much. Other times it feels as if we have immediately stepped into a time warp. Here we are. Sitting in a coffee house in the middle of a summer afternoon while ripping dabs from a dab rig that looks as if it were made by nasa. Damn, I love this moment.
“Now it’s a process of teaching them about terpenes and which ones are going to benefit them the best.” Alan was getting to the next part too quickly for my taste.
I wanted to have more depth. Why is this person that is sitting in front of me qualified to educate me on cannabis? The “little red dude on the shoulder” advocate was put to rest.
“I was running gorilla grows in California for, I don’t know, let’s call it three and a half years.”
I leaned forward.
“On the outskirts of vineyards in Stockton, California. We were right on the edges, just on the edges of where the police couldn’t get us and the sheriff wouldn’t mess with us.” I could tell Alan was traveling back in time.
“The biggest problem we had to worry about were produce farmers. They would just go through and mow it all down. They didn’t care.” We both laughed at the thought. “They just chopped it all down, cause they knew the cops would never show up. They had the mowing on a schedule. Eventually, we actually had to get in ‘good’ with the field workers. They would let us know when we needed to move out.” Alan grinned, again. “I ended up going up the trees and I started planting up in the trees.”
Instantly, I pictured cannabis plants all over tiny tree houses. I wondered how many times people have actually walked under a barrel full of this beautiful plant and never knew it.
“Never, not even once, did we get caught. Right. Sheriffs would come looking. They would fly the helicopters over. You could see it from over top. Right? But, you could be standing directly under it. The police would come and look and it would never be there. We built these little platforms across the tops. We had irrigation hoses running up and everything.”
Something happened in the room that is rare when two people like us are present. A very long pause. I had to calculate some things in my head.
“Yeah. Haha.” Alan was laughing. “I eventually discovered that the trees wouldn’t be sufficient. We were right next to a river. So we ran the water right out of the river and straight up. I mean it. Talk about a gorilla growing. Honestly it was just trying to be sneaky. I knew cops usually never looked up. Right? I have run from the police in the past. I hid under cars. They always found me. Right? If I hid up on top of things, they never looked up. So this became a cat and mouse game. The mouse is up there and the cat is down there looking around. They’re looking down at the ground. Does it make sense?” I nodded and confirmed. “Mm-hmm.” Alan smiled. “Put the weed in the trees, put the weed in the trees. Yeah. Put the weed in the trees…”
Long before I ever talked with the Dab Father I worked with the Dab Mother on a few projects. It seems that communication is not only an issue in the medicinal cannabis side of the coin, but with actual communication companies as well. Herbage, until inspired to be remedied, was one of them. So I thought I would ask a little about the better half of Alan. You know, just to make sure. I was pleasantly surprised with new information about already known acquaintances.
“20-years-ago I had a cervical issue that came back Atypical.” Jennifer unexpectedly began telling her journey. It was apparent that there were no regrets. “I went through some procedures and they did a cryosurgery. Everything’s been fine since, but my daughter’s pregnancy was a hardcore weird. It just ran the mill with me. At that time, I just hadn’t felt the same since. I finally got in touch with a really good OBGYN and they found atypical endo cells. So they scheduled an ultrasound. It came back fine. There was still that question of why.”
“So we went ahead and did a cervical and an endometrial biopsy yesterday.”
Wait, did she just say yesterday? As in, the day before we had this interview? She started this out with “20-years-ago.” Anyone else catch that?
“So hopefully, um, it’ll be, it will be good news. Um, but, uh, yeah.” She smiled and carried on as if this was normal. For her, it was.
I wanted to know more about how she became an actual cannabis educator.
“I’ve always been intrigued by how the body works. As a kid in science class I felt at home. I loved it when it came to biology and we had to dissect everything.
I just wanted to know what’s in there. How does it work? You know, what’s going on? Um, then I kind of lost track. My career changed. I ended up in the military, did some stuff there, but then after I picked up and went to school to be a medical assistant and continued on and got my associates in sports medicine.”
Jennifer let me know she discovered that Western medicine “ticks her off.”
She was very adamant that the practitioners and decision makers are constantly pushing medications that seem to be the most profit driven rather than what is best for the patient.
Surprisingly, I was able to get somewhat of an insight to the amount of judgment that goes on behind the scenes in a doctor’s office. According to Jennifer there were many personal and moral judgment calls being made by those that have the power to possibly change the quality of life of others. “It was too much.” Jennifer spoke as if she found a lump of clay in her pudding.
Now that she is “free from that world”, Jennifer educated others in regards to cannabis use and benefits. Jennifer herself has gone through quite the personal transformation.
“I got sick with pneumonia back in 2019. That’s when I got really serious with cannabis. I started to notice changes. I started realizing that different strains were affecting my appetite and other health benefits that were specific to something. I just needed to figure it out. So, I started digging into terpenes and the cannabinoids that are in those certain strains. Everything started relating. I knew then and there that I could figure out a terpene that could help with certain ailments. So I did a lot of research. Sometimes it would help, sometimes I just needed to mix that plus something else and it would be near perfect. That would then unlock something else.”
With exercise, diet, and cannabis, Jennifer drove her weight down over time and in a healthy way. No pills. When she began she weighed 250 lbs heavier than she did that day.
“I got on a scale this morning and I weighed 135 lbs.” We both laughed.
“I fought and fought and fought my weight for years before cannabis. I was in the gym every day, making sure my diet was on point, but I couldn’t lose weight. I was constantly gaining and I didn’t understand that stress is a huge factor. So digging into, you know, the spiritual side of things and learning how to try not let things affect me that used to drive me out of my mind. Things just started falling into place and, and I’ve just kind of noticed lots of different changes.” Jennifer seemed to sigh a little out of relief.
I could sense a bit of comfort in the air. Jennifer was comfortable with exactly where she was on her path. Awareness is abundant in society yet genuine awareness of oneself is still rare to find. I believe that Jennifer has found it and she wants to share.
“I love my church, but I’ve been judged a lot for what I stand behind. I am judged pretty hardcore at my job, and it’s really, it’s been tough. It’s amazing to me because I want to shout at them and say I’m still the same Jennifer that you guys knew beforehand! I’m just in a better place.”
“My husband was the big driver.” Jennifer sounded thankful. “He introduced me to the whole thing. He hot boxed me the first time. It was great!”
Laughter, as you could imagine, ensued. If you know then you know.
“I’m just a patient that didn’t understand at first.” She sounded as if she were admitting guilt. I was holding onto the thought that she had to understand that her simplicity to this education is probably the most beneficial style of training to any patient wanting to make the cannabis choice. “I didn’t know what was going on. I just started digging in and researching and finding scholarly articles. I recommend this. However, I am here to translate and simplify if people ask.”
“Open communication between the patient, the patient’s doctor, and cannabis experts is key.” Jennifer reminds us. “Unfortunately, those conversations aren’t open. Doctors are making radical assumptions before seeing patients as well. I witnessed a conversation between the doctor and the patient. The doctor hardly had time to look over his clipboard before demanding that the patient not ask for pain medicine, ‘because you’re not gonna get it.’ The patient was very upset at the accusation. Medical professionals need to understand that there are alternative ways and there are healthy alternative ways, and it’s not just a drug.
Jennifer has a 23-year-old son, Devin. Okay. He was diagnosed at the age of four with severe ADHD and possible borderline personality disorder. He uses cannabis. Jennifer gave a simple opinion.
“I don’t think he medicates the way he needs to. It’s tough. I’m educating and training others. I want him to pick it up and really use cannabis for his advantage. I believe that if he would concentrate on the correct strains and terpenes then it would really help him.”
Her other child is a young girl named Sophia. Jennifer describes Sophia as her “mini me” as she has mocked the process when it comes to diet and a healthy lifestyle.
“That girl will reach for a bowl of salad before candy or whatnot. Now don’t get me wrong. She’s a little sneaker. I’ve caught her, but yeah, for the most part, she’s really good.
“I was 39 when I met Alan. I’m 45 now, but my forties have been my best years.” A calm sense was lingering. Jennifer was in a good spot. “Yeah. Um, I finally just figured out how to say, screw it, I don’t care. You know? If you don’t like me, whatever, it’s not my place to care what you think, you know? I’m more concerned about my family and loved ones. I’m healthy, they’re healthy. I can walk out of this life with a smile on my face, you know?
Alan commented about Jennifer as if he were talking about himself. I could see the love he had for another human being. I noticed a slight twitch on his lips from a “near tear” situation. “She dove nose first into this and it was. Just full on. It is amazing. Six years ago. She did not smoke weed at all. She was a heavy drinker. Jennifer and her family didn’t smoke cannabis at all.
“So THCV also helps the Thyroid. Not to mention a little bit of psilocybin.” Alan supports the use of all plant medicine in order to help the body, mind, and spirit. “Those combined together help unlock your brain and reset the chemical makeup, but it has to be done in very gradual motions. You can’t just jump in and expect to be healed. Right? It does not happen.”
Both Jennifer and Alan’s story is straight out of a script made to root for the underdog. This time the underdog is still paddling upstream. However, the destination is clearly in mind for the both of them. The most important part to them is being able to educate others. They want to help others to stay off off the bench of an underdog team, and possibly win once in a while.
“Yeah. I didn’t realize I’d be more of an underdog story actually.” Alan was completely serious.
Alan was recently named the Cultivation Director for Platinum Farms in Oklahoma. “I’m spending thousands and thousands of dollars to help get a very large farm. I’m looking back, wow. I mean, this, this is coming from a kid that grew up on the streets.”
“I’m 4-years-old. We moved from Oklahoma to California.” He was reminiscing. “We lived in a small apartment for a long time and it was just me, my mother and my little brother until my stepdad came along. My stepdad was great for the first few years. Like he was always great. And then my mom got sick and it was like, as soon as my mom got sick, he got violent and just belligerent and his number one punching bag was me.” I noticed a spark in his eye.
“When I was 7 until about 14-years-old, I was abused regularly. As soon as he came home from work, I either made myself completely scarce and disappeared, or I was guaranteed to get my ass whooped for something. It didn’t really matter what. So he put me to work at his rental yard, which helped give me the skills that I have today. I was driving tractors and hooking up trailers and filling propane. By the time I was 14 or so I was already working my way to being a full-time drug dealer. My step dad actually turned me into a drug dealer. We were picking up methamphetamine on an every two week basis.”
This got my head spinning. This person in front of me seemed nothing like the DARE posters that float around to warn children of dangerous people with evil drugs in hand. This was a very intelligent, well groomed, hyper focused individual. I asked him about the drug use.
“I was. Um, so about 12 years old was my first experience with methamphetamine. I didn’t really key in on it right then. So a couple months later my buddy brought it up again and then it was on from there. So at the age of 13, I was hooked on meth and I was running 24 hours a day for up to 21 days in a row. At this point I was mentally unstable. I was pulling guns on bushes. There was a video of me chasing ‘nothing’ down the street and shooting at it. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t believe it. Told everybody they were lying. That’s not me. That video looks like me, but it can’t be me.”
