420 – Ours to Keep

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!


A Toke of Wellness

Delta 9 thc, commonly known as just THC, is the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis. It is responsible for most, but not all, of the plant’s medicinal effects. When inhaled, ∆9 THC is absorbed directly into the bloodstream and swiftly distributed to cannabinoid receptors throughout the body. This rapid absorption means onset time is quick, but the effects aren’t as lasting as edibles. When ingested in oil form, ∆9 THC is metabolized by the liver and converted into a new compound, 11-hydroxy-THC.

11-Hydroxy-THC is more potent and longer lasting than ∆9 THC. However, in this case “more potent” and “longer lasting” don’t automatically mean “better” or “more reliable”. With 11-hydroxy-THC the onset and duration of its effects can be more unpredictable than ∆9 THC. This is because the time it takes for the liver to metabolize ∆9 THC can vary depending on the person’s metabolism, the dose consumed, and whether they ate shortly before or after.

Full-Spectrum Extract refers to extracts that contain all of the natural compounds found in cannabis plants, such as cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Rather than a single compound on its own, this combination of compounds work together and rely on each other to produce a greater therapeutic effect.

BROAD-Spectrum Extract The CBD market, defines broad-spectrum cannabis extracts as a type of extract that contains a variety of terpenes, flavonoids, and cannabinoids (minus THC). However in the THC market, broad-spectrum refers to an extract that maintains a variety of cannabinoids, but no terpenes or flavonoids. While terpenes are medicinal compounds, they are volatile oils that often get destroyed in digestion and are better absorbed via inhalation.

ISOLATE Extract To obtain a single cannabinoid from the cannabis plant (like CBD or THC), an isolate extraction is utilized. In this process, all other components of the plant, such as terpenes, flavonoids, and other cannabinoids, are removed. Typically, harsh techniques, like solvents, are used to strip the targeted cannabinoid from the rest of the plant material. The end product is a highly concentrated, powdered form of the single cannabinoid. Most of the cannabis products on the market that are formulated with specific ratios of cannabinoids (1:1, 12:1, 1:1:1, etc.) typically rely on cannabis isolates to achieve these exact ratios.

CANNABIS OILS , whether they are full or broad spectrum, are highly concentrated extracts made through various extraction methods. However, when cannabis oil is consumed in an edible form, most of the therapeutic cannabis material is destroyed during digestion as oil and water do not mix, and the human body is mostly made up of water. As a result, only a small amount of the ∆9 THC in the oil can be absorbed by the body. Once absorbed, it is metabolized into 11-hydroxy-thc which is responsible for the “edible high” from oil-based edibles.

NANO EMULSIFIED / WATER SOLUBLE Cannabis oils can be made more bioavailable by emulsification. This process breaks down cannabinoids into small particles, increasing their surface area for better absorption. Nano cannabinoids can be up to 10x more bioavailable than traditional oil-based cannabinoids, thus improving their therapeutic effectiveness. Nanoemulsions keep THC from being converted to 11-hydroxy-THC, bypassing liver metabolism and entering the bloodstream directly. As a result, the effects are more predictable and consistent, reducing unexpected side effects.

NATURAL FLAVORS + COLORS Cannabis edibles can be flavored and colored with many natural ingredients. Most of them are made from essential oils, extracts, or distillates of natural ingredients: fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, minerals, and animal products (unless they’re vegan!). Natural ingredients are often preferred over artificial because they do not contain synthetic chemicals or artificial

ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS + COLORS Synthetic and artificial ingredients can pose processing challenges for the body both in the short and long term. These components have the potential to disrupt the body’s metabolic and hormonal functions. Often, artificial ingredients are derived from natural sources and chemically modified to enhance flavor or color. In contrast, certain ingredients such as Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Red 40 are entirely synthetic.

SUGARS + SWEETENERS Edibles can be sweetened with natural or artificial options. Fruit puree contains naturally occurring simple sugars, fructose and sucrose, making it a natural choice. Allulose, found in some fruits, is a rare sugar, but not necessarily environmentally sustainable when produced at scale. High fructose corn syrup is a cheaper, commonly used sweetener, but associated with health risks such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Sugar-Free can be beneficial for some patients’ particular needs, however artificial sweeteners are often substituted in place of natural sugar to achieve a sweet sugar-free edible.

MELATONIN Sleep and wake cycles are regulated by melatonin, an essential hormone produced by the body. Supplemental melatonin can disrupt the body’s natural production and can sometimes cause unwanted side effects such as daytime drowsiness, headaches, and nausea. Reishi mushroom, which encourages the body’s own melatonin production, is a more natural sleep aid.

GELATIN is derived from collagen found in the skin, bones, and connective tissues of animals, usually cows or pigs. It’s commonly used in the production of cannabis gummies to give them their shape and texture. Because gelatin is derived from animal collagen, it is high in certain amino acids that can be difficult for the gut to break down. Occasionally consuming gelatin is not harmful, but regular consumption can cause health issues such as irritating the lining of the gut, bloating, gas, and constipation.

Raise Your Highbration

Vibrational medicine is a wealth to add to anyone’s skill tree, be it a novice smoker, or a seasoned stoner! After all, just because someone’s proficient in an art doesn’t mean there’s nothing left to learn, and we all want the most holistic high we can create for ourselves, right?

Let’s begin by defining ‘vibrational medicine’.

Everything and everyone has a vibration. It’s a state of being that can be high or low depending on the stimulus on your everyday environment and how you choose to relate to it internally.

Cannabis has a vibration too, and that vibration changes the more the plant is tampered with, for example, with PGR’s (plant growth regulators) or even the disposition of the grower as its tending to budding plants.

Interestingly enough the plant, alongside carrying its own vibration acts like an enhancer for the overall current an individual carries with their vibration at the time of ingestion. So what does that mean exactly?

It could mean many things. It could mean that if you’re buzzed at a party you don’t even want to be at, but are because you’re actively people pleasing, have 89 problems on your plate and no solutions, only complaints – the weed that your deciding to ingest is going to shut you down and numb you out, or on the other end, make you panic.

Low situatons breed low results.

Alternatively, it could mean that you just took a big step for yourself in terms of self care and set a healthy boundary with a friend or family member, moreover you had a balances nourishing meal and took the time to meditate like you keep reminding yourself to do.

So when you sit back for the evening, and partake in some choice cannabis, it’s going to generally Inspire you and cradle that warmth you’ve shown yourself that day, because you matter! Great job!

Now those are two random situations, the point is if you’re surrounded and full of self love, the medicine is going to enhance that as long as you’re medicating smart for your body.

If your focus is chaotic and honed in on failure, stress, and the opinions of others before your own, your medicine will latch onto that state of ennancement and bring little benefit and more distraction.

Distraction may show auick results, but in the long term it’s not doing anyone any favors.

Now if you’re anything like me, step by step can really put it in perspective, so maybe treat it like a nightcap ritual, or a morning motivator if you have the ability! Dedicate some time just for you and your medicine.

Seed to Buds

Meet Randon. He’s the operator of Well Rooted Genetics here in Oklahoma and he’s a connoisseur of consumption, with food and cannabis! He’s a big time foodie and has a memory with smells that take him back. He has learned about curation and flow with the different experiences he has had, with the plant having more textures and smells than any other species we have. He enjoys a good salad mix and bringing people together, because we’re ALL artists.

I had the opportunity to attend the very first exploration dinner, “Seed to Buds”. Which was an experience where artisans of two separate crafts came together to create. This is where the Underground Ghost Kitchen comes in. It was an experience curated by Randon with Well Rooted Genetics and the UGK team. Roger curates the events and Jesse is the main chef for private dining events.

By providing experiences like this in Oklahoma, we’re essentially bridging the gap and blending the two worlds, by elevating the state and opening up new doors for the evolution of plant medicine. The goal of this dinner pairing was to utilize all of the plant in ways that compliment luxury ingredients.

Upon walking into Randon’s beautiful home, I was greeted with a cocktail and smiling faces. More people started rolling in, all faces of industry gems. Conversations and laughter flowed throughout the whole night. There was good hash rosin present, along with glass tip joints, that I have to say I need more of in my life! The glass tips are such a game changer when it comes to taste and flow, so take note. Everyone found a seat at the table, with a guided menu on what to expect for the evening and then it began.

There were many many intricate dishes that made this experience special, along with the option for mocktails for those that requested them. The UGK team also caters to those with food allergies and different preferences. The dinner menu was set up to complement strains like Zacio, Birkinz, Frosted Waffles, and Gelenade. Here are some descriptions on what I got to taste!

The snacks were a favorite of mine and consisted of Pani Puri, herbed boursin, greens and a lavender clover club cocktail to pair with Gelonade. There was also a cauliflower salad with asparagus, espuma and a Monstro Striga Cerasuolo d’ Abruzzo to pair with Zacio, and for the main course we had an herb crusted loin coated in East Side OG kief, with peas, potato, and a Maison Passot Fleurie wine paired with Birkinz. To cleanse our palates, we smoked Superboof that was rolled with a glass tip by Zenoa Cultivation, along with orange granita, mango sorbet and strawberry. (the mango sorbet was a favorite of mine). We then followed that with a dessert that was a creme fresh honeysuckle lemon cake with a Lambrusco drink, paired with Frosted Waffles. All of the signature craft cocktails were made by bartender Paul, with Thirst Wines.

We had Chef Jessie Gomez explaining every dish to us, down to each ingredient and herb used and why. As the dishes were presented at the table, it was something I appreciated so much! It brought an intimate experience for everyone there. The cocktails were all so delicious and I truly enjoyed every one, with every dish!

What an experience this seed to bud dinner pairing was! Such a beautiful thing to be a part of. From all of the yummy and refreshing drinks to pair with the food and different tasty strains from local growers, it was beautifully curated with so much intention and passion poured into it, from the creative minds that brought an experience like this to life!

Cheers to some really good company and really good cannabis. So cool to see it! This is what we need here in Oklahoma and I’m stoked to have been a part of this in Oklahoma City. It’s amazing what all we can do together when we combine the things we all love.

Feminine Divine – Mel Cortez

“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
inner child?

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.

Feminine Divine: Bailee Bruce

Harnessing the Goddess energy that exists in all of us, through breath, movement, nature, and meditation.

Bailee is a guide, visionary, gatherer, mover, teacher, & a student of life. I’ve always admired what she’s created, the experiences she provides, through shining her light and turning inward, while listening to her own inner wisdom. Through her social media channels, she really gives you a visual insight with information on what she does through engaging Instagram captions, photos and videos that she puts her own divine touch on.

She’s a lightworker that’s all about connection. She’s paving the way for Reiki, Native Movement, natural health, and is so passionate about every aspect of it, here in Oklahoma.

Born and raised in the heart of Oklahoma, Bailee has devoted her life to studying the mind, body, spirit connection as well as the Traditional Medicine practices of her Cherokee + Choctaw ancestors. Throughout her career, she has gained professional experience in dance, yoga, energy medicine, somatic healing, natural health & more. She is a firm believer that the majority of our human suffering stems from the disconnect we have with our spiritual selves, with the land, with each other, and most importantly with the innate wisdom of our bodies.

Bailee offers regenerative healing, reiki sessions, somatic healing, native movement, private group sessions, ceremonies, trainings & retreats using these Four Pathways: Embodied Spirituality, The Fundamentals of Wholeness & Sustainability, The Sacred Language of Signs & Symbols, Connecting to the “Energy of Oneness” through the Heart for Holistic Healing and Nervous System Regulation.

Throughout her career, she has helped individuals reconnect to their own innate wisdom for healing, preventive health, vitality and well being for the mind, body and spirit.

“We are all just walking each other home” – Ram Dass

Her trauma informed approach is safe, open, gentle and nurturing. The philosophies and methodology she integrates into her offerings & teachings are rooted in & influenced by Zen & Tibetan Buddhism, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Native American Spirituality.

She’s such a natural and beautiful, free moving soul. She enjoys plant and energy medicine and is always motivating, inspiring, and pouring into so many.

Whatever sparks community and connection with people, is what she lives for. While giving people tools and practices for their own well being, Bailee expressed that the exchange is so special. I got to chat with her while she shared her heart, passion, and expertise with me.

What is Native Movement and what does it embody?

Native Movement is a somatic practice centered around embodied spirituality. It is the creative force, innate and instinctual movement within each of us. It is an alchemizing, movement-based practice that helps one release or resolve stored emotions, stress, traumas & outdated beliefs in order to embody a desired state of being. One that feels like truth, safety, expansion and liberation. We use the pillars of: Somatic Experiencing, Somatic Storytelling, Somatic Resourcing, & Somatic Integration to help us connect to and embody the authentic expression of our spiritual “soul” selves. Native Movement integrates multiple techniques & therapies into one practice. (Breathwork, Meditation, Writing, Improvisational Movement, Yoga, Touch, Aroma Therapy, & Sound). These somatic tools support our efforts to realign with our wholeness, aliveness, intuition, wisdom, power, purpose, joy, unique individuality, & loving essence.

Where did your passion form? Where did it stem from?

My passion formed when I quickly realized I was a sensitive & empathetic being at a young age. I saw a need for empathy, sensitivity & healing just from the state of the world. Over the years my passion for helping others has grown the more I hav studied and learned about psycho-somatic illness and the healing modalities to support such imbalances. Now, I feel this passion has evolved into something greater than myself and I am just along for the ride, wherever it is meant to take me.

You pour into other people and show them different ways to heal. How do you fill your own cup up?

When I can intentionally spend quality time with just myself and my own energy doing the things that I love and that bring me joy & nourish me (i.e., meditation, writing, movement, plant medicine, getting out in nature, reading, eating good food, etc.,) that naturally fills up my cup and helps me stay energetically centered so I can engage with & support others without their energy influencing mine.

What is Reiki and what does this type of work look like? What are the benefits?

Reiki is an alternative relaxation therapy that uses hands-on-healing and works with the spiritually guided life-force energy within all living things. Reiki helps attune the mind, body, and emotional states of the individual to the frequency of “universal love, wholeness & oneness” or to the client’s desired intention. We are energetic beings who are alive and function because of this life-force energy. When this energy gets depleted, blocked, manipulated or imbalanced, dis-ease and illness can manifest in the body. Reiki does no harm and is a holistic therapy by nature because, in order to harmonize and align the energy of the individual, we have to work towards balancing the beliefs & thoughts in the mind, — that directly influences our emotional states and so forth. Everything is all connected! Reiki empowers the client to connect to their own inner healer within. It benefits the nervous system through regulation, strengthens one’s immunity, increases vitality, and enhances self-awareness & spiritual connection overall. It is a great therapy for preventative health & is complimentary to conventional medical treatments.

Tell me about the work you’re doing at The Integris Cancer Institute.

I am one of the Practitioners for the Mindfulness & Meditation Program that takes place at the Integris Cancer Institute in the James L. Hall Center for Mind, Body & Spirit. This new program is the very first in the state of Oklahoma to offer several alternative therapies such as reiki, yoga nidra, somatics, sound healing and more alongside the patient’s conventional cancer treatment. I just started working there in November, providing reiki to the patients undergoing cancer treatment as well as those who are in remission. The program is still very new as it just started in the fall of 2022. I look forward to seeing how this program can continue to grow and influence modern medicine. I am just beyond grateful to be a part of something so groundbreaking!

Do you have any mentors that you look up to, that have inspired you?

I have many inspirations, elders, mentors & teachers (in person, from books & online) Danielle Laporte, Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, Anodea Judith, Debi Dunbar Mahoney, Sun Bear, Joe Dispenza, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Sarah Blondin, and Stephanie Serafina to name a few..

Connecting to your own innate wisdom and coming home to yourself. What’s the simplest way to explain the concept of how to do this?

Anytime you can be fully present with yourself, taking some deep breaths with awareness of sensation, placing the hands gently on parts of the body that are carrying tension or moving your body in the way that it speaks to you, — are some of the simplest ways to come home to yourself & connect with one’s own inner wisdom.

Tell me about Origins of Spirit and what you have going on there & the exciting things for 2023.

Origins of Spirit is a Lifestyle Brand, Holistic Wellness Studio, Community Event Space, Eco Market & Apothecary located in Bethany, Oklahoma. Myself & my business partner, Deanna are Co-Owners & Lead Facilitators. We both offer wellness services, classes & collaborate events in the space. For 2023, we are working on building our retail space & creating the upcoming product lines for our seasonal wellness kits. These kits help to support & nourish you during the transitions of the seasons. Give us a follow to learn more! — @originsofspirit

How do you personally embody your own Divine Feminine?

I allow myself to soften more often. I allow myself to trust & surrender to the flow of life. I allow myself to be guided by my intuition vs. my analytical mind. I allow myself more opportunities for creativity & co-creation. I allow myself more time for play & rest without guilt. I allow myself to choose safety, beauty, & pleasure as my baseline over fear, comparison, & stress.

How have you created a life you love, on your own terms?

At a very young age, I was able to connect to my gifts of vision, creativity, curiosity, intuition & manifestation. I believe this life I have created thus far is because I was able to trust in and utilize those gifts early on. Sure, I also worked really hard for many years, did the corporate 9-5 thing with a side hustle while going to school part time and dancing professionally, accomplishing big dreams at a young age. I quickly became burnt out and felt disconnected from my true self & purpose. I was living my life to please others. I found myself often questioning who am I in this world and what do I want to do with this one precious life of mine? Since then, I have been on a journey to reframe the way I think of success, work, hustle culture & how I go about achieving what I desire. Creating my life will always be on my own terms and always has been. I think when we can recognize the true power we hold as humans to manifest our lives, everything shifts and we stop comparing & living for the validation of others, and we start living from the wisdom & intention of our hearts. I love my life, every aspect of it. The good, the bad, the ugly, the exceptional. I think I will forever be creating it & falling in love with it repeatedly until I take my last breath. I think the secret to truly enjoying & loving the life you are living is to feel worthy of it, slow down & be present with it, make it sacred & show gratitude for it. That keeps you in a place of receiving, divine trust and abundance no matter what life throws at you or blesses you with. I look forward to manifesting more of what speaks to my soul & makes this one fleeting life worthwhile.

If you’re a book reader, what are you currently reading and do you have any books that have been life changing that you recommend?

I’m currently reading a few books at once. The books I’ve listed below have been some of the most life changing and supportive for me over the years. I am usually always recommending them to friends, family, & clients.

1. “Heart Minded” by Sarah Blondin

2. “Eastern Body Western Mind” by Anodea Judith

3. “The Science of the Sacred” by Nicole Redvers, ND

4. “The Practice of Wholeness” by Lorena Monda

5. “Rise Sister Rise” by Rebecca Campbell

What does attending a retreat that you host look like?

My retreats can look like a lot of things, but what they feel like is connection & presence. No matter the type of retreat, what time of year it is held or where we are gathering, participants will have the opportunity to embody the energetic pillars of presence & connection. Retreat attendees get to connect to nature, to each other on a deeper level, to wellness techniques & spiritual practices that in turn connects one more fully to themselves. Retreats are a great place to “fast track” one’s innate ability to reset the mind & body, expand consciousness & self-awareness, and reconnect back to one’s wholeness.

What are some of your everyday rituals that are sacred to you?

I may not be able to do them EVERY day, (I am only human) but they are consistent enough in my life to be considered sacred rituals for daily support. Those rituals include: Breathwork, Drinking Plenty of Water, Eating Nutrient Dense Meals, Native Movement, My Skincare Regimen, Prayer or Gratitude Practice, Plant Medicine (Cannabis / Flower Essences), Self-touch (Reiki / EFT Tapping) and Aroma Therapy. Even the simplest or mundane things we do to survive & thrive here on earth can be considered sacred when done with intentionality of the heart & full presence of the mind.

What’s the most rewarding thing about getting to do what you do?

Getting to connect with others at the soul level, practicing empathy and humility, expressing my creativity & providing holistic resources to the community is so fulfilling that it goes way beyond just a job or what I “do”. I believe it is my calling, my purpose, my gift, and to be able to embody that in my own unique way that also supports my dream life is what’s most rewarding!

Always learning and evolving, Bailee finds her creativity when she’s moving and in her element, helping others find and utilize tools to heal, and tuning into her own creative expression that naturally flows throughout her body. I’m thankful for the work she’s doing in our community and how she’s changing peoples lives through different, healing approaches. This woman is a gem, making waves in Oklahoma!

To learn more and stay in the know, you can head over to her website: 



Herbage Magazine January 2023

Digital edition of the January 2023 print issue #49 of Herbage Magazine. Herb•age strives to bring you fresh content regularly. We cover a wide range of cannabis culture and medical marijuana-related issues from around the state of Oklahoma and beyond. In other words, It is our mission to be the voice of the growing cannabis industry in the state. Through fair and open discourse we hope to continue the trend of bringing cannabis out of the shadows and into the mainstream where it belongs. So, please join us and help us grow with Oklahoma!

It’s The Little Things

By Charles “Uncle Chuck” Duncan

The term “everyday things” refers to something which happens or is used every day. We tend to make those items not important and make big things like vacation trips and anniversaries our “big ticket” items. Photo-opts and scrapbook fodder. Posed grins and smiles to complete the experience. Ironically, we spend the majority of our waking hours earning money to try and recreate those “memories”.

I believe real life is just the opposite. The culmination of all the mundane little things we do is what makes a life. When people toast others at weddings or remember their loved ones at funerals, they speak and remember the things we do or did most. They say things like, “they always had a smile” or “they loved” this activity or that sport. They remember the big ticket items for a story to share but what you are to them really is contained in the little things you did most of the time for them and with them. Your amazing hugs. Your dad jokes. Your ability to make the most amazing lasagne. Your weakness for anything Star Wars related. Those memories come from attending the many wonderful shows that are you. The real you. Even the not so flattering ones. From laugh snorting to rolling the ugliest doobie. We all have some negative qualities. Those of us with anxiety and depression, tend to magnify those latter qualities, to the detriment of the former.

Those “everyday things” are not so easy to do when you have anxiety or depression. The majority of your time is spent alone and away in your own world. You think, no one can hurt you or be hurt if you just stay in your own world and come out for the big ticket items. But that’s not life. Life again, is full of many small moments.

Everyone knows that alcohol helps tear down those barriers and can turn an introvert to an extrovert faster than a new Ryan Reynolds appearance. But unlike Ryan Reynolds, alcohol comes with tons of baggage all its own when used too often.

Cannabis has proven on so many fronts that it is the best natural medication for certain anxiety and depression symptoms. The only thing standing in the way between the patient and the plant are politicians. Politicians who are either pandering to a lobby and/or just ignorant when it comes to the science behind cannabis. As an advocate, that’s on me. I need to do a better job at advocating and educating the public. But we need your help. We need more and more non-advocate, regular, non-industry tied members of the public to stand up and question your representatives. Ask them why they are making it hard, or in some cases impossible, for those among us who suffer from anxiety and depression to obtain a plant and start experiencing their “everyday things”.


Let’s Get Mowdy

By James Bridges

“We’ve all been in this together. I remember Temple Kush put us on the map. Now look at us. We are rocking and rolling and we can’t stop right now. I keep telling Joe, ‘you got to have a gig and stick with it, try like hell to be the best at it, and you will do very well in this industry.’ That’s what we do.” Brian Ganster, owner of Mowdy Farms was rested and ready for his second time to be featured in Herbage Magazine.

Brian speaks of a Temple Kush strain that was available in a local dispensary about 3-years-ago. I had the amazing opportunity to try and hoard quite a bit of that flower before I finally decided to track down the grower and interview him. Ahh, the temple kush…

It’s time to catch up. It’s time to check in with our friends and see how they are compared to back then. Spoiler alert… I wasn’t disappointed.

As I walked through the front entrance, I noticed a complete and total makeover of sorts. The last time Herbage and Mowdy Farms connected like this, Mowdy operations were located in a different location entirely. They now had, what looked and smelled and acted like, a brand new spot to grow some of the best medicine in the cannabis market.

Speaking of the cannabis market… The Oklahoma cannabis market seems to be shifting in a way that may be pleasing to some and not so much to others. This was more of where my interest was at the moment.

I travel a lot. I visit many areas of the state and talk to many people within the industry. There’s growing concern among many smaller “mom & pops” of whether or not they can sustain. It’s so important for all pro-cannabis communities to come together, as one, to make the best decision for the greater good.

London pound cake X  Wedding cake

Much of what I am hearing is actually optimistic. This is when I talk to those that aren’t necessarily trying to “get out while they can”. I talk to those that understand that there is an entire ecosystem at hand to maintain sustainability. A solid product, work well within the community, marketing at a balanced level, and continuing to grow a standard for your brand. The cultivators, dispensaries, and other derivative companies that seem to not be less concerned about the future are the ones that practice all of those parts of the equation. If, indeed, there is too much supply, then there must be a way to create a higher demand. In other words, bring your A-game. It’s time.

“The loss of quality is the worst thing that could possibly happen to us,” Brian confirmed. “If we ain’t trying to put out some of the best product we’re going to lose our f****** facing this crap just like everyone else.”

Brian is one of the more intelligent people that I have met in my life. He not only understands and is top notch at cultivating, he understands business. He

Georgia-Pie RAW Genetics

understands the simplicity of business and uses it to succeed.

“So when ‘Walmart’ comes in here and just starts making packs, we’ve still got to stand out. We got to have a customer base. We push out good medicine for Oklahoma. No question. We can push out proper medicine to the rest of the country, if they’d let us… However, I know that I want to advertise with Herbage or something that is for everything we stand for. That’s where the money needs to be. Right here in a state where we can sell f****** weed. We still have to be talking to the same people that we know. We have to continue to let people know that we’re kicking it out there. Then it’s up to me to get our prices balanced and competitive. We look at Zenoa, or Cookies, and some of these big boys that are coming from all over the country. We’ve gotta stay competitive, you know?”

Brian kept looking over at his head grower, Joe Faught. Joe is an old school grower. He’s learned some tricks or two on the west coast of our great country. Joe simply smiled and agreed. He was very good at that. However, when it was his turn…

“There’s so much going on in the market. People are talking about taxes here, overhead there, hell, even China is getting involved in the conversation somehow! Really, to me it comes down to holding onto that quality and price. There are so many growers around that are dropping their prices through the floor just to get out or pay some bills. In my opinion, this kills the economy of our industry.” Joe sat back and folded his arms gently.

