May 2023 Digital Issue of Herbage Magazine featuring cover artist @moedart
Read about Steve Miller and his battle with Kinetic Tremor. Hit it off with Hopper & Ron of the RX3. Check out our Feminine Divine – Hannah Pearl. A Toke of Wellness talks about mushrooms and you. As always, Chet Miller checks in with some Lettuce Learning. And let’s not forget, coverage on the Blunts & Bogeys Golf Scramble.
The name “420” has become synonymous with the cannabis lifestyle and a celebration that occurs every April In many parts of the world, it’s a day when people come together to get high and enjoy cannabis infused foods, drinks and music. But the origins of this cherished date are so complex that it can be challenging to figure out where it came from and what it means.
Originally, the term 420 was a code that five high school students in San Rafael California, used to refer to their daily meeting at 4:20 pm. They called themselves the Waldos and met at a wall outside their school to discuss weed.
They had heard about an abandoned marijuana crop based on a treasure map, and they decided to search it out. They drew a map, found their meeting time, which just so happened to be 4:20, and planned to go to the Louis Pasteur statue on campus to start their search.
Their plan was to light a joint at the Louis Pasteur statue and then drive around the area in their car looking for the plot. They didn’t find the plant they were looking for, but they did make a plan to meet again at 4:20 pm and light a joint again, which became the basis for 420.
They later passed on this code to their friends, who also began saying the word 420. Eventually, the term spread throughout California, and it was also adopted by Grateful Dead fans, who started to use the phrase as well 420 has become a part of the language of cannabis culture and there is no end in sight!
Delta 9 thc, commonly known as just THC, is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis. It is responsible for most, but not all, of the plant’s medicinal effects. When inhaled, ∆9 THC is absorbed directly into the bloodstream and swiftly distributed to cannabinoid receptors throughout the body. This rapid absorption means onset time is quick, but the effects aren’t as lasting as edibles. When ingested in oil form, ∆9 THC is metabolized by the liver and converted into a new compound, 11-hydroxy-THC.
11-Hydroxy-THC is more potent and longer lasting than ∆9 THC. However, in this case “more potent” and “longer lasting” don’t automatically mean “better” or “more reliable”. With 11-hydroxy-THC the onset and duration of its effects can be more unpredictable than ∆9 THC. This is because the time it takes for the liver to metabolize ∆9 THC can vary depending on the person’s metabolism, the dose consumed, and whether they ate shortly before or after.
Full-Spectrum Extract refers to extracts that contain all of the natural compounds found in cannabis plants, such as cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Rather than a single compound on its own, this combination of compounds work together and rely on each other to produce a greater therapeutic effect.
BROAD-Spectrum Extract The CBD market, defines broad-spectrum cannabis extracts as a type of extract that contains a variety of terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids (minus THC). However in the THC market, broad-spectrum refers to an extract that maintains a variety of cannabinoids, but no terpenes or flavonoids. While terpenes are medicinal compounds, they are volatile oils that often get destroyed in digestion and are better absorbed via inhalation.
ISOLATE Extract To obtain a single cannabinoid from the cannabis plant (like CBD or THC), an isolate extraction is utilized. In this process, all other components of the plant, such as terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids, are removed. Typically, harsh techniques, like solvents, are used to strip the targeted cannabinoid from the rest of the plant material. The end product is a highly concentrated, powdered form of the single cannabinoid. Most of the cannabis products on the market that are formulated with specific ratios of cannabinoids (1:1, 12:1, 1:1:1, etc.) typically rely on cannabis isolates to achieve these exact ratios.
CANNABIS OILS , whether they are full or broad spectrum, are highly concentrated extracts made through various extraction methods. However, when cannabis oil is consumed in an edible form, most of the therapeutic cannabis material is destroyed during digestion as oil and water do not mix, and the human body is mostly made up of water. As a result, only a small amount of the ∆9 THC in the oil can be absorbed by the body. Once absorbed, it is metabolized into 11-hydroxy-thc which is responsible for the “edible high” from oil-based edibles.
NANO EMULSIFIED / WATER SOLUBLE Cannabis oils can be made more bioavailable by emulsification. This process breaks down cannabinoids into small particles, increasing their surface area for better absorption. Nano cannabinoids can be up to 10x more bioavailable than traditional oil-based cannabinoids, thus improving their therapeutic effectiveness. Nanoemulsions keep THC from being converted to 11-hydroxy-THC, bypassing liver metabolism and entering the bloodstream directly. As a result, the effects are more predictable and consistent, reducing unexpected side effects.
NATURAL FLAVORS + COLORS Cannabis edibles can be flavored and colored with many natural ingredients. Most of them are made from essential oils, extracts, or distillates of natural ingredients: fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, minerals, and animal products (unless they’re vegan!). Natural ingredients are often preferred over artificial because they do not contain synthetic chemicals or artificial
ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS + COLORS Synthetic and artificial ingredients can pose processing challenges for the body both in the short and long term. These components have the potential to disrupt the body’s metabolic and hormonal functions. Often, artificial ingredients are derived from natural sources and chemically modified to enhance flavor or color. In contrast, certain ingredients such as Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Red 40 are entirely synthetic.
SUGARS + SWEETENERS Edibles can be sweetened with natural or artificial options. Fruit puree contains naturally occurring simple sugars, fructose and sucrose, making it a natural choice. Allulose, found in some fruits, is a rare sugar, but not necessarily environmentally sustainable when produced at scale. High fructose corn syrup is a cheaper, commonly used sweetener, but associated with health risks such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Sugar-Free can be beneficial for some patients’ particular needs, however artificial sweeteners are often substituted in place of natural sugar to achieve a sweet sugar-free edible.
MELATONIN Sleep and wake cycles are regulated by melatonin, an essential hormone produced by the body. Supplemental melatonin can disrupt the body’s natural production and can sometimes cause unwanted side effects such as daytime drowsiness, headaches, and nausea. Reishi mushroom, which encourages the body’s own melatonin production, is a more natural sleep aid.
GELATIN is derived from collagen found in the skin, bones, and connective tissues of animals, usually cows or pigs. It’s commonly used in the production of cannabis gummies to give them their shape and texture. Because gelatin is derived from animal collagen, it is high in certain amino acids that can be difficult for the gut to break down. Occasionally consuming gelatin is not harmful, but regular consumption can cause health issues such as irritating the lining of the gut, bloating, gas, and constipation.
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.
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.
“Living and standing in your full divine feminine truth with grace and love is something that no one can take from you”.
Meet Mel Cortez. She’s a passionate advocate for the Cannabis plant, a Cannician trainer, a mother and a part of Papa Jesus Farms here in Oklahoma. She’s always spreading the love and it’s noticed and appreciated by many in the community! From my first time ever coming into contact with Mel, and having the pleasure of seeing her at a variety of cannabis events, I’ve grown to love her and the energy she carries. Mel has all the loving mama bear energy, she cares for people and truly shines her light, with being such an easy soul to connect with. I had the pleasure to chat with Mel, as she shared her heart with me. I always enjoy digging deep with people and feel that it’s an honor when they choose to open up to me. She makes the conscious habit of expressing appreciation on a regular basis, big or small. She embodies her Feminine Divine in more ways than one.To get to know her more, you can read our chat below.
Q & A:
To get to know you a little Mel, tell me about where you grew up, how you were raised,
what life was like etc.
I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. We grew up pretty poor and lived in the projects with government assistance, until I was about 11 years old when my mom married my dad. He moved us into Scottsdale, where we lived a modest blue collar family life. I had a pretty challenging childhood to be honest. My mother was manic depressive, bipolar with borderline personality disorder, who was extremely neglectful. My biological father was an addict. I was molested at age 7, put into intensive counseling/hypnosis therapy, and have had to learn how to be a human through my parents’ mistakes. Through my childhood, I learned what not to do as a parent moving forward. I’m thankful for the rough upbringing I had, for it led me to who I am today. My step dad helped to change and save our lives, which I’ll be forever grateful for. He’s actually the only parent I still have and I talk to him and call him dad to this day.
You’re such a great follow on Instagram Mel, because of the uplifting things you say and share, with a great sense of humor. I love your vibe and social media can say a lot
about who we are. How do you follow your own intuition and remain true to yourself?
This was actually a very important thought process to me when I started my canna IG. I’ve had different ones in the past for my hair/makeup business etc, but I felt in my soul this one had to be different. I originally started Mel.purehempstress when the peak of Covid hit and we all went into lockdown. I was managing a dispensary in Claremore, and I had patient after patient coming to me worried, crying about the lockdown and not being able to see each other and connect. So I started a instagram page as a means for us to connect on some sort of level, since we couldn’t have our long daily visits and conversations anymore. I purposely put out loving and funny uplifting posts to ensure others that there was someone that loves and cares about them. I’m HUGE on mental health, and knew that isolation could potentially cause some of my patients to act out of character…by making this page it was a way to express and show love, joy, happiness and a little silliness in a time that was unsure.
What are some everyday rituals or routines you have that are sacred to you?
I immediately wake up every single day and before I open my eyes, I think and say several things I am grateful for, then I make my bed, take a morning bong rip and cuddle Aries(my cat). That is literally my ritual. I then like to journal 10 things I’ve been grateful for that has happened within the last 24 hours, ten goals I have for myself (can be realistic or not..what resonates with you will stay), followed by which one of those goals I’m going to work on that day…and/or I just release into my journal about life. This is probably the most sacred to who I am…having an attitude of gratitude mindset on the daily. It has changed who I am today.
Getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of life can be a lot and it’s up to us on if and
how we choose to slow down. How do you take the time to turn inward and feed your
To be honest, the inner child really gives me no choice!! I had a pretty traumatic childhood that I’ve had to do a lot of healing work from. I’m extremely thankful for a therapist that has taught me many healthy coping mechanisms to help calm the inner child, when she goes rampant. I have fed the inner child by giving her something she never got enough of: LOVE, ATTENTION, & AFFECTION. Sometimes I just sit in silence and hug oneself, and tell the inner child how much she is loved and how proud I am of her. I often validate the inner child by eating cake for dinner, or going to see a late night movie at the theater alone, or grabbing up my kids and acting like kids, I dance, tell silly jokes…I act like the child I was never allowed to be growing up.
“Sometimes I just sit in silence and hug oneself, and tell the inner child how much she is loved and how proud I am of her”.
What does harnessing an ‘attitude of gratitude’ mindset look like and where do you think it takes you?
The attitude of gratitude mindset has completely changed my life!! I actually LOVE to talk about this with people! My therapist taught me this way to ‘rewire’ my mindset/brain about 4+ years ago and I’ve never looked back! I feel by truly embodying this mindset, you’re grateful for what happens no matter the circumstances. I feel grace and gratitude go hand in hand. I wake up everyday saying what I’m grateful for, and continue to do so throughout the day. At first, I kind of thought my therapist was joking…like really how will this actually work?! However, after just a few days I noticed differences in how my days went and continued to say, write or think in the constant state of gratitude which I feel has brought me to where I am in life right now.