“So, I just completely played denial for a long time. I went back to doing exactly what I did best, and that was selling methamphetamine and marijuana. I mean, I was sitting there with long hair and a don’t care attitude for the longest time.
From the ages of 14 to the ages of 24 Alan was homeless. “I had my home base. It was a water tank on the corner. This thing is now a train station. I used to dig a hole under the side of the building and tunnel under it, so that I had a place that was warm during the winter. My mom was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. She couldn’t get outta bed. They couldn’t figure out how to get her pain under control. She had a bag about the size of this backpack full of pill bottles. It was not good. If she had a sniffle, it was right to the pain pills. I watched my mom go from this beautiful creature to this person that I didn’t know anymore. She would never come out of the room. She would just be hibernating 24 hours a day.”
“When she did come out,” he recalled. She was on meth and she let my stepdad do whatever he wanted to do because he supplied everything. It was a situation where me and my little brother were just kind of left out to defend ourselves.”
“My little brother was taken care of a little bit better than me. I was the older one and I still remembered my real dad. My step dad even told me that because I know my real dad, he shouldn’t have to care. I was 16. That moment was the first real fist fight that we got into. He kicked my ass. Hardcore.” I believed Alan as he was speaking. The sincerity in his voice was non negotiable.
“I came back one day. I beat him down. I made it a point to do it in front of everybody.
It took me almost three years to do that. I actually learned how to fight in prison. I’m not proud of that. It was something I could have avoided.”
“I wouldn’t call it a success story,” Alan pointed out. “I survived. I conquered a ton of challenges that you think would knock someone out when they are at the bottom. All of this has been a learning experience. It wouldn’t be anything without my wife by my side.
I revealed before that Alan is now the director of cultivation for Platinum Farms. I asked him about his qualifications once more. This is a rather large task and I was curious as to who would be accomplishing it.
“My dad was a cultivator before I was born. So, I guess I’m a second generation cultivator. On August 22nd, 1986, a 400 watt high pressure sodium light that was ordered out of high times magazine. He had it delivered the same day that I was born. It was installed the same day. I was put in that room. I have been in a cultivation situation since the day I was born. I took over cultivation operations at the age of 16. I was running around when I was telling you we were doing those gorilla grows and stuff in Stockton, California. They slowly got bigger. We needed more products. It was cheaper to produce it ourselves and then take it to the street. At that time, cultivation was a life sentence. So manufacturing was a life sentence. We were doing all of this.”
“We were open blasting in California. BHO open blasting in the middle of vineyards, so that we could see if cops were headed our direction. I mean, we would all jump on dirt bikes and take off, no joke. I finally started perfecting my open blast BHO. I wanted to be one of the first people that had the dragon balls, the 3000 gram hash balls. I never made it to that point, but I was one of the first people to have the sheets.”
“I was one of the first people in 2012 to enter canna-butter into a cannabis competition. I received 17th place out of about 1,700.”
I can see clearly that both Jennifer and Alan are in a much better place in life. They are now positioned as caregivers as well as patients themselves. Both are in a very unique position to help more people than they will ever know personally. The derivative effects from the knowledge and passing down of such knowledge will last for eternity. Or as long as those out there willing to make a choice for themselves will open their hearts and minds and listen to what is now simply put in front of them. Many call this knowledge and education the answer. I tend to agree.
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”.
Let’s Get Mowdy
By James Bridges
“We’ve all been in this together. I remember Temple Kush put us on the map. Now look at us. We are rocking and rolling and we can’t stop right now. I keep telling Joe, ‘you got to have a gig and stick with it, try like hell to be the best at it, and you will do very well in this industry.’ That’s what we do.” Brian Ganster, owner of Mowdy Farms was rested and ready for his second time to be featured in Herbage Magazine.
Brian speaks of a Temple Kush strain that was available in a local dispensary about 3-years-ago. I had the amazing opportunity to try and hoard quite a bit of that flower before I finally decided to track down the grower and interview him. Ahh, the temple kush…
It’s time to catch up. It’s time to check in with our friends and see how they are compared to back then. Spoiler alert… I wasn’t disappointed.
As I walked through the front entrance, I noticed a complete and total makeover of sorts. The last time Herbage and Mowdy Farms connected like this, Mowdy operations were located in a different location entirely. They now had, what looked and smelled and acted like, a brand new spot to grow some of the best medicine in the cannabis market.
Speaking of the cannabis market… The Oklahoma cannabis market seems to be shifting in a way that may be pleasing to some and not so much to others. This was more of where my interest was at the moment.
I travel a lot. I visit many areas of the state and talk to many people within the industry. There’s growing concern among many smaller “mom & pops” of whether or not they can sustain. It’s so important for all pro-cannabis communities to come together, as one, to make the best decision for the greater good.
Much of what I am hearing is actually optimistic. This is when I talk to those that aren’t necessarily trying to “get out while they can”. I talk to those that understand that there is an entire ecosystem at hand to maintain sustainability. A solid product, work well within the community, marketing at a balanced level, and continuing to grow a standard for your brand. The cultivators, dispensaries, and other derivative companies that seem to not be less concerned about the future are the ones that practice all of those parts of the equation. If, indeed, there is too much supply, then there must be a way to create a higher demand. In other words, bring your A-game. It’s time.
“The loss of quality is the worst thing that could possibly happen to us,” Brian confirmed. “If we ain’t trying to put out some of the best product we’re going to lose our f****** facing this crap just like everyone else.”
Brian is one of the more intelligent people that I have met in my life. He not only understands and is top notch at cultivating, he understands business. He
understands the simplicity of business and uses it to succeed.
“So when ‘Walmart’ comes in here and just starts making packs, we’ve still got to stand out. We got to have a customer base. We push out good medicine for Oklahoma. No question. We can push out proper medicine to the rest of the country, if they’d let us… However, I know that I want to advertise with Herbage or something that is for everything we stand for. That’s where the money needs to be. Right here in a state where we can sell f****** weed. We still have to be talking to the same people that we know. We have to continue to let people know that we’re kicking it out there. Then it’s up to me to get our prices balanced and competitive. We look at Zenoa, or Cookies, and some of these big boys that are coming from all over the country. We’ve gotta stay competitive, you know?”
Brian kept looking over at his head grower, Joe Faught. Joe is an old school grower. He’s learned some tricks or two on the west coast of our great country. Joe simply smiled and agreed. He was very good at that. However, when it was his turn…
“There’s so much going on in the market. People are talking about taxes here, overhead there, hell, even China is getting involved in the conversation somehow! Really, to me it comes down to holding onto that quality and price. There are so many growers around that are dropping their prices through the floor just to get out or pay some bills. In my opinion, this kills the economy of our industry.” Joe sat back and folded his arms gently.
Brian took the reins, “What I love is that when people go into a dispensary and see our flower they know it’s ours. I want it the same as any of the big
boys. If they see Mowdy weed in a dispensary, then I want them to trust that it is good quality weed. We’ve got to be those guys in order to even stay alive. Then we need to stay legal. To stay compliant with all of the changes and watch the prices of flower drop is very difficult now. The ticket is a huge ticket. But it’s all going to level out at some point. It will level itself out. We just hold onto our quality with a low overhead and continue a marketing strategy that works best for us. Meanwhile, there will be those that go away. Those that can’t stay compliant. Hell, make enough laws and they will push people out of here.”
I couldn’t wait to get my lungs full of some good Mowdy smoke. It’s definitely a “usual” for me at dispensaries that carry them. If you are a dispensary that does not, you may want to consider something of this high caliber.
My relationship over the years with the gang at Mowdy has never failed. Brian has always been a man of his word to me. Someone who, in my opinion, is making a difference for those out there that need his and his team’s experience and ethics when growing the medicine that keeps them so well. The Temple Kush has been long gone. Maybe they will try it again and I’ll go out to the farm and get lost. Who knows? But I do know that every strain that I have tried that is cultivated by Mowdy Farms, thus far, has been some of the highest quality cannabis that I myself have had the pleasure of experiencing.
Feminine Divine – Ebony Jones
Keeping the Faith; a Woman’s Story of Generational Resilience and Healing through Curated Experiences and Sweet Potato Pie
by Jessi Lane, Patient Advocate
Ebony Jones, of 8Twenty8, is a cannabis Pastry Chef paving the way for other people of color following her path. “Being one of the few known Black women in the Oklahoma cannabis industry has been very challenging, but [it is] a fight I’m willing to stay in. I’m more than ready to occupy spaces with more powerful women looking to open doors in this industry with hopes and dreams like myself,” she says. Ebony is a Survivor, a Caregiver, and entrepreneur. An empath and spiritual Virgo, she is both lion and lamb – strong and bold yet gentle and calm in her approach and is agile and flexible in her pursuits. She is a fine example of the Divine Feminine.
Ebony is an Oklahoma cannabis industry transplant who comes to us by way of Georgia. The youngest child in birth order, she was born in Hampton, VA to a big military family. Her Mother, Toni, was a member of the US Air Force. “She taught us who God was,” Ebony relays. Her maternal Grandmother, Annie, was the only Black teacher in her school. She taught Art and Home Economics and was a Godly woman. Growing up, “she had us at revivals from eight to four in the afternoon.” It was not until high school through the age of twenty that Ebony found her personal relationship with God.
Toni had fallen ill with papilledema, a condition that, according to the National Cancer Institute, causes swelling around the optic disk. This is the area where the optic nerve enters the eyeball. Toni was also diagnosed with Arnold Chiari Malformation – a condition in which brain tissue extends into the spinal canal – subsequently forcing her into early retirement from the United States Postal Service at the age of thirty-five. This was the beginning of a life-long battle. A caregiver for her mother from about the age of ten, Ebony dropped out of high school to care for her more closely.
Toni’s multiple surgeries and required aftercare unfortunately resulted in readily available narcotics in the home. Without Toni’s knowledge, Ebony became a young person with access to unmonitored prescription medication and heavy burdens to carry. She was also living with the ghost of personal trauma. Ebony is now an advocate for therapy. “If I hadn’t gotten in therapy, I wouldn’t be here,” she declares. After a choice decision left a sibling stranded when she numbingly put him out of the car during an argument, she quit the pills. She tells us, “We are survivors of the pill pandemic.”