Brian took the reins, “What I love is that when people go into a dispensary and see our flower they know it’s ours. I want it the same as any of the big

Cheetoz-Savage Genetics

boys. If they see Mowdy weed in a dispensary, then I want them to trust that it is good quality weed.  We’ve got to be those guys in order to even stay alive. Then we need to stay legal. To stay compliant with all of the changes and watch the prices of flower drop is very difficult now.  The ticket is a huge ticket. But it’s all going to level out at some point. It will level itself out. We just hold onto our quality with a low overhead and continue a marketing strategy that works best for us.  Meanwhile, there will be those that go away. Those that can’t stay compliant. Hell, make enough laws and they will push people out of here.”

I couldn’t wait to get my lungs full of some good Mowdy smoke. It’s definitely a “usual” for me at dispensaries that carry them. If you are a dispensary that does not, you may want to consider something of this high caliber.

My relationship over the years with the gang at Mowdy has never failed. Brian has always been a man of his word to me. Someone who, in my opinion, is making a difference for those out there that need his and his team’s experience and ethics when growing the medicine that keeps them so well. The Temple Kush has been long gone. Maybe they will try it again and I’ll go out to the farm and get lost. Who knows? But I do know that every strain that I have tried that is cultivated by Mowdy Farms, thus far, has been some of the highest quality cannabis that I myself have had the pleasure of experiencing.


Feminine Divine – Ebony Jones

Keeping the Faith; a Woman’s Story of Generational Resilience and Healing through Curated Experiences and Sweet Potato Pie

by Jessi Lane, Patient Advocate

Ebony Jones, of 8Twenty8, is a cannabis Pastry Chef paving the way for other people of color following her path. “Being one of the few known Black women in the Oklahoma cannabis industry has been very challenging, but [it is] a fight I’m willing to stay in. I’m more than ready to occupy spaces with more powerful women looking to open doors in this industry with hopes and dreams like myself,” she says. Ebony is a Survivor, a Caregiver, and entrepreneur. An empath and spiritual Virgo, she is both lion and lamb – strong and bold yet gentle and calm in her approach and is agile and flexible in her pursuits. She is a fine example of the Divine Feminine.

Ebony is an Oklahoma cannabis industry transplant who comes to us by way of Georgia. The youngest child in birth order, she was born in Hampton, VA to a big military family. Her Mother, Toni, was a member of the US Air Force. “She taught us who God was,” Ebony relays. Her maternal Grandmother, Annie, was the only Black teacher in her school. She taught Art and Home Economics and was a Godly woman. Growing up, “she had us at revivals from eight to four in the afternoon.” It was not until high school through the age of twenty that Ebony found her personal relationship with God.

Toni had fallen ill with papilledema, a condition that, according to the National Cancer Institute, causes swelling around the optic disk. This is the area where the optic nerve enters the eyeball. Toni was also diagnosed with Arnold Chiari Malformation – a condition in which brain tissue extends into the spinal canal – subsequently forcing her into early retirement from the United States Postal Service at the age of thirty-five. This was the beginning of a life-long battle. A caregiver for her mother from about the age of ten, Ebony dropped out of high school to care for her more closely.

Toni’s multiple surgeries and required aftercare unfortunately resulted in readily available narcotics in the home. Without Toni’s knowledge, Ebony became a young person with access to unmonitored prescription medication and heavy burdens to carry. She was also living with the ghost of personal trauma. Ebony is now an advocate for therapy. “If I hadn’t gotten in therapy, I wouldn’t be here,” she declares. After a choice decision left a sibling stranded when she numbingly put him out of the car during an argument, she quit the pills. She tells us, “We are survivors of the pill pandemic.”

As a young person Ebony aspired to open a medicinal cannabis café for kids. “Since tenth grade my business plan has always included weed.” She returned to high school and upon completion went on to obtain her Associates of Occupational in Patisserie and Baking from Le Cordon Bleu while she established herself as a Baker and Pastry Supervisor in the highly competitive and innovative Atlanta food service industry. The delicate measure and alchemy of baking is in her bones so naturally our meticulous, calculated Virgo excelled in her craft – including a position as the Baking Supervisor with Carlo’s Bakeshop as featured on the reality tv show Cake Boss. She recalls, “[The] first day we had a line out the door starting at 3am, and we didn’t open until 6!” She reflects on her position with Primrose Schools – an institution that provides high-quality early education and care – in the highest regard, “I loved those kids.” Ebony’s interest in holistic wellness was unwavering and she would also obtain her Certificate of Completion in Cannabis Education through the Cannabis Training University of Colorado Springs, Colorado.

She saw what was happening in Oklahoma and wanted a piece of that sweet potato pie she would later bake for herself. Ebony began submitting resumes everywhere and received a bite when RD Hendrickson – the owner of Arizona-based Sublime – reached out to let her know if she were ever in Oklahoma, he would like to interview her. “You don’t know these people,” her family said, “turn your [phone] locations on,” she recounts through a giggle. She was not going to miss this opportunity, regardless of the risk. Ebony’s personality is as golden as her resume and Hendrickson wanted her to join the team, so with the support of her grandpa, she left everyone and everything she knew to pursue her dreams. “To others it may appear as if it came easy but take some time to converse with me [and] you’ll learn it has taken trials, tribulations, tears, and plenty of therapy sessions.” It was the first time she had ever left home, and within a week of her big move Ebony’s sweet Grandpa suffered a stroke. Then suddenly her employer lost their location, forcing them to temporarily close during the relocation period. Instead of retreating home Ebony stuck it out through her tribulations and found a cannabis industry position with Euphora dispensary until Sublime’s new building was secured.

“Oklahoma is a sacred land,” she tells us, “So much has happened here. You can feel the blood in this land.” Ebony’s euphemism is not lost on us. “This industry is messy,” she goes on to say, “the divide out here is crazy.” She is speaking to the boundary that is being “one of the few in the room,” she tells us. “In all honesty it has been worth it, though in the beginning it was a huge culture shock, and I didn’t think I would survive Oklahoma.” She asks herself how she is going to change the conversation. “I love being in a place in my career where I can professionally correct others for being culturally inappropriate or placing me in an uncomfortable position and we can still operate in a healthy environment after the teaching moment.” Ebony speaks openly and earnestly on her social media platforms. “I’m down for teaching. I’m still learning myself,” she says. She believes herself to be a “Virgo that has no filter at all.” However, she tells us she “understands the effects of speaking before thinking and evaluating the power of your words and how they may affect another person.” Within her healing process Ebony has also learned that to achieve growth she must “take accountability for my wrongs, correct those wrongs, and put in the work to actively become a better person for this world.”

The life of an entrepreneur is not for the weak, and keeping your faith is ten times the work, she’s found. “Choosing to uproot what I knew as comfortable to relocate to Oklahoma has shown me the power and resilience that has been instilled in me by my mother.” Ebony now represents and manufactures products for Country Cannabis, who acquired Sublime. “They are a diverse company,” she says and asks, “what does country look like to you?” She tells us she is incredibly grateful but “technically I’m still out here by myself.” While she feels immensely supported by her employer Ebony’s real hustle is her passion project, 8Twenty8, LLC. Romans 8:28 reads, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Taking leaps of faith and believing in the purpose of the company is what keeps 8Twenty8 going, Ebony believes. 8Twenty8’s craft-baked goods and custom orders have satisfied the palettes of Oklahomans with every dietary restriction and preference known – try those gluten free oatmeal cream pies – but she is not just in the business of baking dessert, her true business is loving people. Ebony doesn’t want you to stereotype her- she’s not just about pies. She is interested in curating experiences, and tells us, “Whether that’s with me, you tasting my pies, or hosting an event.”

Things have been taking off for 8Twenty8. Ebony has received lots of exposure recently as 8Twenty8 has been featured in recent Studio 30 events and Sherweed Forrest’s Throwdown Bazaar. She is called upon for private catering and custom orders by the biggest names in the Oklahoma cannabis industry and while ever grateful, Ebony is always looking to the future. With an entrepreneur’s heart she declares, “I’m not accepting this middle class shit anymore,” she goes on to say, “America has taught us to work to live.” She wonders, how can I not think about making money while I make money? “I think it’s disgusting how much I want to give back to people,” relays our brave empath. Ebony dreams of an 8Twenty8 small-batch kitchen to order, that would accept custom orders for a patient’s individualized needs or commercial grow orders for retail sales. She also wants to create opportunities through events designed to be a retreat – a vacation.

8Twenty8 in association with Universe with Jaz Present Puff and Plant in the Park Sunday, June 12th, from 6-8pm. Located at Veterans/Centennial Park, attendees can expect an evening filled with release and manifesting. Paint’n’Plant intention kits provided with the purchase of admission. Event features Sound Bowl by The Reiki Mama, massages by Beyond Skin Deep and Oracle readings by Soar. Smokable organic herbal blend provided by Universe with Jaz. Light snacks served by 8Twenty8.

Happy Father’s Day

By James Bridges

I peaked over the top of the couch to see if I could catch what was happening outside. Something was going on that made my sister, mom, and the voices going on in this 8-year-old boy’s little head.

I watched as my family’s belongings were taken away. They were stripped away in my mind. I noticed my mother in a frantic state. My sister was a couple years younger and she had no idea. I myself knew of financial difficulties, even at that young age. It just wasn’t avoidable. I wanted to do something so badly to make it all stop. I couldn’t control what was happening in my head. My stomach started to roll. Then I looked over at something that made me feel as if I could make it through anything.

I watched as my dad reacted and witnessed what he had built up for his family over the last few years be repossessed. The look on his face was one of experience in these matters. I knew after watching what he had done in the past that he would overcome what was just set in front of him. I knew and I learned from his calmness in that situation. I could barely breathe, yet he smoked his cigarette as if it were a normal mid-morning break.

I learned a lot over that time of our life. I knew that money was fragile and it really meant nothing when it came to family and love. The support of one another in those times was the most important part of my childhood that I can ever imagine. The humor that was involved would make any down-and-out punk take a pause to laugh. Saturday Night Live had nothing on our skits. We were a tight family.

Sometimes my dad seemed to be in the background after those “crash” days. In other words, he worked his ass off to get what we needed for a family of five and only one income that recently busted. He would work nights and sometimes weeks at a time trying to get it all back. He taught me that no matter what happens, there is a way to dig out, and to always stand by your family and loved ones. That is what matters most.

My dad was simple and straight to the point. Still is. That’s one thing I admire him for.

Now that I am a dad I have been able to look back at my childhood with a much finer tooth comb than I normally would have. I have been able to pull from those winning moments that my dad had with us at that age. I have been able to imagine the failures and how to attempt to avoid them.

Funny thing is that what I learned the most from my dad was that you do not attempt to avoid failures. You navigate through them. Much like the path that I have chosen for myself over the past several years. Even though it seems much like accepting a challenge it’s really not. The hardest part is actually getting yourself to follow through on the “not attempting to avoid failure” part.

Recently I lost more in finances than my dad earned in almost one full year. The gravity of the situation is nearly incomprehensible to someone that comes from what I come from, which is nothing, financially. I have spent my entire life trying to avoid having to peek over that couch again. The loss has affected me greatly. The thought of my son experiencing a replica of that moment haunts me. However, I soon remember the kind of man my dad was. I remember how awesome it was to witness what he had done. That’s when I started idolizing him. I needed a father figure in my life that knew how to stand up for his loved ones, and he was it.

My son is almost 8-years-old now. I tend to see myself in his eyes. I know I shouldn’t, but sometimes it’s involuntary. I assume that he is thinking the same way that I was thinking at that age. I realize that I am totally wrong in that notion and it can actually be dangerous to his own psyche if I were to explore that realm further. So, I watch and learn.

I am able to witness the simplicity of life through him. I can have a near devastating hiccup in my normal daily routine and he somehow seems to know exactly what to say to help. I’m very careful to not become dependent on the words and emotions of my son, but it’s hard. As a parent you have to know…

When my son was born I could hardly handle the positive energy that was flowing. I was able to see people that I had not seen in such a long time. It was as if my son’s birth was a reunion of sorts. It was great.

Soon after I was back to hiding my emotions and calming the voices through alcohol and pills. I couldn’t help but think of the day when he would see me fail. My friends and I would have drunken talks at night about our fathers. It was ridiculously self-serving. It was the kind of talk you would think a bunch of sappy drunks would slur about so they could outdo one another.

The one thing that one of my friends did ask that stuck out to me was, “Do you remember the day you discovered your dad was not superman?” I did remember. It was the father I call dad today. It was the asshole that beat my mother and did many bad things before my real superman dad came to save us.

Finally it got to me. The drink. I had to stop or I was going to no longer be of this realm for much longer. The one true thing that keeps me sober is the love that I have for people that I care about. The most important person in my world is my son. He has given me wings in order to step away from the poison and fly high alongside him a little bit longer in life.

I also attribute my health and sanity to cannabis. I have never thought of myself as a cannabis dad. I still don’t. I think of myself as a dad. I consume cannabis so that I can keep the quality of life that my son deserves to see his father have. That’s what cannabis does for me as a father. However the magic comes from my children.

Many do not know this about me unless you know me well. I have another child that I am also very proud of. Jessi was born in 1993. I was a child myself. I had no education, clue, money, experience, or even a highschool diploma when Jessi’s mother was pregnant. What I did have was a beautiful child that I loved dearly and had ZERO clue as to what the hell a young couple with nothing was going to do. So I did exactly what I learned how to do in these situations. I navigated through it. I started working.

I worked a lot and was gone a lot. Jessi was born and we did like any other young and struggling couple that mistakenly thought they knew everything. I had rented a house that just so happened to have an address that was very close to the university in Ada, Ok. Irony? Poetic? Or just another slap in the face by the universe?

I worked many different jobs over the short time we were together. From painters helper in an auto body shop to heat & air installation. I was a jack of many trades. Not all mind you…
I soon found myself in a courtroom. I was being asked to give permission to allow my child to leave the state lines without me. I reluctantly gave in. Though, I knew her mother meant to do well.

Years passed and lives evolved as you can imagine. I reconnected with my child in the teenage years. It went well, but ended not so well in a father’s eye. We didn’t speak for years after that. However, as I stated before, the moment that my son was born reunited many of us. It also brought my other child home for a short while.

At that time I was heavily drinking and taking whatever I could put inside of my system to alter it. I was even hiding it. My own ex-wife had no clue of the amount of alcohol I drank to stay functional. I wasn’t a violent drunk. It was as if that became who I was over time. I was literally drinking for breakfast and then topping it off at night with some sleeping pills and alcohol for the buzz.

Jessi was staying over at my family’s house for a bit while in town trying to find a reason to move back. I was pushing it of course. I wanted nothing more than to have all of my kids and wife in one area. It was like a fairy tale in my head that everyone in the world seemed to keep saying was impossible, yet I knew it wasn’t. I knew deep down inside that I could change it. I could make my family whole again. If I could simply hold it together and make everyone happy things would change for the better.

One night I went back to a room where Jessi was staying. I wanted to talk about things. I was in a head space that I shouldn’t have been in. At that time I had started feeling dizzy every day. I fell once and hurt my head. I just chalked it up to that. I sat down on the edge of Jessi’s bed. The next thing I remember is falling over to the side of the bed and I couldn’t focus. It was strange. I had not drank any more than I normally had. However, the amount that I normally drank was preposterous.

I remember making it to my bedroom and crawling on the floor. I couldn’t get off the floor. Soon after I discovered that I had done too much damage to my body over the years and it was time to make a decision.

I could hear the voices talking as I laid in my closet for days. I noticed my son walking by and looking in the door. I could hear Jessi pleading to someone to take me to the hospital. I thought I started talking to spirits from the past. Even some from the future. I was under a spell that only those that have experienced liver failure or something like it can fathom. I wanted nothing more than to take back what I had done.

In my head I had not been patient enough. By that, I mean I had given up on my ultimate goal without even knowing it. I couldn’t stand the anxiety of it all. In my head I was about to die and I didn’t have enough time to make amends with what I had ju

st realized. It was as if I was dreaming of my own burial. I was alive inside the coffin and couldn’t scream.

After that moment I never touched a drop of alcohol or opiates to cope. Cold turkey. What has opened my mind to the opportunities that I actually have now as a person is cannabis. I medicate regularly with cannabis. I smoke it for anxiety. I smoke it to get high and have fun. I smoke it because it tastes good. I smoke it because I love to party sometimes. I smoke because I want to be there for my children. I smoke because I want to be there for myself.

I am assuming this is the definition of a cannabis dad. Who knows? But what I do know is that cannabis has helped me to become who I really am. Authentically I am a good and loving father and I recognize that my children are their own entities. I understand that each of them has a path that they will choose. I hope that they both are fulfilled greatly as they travel down those paths. I hope that I can be there for them if they ever need my loving support.

I do know something for certain. I am the most authentic self that I can be at this moment and time. It is not perfect and I am so happy that it is not. I love my child Lincoln and my child Jessi with all that I can muster. I love my dad for being the superman that did what he did for us back then.

Even as failure continues to attempt to elude me from achieving my tasks, I appreciate each and everything around me as much and the best that I can. I do have to give gratitude to cannabis. Not only did it bring me to my senses, it brought a ton of my loved ones back together in some strange way. Happy Fathers Day Ronnie. I can only hope that one day my children understand as I do you.


(Taking a look at Neurodivergence and Cannabis)

By Kathy Barker

Kathy Barker

Have you ever missed a stair in the dark? It’s like your heart stood up too fast, whilst being in the process of a dizzying white out blindness, before pulling on your lungs for support. SO. naturally, your chest tightens and you start sweating because OBVIOUSLY something is wrong. Welcome to anxiety. There are many ways to placate this beast. However, there are equally as many ways to Piss it off. Fun fact to start us off. Cannabis can do both!

Let’s take a look at both perspectives shall we?

In the right corner we have William Terrell weighing in at : Extremely Anxious.
I asked him how our beloved cannabis helped to quell the nonstop barrage of brain chatter?
“It’s as if I live my life with an old TV in the corner, with static blaring all the time. The static distracts my thoughts, slows them down, But THC turns that TV off for a couple of hours. It’s as if I’m a different person. I’m not fighting to exist in my own mind. I can think and feel and experience things so much more clearly.”
It was surreal the way he was describing it, because I too could relate with the static. For me however, It wasn’t my own static, but the static from other people’s minds. Hints my aversion to crowds. I continued my curiosity with the question of who was he when the TV was on as opposed to off?

“I’m nothing when it’s on, the motivation to exist isn’t really there. The complexity of Life hits me too hard. Life feels too stimulating, especially social interaction. When it’s off I can be me. I find myself mirroring others less when I’m smoking. I allow myself to be me rather than what others want me to be.”
I think we can all agree that’s pretty intense. 
William shared that it was a long road before he actually smoked regularly, but when he did make the decision, it was because he noticed the plant’s healing gift of “quieting the noise.” 
For him, his most noticeable setback was lethargy. But the benefits out-way the cost considerably. Furthermore, between Vaping, smoking, and eating THC, it was never concluded that any of the methods were “bad” per say. Simply, different.

Now in our left corner Sits Jaszi the Bunny Butler weighing in at : So anxious, she has the capability of transforming into a mute.

That’s no exaggeration either. With the wonderful privilege of being able to call her heart warmingly important for four years now, I can confirm she usually stumbles over sentences and giggles until she just stops trying to use words all together.
But honestly it’s not quite so cut and dry. I asked Jasmine for her perspective on anxiety and how it manifests for her, there was a simple reply.
On a common day to day? : “Sweaty hot feet, or rabbit paws if you prefer. I feel like I’m gonna pass out, I start seeing in tunnel vision. I can feel my heart’s just not having it at that moment. I get palpitations.”


She went on to mention that those symptoms become more severe when she’s in social situations or figures of authority are speaking to her. 
Now when she smokes weed it’s a completely different ball game. When I first met Jasmine, she was always down to puff, in fact she could nearly out-toke her best friend, my husband Johnny. (Being a dialysis patient, he medicates quite a bit)

“It put me in a mellow state of mind and I could do anything I wanted to, socially, without caring and now I can’t function in public. I can’t even leave my bed.”
I wondered when it had all started for her. How early? The answer was a resounding ‘VERY’. 
“Just before I turned eleven, three weeks before in fact,” she answered. By a lot of standards, that’s fairly young. But when life immediately gives you lemons…you make lemonade. 

Alas, Medicating with Mary Jane wasn’t fated to last. She took a two year break and it turned into a breakup.

“The last time I smoked weed I took a hit and I was fine. Then I took another hit and it instantly hit me. My head got hot, my body started to shake, I couldn’t form words, I was dizzy and couldn’t move. It lasted for about three hours. It felt like I was trippin’ on acid.
Everything was moving, colors were bright and everything was nauseating”
I couldn’t close my eyes without feeling like I was falling.”

That in itself is a pretty persuasive reason to stop, or at least take a few steps back. But what was the real kicker?

“There was a time in my life when I was going to the hospital almost every day. 
I told the doctors I had cyclic vomiting syndrome, (CVS) and they asked me if I smoked weed. I told them yes, and then they told me that I had Cannabis hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) and that I needed to stop smoking. I went in two weeks later for my heart monitor and it turned out weed was slowing my heart rate down when I slept and spiking it during the day, giving me more palpitations. That was the last time I went to the hospital and I stopped smoking after that.

I haven’t had a CVS attack since then”Well what about CBD? Does that do any good for you?
“Cbd helps in gummy form, but only in gummy form.”

What do the other forms do for you?
“Nothing really, they just give me a hand to mouth smoke fixation”

Got any advice for all the readers out there?
“Go into it with a good mindset, be in a good place with friends.”
“Keep some water nearby and something too munch. If you can relate to any of my experiences, consult your physician, is all I gotta say.”

Thank you for reading everyone!

The Chronissuer – DOC FERGUSON

Time To Dab

Reviewed by Hopper
Written by Pamela Jayne

If you would have told me 30-years-ago, 20-years-ago, 10-years-ago…hell even 5-years-ago, that I’d be setting up a cannabis grow operation with intentions of it to be tracked by law enforcement, I would have bet money that would never happen…but here we are. Fresh out of METRC deadline hell with all plants tagged and everything in full compliance.

Like a homie of mine said, “Hell didn’t freeze over, but Hopper went legal, so that’s pretty much the same thing.” I know a lot of you were putting in long hours to make the deadline too, and we’re probably thinking pretty much the same thing.

I know I took a little trip down memory lane while I was tagging plants, thinking about how far we’ve come. I’ve got nothing but love and respect for the black market because it’s where I’m from. There would be no white market if it weren’t for the risks taken and innovations made by the black market. Sorry about the tangent, l just get super passionate about that subject.

Anyway, when James with Herbage Magazine handed me the goody bag of reviews and I saw that this month is all about concentrates. I was beyond stoked to fire up the Puffco and change gears for awhile. The fact that it’s technically considered “work” reminded me what a gift it is to be a part of this industry and community.

#1 Chem Dahlia Budder by Double Down Dabs

This buttered up beauty has a beautifully creamy, opaque sheen to it, and it has a really interesting nose. The first words that come to mind are “poopy funk” if you know what I mean. There’s definitely a hint of citrusy limonene in there, too. The texture is perfect. It’s like scooping up a dab of buttercream frosting. I can already tell this is going to be epic as I sit here not so patiently waiting for the Puffco to heat up. Wow! It was worth the wait, for sure. The flavor is super clean and crisp, full bodied and well balanced. It’s not sweet citrusy, it’s more acidic citrusy…but that’s a good thing. It’s a heavy hitter that expanded the lungs nicely but didn’t choke me out. The hit is just as clean as the flavor, and provides instant head to toe relief of physical and mental stress. It frees the mind of whatever has been occupying it, and lifts the spirits. Nothing will be able to weigh you down after a dab of this. Not even METRC, haha.

#2 Kush Mints Wax (Doc Ferguson and Rams Head collaboration)

This Kush Mints wax is a nice buttery blonde color and has a crumble like consistency that is very easy to work with, which is nice. Aromatically it’s like a mash up of Pinesol and a freshly picked mint leaf. It’s also kind of gassy and I get a little bit of a garlic smell, too. It hits super smooth and tastes out of this world. Its flavor profile is gassy lemon pine with undertones of garlic pepper. I love the Kush Mints flower, so of course I’m really digging this wax. Doc Ferguson and Rams Head really knocked it out of the park with this collab. Just one big hit of this really sat me back in my chair and had me thinking about life and what a beautiful trip it is. It’s a nice little cerebral vacation that won’t knock you out physically but does help with muscle tension and the aches and pains that come with a hard days work.

#3 Mimosa Diamonds by Double Down Dabs

Chunky and pale blonde with some golden highlights, the Mimosa diamonds is a beautiful champagne color. The bright white in it really highlights its golden hues. It’s a really good looking, top shelf concentrate. The nose on it is mostly on the limonene/pinene tip, and also has a slight eucalyptus aroma. It also kind of smells like Tiger Balm. You know that old school stuff for muscle aches? I haven’t thought about that stuff in years, but that’s what this sort of reminds me of. The hit is mouthwatering. I mean it literally made my mouth water and gave me a nice punch to the lungs with substantial expansion that got me coughing pretty hard and gave me an instant head change followed by shoulder dropping relaxation and cerebral euphoria. This one is a homerun for concentrate lovers.

#4 Sugar Diamonds (Double Down Dabs and Rams Head collaboration)

I’m already excited to try this one because the last Double Down Dabs and Rams Head collab was amazing! They’re both crushing it hard. Hats off to you guys for setting the industry standard. This platinum blonde colored Sugar Diamonds is a visual stunner, and the nose has a slight hint of a gas/fuel like terpene profile. I can’t wait to get this in my lungs and see how it feels. Here we go…It hits you right in the sinuses and gives you a little terp sneeze. You can feel it all through the nose, eyes, and forehead. It offers a focused, cerebral euphoria. It’s great if you want to get into a creative project or just zone out to some tunes. This one is all about the head. You’ll almost immediately feel your eyelids get heavy and your mind start to drift off…It really gave me the munchies too, and I don’t get the munchies very often. A Dr. Pepper freeze from Braums sounds amazing right now. Huge thanks to Doc Ferguson for bringing some bangers this month. I really enjoyed them and I actually really needed the time out from dealing with all the METRC bullshit.