“I feel by truly embodying this mindset, you’re grateful for what
happens no matter the circumstances”.
If there was anything you could go back and say to your younger self, that you needed at a time and didn’t receive it, what would that be?
I love this question..mostly because I love to connect with my inner child to self regulate. I would tell her, ‘Melina, I love you, please be patient’. I’ve had such a crazy life, I’ve lived life backwards in my opinion. I had neglectful parents, childhood trauma, I was a high school drop out, I had children at a young age, toxic relationships, several jobs, which made me feel lost and alone…like why am I here..why did I through all this?! Now it all makes sense. I had to learn how to be patient and love who I am (and have been) in the now. Everything makes sense now that I’ve come full circle and I’m able to relate and help so many others that have been, are, or could be in the same positions I’ve been in before. For the first time in life, I am proud of who I am and what I’m doing to impact and help others.
How do you tap into your own divine feminine power and embrace it? What does that
look like for you?
I learned several years ago that to fully embody what I feel divine feminine is: by gracefully loving yourself from the inside out, so much that you’re able to stand by your thoughts, words, and actions no matter the circumstances because they all come from a place of love. To love, honor and cherish yourself enough to set the standard and example for not only how you should be treated, but others as well. I can finally look in the mirror and say ‘I love you’ without feeling weird or crying and genuinely mean that. There is power in self love. Living and standing in your full divine feminine truth with grace and love is something that no one can take from you.
Are you a book reader? If so, please share what you’re currently reading right now! I
love to know where people’s minds go.
I’m actually a HUGE book reader!! I love, love, love to read! Fun fact: I don’t watch television! I own one for guests and kids, but I rarely turn it on. My favorite pastime since I was little has always been reading. It was a way for me to escape life. Then it became an addiction to fuel my brain with knowledge. It’s how I learned to have a healthier mindset and lifestyle. Right now I’m currently re-reading a favorite, (I do this a lot lol) The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle. It’s SO good! I sometimes forget to stay in full presence and by reading it again, it helps to ground who I am and reminds me that all I can do is Live in the Now.
You’re a huge Cannabis advocate. What do you cherish most about this plant?
I absolutely adore this plant and how it’s changed my life, as well as many others. The fact that we get to have the freedom to medicate with it as we please is what I truly cherish!! There are SO many variations of cannabis products these days and it’s absolutely mind blowing what we’re doing with it. I also cherish the fact that I get to help people through several avenues on the daily with plant based medicine!
Is there anyone along the way in life that has inspired you deeply to be where you’re at now?
My children. They have seen me through it all. I’m extremely thankful for the support that they’ve given me and continued to give on this journey. I’m hoping that I’m able to be a solid example for them throughout their lives. I pray/manifest that we’ll continue to be the best lights we can be to the world.
As a woman, who you are, and everything that you embody, how have you created a
life you love on your own terms?
By having time for solitude and living alone. I know that sounds crazy…but times of solitude have taught me more in this life than anything else. I learned to set boundaries, meditate, exercise, take care of myself, love who I am, I learned what I want, and most importantly what I don’t want or won’t settle for. I had a wild childhood and was thrown into adulthood early. I never got the chance to learn, nor was taught any of these things. I always wanted to be in a relationship and/or married to feel complete. Only to feel the total opposite. I finally took charge of my life and set boundaries. I’m still carving out the life I want to this day with full grace and love at the forefront of it all.
Are you glad you read until the end? What a beautiful soul! I hope you take something away from this conversation, that maybe you need or inspired you in some way!
To get to know Mel more, listen to Mel’s episode on The Cannabis Hangout Podcast, episode #168.
So the last several articles have touched on sourcing your genetics from seeds vs. clones and getting through the vegetative stage. It’s about time for us to start talking about the flowering stage, and how to optimize your bloom cycle for the best buds you can grow!
In the next few articles, we will start tackling all of the tips and tricks to tweak your flowering cycle for maximum optimization.
But first, let’s make sure we haven’t forgotten any chores during our veg cycle.
Why is Veg so important?
As we’ve explained before, what you do in Veg greatly impacts what you can do during the flowering stage. There are all sorts of tactics that should be employed during the flowering stage, but many are unavailable or just won’t make a difference, if you slacked off during the vegetative stage.
The vegetative stage is when plants are pliable and capable of being trained. This is very important. Also, veg can be extended if necessary. Unlike flowering stage, which has a set end date, the veg stage can be prolonged if necessary.
During veg, you can exercise much greater control, and you should, so that you can take full ownership for the shape of the plant. This way, you set yourself up for success when it comes time to flower.
Checking off your “To-do” list while in Veg
Now, during veg, you should have done some low stress training and pruning. The goal here is to make your plant look less like a Christmas tree, and more like a Hanukkah candle. We don’t want it growing up tall and skinny. Such a structure won’t yield much, and all but the top buds will lack that rock hard density we prefer. So we solve for this problem by pruning our plant during veg, and by training it to take the shape of the Hanukkah candle.
But how do we achieve this shape? The answer is well-timed topping.
How to Top your Veg Plants to create a SCROG canopy during flower
We prefer to wait about five or six weeks into veg before we top our plants. Some may top earlier in veg, and we have done that as well. But we have found that topping small plants severely stunts growth, which either prolongs the length of veg, or you end up with a smaller plant during your normal veg cycle (for us, about 8 weeks).
When we top our plants, we are looking to create a “crown,” that is, a group of
surrounding branches. Kind of like a 360 degree Hanukkah candle, to use the reference from earlier.
To do this, we cut the center branch right off.
Yes. Really. We go to the main stock, in the middle, that would ordinarily possess the king cola of the plant. And we chop it off at the node about a foot down. You may be shocked that we would do this, because the plant has basically been cut in half. Did we just waste 6 weeks of growth?
The answer is “No,” and here is why: this style of topping actually accelerates the growth of the surrounding branches.
Within one week of chopping the center stalk, the surrounding branches will have risen up to the original height of that center stalk. No time lost at all. In fact, it will seem like you just jumped into the future!
Now you have a plant that is ready to be SCROGGED (spread throughout trellis netting) to create a SCROG (screen of green) canopy.
Preparing to “flip” your plants into flower
Now that you have topped all of your plants, you are about ready to flip your light cycle to 12/12 and start flowering. But not yet. Let’s wait just a couple more weeks. During this time, you will want to do another session or two of pruning. Really create that lollipop shape during the last week or two of Veg. This will set up you up for the greatest success in flower.
Next article, we will move on to the flowering stage!!
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.
“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.
It’s a new year, and for many people, that means making resolutions and setting goals. Well, if you are a home grower, or aspiring home grower, I encourage you to take a big picture look at your grow schedule for this year. Don’t have one? That’s okay. The purpose of this article is get you thinking in terms of an annual cultivation plan, as opposed to just planting some seeds and hoping for the best. Don’t know how to put one together? That’s okay too. In this article, I am going to show you.
First, we are going to tie in the last couple Cultivation Corner articles that had to do with veg, and I am going to show you how to apply that advice to the context of your situation, within your annual cultivation plan.
Sound like too much for a beginner grower? Just keep reading, I promise you will see the big picture by the end of this article.
First, get a clear vision of the end goal
When you plant your seeds or clones, you will have this tiny little plants in small pots. Now in order to know how long you will keep these plants in a vegetative state, you must have a clear outline for the entire growth cycle.
As you put together you plan, consider the following:
• How big is your grow space?
• How many strains do you want to grow?
• How often do you want to be flowering or harvesting?
As you ponder those questions, you will want to ask yourself a few more:
• Do you want to grow only a few but large plants?
• Would you instead prefer many small plants?
• Do you want to get as many harvests as possible in a year?
• Are you satisfied with fewer harvests?
Once you start asking yourself these types of questions, you will get yourself in thinking in terms of the big picture. Don’t just grab some seeds and talk about planting them. No, instead, I want you to think about mapping our your entire year!
Creating a Cultivation Plan based around your Grow Space
If you have a small grow space, such as a tent, you must acknowledge your limitations. The most obvious is ceiling height. Compare that to a 2-car garage. A grower using his home garage has more space than a person using a tent. But killer out-comes can be achieved in both scenarios, if you have a plan!
Tips for Small Grow Spaces
For small spaces, the goal is to grow small plants. Which means you get to master the art of getting a decent yield out of small plants. Part of the secret to getting yield with small plants is to simply increase the number of plants. You cannot grow big plants in a small space, but if you do things right, you can grow many small plants in a small space.You therefore want a shorter veg cycle. But as you condense your veg cycle, you shorten the amount of time you have to get all your chores done! That is okay, you can adjust.
You will want to first use smaller containers. You don’t need 7-gallon pots for a small tent. Stick with 2-gallon. You could even go smaller. The smaller the pot, the more plants you can fit in your tent, and that means more strain variety. You will need to top these earlier in veg in order toget the plant to start forking out, which will control your vertical growth. Remember, plants will double in size during flower, so we can’t let them get too big during veg.
Keep your veg cycle to about 4-5 weeks. Get at least one topping session in, and at least one pruning session, either before or after your topping session. At this point, you are ready to switch to 12/12.
Your 2023 Cultivation Plan
With a small grow space, you can focus on get-ting in multiple runs this year. With two weeks for a seedling phase, or for a clone to root, combined with a short veg (4-5 weeks), plus an 8-week flower cycle, you can get three and a half flips in this year. That means you will harvest 3 times and have a fourth cycle halfway completed going into the new year. With this type of plan, you get multiple harvests, a decent strain variety per run, and best of all….Lots of practice! Which is the most important feature here.
Getting three bites at the apple per year, you will triple your experience level than if you only had one run per year. If you have access to additional grow spaces for vegging your next batch of clones or seedlings, you can increase that number to five flips in a year. Imagine your experience level after a couple years of doing that! Of course, you could go with an entirely different plan of growing really big plants and aiming to get the biggest yield per plant. We will talk about that type of a strategy in next month’s issue
Oh how far we’ve come from 1986 and getting our weed through reefer Rick! Though I think many of us can agree that we’d drop a lot of cash to do a deal with Eddie Munson. But here’s my question, what kind of flower does our favorite metalhead prefer? Is he more of a sativa smoker? Or an Indica kind of guy? And what about Terps?
Let’s ask some loyal Tumblr fans what they think, aye?
Lei: “Ooh, my first instinct is to say he’d go for a sativa. He’s a high energy kind of guy, I think that he might want something that would stimulate his mind and fuel his creativity when playing guitar or writing campaigns. Though perhaps on other occasions he may want an Indica just to be able to chill out and wind down, become one with the couch so to speak. He sells it so he’s got choices you know? Options at his disposal for different needs. The terpenes that stand out to me with Eddie in mind are Limonene, Myrcene, and Pinene. Limonene for the elevated mood and anti-depression. Eddie is a naturally positive person so I think he’d appreciate added benefits here. Myrcene for the added creativity that psychoactivity brings, and Pinene for memory retention and alertness since it seems pretty clearly to me that Eddie has ADHD and would really benefit from some help in those areas!”