As a young person Ebony aspired to open a medicinal cannabis café for kids. “Since tenth grade my business plan has always included weed.” She returned to high school and upon completion went on to obtain her Associates of Occupational in Patisserie and Baking from Le Cordon Bleu while she established herself as a Baker and Pastry Supervisor in the highly competitive and innovative Atlanta food service industry. The delicate measure and alchemy of baking is in her bones so naturally our meticulous, calculated Virgo excelled in her craft – including a position as the Baking Supervisor with Carlo’s Bakeshop as featured on the reality tv show Cake Boss. She recalls, “[The] first day we had a line out the door starting at 3am, and we didn’t open until 6!” She reflects on her position with Primrose Schools – an institution that provides high-quality early education and care – in the highest regard, “I loved those kids.” Ebony’s interest in holistic wellness was unwavering and she would also obtain her Certificate of Completion in Cannabis Education through the Cannabis Training University of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
She saw what was happening in Oklahoma and wanted a piece of that sweet potato pie she would later bake for herself. Ebony began submitting resumes everywhere and received a bite when RD Hendrickson – the owner of Arizona-based Sublime – reached out to let her know if she were ever in Oklahoma, he would like to interview her. “You don’t know these people,” her family said, “turn your [phone] locations on,” she recounts through a giggle. She was not going to miss this opportunity, regardless of the risk. Ebony’s personality is as golden as her resume and Hendrickson wanted her to join the team, so with the support of her grandpa, she left everyone and everything she knew to pursue her dreams. “To others it may appear as if it came easy but take some time to converse with me [and] you’ll learn it has taken trials, tribulations, tears, and plenty of therapy sessions.” It was the first time she had ever left home, and within a week of her big move Ebony’s sweet Grandpa suffered a stroke. Then suddenly her employer lost their location, forcing them to temporarily close during the relocation period. Instead of retreating home Ebony stuck it out through her tribulations and found a cannabis industry position with Euphora dispensary until Sublime’s new building was secured.
“Oklahoma is a sacred land,” she tells us, “So much has happened here. You can feel the blood in this land.” Ebony’s euphemism is not lost on us. “This industry is messy,” she goes on to say, “the divide out here is crazy.” She is speaking to the boundary that is being “one of the few in the room,” she tells us. “In all honesty it has been worth it, though in the beginning it was a huge culture shock, and I didn’t think I would survive Oklahoma.” She asks herself how she is going to change the conversation. “I love being in a place in my career where I can professionally correct others for being culturally inappropriate or placing me in an uncomfortable position and we can still operate in a healthy environment after the teaching moment.” Ebony speaks openly and earnestly on her social media platforms. “I’m down for teaching. I’m still learning myself,” she says. She believes herself to be a “Virgo that has no filter at all.” However, she tells us she “understands the effects of speaking before thinking and evaluating the power of your words and how they may affect another person.” Within her healing process Ebony has also learned that to achieve growth she must “take accountability for my wrongs, correct those wrongs, and put in the work to actively become a better person for this world.”
The life of an entrepreneur is not for the weak, and keeping your faith is ten times the work, she’s found. “Choosing to uproot what I knew as comfortable to relocate to Oklahoma has shown me the power and resilience that has been instilled in me by my mother.” Ebony now represents and manufactures products for Country Cannabis, who acquired Sublime. “They are a diverse company,” she says and asks, “what does country look like to you?” She tells us she is incredibly grateful but “technically I’m still out here by myself.” While she feels immensely supported by her employer Ebony’s real hustle is her passion project, 8Twenty8, LLC. Romans 8:28 reads, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Taking leaps of faith and believing in the purpose of the company is what keeps 8Twenty8 going, Ebony believes. 8Twenty8’s craft-baked goods and custom orders have satisfied the palettes of Oklahomans with every dietary restriction and preference known – try those gluten free oatmeal cream pies – but she is not just in the business of baking dessert, her true business is loving people. Ebony doesn’t want you to stereotype her- she’s not just about pies. She is interested in curating experiences, and tells us, “Whether that’s with me, you tasting my pies, or hosting an event.”
Things have been taking off for 8Twenty8. Ebony has received lots of exposure recently as 8Twenty8 has been featured in recent Studio 30 events and Sherweed Forrest’s Throwdown Bazaar. She is called upon for private catering and custom orders by the biggest names in the Oklahoma cannabis industry and while ever grateful, Ebony is always looking to the future. With an entrepreneur’s heart she declares, “I’m not accepting this middle class shit anymore,” she goes on to say, “America has taught us to work to live.” She wonders, how can I not think about making money while I make money? “I think it’s disgusting how much I want to give back to people,” relays our brave empath. Ebony dreams of an 8Twenty8 small-batch kitchen to order, that would accept custom orders for a patient’s individualized needs or commercial grow orders for retail sales. She also wants to create opportunities through events designed to be a retreat – a vacation.
8Twenty8 in association with Universe with Jaz Present Puff and Plant in the Park Sunday, June 12th, from 6-8pm. Located at Veterans/Centennial Park, attendees can expect an evening filled with release and manifesting. Paint’n’Plant intention kits provided with the purchase of admission. Event features Sound Bowl by The Reiki Mama, massages by Beyond Skin Deep and Oracle readings by Soar. Smokable organic herbal blend provided by Universe with Jaz. Light snacks served by 8Twenty8.
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.
Strain Of The Month – GREAT SPIRITS
By James Bridges
I am standing inside of a room and I have a metal suit on. On each side of me there are magnetized walls. That’s what it feels like and it impairs me when I’m anxious. I have a feeling of displacement and cannot begin to start doing anything that has any kind of forward motion for myself or my business until that displacement is met with some sort of normalcy. I tend to cling onto the ground when this happens.
When I say ground I mean more of a “grounded” feeling. I need to connect with something familiar. I need to have some sort of alignment before I begin.
Today I made the right choice. I chose Baby Breath. This wonderful moment of alignment within myself was cultivated for our pleasure by none other than Great Spirits. Thankfully I was able to locate some, easily, at a local dispensary, Namah Cannabis, in Shawnee.
The high THC level of 28.4% and the terpine high of 2.4% helped tremendously. What really set it off for me in the beginning was the earthy flavors. I could instantly place myself in a realm of content and creativity.
I loved the aromas. I could smell a rose coming from one side. I was now relaxed.
Baby Breath cannabis strain comes from a cross between Freedom Baby and Grateful Breath strains. Knowing what I know now, if I were interested in getting a grip on myself and slowing down for a minute or two, I would look for this strain grown by:
visit GREAT SPIRITS
ABOUT THE COVER
Shannon Seitter worked in conjunction with “The Happy Festival” to create this month’s cover of Herbage Magazine.
Shannon began a career in art at an early age self teaching to sketch..Shannon was inspired by the junior high art teacher. Shannon watched her paint across canvas and was awestruck by her ability to bring such beauty.
Shannon began a venture into painting. While beginning small and then grew through watching and observing other artists’ use of different mediums and techniques. Shannon began to grow a personal method of art.
After Shannon’s grandmother passed away, “I buried myself in my art and began to grow and use it not to just help myself through grief but bring beauty to others who also needed it. My art has been my passion.” Shannon has always amazed Herbage Magazine. “It is a beautiful and therapeutic way to express myself and bring additional beauty to the world. I love sharing my art with everyone and enjoy when someone connects to my art as I have. Each piece I create has a personal connection to me.”
Shannon’s hope is to bring more art to Oklahoma City and connect with more people who love the process of creation.
“I love working with other artists and bringing something new to life that didn’t exist. I find my inspiration in all things in life but from a new point of view.”
email@example.com | Facebook @moedartokc | Instagram moedartokc
ABOUT THE COVER
The Happy Festival originated when Brian Butler, Daniel Stone, and Jason Smith, along with support from their spouses Katie Forehand, Lani Stone, and Miranda Smith, came together to bring a festival to Oklahoma to celebrate and honor their dear friend Happy Patel.
Patel was popular among his friends, who called him Happy. He came to the US as a student in 2009 with his twin brother Akash Patel. He was a co-founder of the garment company What’s Happy Clothing. Patel also worked to promote events, and local clubs in Oklahoma City. This loss devastated Happy’s community. Happy hosted “Life In Color” paint parties as well as other Electronic Dance Music (EDM) shows.
Happy was friends with DJs such as, world renown, NGHTMRE. He actually managed a few of his own. He even had an iconic t-shirt and hat that read Happy. To this day, people from all over the country still wear them.
His twin brother Akash started a foundation called Happy World Foundation after Happy’s death. Happy Festival is donating $1 from every ticket transaction to this foundation. GO HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS
The Feminine Divine
the Holy Energy Making a Planetary Impact
By Jessi Lane
Photography by Justen Christensen
Asma (“Ess-mah”) is a Palestinian Refugee, an entrepreneur, and a military spouse. She is an advocate for holistic healing and mindful living- a fierce protector of her family, of her personal goal and of our planet. She embodies the Divine Feminine. Goop.com tells us, “The sacred feminine energy is nurturing, soft, grounded with strong boundaries, and trusting of her intuition. The sacred masculine energy is present, logical, and focused with a deep desire to protect and build.1” The synergetic union of energies allow us to embrace “all that makes us human and holy,2” according to Goop. “I believe God works and flows through energy.” Asma says. “It’s in everything around us. It’s in us.” Asma grew up in a Muslim household with Christian extended family. Everyone prays for her to “see the light,” she says. “When I was a little girl, I thought God was this enormous giant.” She motions to the empty booth seat next to her in the dimly lit coffee shop, “Now I imagine God next to me all day -that respected fear.”
Her decade-long passion project turned small-batch skincare business, Feel This, is handmade, organic, inclusive, and breaking into new territories. “If it is not of natural source, it is eliminated from our equation,” she says. Los Angeles’ Spectrum News 1 reported in June 2020 that the national cannabis industry generates 150 million tons of waste annually. Feel This aims to reduce that human carbon footprint by reducing the amount of microplastics and toxic chemicals found in skincare products.
She believes every ingredient serves a purpose and says, “we are here to give your skin cells something healthy to feed on.” This mission of clean healthy food was likely derived from Asma’s mother and her grandmother before her. “My mom cooked everything. We weren’t allowed to eat out.” With a wide grin she recounts a friendly negotiation with the local Little Caesars staff. Asma and her brothers would pay for a slice or a couple and receive a whole pie they would then scarf down with their favorite side – hot Cheetos – before they trashed the evidence and headed home for their mother’s delicately crafted meals.
Asma’s mother was a determined woman in a new country. She didn’t speak the language and had three mouths to feed. As she worked relentlessly to provide for her children, Asma kept a watchful eye over her brothers. For some time, they made a home in San Diego but eventually moved to Flint, Michigan. Once she was old enough Asma moved to be near her father who was living in Tahlequah. Her brothers soon followed behind her, but the little family struggled to protect them from themselves. Her father, an entrepreneur, graduated from Northeastern State University with his degree in Mathematics. It was an Alma Matter Asma would one day call her own. But not without experiencing immeasurable heartache along the way.