Before we wrap it up I want to thank everyone for coming out to the King Klick and Blaze Ya Dead Homie show at the Brickhouse. I had such a great time celebrating the launch of RX3 and R3M3DY GARD3NS with all of you and look forward to many more awesome events in the future.


The Captain

by James Bridges

I have been told by several key individuals throughout my life that I am what some call an empath. So I guess that’s what I am. I tend to see myself through others emotions. I dive deep and it gets weird, but I’ve lived with it my whole life. It’s rather difficult to treat myself at times.  

A very special person once explained it to me in a way that I could understand. She said that the emotions and toxic energy that flows needs to flow and go somewhere in order to be released. Those that are like myself, mostly bullheaded and so hyper-focused on the end result, tend to capture that energy and have no place for it to be released. So it stays bottled up inside for the “right” moments. 

Navigating life with this very common issue leads me right into why I mentioned that it is rather difficult for me to treat myself at times. In order for me to feel like it’s a treat I almost have to slip into old habits. 

I decided to have a real day off, At least as much as one could expect when being the owner of an independent multimedia company that changes by the minute. So that morning I turned some tunes on to start off the day. I realized the music selection that I had made was quite interesting. It was the exact soundtrack to my previous life. The life I had before the explosion of legal medical marijuana. It was the soundtrack that I would play when I knew that I was going to be having a “chill-axing” day. I laughed it off. 

I felt good. I felt like just a person for a minute. No title. No obligations, other than what was for breakfast. I even had a brand new strain of the best medicine on the planet to try. I was ready.  

At this moment I realized that I really had nothing else I wanted to do other than the habit that I had accidentally formed over the past 4 years. So I went to a dispensary to talk with friends. Maybe even work a little. That’d be great. 

One of my favorite pastimes is eating. Laugh if you want. I like to eat. When I found out that my illness was going to affect that part of my life I was really disappointed. I accepted it, but have really missed exploring new cuisines. In the meantime I have resorted to candy… I know. Please stop thinking what you are thinking and just read. 

If there’s something with sugar inside I will most likely give it a whirl. I shouldn’t and I know that I shouldn’t, yet I still do. I prefer anything that gives me some sort of rush. If my head feels like crystals of lightly shattered and weightless sugar crystals, then I’ve done something right. Sour is always good, but it holds nothing to a crunchy coated shell with a chewy sweet center. As I’m typing this I am wondering what the hell is wrong with me… 

Let’s just agree that there is an actual issue at hand here. 

Luckily, and perhaps fate would have it, while on my “day off” I ran into an old college friend. One that I actually used to acquire top notch medicine from back in the dark ages of the late 90’s. I had seen him around the cannabis industry from time-to-time and just never added number 2 with that other number 2 over there.  

Captain Kirk Reid smiled with his very memorable and near crooked smile. He looked as if he knew something that no one else knew, but really should. The superhero color scheme and vibrance to his logo that surrounded him was form fitting of the hero standing before me. I was happy to see the guy. It brought back some smiles. 

After talking with him for a while, I told him of my addiction to candy. He smiled. His “toolbox” was stacked full of wonderful extractions. I told him of my love for skittles. I told him how I thought that they may be one of the best candies ever made.  

Writing this allows me to self reflect a smidge. I’m starting to become concerned over this obsession with candy… 

Now picture a giant kid with a cool superhero shirt on. Then picture him standing there. He is simply smiling and holding a glass jar with little colorful balls of what looks like candy. He says nothing. He just stands with arm extended and smiles. 

“Is this?” I looked at him with wonder. I plucked the jar from his hand and gave it a look. I looked inside and out. What was I looking at? The color of skittles, yet the shape of tiny golf balls? 

I quickly took a bite and the captain asked what my thoughts were.  

I looked at him and said that I believe I found my replacement. 

A new habit quickly formed and an old friendship rekindled. However “habit forming” the process may be, it’s important to remember that things are never locked into stone. It’s okay to dip back into old healthy habits. It’s also kick ass to know there are healthy and non-life threatening replacements that may be right for you. It’s up to you to find them. 

Captain Kirk’s Edibles 

You haven’t tasted a rainbow this good! Captain Kirk has brought you medicated Freeze Dried Skittles that are sure to take you out of this world! Cosmic Crunchers are crunchy, tasty and will have you wanting more! Micro dosed at 5.5mg each, you can indulge till you feel you’ve met your limit! Don’t miss out on this incredible candy! 


Digital edition of the April 2022 print issue of Herbage Magazine. Herb•age strives to bring you fresh content regularly. We cover a wide range of cannabis culture and medical marijuana-related issues from around the state of Oklahoma and beyond. In other words, It is our mission to be the voice of the growing cannabis industry in the state. Through fair and open discourse we hope to continue the trend of bringing cannabis out of the shadows and into the mainstream where it belongs. So, please join us and help us grow with Oklahoma!

Cake Boss Review



Cake Boss by Full Power Cannabis 

 Reviewed by: Hopper  

Written by: Pamela Jayne 


“This super tight, frosty nugget is fully draped in trichomes and shines like a disco ball. It has very beautiful coloring, with different shades of greens and purples, from light to dark, and is nicely accented by red pistils tucked into the incredibly dense bud. It’s so dense, that when dropped it sounds like a rock hitting the table. 

 The nose on this is absolutely phenomenal. It has both sweet and floral notes, and also a little bit of a gassy kick. The terps on this one quickly woke up my salivary glands, and got my mouth watering and ready for the hit.  

The Chronissuer by Pamela Jayne

Wow, it is absolutely outstanding! It’s floral and sweet, with a little bit of a grape gas taste, but mostly a decadent cake-like flavor. The hit is super smooth- not at all harsh on the lungs. It was obviously flushed well, and also has a nice cure. Big props to the grower for that. One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone grows a beautiful crop, and then ruins it by not properly flushing it and/or rushing the cure. The hit was smooth and delicious and was followed by a moderately sedating cerebral sensation that weaves its way through every nook and cranny of the brain to carry away the worries of the day. It’s a great anxiety reliever and mood enhancer. As far as the physical effects, it provides instant relaxation in the shoulders, neck, and back. I really appreciate how long lasting the physical relief was. This strain would be helpful for anyone in need of pain management, muscle relaxation, or just a break after a long day.  

 All in all, the Cake Boss from Full Power Cannabis in Edmond is a top shelf selection that really showcases the best of Oklahoma medical cannabis, and was a perfect way to kick off The Chronisseur in Herbage. I’m beyond stoked to be here in this beautiful state, to be part of the Herbage family, and to see what next month’s offerings are.” 

Be sure to grab a copy of Herbage each month to see what Oklahoma is smokin’ on, and what our very own Chronisseur has to say about it.  

A Face of a Million Faces

By Michael Kinney  

Trying to pin Andrew Martin down on a simple answer can seem like trying to drink water out of a thimble. The co-founder of Sherweed Forest admits it is a problem, especially when trying to explain what his company is. 

Martin sees what Sherweed Forest is, but also what it can become.  “We are not a traditional mechanism. I would say Sherweed Forest is an idea,” Martin said. “I don’t mean that in a cheesy, branding way. We didn’t start as a formal organization. We began this process as two guys from the town of Mannford (Okla.) and essentially identified a problem in the market that we saw was unfolding. We saw it as a fateful problem. If it wasn’t solved, it could be the fate of access to cannabis.” 

Yet, it all started as a simple project. He and Branden Chaney were looking to find some cannabis.  

While that may seem easy these days with a dispensary being on almost every corner around Oklahoma, the two friends were actually looking for a special kind of cannabis.  

Chaney, who is a plumber by trade, suffers from severe pain in his back. His doctors had prescribed pain blockers as far back as 10 years ago in the middle of the opioid epidemic. Yet, they did not solve his problem.   

But then in 2019, the two friends started to look into medical marijuana.  

“We were trying to find the right, discreet dosing item for him that would actually be consistent and get him where he needs to be,” Martin said. “We weren’t able to find it at first. That kind of set us off on this particular angle.”  

If somebody was new to cannabis and its effects and how to use it and they wanted to use it for a specific reason, they would use something like weed maps. But according to Martin, those are based on a broken system.  

They would also use strain names, which Martin says are completely made up by the seller and can change the name when it’s not selling well. That makes finding the right product difficult.  Martin and Chaney saw a problem and decided to fix it themselves. They created Sherweed Forest with the idea of educating those who use medical marijuana on what is the right product for them and why.   

Sherweed Forest now also includes Brook Miller, Kayvon Taghizadeh, and Tarra Quin.  

Andrew added, “I realized instantly after I first introduced the Bazaar and partnered with Brook as the lead events coordinator that he was the second half that would make the entire thing possible.” 

Andrew then informed me that Kayvon keeps all of them on their toes. They do not want to become an inspiration for his stand up comedy. “He is a technology repair specialist by day. It is that level of attention to detail that he brings to to team that we couldn’t live without.” 

Tarra Quinn, Advertising Director for Herbage Magazine, is an amazing asset to the Sherweed team. “Personally, my son is a pediatric patient and this event allows me to medicate him monthly.” Tarra expressed her gratitude. “I also gain more knowledge by meeting the makers of his medicine.” 

“We created Sherweed Forest to try and meet people and create an environment of the community,” Martin said. “We are just a collection of like-minded people who have a common cause. We create goals and try to accomplish them. There are opportunities for patients to find a product that almost feels made specifically for them. “What we are trying to do is make it easy for patients and for vendors to do this process, to be able to come together into a room and exchange information and education, and be able to try those products.”  

From that concept, the Sherweed Forest’s Throw Down Bazaar sprung to life. 

With the bazaar, Sherweed Forest partners with a local dispensary and holds a massive sale for low-cost cannabis and other products.   

“We want to be able to give you a guide that can help you find that precision,” Martin said. “Whether you understand what that means or not.” 

The first Bazaar was held in November of 2021. Since then there’ve been three iterations of Sherweed Forest Throwdown Bazar. The most recent took place in January. The event raised more than $23,000, which is by far the most product the Throwdown has sold in their short run. However, while Martin said the Throwdown was a success, they also had to deal with a few hitches that kept it from being a total success to some involved. A big part of that was not anticipating the large swell in attendance.  

“So, I take the blame for it, but I also own it. I wanted it to work like that. It just grew too fast. This was only the fourth one,” Martin said. “And we’ve been doing them about every 30 days. And their only complaint is that it was just a pressure system at the dispensary level and a bottleneck. And that’s just due to the insane amount of response.”  

One of the reasons for the Bazaar’s quick growth was due to the generosity of Randy Luck, formerly  General Manager of Kind Love and now GM of Bodega Boyz. According to Martin, Luve attended the second Throwdown event and really liked the concept, but also saw the low number of sales being made.  

“So then he offered us a 0% markup, and that’s actually what made it blow up and get to the $23,000,” Martin said. “And made it what it is to this day. We just accepted that offer. But we only really had contact with him when it comes to Kind Love. So, it’s a lesson we learned in regards to, we don’t know how much the owner is necessarily on the same page or if they were or weren’t. And just a lesson we learned is to dig and be thorough in regards to getting our hands on the owner of collaboration, to make sure everybody’s on the same page.”  

One of the factors they will have to consider going forward is the size of the dispensary. When they first started, they could hold the Bazaar at smaller stores because they weren’t getting a ton of people coming through the door. But now, the Sherweed Forest group has grown so fast in a short amount of time, that a larger facility may be needed in the future.  

“So that event went great. It just felt like we had a hard time knowing what was going on on the dispensary side,” Martin said. “And so we chose the small one because they would let us get behind the counter, in a metaphorical way. They let us work with them up to the point of the delivery of the product. And I was hoping that with my admin team, that would be helpful enough that a small shop would then be able to do the event.”  

Sherweed Forest has learned from the mistakes they have made and hopes to make future events run more streamlined, or as Martin says, like Disney.  “The simplest answer is the process to be pristine from the moment that a vendor, and I’ll talk in dual terms here, the moment that a vendor or a patient enters the experience, whether that’s walking into the bazaar as a patient, whether that’s beginning their correspondence with us as a vendor, our dream is for that to be like a Disney process,” Martin said. “You know how Disney runs like an oiled machine. They’re all about that experience and everything is dialed in. My dream and goal for the next one, what I’m working hard on right now to ensure it happens, is that every patient who attends the event feels welcome and able to meet the makers of their medicine.”  

At the end of the day, it all goes back to the basic idea of educating people on the best cannabis and getting it at a lower cost. That has been the foundation of Sherweed Forest and Martin wants to make sure that is never forgotten.   

“I want to be able to reach people where they’re at and with what they’re going through and where they are in life at this moment, and be able to come to their level,” Martin said. “I want this event to be able to find people where they are. It’s a free event. It always will be as long as I’m running it.” 

Martin added, “We could not do this without the community. I myself am really just an artist who knows how to create expression and to generate awareness. I am here in cannabis because I am a lover of the plant.  

War Party: Battles from the Field

War Party 

Battles from the Field

By Charles “Uncle Chuck” Duncan


Most of my articles in Herbage Magazine are opinion pieces or basic cannabis education. But once in a while I get to do a company profile. Especially when the boss asks you to do one. In reality, I enjoy doing them as they almost always include a background story that gives Old Yeller a run for its money in the heartstrings department. As an advocate and educator, I am typically the one talking at events and cannabis gatherings. But as I am also a regular fan of the plant itself and a generally curious person, I enjoy the listening part more. 

Eliot Greenwood, Portrait by Universe With Jaz

My latest assignment for our most badass owner and publisher, Sir James, had me crossing the paths of one Eliot Greenwood. CEO and Founder of War Party Extracts. To say Eliot had a backstory would be like saying Band of Brothers was just a show about war. Mr. Greenwood has experienced more challenges and roadblocks than anyone should have to endure. From losing his Grandmother at a young age and witnessing the death of his father, Eliot experienced life events that, as happens all too often, sowed the seeds of PTSD.

PTSD rarely exposes itself in a warm fuzzy kind of way. And it didn’t for Eliot either. But  Mr. Greenwood has turned his pain into a desire to help others. Agony into empathy. In an industry that seems hell-bent on showing how much money it can generate, it’s a wonderful feeling to be reminded that there are those out there in the cannabis industry that want to spread love more than benjamins.

Eliot Greenwood enjoying Lavendar Jedi, Portrait by Universe With Jaz

In 2017 Eliot started War Party Extracts. He is the first to tell you that War Party Extracts is about serving the patient because, well, he is a patient as well. He is also Native American. Something he is very proud of sharing. And I was proud to hear it. Being Cherokee myself, it is always a pleasure to hear about a quality Native American owned cannabis company. A lot of minorities are getting left out of the emerging cannabis industry. 

Cannabis was used by Native American people in this part of the world a long time before colonists and settlers arrived. They used it for food, clothing, bedding and yes even medicine. And they didn’t charge 17% sales tax. But that’s another article for another day.

Eliot is making a statement as well as a call to arms regarding the need for, in his words, “true medicine” to come to Oklahoma. He wants to change hearts and minds in regards to how cannabis is perceived in Oklahoma. The best way to do that is with a quality product. In a highly competitive market, Eliot has found a way to stay in business yet not cut corners. He believes that comes from offering the public a quality product. 

From talking with Eliot, I got the distinct feeling that he created War Party Extracts as a political statement, a stance on the dysfunctional healthcare system and an alert to those in the cannabis industry focused on money instead of patients. He is saying not on my watch. He knows how to make a quality product and he invests his belief in everything War Party Extract puts out.  

Eliot hand makes and feels each cart. Image by Universe WIth Jaz

He clearly understands the importance of the need to use quality Terpenes when producing cannabis products. After all, Terpenes not only add to the Entourage Effect, they add one of the first and strongest elements patients seek when purchasing cannabis. The smell test.  

Using the Supercritical Extraction method, War Party Extracts produces some of the cleanest and highest quality products on the market. You can tell from speaking with Eliot, quality is most important. Combined with the finest Terpenes available, War Party Extracts has recently one top awards at both Harvest Fest and The ever growing cannabis event, The Cowboy Cup. A quality product backed by a sincere owner is getting to be a rare combination in the very crowded Oklahoma cannabis market these days.   

So the next time you’re shopping for your favorite cannabis, ask your budtender about their selection of War Party Extracts products. You will be supporting a patient owned and Native American owned company. I will tell you from my own personal experience, their E-Blunts are amazing.  

War Party Extracts has an impressive list of awards.

Harvest Fest 2020

1st Place Best Distillate Cart

Harvest Fest 2020

1st Place Best Infused Pre-Roll

OG Cup 2020

1st Place Best Distillate Cart

OG Cup 2020

3rd Place Best Infused Pre-Roll

Harvest Fest 2021

1st Place Best THCA Diamond Infused Pre-Roll

Cowboy Cup 2021

2nd Place Best Rosin Cart

War Party Extracts is a Tulsa-Based company. They take great pride in being a locally owned cannabis business. Mr. Greenwood is the kind of owner that would love to hear about your experience using their products. I can tell it means a lot to him when he hears customer testimonials. He can be reached at warpartyextracts@gmail.com or info@roleok.com.

You can also reach Eliot at 918-221-1718 

Take Me To The Candy Shop

Take Me To The Candy Shop

By James Bridges

“It feels like a dream. It’s honestly something I would have never expected.”

Candy Shop where Sage Wellness currently resides

If you have ever had the opportunity to visit one of my personal favorite shops in town, Sage Wellness in Oklahoma city, then you must have experienced the smile that comes from the one and only Talon Hull. Talon owns and operates Sage Wellness.

I love to visit this place. It’s located in the Western Avenue district of OKC. It’s a great place to grab a bite and then hop on over to the candy shop. That’s right. Sage Wellness is located in what was once a neighborhood candy shop. Very fitting if you ask me.

Talon walked me around the consistently comfortable setting. I love the exposed brick. The urban feel is much more inviting inside of Sage Wellness than one might expect. 

Talon Owner of Sage Wellness
January Cover Artist Summer Rose by James Bridges

“I grew up off of 79th and Western,” Talon spoke about his connection to his community. “I feel like It was fate. I was meeting with my mom and my sister, who is our creative director, and I was, at the time, going to OSU. I was enrolled for about six months or so and I wasn’t really going to class as much. It just wasn’t for me. While we were having lunch my mom was like, ‘You know we’ve got to figure this out.’ We all knew we needed something. I was like, ‘Well, what about a CBD shop?’  So after we had lunch we went over to a local CBD shop just to check it out. It was cool. The shop was put together nicely. The owner was having fun. She seemed to enjoy what she’s doing. She said she loves what she does. She believes in her product.”

Talon said that at that moment he was completely inspired to do something that he felt would help so many people on a lot of different fronts. “I felt like we could do something. We could bring something to the community that hasn’t been seen before.”

At that time Talon and his family knew of a place inside of an old building that would be perfect. It was up for lease. The location was inside of the neighborhood they wanted to impact most. To top it off, it was inside the same building as the Western Avenue staple, VZD’s. 

VZD’s Restaurant & Bar is a locally owned and operated bar located in the heart of the Western Avenue district of Oklahoma City. For three decades, it has been a hub for live music and fountain for beer and fabulous mixed drinks. VZD’s reopened in the fall of 2015 after being remodeled and revamped, but still offers locals all the tradition it has always entailed.

Talon told of how he and his family discovered the location. “It turns out that one of the old candy stores on Western was going out of business after 30 years. I visited the candy store as a child. My dad was a chef at VZD’s Restaurant at one time. My mom even had my baby shower in VZD’s. That’s why I say it was fate.”

Talon brought us back to the “time for action” lunch with the family. “So after lunch we all knew we needed something. We all went our separate ways. I saw the sign in the window. I picked up the phone and I called. At first the realtor was a little bit reluctant. I asked her to please just go check out this CBD shop that we had just experienced. I promised her that I would do my best to have the best experience. Just give me a chance and go. So she arranged a visit. Fast forward… they gave us a chance!”

I could tell Talon was reliving the experience as I watched emotions come over his face. The twists and turns that must have been going through his head at the time… One  could only imagine.  He let me know that he received enormous help from his cousin. “He’s been in business and helped me in the beginning. My mom was still doing dental billing full-time. I came here and started making the best of everything.”

The pivot turned one day for the family and the business. It was a day that everyone will remember in Oklahoma. Well, anyone who gives a damn. I know most of us will.

“I’ll never forget it. June 26th 2018.” Talon was speaking of course about the infamous day that Oklahoma shocked the nation by accepting cannabis as a true medical option for those in need.  “788 passed that day. I have written papers over State question 788 back in high school. There’s even a video of me, to this day, with shaggy hair and my teenage self talking about 788 and it being on the ballot before it was actually even on the ballot. My mom was into cannabis and CBD. I loved that she was into something that I loved and knew. My dad lived in Oregon, so I was able to kind of grow up and see a legal marijuana market. It was simple to me. This is here helping the community and so I got really, really inspired at that point.”

Talon barely took a breath as he spoke. “I was in Colorado picking up our first CBD order. It was exciting as we were ready to get stocked. That’s when I learned that State Question 788 had passed. I knew I had to spend another four hours out there picking up products for the CBD store. I freaked out, you know! It was on the news and I was seeing everything. I wanted to get back to OKC as soon as possible.”

I could sense the excitement and wanted more. Imagine the joy to know that you are fortunate enough to already have the lease. A CBD shop up and going. All of this while knowing that it is all about to change. The perfect timing, location, neighborhood and a purpose to start building up a dispensary. 

“On December 25th of 2018 we were in here putting in all of the last shelving. We were hanging the TVs on the wall, etc… I was so excited to open. We had our product, you know, and so the next day was December 26th— the day after Christmas.  So we decided to open the doors. We probably shouldn’t have opened. But, you know, five days before the end of the year. We end up having to file a tax return for five days of business. It was totally worth it.”

Talon described the time as “a dream come true. I remember being in here with some of my friends and family and just looking at a place I grew up in. This candy store is now an adult candy store as well as a place for the community. In my opinion, Western Avenue is the best area because of the camaraderie. I guess it was really the beginning of the roller coaster.”

The crew kicked off their 2019 with a bang. They cruised into their very first 420 calendar celebration. Talon described it as “such a party here. It was the first 420 since State question 788 had passed. Seeing everybody from all across the state come out in lines was amazing. We crushed our 2019 goals. Towards the end of 2019 we launched a new product. Then 2020 rolls around. We had the pandemic obviously. As a team I’m really proud of the 14 of us. Down to when I started this place. I was 20 years old and I had never been into a dispensary. You have to be 21 to get into a recreational dispensary. My mom came here and helped me get the license. At that point I was like, what we’re going to do is to the best of our ability to make this work. I’m proud of us.”

Sage Wellness crew

Sage celebrated its third year on December 26th of 2021. “It’s so cool,” Talon reflected again, “to be able to see what’s happened over the course of time and then you’re in the pandemic. I think back to when our team came together and you know we put in Social distancing procedures. We had curbside pickup and it was obviously a lot of adjustments for everybody. I hoped and realized that we would push through it all, especially through the storms.”

“I say the floodgates are open now.”

In 2021 there were over 10,000 licenses. More than 8,800 licenses had been issued for growers. Oklahoma had up to 2,200 dispensaries. This is four times the amount of growers than there are dispensaries. Talon acknowledged that a lot comes down to relationships. Without question Talon explained his values, “There are three core values: our experience, our relationships and our community. I really believe it’s like a math equation. You build a relationship that creates this experience. You genuinely support your community… That’s our main focus here every day. We want to create an unforgettable experience.”

In my opinion, there has to be more when it comes to creating an experience that is actually beneficial to the entire process. All of which go hand in hand. There are wonderful businesses in this world that can claim success in measurements, such as productivity. However it’s those special shops where you might find the perfect candy that accepts the fact that a better “quality” experience is a much more lasting and beneficial situation for all.

The Gaffney

The Gaffney

By Michael Kinney

The Gaffney

From 2015-20 one of the hottest television shows was “Empire,” the fictional drama focused on the Lyon family, which had started from the ground up to build an empire in the music industry.

While the show featured banging music and eye-catching fashion, the core of the show was about a family that essentially did not get along but was forced to work together in order to build their empire.

Bobby and Michelle Gaffney have taken a page out of the Lyon’s playbook as they also work to build their own empire, without the backstabbing and murder plots but instead use delicious food and strong cannabis.

In less than a year, the Gaffney have started two businesses right next door to each other in Norman’s Merkle Creek Plaza. The first was Bee High Dispensary, which opened its doors in January. Then in July they opened Delish Nutrish Café & Meal Prep, a restaurant that feeds the soul in a healthy way.

Both businesses are family-owned and run. Along with Bobby and Michelle, their three sons Braden (21), Bentley (18) and Brion (17) put in work at both establishments.


“We’re trying to perfect it, I guess, at this level. We’re teaching our kids. So we have a 17- and 18-year-old that actively cook over here and make new drinks and things for people,” Michelle said. “Our 17-year-old actually wants to go to culinary school. So that is something he’ll end up stepping up into the role of head chef as the position my husband carries.”

With Bobby as the head chef, Delish Nutrish serves all organic and healthy food. Everything from Lamb chops and steak to Korean BBQ bowls and burgers.

“We try to source local ingredients. We do have some farms that we work with. Everything is certified organic down to the spices that we use,” Michelle said. “We use certified organic chicken. We use grass fed meats. So everything that we use here, ingredient-wise, you can eat and know that it is very good for you. We don’t use any oils that are bad. We use avocado oils, coconut oils, things like that and we also portion our food correctly.”

Creating an environment where people can eat well, but also healthy goes back to how the Gaffney live their own lives.