Johnny: “Given that he’s well-versed in alternative medicine, maybe even a damned witch doctor due to being a dungeon master, he probably smokes both, but as far as a preference goes I guess sativa. He has lots of high-yielding energy, he’s very outgoing, so I don’t see his preference leaning towards couch potato vibes which would be Indica. As far as Terpenes go? Definitely some Limonene but after that shit with Chrissy? Linalool. He needs to relax and sedate himself after all that.“
Tess: “Eddie Munson is definitely a mood smoker. Majority of the time, I see him smoking a sativa dominant hybrid. His creativity is flowing and he is Vibing like the true metal man he is. However, when he is wanting to play guitar alone in his room, I can see him appreciating an Indica. No matter which mood he was sporting that moment in the day, he is definitely lighting up something skunky, linalool, or alpha – pinene dominant.“
Becca: “So I strongly feel Eddie goes for the sativa strain. As a musician and a Dungeon Master he needs all the alertness he can get and Indicas do the total opposite. Indicas I feel are more for relaxing. As for the Terps, I see him being into limonene, Myrcene, Linalool,Borneol, and Eucalyptol.“
Well there you have it puppet’s! Majority rules in favor of sativa for the Master of Hellfire! Personally, that was my vote as well, it just seems to make sense for our lovable metalhead. But hey, maybe Kas the bloody handed will have a different taste…dun dun DUN!!!! He’s alive dammit, there’s no convincing me otherwise. UNTIL NEXT TIME – Kat
All Sergio Villarruel wanted to do was open a marijuana dispensary in his hometown. He was one of the first people in Ponca City to apply for a license when SQ 788 was passed. At that point, it looked like it would be clear sailings and he and his wife Candace would soon be welcoming customers through their front doors.
However, what Villarruel didn’t know at the time was that he and his family would be in store for a two-year battle that pitted them against the city’s local government. It would cost the family thousands of dollars and their reputation in parts of the community.
But Villarruel refused to give in and is now the proprietor of Life Leaf Dispensary in Ponca City.
“We just spent so much money just trying to hang on, to get something open that, it’s almost devastated us financially just trying to get it open,” said Sergio’s wife, Candace Villarruel. “And we have four kids; we cannot be devastated financially. We’re 30-somethings with four kids. We have to make this work and we believe in it. That’s the thing, we believe it is so positive. It can be so positive and beneficial.”
Sergio Villarruel first got the idea to open a dispensary more than 10 years ago. His father, who was a bail bondsman in Ponca City was diagnosed with cancer.
The prevailing method at the time was to pump him full of prescription drugs just to deal with the side effects.
“My father ended up getting cancer in 2010. And afterward, after they cut out the infected area of his large intestine, they put him through radiation and chemo,” Villarruel said. “Well, a lot of the treatment of radiation chemo ended up giving him peripherin. So he had neuropathy from knees all the way to the toe and that led all the way through his fingers. And so he was in constant pain. They had him on two 100 milligram Fentanyl patches, four 60 milligrams OxyContin, and then six 30 milligram OxyContin, all in a day.”
Villarruel said the number of drugs his father was taking on a daily basis he described as enough to kill a bear. And he knew there was a better way.
“So mainly, my reason why I started, I wanted to do this. It’s always been a dream of mine at first then, and secondly is to help people like my father,” Villarruel said. “My dad is a Vietnam vet. He worked at Conoco for 40 years and so, he got a very good reputation. And he worked his butt off for me and my two brothers, by himself; I never knew my mom or anything. He’s a very good person. Everybody loves him. And it’s just hard to see him go through this and not be able to do nothing. Well, now I can with the cannabis industry.”
Eight years later, Oklahoma passed SQ 788 and Villarruel rushed to get his license. But that is when the trouble began.
Before SQ 788 passed, the Ponca City Board of Commissioners voted to enact ordinances to establish zoning regulations for retail sales of medical marijuana. The ordinance did not allow for the cultivation and processing of cannabis inside city limits.
Those businesses who planned to be involved in the retail sales of marijuana could only do so in areas that were zoned C2.
The first building Villarruel attempted to set up shop was in a pharmacy that shared property lines with a church. It was also zoned C1.
After a back and forth and sometimes contentious and confusing interactions with the zoning board, Villarruel was forced to give up on the property.
This happened three more in which the Villarruels would find what they thought was the perfect spot and the zoning commission would find a reason to deny them clearance to use it. One of those times came after the Villarruels had already started rehabbing the building and working on the foundation.
During this entire time, they were not making any money. And with four children to take care of, it was putting the Villarruels in a tough spot.
“We’re looking at least a $100,000, at least that we have spent,” Candance Villarruel said.
“We were just sitting on our hands. Not only are we still hemorrhaging money, every step of the way, we’re not able to make money because both of us, we stopped working. This was what we were doing. We thought we were going to be open in August of 2018. We fully planned on that.”
“So, I mean, I’d say we’re probably easy into the $100,000 range. And that’s not even considering nothing is coming in, just money going out.”
It wasn’t until January of this year that the Villarruels found a place that seemed to work for all interested parties.
“It was crazy. It’s been an ordeal, but again, at least we’re up and running now and we’re happy. And we have a beautiful, beautiful shop now, it’s historic. Very cool,” Candace Villarruel said. “It is in the historic Rock Island Train Depot, built in, I believe, 1910. It’s beautiful. It’s a very cool building. It’s been restored and we could not be happier. It has made it a perfect place for a dispensary. It’s been a good home for us.”
The Villarruels didn’t get near the same type of push back from Ponca City officials as they had with previous attempts. They believe a big reason is due to the location.
“This one is in what a lot of people would consider an undesirable area of town. It’s in our South part of town. I lived in the South part of town for years and I never had any problems,” Candace Villaruel said. “I like the south part of town, but apparently it is not as desirable. But we have no neighbors. It’s just a freestanding building. I think it just has to do with location. And it had been for sale… The people that we are currently in a lease situation with, they had a coffee shop and it didn’t get a lot of traffic. People weren’t willing to go off the beaten path for a cup of coffee, but for some medical cannabis, they’re more willing to come to us.”
While their journey to this point has been a difficult one, the Villarruels like where they have landed. Yet, they have not forgotten what they have been through or the people who put them through it.
“A lot of these small communities like Ponca Cities are shutting out what should be legal,” Sergio Villarruel said. “Like Ponca City cannot process or grow in city limits, which there is nothing in the law or the Oklahoma statutes that says that. I’d like to get it out that they’re doing this. I’m not trying to make any more trouble or of anything, because God knows, I’ve probably made enough trying to open up this business. I want to recognize the fact that Ponca City is doing what they want, not listening to the state laws.”
Well, we made it to December 2020. Most of us just barely hanging on by a thread, but here we are still standing, still breathing, and still fighting. That my friend is a celebration in itself.
I can honestly say that 2020 has simultaneously been one of the worst and best years of my life. With each devastating blow to my personal life or business, there has been an equal amount of celebration. However, it is with each obstacle that I have the choice to grow. This choice is in my reaction and response.
I can choose to wallow, become miserable about the situation, allow it to control my thoughts and energy or I continue to move forward. This year has allowed me the opportunity to grow more than I imagined, even in my darkest of days.
If you are ready to leave 2020 in the dust but don’t know how to make a change in your life, I’m here to help. I help my clients every day take charge of their life and create reasonable habit changes within their daily schedule and routine. Below, I have included the four stages of change. Here you can see where you are currently and what steps you need to take to achieve your goals.
This is where you consider change but now ready to start taking action. You believe your health needs to improve but you are stuck in the “how” mentality. You are not ready to ask for help.
You have decided about the change(s) you would like to make in your life and are ready to take action. This stage requires specific goal setting as you prepare yourself to take action.
You have been making habit changes in one or more areas of your life to improve your quality of life. You are adjusting to how it feels to eat healthier and move more. This stage also requires working towards overcoming things that hold you back.
Congratulations! This change has become a habit! You have discovered different ways of sticking with your new favorite routine. When setbacks arise, you are able to get move past them properly.
Now that you have the steps to follow to move forward in 2021, here are my favorite ways to stay on track:
Hire a wellness coach
Having an educated wellness coach on your support team is extremely beneficial when accountability is an area you struggle.
Track your progress in a journal, on your phone, or on an application.
Create a healthy environment at home.
A balanced lifestyle is more than the food we consume, it’s all areas of our life we consume information and energy.
Reward yourself, you deserve it!
Treating yourself to something small you enjoy is a great way to reward your success through your growth journey. This can be something simple like an at-home spa night, treating yourself to a fruit smoothie at a smoothie bar, calling a friend, or purchasing a new wellness gadget.
A college drop out with only one thing in mind…. Stop wasting time. When Kenny Wilmath was caught red-handed by his mom drawing a picture of his grandfather he never picked up art again until way far into his 4th grade of grammar school.
Kenny had something inside of him that needed to come out and it was something that people had no idea was so important until now.
“It was what I saw in my eye. I was that way then and I will always be authentic to what I see and believe.” Kenny was very passionate about making his point. “I’m able to lay my head down at night knowing what I have done or said that day was from the “real” me and that makes me extremely comfortable within my own self.”
”I finally asked the question burning the tip of my tongue, “so why did you get in trouble in the first place?” Kenny replied, “because it looked just like my grandpa and not the way the polished grandpa might look in others eyes.”
Damn, this guys the real deal.
“Yeah, so then once I was introduced to a whole other world of art through my peers, even in the 4th grade, I knew I had some great things in my head that needed to be seen.” Kenny was nearly nonchalant while discussing.
In high-school Kenny was encouraged by a special instructor, Kathy Daily. “She’s an amazing artist and an even more amazing influence!” Kenny went on to tell. “She always pushed me to be more. The tutoring was one of those pushes. She is very dear to my heart.”
Kenny possessed… raw talent. So, they asked him to become a tutor to the other students. Kenny was happy to do so.
His caring personality started to peak out a bit at me.
Like so many other talented artists… Kenny could not find the challenge or inspiration he needed from college. He left and eventually started shelving his work to the back of a closet.
Entering the universe is Kenny’s wife Falyn and brilliant daughter Krista.
Krista has autism cerebral palsy & Lennox Gastaut syndrome. “The Lennox Gastaut is our biggest battle because it causes seizures.” Kenny was explaining. Which brings their cannabis journey to light.
Kenny and Falyn have found a way to connect a positive and authentic energy to bring awareness for those living with this and other unwanted ailments.
Herb & Art was formed and has opened an avenue to destigmatize and educate about natural medicine that could help countless amounts of lives.
Herb and Art is meant to be a relaxed and creative experience. Kenny instructs you step by step while you express yourself through art.