One of Asma’s brothers had gotten into trouble and hit with pot charges. Because he was a Permanent Resident in Trump’s America and he was deported to Jordan, the place of his birth. “He was on one of the first boats,” Asma powerfully recollects through tears. “My reason to grind is to bring him home,” she continues, “nothing scares me because nothing is scarier than having your baby brother deported.” While in prison Asma’s brother learned to fluently read and write in Spanish and he learned to tattoo. He has gone on to become a high profile skilled tattooer in Jordan with an extensive celebrity client list. Asma will never stop pursuing her goals in the name of her brother. The silver lining lies where, through her beloved brother, Asma met Caleb- her partner in matrimony and in business. He is her constant supporter- quiet, with a sweet knowing smile.
Asma became a mother on someone else’s mission. Pregnant with her daughter, Sophie, Asma moved to South Korea, where Caleb was stationed. A military spouse in unfamiliar territory she had developed a perinatal dermal condition. She reached out to her grandma oversees for relief. In her home growing up, when someone had a nagging cough, it was treated with a spoonful of sesame or Tahini oil. Asma recommends this home remedy to this day. For her rash Asma’s Teta recommended warm olive oil blended with sugar into a paste. Later when baby Sophie developed cradle cap, Feel This Old Fashioned Bütter was too born.
Through isolation and a longing for community Asma discovered Hearts on a Mission, a health and wellness support group of military spouses. Her friend Gia encouraged her to turn her handcrafted home remedies into a marketable product. “You have a gift,” she told Asma. The Hearts on a Mission ladies put their money where their mouths were. “They wiped me out!” she joyfully recounted. With two thousand dollars in her pocket Asma embarked on her relentless personal mission to heal the planet and our bodies, no matter who told her she couldn’t do it along the way- and they told her. “They said you won’t. I said f-ing watch me.”
Caleb and Asma moved back to Oklahoma where Asma personally shattered glass ceilings in the automotive dealership industry. She knocked the machismo out of every service department she touched by excelling in customer service, retention and upsells. Caleb too excelled as a Service Advisor. She lovingly reminisces, “He respected my boundaries as a woman in the car industry.” In November 2018, the couple obtained their OMMA patient licenses. Having lugged the hefty stash of yogurt and mason jars used in her alchemy everywhere they called home, Asma at one point bought a couple of grams of CBD isolate, “just to play around.” She began formulating with her tried and true recipes. There was no stopping her from climbing to reach her goals and continue to shatter those ceilings along her way to the top.
Asma persevered through business licensing, incessant packaging delays and interpersonal industry heartbreak. She went on to single-handedly plug her renowned Feel This product line into one hundred dispensaries. Feel These products include Asma’s famous Lipbôm – voted Oklahoma’s best cannabis lip balm in 2021 by Herbage readers – her incomparable Mineral Sünscreen and Coffee Sügar Scrub, plus Shower Stēamers, Underarm Bâr and other unique skincare food. But this road to the top has not been paved with gold and Asma has had to do some real soul searching as she pivots from the cannabis market to a boutique beauty and spa client list by removing THC from her entire line sans Lipbôm. Nearly all Feel This products are now hemp derived. While pondering the state-required packaging labels adhered to her precious metal tin reading “Women should not use marijuana or medical marijuana products during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects” and “Keep out of reach of children,” Asma began to reevaluate her target clientele. “My real clients are babies and grandmas,” she declared. I had to ask myself, “Do I want 1% of the world or 90% of Oklahoma?” With her eyes on that glass ceiling prize Asma is creating opportunity for herself using all her valuable skills.
Recently Asma and Caleb have launched a new project they call the Alpha Experience Collective offering creative one on one and group training to companies looking to transform their customer experience. Alpha Experience provides data driven results in the form of comprehensive brand strategy, interactive sales training, problem-solution strategies, recruitment and hiring, and many other customer retention and upsell points. The days of working to prove a point are behind her as Asma has written off crying over other people’s opinions.
A natural entrepreneur, Asma has many aspirations to heal the planet and its people including an animated children’s storybook character, Frank, the Alpha Experience Center, and maybe even a clothing line. She also dreams of creating a rehabilitation facility with a voluntary one year sign up that would include dorms, commissary, church and holistic, plant-based therapies because Asma is never doing anything for just her. She arrives for battle waving a banner of all the names of the people she loves and fights for. Even all of us and all the things are around us, for they too are holy energy. FEEL THIS
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…
The Andrew Lopez Story
By Michael Kinney
By all accounts, Andrew Lopez seems to be living the ideal life. The retired Army Staff Sgt., who spent 22 years in the military, is married with five kids and three grandchildren.
Almost nothing brings a smile to his face more than when talking about his family, except maybe his passion for lowrider cars. Especially the 1963 Impala that he has been working on for the past few years.
However, it took Lopez years of pain before he could get to the point where he could appreciate what he has. From the murder of his younger brother to having a fellow soldier die in his hands, the 47-year-old Los Angeles native has been to hell and back.
Lopez credits the discovery of medical cannabis for him being able to make his way out of the dark path he was on and into the light.
“I have been happy. Wonderful. I consider life lovely now,” said Lopez, who lives in Lawton. “I owe everything to Mr. Green. This is a miracle drug. Without, I don’t think I would be here to tell you the truth.”
Many of the issues Lopez has had to overcome began back in 2004 during his first tour of duty in Iraq. While on patrol was hit downrange with an IED (Improvised explosive device).
“It basically hurt my entire right side,” Lopez said. “I got severe nerve damage on the right side of my body. But it also messed up my back.”
Lopez was medevaced out of Iraq and taken to Landstuhl Medical Center in Germany where he underwent surgery. According to Lopez, after just three months of physical therapy and recovery, the Army sent him back to Iraq.
“I was hurt, but regardless of my injuries they still felt that I was fit to go back downrange with my back and neck injury. I was doing the same mission,” Lopez said. “I was still busted up. I wasn’t ready to go back and do much. But in the Army, they really don’t care. It’s to get the mission done first, then we’ll worry about you.”
Despite how his body felt, Lopez was sent back to Iraq to complete the final six months of his 18 month tour.
For the next few years, Lopez said he kept complaining to his superiors and doctors about his constant back pains. Their solution was to give him more pain pills and muscle relaxers.
“That was my life,” Lopez said. Pain pills and muscle relaxers and physical therapy. It was horrible because it messed my body up so much. I felt like I was always bloated. It was messing with my digestive system.”
According to Lopez, the only remedy the doctors had for him was to lower his dosages. But the pain and physical ailments continued.
In 2010 one of Lopez’s physical therapists was looking at his X-ray and noticed a mass that didn’t look right. She told him he might want to get it checked out and suggested that he might have a tumor. This was the first time anyone had mentioned it to him.
“She said this has been here for a while,” Lopez said. “She was looking at my X-rays back from 2008. I was happy that she actually spotted it. Because how many of my doctors in the military have seen this and haven’t said anything and just let it go by? All these years I keep thinking they could have found it so long ago. When you are in the military, you really can’t do anything. You can’t do anything because you are their property. That’s what gets me so mad.”
Lopez went and had an MRI done. When the test was completed, Lopez’s doctor had one question for him.
“He asked ‘how are you walking,” Lopez said. “I said excuse me. I walked in here with my cane. The doctor said no, ‘how are you walking? There is a tumor blocking all your nerves to your lower extremities. You shouldn’t be able to walk.”
Lopez said they scheduled him for an operation the very next week. But that week turned into years due to a difference of opinions between several physicians.
According to Lopez, the cancer specialist said he thought it was just a fatty mass and wanted to just keep an eye on it.
The cancer center in Lawton suggested radiation as a treatment. However, the doctors at the cancer center in Oklahoma City told them not to do radiation because it’s too dangerous and too close to his nerves.
“There was too much running through my head,” Lopez said. “I got doctors from over there, over there, these guys, those guys. I’m like you guys are killing me. What do I do?”
Lopez did his research and decided against the radiation treatment. He felt compelled to follow the advice of his primary cancer doctor who said it was just a fatty mass and just wanted to keep an eye on it.
However, in 2016, the mass had gotten so huge it was blocking his nerves. So, a decision was made to have surgery and remove it.
“They didn’t know it was cancerous until it got too big,” Lopez said. “All they could do was scrape out the tumor. It was too late to cut it out. From them scraping it out, they damaged even more of my nerves. I couldn’t feel my legs when I woke up. I was just devastated. I thought I was paralyzed.”
Even though the cancer had been removed, that didn’t mean an end to the medication Lopez was on. He had to continue taking a variety of different pills such as Oxycodone and OxyContin.
“It was enough to knock out a horse and they wanted me to take it every four hours,” Lopez said. “You basically could call me a zombie. I couldn’t live like that.”
In January of 2021, Lopez was at his breaking point. The years of constant pain and the medication had pushed the veteran to the brink until he did the unthinkable.
“It just got too much for me. I was just (at home) laying in bed and I couldn’t do nothing,” Lopez said. “The pain got too much for me. It got way too much for me. I ended up trying to kill myself. I said I’m done with this.”
Lopez didn’t go into detail on exactly how he tried to take his life, but he didn’t succeed and ended up being sent to a hospital in Texas, which he said made him even worse.
Lopez soon came back home and was still in the same situation he was before the attempted suicide. With nothing else to lose he decided to take his health and well-being into his own hands.
“It ended up just being me having to see reality on my own,” Lopez said. “I don’t know how to explain it. It’s just like I have seen the world through my other eyes. I think I had suffered just about everything. I’ve been through so much. My wife said I was like a cat, but with only two lives left.”
Lopez had heard medical cannabis was an option to help ease the pain. So he asked his pain management doctor if he would help him apply for his medical cannabis card. However, because the federal government still sees marijuana as an illegal drug, that goes the same for military installations. So, his doctor could only tell him no and that he doesn’t support cannabis.
Lopez didn’t let that stop him and found a more understanding physician who was not associated with the military, and he was able to get his card early in 2021. He said he didn’t care if the Army allowed it or not, he was tired of being helpless.
Lopez has been under the surgical knife 16 different times during his 22 years in the military. But he said medical cannabis is the only thing that has eased his pain.
“When I first tried, I felt the pain relief,” Lopez said. “‘I don’t need a wheelchair, I don’t need a cane. I walk fine. I am really glad I got rid of all the pills. Those man-made pills. They weren’t helping me at all. All they were ding to me is clogging up my stomach.”
Anthony Rodriguez, who runs the dispensary Nice Dreamz Collective in Lawton, has seen what a vast transformation Lopez has taken.
While Lopez is grateful he found cannabis when he did, he still feels anger that it has taken as long as it has for it to become available. When he looks back at his mother who had to deal with seizures her entire life, tears begin to stream down his face.
“This should have been legal a long time ago. My mom could have used this years ago,” Lopez said. “She is epileptic. My mom could have used this when she was young. You look at my mom now and her hands are all burned because she had a seizure when she was cooking and her hands fell in the oil. Now her hands are just all torn up. Her face is jacked up because she had a fall during another seizure. But this was illegal. She has suffered through so much when they could have just made something with this and” they could have given it to her. It is just so upsetting.”