“Over the years we’ve always tried to eat better seeing what our parents have gone through with their health,” Michelle said. “We started just changing, eating habits and things. But that’s always been a passion that we’ve incorporated at home and we just always said, when we got to a place that we could, we would love to have a healthy cafe. Being parents of three boys that played sports and you’re busy and you’re running the kids here and there, McDonald’s or Burger King is where you’d end up getting something to eat because it’s quick and fast and you don’t have time to cook, but it’s horrible for you. So yeah, that’s basically from our experience raising our kids and wanting to be healthier.”

The meal prep portion of the restaurant has become popular among the athletes at the University of Oklahoma. It has picked up steadily in just a few months.

“I was surprised actually,” Bobby said. “Once one came in, he spread the word on how the food tasted. Next thing, another one came in. That word of mouth is nuts.”

Even though Bee High was the first to open, according to Bobby, the family has always had an eye on getting into the restaurant business. Both he and Michelle have extensive experience working at other eateries and were looking for the right opportunity.

But then came State Question 788 in which Oklahomans voted to legalize marijuana in 2018.

The couple saw that as an opportunity they couldn’t pass on. As a family that had a strong connection to the positive effects of marijuana and CBD products, they put their focus into getting into the field.

It wasn’t until 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic that they decided to go for it. According to Bobby, they saw other people shrinking back and their mentality was to push forward.

When the Gaffney first approached the landlord of Merkle Creek Plaza about opening their dispensary, they were initially told no. She wanted a restaurant in that spot, which had been lying empty for the past eight years. According to Bobby, his oldest son Braden was thinking on his feet and told their potential landlord that the restaurant was part of the plan. That was seemingly enough to convince the landlord and took over the space in September of 2020. But then the hard part came and they had to figure out if it was actually legal and what they would have to do to make it so.

After the family completely gutted and renovated the space, which included putting up a wall to separate the two businesses, High Bee opened at the start of 2021. Despite joining an ever-growing field of dispensaries in Oklahoma, the Gaffney like the direction High Bee is going. “It takes a lot of money to get a product on the shelf,” Michelle said. “So we’re at that point where we’re starting to expand. I think we have 30 strains of different shelves right now that we carry from diamond down to the silver shelf. Actually, we have a value shelf there too.”

As they continue to expand, the Gaffney are looking to increase their product line to at least 50 strains. “It’s really just putting money back in, and now that we’ve perfected things here, we have our processors. So we’re going to start making organic and sugar-free candies, that are edibles and things,” Michelle said. “So I think that’s a market too, that other people haven’t touched to look at. Yeah. It’s medicinal and everybody likes edibles, but can a diabetic come in or can someone with cancer come in or someone that doesn’t like sugar or wants more natural foods. So we’re starting to incorporate that as well.”

The Gaffney credit their growth to the type of service they provide their customers. Because they are a family operation, they believe that enables them to add a personal touch that most people aren’t used to getting. “We’re smaller. So what I’m seeing is that we’re a lot more personable,” Bobby said. “A lot folks tell us that they’re able to come in and ask a question and not feel rushed, not feel like they have to hurry up and get out because there’s a 50 mile wait or it’s so big and they see so many people that you’re just another person in the herd.” Even though High Bee and Delish are two separate businesses, the Gaffney have found a way to meld the pair. When the cafe closes down at 4 p.m., it later becomes a lunge for customers at Bee High.

Progressively Growing

Progressively Growing

By James Bridges


A true vertical grow with family orientation. That’s what I had set out to go visit. I wanted nothing more than to feel as if I were around close families during the holidays. I believe I got my wish. 


Brian Goodwin was practicing pharmacy in Ada, OK with the Chickasaw Nation. His brother, Grant Hall, had a CPA practice. The father of the two brothers was a dentist. The family wanted to go into business for themselves.  An opportunity presented itself for them to do so. They would also have the bonus of working collectively. 


“We had another investor. We all went in together.” Brian was to the point. “So we then had the financial means to begin. Now it was time for my brother and I to turn on the sweat equity.  Here we are 3 years later and we feel like we’re getting better. We know it’s a very hard market right now. We’re doing everything we can to separate ourselves.”

“If it were up to me we would have 8 dispensaries coming soon on a sign hanging everywhere.” Grant Hall, sweat equity and partner for Progressive Grow, laughed. Of course, then we would be spread too thin. My brother prevents me from overdoing it like that.”


I watched Grant talk about the creation of Progressive Grow. He was so passionate and proud in his approach to this natural medicine. I could tell he was a driving force in the company that would carry them even farther down the path of success.


Grant was motioning for me to follow him. “Our other partner is a really smart person. He started  lot of companies. He’s very savvy. So when we ever get in a bind and we need some ‘real’ business advice, we go directly to him.”


We walked down the hallway into the flower rooms. Exactly what I was there to see. I could smell happiness as the doors opened.


There are thousands of growers in the Oklahoma cannabis market. They are competing for the same footprint. There are times I step back and take a look at the Oklahoma market and how far we have come and I can only say the word, wow! In order to stand out you must be on your A-game at all times. There most assuredly is no time to pause. Having the ability to adapt and evolve are the key components to surviving in this current environment.

The first room we entered was huge. 


Karsten Thompson, flower manager, Clay Balthrop, grow manager, and Christian Colbert,  assistant cultivation manager were introduced to me as “part of the team”. They wanted to be sure that I was aware they could not operate with only the people currently standing in the room. I feel it necessary to point out a great character indicator when I see one. So I did.


I asked them all for some pointers for growers wanting to get in the industry. I received collective answers. “Don’t give up. It doesn’t fall into place right away. Be aware of shady people fronting as legitimate grows. They do exist. Sometimes you have to weave through some of the bad to find your place in the industry.” They also pointed out, “Don’t be afraid to try new things. It’s such a new industry that there’s not a set way to do anything. So there might be a better way to do everything. Keep experimenting and finding out.” I thought for a minute we were all going to high five. It was simply one of those moments.

Grant could barely contain himself, “We used to have plants in here that would literally be hitting the top of the lights. They were so lush. So we started growing a ton of different strains. We were spending a lot more on genetics. We are trying to have first generation mother’s. We are now actually flowering out the clones to see which ones we like. Then we’re going to have the first generation mother’s always cloning. So, we are starting to run out of room.” He smiled.


We both had a laugh as we looked around at the flowers. Such a wonderful sight.


Some of the struggles they were facing are common among growers of all sizes. It’s a matter of dialing it in. Growers must consider doing things like changing the size of the pots. Small details that add major weight gain exponentially throughout each cycle.  


“This harvest right here is already cut by 40 lbs.” Grant pointed at the flower, “because the plants are too small.  We are tweaking operations now to achieve a more full and lush harvest. Our HVAC is being upgraded from 30 tons up to 45 tons. Now we will have much more room. You see all the fans now and everything we have upgraded. We are probably going to be switching over to some high powered LEDs soon throughout the grow. We are also looking into an air scrubbing system that constantly scrubs the air clean. We are basically trying to do everything we can to get dialed in.”

I was curious how Grant chose the strains to grow under the pressure of the Oklahoma cannabis market. Grant informed me of the difficulty to pick something that may or may not be good for the market. The ability to foresee the future somehow missed him when he was created. 


Grant shook his head, “Way early on we had a strain called comfortably dumb. It was super popular. It kind of gave us a name. So, we embraced it. We started putting all of our efforts into a ‘popular’ strain. We put so much effort into it we got tired of it. But it’s something we felt needed to be done. We had Comfortably Dumb all over our veg room. It was all over our flower rooms. When you load your rooms with a strain then it takes a while to effectively change that.” 


A major issue while dealing with this is finding yourself at the other end of the spectrum. You change everything so that you have a ton of variety. When you go this far over to the other side you get harvests that are only 3 to 4 lbs each. That just doesn’t make financial sense.


Grant talked about how they were focusing on higher terpene and potency levels. He added, “By growing less strains it allows us to focus more on the quality of the medicine. We are able to make it easier on ourselves while still focusing on quality and potency.”

We made it over to the lab. There were two young men operating the lab. I managed to pull Tyde Thomsen, head solventless processor for Progressive Grow Labs. “Straight from harvest we trim up the buds, then vacuum seal them. We throw them in the freezer to get the whole extraction process going. They sit in the freezer for about 2 days,” Tyde was all smiles. “We throw it into our fully automated washing machine. This really helps out not having to break our backs to obtain washes all the time. It has really helped us improve low temperature work. We do that then we drain it into rosin washing bags. It filters out all the tricome supermicro layers. and then we’ll collect that throw it into a freeze dryer. We collect it and then we immediately press it. It’s been a whole process of learning the ins-and-outs of hash. It’s such an amazing opportunity to work in this lab.


I couldn’t help myself at that point of the conversation. I had to point something out. I asked Tyde to tell me again how old he was and how long he had been doing what he was doing. Tyde smiled and confidently said, “I graduated high school in 2019. I’ve been doing this for about a year.”


I was set back. I imagined myself at that age. I imagined the opportunities in front of Tyde.I’m not sure how often Tyde thinks about his moral value to this world and the people that live within his bubble. So I acknowledged it.


I asked Tyde to think about the number of lives that he is now affecting in a positive way. The medicine he is in charge of is making others have a better quality of life. Thousands of individuals touched by the work of a recent high school graduate. His weapon of choice just happens to be one from caring and enjoyment. Just imagine the possibilities.

One of the major factors that a good quality business tends to set aside is marketing. It’s extremely important to advertise and market to your audience and potential customers. There are no cookie cutter ways of doing so. The best way to handle this is through a consultant. Someone that knows the ins and out of both advertising and the cannabis environment.  The team at Progressive Grow Labs is now looking into marketing and advertising as it should. “We are no longer in the flea market or barter/trade style market.” Grant agreed as we both talked about the number of current growers in the market. “This industry is starting to grow up, sort of speaking. Also there are just too many people in the market. So if you just do the simple math of 7,000 growers. If they merely harvested an average of 1 lb per month that would already be a lot of cannabis. However, no one is going to grow only 1 lb per month unless they aren’t operational. So that’s just a ton of cannabis in the market. You have to set yourself apart in some way. That’s where our advertising and marketing come in.”


I started imagining how awesome it would be to work on something of this scale with my own brother. Grant chimed in, “My brother and I are very close. This has actually forced us to become closer. It’s been great. It can be challenging sometimes, but it’s totally worth it. Because we learn from everything. Then my dad works with us. Mostly things he could do from home. He’s retired, but he helps us a lot.”


I asked Grant about the next steps for Progressive Grow Labs. “I think the next step is trying to figure out how to make a few more products for our store. We want to make them for ourselves and then also wholesale. I think now we’ve kind of switched gears and we’re going to be hyperfocusing on our current grow. We want to make it the best that it can be then expand from there. Ultimately we want to be multi-state. Right now we need to concentrate on our home bas which will continue to be Oklahoma.”


Brian reminded me, “We had no struggle with the crew when we went through some changes. I feel like now we have a really good tight crew of hard-working people. Everything is family and we’re trying to open a dispensary. So it’s just that. You know? Family. Making friendships and acquaintances. That’s what we’re looking to do in this industry. We are looking to be a good name for the industry. We want to do things right. We fully support the cannabis industry and want to portray the best for it.” Brian was sincere. The way marijuana has been treated throughout the years has been so bad. We are trying to change things.”


“This industry is very progressive. To us that sums up this industry. It’s always growing progressively. Brian had undertones of pride in his voice, “The whole marijuana industry is progressive.” 


The name obviously resonated with the group of entrepreneurs. Progressive. It was interesting having the opportunity to speak with the family at Progressive Grow. To notice another crew at the top of their game and to understand that they have consistently had twists and turns along the way helps me see something beautiful. The dream is not dead. Entrepreneurs rest assured. If you do in fact have a premium product idea, the courage to commit, and the sweat to spare then you can, indeed, achieve the dream. You just have to go get it.


A progressive family full of very progressive thinkers. I was once again fulfilled by witnessing the life of a deserving family being made better. All due to our amazing life ally we call cannabis.

24-Carat Trajectory

24-Carat Trajectory

by Contracted Writer


C.W. “Russ” Harrison, Founder & CEO of Golden Trends

They say the Snozzberries taste like Snozzberries. Now, I don’t know what a Snozzberrry tastes like, but I do know the Golden Trends Reserve unique 100% glass one gram Snozzberry cartridge is sure to be Golden Trend’s best seller, offering a delectable, quenching flavor profile you can only expect from Russ Harrison, who is truly the finest salt of the earth.

Meet Golden Trends, a state of the art Oklahoma-owned processor and producer of finely engineered cannabis products offering a full spectrum of cannabinoids and terpenes. Their one-gram cartridges and Sugar Free, Gluten Free, Vegan gummies provide Oklahoma patients with the synergistic effects of a full spectrum product while offering the reassurance of a predictable, lab created profile. “We are very outcome driven,” says C.W. “Russ” Harrison, Founder & CEO of Golden Trends. “When (the extract) leaves we know exactly what we’ve got.”

This is due to Golden Trend’s implementation of a multi-test process, lab testing their extracts in-house prior to sending out for compliance testing. Using their High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) system -the same equipment used by OMMA accredited labs- as well as a qPCR instrument, gives them the ability to perform rapid detection of microbial contamination. “Everything’s independently tested,” notes Russ, “You need to be monitoring the process, not the outcome.” Access to onsite testing that aligns with state approved labs helps Golden Trends develop new and innovative delivery systems more quickly.

Golden Trends stays above the curve by utilizing on-site quality control biochemist, Jason Davenport. He tells us, “I’m responsible for performing cannabinoid profiling on all incoming plant material, distillates, and final products, as well as material from various points in our process stream.” And according to Russ, “A good chemist is conservative.” Their products are CO2 extracted in a revolutionary 3-system laboratory and manufacturing facility. These trailblazing brand characteristics can be attributed to to the life’s work of Mr. Harrison, who has delivered food-grade products to national consumer brands since 1986. “These sound, food-grade principles are ingrained into our training and processes.”

Russ Harrison may have grown up on a farm but he didn’t aspire to be a farmer. Young Russ couldn’t foresee the high-CBG plant based medicine his future self would attempt and succeed in soil growing one day.  Instead Russ found his fortune in salts and in plaster- “a serial plaster entrepreneur,” his wife, Celina, refers gently.

For 32 years Russ grew his reputable business-to-business enterprise in the food-grade Gypsum salt industry with his company Allied Custom Gypsum. Gypsum salt, sometimes called land plaster, improves soil’s workability and capacity to receive moisture. Gypsum is used in toothpaste and to make cement, drywall, and streets. As described by Russ, “Gypsum salt is a yeast food.” Russ’ A+ rated partnership with industry giant in the yeast business- Anheuser Busch aligned him to join the bubbly hemp market merger. In 2018 Russ sold Allied Custom Gypsum, initially focusing on CBD processing for food and drink manufacturers. The Farm Bill was signed into law that same year and Russ seized the opportunity. However, due to the 2019 FDA ruling that CBD could not be considered GRAS- Generally Regarded As Safe, Harrison pivoted into the Cannabis as Medicine industry. “He’s very curious and likes to figure things out,” relays Celina.

Harrison has always been an exemplary model of following Good Manufacturing Practices while producing a food-grade product. “Good Manufacturing Practice is a system for ensuring that products are consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards. GMP is a mindset and covers all aspects of production – not just equipment,” explains Russ. For Golden Trends, “it’s about patient safety first. It’s about repeatable, predictable, traceable, and transparent processes.” Russ and his team extensively researched to find the top equipment, consulting with industry experts to perfect their extraction methodologies. He relays, “the result is a proven extraction process that is clean, safe and produces the best cannabis product for patients.”

Golden Trends’ extracts used to craft their carts and gummies are potent- testing at 80-90% THC, “I’ve seen 95%!” exclaims Russ. Their extract is pure, providing only naturally occurring cannabinoids and terpenes without using fillers or cutting agents. Cannabis materials undergo a comprehensive sampling, quarantine and testing protocol to ensure quality. “Everything we do is to ensure that our products are of high quality and free of contaminants,” relays Russ.

Golden Trends Prime one-gram carts are manufactured using Jupiter hardware, providing less packaging and waste than the industry standard. Golden Trends Reserve carts are supremely manufactured using 100% glass hardware. Both lines are currently available in the flavorful throwback Indica- Blueberry, Lemon Lime Sativa, Pineapple Chunk Sativa, and Golden Trend’s own uniquely floral and candy sweet Snozzberry Indica. Golden Trends Reserve high dose gummies are currently available in packs of ten and come in 50-milligram per piece Cherry, 100-milligram Lemon Raspberry, and 200-milligram Grape. This all-natural edible option is notably Sugar Free, not an easy product to come by in the Oklahoma cannabis consumables market.

The Golden Trends team is gearing up for the launch of Abstract- premiere 10-milligram lab created ratios targeting a patient’s desire for Sleep, for Relief, for Focus, and for Balance.When you are developing products to target specific outcomes, having a chemist on staff allows you to test in-house at each stage of production. This ensures the products contain the correct dose for the targeted outcome,” declares Russ.

Abstract product art is designed by local artists, with a portion of the product’s proceeds going to local arts. Giving back is very much a part of who Celina and Russ are, as good-hearted Oklahomans. Russ himself has adopted six children, some of which work for the family business. Everyone else on Team Golden Trends was intricately chosen. “Creating the right team is critical because nothing is more important than making safe, high quality products for patients,” Russ relays.

Golden Trends trajectory is sure to surge with its unmatched 24-carat team and Harrison at the helm. When it comes to Golden Trends, “Predictable IS priceless.”

Canadian Cultivator in Oklahoma Committed to Producing only Top Shelf Medicine: Canokie Buds

Canadian Cultivator in Oklahoma Committed to Producing only Top Shelf Medicine: Canokie Buds

Feminine Divine by Veronica Castillo


It took just diving in and putting myself out there to find out.”

From northern Ontario to the southern region of the United States (though, in cannabis, Oklahoma is considered the wild west), Holly Mills with CanOkie Buds says that moving to Oklahoma was a culture shock for her. 

She describes northern Ontatrio as a cultured, and the town she moved to in Oklahoma back in 2009 as: “A small town that was much slower paced. Everyone seemed to know everyone else.”  

What once was shock is now gratitude for a place that Holly describes as: having the prettiest sunsets, the wildest winters, and incredible sense of community; “ I’m lucky to be here!” 

Licensed, passionate, and growing cannabis with a touch of divine feminine; I am happy to share my latest interview with woman owned and  operated: Canokie Buds. 

Q&A with Holly Mills of CanOkie Buds

Please tell me about your childhood and cannabis- what did you learn about it? Was it considered the devil’s lettuce in your home? Did people around you consume? 

“When I grew up in Canada cannabis was still illegal and considered taboo. My dad was a strict rule follower and expected the same from his kids. I don’t remember people consuming around me until I was a consumer myself.” 

When did curiosity begin to develop and when did you start consuming cannabis?

“I started using cannabis in high school around the 10th grade. Never during the week, only on weekends with friends. When I finished high school, I moved to Northern Ontario and became a bit more of a habitual cannabis smoker. I guess I’ve consumed on and off since I was about 14. When I became a mom I didn’t for a long time. When cannabis became medically legal in Oklahoma, my youngest was 2 and I decided to try it again.” 

Have you lost anyone to a condition that cannabis could’ve treated?

“I haven’t lost anyone that could have been treated by cannabis, but I do have family and close friends with illnesses currently being treated by cannabis. My dad has MS and is a medical user in Canada. Even though it is recreational, there is also a medical program designed to contour cannabis use to individuals. 

My younger brother Timothy, works for a group initially called Marijuana for Trauma. They cater to veterans, my brother being one of them. Both my brother and my father’s medicine is subsidized by the government and they stay in contact with nurses and doctors who monitor their wellbeing. It would be awesome to see cannabis actually be treated as medicine across the United States the way it is in Canada.”

When did Canokie launch and can you provide insight on the journey from idea to launch? 

“After building a new home on our property I began debating what to do with our old home. I knew I wanted to use it for a business that would be a career for myself. Before medical marijuana went legal, I was looking into growing hemp crops for CBD processing purposes. 

I was using some full spectrum CBD products for anxiety, stress, and insomnia and wanted to be a part of that industry, for medicine. Then medical marijuana happened and I started adding THC to my CBD regiment which was a game changer. At the time it was legally easier to grow marijuana because they hadn’t passed the right to farm bill here in Oklahoma. 

So I thought: what if I turned my old house into an actual grow house? I’ll never forget the moment I was standing in my old living room with my friend Jean, the effects of a weed brownie just starting to kick in, and Jean turned and said, “imagine how many plants you could fit in this room.” 

So that was it. I ordered the George Cervantes Cannabis Encyclopedia off Amazon, started reading and watching Youtube videos, I tapped into the cannabis community with a million questions for other growers, and I got started in one room with a $5,000 tax return. 

I popped my first seeds in May 2019. This fall I found the answer to Jean’s question, it’s 91. My old living room is currently full of 91 beautiful, healthy, organically grown Maneater OG plants.”

What was the hardest and easiest thing about entering the cannabis industry? 

“I don’t think there was anything easy about entering the cannabis industry except for maybe the application part. I had no idea what I was doing when I started, and every step along the way was a learning curve. I had grown all sorts of plants and vegetables in the past, but cannabis plants were a whole new ball game. 

Learning not just about the plants themselves but then how to perfect their environment was very challenging. There are a million and one different products and equipment out there designed for growing cannabis. 

As far as the business side goes, I had plenty of experience with running a business and with customer relations but my knowledge of cannabis at the time I had finished my first harvest, was limited to what I had read in books and online. I honestly had no idea what my product was like compared to others. 

My first harvest was 4 pounds of 5 different strains and 1 dispensary bought the whole thing. Patients loved the flower and my reputation started to grow. I’ve continued since then to build the brand and positive reputation of my flower.”

Please tell me about the team. 

“I am a small team of just 4 incredible women. Laura has been with me for close to 2 years now and had no experience with cannabis plants or medicating with cannabis. The first time she visited my grow facility she thought I had a major skunk problem! Lol. 

Ashley started with me 6 months ago and also had no experience with growing cannabis. I have been friends with both of these women for 7 years. Our newest team member is Elizabeth, who joined the team just recently. She came on board with limited experience from another grow she helped with, and just dove right in! 

All of these women are incredibly hard working, honest, and loyal; and I am so grateful for them. We are all moms and constantly strive to create a positive work/life balance for each other and ourselves.” 

Please tell me about curing in a jar, and the difference between traditional curing and jar curing.

“Jar curing is the only way to go in my opinion, to achieve a true top shelf flower product. Not only do the glass walls prevent unwanted chemicals from leaching into the product, but they also circulate trapped air which allows the flower to biosynthesize. This converts cannabinoid compounds into new blends. 

So, for the flower to reach its full potential during the cure time, glass is the only way to go! This is a 100% more time consuming method to curing but, I am dedicated to producing only top shelf medicine, and the cure process is a major part of that. 

It’s important to note that before we even get to the cure process, everything we grow is in top of the line organic soil, and we brew all organic teas. We do not- at any stage- use synthetic nutrients or synthetic mediums. All of our plants are hand fed and carefully cultivated to ensure that every strain reaches its full potential before it is then hand trimmed and jar cured.”

How many strains do you all grow? What’s the most popular? 

We consistently run 10 really great strains. We are constantly pheno hunting new strains but it’s not often that I add a new one to the mix. Our most popular strain, which has become the number one strain in every dispensary that has picked it up, is our Maneater OG strain. 

This high testing sativa consistently hits 28-29% THC, and terpenes from 3-3.5%. She is by far the stickiest, dankest, most heavy hitting strain that I have ever come across as both a grower and consumer. 

What’s your favorite strain to grow? What about your favorite one to consume?

“These are both really difficult questions to answer. I guess my current favourite strain to grow is a newer one called Mimosa Evo. Her plant structure, colour, and aroma are amazing. She will make an entire room smell like pineapple. Her buds are dense and frosty, and her fade late in flower is dark purple. 

My favourite one to consume changes based on what I’m looking to medicate for. If I want a get up and go strain, I love the Maneater OG or Alaskan Purple. If I’m looking for a relaxing and mellowing effect, I love our Canadian Kush or Galactic Runtz. Honestly, they’re all good and beneficial in their own way.”

Do you believe that women have a deeper relationship with plants? Why or why not? 

“No, I wouldn’t say that women have a deeper relationship with plants. I might say that women could be more in tune to them because we tend to be more maternal, and pay more attention to detail.  I know some incredible cultivators that are men. It’s really the individual that makes the relationship. Being a man or a woman doesn’t make a difference.”

Where can people find Canokie Buds in OK?  

“CanOkie Buds can be found at Bud Barn in Marlow, Cannawise in Duncan, Higher Care in Chickasha, Pharmers Market in Norman, Green Buffalo in Norman, Prestige Cannabis in Del City and Edmond, Frontier Medicine in Edmond, and Buds dispensary in Lawton. 

These dispensaries consistently carry CanOkie flower. If your favourite dispensary doesn’t have CanOkie flower, ask them to reach out to me!” 

Final Words

When asked about advice for aspiring cultivators, Holly ended with:

“Stay true to the medicine. Don’t take shortcuts and don’t falsify information about your product. Build relationships with labs, dispensaries, and processors that are dedicated to the medicinal value of cannabis, not just the money-making aspect of it. 

There will be a multitude of hurdles you will face while growing this incredible plant. Pay attention, troubleshoot, ask questions, try new things; but not too many new things at one time. 

A good friend once told me that it takes 18 months to become an expert on a new field of study. With cannabis, that 18 months will just make you a little more comfortable but certainly not an expert. Don’t sweat the small stuff and keep at it!” 



By Mary Belle Zook

Provided By Citizen Potawatomi Nation Public Information

Dr. Kelli Mosteller

Although many Potawatomi and others across the United States celebrate Thanksgiving, the factual history behind the holiday is something to be less than thankful for. While communing with loved ones and showing appreciation for the bounties and gifts provided is one positive aspect of the national holiday, teaching a false narrative of its beginnings perpetuates colonialism and ignores more than 400 years of atrocities committed against Native Americans and First Nations’ people.