Kenny wanted to make it clear he does not allow cannabis in the kids classes, because they aren’t card holders. Pediatric patients are a class of their own. “However, for our adult classes feel free to bring your own snacks, drink, and Cannabis” Kenny laughs. “It’s a great time and we are all doing something for the greater good.”
Kenny wanted to give one last message regarding our near future… “We can’t fall flat on our faces. We have only one way to go and that way is up. Don’t look back, just move forward.”
Small Batch Farm in Oklahoma Highlight: Wild Hare Farms
“We made the decision to grow outdoors under the sun, organically, in living soil and we’ve been striving for maximum sustainability ever since”
Alex, a biologist by trade with a background in corporate oil and gas; and Paige, a photographer, natural minded mama of 3 boys, and 5th generation farmer are the dynamic duo at Wild Hare Farms.
Wild Hare Farms is a small batch, organic, cannabis farm in Purcell, Oklahoma. Small batch farms, also known as craft cannabis farms, are farms that grow plants with mindfulness and close attention paid to each plant.
Alex and Paige are the planners, growers, trimmers, bookkeepers, marketers, and distributors (with a little help from the community during Croptober).Having launched with the freedom to so do under Oklahoma’s 788, they dove right into an industry they believe in: “it’s just us two here working our asses off every single day to make this dream a reality”.
Wild Hare Farms sits on 70 acres in a rural area of Oklahoma, south of Norman. This land has been in Paige’s family for 60 years. On the land, visitors will find an old rusty windmill turning with the wind, buffalo wallows visible in the fields, and the back of the farm fully terraced.
If you know me, then you know I love sun grown cannabis. I fell in love with it while spending time in Oregon. For me, the connection between plant and sun is so important. Indoor is pretty as heck, right? But I can’t help but love the buds that are kissed by the natural sun. Alex and Paige state: “we believe in working with science and nature to consciously cultivate plant medicine that gives back to the earth rather than taking from it”.
Speaking on multiple levels to my vegan heart, I was happy to interview the “scientist and the hippie who fell in love and made a canna business baby”, as Paige puts it. Check out the full interview below.
Please tell me about the start of Wild Hare Farms- was the journey a hard mission?
“It definitely wasn’t easy! We saw the legalization of cannabis on the horizon thanks to 788 and knew it was a huge opportunity to get into a brand-new industry that we both believe in. Neither of us has ever been the kind to let opportunity pass us by so we dove into figuring out what it would take to make this happen. We looked to other legalized states to give us an idea of what a mature market could look like in our state. That’s when the benefits of growing sustainably became pretty apparent to us.”
Tell me about the ladies on the farm being kissed by the sun?
“Ahhh there’s just something about watching a cannabis plant go from seed to 10+ feet tall in 7 months! The sun grown movement is a shift towards sustainability and giving back to nature. The cool thing about sun grown cannabis is it has to adapt to a wide range of stressors like bugs, weather swings, the intensity of the sun, etc., and the result is a terpene profile that is second to none.
We’ve had up to 17 different terpenes in our strains which is a testament to a life lived outdoors. IPM (integrated pest management) needs to be on point and when done right, sun grown flower is absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions about sun grown cannabis in Oklahoma.
Some dispensaries won’t even buy outdoor because they think it’s of lesser quality. It’s our mission to grow some of the very best Oklahoma sun grown flower and help educate patients on why it’s important to buy organic, sustainably grown cannabis.
The good news is that we’re not alone and there are some other really great Oklahoma outdoor growers producing amazing plant medicine and spreading the word on sustainability.”
You all are an organic farm- what kind of nutrients do you all use for plant health?
“Our plants are grown in 100 gallon living soil fabric pots. Side note: we’re excited about adding some 200-gallon pots next year! The soil in each pot was handmade and mixed by us last year, using locally sourced compost, pumice, coco coir, and various other organic inputs.
We’ve also added fungus, bacteria, and worms to create a truly living soil. We feed those organisms in the soil and in return they feed the plants. The plant communicates with the bacteria and fungus telling them what it needs. In exchange for that service, the plant essentially feeds the microorganisms.
That way, the plant gets what it needs when it needs it. How cool is that?! Our favorite amendments right now are alfalfa meal, neem seed meal, and malted barley. Alfalfa meal has a great N-P-K ratio as well as triacontanol which promotes vigorous plant growth. Neem seed meal also has a great N-P-K and micronutrient balance and is very pest preventative.
So, we foliar spray it before flower as well! Malted barley is full of enzymes that assist the soil microbes in the breakdown of amendments.”
Talk to me about essential oil baths in 80-degree weather. How does this benefit the plant?
“In the Oklahoma summers, you’ve got to plan your IPM around the weather. If it’s too hot, foliar sprays can scorch your plant. As far as the essential oils go, we use a mixture of organic garlic and clove oils for their pest resistant terpenes.
Another part of our IPM is foliar sprays with organic food grade enzymes. Growing outdoors requires consistent preventative measures to keep the bugs and mold away but once you have that down, you can grow some amazing flower!”
Tell me about sprouted seed tea- bubblin tea. What’s that for and about?
“We love making tea for our ladies! We use organic corn and alfalfa seeds for our seed sprouted teas because both contain chemicals that are extremely beneficial to plant growth. This replaces the need to go to the grow store and buy an overpriced bottle of synthetic enzymes.
It’s so easy to make yourself, organic, and better for the environment. The bubbling happens when we make compost tea! We aerate our compost tea for 24-36 hours to produce a bacterial bloom. Watering with compost tea can increase the beneficial bacterial load in your plant’s rhizosphere which promotes overall plant health. We’re really looking forward to trying some homemade KNF (Korean Natural Farming) inputs next year such as fermented fruit and plant juices.”
You all trimmed for 12 hours one day, during a storm, with electricity going in and out. What got you all through that?
“We knew there would likely be times where the electricity would go out and we knew we didn’t want to be scrambling in the moment to find a solution. We bought a generator earlier in the year and it paid for itself in one day during the ice storm!
Every minute, hour, and day is important during harvest and we couldn’t afford to lose a day of trimming because of no electricity. That was only one of many 12+ hour work days this year that we were forced to overcome a difficult obstacle.
Flexibility, resilience, a lot of sweat and tears, and sheer determination to make this dream work has gotten us through everything so far!”
You all aren’t just a cannabis farm; you all grow vegetables too! That speaks to my soul being a vegan cannabis head and all. Are you all huge in plant health and lifestyles?
“Yes, we are actually! Alex handed this question over to me (Paige) because I’m a bit of a health fanatic, ha! For real though, I just care SO much about the health of my family, myself, and the planet that it’s hard for me to look the other way when it comes to nutrition and sustainability.
We eat mostly plant based and grow as much of our own food as we can on our little homestead. You’ll also find us doing yoga and meditation multiple times a week to help keep our body and mind in healthy working order to handle all the physical and mental requirements it takes to keep this farm running.”
Small batch farm today, does this change in let’s say, 5 years?
“We’re looking forward to growing each year but plan to do so in a way that we never lose the craft and sustainability we’re working so hard to achieve. Right now, we’re really enjoying the personal relationship we have with each and every plant we grow and the learning experience that provides. We have big dreams for the future of our farm and strive to be influential in the push toward sustainability in the cannabis community.”
So where can you find Wild Hare Farms flower in Oklahoma? Check out their Instagram page that gets updated with each flower drop!
by Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish – Cannabis Business Lawyer Cannabis Testing Series Part I
Recently OMMA amended its Rules concerning testing requirements for medical marijuana and even generated a one-page diagram to illustrate the guidelines for ease of compliance. However, these amended rules fail to address the overall issue that plagues cannabis testing across the country—inexact methods amidst exact science. Clearly, the lack of standardized protocols to assess cannabis products for potency and safety poses a huge problem for testing laboratories, patients, and, in those states where adult use is legal, recreational users.
Disharmony in state regulations and the processes used by state-licensed laboratories that test cannabis is extremely disconcerting.
When it comes to determining maximum residual limits (MRLs) of contaminants and adulterants, and specifying the levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), terpenes, and the other currently-known constituent components in cannabis (which exceed 80 in number), it is possible that two certified labs could utilize two different testing methods on identical samples to reach two similar, but not identical conclusions.
In fact, a 2018 report by Marijuana Business Daily disclosed that there are numerous accounts of labs producing starkly different potency measurements for identical products, with results varying by as much as 40%. This information is troubling and confirms that the issue must be addressed by the industry as a whole and by our own OMMA.
Ideally, such lab certification requirements and the testing processes and protocols would be developed for the cannabis industry as a whole, at the national level. However, given marijuana’s continued status as an illegal, controlled substance under federal law, a national, standardized set of testing regulations is unlikely to be developed in the near future. But that does not preclude the development of same here in Oklahoma. This standardization would reduce product recalls and make it more difficult for rogue labs to engage in pay-for-results schemes like the recent debacle involving an OMMA-licensed laboratory that was stripped of its license upon discovery of its dishonest testing methods.
While many labs consider their processing and protocols to be proprietary, confidential information, arguments to the contrary are substantial. Standardization of testing methods would eliminate the variability in test results for marijuana potency and in testing for contaminants. Lab protocols often differ in the specific solvents or reagents used during extraction and analysis, and the instruments used by labs can have different manufacturers and calibration standards, both of which will contribute to variations in testing results.
When labs arrive at different results for tests run on identical samples, chances are high that each laboratory is analyzing its sample using a different method.
Without properly validated methods and laboratory certification programs, this lack of uniformity in test results will continue, to the detriment of patients and medical marijuana businesses here in Oklahoma.
Additionally, the wide variety of cannabis products can, in and of itself, complicate testing and contribute to the lack of uniformity in test results, particularly when those conducting the testing do not have formidable scientific backgrounds and/or degrees. Some cannabis products are easier to analyze than others, and each product must be subjected to a customized cannabinoid extraction method before ingredients can be successfully tested. Many employees in Oklahoma testing laboratories are not steeped in scientific degrees or backgrounds. Thus, differences in test results are all too common.
While safety testing is, at least in principle, more standardized than potency testing because labs can rely on methods federal agencies have approved as to other botanical products, there remains a serious concern about the lack of uniform directives as to safe levels of contaminants and application of those levels to smokables versus edibles, the former being a mode of consumption that poses different risks than edibles.
More studies are needed concerning thermal combustion and degradation of pesticides prior to inhalations, to ensure safe threshold levels are known and enforced.
OMMA should consider this variant in its requirements for the testing of smokables versus edibles, and develop standards applicable to each type of medical marijuana product to ensure proper testing and regulation of same.
While lab certification procedures and uniform testing standards should be a top priority for every state, every patient, and every cannabis business, this does not seem to be the case in Oklahoma or in any other state, currently. Efforts must be focused on these important issues to ensure that cannabis products available to patients here in Oklahoma are safe, and that the laboratories licensed by OMMA who are testing those products place integrity above profits, are operated by knowledgeable persons with backgrounds in the sciences relevant to cannabis testing, and are equipped with clear and concise regulations that specify uniform testing methods and outline acceptable potency and safety testing results.
by Josh Leone Josh Leone is the co-host of the Truly Medicine Podcast & representative of EZ Street Cannabis Products.