Lopez now looks at his life and how he was living before cannabis and he can hardly believe how much he has changed. He says if he hadn’t found it in time, he knows he would have tried to take his life again and would have succeeded.
But that does not seem to be a worry anymore.
“It mellows me out. I see how it connects me more with my family. I really have a short fuse, but ever since I have been on cannabis, it has brought me a lot closer with my family,” Lopez said. “My kids see it a lot. I have been able to communicate a lot better with my kids than I used to. I am able to communicate better with my wife. Our relationship has gotten a lot stronger. It’s made me a better man. I wasn’t like this before. Ever since last year, when I tried to take my life, it has transformed me into a better man.”
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/
Where Does It End
By James Bridges
Photography by Justen Christensen
If I were to get involved in a sporty game of “who would you rather” and the topic was: Who would you rather ride for two hours in a car with? I know my answer.
The rules are simple. No tunes and the conversation will be packed full of amazing attempts at philosophical exchange between two very unqualified thought provokers. I would definitely choose to travel with my friend and photographer Justen Christensen. However, little did I know… my ride along partner was, by chance, somewhat of a fanboy of the powerful Oklahoma original, and dominating nationwide company, Heartland Cannabis.
30 years ago Pat Dickey and Chris Elias made a pact. The pact was silent, but still they knew. They would be friends for life. Still to this day…they can look at one another in the eyes and trust in the sanctity of that relationship. Both can be extremely proud of a powerhouse company making waves in the cannabis industry.
As Justen and I approached the doors to one of the two facilities run by the operation, I couldn’t stop thinking about the Gelato. “Gelato 33 or something. You would not believe it. I love it man” Justen’s words were looping inside of my head. I just wanted to taste it.
We were both greeted at the door by Pat and Chris and some visitors from out of state. We instantly connected as they were visiting from an area that was literally blocks from where I had once lived. I collected a definite sense of a wholesome family and friends oriented company. There was this warmth about it. Like walking inside on a cold day into a warm room. Yet, it was hot outside that day. Still, I felt it.
They asked us to follow them down the hall as we opened the discussion with casual pleasantries. I was waiting for a break in the nearly silent noise that was surrounding us as we made it down a hall with tiled floors. Thankfully I heard a voice.
“Who’s the deadhead?” My trusty photographer saves the moment with his never ending eclectic knowledge of things most consider quite intellectual and intriguing.
“Been at every show for the past 5 years bro,” both Pat and Chris were smiling as if we had turned a page. Discussions of past encounters with the musings of greats such as Dead & Company along with many others were being reminisced from the newly found friends of the same tune. We walked further down the long hall toward more doorways.
Pat smiled as he looked back at me. He had to have noticed the look on my face as I understood the enormity of the warehouse. I’m wondering how many of our readers have been inside of a 19,000 sqft warehouse. What I am more curious about is how many of our readers have, “legally”, been inside of a warehouse that large with 6,720 sqft of actual flower canopy. It makes for a nice afternoon.
We were fortunate enough to see the moms during the 18 hours of lights on before the 6 of sleep while doing their best not to allow the forces of nature to blossom their flowers of healing.
24 total strains are currently selected through a process that is often overlooked and uncalculated by many cultivators and business owners alike. Pat presented it to me as something very serious. You go into the situation knowing that 3 out of 5 usually won’t hit.
Chris talked about the hand trimming and presentation of the flower. The importance of every step as a whole. He noted that his trim managers go through and make sure there are no seeds or stems throughout the product. “Pure nug,” Chris said with a cheshire cat grin. I couldn’t help but make the correlation as he held out a cleverly crafted Heartland Farms branded burlap/plastic bag. I took a whiff.
“We already had the Gelato 33 from Denver and one from LA,” Pat was talking about whatever was inside of the package he was carrying. However, my focus drifted away from his words about the package as I noticed the unique structure, color, and overwhelming brilliant aroma coming from it. Even in this crowded room full of flowers I was captured by the most valuable player in the room that they called, Gelato 2. It was definitely unique enough to be on its own.
“Right now the traditional lime green strains like OG’s, etc… are not moving as quickly as the dark colors, and more developed strains. We kind of focus on what is different and unique, but also a little tried and true because they move a lot better.” Pat’s business mind revealed a great strategy.
It was at that moment I understood the duo’s roles. Pat was a great sales person for the company. He was extremely intelligent and a natural. He came across as someone that could possibly score very high on an IQ test as well as roll the fattest joint you ever wanted, then smoke a while for some good company.
Chris was a developer type and a cultivator. He seemed to me as the Wyatt Earp to his Doc Holliday. I sensed a foundation of sorts that they could both grab ahold of if ever any one of them felt alone in this business and in life. There was camaraderie and brotherhood which must have supported them to work with such a strong passion to keep moving forward. Not alone, but together.
We moved on through the tour of this enormous facility. I noticed the fluidity and the careful planning that must have taken place during the layout stages of the property.
Chris was very proud to show what they have been working with a crew of people that are “extremely talented.” He introduced us to fellow employees along the way, as if they were family members. Some even were!
Taylor Elias is the nephew of Chris Elias. He doesn’t necessarily love being introduced in that way. However, it’s not for the loss of love for his proud uncle. Taylor runs the drying, trimming, and maintenance. The hardest part of the warehouse is the maintenance according to both Taylor and Chris. Some may disagree, however they were essentially holding the mic at the time. So…
Taylor seemed to know his job well. I was able to ask him about key performance indicators and he instantly schooled me in a course of curing I would have gladly paid tuition for. He loves working with the best team. He says it’s really not a matter of pay. He loves that they all wake up and work together to have the best day possible.
Chris glanced over with that cheshire cat grin again. “Tell him about the magic room.”
Taylor told a story about when he first started working in cannabis. He would walk by a specific room inside of the warehouse. He never went inside. He would always ask his uncle what was in the room. He thought of it as the “magic room”. He wanted to know if that was where his uncle kept all of his magic to grow everything. We all had a laugh.
Taylor said he knew there wasn’t magic. The room is a product storage room now. I wouldn’t necessarily agree with him. After he left the room Chris nearly teared up. It was a character trait I hope Chris never loses touch with.
“We finally have our license, you know? There’s no more gray area.” Chris’s passion peaked a bit. “We have legitimate bank accounts. We pay all of our taxes. It’s very hard whenever you’re running into thousands of dollars in cash and attempting to track everything. It’s been a long journey. In many ways it’s been surreal.”
While listening to Chris answer my question of whether he missed the “grind”, I received a glimpse of what a natural entrepreneur looked and sounded like. He explained how he loved the blossoming of a business. He loves to plant a seed, get everything ready to be on a growth pattern of perpetuity, and watch the benefits that it has for all of those that touch it. It is rather poetic in my point of view.
“Sometimes I am so excited.” Pat seemed a little reluctant. “I’m so eager to tell people that I’m one of the owners of Heartland Farms, you know? I want to. However, often, I just say that I work here. It provides me, you know, with more real information. Honest opinions are easier to get good feedback when someone is talking to an employee rather than an owner.”
I sensed a moment of retrospect within Pat. “Our first grow was over by the Drillers stadium in Tulsa. We had two, 600 watt, HPS lights in the garage. This is like 18 or 19 years ago. We were so freaking excited about our first quarter pound of weed. Every year it just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger you know?” Pat seemed to be reaching the point of awareness only privileged business owners achieve. “We went to Durango, Colorado and started doing a lot of outdoor cultivation. Our first green houses were very small, the second one was a lot bigger, and then the third one was huge. After that we went out to California to start commercial indoor growing . It’s funny to watch the evolution of this beast we developed and it’s been pretty sweet man.”
I couldn’t help but wonder if the two were where they wanted to be. Where was the finish line? Did it exist? Pat told me quite frankly, “We’re just going to keep producing exceptional medical cannabis to the best of our abilities. I don’t think we will be stepping back anytime soon. I’m still young. We both have a lot of years left to kick some ass. So I will see you in about 30-40 years. Then we’ll let you know.”
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!
Compliance In A Country Of Cannabis
By Michael Kinney
When Donnie Pyatt was asked to describe Country Cannabis, some of the first words he uttered were ‘veteran-owned’. As the Chief Compliance Officer of the Oklahoma-based dispensary, he could have used a myriad of different phrases, but that seemed to be the one that was most important to him.
It’s not just because Pyatt spent 23 years in the military himself. Or that his brother, Clint Pyatt, who founded the company was in the Marine Corps for six years as well.
“We come from a military lineage. Our dad was in the army and was drafted to Vietnam,” Donnie Pyatt said. “Both his brothers got drafted. My son is 18 and about to leave for the Marines Corps boot camp after he graduates high school.”
So, when Pyatt says Country Cannabis is ‘veteran-owned and also trying to help veterans out,’ it’s not just some words stuck on a company bumper sticker. It’s something they mean.
In the four years Country Cannabis has been in existence, they have strived to give to the military community. That includes providing a discount for military (retired or active) personnel.
Pyatt knows the physical, emotional and mental toils of being in the military and knows cannabis is an option that many veterans are starting to explore more and more.
“Every veteran deals with their demons the best that they can. All veterans will have demons. There is no doubt about that. For good or worse, if you become a veteran and get out of the service, you are a changed person,” Pyatt said. “How you deal with that is completely independent upon each veteran. I can’t say that a veteran is handling it wrong or handling it right because I had to deal with my own. If medical marijuana, or even if it goes recreational, if they have PTSD and they have demons, or they have things they can not forget, and if medical or recreational marijuana helps them, then more power to them.”
As a former member of the Tulsa Police Department, Pyatt has seen firsthand the alternative of not getting the help that is needed to battle those demons. That is a road that can lead to addiction to drugs that can destroy lives.
“I have seen so many lives shredded and torn apart by hard narcotics, oxycontin, prescription meds, Heroin is a huge one,” Pyatt said. “Those are nasty drugs to get addicted to. That’s why a lot of people are on heroin. People I have made arrests on and talked to, I would ask them why they are messing with heroin, it’s horrible. They are like, “well, I got hooked on OxyContin and I can’t get any more Oxycontin. It was just easier to buy Heroin on the streets.’ It’s a nasty drug to get addicted to.”
Part of stopping the surge toward opioids and other drugs means helping change the perception of marijuana in the medical field.
“Cannabis is not seen very well in the medical field as helping. There are still a lot of people who say it doesn’t help,” Pyatt said. “That is just not the case. We have patients who come up and they will tell us straight out they had a problem until they got their card and took our product. ‘I had nothing else to turn to. Now I do.’ It’s kind of like the giving back is being able to do something that is not a hard drug. I know from personal experience, from my wife’s family members, who could have had a better quality of life before he passed if was able to have medical marijuana.”