“It just disregards (the centuries of brutality) against Native Americans and chooses to take this one tiny snapshot, and in the world of social media, it puts all the pretty filters on it so that it doesn’t look the way it truly did,” said Dr. Kelli Mosteller, Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s Cultural Heritage Center director.

According to an article published in The New York Times by Maya Salam in 2017, “Thanksgiving facts and Thanksgiving myths have blended together for years like so much gravy and mashed potatoes, and separating them is just as complicated.”

The formation of Thanksgiving as an official, United States’ holiday, did not begin until November 1863 during the Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln officially established the holiday as a way to improve relations between northern and southern states as well as the U.S. and tribal nations. Just a year prior, a mass execution took place of Dakota tribal members. Corrupt federal agents kept the Dakota-Sioux from receiving food and provisions. Finally at the brink of death from starvation, members of the tribe fought back, resulting in the Dakota War of 1862. In the end, President Lincoln ordered 38 Dakota men to die from hanging, and he felt that Thanksgiving offered an opportunity to bridge the hard feelings amongst Natives and the federal government.

“It was propaganda,” Dr. Mosteller explained. “It was to try and build this event so that you could have a deeper narrative about community building and coming together in shared brotherhood and unity.”

While the Thanksgiving celebrated today may not have complete, factual roots, Native Americans, Europeans and other cultures across the world have held festivals and special meals in gratitude for bountiful harvests and to reflect on the past year. Many across Indian Country continue these traditions by simply sharing a meal with friends and loved ones without referencing it as a true “Thanksgiving.”

“A lot of people don’t acknowledge it as Thanksgiving. They say, ‘I’m going to get together with family, and it’s going to be about sharing the meal, but we’re not going to acknowledge the Mayflower and the pilgrims because it’s holding up this false moment of friendship and completely disregards the genocide and the mass land theft and the brutality that all Native peoples experience,’” Dr. Mosteller said.

Plymouth and pilgrims

Textbooks often indicate the Pilgrims settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts, because the harsh winter was approaching or a storm sent them off course from their original Virginia destination.

“Winter’s onset cannot have been the reason, however, for the weather would be much milder in Virginia than Massachusetts. Moreover, the Pilgrims spent six full weeks — until December 26 — scouting around Cape Cod looking for the best spot,” Loewen wrote in Lies My Teacher Told Me.

The Dutch possibly bribed the Mayflower’s captain to sail north, a good distance from New Amsterdam in present-day New York. Some historians believe their arrival in Cape Cod was purposeful.

“Historian George Willison has argued that the Pilgrim leaders, wanting to be far from Anglican control, never planned to settle in Virginia,” Loewen continued. “They had debated the relative merits of Guiana, in South America, versus the Massachusetts coast, and, according to Willison, they intended a hijacking. Certainly the Pilgrims already knew quite a bit about what Massachusetts could offer them, from the fine fishing along Cape Cod to that ‘wonderful plague,’ which offered an unusual opportunity for English settlement.”


Prior to European arrival, America’s Indigenous did not experience illnesses attributed to livestock, overcrowding or poor hygiene.

“Residents of northern Europe and England rarely bathed, believing it unhealthy, and rarely removed all of their clothing at one time, believing it immodest,” Loewen wrote in Lies My Teacher Told Me.

“The Pilgrims smelled bad to the Indians. Squanto ‘tried, without success, to teach them to bathe,’ according to Feenie Ziner, his biographer.”

In fact, three years before the pilgrims landed, English and French fisherman transmitted diseases to tribes as they came ashore to find fresh water, firewood and capture Native Americans for slave trade.

“Within three years the plague wiped out between 90 to 96 percent of the inhabitants of coastal New England. Native societies were devastated. Only ‘the twentieth person is scarce left alive,’ wrote Robert Cushman, an English eyewitness, recording a death rate unknown in all previous human experience,” Loewen wrote.

Those who did survive left their communities to join others, bringing the illnesses along with them. This caused many Native Americans to perish, even though they had not encountered Europeans. Once the pilgrims did arrive in 1620, the epidemics across Indian Country were far from over.

Throughout history, religion has served as a means of justification, and for the English Separatists, it was no different. They believed the wide-spread death and devastation of Native Americans due to disease was divine provenience and that God willed them to take over the land.

“By the time the Native populations of New England had replenished themselves to some degree, it was too late to expel the intruders. … If colonists had not been able to occupy lands already cleared by Indian farmers who had vanished, colonization would have proceeded much more slowly. If Indian culture had not been devastated by the physical and psychological assaults it had suffered, colonization might not have proceeded at all,” Loewen wrote.

Squanto (Tisquantum) and the Wampanoag

The story of Squanto, a member of the Wampanoag tribe, is much less innocent than the narrative that he assisted the pilgrims with teaching them how to grow crops and take advantage of North America’s bounties.

Six years before the Mayflower arrived in present-day Massachusetts, a slave-trader captured Squanto — Tisquantum — and a group of Native Americans. With help from the Catholic Church, Tisquantum escaped and found his way to England where he learned English. He eventually returned to North America in 1619.

While Tisquantum was overseas, New England’s Indigenous experienced a monumental death rate, with some communities losing nearly every tribal member to the decimating effects of European diseases.

Upon returning to North American and his village of Patuset, Tisquantum found only piles of bones of his fellow tribesmen killed by the plagues. He realized he was the sole survivor of his village. The illness spread so quickly that many local tribes never had time to bury their dead.

Where Tisquantum’s village once thrived, the pilgrims established Plymouth Plantation.

During this time, the Wampanoag lost up to 75 percent of its people, while a nearby enemy tribe, the Narragansett, did not. Wampanoag leader Massasoit saw the pilgrims as possible allies against the Narragansett. Due to his English-speaking abilities, Massasoit used Tisquantum as a translator, though the Wampanoag leader did not trust his fellow tribal member and held him as a prisoner.

Rather than continue a life of servitude to Massasoit, Tisquantum established himself as a key resource to the pilgrims, teaching them how to survive.

The Wampanaog and the pilgrims made a treaty that established an understanding that the tribe would look out for the pilgrims against their enemies and vice-versa.

“Squanto’s travels acquainted him with more of the world than any Pilgrim encountered. He had crossed the Atlantic perhaps six times, twice as an English captive, and had lived in Maine, Newfoundland, Spain, and England, as well as Massachusetts. All this brings us to Thanksgiving,” Loewen wrote in Lies My Teacher Told Me.

The pilgrims celebrated their successful harvest in 1621 by shooting their guns into the air, which caused Massasoit to bring together warriors and prepare for battle. Instead of fighting, the Wampanoag and pilgrims worked together to prepare a feast.

In an article published by Indian Country Today in 2011, Thanksgiving Day is a time of grief for Native Americans. Many Natives continue to gather at Cole’s Hill near Plymouth Rock and remember the losses experienced for the past 400-plus years through the National Day of Mourning. The event began in 1970 when the Commonwealth of Massachusetts invited Wamsutta (Frank) James to address the public on behalf of the Wampanoag people. However, once organizers learned the subjects of his speech, which included highlighting the death and broken promises at the hand of settlers, colonial powers and the United States, James was no longer invited. This prompted the formation of the National Day of Mourning.

James wrote, “This action by Massasoit was perhaps our biggest mistake. We, the Wampanoag, welcomed you, the white man, with open arms, little knowing that it was the beginning of the end.”

Ways to combat the false narrative

For those in education, Dr. Mosteller encourages seeking alternative curriculum and guest speakers from Native communities that can shine an appropriate light on the holiday’s history.

“The Chickasaw Nation, for example, has a curriculum specialist who develops curricula to make available to school districts, not just on Thanksgiving, but on a whole list of issues where the Native narrative has been either turned on its head to make something that it wasn’t or we’ve just been erased from the narrative altogether,” she said.

While many will continue getting together with friends and loved ones to celebrate and recognize the gifts provided since the year before, incorporating traditional ingredients and recipes as well as teaching the factual history can go a long way in healing and restoring the Native narrative within the American culture.


We Grow Together – Escalated Greens

We Grow Together

By Carisa Rowe


Escalated Greens Team portrait by J.Harvey Portrait Studio

Escalated Greens began in Eufala, OK, a small lake community where residents enjoy a laid-back lifestyle supported by tourism. The residents of Lake Eufala are resilient and close-knit, qualities that are foundational to Ryan Alexander, the company’s founder.


In 2018 Ryan’s youngest was diagnosed with cancer. He and his family realized how vital a strong community is. The love and support they received from their community during that time is what forged his commitment to clean, affordable cannabis therapy. To serve the community that supported him as a father, firefighter, and coach, Ryan developed Escalated Greens.


Pictured Ryan portrait by J.Harvey Portrait Studio

This vertically integrated company offers patients a chance to experience their products from their very own dispensary. The welcoming budtenders are well educated about the medicine they grow, process, and serve. In the neighboring grow store, residents and area cannabis businesses alike depend on the team to carry top quality supplies and to provide unparalleled expertise. As Midwest distributors for “Soil King”, Escalated Greens is an invaluable resource for Oklahoma cultivators.



The grow store also serves the cultivation team, which has propagated plants for more than 1,000 farms across the state and manages more than 60 genetics, with dozens more in development. In March of 2021, the company achieved a milestone of one million plants distributed to Oklahoma’s cannabis growers.

portrait by J.Harvey Portrait Studio


Their team harvests enough flower each month to stock the dispensary, manufacture hundreds of full flower pre-rolls, and power the company’s extraction lab. The lab’s brilliant scientists have developed an extraction and cure process that retains the plant’s indigenous terpenes and cannabinoids. They proudly display this on their packaging. Their extracts inventory is impressive, as is their proprietary Ripstick: a disposable wax pen that gives a strong pull and heady high. The company’s edibles and topicals lines use these extracts to churn out dozens of products each month, including seasonal favorites.


The edibles line, developed in collaboration with local favorite, Charm Bakery. This includes cookies, cake balls, caramels, hard candies, and more. The DNR line high dose candy bars to suit chocolate lovers or gummy fans.


Every product is hand-made, hand-wrapped, and hand-counted. Ryan installed a state-of-the-art water filtration system which was developed by the water engineering team for OU Medical’s cancer treatment centers.


This commitment to transparency, affordability, and community gives Ryan and the Escalated Greens team many opportunities to give back. They work with the Toby Keith Foundation to raise funds for pediatric cancer patients. They can facilitate low-cost cannabis treatment to patients in need and regularly host appreciation events for their consumers and employees. They are always excited to participate in local events and look forward to the future as they develop their company and location into a cornerstone for healing, support, and connectedness.

The Hermetic Way

The Hermetic Way

By James Bridges

I had the opportunity to meet another man one day that completely and utterly inspired me to learn more about what I was doing with my life. I thank the universe I did.

I hadn’t heard much about this person. I assumed he was just another grower of the most miraculous plant on earth. So I researched.

The more I researched, the more I was inspired.

I started realizing that some of the information that was being published by his social media platform was very similar to thoughts and information that I had been interested in for quite a few years. 

I am not a religious person. Meaning, I do not claim to have a specific belief system that I feel personally as my one and only truth. I have always been interested in all cultures and theology. It just so happens that “hermeticism” and those that follow it’s teachings believe in something that I actually believe in myself. That is called prisca theologia. This is the belief that all religions fall under one theology given to man directly from God.

At this point I was on a mission to find out more about the company Hermetic Flower Co.

Hermetists see the cosmos as a beautiful creation in the image of God. It was apparent that a positive atmosphere surrounded the crew as I finally reached what was, in my mind, meant to happen.

We connected in a way that changed me. It actually changed the way that I look at growing cannabis. It changed the way I look at growing everything, for that matter. 

For years I have had thoughts of how or why or even “if” we are here in this universe. The question of all mankind… What would happen if we actually knew the truth?  We may want to think about that notion once in a while.

I have felt restricted in my thoughts. However, the pressure to go along with what is now perfectly acceptable to society overwhelms my need for it to be validated. Therefore I care not. I will speak of my own experience.

First off, my thoughts and inspiration are not religious. I believe in a positive and powerful source of wise thinking that provides me with a sense of belonging which can be measured by no other person than myself. If you are wondering if there are sarcastic overtones in my typing please read the next sentence. The mere fact that I feel the need to print those words as a disclaimer should suffice.

Manifest destiny.

“She laughed. There was a smile of concern so I eased her mind. I let her know I’m not insane. However, I didn’t really know if I was or not. I wanted her to know what I was talking about. She simply couldn’t comprehend. 

I told her again that if you can imagine it then it must have existed. I was serious. I assumed she thought I was joking. I wasn’t. I completely believed, and still do, that if you can picture something in your head then it must have existed in some realm of the universe. Yes. Even dragons…”  -personal boring journal.

Once you finally accept that your thoughts control your life through your mind and spirit you can become the director of your own film. Ever try to meditate? You may have and you just do not know.

I find it best for my psyche to self reflect, however that in itself can become an issue when living a life that requires connection. I find myself ignoring the outside world at times in order to work and hyperfocus on myself. This has led to many failures in my past. I hope to learn from that and stay connected. 


I must check up on myself once in a while by stepping outside of myself. I try to look at myself as others might. Do I like that person? Would I call him for help? Would I accept him for who he is?

I think we can come to the conclusion that feelings and emotions build off of one another in order to create an entire sense of being. One that only exists within that bubble of the one who created it. Or quite simply, a vibe. Yes, they exist. 

Have you ever been on such a high that you forget about your mental pain? It doesn’t sound healthy from the start. Hear me out… 

You wake up to what you believe is the worst news you could possibly imagine. You are completely disappointed. You decide to process the information rather than react instantly. Something good happens that is unrelated. Another good thing happens that is directly related to that first good thing. And so on… That’s living in a vibe. You are riding the stream between good and bad and at that very moment you can, in my view, quickly gain access to a wonderful and amazing thing happening inside of your head.

In college I was forced to take intermediate physics courses. This was because of many reasons. The main reason was that I was a terrible high school student. During this time I learned that I actually loved physics. I loved it so much because it made perfect sense to me. The natural order of things. The simple fact that knowing there was an equal and opposite force for every other force in the universe clicked. I lifted off and started exploring.

After exploring for a while I learned an even deeper thought. Quite simple actually.  All of these forces are actually the same. 

A loaf of bread can be dry. It can be moist. It’s still a loaf of bread. The river runs swiftly in this vicinity yet flows slowly in another. It’s still a river. Do I sound like Mr Miyagi yet?…

These are the foundations for my happiness. 

I believe in this foundation of happiness very strongly.

I do believe that you can turn a positive into a negative by controlling your own thought patterns. You do this through a “vibe” that you create. In order for me to create that vibe I seriously have to look at the situation on all sides. If you remove the self discipline overtones and add a necessary note you could say that I also constantly remind myself to do so. It’s a process. One might even say it’s “alchemy”. 

I used to fight the thought of change. Especially when things seemed to be going smoothly. However, I’ve been able to recognize a pattern of fluidity within my world. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine things differently. Especially when those things are imprinted so heavily in my thoughts and memories. Like everything else, those memories become glamour. The glamour which I assume that those around me would be picturing.  That’s why flow has become so important in my life.

Without some sort of flow there is no growth in the foundation. If you remember, the foundation for my happiness comes from a positive light. A thought or a seed is planted then it needs tending. There will be days when the light requires a helping hand. There will also be days where I can sit back and watch the current move. However it may be, there is no authentic and true life without flow. I am very thankful to have the opportunity to acknowledge it.

As I am sitting at my desk writing this I have been presented with multiple chances of distraction. Some call this resistance. I call it a pain in the ass most times. However, I’ve learned to live with it.

If I were to answer one of the many emails or texts that I am receiving at the moment I would be forced to choose. Once I have decided to engage with the person or device that is communicating, there are essentially only 2 choices. Be affected by the noise or to create more noise myself. 

It’s very tempting to engage, however, once I do I lose the flow. Once the flow is gone, the rhythm in which my vibes were depending on becomes jumbled. If this happens I cannot connect with my bubble or those that are in it. I feel as if I am simply a bystander. That’s when my thoughts turn dark. I start to feel as if my universe never really was about being about mindfulness. The depression demons start to come out to play…

Then I remembered her. She was introduced to me in a completely different way than I had ever been introduced. Her natural beauty could not be approached by the most sensual roses presented at any parade. The essence of spirit which flowed through her could not go unnoticed. She was perfectly balanced.

We smoked some of the best flower that I have ever smoked. We had some of the best conversations that would only be a beginning to what hopefully will be a long lasting relationship.

I was reminded to think holistically. Especially with my psyche. I was able to self reflect again. This time it was very therapeutic. I was able to confirm to myself that I can and should continue on with my very own bubble making.  The inspiration for creativity definitely left an impression. 

Nearly a year ago I was fortunate enough to spend the day with the Hermetic Flower CO. team. There was a planted notion within me. That notion was to indulge myself with the cleanest and most natural way of connecting with not just my universe, but the universe of many. 

I can’t wait to connect with you in that same universe.

The Feminine Divine with Woman Cultivator, Heidi Allen with Higher Flower Garden

The Feminine Divine with Woman Cultivator, Heidi Allen with Higher Flower Garden

by Veronica Castillo

“Like most kids growing up in the 70’s and 80’s I learned that Cannabis and anything related to it was just plain bad and bad for you.”- Heidi Allen 

From death row guard, to professional truck driver, to cannabis cultivator; Heidi Allen, who grew up in a small town in Oklahoma, turned to plants to heal herself and others. In this series, we highlight women cultivators in Oklahoma and in this interview, Heidi lets us into her life as a child, the trauma’s she has experienced, and lessons learned in and from the cannabis industry. 

Through all of that, Higher Flower Garden was born, which seems to have been born from Heidi’s passion: 

“I got into the industry about three years ago hoping to turn my love of growing things and my belief in the healing power of nature, into a viable way to make a living. I got into cultivation because I love to grow things. I have always loved plants and have had a long time interest in studying how things grow and what makes them grow.”

Learn more about Heidi’s journey to the Higher Flower Garden below.

Q&A with Heidi Allen of Higher Flower Garden

Did you work in another industry pre-cannabis? What?

“I worked for a while as a guard on death row in Huntsville, Texas, but as soon as I was old enough I began driving a truck over the road.  My last job was driving for the World Champion: AMA Motorcycle Racing Team.”

Did you graduate college? If so, what was your major?

“I was pursuing a degree in criminal justice but didn’t finish as I began my trucking career instead.”

Can you describe your journey to the launch of Higher Flower Garden?

“Rocky! Things never seem to turn out as planned. We were made a lot of promises by a lot of people that never materialized and because of this, I simply had to learn my trade and put it into practice to make things work.”  

Tell me about your team.

“My team is small; it’s me and a friend of mine named Jen. We handle all the day to day activities of the grow from cloning to harvesting. We have a couple of investors who have been very supportive as well.”  

What’s one thing you love and one thing you wish to see changed- industry wise?

“I just love the plants and seeing them grow and getting the finished product from them. I really wish OMMA would be more active in enforcing the regulations, and keep out of state products and illegal grows from making it so tough on smaller boutique setups like ours.”

What’s your favorite strain to grow? Consume?

“As far as consuming, I like the old strains with Skunk #1 being my favorite. Where growing is concerned, I like growing the real Sativa strains. I love to grow beautiful flowers from top of the line genetics. We have set ourselves apart by cultivating via a hydroponics system and producing a high quality connoisseur grade product.” 

Any mentors you’d like to mention? 

“Unfortunately I really haven’t had any mentors to speak of in this field.  I have essentially had to learn on my own. A lot of times I feel like I’m on an island in the industry, but I have made a few friends that are encouraging and helpful.”  

Any advice for young women aspiring to become cultivators?

“It’s a man’s industry. Be ready to not be taken seriously or listened to because you’re a woman.  You have to have thick skin and know that most men aren’t going to give you credit for what you do or become very jealous at any success you have. Trust yourself and when you know your product is good, don’t let anyone sell you short. 

All photo credit: Higher Flower Garden

How To Entertain A Cannabis Cowboy

How To Entertain A Cannabis Cowboy

By Michael Kinney 

It’s no secret that cannabis and music go hand in hand. It has been that way since before groups like the Grateful Dead and Snoop Dogg became synonymous with the magical plant.  

“It absolutely does, and it has for years, right? You sit back, you smoke a joint, listen to Led Zeppelin or you listen to Pink Floyd or something and it always makes the music better,” said Daniel, founder of the Cowboy Cup. “Grateful Dead to me is not the best band in the world, but smoke some pot and it’s fantastic. And that just goes hand in hand with what we got.” 

photo by Daniel Lewis

The Cowboy Cup is no different. Since its inception, music has always been a vital part of the festivities. The trend will continue in 2021 at the Third Annual Cowboy Cup. More than a dozen musical groups expected to perform during the two day festival  and celebration that showcases the cannabis community.

“It plays a big part. We want to be not only the state’s premier cannabis championship but also a big cannabis-inspired art environment as well,” Lewis said. “And so we’ve always got glassblowers and local artists that come out, people that make shirts and trinkets and all these different things, which also goes along with the cannabis culture.” 

Lewis decided to flip the script a little this year and change up the format. He said he wanted to bring the down-home Oklahoma-feel back to the festival.  “First year was a mixture, last year was too,” Lewis said. “This year I’m going to end both nights with just hard rocking Red Dirt country music.”

Lewis said he got the inspiration from a night out on the town with some friends.  “I had some friends come in from California about a month ago. None of them like country music. Well, we all went out to the Tumbleweed and they had somebody playing that was just rocking ass Red Dirt, and they all had an absolute blast,” Lewis said. “And I got to talking to Wade about it. It’s like, ‘Man, people don’t come out here from California to listen to freaking something that they could hear in California. I’d rather them come down and hear something local.’ Obviously Red Dirt country music is what we got.” 

While Lewis has brought in more country music, he has still put together an eclectic lineup that should have something for everyone. “So this year we’ve got four artists lined up. The two opening bands are real jazzy, kind of reggae-ish type bands,” Lewis said. “Stoney Banks will open up Friday night and then it looks like Jack Waters and the Unemployed will close Friday night. And then Saturday we’ve got Henna Roso opening up. They’re this eclectic, funk, jazz, kind of ensemble thing.” 

The final show on the main stage Saturday is expected to be like Giovannie & the Hired Guns. 

That is only a portion of the acts that will be performing. Herbage magazine has put together its own tent they are calling The Herbage Experience.


Starting at Noon on Dec. 3, the Herbage tent will put forth 12 acts in two days. They include Giakob Beasley, Jordan Cox, Felina Rivera and CJ and Steig. 

“We want to add an Herbage feel to the Cowboy Cup that would leave an impression.” James Bridges, owner and publisher of Herbage Magazine is excited to offer a lounge type area with an acoustic style vibe for ambiance. “There will be a little something extra for the Herbage experience attendees. You do like to be granted wishes correct?” Bridges asked. 


For Henna Rosa this will be their second time at the Cowboy Cup. They performed the first year and it was an experience founder Taylor Graham really enjoyed.  

“I enjoyed it,” Graham said about the 2019 event. “I had a great time. I am obviously a cannabis enthusiast. I work in the industry and it’s something I have been passionate about for a long time.  It was cool. I had never been somewhere where someone brought out a 6-foot bong on stage before. I was able to hit it without looking over my shoulders.” 

Graham, who is also a sales rep for Heartland Farms, says the Cowboy Cup has a special atmosphere that isn’t seen at many other festivals. “It was a very open, inviting event and pretty indicative of the Oklahoma cannabis community,” Graham said. “Very inviting to all lifestyles, art forms and interests. The Cowboy Cup just does a good job of bringing everyone together.” 

That has always been one of the objectives for Lewis. This is why music has played such an important factor in the Cowboy Cup’s growth and increased popularity. 

It has grown so much that organizers have expanded the main tent and the North tent to accommodate the crowd they are expecting.  “As of right now, we’re completely sold out with four weeks to go. Last year, we sold out in the last week,” Lewis said. “Last year we had I think somewhere around 160 entries into the competition. This year we’re over 450 and we still have sun grown flower left to go. So if that tells you anything, that’s how much it’s grown from year two to year three. So entries alone, we’ve had over 160 companies enter the competition, all of which get tickets and all of which will be there.” 

With that many companies, brands, vendors, sponsors and spectators in one spot at one time, that makes the Cowboy Cup the perfect venue for artists to put on a show.  “I just hope people can come together and understand how much of a beautiful opportunity it is for people to consume cannabis so openly,” said Graham. “And how the business in the state is thriving. I hope people can build off connections and relationships that have already been formed and create new ones. Allow people to build bridges between processors, dispensaries. I hope people are able to do that in a way that is not only fruitful to their business but for them as people as human beings.” 

Even though the Cowboy Cup has nearly doubled in size, Lewis said the fact the event has stayed true to its foundation is the reason for the success.  “It all goes back to our foundation. The festival’s built on top of the Cannabis Championship, and so as a business model, the foundation is the championship,” Lewis said. “And if we had a night, a great ethical competition where everybody that had as good a chance as a sponsor to win, and where it doesn’t get bought and paid for like a lot of these competitions have been and everybody is sick of them. Everybody feels like all the other ones are a money grab. They feel like the Cowboy Cup is something that everyone has a fair shot in. A lot of people are throwing a festival and throwing a cannabis cup in the middle of it. I’m throwing a cannabis cup with a festival surrounding it. 

“If you want to be involved in the Cannabis industry in Oklahoma, this is where everybody is going to be.”


Artwork by Tim Jessel

The Feminine Divine Highlights, Woman Owned and Operated: Pro Gro Farms

The Feminine Divine Highlights, Woman Owned and Operated: Pro Gro Farms

by Veronica Castillo

“Maintaining a small-batch standard by taking extra measures at each step to preserve quality and isolated control on a plant by plant basis.”

Founded by woman, operated by woman, cannabis grown by woman, Pro Gro Farms is an indoor cultivation growing cannabis in a controlled environment, while maintaining a naturalist philosophy. Pro Gro Farms offers legally compliant  cannabis to dispensaries and processors within the state of Oklahoma.