The holiday season is coming whether I like it or not just as the deadline for this article and my male pattern baldness. I can’t help but think that I’m not alone in thinking, “what the hell is 2020 gonna do
I say to this year, you can have the same 40 Christmas songs played on repeat in every store. Keep the mass consumption and the overall commercialism of the whole thing. I’ve always been more of a Thanksgiving guy anyway.
Being thankful and surrounded by food, family and friends has more of a cannabis vibe to it anyways.
It’s funny how the push and pull of the holiday season feels like the manic personality of this year. The year we have come to love and hate. The calm and the chaos of a Thanksgiving day spent demanding that our kids be grateful for everything that they have before we lay them down to bed just to go out the next morning at 4:30am and drop kick a total stranger to buy them more does not feel right to me.
Regardless of how my family spends their holidays, 2020 can have chaos and we’ll keep calm. Terpene profiles are very important when trying to stay in front of anxiety. Linalool, Myrcene and Caryophyllene are three terpenes that can help.
Strains: Blue Dream, Northern Lights, Alien OG
Strains: GG4, Chemdawg, OG Kush
It’s been a rough year for everyone and we’re all stressed, and have been stressed. So remember this DAMNIT, whether you’re passing the garlic mashed potatoes to grandma or the Hindu Kush to grandpa, just take what you need baby and pass it to the left.
At this writing we are a few weeks away from perhaps the most important election in our history. Further, it seems our world is upside. Covid, corruption, rioting in US cities. What to make of it all? I tend to take the optimistic view.
How do you create change? It isn’t by “going along”. You create change by fighting an entrenched system and that is difficult. What is happening is about change. We, the American People are demanding it. We want truth, as hard as that may be to swallow.
In my mind, America is “waking up” just like #wethepeople did here in Oklahoma when we demanded change. Our Oklahoma medical marijuana movement is a beacon of what can be done when we unify around a cause.
And why is marijuana important? Marijuana works first and foremost. It has medical efficacy with numerous disregulation/diseases. By WHY does it work? Therein lies the magic.
It works because it affects an internal system we have called the endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system is currently severely under studied and under appreciated by pharma and medicine. When this system is fully understood great strides can be made in medicine. In fact great strides are being made right now by numerous people in the endocannabinoid field.
For instance, our company, GnuPharma, is now getting exceptional results with autism symptoms in a safe formulation. We were able to develop it due to our understanding of the endocannabinoid system. Autistic people have disregulations in the ECS.
As the ECS model is fully understood by researchers, physicians, and educators, no disease of disregulation will be out of reach! Brave new world a’comin’…let’s stick together here in Oklahoma and see where we can take it!
Your December 2020 horoscope and what Cannabis strain will help you get through it! May you have a very merry and bright holiday season!
Sagittarius, your birthday gift this month is a big one! You are going to be pushed forward at a fast rate into whatever it is you are meant to be doing as opposed to all this running around that you have been doing lately. You know exactly what I mean, running but never really getting anywhere or failing to see where exactly they put that pesky finish line. December will ask you to drill down and pay attention and you just might learn something. Pick up the Indica Purple Punch so that you canstay in one place long enough to receive the signs.
December brings you a time to heal, dear Scorpio. This could be in your personal life or career, but it is looking like it could be both. Whether it is family, friends, or a co worker that seems to have wronged you, take this month to focus on balancing your head and heart. Grab the Indica GMO Cookies so you can relax and be prepared for some healing without falling asleep while doing it.
December is going to ask you to be more aware and mindful of the affects you have on the world and people around you, Capricorn. The holiday season can be hectic and fast paced, and that is in a non 2020 world. Take the time to go with the flow, be kind, and be more self-aware and you will make it through this season unscathed in the Karma department. Stay focused on your goals while staying open minded with the hybrid Member Berry.
Time to boss up this month, Aquarius. You have always been one, but it is time you acted like it. You have spent enough time moping around and doubting yourself, now is the time to catch the opportunities being hurled your way by the universe and turn them into something you can work with. Pick up the Sativa Zamaldelica to stay energetic. Happy, but most importantly focused during this process.
December has presented the perfect time for you to grow in the career and achievements sector of your life, dear Pisces. I know this is not normally something you focus on in your dreamy world but major recognition or a major opportunity is headed your way in the real world, and it will need your attention. Stay in your vibe while swimming outside your normal stream by picking up the hybrid Blue Dream.
December brings you a time to work on your self-awareness and the affects you are making in this world. Be sure to be open minded and a little slower to spark that infamous unwillingness to make a mistake, Aries. Grab the Hybrid Runtz so that you can stay euphoric and elevated during those more trying times this month.
This month will have you completely out of your comfort zone dear Taurus. December will ask you to give up old grudges, toxic relationships, and to bury some of those hatchets you have been holding onto. Deep breaths. Grab the Hybrid Silver Mountain to stay focused, uplifted, and happy during this time.
December brings a time to focus on your faith or lack thereof dear Gemini. This month will also bring new people into your life, it is your job to use that spot-on intuition of yours and follow it when it comes to these people. Pick up the Sativa Mr. Clean to stay calm, talkative, and coherent enough to get things done.
December is a time for you to give up that imposter syndrome dear Cancer. Seriously, you know what you are doing, and it is time for you to flaunt it! Some self-love could be in order this month as well, you are complete on your own and It is time you remember that. Pick up the Hybrid Mimosa to stave off the fear but keep the energy to shine in that spotlight!
December is about love for you Leo. A relationship that has been coming to anend for a while will finally come to a halt or someone new might come into your life or you could get the green light to take a connection deeper. Either way it is important you listen to your gut with your personal relationships this month. Pick up the hybrid 707 Truthband so that you can stay relaxed while trying to listen to your heart.
New is the mantra for you this month Virgo. Could be a new home, new addition to the family, new job offers, new relationship. It is Christmas after all and after everything 2020 has thrown at us the Universe is sending something amazing your way. Pick up the Indica Ice Cream Cake to be able to get a good night’s sleep, I know how hard it can be to get some zzz’s with all that excitement.
In order to be a good driver, one must be able to look past the windshield. This may seem obvious dear Libra, but December brings you an opportunity to look at the big picture instead of all the minor details you are so awesome at keeping track of. Pick up the hybrid Motorbreath and let it help you relax and go more with the flow instead of controlling everything.
Managing mental wellness is a daily struggle for many people, in fact, it is said that approximately 43.8 million adults in the United States identify with at least one mental illness.
The most common mental illnesses throughout the United States include anxiety, depression, substance abuse disorder (alcohol included), bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and PTSD.
The winter months may prove to be especially difficult for individuals already suffering from one or more mental illnesses. The struggle to stay balanced mentally during the winter may be attributed to the shift in the body’s natural rhythm as the sky gets brighter later in the morning and darker earlier in the evening.
This seasonal shift alone is responsible for the condition “seasonal depression”. Seasonal depression affects 14% of Americans annually. Although the shift in daylight may seem small, it plays a major factor in the rhythm of the body. Pairing societies already massive mental wellness crisis with a national health pandemic has me worried, to say the least.
A national survey on mental health during the coronavirus pandemic hosted by The Single Care, states that 59% of Americans are aware their mental wellness is being affected in a negative manner. If you find yourself also struggling, below I have highlighted some winter wellness tips along with strains and the terpene profiles that support the endocannabinoid system best for the most common mental illnesses.
Make a plan for each day to accomplish.
Keep up with your personal hygiene.
Stay stocked in medicine for at least a week at a time.
Schedule weekly calls with friends and loved ones.
Add 15-30 minutes of movement to your day via a walk, yoga, anything!
Know your triggers and have a plan of action.
Take advantage of virtual therapy.
Here are some of the top-rated strains to support mental wellness during the winter months.
OG Kush – Relieves stress, anxiety, and stimulates the CB1 receptors.
Headband – Mood enhancing.
Northern Lights – Wonderful for bipolar.
Green Crack – Helps depressive symptoms and is a wonderful motivator.
Some of my favorite terpenes for winter months are found in many different strains, so if there is a symptom you suffer from more, search for a strain that is higher in those terpenes. That profile will support the endocannabinoid system in the areas you desire specifically.
Caryophyllene – A common terpene found in many strains. This terpene is a favorite of mine because of the unique response it has in the body. This terpene responds with both CB1 and CB2 receptors and assists in relieving stress symptoms and calms the mind and body. A wonderful terpene for those suffering from anxiety, depression, and stress-related symptoms.
Limonene – This bright and sunny terpene is an instant
mood booster and energizer which is helpful for those
suffering from depression or anxiety.
Linalool – Provides a sweet floral smell romancing the
nose and body into a soothing calm.
Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information.
Sowing the Seed is a monthly column dedicated to spreading knowledge and thought provoking pieces around the medicinal benefits of cannabis, its components, and products.
The goal of each piece is to underscore the power of the plant while stripping away the stigma of cannabis.
Herbage Magazine feels very strongly that Chet and his positive values will help us to continue to solidify our very own similar values within the world of cannabis.
We have requested an introduction from Chet Tucker himself!
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to further the awareness cannabis and the benefits while hopefully making it fun to learn along. Though I’ve a crash course in cannabis over the last decade or so, it wasn’t until I dove head first into the medicinal community a few years ago that I widened my knowledge. Losing my father as a result of epilepsy, at the young age of 54, I became more and more interested in why we allow a ‘government’ to control our use of natural remedies. Had he access to cannabis or CBD, I firmly believe he’d still be with me and it’s truly the foundation of why I’m passionate about the best medicinal values of cannabis.
Additionally, I believe that humans have every right to plants, especially one that has a history of healing that dates back far back in the halls of earth’s history.
With years of corporate management and communication, I’m thrilled to be here each month to promote the awareness of cannabis.”
Fun? It’s rare. Okay, I’ll stop stating the obvious right off the bat here.
I show up in the middle of an afternoon to find two grown men having the time of their lives while at “work.”
Brian Gammill, owner of Oklahoma Medicine, and Tim Jouett, man behind the curtain at Oklahoma Medicine know exactly what they are trying to accomplish and they are doing so with integrity and a little fire.
Oklahoma Medicine is an Oklahoma cannabis processing, edibles, and infused products company. They specialize in extractions for wholesale commercial licensees. They are Oklahoma grown and Oklahoma processed.
BRIDGES First of all why cannabis? What made you decide to become a provider for those in need
BRIAN I absolutely love Cannabis and have since I first smoked it when I was 16 years old. It’s safe, it’s enjoyable, and it brings a tremendous amount of relief to a wide variety of medical conditions.
TIM I have witnessed first hand what Cannabis can do for those in need. It’s truly life changing for so many patients. I love seeing the change that washes over someone in pain who brings Cannabis into their daily wellness routine.