The Country Cannabis motto of giving back extends beyond the military as well. The very first Country Cannabis dispensary in Oklahoma was opened up in Wilburton, which is in the Southeast corner of the state. Built on the backs of the coal and gas industry, it now has a population of under 2,500 people and is declining.
It doesn’t seem like a prime spot to introduce a business. But that is not the way XX Pyatt saw it.
“My brother, when he came into Oklahoma, he started in Wilburton Oklahoma. My grandparents are from there, my parents still live in that area. Our bloodlines run deep in that county,” Donnie Pyatt said. “That is not an area that is usually hit with a lot of industry. He could have picked Tulsa right away. But his thinking was, if we go in there and do this, maybe we can help out the area and give some jobs to people. Maybe I can kick start the growth of Wilburton again and make it to where it’s not a dwindling little ghost town like so many other small towns in Oklahoma seem to be doing.”
Pyatt has only been with Country Cannabis for four months. He previously had been a member of the Tulsa Police Department for close to seven years until his brother was able to convince him to take a job with the company.
It was not an easy decision for Pyatt to leave the police department for a career in an industry he knew almost nothing about.
“The TPD, we have had our times when we have been in the news for stuff, but it is a huge family,” Pyatt said. “You make so many good relationships and they are just like your family members. It was a tough decision because it was like leaving one family to go work with my blood family.”
In that time Pyatt has had a crash course on the industry. He is having to learn the ins and out of not just the company, but also a growing industry that is still trying to figure out which way it’s heading.
“Wading through all the rules and compliance. Not just Oklahoma. We also have processors in Colorado, we’re getting into California, South Dakota, Florida is coming up, New York. Just reading all the rules and regulations for each state is definitely a challenge. It is exactly what I thought it would be. I knew I would be dealing with people who have been in the game for a while. I am new to it. I knew it would be very challenging to try and catch up and I’m not even close to catching up to everyone else’s knowledge in other companies or just my brother.”
Yet, the challenge of learning the industry is just one of the elements that excites Pyatt about his new position.
“What’s really exciting about coming to work for my brother at Country Cannabis is him opening up in other states. He puts the business in other states,” Pyatt said. “It’s just to see the company grow. That is what’s exciting. Like Kansas. It’s not legal there yet, but if I was a betting man, I would say it will be by next year.”
But no matter where a Country Cannabis store is located now and opens up in the future, Pyatt said they will still have the same foundation they started with.
“We’re not a bunch of people who just got together and said, ‘Oh, we’re going to make this company in Oklahoma and we’re just a bunch of outsiders and we’re just trying to do it to make money.’ I would like for people to know that Country Cannabis, born and raised, native Oklahomans, and we’re not out to just sell a product to get rich or to make money off of it,” Pyatt said. “That’s not the goal. The goal is to provide a product that people can take for medical issues. And that it’s just good people trying to do good things with it.”
Thank You All for helping honor the men and women who protect our freedom.
Rob & Sons Cannabis Company, 201 W 9th St, Shawnee, OK 74801
MJ’s Apothecary, 2311 E 12th Pl Tulsa, OK
Affordable Medical Cannabis, 1805 E Steve Owens Blvd Miami, OK
MedVets, 8 South Mill Street, Pryor, Oklahoma
Seed Cannabis 623 S Peoria Tulsa, OK
Seed Cannabis 4209 S Sheridan Tulsa, OK
Seed Cannabis 1430 E 71st St Tulsa, OK
Clover patch Mannford 36545 hwy Ok.51 Mannford, OK
Clover patch Stillwater 524 w 6th Ave . Stillwater, OK
Clover patch Cleveland 706 w Caddo Cleveland, OK
Clover patch Tulsa 3232 E 15th Tulsa, OK
VannCo Dispensary 2315 W. Edison St. Tulsa, OK 74127
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.
By Anna Ervin
serves: 4-5 I dosage: 15-20mg per serving
• ½ C coconut aminos
• 2 Tbsp maple syrup
• 1 Tbsp infused olive oil (1 used 50mg)
• 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
• 1 tsp rice vinegar
• 1 C quinoa or rice (cooked)
• 1 sweet potato (diced)
• 1 C pineapple (cubed)
• 1 C shiitake mushrooms
• 1-2 stalks fresh swiss chard
• 1 Tbsp garlic (minced)
• ½ C cashews (roughly chopped)
• ½-1 tsp vindaloo curry seasoning
• salt o. pepper to taste
• fresh dill for garnish
Cook quinoa or rice per package instructions, set aside. Whisk sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
Heat 1-2 tbsp water in a large pan over low-medium heat. Add sweet potatoes and cover, allowing to simmer for 5-10 minutes, until soft enough to stab with a fork. Drain remaining water from the pan and add pineapple, mushrooms, and half of the sauce. Cook over medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add cooked rice or quinoa, swiss chard, garlic, cashews, and seasonings
(excluding dill for now). Continue to stir and cook over medium heat for another 2-3 minutes, until swiss chard begins to wilt. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Drizzle the remaining sauce over each dish and garnish with fresh dill to serve.
The 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.
Dr. Carl Hart
A Scientist on a Mission to Spread Knowledge in Support of Health and Happiness of Drug Users
by Jessi Lane, Patient Advocate
Jessi Lane, Patient Advocate is a writer and Oklahoma cannabis industry professional since 2018. She is a Certified Cannacian III and Trichome Institute Certified Cannabis Consultant with a “full spectrum” Postpartum Wellness background.
“Whether we like it or not, recreational drugs are part of our society, and it should be our mission to use this knowledge in support of the health and happiness of drug users. Clearly, part of this mission is to try to keep them safe, not push them into the shadows and force them to risk their lives when there are better alternatives,” (p. 83) says Dr. Carl Hart (2022) in his latest book, Drug Use for Grown-Ups: Chasing Liberty in the Land of Fear.
Carl L. Hart, PhD, is a neuroscientist and psychologist studying the behavioral and neuropharmacological effects of psychoactive drugs in humans. Dr. Hart is the Ziff Professor of Psychology in the departments of Psychology and Psychiatry at Columbia University and is one of the first tenured African American Professors of Science at an Ivy League institution of higher learning. Hart is a member of the National Advisory Council of Drug Abuse and a board member of the Drug Policy Alliance. He has published a wide variety of scientific literature focusing on dependence, drug-taking behaviors, drug self-administration and the cognitive effects of drug use and has testified before the U.S. Congress serving as an expert witness on the effects of psychoactive drugs (American Psychological Association [APA], 2022). “I see the job of the scientist, in part, as helping to correct the blunders of politicians and journalists. It’s one of the reasons that I became a scientist” (Hart, 2022, p. 107), he says.
It may be true that Dr. Hart is a renowned scientist and an educator. But first and foremost, he is an activist. He is committed to our nation’s citizens who are “tired of watching their tax dollars fund unethical people and corporations” (Dr Carl Hart, n.d.). Dr. Hart has shared that this ultimately perpetuates social inequality and does not lead to effective drug policy. “The privileges afforded to some are acquired at the expense of others” (Hart, 2022, pg. 26), he reminds us. In fact, a 2020 report released by the American Civil Liberties Union showed Black people are 4.2 times more likely than white people to be arrested for marijuana possession in Oklahoma, despite comparable national marijuana usage rates. Oklahoma also ranks thirteenth in the nation for the largest racial disparities in marijuana possession arrests (ACLU 2020). “This characteristically American pattern of cognitive flexibility on drug policy, with harsh penalties for some and sympathetic treatment for others, has a long history” (Hart, 2022, p. 25), he says. This issue of racial bias expands nations. “I have also observed that the enforcement of drug laws, regardless of the country, is frequently carried out in a selective manner. Individuals from despised and marginalized groups are disproportionately targeted, arrested, and imprisoned for drug-law violations, even though recreational drug use is common in every strata of society” (Hart, 2022, p.251).
Dr. Hart believes the US government should not infringe on certain unalienable rights of its citizens as described by the Declaration of Independence, of which he is inspired. Among these are the rights to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. He feels this document declares governments are created to secure these rights, not to restrict them. “Why is it that guns can be legally purchased but heroin cannot?” (Hart, 2022, p. 54) he asks. “Why is alcohol legal, whereas heroin is banned?” (Hart, 2022, p. 55) Dr. Hart has stated that adults should be permitted the legal right to sell, purchase, and use recreational drugs of their choice, just as they have the rights to engage in consensual sexual behaviors, drive automobiles, and purchase and use guns. “If there isn’t vigorous and continuous resistance to governmental intrusions on freedom, the rights guaranteed by our noble founding documents will be steadily eroded. I remind[ed] my students that it is their responsibility to fight each day for these rights. If they don’t, we will lose them” (Hart, 2022, p. 38).
With his expertise in pharmacology and all the pomp and circumstance that accompanies a man of his stature having been published extensively on the topic of drugs, Dr. Hart (2022) relays to us in the simplest of terms and with certainty, “there is no drug that produces addiction after only one use” (p. 94). In his thirty-year career, Hart (2022) says he has “discovered that most drug-use scenarios cause little or no harm and that some responsible drug-use scenarios are actually beneficial for human health and functioning. Even recreational drugs can and do improve day-to-day living” (p. 9). Furthermore, he tells us, “There are virtually no data on humans indicating that responsible recreational drug use causes brain abnormalities in otherwise healthy individuals” (Hart, 2022, p. 96). To account for the relatively small percentage of individuals who do become addicted, Dr. Hart has found co-occurring psychiatric disorders account for a substantial proportion of these addictions. “We need to cut the bullshit,” he says, “and stop pretending drugs inevitably – and only – lead to undesired outcomes” (Hart, 2022, p. 62).
Any old-timer will tell ya, marijuana available today is ten times more potent than the marijuana of the 1960s. This political regurgitation implies “the weed of the 1960s might have been relatively harmless, but the current stuff is dangerous. Well, that’s an oversimplification,” (pp. 73-74) says Dr. Hart (2022). He firmly believes, decade after decade the public has been deceived regarding the real effects of cannabis. He tells us, “A stream of blatant lies has been promulgated to justify marijuana prohibition” (Hart, 2022, p.164). He goes on to say, “Too many people now have marijuana-use experiences that conflict with the cannabis gaslighting engaged in by public officials” (Hart, 2022, p. 164). According to DEA.gov, Marijuana is a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act, meaning that it has a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision (Drug Enforcement Agency 2020). However, the March 3, 2022 OMMA licensing report shows 381,974 Oklahomans have received their license to consume cannabis for medical reasons (Oklahoma 2022). Dr. Hart’s (2022) extensive research can also argue “to say marijuana is a gateway to harder drugs is baseless: correlation, a mere link between factors, does not mean that one factor is the cause of another” (p. 8)
While cannabis may not be his primary drug of choice, Dr. Hart himself is a respected, successful drug user and is now, after many years, willing to share his firsthand experiences. “My conscience will no longer allow me to remain silent about my drug use, nor can I remain silent about the absurdity of punishing people for what they put into their own bodies” (Hart, 2022, p. 252). He goes on to say that, with his extensive studies, if he did not come out, he’d be a hypocrite and a coward (Hart, 2022, p. 252). “I should know because I had been living as such for many years, I refuse to do so any longer” (Hart, 2022, p. 252). He recommends that respectable middle-class drug users also stop concealing their use. In doing so it would help to thwart the generalization that all drug users are troubled, irresponsible members of society. Dr. Hart and his spouse, Robin, are in favor of whatever makes one a better person and makes the world a better place for all. “I am simply pointing out that we have found, at least from our perspective, what works for us, in line with who we are and with who we are striving to become- more compassionate and humane people” (Hart, 2022, pp. 116-117).