Founder and Led Cultivator Kalli Keith, says she fell in love with gardening in her twenties after a breakup, and growing plants healed her. But before that, she has the experience of being raised in farming and ranching: “I spent time at the stockyards, at barrel races, even strapped to a pony on cattle drives before we evolved to using ATVs.”

Recently, I had the opportunity to connect with and interview Pro Gro Farms owner, Kalli Keith. Hear from her below.

Portrait of Kalli Keith

Q & A With Kalli Keith, Founder of Pro Gro Farms

Tell me about the woman owned and operated team at Pro Gro- was growing a passion and/or career goal?

“After the breakup, I started gardening and dreamed that I would give produce to all my neighbors in my small apartment complex. Gardening healed me more than it fed my neighbors, and I found myself obsessed with the whys and hows of plant life (and bug life), and I continued to adopt ‘em and read about each one of them. I eventually had serious square footage staked in this parking lot due to my expanding collection, and decided it needed a border to keep cars in check. I acquired bricks from a building demolition in my neighborhood and borrowed my neighbors skateboard to roll them all to my garden in these toe-smashing stacks. Then neighbors started leaving me flower pots, naturally I had to fill them with more plants, and I think I am still in that cycle somehow today.”

What was your childhood life like?

“We always had a garden growing up so the farm-to-table thing was kind of just the way of life. Nostalgia creates a deep connection with the land for me. I grew up in a farming and ranching family and spent years trying to escape it. I was always irritated about why conversations at the dinner table had to evolve around horses and cows and land. I was set on moving to NYC to become a world-renowned hairdresser. I already completed my licensing during high school and after graduation, but I started college 15 minutes away in Norman instead. I made it to 19 and was deflated by still being in a small town when I was scouted to model through a Facebook message. I changed my major as soon as that semester had ended and relocated to Miami, FL to follow a new dream for the next 10 years under my parents warning it was only acceptable if I finished school. I made it to NYC after all, then Los Angeles, and finally Dallas for a more comfortable last few years.”

Please tell me about the journey to build and launch the Pro Gro cultivation facility?

“I think it was 2017 when I started working toward being a part of the emerging hemp industry in Oklahoma. I worked to be included in the pilot program and cheered along the 2018 farm bill finally legalizing production. My trajectory had shifted somewhere in the meantime before seeing that through. I feared a lack of infrastructure for hemp when it came to harvesting through going to market and another lovely little thing had happened in the meantime which was the movement and passage of SQ788. 

I redirected my efforts into a very small scale operation to see if I could even grow plants indoors! I had toured a fabulous and well-funded commercial grow in southern Colorado, but that was the limit of my experience in commercial gardening. It might have been the craziest or the coolest thing I ever did, but I wiped out my savings, developed an additional funding and repayment strategy and took a big ass borrowed trailer to Home Depot. That is when it set in that I really wasn’t turning back, the space was leased and half the building materials purchased so I was in this for real now.

With the help of my dad, other family, and friends, we were able to get about 1000 square feet built out.”

Portrait of Kalli Keith

Do you all have a passion for cultivating indoors?

“I have a passion for the sun and the soil, actually. I have a passion for regenerative agriculture, and plans including and expanding from Pro Gro. I grow indoors, because frankly I am a perfectionist and a weed snob since back before I ever became interested in farming or growing cannabis. I want to be able to experiment with various cultivars in a controlled setting.

In my garden, I have the ability to formally trial side-by-side, more control for research, and development, and the advantage of getting to monitor everything that comes in contact with the end product from a sanitation perspective. 

I know indoor cultivation is not as sustainable as other methods and that does weigh on me, but I do my best to compensate by constantly making small changes: reusable products, water filtration modifications, electricity pull at off-hours, etc.”

What’s your favorite strain to grow and consume?

“I certainly don’t have a favorite for either. My main obsession with cannabis comes from variety and what range internal and external factors can allow it to span. My quick answer would be something like a chem or diesel cross to consume and to grow would be simply anything beautiful!”

How many plants do you all grow at once?

“I flower 80 at a time.”

Any mentors in the industry?

“Not really, no. If I did have a mentor, I am the type to ask then secretly not trust their answer anyways and go try my idea instead. I only learn the hard way and it’s a curse.”

Any partnerships or collaborations coming?

Pro Gro is collaborating with Bear Essentials on a rosin release. I feel like it’s a milestone for Pro Gro to not only branch into rosin, but to be noticed by respected hash artists. I can claim I’m a “weed snob” all day, but these solventless people are drop dead serious about what flowers they will and won’t work with.”

What has been the hardest lesson learned so far?

“You can’t do everything by yourself. I am deeply independent and thought if I would just build a micro grow small enough that I could manage it entirely myself, then I could just listen to my audiobooks all day and grind out some stanky danky flowers. I thought  I’d snap some pics and send some emails and could stay hidden in the garden, and people would learn it was great and be waiting to buy it. WRONG!

It takes help from reliable teammates to guarantee product consistency, it takes cherry picking the hand trimmers that manicure bud to perfection, it takes relationships with your clients that develop into friendships, it takes giving up control and learning to delegate tasks to others to better your business overall, humility to consult with other growers and giving free advice to the next guy in return for the good deeds done to you, it takes patients demanding your flower at their favorite shop over and over again, and friends and family understanding why you fell off the map a couple years ago and miss important events.”

Where can customers find you and what Pro Gro Farms grown strain is highest in demand?

Safe bets for a good selection would be: Likewise Craft OKC, Likewise Broadway in Edmond, Top Notch Medz in Shawnee, and/or Pharm788 in Roland. 

Feel free to DM or email me and ask, because there are single strains or rotating stores that might be closer to where you live. 

Our highest demand has been for the Blueberry Mandarin Cookies #14. It’s a happy all day strain with an easy THC level and a woodsy, bready terp profile. If you catch me out and about, it’s the strain I almost always have on me. I think a close contender is the MP3 pheno of Mandarin Punch, but she just hasn’t been around my garden as long to challenge the BMC popularity.”

Portrait of Kalli Keith

What are 3 tips you have for aspiring women cultivators?

“My advice would be to stop acting like men are against you because you’re a woman in a male dominated industry. I am often asked, “what’s it like?” to which I say ‘pretty much like every other industry’. I have actually felt more judged or disliked by other women than men in this industry, and we have a tendency to kind of lift other women up as long and were still standing on her dress hem. 

Men are excited to meet a woman running a garden, because it’s refreshing to not have the same bros or hired hot girls coming in to sell weed all day. Sure, we experience weird advances and mansplaining, but these types of bizarre exchanges happen outside of cannabis too, because weird people are weird people no matter who dominantes your line of work.

Don’t hide the fact you’re a female stepping onto the scene. I spent a long time not stating that I was woman-owned and operated, because I didn’t want people to care. I had a false idea that purchasing managers would think I was some growers girlfriend he sent in. I wanted my product to speak for itself no matter who grew it. My guy friends actually encouraged me to add more personality to my brand and let people know who is behind it and I am so glad that I did. 

I have had a mom-and-daughter store reach out to me wanting to buy from other women or others. I get messages like ‘Love to see it, I’m a girl and I grow too’, from as far away as South Africa!

Being woman owned isn’t going to compensate for bad weed, (at least it shouldn’t) so it doesn’t hurt to put it out there and let people know who you are and what you’re proud of accomplishing when it’s against a statistic.”

The Machine Is Alive: Robot Pharmer

The Machine Is Alive: Robot Pharmer

by James Bridges & Wendy Elena

Wendy Elena is a cannabis industry compliance and regulation expert. Thenakedgrower.com

“This thing started in a garage in West Seattle!”

The excitement to talk about Robot Pharmer was filling the air as we finally got a chance to sit down with the creators of this powerhouse brand. From seed to sale this unmistakable company has been producing products that are flying off of their very own dispensary shelves. “We all work damn near seven days a week. We have a lot of pride.”

Jeff Ely, co-owner and visionair, was ecstatic and very passionate about his team. “For Isaac and Josh to really take that project on and believe in it, you know? We came together and really learned about one another. All of us brought a different skill set. We were able to recognize that and work very well with everyone involved.” The heart and soul of Robot Pharmer was ready to explode into the world with the early team of four entrepreneurs. So much so they were able to describe their experience as somewhat of a calling.

Jeff had a very successful real estate career until market woes and financial burdens hit a volatile market. “Then the market crashed and you know I filed bankruptcy. I lost everything. I always loved Austin. So, I went back to start over. At first I did a number of random jobs. I started a business eventually building houses.” Jeff started a boat jet ski rental business. “We were operating on the two Lakes down there. This opportunity with Robot Pharmer came about. Josh was in Seattle at the time.”

Josh Wheat, co-owner and visionaire, divulged himself in the Seattle medical marijuana market early on. He started growing medicinal cannabis and eventually created the Robot Pharmer brand. “I wanted to have the robot as an ambassador for the community. I didn’t want it to be much like 420 pot leaf stuff. I wanted to create a robot that everyone could rally around instead of the cliche “stoner” look and feel. We got a really badass designer that was super creative. I was able to relay my ideas through him with sketches. He started creating different scenes in the industry.

So that’s how we got started with the Robot Pharmer brand. We wanted it to be a more inviting brand rather than just a “stoner” brand.” Soon after Josh described the Seattle medicinal scene as a “soon to disappear” environment as the recreational cannabis atmosphere hit the culture. “When Oklahoma became medical, I was in Texas and I talked to Jeff. We were actually still thinking about Oregon at the time.” Josh was laughing at this point. “So, as soon as Oklahoma opened up we knew where we were going. We already had one of our partners in Oklahoma, Brant. We had some equipment and he did as well. We were able to put that together and get an operation started.” “Garrett is our genetic junky. So the first two years we went through a ton of seeds.”

Josh seemed to know the brand story like the back of his hand. “We were just going through different things to start some different varieties of cultivars. It took a ton of patience. We wanted to try and figure out what the up sides and the down sides to each so that we can offer more strains that would fit the patients needs rather than just what is hyped at the moment. It’s a process.” Jeff was certain they could grow at this point. Now what to do with this big idea of being able to sell in their own dispensary? “Why would we not apply for licenses? The worst thing that happens is we lose $2,500” I thought to myself, let’s hit this full on. So that’s what we did. So then we got Josh.”

The room was in all ears as the two were traveling in a highway of recollection. “I was in Austin. I remember like it was yesterday.” Josh’s eyes moved to the recall position. “So we got the emails back. I called Jeff while he was with another partner. I said… y’all get together let me call you back. I called and I had a big American flag on my back. I was so happy. We got our licenses and then the dispensary license came in just hours later. We were all so happy.” Jeff spoke as if he was talking about his family.

His deep care for his team was very apparent. “Josh is up in Seattle and he had come down right before the news. Brant was in Broken Bow and was with his family. My longtime business partner and also close friend Isaac and I worked in the construction business for around 10 years. That’s where the connection is.” “Before plans go out the window you’re constantly pivoting based on what’s happening in the market.” Jeff explained. “I think we all at this point understand that the bills in place initially were put there with the intent to evolve.

The OMMA did it this way because it benefited us. So there’s been a lot of rule changes. Our thoughts from the beginning were simple. We have a couple people on our team that really know how to grow good weed. We’ve got a couple people on our team that can operate a successful business. So it was simple. We’re going to grow weed.

We’re going to run a dispensary. We’re going to make concentrates, carts, edibles, and now there are gummies. It’s all really blowing up!” 28 The key component to every edible is the Chef. Robot Pharmer has filled that need and then some with the addition of their very own, Brandon Bentley. “We have an amazing Chef that’s working with us now.” The look in Josh’s eye was one of imagining the flavor. “It’s so great. Maybe you have some issues with a crop and it doesn’t come out exactly how you want. We need to create an outlet for this right?” We were curious to ask Jeff about some of the most challenging issues they are facing today. “We need to put some time and focus into some current challenges. Right now the market is flooding. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about dispensaries, flower, and/or processing.

At the end of the day that’s what everybody is kind of up against. I think for us. We are doing well at going into those different zones when needed.” The Robot Pharmer team has learned the importance of diversity. In order to sustain certain waves of market reactions Robot Pharmer has built a foundation that can evolve with the overall flow of the industry. That in itself is a task many strive to achieve. “Josh created this brand like a sunset in Seattle.” Jeff confessed. “I don’t want to say I didn’t understand how important a brand was, but at the same time I was very focused on production numbers. This is kind of how I think.

The brand introduces that we have great quality products. I’m so happy and proud of the product we put out, but you have to have the branding with it. In a market that is so competitive everybody has that challenge right now. Including us. Luckily the amount of time and effort we put into our products and the amount of skus in a variety of products has given us that advantage that we need to try to meet some of these challenges.” Josh wanted to make clear that “The quality of products and the safety of our patients is very conscious on our end. The reality is… what are the patients going to like? As soon as you think you know, you’re in the wrong. You don’t know. So it’s really going through as much as possible, going off what we think people might like, and going through that 10 month pheno-hunting process. It’s hard to say because you just don’t know sometimes. I believe a lot of our success comes from staying consistent with our quality, safety, and marketability as a whole.” Jeff pointed out that everything they do is live resin. “We stay completely away from distillate. We have a one gram cart. That’s the only distillate that we use in any of our products.

Robot Pharmer, with total transparency, pheno-hunts and cultivates quality strains from real breeders, while maintaining credit where credit is due. They flower to the best of their skill set, which in our opinion, places them in the top 5% of flower quality in the state of Oklahoma. Watching Robot Pharmer naturally grow in the industry and provide an open learning environment has been very inspirational. If you’ve been looking, you don’t have to look far for some of the best flower, and flower based products, and of course friendly faces, from Robot Pharmer.

The Art Of Producing Dreams

The Art Of Producing Dreams

Cover Artist Spotlight – Chad Mathews

by Michael Kinney


Chad Mathews can’t get it out of his blood. Ever since he was a young boy growing up in Bethel (Ok.) being some kind of artist has been his No. 1 dream.


Whether it was writing, painting or playing his guitar, Mathew’s creative side has always been the part he identified with the most. But he had no game plan on how to make those dreams come to fruition.


“I wanted to be an artist, I think, was the first thing, a musician,” Mathews said. “But I never really, I guess, pursued that seriously until I got a little bit older. Then, I just kind of landed in marketing. I think it was the least amount of math I had to do to graduate. So, I went with a public relations/marketing kind of track.”


Now, at the age of 49, and the marketing director for the Grand Casino Hotel and Resort, Mathews is tasked with finding new acts in Oklahoma and providing them an opportunity to showcase their talents.   Mathews produces a show called ‘Play it Loud’ for the Grand Casino. With it, he and his production partners feature up-and-coming Oklahoma musicians.


While he was unable to avoid arithmetic, Mathews did find an outlet for his artistic side with Play it Loud (playitloudshow.com).


“That’s been pretty successful,” Mathews said. “I fulfill some of that artistic side where I get to be involved in that and produce. So I’m highly involved in the entire production.”









With Play it Loud in its fifth season,  Mathews has found a vehicle that allows him to give back not just to the younger generation of musicians, but also to his home state, which he feels gets overlooked in the world of music.


“I think there’s so much talent around. I always say talent is kind of ubiquitous,” Mathews said. “It’s always who gets seen kind of a deal. You know, there’s so much around, and so much noise around, and so much to see these days, it’s hard to get a spotlight. So I felt like we had the platform to do it and have been able to do that for quite a while. So there are four episodes a season or whatever the math is on that again. We are trying to get people out there, showcase their talent, and give them a platform. They are given an opportunity to do something that they may not otherwise have an opportunity to do. The casino also uses it as a part of their branding. So we’re actually putting out paid marketing for every episode and kind of partnering that way. We’ve done pretty well with it.”


Doing well is an understatement. Mathews’ work on his web series, “Play it Loud” earned him a third regional Heartland Emmy.


“It was for one of the episodes in the Interview Program category,” Mathews said. “The Play It Loud program that we do is kind of a combination between Anthony Bordain meets Austin City Limits. It’s an interview style with the local musicians, telling their story and showing their talent. It ties back to the casino when we bring them back in to do a live taping on our event center stage here at the casino.”


Yet, Mathews said his greatest rewards come from the artist. He knows how hard they work and the sacrifices they make for their craft. So when they express gratitude for everything that Mathews and his partners do for them, it means something special.


“Since we have the support of a marketing department through the casino, we were able to offer a larger platform and push the message a little further,” Mathews said. “The artists get billboards, they get print advertising, they get television commercials for their episode in local Oklahoma markets. Their faces are on billboards as people are driving through Oklahoma City, and that seems to be the biggest one. I get messages from people all the time like, “Oh my gosh, I saw my face on a billboard. That’s crazy!” We elevated that and it has proven to have helped the casinos brand.”


Mathews will admit he sometimes wonders what that spotlight would feel like on him. He continues to find roadblocks in his path.   However, this time around Mathews is the one putting the obstacles in his own path. While he can stand in front of thousands of people talking about other musicians and artists, when it comes to showing off his own work, lack of confidence has hindered him.


“I’m not going to lie and say that it’s not nice to be seen. I’m not generally one to go out and scream from the rooftops. So I guess that part of it’s a little uneasy for me,” Mathews said. “I like the recognition, I guess it does make me a little uncomfortable. So maybe it is kind of a way for me to vicariously experience that by helping other people stand on the stage. I’m not afraid of getting on a stage and talking in front of people and interacting with a crowd or an audience. But I don’t know about the whole being the front man.”


Mathews said he hasn’t given up on that part of his life. He enjoys creating and being artistic. He recently completed a screenplay which has been recognized in the screenwriting competition called the Nicholl Fellowship. His submission made it to the top 50 out of 8,200 total scripts.


Mathews plays his guitar, paints, draws, dabbles in photography and several other artistic endeavors. He is waiting for a sign, so to speak, to let him know which way he should take his talents.


“I’ve got an asset because I create things.  Like my script that I have, I’m considering pushing that out more to see what opportunities it might lead to. It’s a pretty solid piece of work,” Mathews said. “If somebody were to come to me and say, “Hey, we like what you wrote. Would you write something else?” Then maybe that’s something I would consider. I just fall into the work that I’ve done, and continue to put the work out there in whatever capacity I can. Just see where it leads. I enjoy doing all of it. I’ve never focused really heavily on monetizing it.”


Like many people across the globe, COVID-19 forced Mathews to sit back and reevaluate his life, his career and what he wants out of it.  Mathews said he is at a crossroads. He believes if he is going to make something happen, he needs to do it soon.


“So I think I’m kind of in a transition period of, which talent do I follow to make a living, and which talent do I follow to feed my soul?” Mathews asked himself.


But until that happens, Mathews continues to craft solutions for the dreams of others to come true.



by Michael Kinney

As manager of Everything’s OK Dispensary, one of the first faces a customer sees is Rakeem Willis. Better known as Kemo, the 32-year-old stands behind the counter dressed crisp and fresh, and looking to help people find the perfect strain or edible for the right occasion.

To see Willis today, it would appear life has been treating him well and he has everything going for him. However, Willis will tell anyone who asks that has not always been the case. More than a decade ago, he almost lost his life (twice), his ability to walk and the use of some important internal organs all because he was living a life he isn’t too proud of today.

Because of that, Willis had to endure things that most young men entering their prime never have to face and he didn’t know if he could handle those challenges.

“The biggest thing I learned is how strong. I never knew my strength,” Willis said. “I didn’t know how strong I could get. I had days where I was like, man, just go ahead and take me. I would ask God. I would literally pray, like please let this be the day. But I overcame that. I overcame some of those dark days that I had. My strength just became incredibly bigger.”

Willis grew up the son of a single mother who was constantly moving back and forth from Oklahoma to Texas. He described his mother as a rolling stone.

As he got older, Willis found himself attracted to the streets and the parting life. By the time he was out of his teens he was drinking heavily, ‘popping’ pills and living that rock and roll lifestyle.

“I was experimenting with life,” Willis said. “I was 21 at the time and following the crowd of what everybody else was doing, trying to be cool.”

After partying in Duncan (Ok.) one summer night in 2011, Willis and a friend were heading through Lawton. Willis realized he was too inebriated to drive, so he handed the keys to the car to his friend, who also had been drinking heavily.

“We were driving, passing the east side of Lawton, and right as we were passing, boom. I just remember boom, that’s all I remember. Boom,” Willis said. “I opened my eyes, man, and I was in the grass. It was crazy. We crashed and we hit a pole, but when the car hit the pole, it shattered the windshield.”

According to Willis he flew through the windshield and landed outside the car in the grass. The next thing he knew his friend had run up to him saying they needed to get out of there.

“I’m lying in the grass. He’s like, ‘Get up, man. We gotta go. We got to go. I just crashed. I got up to try to runaway,” Willis said. I fall instantly. I just feel this sharp pain go down the bottom of my spine, down my whole spine. I just freeze up and fall back on the ground, and I’m like ‘I can’t go. I think I’m paralyzed.’”

As if he didn’t understand the gravity of what Willis told him, the driver of the car kept encouraging him to get up and run and saying they needed to get out of there.

“He just left me. He ran off and he was like, ‘I’m going to go find some help.’ That’s what he told me,” Willis said. “And he ran off and I don’t know where he went.”

His friend never came back and to this day he has never heard from him.

Willis was laying in the middle of a back road, well after midnight and unable to get up or move. His phone was nowhere to be found. At that moment, Willis thought he was going to die.

But then a car came from around the bend, pulled up on the wreckage and spotted Willis all alone.

“She gets out the car and she came over to me, and she’s like, ‘Sweetheart, don’t move. Just lay here.’ She helped me out, laid me down flat and just told me to lay there, don’t move,” Willis said. “So, she called it. She actually ended up saving my life. She called the ambulance. The ambulance came there, picked me up, took me to the hospital.”

Willis was told he fractured the C2 vertebra in his neck, along with a few other injuries, in the crash. Yet, as bad as he was feeling, Willis was about to get even worse news that would have a much longer-lasting effect on him.

“Once they did the CAT scan and all that good stuff, that’s when they told me ‘Your kidneys are failing. You ever had any problems, any issues with your kidneys?’ I’m like, ‘Not that I’m aware of,’” Willis said. “So, they did some more tests on me and stuff like that, told me they were going to have to do a biopsy. So, we ended up doing a biopsy, and when the biopsy came back, they said, ‘It looks like basically, your kidneys are just failing due to high blood pressure.’ So, I guess through the car wreck and all that stuff, I lost a lot of blood, caused my blood pressure to skyrocket, and that’s just how it happened.”

At that point, Willis had no idea how long his kidneys had been in such a dire situation. What his doctors told him confused him even more. “It bothered me for a long time because they never really gave me an underlying cause. They just said they believed that my kidneys failed due to a lot of blood loss,” Willis said. “I had two different opinions from two different doctors. One of the doctors also told me that he believed that I probably had high blood pressure over some time. Because he said usually kidney failure and things like that happen over a time period. It’s not something that happens instantly. So, I just had two different opinions on it.”

As Willis laid in the intensive care unit and later in his hospital room for two months, he didn’t know what to make of the situation. He would ask himself for a long time if the wreck ultimately saved his life because he may never have discovered his kidney problems until it was too late.

“When I first found out about my kidney stuff, I was still drinking. I didn’t take it seriously,” Willis said. “I just didn’t take it seriously at all. And one day my mom came in and she had a really long talk with me. That was the moment that I realized this is the decision that I got to make to change my life, to better my life, to look forward to the future and be able to overcome this disease. So I think around that time when I was 21 is really when I had an eye opener for me.”

Unfortunately, his kidneys were in such bad shape, that it was going to take more than just cleaning up to save his life.

Willis was given two wildly different options from two different doctors. The first told him he needed to change his diet. The second doctor told him he needed to get on dialysis because his kidneys were only functioning at 10 percent and dropping.

At 21 years of age, Willis had to make a life-changing decision about his health.

“I didn’t know what to do. So, I honestly contemplated for about a week before I made the decision that I was going to get on dialysis,” Willis said. “I was at what they call the beginning of end-stage renal failure. So, there was no coming back is how they looked at it. At that point you’re at end stage. They’re not going to come back, so you got to get on dialysis or you’re going to eventually die.”

That was enough to persuade Willis. He wanted more time to see if just changing his diet would have worked, but he didn’t want to take the chance.

However, he made that choice before he knew exactly what he would endure while doing dialysis, which is a procedure to remove waste products and excess fluid from the blood when the kidneys stop working properly. It often involves diverting blood to a machine to be cleaned.

“It’s the toughest thing I’ve ever dealt with in my life. I don’t wish it on my worst enemy,” Willis said. “I still have dreams about it sometimes. Three days a week, six hours a day. It became real hard on me, man, because I was trying to work and I was sick, too. When you’re dealing with kidney disease, you have days where you’re just feeling real, real bad. And you can’t control it. It’s just your body’s natural reaction to trying to fight out this disease, you know. Hardest thing I ever did in my life, man. Still to this day, I’ve never faced anything more challenging.”

Willis was on dialysis for almost five years. It wasn’t until he got a call at 3 a.m. in 2015 from the hospital to inform him they found a kidney. He had been on the transplant waiting list and they finally got hold of a match for him.

The transplant took place Oct. 2. Willis readily admitted he was scared going into the surgery because he knew some people didn’t make it out alive.

But it was also a relief. After four and half years of dialysis, Willis was ready for the next chapter in his life. That included making the necessary changes to ensure he would be around long enough to enjoy the kidney.

It took a life altering accident for Willis to turn his life around. He has been with Everything’s OK (10717 N. May Ave) since its founding in August of 2019. The former restaurant manager sees a bright future for it and himself.

Yet, Willis’s journey is never too far from his thoughts. He knows he has come a long way just to get to where he is now.

“I don’t know who I’d be today if I didn’t go through those changes in my life,” Willis said. “I was partying, drugs, you know, rock and roll. So, I don’t know who I’d be today if I didn’t have that. It really humbled me in life and made me appreciate my fingers, my toes, my eyes, everything on my body a little bit more. I don’t even drink because of how appreciative I am of my body parts now. So, oh yeah, it gave me a different strength and I’m proud of myself.”