BRIDGES Brian, tell me about your upbringing here in Oklahoma. How did that come into play when deciding to set up shop here?
BRIAN I was born and raised in Oklahoma City. I’m a true Okie native. In fact, my wife is Caddo, so we are truly native native!! ? I grew up on 63rd and Meridian in the middle class Rollingwood neighborhood, graduated from Putnam City Original in 1996. I wasn’t really receiving the support I wanted for my interest in marijuana, so I ended up moving to Denver in 2012 before the vote….
Yes, I voted for the legalization in Colorado! We were living happily in Colorado and I was growing in my basement in Denver…. and unfortunately, my Dad ended up passing away about the same time the laws in Oklahoma were changed to allow medical marijuana. We had to move back to settle my Father’s estate anyhow as he had a large 160 acre ranch up by Guthrie that needed a lot of work.
When the laws changed, we decided to open the company. So I’ve truly come full circle…. from Oklahoma, back to Oklahoma, okie born and bred, native Oklahoman company.
BRIDGES What makes you most proud about your company, Oklahoma Medicine?
BRIAN We are doing something quite different from the vast majority of these companies here. We wanted to create a very clean, very pure, super high quality line of infused products that utilized only premium inputs and ingredients. And we wanted to do it all under one brand, Oklahoma Medicine, using only the safest, state of the art equipment and technology. I’m so proud of what we have created, our products are truly fit to be called Medicine.
TIM I love being able to work for a company that wants to help people. It’s cool to make a product that can help so many different types of ailments for people of all walks of life.
BRIDGES I’ve been using your salve for about a month now. I’ve used this on my face, my arm, a cold sore, even a bug bite. It’s worked every single time. What gives?
BRIAN First off, this product is amazing! It’s something no one thinks about, topicals are such an untapped market. Let’s face it….most people do not walk into a dispensary determined to buy a topical from the very start…..but when they do finally buy our 1:1 topical pain salve and try it for themselves, the feedback we are hearing is outstanding.
BRIAN This product is so flexible, it can be used for such a wide range of ailments, its truly awesome medicine! My best friend uses it for his psoriasis, I use it for my back muscle and nerve pain from my L1 microdiscectomy I had years ago…we’ve even had ladies tell us they rub it on their feet before slipping their fancy high heels on to go out with their friends on a Saturday night. The salve helps fight the inflammation caused from dancing the night away in high heels. We are constantly finding new uses and applications for our topical. Its been such a blessing for so many people who have found this medicine!
BRIDGES What’s this fancy contraption here? Tell me about your process.
TIM We start with supercritical CO2 extraction, which is safe and efficient. It’s widely used in botanicals, soft drinks, beer, nutraceuticals, makeup, and hemp processing aside from the obvious THC extraction. This technology is very expensive, but it produces the cleanest extracts around. CO2 naturally dissipates into the atmosphere when we remove the extract from the machine, there is nothing that needs to be purged out of the extract to make it safe for consumption. There are no pentanes, no hexanes, no toxic hydrocarbon residuals that have to be removed from our product. It’s just safe and toxin free from the start. It’s a very clean, pharma grade extract.
BRIAN From there, once we extract it, we refine it with organic, food-grade ethanol to remove the fats and waxes and further concentrate the extract. Finally, we distill it to truly purify it. Our final distillate is what I would consider a broad spectrum distillate, while it is delta9 THC heavy, it also contains many minor cannabinoids such as CBD, CBN, and THCV.
BRIDGES If you were told that you had to spend a month on a deserted island and could bring an endless supply of ONLY two of your products what would they be and why?
BRIAN First off….The 1:1 topical pain salve for sure. If I was stranded on a deserted island, I’d probably be tired, dirty, and sandy, and have a lot of bug bites and rashy skin conditions from the sun…. so I’d be rubbing myself down with the salve daily to stay sharp!
TIM Definitely the 1:1 topical, my body is going to be sore from for- aging and building shelter. I’d also bring some of our capsules. I would HAVE to medicate and eating one of our capsules every couple of hours would help keep me level headed and calm so that the stress of being stranded wouldn’t be overwhelming.
BRIAN Secondly, I’d probably bring the peanut butter cups. I just love them. They’re phenomenal! Just like a Reeses. After the topical rubdowns, I’d probably want to get high and relax, so I’d definitely munch a few PB cups and then lay in the sun and try to catch some crab or fish and drink some coconut water.
BRIDGES If I am on the fence about cannabis and its ability to heal the body, what are you going to tell me to get off of that fence?
BRIAN Try our topical. None of the euphoria or high that may intimidate certain age groups and restrict them from trying medicinal Cannabis products….with ALL of the healing. You don’t get high, but you reap all of the medicinal benefits of Cannabis. Its perfect for Grandma, or your yoga loving wife or daughter who cares for their body.
BRIDGES How has cannabis helped each of you besides business?
TIM It has always helped me with my anxiety and depression. It helps me approach each day with positivity.
BRIAN I can finally sleep at night. No more back pain or sciatica! I love it. It takes away my anxiety and helps me with my depression and antisocial nature.
BRIDGES What’s next for OM?
BRIAN More competitions. More awards. More sales. More patient pop-ups and meet and greets. We are trying to increase our exposure across the board, and are working hard to be found state-wide. We want to ensure our products are available at every corner of the state, so regardless of where you live as a medical patient, you can walk into your local dispensary and try our award winning products for yourself.
By Michael Kinney
In 2016 Daniel Lewis took a trip to Santa Rosa, Calif. While the views of Sonoma County are amazing and touring the wineries can be enjoyable, that’s not why he took the 1,600 mile trip to the West Coast.
Lewis was attending the Emerald Cup, which he describes as the biggest Cannabis Championship and Harvest Festival in the nation.
“I had a great time and really enjoyed the environment,” Lewis said. “I said it that weekend, when Oklahoma legalizes cannabis, that this is what I want to do. I wanted to throw a cannabis championship. I liked the business model. I liked the atmosphere. I loved the camaraderie that it brings. To be able to finally smoke cannabis in front of everybody and not be this thing we’re trying to hide is huge, Oklahoma needed an event like this.”
Lewis had only one problem. At the time cannabis was still illegal in Oklahoma. But he knew at some point that would change. He just didn’t know when. The moment came sooner than Lewis expected when State Question 788 was put before the people in 2018.
“I knew we had a really good chance of passing it when we got it on the ballot,” Lewis said. “I just didn’t expect that it would have happened so soon in Oklahoma. We’re a pretty red state, we’re a conservative state, and the fact that we did it here, I mean, that speaks volumes for medical cannabis.” As soon as Lewis got over being stunned, he knew what his next move needed to be: bring a cannabis festival to Oklahoma as soon as possible.
That idea spawned into what is now the annual Cowboy Cup. It was held for the first time in 2019.
“We hosted the event the first year we could do it,” Lewis said. “They passed 788 in October of 2018, so we didn’t have time to do it that year. So we started planning for 2019. We set it in December to include outdoor. It’s not a comprehensive state-wide competition without outdoor flower.”
The 2nd Annual Cowboy Cup is set for Dec. 4-5 at the Tumbleweed Dance Hall in Stillwater.
Lewis and the other event sponsors didn’t want to settle for just a one day showcase. When they put together the festival, they wanted it to be, as their tagline suggests, ‘A Cannabis Event Oklahoma Can be Proud of.’
In addition to naming this year’s champions, the Cowboy Cup offers a variety of entertainment throughout the weekend, including glass blowing expositions, live art, cannabis-ed seminars, food trucks and live music. Friday night’s line up includes music from Big Smo, Jack Waters and the Unemployed, and TJ Mays. Saturday features several acoustic acts on the Herbage Lounge Stage, and the Full Flava Kings and Rousey on the main stage starting at 7 p.m.
“The Cowboy Cup is an inclusive celebration for all that support the choice of cannabis. The music, food, and people are diverse and last year’s event blew me away with how many people come together to celebrate,” said Chet Tucker of Arcadia Brands.
“There’s a vendor tent with cultivators, processors, dispensary booths, and other goods and services for the cannabis community. There’s a lounge tent to take a load off and have a bite to eat, a drink, and smoke if you choose. And most importantly, within the iconic Tumbleweed, you have the clean dance hall, a stage for live music, artist booths, and even seminars to learn about products and services. The staff and volunteers of The Cowboy Cup are there to ensure everyone is enjoying their time and their level of dedication to serving vendors, sponsors, and ticket holders are second to none. Put simply, it’s a two-day celebration of enjoying what Mother Earth naturally provides us.”
Arcadia Brands is one of several sponsors who have dedicated their time, products and money to making the Cowboy Cup a success. Others include Express Toxicology, Escalated Greens, Bros Grimm, Oaksterdam, Simply Green Farms, Golden Trends, Ruby Mae’s, Argent, Green Green Expo, Kosmik Brands, Green Mountain Farms, Zenoa Cannabis and Red Sky.
“On top of working with our excellent sponsors, we pride ourselves on partnering with media and marketing companies, like iHeartMedia, Herbage Magazine, Custom 420 and HotBox Digital to promote medical cannabis and all of the great folks in this industry,” Lewis said.
“Who doesn’t love a great event? Daniel and his team work year-round to make sure the Cowboy Cup is just that, a great event,” said Kaylen Newbury of Express Toxicology Services. “It ties together patient advocacy, education, competition, community and a deep-rooted love for cannabis.”
One of the main goals of the Cowboy Cup is to spread the word about the importance of cannabis in the medical industry.
With the passage of SQ788, it gave Oklahoma a chance to be a major player in the medical marijuana field. And it’s an opportunity the people of the state have taken advantage of so far.
According to Cannabisreportworld.com, Oklahoma is second to only Oregon in the number of dispensaries per capita at 15.6 per 100,000 residents. There were nine Oklahoma cities listed within the top 30 rankings as well.
The rankings were introduced at the start of 2020. So undoubtedly the market share has increased.
“If you want to go get a grower’s license in California, it’s somewhere around a million dollars,” Lewis said. “You can do that same thing with unlimited plants in Oklahoma for $3,000. That’s an open market that helps keep out all the big businesses because we’ve got plenty of little businesses supplying the market. We don’t need big stores coming down here. Our medical marijuana industry is growing to be the biggest one in the nation. We’re not ranked yet, but that’s coming.”
Golden Trend’s Celina Harrison agrees with Lewis.
“With its free-market approach, Oklahoma is one of the largest and fastest-growing markets in the county,” Harrison said. “To other states with more restrictive licensing, Oklahoma represents the financial future of what cannabis can become. It’s a new industry that is highly entrepreneurial in nature. Standardization, quality control and continuing research will benefit the citizens of Oklahoma immeasurably.”
The objective of the Cowboy Cup is to get all of the facets of the Oklahoma cannabis industry in one place so they can strengthen their position nationwide.