Dr. Hart understands the immense importance of his position as Guide, if you will, when wistfully reflecting on Gil Scott-Heron’s 2010 song, I’m New Here– “It’s just that the song forces me to think about my responsibility regarding showing others around; to provide drug users with a few important lessons to facilitate their health and happiness. If I had to boil them down to a few tips, they would involve these four topics; dose, route of administration, set, and setting” (Hart, 2022, p. 73). In Drug Use for Grown Ups, Hart provides detailed strategies that a responsible adult drug user can employ to enhance positive drug effects, while minimizing negative ones. These are the same tactics used in his government-funded research designed to keep research participants safe. “Dose is everything” (Hart, 2022, p. 74), he says. “By dose, I simply mean the amount of drug taken. This is perhaps the most crucial factor in determining the effects produced by the drug” (Hart, 2022, p. 73). He explains that generally, larger doses increase the likelihood of harmful effects- this being one of the most basic principles of pharmacology. We know that potency is the amount of drug required to produce a particular effect and have learned the smaller the amount needed to cause the response, the more potent the drug. Dr. Hart (2022) includes, “the route of administration determines the speed at which the drug reaches the brain and, therefore, the immediacy and intensity of the drug’s effects” (p. 75). The set and setting – or environment, mindset, and company – will also affect the user’s individualized results, as well as the user’s tolerance.
“It is not surprising that the highest drug-related mortality rates in the United States are found in regions, including the Appalachia and Oklahoma, with lower rates of university completion and greater economic distress” (Hart, 2022, p. 79), he says. Drug testing facilities would greatly reduce these numbers as Dr. Hart has found that a grave number of ODs are due to contamination, often with illicit Fentanyl. “Imagine if we could provide [drug safety testing services] for communities around the world and give every user the opportunity to test their drugs to ensure they are safe. Deaths from contaminated drugs would be dramatically reduced” (Hart, 2022, p. 81). In his international travels Dr. Hart (2022) has found fewer drug related deaths where drug testing services are available and believes “if our current government – or any government – were genuinely concerned about the health and safety of drug users, it would ensure that free, anonymous drug-safety testing services were widely available” (p. 250). That may be far and away for Oklahoma – and sadly too late for many of our loved ones who are drug users – however in a feat of social service in April 2021 Kevin Stitt approved Senate Bill 511, allowing drug users to exchange used hypodermic needles for clean needles without fear of retribution.
Recently Dr. Carl Hart visited Tulsa’s own Magic City Books for an in-person author event to celebrate the paperback release of his latest book, Drug Use for Grown-Ups: Chasing Liberty in the Land of Fear. He shared Tulsa’s evening engagements with Snoop Dog and Ice Cube, who were performing up the street. “50-year-olds on stage doing hip hop. That’s gonna be interesting,” he smirked to his intimate audience. “We are competing with some aging hip hoppers.” Dr. Hart has visited Tulsa before and was among friends at Magic City Books. As a knowing audience nodded their heads in agreement he confirmed, “Oklahoma, you’ve been arresting everybody in this state.” He reiterates, “you are really one of those states that really go after your white people.” Familiar characters named in the book proudly took audience with attendees present from various Tulsa communities in almost gleeful congregation. “After reading this book, I hope you will be less likely to vilify individuals merely because they use drugs. That thinking has led to an incalculable number of deaths and an enormous amount of suffering. (Dr Carl Hart n.d.)” He goes on to say, “If the ideas expressed in this book are embraced, we can get on with the business of treating each other better and enjoying more meaningful and fulfilling lives. And isn’t that what we all want” (Dr Carl Hart n.d.)?
Today Dr. Hart resides in both New York and Geneva. “I can’t do the American thing anymore,” he told his captivated Magic City audience. “I’ve had enough of the hypocrisy.” He encourages us to go, live our lives openly and out. “There is no such thing as being completely safe. Any life worth living is not without risk. So, I would suggest you live your life as you see fit. At least you will be living” (Hart, 2022, p. 53).
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.
Lessons 27 taught me
by Anna Ervin
Photography by Ginny Dorsey | The Herb Chronicles
I cry every year on my birthday. I know this might sound a little dramatic, but as far back as my
17th birthday, I can’t remember a single year that tears were not shed on this supposedly
celebratory day. And while I rarely find myself in mourning or despair all day long, I can’t help
but take a moment to just feel the weight of another year of my life passing by.
Until recently, I didn’t really understand why I felt this way. I thought it was just fear, but through
further investigation, I’ve found that the heaviness which claims me has much more to do with
feelings of love, gratitude, and deep compassion for the experiences I’m granted in life.
It all just feels a bit overwhelming at times.
Twenty-eight should be no different, as throughout the last year I have witnessed myself grow
and evolve in ways I never imagined I would be capable of. Some of the memories from this
past year are painful to look at, but those moments also brought the most empowerment and
light into my life, so I will honor them nonetheless. On the other hand, many of my memories
have carried frequencies of love and joy into my existence and still do, even today. They will be
the hardest for me to let go of. It’s difficult for me to even think about it now.
In a way, though, it’s sort of like spring cleaning. I have to allow myself to let go of the moments that no longer serve me, no matter how magical or powerful they felt. It’s all part of my process, spending the day fearfully yet courageously cutting ties with the person I’ve spent the last 12 months nurturing, in order to step into a greater version of Her. A version that’s a little closer to understanding her destiny. To do that, however, I must first honor the lessons I have gained over the last year.
If you know me, or if you’ve read any of my past work, you’ll find that I’m pretty adamant about writing sh*t down. Much of the enlightenment I have found throughout my twenties has come
from reviewing old journals and musings of earlier years. It’s something I believe passionately
in, turning my own voice into something tangible, something nearly permanent. So whether
you’re still reading this or have skipped to the end, I have chosen to share those words here
today. Not because I feel they might resonate with you (though I hope some of them do), but
because I will continue to return to and reflect on them for years to come. Despite the emotional
responses they may have invoked at one time, these are the memories that I will allow myself to
carry into the rest of my adult life, and I hope to embody the truths they have revealed for years
Lessons 27 Taught Me
1.) Pour yourself wholeheartedly into the things that you love. The last thing you want to do
is look back on each day and wonder what would have happened had you given more of
your time and energy to the matters you hold closest to your heart. I’m not just talking
about the people around you, but the work you take on, the hobbies you entertain, and
the mundane tasks that help you curate the life you want for yourself. Give those areas
of your life as much passion as you would your family or a romantic partner… This
brings me to my next lesson in strength and love– self-love.
2.) It’s not only unselfish to take care of yourself first, it’s actually quite necessary if you
want to bring positive change into the world around you. I don’t feel the need to reiterate
that you can’t pour from an empty cup… we’ve all heard it, and that’s not the point I’m
trying to make. The point of putting yourself first is not to be able to readily give back to
the people in your life, but to give yourself the space you need to take on the passions I
mentioned before. I believe that most of us will make the greatest impact by simply doing
the things that make us happy. For example, I never would have imagined that spending
hours turning words into stories would open the hearts of so many, or that sharing my
favorite hobbies would inspire exploration and curiosity within my audience (check out
my piece on Tarostrology).
3.) A bad decision is just a decision that carries undesirable consequences. You’re not a
bad person for making a mistake, and it’s time to stop beating yourself up for being
human. Nobody is perfect, and our missteps in life challenge us to grow and become
better far more than our successes might. Brush yourself off and make your amends,
and know that life is never going to “just be easy.” At times, you may feel like you’re
invincible while at others, you find yourself humbled. I think the trick to this is teaching
yourself to find gratitude in both the good and the bad.
4.) Nobody is ever going to love you the way you have the potential to love you. You have
all the tools you need to give yourself empathy, compassion, and tenderness. It’s okay to
be alone sometimes, utilize that space to learn empowering things about yourself and
respond to your deepest emotional needs. Write yourself love letters, set the mood in
your home, take yourself all the places you’ve ever wanted to go with someone else.
You might be surprised to find that sometimes the best company is your own.
5.) Let those who speak over you wonder what they might have learned had they chosen to
listen. Stay true to yourself, banana. You have come so far in the last year, and you will
continue to blossom into the person you are destined to be, so long as you choose to
stay committed to your truth. Your intuition and logic have brought you this far, please
don’t start doubting them now.
I love you.
It’s a Brickhouse
By Michael Kinney
Driving into downtown Shawnee, the Brickhouse is kind of hard to miss. The large, red brick building stretches into the Eastern Oklahoma sky.
From the day it opened in 1910 the Brickhouse has been a mainstay of the business district in Shawnee. Now, more than a century later it’s considered a historical landmark. But Karla Jennings, the current owner of the Brickhouse, has not only revitalized the building but has a vision for it that its founders could never have imagined.
I would love to see it just be a welcoming place for the cannabis community, and hoping that they can feel comfortable getting out and feeling like they don’t have to be hidden,” Jennings said. “It’s all about coming out and not having the negativities of drinking, but more of the celebration of life and living and feeling good and being happy. I know a lot of people depend on that for the cannabis industry to fill those things, to be able to socialize without having anxiety and without having a lot of the things that come along with that, that cannabis helps with.”
According to historical records, the Shawnee Garment Factory was founded in 1903 to supply overalls to railroad workers for both the Rock Island and Santa Fe railroads. Their original factory was located at 324 E. Main.
But after seven years of operation, the owners moved the factory to the newly constructed building downtown at 113 1/2 N. Bell.
The ground floor was rented to retail businesses while the back, the basement and two upper floors were used to manufacture various garments, including Round House Jeans, which was named for the “round house” railroad repair station. The Garment Factory and Round House Jeans operated out of the Brickhouse for the next 85 years. It wasn’t until 1995 that the business moved to another location.
Up to that point, the building had been owned by the Nuckolls, Truscott and Antosh families. It wasn’t until 2014 that Jennings and her father, Travice, purchased the Brickhouse and became the next proprietors of the historic building.