Photo by Michael Kinney

Right WIth It

Right WIth It

by James Bridges


As I entered the dwellings of what one might call the traveling type I was greeted. Gratitude was in the air, even at 3:00 AM. I entered with a smile.


I was then introduced to a few more characters. Although they are not for this tale. These individuals were in a perfect environment for psychological warfare of sorts.


The one who greeted me at the door was apparently the glue.


I began a conversation.One with the glue. I was amazed at the symbols, letters, and zeros floating from the top of his head as he spoke. It was intellect. Somewhat of a knowledge that was kind and true. A knowledge known from experience.


That’s when he introduced himself as Mr. Green, AKA Trevor Green.


“Music has always been a big part of my life. I grew up on classic rock. Simon & Garfunkel, Pink Floyd, that genre. Then I got into the beginning of Hip Hop. I got a high out of learning something. It was like the beginning of a movement. You know? So as I started listening to the rhyme scheme and everything I really loved it.


I’ve always loved poetry. So, it kind of fit. That’s just something that had a lot of impact on me.


I was in my teens and I listened to grunge. A bunch of grunge. Then I got into Indian music. Once I got back into some hip hop again I performed more of a spoken word thing. I slowly worked it into actual hip hop. I’m using more of that structure.”


Trevor’s inspiration is clearly from all of his surroundings. It’s artists like Trevor that intrigue me the most. Ones that clearly lack the ability to pigeonhole themselves into a genre.


Trevor talked about deeper inspiration. “Until about a year or so ago, I’d never written a happy song. A lot of people say writing comes from that expression of what we otherwise in our lives can’t find a way to do. Then I realized a lot of that was because of what I had circulating in my head.


Through the whole process of writing I’m able to see what my psyche is doing. From there I can say, okay, well I have to choose to put out the positivity. The positivity that I’m trying to see in myself. What seems to help is the mindset that I take in order to cope and deal with the stressors of everyday life. Like we all do.”


It was at that point I could imagine myself lifted. I sensed the positive outlook on this train and I wanted a first class ticket.


“I’ve been through several drug consultations and things. I did that because of a court-appointed situation. It doesn’t take long to see it was about control and the psychology of it. Most people twist and turn things in order to win. It’s not necessary.


So now that I’m able to see what my psyche is doing, I can control things that apply to me. On a moralistic level that makes me want to be better myself.


When I started writing it was never to get famous. I was expressing myself. So that’s what I do now. If this helps people then I’m going to continue. There are still all those negative times in my life. I feel like I got it, but there are still times when I write angry music. Wild-ass music that’s just like, where I’m even thinking, wow this dude is messed up. It’s just where you choose to let your mind go.


Nearly every day I struggle with the negative. This morning, when I woke up, for some reason I had this itching feeling. Like why am I even doing this? What is the purpose of it? Then I think of this one thing. I’ve got enough affirmations. I just have to stop letting that self-doubt and that negativity in. Wrangle your thoughts so you are dialed in and focused.

“I grew up in a Baptist Children’s Home. My family is broken. When I was probably 13 or 14-years-old I had tons of anxiety. I didn’t know what to call it. Then I had all these things on my plate. I was at the Children’s Home. I was vice president of the student council. I went on leadership outings. I was always helping that family home with livestock. I was doing work at another ranch. I was an honors student in school. I was just trying to figure it out. I didn’t realize how strained I was. That’s when I first experimented with bud.


I figured out quickly that the stigma that society has on weed causes people to do things unsafely. The psychology of a younger person when they start using bud under those stigma causes the inability to release stress.


For me, I know and I believe that I wouldn’t have wasted as many years trying to figure something out in my own head.


I asked Trevor about the medicinal values and how he interprets them.


“As I got older I started developing stomach issues. Severe acid reflux and GERD. In four months I lost 40 lbs. Every day, for about 2 months, I couldn’t eat without getting sick. My throat is permanently scarred from it. Yes there were things in my life that were causing it. One of the main things that I found, even as I grow older, is that because of traumatic conditions I’ve been in, stress is a huge cause. Bud was always there to help.


Since then I’ve just learned how to work with it.


As a youth there was so much stigma that it was just negative. If you imagine you can almost understand how to use cannabis you felt wrong. But for some reason it was healthy. it’s just such a confusing thing to put in someone’s head.”


Check out Mr. Green’s new single “Right With It” on Spotify and Youtube.

Universe With Jaz 

Universe With Jaz 

by Jasmine Harvey 


Hiya Star Shines! 

I am Jasmine Harvey. Thank you all for coming along the ride of my life.  My story will consist of grief, anxiety, depression, and post traumatic stress disorder.

Author pictured with Father and paternal Grandfather

As a child I was relatively happy. I was always well taken care of, and my mother is to thank for that also my aunts. When I say relatively happy, meaning I’ve always had some form of anxiety since I could remember. I have been through quite a bit as a young child. I remember the nights when my mother and dad would have disagreements and me hiding from the noise. Which formed a sense of “on guard” mentality most of my life. I did not start seeing  a therapist until I was 27 (which I am a huge advocate for.) My therapist states that a lot of my deep rooted self guard comes from my childhood which has now translated into my adulthood.

At the age of seven I lost my father to a house fire. Losing a parent at such a young age was my first experience with death and it was difficult to fully process. I did not truly know he was gone until he was not there any longer and I caught myself missing him and being jealous of those around me that still had their father. My thoughts were that of “why and how could this happen to me? Why does he have to be gone?”. Of course these questions are not answered as a child because no one ever had the right answer or one at all. 

Author pictured with Mother
Author pictured with Mother

Which brings me to mental health within the black community. It has always been frowned upon to show weakness within the black community; you would be chastised for it even by your own peers. I so desperately needed therapy or counseling as a child. My mother just did not have the resources to provide that for me; it simply was never given or just the fear of losing your child because “the need for help” was expressed. Could you imagine not only losing your husband but also in fear of losing your child to a system that is unfair and unjust? That was my mother’s fear. So, no outside help has ever played a part in helping me sort out my feelings as a child. I just bucked up and carried on as did my mother.


Losing my father was merely the tip of my emotional iceberg. It has now been over 20 years since his loss. I’ve started to notice little things here and there. Hypersensitive to how people interact with me which made me very timid.

(Author pictured on left with head turned to Maternal Grandmother and pictured on the right with locs hanging in front of face)

 During school years all through both elementary and middle school I was bullied. Bullied to the point I would cry everyday and didn’t see the point of living. Can you imagine a child being bullied and the thoughts they have are that of suicide? SUICIDE! At the age of 10. That’s when it started to become too much. Too much for me to handle. All the bullying and the constant trying to fit in. It became worse in middle school. Losing my grandmother who I was dearly close to brought more depression and anxiety. Not only dealing with grief but also dealing with those who thought it was cool to be cruel to another. That’s when my self harm started to manifest. If I could hurt myself then when others hurt me it wouldn’t be as bad. This also started my night terrors. Dreams that feel so real and all you want is relief. This is something that I still struggle with to this day. 

Author pictured as a teenager

High school was my relief from the cruelty but it still left deep scars. I over analyzed (still do) everything and felt everyone around me was somehow upset with me. Wanting constant reassurance and navigating my way through my teenage years. It was rough. Rough to the point, again, became too much for me to handle. This came to be more self harm. Sitting in my room staring at a knife wanting to slit my own wrist. Make it all go away. I have done half-assed attempts of suicide. By half-assed I mean not fully going through with it but hurting myself enough to where it warranted attention. This is most certainly not to say to others “do this for attention”. No. This is not the way to go about it, but for some it may feel it is their only way to call for help when no one is listening. There is always another way. There is always someone there to listen. Moving along through my teenage years, that’s when I started to drink. My suppressor. I always had fun when I could drink no matter where it came from or who. It was a slippery slope. I managed to keep sliding through it. When I reached 19 (by this time I was already hanging out with those who were much older than I).  I met David. 

Author pictured with David

David became my outlet. We clicked. We clicked so well we became more than just “hanging out”. He was battling with a lot from his previous marriage so, we both wanted a breath of fresh air. It was just that. We became each other’s rock. We were ride or die in every sense of the meaning. No relationship is perfect and there were times where I reverted back to self harm to fix the feelings I had or feelings that were had towards me in our relationship. That was very early on when I did not know how to properly express myself. I became better. Moving onward after being through everything with each other for six years we married. The most exceptional day I could ever ask for. At this time I still battled with depressive episodes, anxiety and night terrors but he loved me through and through as I did for him.

We were at our most high. Newlyweds, starting a family of our own, becoming financially stable. We were at such a good spot he was at his happiest and I was as well. That year of marriage was the closest we have ever been. We both love cannabis and all it’s benefits which brought us to our trip in April of 2018. We celebrated our one year wedding anniversary in Colorado. We were on cloud 9 with our love. Then came May 16th, 2018 a part of my life that is not completely known to the public. 

Author with Husband David Portrait by Isa-B Photography


On this day it played out as a little normal but I woke up with a huge sense of anxiety. An impending doom if you will.  David was not home from an overnight job that he went straight to after working the normal 9-5 the same day. He kissed me goodbye the night before but was nowhere to be seen the morning after. I called and called, nothing till I got a call back from him stating how busy he was. I love you and goodbyes were said.  Then came the afternoon I spoke to him once more at this point he worked non stop over 24 hours. I rushed home after work to surprise him with something that I bought.

 I get home and he’s already there. 

I pushed the door open and he was presumably asleep on the couch.  I discovered that my husband died by gunshot that day. Events play out. A year of marriage and seven years together, was now gone. All that we built. Gone. I had to start completely new. I never want to explain in detail these events that have happened so please refrain from EVER asking me, just know it’s a huge source of trauma for me.

Losing David was the rest of the iceberg, hidden in plain sight and incredibly damaging. I have now lost 3 very important men in my life: my dad, my grandpa, and now my husband. After my husband’s death I sat and thought how easy it’d be to end it and be with him, from all the drugs I was prescribed.  


Author with late husband David

From David’s death I developed ptsd. The sight of a gun in person makes me go into a panic attack. Shooting of the face or head on any form of media I have an instant panic attack. Music is a huge trigger for me as well. I’ve had panic attacks before throughout my life but now they are way more intense. 

I have been put on Xanax, trazodone, hydroxyzine, klonopin, and antidepressants. None of those work as well as cannabis does for me. Cannabis has helped me get away from most of those drugs. I can no longer function without some type of aide. Every time I go to sleep it’s a night terror. Every time I wake it’s pure anxiety. Cannabis helps all of that with a combination of certain medications. I have pinpointed certain terpenes that work well for different times. For example, during the day I’d need something that has the terpene Limonene and Ocimene within it for anxiety and tiredness. For a relaxing evening and to sleep I need something with Linalool and Beta-Caryophyllene in it. A terpene I avoid is Terpenoline, it makes my heart race and puts me in panic mode. I am still learning all the benefits of cannabis for myself and others through my Cannacian level 3 certification as well as being a graduate from Oaksterdam University.  

I am a work in progress and I dedicate how strong and resilient I am from reaching out to a therapist after my husband’s death, my huge support system and cannabis. I am so grateful to be here today. I know there were many times that I thought I would not be.

I am in a good place now forever working on my mental well being. I now have someone by my side who supports me wholeheartedly knowing all that I have been through and makes me feel deserving of love once again even though I felt like I was not.



(Author pictured on left in middle with Aunts. Author pictured on right with significant other Jared.)

This journey is challenging but so worth it. Keep pushing and your path will shine brightly as the day is long.

I am starting a nonprofit called What The Widow!? for young widows and widowers and for those who are grieving here in Oklahoma. It is a completely unbiased peer to peer support group currently. The non-profit status will open up more doors to better help those in need. If you’d like more info please do not hesitate to reach out to me. 

Thank you for taking this life journey with me.

Reach out:


 FB & IG: @universewithjaz

For donations for What The Widow!?: Jharveyportrait.com 

Chad Watson


Chad Watson

by Brittiany Ralls

When music is your passion it’s hard to do anything else. As a musical artist, Chad Watson would be no exception. Creating and composing all his own music, Chad Watson does what he loves. Staying true to what he cares for and where his roots are is what has helped him rise to where he is now and will help him continue his journey towards his goals and dreams. With a little help from some friends and the support of his team, it’s a new world out there for him.  With performances coming up soon in the Oklahoma and Texas area, we will have our chances to see him face to face.

Growing up in California, Los Angeles specifically, Chad developed a love for music,  but didn’t decide till he was in his twenties that he would want to pursue a career in music professionally. Chad told me, “Music is my passion and the only thing keeping my head above water, often times. This life is a cut throat one, so diving head first into my craft deafens a lot of the chaos, and depression.” What better escape can an artist ask for than their craft.

The cannabis community has really brought to light some of these great artists. With support from the entire industry around the United States, we get to see artists like Chad Watson at our cannabis events and have the opportunity to experience something amazing. Freely experiencing cannabis and what it can do for musical artists and lovers of music alike is a feeling like no other. Creatively letting cannabis just fuel that passion, being a part of it in any capacity is a feeling all of us love once experiencing.

Hoping to inspire others with his music in the same way he has been inspired by Andre 3000 and Kendrick Lamar, Chad Watson hopes to show many the beauty that creating art can bring to your life. Be on the lookout for Chad Watson and make sure to show up and support him. Did I mention he models too!?! Oh, well he does.

Is it hot in here….

Chad not only hopes to inspire others only with his music but also through his philanthropic causes. By partnering with “Gaia Provides” to raise funds to donate to 3 hand chosen Animal Rescues: Hounds and Heroes, Lend-A-bone, and House of Deliverance. Giving back to his community and being an animal lover is just a day in the life of Chad.  Living a life of inspiration, of the goodness you can give to this world is what Chad Watson had dedicated his life to. Speaking of animals, when I asked what animal he wanted to be he said, Cliche but I’d be a Lion. It’s the king of the jungle and I feel like I’m a very alpha male type of individual. I even have a song lyric saying “I’m a Lion… In the lion’s lair. Lion’s king of the jungle so I lion everywhere”. That’s the opening of “can’t shyt get”.”

You can find this song and all the rest of his body of work on all digital platforms, Apple Music, YouTube, Spotify, Tidal and Google.

Star 46 Farms

Star 46 Farms

by Anna Ervin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


The Duke

The Duke

by Anna Ervin | Herbage Magazine

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

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

Photo by William Nagy @yerboytakespics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Check out Mister Hugh Glass on Instagram and Spotify.

IG: @misterhughglass

Beautiful Disaster

Beautiful Disaster

by James Bridges



“I’ve been using cannabis as medicine since I was little. I had always been pretty good in high school baseball and sports. I noticed when I smoked cannabis I felt more relaxed.  My mom was a pharmacist. So, you know, I was always aware of the pharmaceutical side of things.  Cannabis made me feel more relaxed.  I fell in love with it very young. So I would just get some and never tell anyone.  Especially after sporting events.”


There’s a moment when you are talking to someone that is passionate about what they do and they get in this sort of trance-like state.  It’s a mixture of excitement, preparedness, love, hyper-focus, and soul.  When it takes over you know it. That’s where Mike Langston, the grower for Local Leaf Cultivation, was when I caught up with him.  He was on a wave and I jumped on for the ride.

“Then we moved to Wichita Kansas. I was nineteen years old.  After about five years of adjustments and being in Wichita I had a very close musician friend. We would jam together a lot.  One time after a good jam my buddy Jake says, ‘You got to come to the basement dude. I’m dying to show you something.’ So I went to the basement and I’ll never forget it. Ever. We were 24 years old and I’m 47 now. Jake pulls back this hard plastic curtain. It was the first time in my life to ever see this.  There it was.  A giant high pressure sodium bulb with a big mega-heavy ballast.  I got chills. This was amazing! I could now grow my own medicine.  I wouldn’t have to go into these shady areas to find what I needed to function.  It was an eye opening experience to say the least.”  I felt Mike breathing easy.


In a connoisseur market, which I’m going to personally hold onto as long as possible, I look for quality cannabis.  I could care less if you grow acre after acre of throw away head-change weed.  I want the good.  That’s why it’s so important to support.


“I have a couple of friends in the LA area that grow. Actually it’s my friend Scott from the band 311. Another friend of mine that was with 311 is Ryan. He got out of the music business to grow. So I’ve always had a connection with someone that I could collaborate with somewhat.”  Mike went on.


“So after I got my license, I went after the Black Mamba strain. I have a few other cuttings from some grower friends. So we’ve gone through a ton of selecting on the strains.  We think we’ve found some winners. It takes a minute to find. About a year-and-a-half for us. Now we’re really hitting our stride.”


I’d say… Keeping it simple and interesting all at the same time. Mike believes in touching and being with every plant from seed to harvest.  This was definitely my kind of grower.  With strains like Black Mamba, Eiffel Tower, a super sativa Sour Apple, Blue Cheese, a very gassy and stanky Blue Purple OG, and then there’s the Grape God.


“On September 22nd 2013, I was getting ready to run a marathon in Wichita, KS. The police called me and said, ‘Mr Langston you need to come to the emergency room immediately. Your son’s been involved in a stabbing.’ My son was fatally attacked in downtown Wichita by this dude with a knife. He stabbed him 57 times. The knife was stuck in his brain. He actually lived dude! I snuck cannabis into the hospital for him.”  A tear was forming.


“I don’t drink alcohol and I haven’t for 15 years. So during this time, you know, it was a real struggle. Cannabis every single day is the only thing that helped me get through that trauma. To see my son lay there for 11 days in a coma… When he came out of the coma, to make a long story short, he said directly to me that we are all spiritual beings of light and I love you. Those were the first words he said.”



“It was at that point when I started sneaking in cannabis oil for my son.  I believed in it. I had made this for cancer patients and now I’m going to help heal my son. So I snuck it in the hospital. Man I don’t care… After he said those words to me there was no stopping.”


“In twenty two days he was out of rehab and back in my house. Cannabis oil works.  It is here for us to heal from the inside out.  I call it the god flower.”


I eventually discovered that Mike was not riding on a wave.  Mike was the one that was creating a wave for many to see.  He wants people to understand that happiness is obtainable.  We have choices, fortunately. Most importantly, it’s about the patient. It’s still about the journey.  But when you are at the helm and there are big waters ahead Mike is the perfect example of someone just like you and I. If we can continue to make a difference in other people’s lives for the better. Meanwhile he is simply working on himself.


We were able to sample every strain.  Each one had its own journey to create inside of someone.  This was craft cannabis.  But it was more.  It was craft living.


Thanks Mike.

Local Leaf Cultivation

19680 S. Gordon Cooper Dr. Tecumseh, OK 74873


Spring Cleaning Is Never Too Late

by Kathy Long-Barker

Jaw tight and tongue firmly against the roof of your mouth, you notice your hands are shaking. Your brow is tinged with sweat and though no particular words can be deciphered from your intense and abrupt exclamation, the air around you seems to be swirling with the anxious notes of a strange led violin. 

Howligree, who just previously had lulled into a meditative state, un-crisscrossed her legs and rocked forward onto her knees to take your hands in a firm but comforting grasp. 

“Woah, woah! Slow down, it’s a lot to take in!” She soothed. 

“Okay, okay let’s maybe give you some basic tools before we proceed, I’ve got just the thing,” she assured before turning and leaning half way over the table to rummage through more stacks no doubt.  A gulp can be heard from you and the cat snickers. 

“Not to worry, mate. This is going to ease your nerves” 

She leaned back up and hands you a blue envelope littered with stars on the front. 

What Did You Call Me!? by Kathy Long-Barker



Dearest daring divine,


I intend this finds you well, and if you are not, may these accounts empower you to become so. 


I find this place to be breeding ground for energy entrapment. Everyone here is going about their lives so quickly that they don’t always carry out deeds and tasks with intention or mindfulness. They just….do things. 

For example, a basic example at that, I have been staying with a family for some time now and as the months emerge and depart it has occurred to me that the more clutter their house encompassed Over time, the more clutter their minds created within their head! It’s a microcosm and a macrocosm before their very eyes! Before they know it their bickering and snapping at one another like some sort of anxious nest! It’s absurd! What’s even more fascinating is the matter of their blindness to the issue!! They haven’t an inkling!

Basically we have to remember spring cleaning isn’t only for the hearth, but also for our heart. Our body is a house for our heart, just as the wood, bricks, and sheet rock are are home to our bodies. 


So how do we apply this knowledge in in the now?  Let’s start with our body 


The foundation, the very best place to start is with our breath, the essence of our personal life force. DO NOT breathe from the chest. If your shoulders are moving, you are being counterproductive to the goal of cleansing the body and mind. Breathing from the chest has been proven to encourage cortisol (the stress chemical) which lowers the immune system! 


When we inhale, we should count to four and our stomachs should distend.  – Hold for a count of three. – When we exhale we should focus our belly button back toward the spine for a count of seven. Furthermore, as we are breathing out, our breath shouldn’t be able to disturb the flame of a candle. If it does, your releasing your breath too quickly and too harshly.

The reason we want our breath to be that gentle is because it encourages mindfulness. You aren’t just going through a motion, but rather being forced to think about how you do it. You are in control of your breath and your response. Not the other way around. 


If you can manage to breathe like this for ten to fifteen minutes it’s just as potent as taking an anti anxiety pill. But far more healthy. 

Each experience is highly personal, but I can tell you from my experience, my racing thoughts calmed and continue to calm with each  belly breathing session. My peace ripples like a gentle wave and I have removed myself from the shackles of being a victim. I don’t react as I once did. I respond. 


Continuing in the realms of breath we move to the aura, or energy field that surrounds us, when we take a moment to smoke that bowl of flower, be it hemp or cannabis, I have found setting an intention before medicating is highly beneficial. You can cleanse your energetic field and your physical body if you mean to. 

When you speak words, it’s magic. That’s why they call it spelling! 

Example: thank you for the lessons of this day, thank you for this cleansing flower. May it help to relieve and re center my perspective of the current challenge before me.


Now moving towards and working with cleaning your outer or physical environment can be approached in several ways as well, but to begin I would suggest tidying up your space. Because as I said in my example, if your space is cluttered, it is a reflection of your mind.  You don’t have to clean your entire space all at once and overwhelm yourself. You could start with wiping down your counters. The more you do, the more momentum you build, and it will reflect within your energetic body. You will feel cleaner. Less cluttered and frazzled. 


If you are generally not a cluttered person, I would suggest using a sage smudge stick. 

Light the end and get a nice smoke going. Go through your house, particularly at any threshold, window and door alike and speak your intentions. 

Example: “I cleanse this house and banish any energy that does not serve my highest timeline or my highest good” 

Say this or what intuitively comes to you. TRUST yourself, you know what your doing, even if you don’t remember that fact in this now moment. 


Now take a deep breath dear one, we’ve got this. I promise.

The Cover – June

by James Bridges
All of us have been affected.
“Doesn’t affect me directly.” That’s what my go to thought is when I get angry at those that have so many followers when they speak untruths or talk in ways that make their followers feel blindfolded and act as if they are their savior.
Guess what did affect me.  Maybe more indirectly. It has reminded me of the actual importance of making oneself be heard.  What affected me has affected all of us that are still living on this planet within this realm of reality. That thing was Richard Milhous Nixon’s declaration of the war on drugs a mere 50 years ago.
Fear is an easy thing to hide things under.  Simply browse through most literature and historical documents and you will see a trail of fear dragging behind some of the most absurd and damaging happenings on this planet made by mankind. It is atrocious to say the least.
I traveled throughout the internet and all over Oklahoma shops and could never find a mask that resembled that dirty old Dick.  So what’s the next best thing that actually turned out to be a better choice?
I called an awesome local artist Sonya Spears and tried to explain.  She cut me off mid sentence.  “Say no more,” she said.  “I totally see what you are going for.”
And she did.  Sonya Spears is available for commission.  You can read more about her amazing talent by Anna in the other pages.

Tulsa Massacre 100 Years Later

1921 – 2021; Remembering

by Veronica Castillo

May 31, 2021 marks 100 years since a black teenage boy was lied on, over a possible incident with a white woman, in an elevator in Tulsa Oklahoma. It marks 100 years since his arrest, which wasn’t enough for many white Americans in Tulsa, Oklahoma. May 31, 2021 marks 100 years since a group of racist white terrorists showed up at the jail, demanding that police hand over the teenage boy. It marks 100 years since that group of terrorists and others that joined later that night, initiated one of the biggest massacres on United States soil. 

May 31, 2021 marks 100 years since the 1921 massacre, led by a group racist white domestic terrorists in Tulsa, Oklahoma- in a neighborhood called “Black Wall Street”, in Tulsa’s Greenwood District. The hateful souls behind the massacre took black lives, injured hundreds of black people, and burned down over 1,000 homes and businesses.

The Greenwood District- Black Wall Street: Before the Massacre

In a story covering Black Wall Street, CNBC describes the Greenwood District as: “one of the most prosperous African-American enclaves in the U.S. before the slaughter of its citizens”. The Greenwood District was known as Black Wall Street because Greenwood Avenue featured luxury shops, restaurants, movie theaters, a library, pool halls, and nightclubs- owned by Black Americans.

History.com states that
: “the area had been considered one of the most affluent African American communities in the United States for the early part of the 20th century”. The Greenwood district is in East Oklahoma, which was Indian Territory (like almost all of Oklahoma). Before Greenwood was established in 1906, Native Americans (the people already here when the history books say that Columbus “founded” this land) lived there, but were forced to relocate. 

Greenwood was established in 1906 through O.W. Gurley, a wealthy Black landowner, who purchased 40 acres of land in Tulsa, naming it Greenwood. Because of his intent to only sell to colored people, Greenwood became what History.com described above, “one of the most affluent African American communities”.

Later, many Black sharecroppers fleeing racial oppression relocated to the region as well, because they wanted a better life post-Civil War. Black Americans fled to Oklahoma under the assumption that Oklahoma is safe for them, according to Michelle Place, executive director of the Tulsa Historical Society and Museum. Michelle says that at the time: “Oklahoma begins to be promoted as a safe haven for African Americans who start to come particularly post emancipation to Indian Territory”.