“It’s about getting everyone together in one place. Growers, processors, dispos, patients and the canna-curious,” Lewis said. “It’s a harvest celebration, party and overall great time, but at its core, it’s a good competition that helps the industry. A lot of collaborations come out of this. We do provide a festival environment, but at the same time, we want to provide a good networking environment. The competition helps set the standard for quality cannabis.”
Oklahoma-based, Desarae Gibson of Escalated Greens says “The Cowboy Cup means everything to this industry. It’s a patient-focused event celebrating Oklahoma’s cannabis companies wherein the industry gets to indulge in the community; sharing ideas and trade secrets. The man behind the event is an Okie with a passion for this community and the businesses within it and this event will be proof of just that.”
Gibson reiterated, “We want to share what we’ve learned along the way and learn from others companies what they’ve discovered, but the most exciting part is educating the patients and learning from them what they like and what they’re looking for in their medical marijuana.”
The Cowboy Cup features two divisions for growers to enter their products for competition. They are Sun Grown Flower Entry and Sun Grown Light Assists Flower Entry.
Growers and processors compete in 19 different categories, including sun-grown flower, sun-grown light-assist flower, indoor flower, pre-rolls, concentrates, edibles, tinctures and topicals.
“I believe the Cowboy Cup puts a spotlight on the best products in the state,” Chet Tucker said. “Those that submit their products are vetted through two phases of testing and independent judging. To me, it means transparency and a celebration of the freedom of choosing plant-based medicine.”
Winners in each category are awarded high quality sterling silver, gold and brass belt buckles custom made by Montana Silversmiths.
The winners also receive a $500 scholarship to Oaksterdam University that is transferable to whomever they wish. Oaksterdam University is recognized as leader in academic rigor and applied learning in cannabis education. “The overall winner, The Grand Flower Champion receives a special buckle and a full ride scholarship to Oaksterdam,” Lewis said. “This winner is chosen between the winners of indoor and outdoor flower categories. Competitors who rank high in our competition find their products selling more rapidly and at higher profits due to increased demand. This competition lets consumers know who has the best products in the state.”
Since the inception of the event, Lewis focuses on the integrity and legitimacy of the competition. He has seen other festivals fall prey to cheating scandals and biased results and he doesn’t want that to happen in Oklahoma. Their motto is “You Can’t Buy our Buckle”.
“Our judging is and always will be completely fair, unbiased and educated. We will gather judges from across the state. Some of which will work in the industry and some will simply be patients,” Lewis said. “This year we have made some big changes to our judging. We not only have expanded our judging panels from 10 to 20 judges per category, but also we have partnered with the world-renowned Oaksterdam University to assist in setting our judging criteria and scales. On top of that, they are providing a training workshop for all of our judges. Our judges will receive blind, coded samples for each entry with the exception of the edibles and tincture categories, which we have changed to “branded” categories this
“I am so proud to associate with Daniel and his team of experts that are bringing the true nature of our loving cannabis community together,” James Bridges said. “Herbage Magazine and all of our team are very pleased to team up with positive and caring people and their brands.”
Because the championship is known for its honesty and transparency, companies want to be associated with it.
“The Cowboy Cup increases visibility and highlights the professionalism Oklahoma producers are bringing to the medical cannabis industry in Oklahoma,” Harrison said. “At Golden Trends we were eager to throw our support behind the state’s first cannabis championship by being a Gold Sponsor. We encourage everyone to come out and support the efforts of so many within the industry. Whether you are already a patient or just cannabis curious, you should attend this event and enjoy the music, food and competition.”
The Cowboy Cup has the ability to affect several areas at once, according to Newbury with Express Toxicology. “Oklahoma is so different from other states in how we operate our Medical Marijuana program,” Newbury said. “Master and novice growers have the opportunity to enter and show off their babies. They put their hearts behind their products and patients’ health and well-being first.”
According to Lewis, the first Cowboy Cup had around 130 total entries vying for the championship titles in various categories. He is expecting much more this year.
“I think we had 50 or 60 flower entries last year. We have 81 of them this year,” Lewis said. “The concentrates went crazy. The edibles went crazy. The numbers really went up in those categories. So we’re at 175 total entries so far, and the sun-grown flower won’t be in until mid-November. And I imagine we’ll get another 40. So I think I expected a number over 200 this year and I felt if we got that, we’d be on target. If the outdoor growers show up like the other categories, we’ll easily meet that goal.”
In many ways the Cowboy Cup is a reflection of the cannabis industry in the state. Despite its youth, it has gained national attention and continues to grow unprecedented. The same can be said of what is taking place in Oklahoma. In just a few short years the state has made its mark in the world of cannabis, and
the future seems to be even brighter.
“The cannabis industry in Oklahoma is continually evolving and growing. We’re a central piece within the United States and we’re being heard loud and clear across the country,” Tucker said. “We’ve had some amazing cross-pollination of people from states that have had a jump on the legalization of cannabis and I see it continuing. I do love, however, how Oklahomans are learning about the locally built companies and supporting them while also learning which medicinal offerings best suit them. I believe it’ll continue to grow as we support those producing the best cannabis and products in the state.
Are you a bong, jay, edible, or dab rig kind of friend? Take the quiz to find out….
1.) Your favorite meal is:
A. Breakfast Duh! Have to start the day off right.
B. Lunch! Everyone needs a mid-day pick me up.
C. Brunch. Come on now, who says no to bottomless mimosas?
D. Dinner, the time where everyone gets to eat a great meal and talk about their day.
2.) It’s 2am and your close friend is calling, what do you do?
A. Answer it on the first ring ready for anything.
B. Answer the phone ready to tell them this better be an emergency.
C. At 2am my phone is on silent and buried under who knows what on my bed.
D. Don’t answer but shoot them a text and ask if everything is alright.
3.) It’s the freakin’ weekend baby, what are you doing?
A. Gathering everyone for a bonfire and sesh!
B. Having the same group of friends over for our normal weekend festivities.
C. Its Friday, I don’t know what is going on this weekend, I live life by the seat of my pants.
D. Good book? Netflix binge and smoke? Good friends? Who knows, but I know I will be comfy doing it.
4.) What is your favorite time of year?
A. Summer! Bring on the sun, fun, and memories with friends!
B. Has to be holiday season for me, time to see my oldest and dearest friends.
C. Does 420 or 710 count tho?
D. Fall, from the cozy smells to the friend meal gatherings, it is my favorite!
5.) If your friends described you in one word, what would it be?
B. Old Fashioned
Mostly A’s: You are a bong! Your reliable, fun, and know exactly what you want out of life. If there is a friend in need, your there no questions asked, you are there to lend a hand. On the other hand, stubborn might be your middle name and it is very hard for you to change your routines up.
Mostly B’s: Congrats! You are a jay, which means you are a good old-fashioned kind of friend. You are comfortable on your own or in groups of people most likely in the center sharing jokes and laughter with everyone. However, it might be hard to get you out of your normal party or sesh routes sometimes to meet new friends and have new adventures.
Mostly C’s: You my friend are a dab rig! You are charming, the life of the party, and always know how to have a good time. You always make sure that no one is left out of the fun and you are usually the first to come up with crazy ideas that may or may not be the most thought through. It might be hard to nail you down or count on you however, which could make having a close group of friends hard.
Mostly D’s: You are an edible! You are the friend that feels most like home and you know exactly how to make everyone around you instantly comfortable. Like fresh baked bread on thanksgiving with the whole family sitting at the table, that is your vibe! On the other hand, it might be a little hard for you to set boundaries when your friends might be taking a little too much from you.
Ever see that little flower making its way through that concrete crack, not letting anything stop it from growing? Growing up in areas that aren’t always kind to those that are different doesn’t stop those who are different from existing, growing just like that flower, despite the concrete that tried to stop them. This is the story of Tyson Meade. An artist in many ways, music and paint, but really has mastered the art of growing no matter the obstacle that is laid before him. You can see this in his music, go listen to Chainsaw Kittens. The group he is most known for as being the lead singer. But, in my humble opinion, Tyson Meade has done his best work as a solo music artist.
It was an honor and such a pleasure to meet Tyson Meade, The Grandfather of Alternative Rock. In case you didn’t know. Now you do. Being called this by none other than the Smashing Pumpkins, Tyson takes this as such a compliment. Coming from beginnings here in Oklahoma to being a rockstar recognized worldwide, the Grandfather of Alternative Rock is living his life happily with his flock of chickens that could basically have a television show of their own.
TM: You know like, I was a dreamer as a kid you know, I had this epiphany or realization not too long ago that music for me always meant security, I was the youngest and my oldest sis, my only sister, who was the oldest, The Beatles, you know… my mom was like, kind of the same way, she really loved the Supremes and she would dance, and so it’s just… I realized I never really knew exactly what it was that it just it is something that is part just so much a part of my you know before you know before I can speak I just heard music.
You know and I grew up out in the country, and it was very you know I was kind of the oddball. Because everybody was like cowboys and you know playing army and that kind of stuff and I’m acting like I’m a beetle, you know. It just kind of went from there you know, I just, it’s just always in there.
There is this movie called Jackie and Hillary I don’t know if you’ve ever seen it, where it’s the two sisters and one is, it’s either an Australian or British movie, that and they’re both musicians, they’re both classical musicians, and one plays like a cello and she decides you know she doesn’t want to do it anymore. It’s just such a part of her identity and she leaves the cello in the cab and the cabbie finds her and is like “here’s your cello” and she realizes oh… this is tied to you.
I was in China and I just decided you know, I lost my record contract and my booking agent. All this stuff that happened and I was just like oh you know “screw making music.” Blah blah blah, so you know I was in China and having this great time then I met this student, he was a violinist and he was so talented and so he got me back into music again. Because I realized that there was this thing that people have, some people have that, you you know, and like part of like in that movie that I was just talking about, Jackie and Hillary, it’s just you know it’s your destiny kind of whether you like it or not.
I envy people who have that.
TM: You know I feel very fortunate, because there’s so many circumstances that led to where I’m at where I just happened to be around people in college. My co-writer Todd Walker, Defenestration, who was as like determined as I was. Then you know that sort of splintered apart because we were all really young and we didn’t really understand what we had. Then I formed the Chainsaw Kittens and that really did well. And we you know, and so there’s been a series of luck too. There has been a series of blows as well you know, it’s all right. It all makes for a really great story at the end of the day I think.
So when you were in China, was that the only time in your life that you wanted to distance yourself from music?
TM: Yeah I think because, I think it took me so long you know. I lived out in the middle of nowhere, I was out in the country, outside of Bartlesville. And at a time when you know if you wanted to play music (it) was like good luck, you got to be in New York or LA or something, you know.
I took drum lessons all my life you know, and my drum lesson teacher had played in clubs and stuff, that was kind of the extent of it. And you know, like in a cover band. No one really took it serious that oh you could, you can go from, you can go beyond that and be like a national artist that’s making albums on the major labels so whatever, and so it took so long to get to a point where I was at, making records, you know, it was or it seemed like it. (laughing) I mean I was…. you know, 22 or 23 when you know we made our first record then I thought so it’s taking so long and then I look back and go oh my gosh, I was only 22.