“When we bought the building, there was already a business inside of it, So we bought the businesses also,” Jennings said. “That was Brickhouse Saloon. There was also a little hamburger joint and antique store downstairs. Eventually, I took over running the restaurant but didn’t like that. We started doing the remodeling. It has been a work in progress since the day we bought it.”
The building had fallen into disrepair throughout the years, so Jennings, Travice, and her brother Colton performed a complete restoration.
“We have taken it back to as original as we can get it,” Jennings said. “That is why people are so intrigued by the building. You can see all the exposed brick now. All the tin on the ceilings and all the wood floor. All that original fun stuff you don’t get to see very often anymore.”
Jennings said her main idea when they took over was to model in some ways after City Walk, which was a multi-level club in downtown Oklahoma City. It had five different clubs.
“I always thought that would be cool if I could do something like that with a big building,” Jennings said. “I have pretty much pulled it off now. Brickhouse Saloon has been the main business part of the building. We added a dance club right off the bat called Vibes. That is on the second floor. That was the money source for years.”
Heading into 2022 The Brickhouse was home to Brickhouse Events, Brickhouse Saloon, Vibes, Brickhouse Ground Floor and a karaoke bar, which are all under the Jennings umbrella. Despite running a variety of different businesses out of the Brickhouse, Jennings wasn’t satisfied. She had wanted to open up her own dispensary ever since it became legal in Oklahoma. However, her plans kept falling through.
Herbage Magazine recently moved its headquarters and studio in as tenants inside of the building as well.
“What had happened was COVID came around. My bar business, which is where my income comes from, suffered a lot. So, I panicked and said I don’t want to open my dispensary yet because I don’t know what my money is going to be like. “
After Jennings was able to reopen her saloon and things started to get back to normal, the idea of the dispensary resurfaced. That is when Max Pecina, Jaime Roman and Anthony Alvarez of Firework LLC walked into her saloon.
“These guys, they came into the bar. They had been in town working on some other aspects of the industry,” Jennings said. “We started talking and they told me they were in the marijuana industry. I told them I had been wanting to open a dispensary for three years.”
The trio told Jennings they weren’t really looking to open a dispensary at the time. Their focus was on other places. That didn’t faze Jennings and she made them an offer they couldn’t refuse. “I said come look at my vision anyway and let me give you a tour of the building,” Jennings said. “Everyone loves to look at the building. So, we went down and I started showing them all the things I had envisioned and my thoughts and what we could do. They were overwhelmed.” Jennings’s vision and the magic of the Brickhouse itself seemed to have an effect on Pecina, Alvarez and Roman and began to have talks with Jennings over the next few months as they all got a feel for each other.
“I just explained to them I already have thousands of people that come in and out of the building,” Jennings said. “We just have got to give them a place to purchase their medicine. I told them I want to provide a place where everybody can come together. They don’t have to go out and sit in their cars. They don’t have to go to allies where they get rained on. To smoke. They don’t have to be treated like their bad.
“I told them I want to provide a place where they can come in and have a large, friendly big room where they can partake and medicate and also have a good time. A full night of entertainment.”
Cannabis and the Nervous System
By Dr. Pepper Hernandez ND, Ph.D., CTC, CNHP, NHC
Board Certified and Award-Winning Holistic Health Practitioner
When discussing the relief can have on the nervous system we need to first begin with how the
nervous system works and how cannabis can affect that. To begin with, electrical impulses and
neurotransmitters are used by neurons in the brain to interact. The nervous system is a complex
network of nerves and specialized cells known as neurons that send and receive messages
throughout the body. The nervous system, as you may know, is divided into two components.
The peripheral nervous system, which contains the nerves and ganglia on the outside of the
brain and spinal cord, is the initial component. The brain, cranial nerves, and spinal cord make
up the central nervous system. CBD has been shown through studies and extensive
studies to protect the neurological system in a variety of ways.
Trauma, extreme stress, infections, degeneration, congenital difficulties, structural defects,
tumors, blood flow disturbance, and/or autoimmune disorders can all be the cause or can
contribute to a central nervous system disorder. There are various nutrients, foods,
practices, and meditations that can assist to regulate the neurological system, in
addition to cannabis. I know this very well as I have spent the majority of the last decade
learning about how to heal myself.
Central nervous system disorders are a large spectrum of diseases that affect the brain or
spinal cord. Seizures (which I am quite familiar with), cancer, inflammatory illnesses, arthritis,
schizophrenia (and other mental disorders), depression, and neuropathy are just a few of the
numerous forms of central nervous system disorders. While central nervous system illnesses
differ widely, they all result in a loss of adequate, undamaged nerve cells. Headaches, tension,
weariness, tingling or loss of feeling, muscle weakness, loss of sight or double or blurred vision,
memory loss, reduced mental capacity, lack of coordination, tremors, and back pain are all
common symptoms associated with central nervous system problems.
A fatty acid called amide hydroxylase (FAAH) exists in the human body, and it is an enzyme that
breaks down the neurotransmitter anandamide, which is related to the neuronal creation of
motivation and pleasure in cannabis. CBD inhibits FAAH in the body, resulting in greater levels
of anandamide, which binds to Cannabinoid type 1 receptors naturally (known as CB1). These
are primarily found in our brains and neurological systems. There are at least 85 different forms
of cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, including CBD and THC. This has the effect of calming
the nervous system and assisting it in regaining its equilibrium. CBD effectively promotes
the production of 2-AG, an endocannabinoid that stimulates both CB1 and CB2 receptors
(known as CB2). These receptors are important for mood, memory, hunger, sleep, and inflammation reduction in the human body. As a result, CBD topical therapies have been known to help lower brain inflammation linked with autoimmune illnesses, which can lead to fatty coating damage in neurons.
Neuropathic pain is produced by injury to the somatosensory nerve system, and reducing
inflammation in the brain may be utilized to treat it. Cannabis has been demonstrated in studies
to have neuroprotective properties and to maintain brain and spinal cord health, which aids in
the treatment of a range of central nervous system illnesses. Cannabis cannabinoids (such as
cannabidiol CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol THC) have been demonstrated to protect neurons
and astrocytes from injury, control inflammatory responses, and aid in neuroregeneration.
CBD, like THC, is a primary cannabinoid present in cannabis, however, it lacks the euphoric
characteristics of THC. As a result, it’s ideal for individuals who, like myself, have a life that
requires complete concentration. The full whole plant, organic CBD attaches to the
cannabinoid type one receptor in the brain, thus it doesn’t produce any of the “altered”
effects that THC does. My anxiety and nervous system issues were successfully treated
beginning with a CBD dosage of 20-40 mg.
Please with your physician to learn what options are available to you. This article’s content is
solely for educational purposes. Before starting any new diet or lifestyle change, consult your
knowledgeable primary health care physician, raw food nutritionist, or other health care expert.
BONUS: To help the central nervous system, it is recommended that you consume magnesium-
rich meals on a daily basis. Magnesium-rich foods include the following:
*Cocoa: A 3.5-ounce serving of dark chocolate has nearly 500 mg of magnesium.
*Fruit: Banana, apricot, avocado, melon, plum *Nuts: Almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts
*Legumes: Peas, lentils, tempeh
*Cereal: Brown rice, millet, oats
*Seeds: Pumplin, sesame
*Potatoes: Red, fingerlings, purple Peruvian
*Turkey Bone Broth (has the highest amount of tryptophan)
Other therapeutic herbs, like cannabis, have calming effects on the nervous system and can
aid. At night, try combining them with your CBD concentrate or tea mixture. Here are a few
Cognition, or mental functioning, such as concentration, decision-making, problem-solving
ability, reasoning, and learning, is obviously critical. Here are the top ten foods for brain and
nervous system health that have been shown to aid cognition:
*Dark green leafy vegetables
*Omega 3 fatty acids
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. The information provided is
derived from research gathered from external sources. Please check with your Cannabis
Educated Primary Health Care Physician or Cannabis Therapy Consultant before beginning any
new diet or lifestyle change.
Dr. Pepper Hernandez ND, CTC, CNHP is a Naturopathic Nutritionist, Cannabis Therapy
Consultant, and the 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…
By Chet Tucker
Lettuce Smoke Canna Co.
It’s a wonder how we ever got here. Cannabis is one of the highest of medicinal plant for humans. The plant gets demonized, ostracized and even criminalized. How? Why? There are plenty of theories and many are entangled. Many believe there are early big pharma moves, happening in the form of a culturally suppressed control mechanism for minorities. Some even go to say that there is a general governmental step being made to control more of our natural born rights. Let’s talk about some statistics and raise more awareness and voices for breaking up a system keen on keeping its grip on a plant via taxation and propaganda.
As of the time of this article, the House of Representatives voted to decriminalize cannabis and this is certainly a long overdue step. We can’t allow it to get impeded in the Senate or any vetoes. So, anyone that’s reading should take steps to share with their representatives that we must free those ever jailed for consumption or possession. The intent to distribute pieces can be a little tricky given the fact that “illegal” grows could be distributed but this is for another discussion. Let’s first move to understand the hypocrisy of how any state could jail a human for the possession of a plant that was here as long as man has recorded history.
In an article published by Forbes (June 26th, 2020) over 40,000 Americans were incarcerated for marijuana only offenses. And though that number has been decreasing, and here in Oklahoma changes were made to Oklahoma’s drug laws to reduce prison sentences and criminal charges, a tougher push to decriminalize should be completed. The bigger picture is the shakedown in court and law earnings as the ACLU has reported that of 8.2 million drug arrests, over half were cannabis related. Let that number sink in. How much extortion of our citizens should we put up with before we stand up? Why do we allow our “justice” system to keep these archaic and constitutionally inept laws in place?
What we have is a system built on the backs of “free” Americans and the racquet must come to an end. We aren’t speaking of those that are wanted for true violent crimes or crimes against humanity, we are speaking of individuals being arrested and incarcerated for a plant that is cultivated from the earth. The opiate crisis is far more dangerous than any form of cannabis will ever be and we could not only save more lives from death or disease, we could save more families from unjust incarcerations. Sadly, I lost my father to epilepsy at the ripe old age of 54 and with the laws that were in place 15 years ago, hardcore and mood-swinging pharmaceuticals couldn’t do what CBD or cannabis could’ve done … and all because of fear based laws here to “protect” us. We all know other substances are far more abusive and deadly to our body than cannabis will ever be so let’s not restrict it any more than we restrict alcohol.
In summary, it’s time people understand the freedoms to cultivate and trade beyond the governmental strongholds. Our communities and families are served far better when we don’t allow governments to witch hunt those with cannabis. Furthermore, the taxation is incredibly too much and pushes the pricing of cannabis based medicinals beyond where they should ever be. Reach out to your local and state reps via www.okhouse.gov and search “Find My District” for a detailed and up to date list. We are the majority but we have to speak up to generate the changes needed.