I’ve been thinking about life being older now, and how you know… you just, when you’re when…. you’re young you just have all of this ambition and you don’t really know how to get to where you’re going, and there’s all these sort of, you have these pitfalls, but then you also have these really great times that you don’t really realize how great they are until you look back and go you know, “that was such a good time.”
You mentioned luck, what are some of the luck circumstances you have had?
TM: You know, the luck circumstances it’s funny, Wayne Coyne, from The Flaming Lips lives across the street there. And so and I’ve known him, we both started out basically at the same time and they made their first record on their own, their an independent record and we played a lot of shows together at like, the American Legion or whatever. Just like house parties or whatever. We would play shows where 20 people would show up! You know, it was just right when it was starting out in like ‘84 or whatever. They made their first record and then he helped us, you know he helped my band, Defenestration sort of navigate the waters. Then his girlfriend at the time knew like, they started getting radio play out on the coast on college stations. So we knew where to send our records and we had sort of, you know no one really had a guide of what to do. And we actually had someone that was doing the same thing at the same time and help, and trying to reach the same audience.
So that was one of the lucks and then when the Kittens formed, we were doing well after, we set our first record and we were looking for a producer for a second album. And uh… the Smashing Pumpkins were making their first record at that time and they heard it and put Fig who it went on of course to create Nirvana.
Then the Smashing Pumpkins became really great friends and like, Billy got us our booking agent for us. Really did a lot to kind of get us further along. So there was some luck, but then there was, you know, I think there was just a lot of things that we know, we signed some bad record deals and stuff like that bands always do and lost some of her publishing rights, and you know, different things that just happen. I just try not to be bitter about any of that.
How do you feel about being called the Godfather of alternative rock?
TM: Oh gosh, you know, it’s sweet, like it really is nice to have that sort of accolade or whatever. And you know, I think that when I started, you know it was just trying to bring life back to a music medium that had diminished itself, you know, it’s like you have these bands like, they started off it seemed like, a family, that seemed to start off really like on the right foot. Then two or three albums in and they’re just like a parody of themselves.
And you know there were all these really great bands when I was a kid and some of them didn’t know, they just self-destructed like the New York Dolls. And they were kind of bigger than life and that’s what I wanted to be.
With you know, the Godfather of Alternative, it’s just really you know, it I take it as a really great compliment. At the end of the day I’m just an artist doing his work and my art be it my painting, my music, whatever at the end of the day I just want to have this really illustrious, large body of work, you know.
Do you feel like that is your way of leaving your mark on this world?
TM: Yeah, for sure. You know actually, it’s funny, and this segues into, I just finished last night. I just finished the rough draft of, I’m working on a musical, and it’s an autobiographical, fantastical, spectacle of a musical and the thing, one of the main characters is a pop heiress from, the Kittens had an album, Pop Heiress. And we had the song called Pop Heiress Dies and a statement that she makes in the musical is that, as she’s looking at me and going “Oh look how old you’re getting, I’m going to be young forever.”
That’s my, what I leave will be young forever and I’ll you know, I’ll wither and die or whatever. It’s our way of somewhat being immortal, I guess.
When cover artist Tim Jessell explains to school students his most famous work of art, they often look at with a quizzical look. Trying to explain the connection between NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley and Godzilla often garners him confused stares.
In the late 1990s Jessell was one of the hottest names in illustrations and he was part of a wildly popular Nike marketing campaign called Godzilla vs Charles Barkley. It was his illustrations featured on the posters and t-shirts that sprang up around the country at malls, shoe stores that were promoting Barkley’s newest sneaker at the time. His work was everywhere and it was recognizable.
However, by the 2010s, the illustration world had change. Freehand drawing had disappeared and the names who had helped take graphic artist famous were also vanishing.
But after more than 30 years in the game, Jessell has managed to stay relevant and busy for one simple reason. He can do whatever a client needs him to do.
Jessell knew early on that art was going to be the path he would. Well, actually it was his mother who first saw his potential t when he was four years old and allowed him to develop it.
“She taught math and art, believe it or not. And she painted Mighty Mouse cartoons for Terrytoons while she was in college for extra money,” Jessell said. “So whatever my ability I have, I got from her, and she was very encouraging. She would call it a gift from God.”
Jessell said he could always draw better than anybody around him when he was growing up. That was the first sign to him that it would lead him somewhere.
Even then, Jessell gravitated toward illustrations and graphic art. He said there was no difference between fine art and pictures he saw in children’s books.
“Maurice Sendak’s ‘Where the Wild Things Are,’ that was the epitome of high art to me,” Jessell said. “Pictures telling a story. I never had that, “Oh, I want to be a fine artist versus a… ” I just never saw a difference. I just always knew, I don’t know why, just was always drawn to illustration.”
Jessell carried that passion with him throughout his youth. But it wasn’t until he was 17 years old and was introduced to John Martin that it finally crystalized he could actually make illustrations a career.
Martin was a painter, but also dabbled in design and illustration. Jessell was at Martin’s studio in Kansas City and his eyes were opened to the possibilities.
“This was way before the digital had ravaged publishing and all that stuff, so illustrators were paid pretty well,” Jessell said. “I think I turned my head and there on the wall was a portrait of Lenny Dawson, the Kansas City quarterback, but it was painted on literally stretched pigskin football. And of course I love sports, absolutely love sports. So I just thought this looks like a heck of a way to make a living.”
After graduating from Terre Haute South Vigo High School, Jessell earned a scholarship to the University of Tulsa.
Even though Jessell had yet to dive headfirst into a career in illustration he was able to pick up side jobs and projects. This did not go over well with those who saw looked down on graphic artists compared to the other artistic disciplines. That included faculty members.
“I had a ceramics professor walk down the hall one day and said to me, “Tim, Why do you want to prostitute yourself?” Most times in life we think of our comebacks three days later,” Jessell said. “Well, this was one of the few times in my life I had it right there and I was ready. I said, “Tom, just because I have a client beforehand and not after it doesn’t make me a prostitute.” And he took a drag on his cigarette and his cup of coffee and he just looked at me sideways, and that was the last time he ever said that to me.”
Jessell earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree while graduating cum laude in commercial design from Tulsa in 1987. At that time he thought he would have to leave Oklahoma and headed to a bigger market to get his career started.
However, it turned out Jessell wouldn’t have to travel too far at all.
He became the first employee of an upstart of The Turner Group, which was going to specialize in illustrations. It was founded by Clay Turner in Tulsa.
“My job was to build up my own portfolio of the kind of clients I wanted,” Jessell said. “Being able to start in just pure illustration right from the get go was a rare deal. A design firm specializing in illustration in Tulsa was a rare deal. There was barely any of those in Dallas.”
From there Jessell’s career blossomed. He signed with a firm out of New York started winning awards for his illustrations. That includes taking home the coveted Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators the first time he entered.
“It’s kind of like directing your first movie and winning an Oscar,” Jessell said. “That kind of blew things up.”
It wasn’t until 1992 that Jessell stopped working for others and began working for himself when he became a freelance illustrator, a title he has held ever since.
However, as the years have gone on, Jessell has become the last of a dying breed of freelance illustrators. He says there were once around five or six in Oklahoma who made their living strictly on illustrations. But now, according to Jessell he is the last one standing
“The internet was not kind to illustrators because the bread and butter were publications and ad agencies,” Jessell said. “You could just feel it starting to change little by little. “Luckily my work has varied. Children’s publishing kept the lights on for a long time.”
Jessell’s children’s books resume includes Dog Diaries, Secrets of Droon and Amare Stoudemire’s STAT. He also worked on Stan Lee’s Superhero Christmas.
Yet, it may be the book that got away that Jessell looks back on the most.
“You are talking to the second choice for the Harry Potter series. I lost out to Mary GrandPré, who is an excellent illustrator,” Jessell said. “They let J.K. Rowling break the tie. An author never does that. That’s why I know the story because it’s so unusual. But at the time I didn’t know who Harry Potter was. I remember the art director at the time said “we think it might do well over here.’”
Even though Jessell lost out on illustrating for Harry Potter, he was given the series The Secrets of Droon instead. While it didn’t have the world-wide acclaim of the seven Potter books, it still paid the bills.
“I ended up doing 35 books,” Jessell said. “Honestly, I probably made more money doing than Harry Potter. She was paid the same as I was, because who knew? Nobody knew. That was my big fish that got away.”
Despite missing out on Harry Potter fame, Jessell has done alright by himself. A partial lists of clients include Southwest Airlines, USAA, Nike, Polaroid, AT&T, Apple and Nintendo.
Jessell can now add another new client to his long and ever-growing resume. He was brought in to convey the felling and importance of the 2020 Cowboy Cup.
“The Cowboy Cup, when I met with the folks behind it, we sat and chewed the fat on this and I personally kept pushing for the cowboy Oklahoma aspect of it,” Jessell said. “I’m thinking, well, the Cowboy Cup, the name obviously alone says cowboys. So I pushed cowboys as hard as I could.”
Jessell wanted to showcase the Oklahoma culture. Since he is originally from Indiana, it has always impressed him that Oklahoma had its own style and culture and that was what he wanted to get across in the poster.
“My original vision, for whatever reason, popped into my head was the Sweethearts of the Rodeo,” Jessell said. “That’s kind of what had popped into my head since it was kind of this, kind of kitschy kind of fun, real overly Western, Roy Rogers kind of look. But as I got into it, it ended up becoming a more modern deal, but it’s still kind of has a retro organic vibe.”
The poster features a lovely lady sitting atop a black and white mare. She is dressed in jeans, designer cowboy boots, a white t-shirt, a red neckerchief, and a sun hat swaying in the breeze. With a beaming smile, she is carrying a basket.
But when Jessell submitted his original draft, one of the organizers, Bobbie Kay, lobbied for a few changes.
“She thought It’s too Western. That it was too much and that wasn’t the vibe they wanted,” Jessell said. And I don’t know if I really disagreed, I didn’t know if I agreed. So we made the gal dress more in, Western hipster. Western, but not so much kind of kitschy rodeo look. And when I was done with it I was just like, she was right. This covers more of what they’re going for. And yet still it’s plenty enough Western. So she was absolutely right. And I thought it turned out really well. So a lot of times, I’ll admit, if you don’t stick to your original gut, a lot of times it kind of could get sideways on you, but she was absolutely right. … I believe the client and the purpose should influence the direction you go as much as anything.”
At the end of the day, Jessell knows he provided his clients what they want, and that was most important to him.
“Because I knew it was a festival, I wanted a quicker read,” Jessell said. “I could have done it like a fine oil painting and all, and they probably would have been happy with it. But I knew something a little bit more graphic, quicker read on that, on the shapes and stuff, would benefit the poster.”