History.com says: “the largest number of Black townships after the Civil War were located in Oklahoma. Between 1865 and 1920, African Americans founded more than 50 Black townships in the state”. In my opinion, that is the real issue and hate towards Black Americans. Like Beyonce sings:

“Being black, maybe that’s the reason why they always mad, yeah, they always mad, yeah

Been past ’em, I know that’s the reason why they all big mad and they always have been.”

May 31, 1921- The Massacre on Black Wall Street

Below is an overview of the massacre, as reported by History.com:

  • May 30, 1921, a young Black teenager named Dick Rowland entered an elevator at the Drexel Building. At some point after that, the young white elevator operator, Sarah Page, screamed and Rowland fled the scene. The police were called, and the next morning they arrested Rowland.
  • A story based on rumors was published in the Tulsa Tribune, accusing Rowland of sexually assaulting Page.
  • As evening fell, an angry white mob was gathering outside the courthouse, demanding the sheriff hand over Rowland.
  • The sheriff said “No”, and his men barricaded the top floor to protect Rowland.
  • Later, a group of about 25 armed Black men, including World War I veterans, went to the courthouse to offer help guarding Rowland.
  • They were told “No”, and were turned away.
  • There were rumors of lynching and so, a group of around 75 armed Black men returned to the courthouse, where they were met by about 1,500 white men, some of whom also carried weapons.
  • Shots were fired, chaos broke out, and the outnumbered group of Black men retreated to Greenwood.
  • Over the next several hours, groups of white Tulsans, some of whom were deputized and given weapons by city officials, committed numerous acts of violence against Black people.
  • With rumors of a large-scale insurrection among Black Tulsans underway; as dawn broke on June 1, thousands of white citizens poured into the Greenwood District, looting and burning homes and businesses over an area of 35 city blocks.
  • Later, Rowland was released and charges were dropped. Officials concluded that it was likely that Rowland simply bumped into Page. 

According to a Red Cross estimate: 1,256 houses were burned, 215 others were looted but not torched; two newspapers, a school, a library, a hospital, churches, hotels, stores, and many other Black-owned businesses were among the buildings destroyed or damaged by fire. The Tulsa Race Massacre/ The Black Wall Street Massacre still stands as one of the deadliest riots in U.S. history. Many don’t know about this because the system tried to cover it up. History.com says that:

The Tulsa Tribune removed the front-page story of May 31 that sparked the chaos from its bound volumes, and scholars later discovered that police and state militia archives about the riot were missing as well. As a result, until recently the Tulsa Race Massacre was rarely mentioned in history books, taught in schools or even talked about”.

The 1914 Narcotics Act’s Contribution to Racism Through Lies About Cannabis

Tensions in America between Black Americans and White Americans existed before 1921. But 1921 was met with the existence of: Black Codes, Jim Crow laws, the Reconstruction Era, alcohol prohibition, and a new way to target black people through the 1914 Harrison Narcotics Act. 1921 was met with fuel from laws designed to keep white America up, and black America down, like the narcotics act. And though the narcotics act was focused on opiates and coco plants, cannabis became stigmatized and known as: “a drug of murder, torture, and hideous cruelty”.

Cannabis was also tied to immigrants and lower class society. In an article published by Origins, they state:“ the association of murder, torture, and mindless violence with marijuana was not borne out by evidence or actual events- but blossomed thanks to the vivid imaginations of the journalists charged with sensationalizing the tired story of drug use and addiction”. 

They go on to say: “the fact that marijuana smoking was a habit of immigrants and the lower class, played a role in its prohibition. For the journalists in the 1920s charged with composing annual anti-narcotics jeremiads for Hearst’s famously sensational newspapers, a new “murder” drug must have seemed a gift.

We see from part of Billie Holiday’s story in the movie: The United States vs. Billie Holiday, that it wasn’t just immigrants and lower class that were targeted, being black was simply enough. We can also see from the 1914 Narcotics Act, that Reefer Madness and the association of cannabis making people crazed, violent, and sexually aggressive- started before 1930, it just didn’t have its title yet. 

The Cannabis Industry Shares Thoughts on the Greenwood District/ Black Wall Street Massacre: What was Learned, Ways to Heal, a Push for Unity, the Need for Accountability, the Prison System as it Relates to Cannabis, and How Cannabis Can Help Heal Racial Tension

Mehka King, founder of Cash Color Cannabis says:

To begin the process of solving race issues and halting any more race riots begin with conversations about why all this happened in the first place. I learned about the Tulsa race riots when I was in college. It was right after I read the book about Rosewood. It’s a tragic story that shows how far people can go when all you see is anger and bias. Add in power and privilege and you get a powder keg that’s ready to blow.

Conversations about race issues have become even more taboo even as things seem to look more diverse. Adding a Black face here and there isn’t the same as having a real conversation about the way systematic racism has affected our community overall. Even that conversation has to land on an empathetic ear who wants to help”.

Dan Isenstein, owner of Hemp Highway of Kentucky, and a hemp historian says:

While May 31st marks 100 years since the Tulsa Massacre, a monumentally horrific atrocity, it is merely a mile maker in the 400-year history of black people being terrorized in North America. When the Tulsa Massacre occurred, the United States was already 25 years into the “Jim Crow” era. In many ways cannabis laws were an extension and remain the last legal remnants of “Jim Crow”. As the prohibition police state emerged, blacks and people of color were disproportionately targeted. The resulting incarceration industrial complex still imprisons black people at an appalling rate.

Sunflower Taliaferro, owner of Sunflower’s Spacecakes say this:

At the time of the Tulsa race massacre, the desperation for resources was at an all-time high. Informed by a sense of scarcity and entitlement, frustrated white Tulsa residents targeted Black residents and businesses as a means to end the progression on Black Wall Street, and thus end the threat that it posed to white businesses. Much like in Tulsa, destruction and violence was widespread in the bombing of MOVE. 65 homes were completely destroyed as a result of the city-sanctioned bombing, displacing numerous Black families, and killing 5 Black children. In both assaults’ city officials played key roles in facilitating the massacres whether firsthand or otherwise.”

Justin Young, co-founder of 12 Twenty CBD says:

The one important thing that I learned from the Tulsans who built Black Wall Street brick by brick is the importance of black economics, owning, protecting and controlling your own to create and build generational wealth for our children and grandchildren so that they too can have a seat at the table. What the Tulsans built is a testament to their dedication and brilliance.  I also believe that discussing the events of the massacre that destroyed Black Wall Street and many other black economic advancements to a younger generation is critical to understanding systemic racism’s effects on black economics, poverty and the community today Tulsa is one example of many.  However, we don’t believe that cannabis will end race wars- only conversation and dialogue will start that process.” 

Sam De La Paz, managing partner at GreenWave Consulting, LLC says:

The events that took place in Oklahoma in 1921 are evidence of the systemic plague that our communities of color have faced for far too long and that we still face today. I firmly believe that our Cannabis community, our “counter-culture” and the medicines that bring us further into synergy with our natural world – are the pathways to healing for ALL of us. We must lead by example and stay extremely unified in our missions and goals! This is the ultimate challenge; I’ll be the first to admit.

Cannabis is a connector, a healer, a third eye-opener (if you believe that kind of stuff). It brings people together to share perspective and insight, with little aggression and much inclusivity. To unravel years of systemic and societal injustices, and to rebuild our relationship with the planet and all living organisms, we must do it together. Together is how we will be able to create true generational wealth for our most underserved and underrepresented. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to course-correct from the path that top-down capitalism has paved. We are the ones we have been waiting for. . .

Bee Weldon, owner of Bee Kynd says:

My paternal great-grandfather was in his early twenties at the time of the tragic Tulsa massacre. In spite of the tense race relations during that time, my great-grandpa was still able to acquire hundreds of acres of land in the surrounding area. My ancestor always told us that power comes in having your own… building your own.

I have set out to build my own in the cannabis industry by educating others on healing our bodies with this plant. Cannabis is a spiritual plant with amazing healing properties and its healing power are not only limited to our body and mind, but can transcend into healing the systemic racism that the cannabis industry is built on. The mere fact that our bodies are uniquely designed with an internal system that works harmoniously with this plant, is vital in helping combat racist stigmas and stigmas against cannabis.

The owners at JustinCredible say:

The burning of Black Wall Street was a tragic event in American history. Many lost their lives over a misunderstanding. Most race wars are started from simple misunderstandings.

The Cannabis industry is unique in that consumers all enjoy the same thing. It’s what connects us no matter our race. Cannabis will continue to be a guiding light and cornerstone for change in the world and JustinCredible Cultivation will continue to be the catalyst for transformation 1 strain at a time”.

Sal Ali, co-founder of Dr. Terpz Dispensary says:

To me it seems as though when Black and brown people in this country achieve success for themselves, without the need for any outside help, they become perceived as a threat and the powers that be find ways to bring them down.

I know cannabis is the ultimate connector that can help people look beyond race and skin color and help us see each other for who we truly are. I moved around a lot growing up in this country. I had the opportunity to live amongst people from all walks of life and socioeconomic backgrounds. Every time I found myself in a different environment with people, I had nothing in common with, cannabis always helped me connect with them”.

Oklahoma’s Progress 1921- 2021:  A Special Message from the President of Oklahoma Women Cann Association

I have the privilege to work with many cannabis businesses and patients across the state of Oklahoma.  Our mission focuses on supporting a strong and equitable cannabis industry in Oklahoma by providing resources, education and advocacy. 

As we approach the 100th year anniversary of the “Tulsa Race Massacre” I am reminded of how little progress has been made in Oklahoma in terms of racial equality.  In many aspects, we are still experiencing that mentality through laws, treatments and attitudes. Treatment that is so widespread, no one even notices that it’s wrong.

That same treatment, unfortunately, is also prominent in our Oklahoma cannabis industry.  Although our cannabis program has afforded opportunities for more people of color than many other markets, minorities are still underserved when it comes to resources, support and representation.

I do see cannabis as being the avenue to bringing more diversity into Oklahoma, but it is critical that people of diverse backgrounds come together and express their concerns because no one is going to ask them what they want, they are going to have to find their voice.

Cannabis is a healing herb in so many ways.  I definitely believe it is that component that brings lives together as we unify in the belief that it serves a purpose. I see it every time I attend an event, or support a meeting. It connects young with old, rich with poor and yes, all colors of the rainbow.  It’s a beautiful thing!

I saw the passage of SQ780 as a pivot point in the step toward better race relations in Oklahoma because it overwhelmingly declared that it’s time to take a serious look at why so many women and people of color are being incarcerated. It is my hope that through the momentum of what cannabis has done for the Oklahoma economy, we will begin to experience a change of perception and a unifying of goals”.

In Closing

A large portion of American history exists in one word- racism. Many of the issues in America today exist in one word- racism. The way we heal America exists in two words- ending racism.

If the government allowed cannabis to be free, maybe we would see a better world. A unified world like the one that the hippies were trying to create in the 70’s, before the government decided that prohibition of certain plant medicines would be better for their agenda. Their agenda has generally been rooted in racism and separation, and the culture of plant medicines like cannabis has been rooted in healing and unity.

What can the cannabis industry do to honor Black Wall Street today? Donate to Greenwood Chamber of Commerce who is seeking to raise up to $10 million to restore and rebuild the district that domestic terrorists destroyed: https://www.gofundme.com/f/restoreblackwallstreet.  


Fact Check:




Painted Pistols Cannabis Co.

By Veronica Castillo

Painted Pistols Cannabis Co.

Providing an avenue for the community of Chickasha to experience clean, organic medicinal cannabis.


In a city about 35 miles away from Oklahoma City, exists a cannabis cultivation company owned and operated by life-long Chickasha residents- Painted Pistols Cannabis Co. Painted Pistols is located in a stand-alone building in downtown Chickasha on HWY 81, with a large parking lot that can accommodate large motor vehicles, trailers, and RVs.


We are less than 3 miles from the turnpike exit. In the past, it was used for an automotive shop and before that, we believe it was a radiator shop.


About Painted Pistols


Based in Oklahoma, with pistols attached to the name may raise some eyebrows, but no need because the name stems from a connection; a message in a song:


“Painted Pistols was inspired by a line in Trampled, a song by Turtles- ‘the calm and the crying wind’. While listening, I was praying and contemplating what we should name the shop. The first line in the song was exactly what I needed to hear. All the hairs stood up on my arm and it confirmed to me that was the name we were supposed to use.”


The owner of Painted Pistols Cannabis Co. always knew cannabis would be a part of life. With years in the cannabis industry and talks of Oklahoma going legal for medicinal consumption, the owner says:


When talk of legalizing medical cannabis in our state started happening, I knew I’d be involved somehow, I just didn’t know what that looked like but when the opportunity with the building presented itself, I decided to jump on it.”


As many have reported, and though it varies from state to state, getting into the legal cannabis industry isn’t an easy task. When asked about the hardest part of the journey into cannabis entrepreneurship, the response was:


The rules and regulations changing so much; medical cannabis had only been legal less than a year when we opened.”


Painted Pistols: Team and Mission


Painted Pistols has a team that makes its operation possible. Aside from the owner, the team consists of a dispensary manager, a sales associate/ graphic designer/ Budtender (one person handles these roles), and an inventory and bookkeeping specialist (one person handles these roles). The owner is at the dispensary every day with the exception of a getaway with his fiancé (which we all need!):


We snuck away early last year for a 2-day weekend trip but I have been in the store every other day since we’ve opened. I take pride in being an owner / operator of the store.”


The Painted Pistols Cannabis Co. mission is one that can be appreciated:


We are here to provide education and clean meds to patients. When a patient choses cannabis over prescription pills, they are looking for a safer alternative. If that “safer alternative” is pumped full of chemicals, is that really safer?


About the Painted Pistol Dispensary and Strains

For those that haven’t visited Painted Pistols Cannabis Co. dispensary, here is what the owner describes as the vibe in the dispensary:

We know that cannabis can be intimidating to new patients. We want them to feel comfortable when they walk into our store and answer any and all questions they have about cannabis and consumption. It is our favorite part of the day when we get to consult with a new patient, find out what their need for cannabis is, and help find a product that works best for their body.”

As for brands that Oklahoma cannabis patients can find at Painted Pistols Cannabis Co., the owner states:

Frosty Organics, Resonant Cult, Hermetic Flower Co, King Cannabis, and No Time.  We have a huge supply of edibles from companies like Smokiez, Bison Extracts, and RR brothers. Others include: Divine collection, Leaf Logic, Ice Melts, and Vedana Solventless Hash Rosin.

In Closing

When asked why a cannabis dispensary in Chickasha,Oklahoma– the answer received was centered in love:

Chickasha is my hometown. I was born and raised here. I wanted to share my passion with those I grew up with and introduce them to clean cannabis. A good friend was moving back to this area to start a grow and we knew it would be a great opportunity to showcase his organic, living soil grown cannabis.

Cannabis is centered in love, healing, and appreciation. The owner closed with something so beautiful that as I type this, I am getting chills. Because of that, it’s only right that I allow him to close the piece. When asked: “what should patients know about Painted Pistols that hasn’t been asked?

The owner of Painted Pistols stated:

I know this seems clique but our patients have become our family. Not only because they know they can trust us, but because of the bonds we’ve formed. It threw me off the first time a patient told me he loved me as he was leaving. Now, it’s kind of become the norm.


by Michael Kinney


Technically, the residents in the Clara Luper Corridor have only been in a food desert for two years. When Smart Saver closed unexpectedly in August 2019, that left thousands of households without a grocery store for miles in any direction.


However, in actuality the east side of Oklahoma City has been a food desert for much longer than that, according to Ward 7 Councilwoman Nikki Nice.


“We’ve all had restless nights because we know people are going hungry,” Nice said. “We’ve had restless nights because we know food access is possible even in a community in which they say it’s not. We’ve had restless nights because people say ‘yeah, we’re going to bring something, but give us time.’”

According to Nice that time came and went with none of the promises fulfilled.


But the wait came to an end April 21 when the Market at Eastpoint opened its doors for the first time to the public. Just a few blocks from where Smart Saver was located, the new grocery store brings hope to a community that desperately needed it.


Tyler Dodd Rides The Wind By Michael Kinney

“We’ve been setting the shelves all week over here with the Homeland team and to see neighbors knock on the door and peek their head in and see the produce just burst into tears,” said Caylee Dobson, Executive Director at Restore OKC. It’s so exciting to see shoppers appreciate that and excited to buy it.”

Restore OKC teamed up with the Homeland Grocery chain to create The Market at Eastpoint (1708 NE 23rd). The organizations came up with a plan for a public-private partnership that would allow them to co-operate the grocery store.


Restore OKC was able to focus efforts on fundraising and securing product donations and partnerships that could help sustain the store through the early years, while Homeland used its expertise in the grocery industry to streamline the process and provide oversight and infrastructure.


“We are thrilled to see our public-private partnership with Restore OKC come to life. We have an opportunity here to serve our community in a deeper way and make an impact on food security and this store is a great way to do that,” Homeland CEO Martin Jones said. “This is an important project for our employee-owners, and we are proud to work hand in hand with the community to make it a reality.”

It took just six months for the plan to come together and for the grocery store to be built. According to Councilwoman Nikki Nice, it just took people willing to invest in the community instead of giving lip service and fake promises.


“This is what a six-month commitment to a community looks like,” Nice said. “There have been others who have said we’ll bring you something in six months. It’s been over a year, we’re still waiting. This conversation began with the ribbon-cutting in October. It’s April. That’s what a six-month commitment to a community looks like. This is what happens when you invest in the community that you’re serving. This is what happens when you pull everyone together and say let’s do this together. This is what community looks like.”


The Market is a full-service grocery store. Everything from fresh foods to frozen pizzas and water can be found inside the 7,000-square-foot building. It also has a section in the back for ready-to-eat hot foods prepared by Community Chef Brandi Jones of the former Family Affair Restaurant.


Much of the organic and healthy food options will be grown at Restore OKC’s 5-acre urban farm which is managed by led by 18 high school students from the northeast Oklahoma City community. But they also have regularly delivered produce as well.


“Because food access is important for our communities and we can’t thrive if we’re not being fed,” Nice said. “And it starts with us being able to feed our neighbors. So this was a long work in progress, even though it took a short time for us to get here.”


The Market’s business neighbors include Urban Wellness Dispensary, Hybrid Cures and Amazing Cannabis Co. Strainz.


According to the USDA, there are more than 19 million people in America who live in a food desert. Their definition of a food desert is any place where at least a third of the population lives greater than one mile away from a supermarket for urban areas, or greater than 10 miles for rural areas.


Until the Market arrived, Northeast Oklahoma City residents had to travel three miles to the next closest full-service grocery store.


“What you have is a lack of food access,” Dobson said. “And when that’s anchored in a community that also has a high rate of single-parent households, and they’re very transportation dependent, what you start seeing is just all of the effects of that exacerbate cycles that have been perpetrated by history and by cycles of injustice that just get worse.”


The Market is located in Ward 7 of Oklahoma City. Of its 61,674 residents, 50 percent are black and 23 percent are classified as living below the poverty level.


Getting residents access to healthy food can be a game-changer for not just northeast Oklahoma City, but throughout the state, according to Nice.


“This speaks to what food access looks like. We look at food justice, food insecurity, food apartheid, and people have to realize it’s not just communities that are underserved or purposely ignored,” Nice said. “It’s also your affluent communities that are also in food deserts because it’s about the access to food options. So, it’s now working through the process of having an example, such as this store, to mimic other parts of our community throughout the city and throughout the state.”


That’s Not a Potato

by James Bridges | Herbage Magazine

“So we decided to grow the real big buds.”

When I was a kid I had a vision of what it would look like to be a wild man.  I imagined I would of course own a helicopter, many unnecessary firearms, a pet grizzly or some sort of bizarre animal, the ability to travel at a moments notice, ultimate survival skills, and a beautiful queen to guide the way.

I met a man a few years ago that reminded me of that vision. I was nearly jealous of the assumptions popping into my head as he discussed some of his travels.

Rocky Fisher is the grandson of Brant Biggerstaff and the son of Brant Fisher.  The family has a special tie to the geography surrounding Fort Gibson.  The town is located in Cherokee and Muskogee counties in Oklahoma. This family was one of the first five families to settle outside of Fort Gibson before Oklahoma statehood.

The family started a potato farm in the bottoms surrounding the area. They were very well known for their spuds.

Rocky and his beautiful queen, Shirley, dreamed of one day opening a steakhouse in memory for the family as well as to show off some culinary skills. They would name the restaurant, “Biggerstaff.”

It just so happens that Rocky’s guiding queen has led them both to a more fitting business venture. That venture is, “Biggerstaff Buds.”

It was 2018 and someone needed some help with some genetics. They needed it bad. The now very successful Arbuckle farms called upon Rocky Fisher and “Brother’s Grimm”. Rocky was already a force in the industry and his name was floating around as one of the heavy hitters with contacts.

After four or five months as outside investors, Rocky and his close partners knew they were onto something good, but felt very limited within the Brothers Grimm atmosphere. Rocky and his intuitive wife Sherli made the decision to move forward with the partners and discovered a wonderful threshold which was Seeds Here Now.

“Now we are on the premier genetics where the real deal takes place,” Rocky was excited to show the rooms. As we walked through the hall I couldn’t help but notice the attention to detail. Even the bolts in the wooden bed frames looked as if they were carefully placed. If there’s one thing that I am learning about Rocky and his crew. They are running a tight ship.

“So with this new build I wanted to know, exactly, how everything was working. Let’s say I took a hands on approach,” there’s that smile.  “I was there from the sheetrock to hanging lights. You name it partner.”

“We went through fourty or a million different variations of lighting, soil, and what have you… Everyone had an opinion. Most were different. So, I went with the old tried and true. The way I know.” Rocky seemed proud. I was reluctant to ask for the secret sauce. So I left it at that.

During Rocky’s journey he ran into someone special, Luke Dreyer. Luke quickly became the shop’s operations manager. There are people behind the scenes, but this seemed different. “Luke is like a cannabis whisperer,” Rocky laughed. I could tell he meant it.

“I work 7 days a week. I follow all of the best genetics online. I stay on top of things like OMMA compliance, and much more. My job is something I love. These plants are like my family. It’s funny because harvest day is always a happy/sad day for me. I’m sad they are all coming down, but I’m super happy to know the medicine is helping people.” Luke quickly exited the room to go to work.

“We are a small operation compared to many.” Fisher said, knowing that I know that does not matter when it comes to good medicine. He and his wife, the team, and even his daughter Jenni Leigh Fisher have all found themselves in a very unique situation. They are growing top shelf flower and are able to sell at top shelf prices. That and they are in a pre-order atmosphere. It’s hard to stay mad at anything for long with that kind of juice in my book.

Rocky expressed his extreme gratitude for his relationships he has made with whom he considers the best of the best in cannabis.

“Come over here James. I want to show you something.” Rocky pointed at the table. He explained to me the elusiveness of some of the strains and seeds in packages. “No one gets to see this kinda stuff James. But I do because of Seeds Here Now.”

Herbage Magazine May 2021 Issue 32

Digital edition of the May 2021 print issue of Herbage Magazine. Herb•age strives to bring you fresh content regularly. We cover a wide range of cannabis culture and medical marijuana-related issues from around the state of Oklahoma and beyond. In other words, It is our mission to be the voice of the growing cannabis industry in the state. Through fair and open discourse we hope to continue the trend of bringing cannabis out of the shadows and into the mainstream where it belongs. So, please join us and help us grow with Oklahoma!

Kind Origins Cannabis

by Anna Ervin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tyler Dodd Rides the Wind

by Michael Kinney

In 2020 Tyler Dodd found himself sitting face to face with boxing legend Mike Tyson in Los Angeles. At the time Tyson was training for his comeback exhibition fight against Roy Jones Jr., but was carving out time from his schedule to meet with Dodd.

Dodd, who is the CEO of Arco Bellum, was brought in to meet with the iconic boxer to pitch him on how he could help Tyson Ranch, a packaging and licensing company founded by Mike Tyson, find a home in Oklahoma.

However, there was a problem. According to Dodd, there was a mix-up and his meeting hadn’t been scheduled and the executives who run Tyson Ranch had no idea why Dodd was there. According to Dodd, the pitch he and his team had worked on for days was all but forgotten. As he put it, he was choking in what may have been the biggest moment of his business career. “My entire team put in a lot of hours on this pitch, we did a very elaborate pitch with slides and graphic designs. It was very personalized for Tyson Ranch,” Dodd said. “I just instantly choked. I didn’t know what to say, I didn’t know what to talk about.”

That is when Dodd fell back on what he knows best. He started to tell the room of his life journey and the remarkable tale of how he was not supposed to even be alive right then.

“I just started to talk about my story,” Dodd said. “That’s really all I had in my tool belt in that moment. “I’m completely aware of absolutely absurd my story is. I’ve seen it all. It’s the wildest thing you’ve ever heard. I say this no with ego, but disbelief. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard a story, fiction or non-fiction that compares to mine.”

Dodd was born and raised in and around Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Early on in life he quickly found he was
drawn to the street life.

Dodd said by the time he was 15, he had the makings of being a really talented boxer. However, he was still living the street life and everything that went along with it.

“I couldn’t really get separated from it,” Dodd said. “I ended up, like a lot of people, a causality of the opioid epidemic. It started off with prescription pain meds back when I was 15. By the time I was 21, I was completely homeless, living under bridges, shooting heroin.”

Dodd said a major turning point in his life came in 2002 when his father died of Cancer. The family was
so engrained in poverty, they didn’t have the money for his cremation.

“That is when it went downhill,” Dodd said. “I was certain I was going to die on streets.”

Dodd said starting in 2003, for almost a decade, his existence was that of a homeless man and drug addict on the streets. From Oklahoma to Florida, he was living day to day panhandling for money to get his next high.

“That was my existence,” Dodd said. “I thought I was going to die like that way.”

Then, in 2011, Dodd was sent to prison in North Carolina for obtaining narcotics by fraud. He was locked up close to a year before being let out.

During that year, Dodd said he had been clean of drugs and started seeing resemblances of his former self.

Unfortunately for Dodd, he didn’t find himself any better situation than when he went in.

“They let you out of prison and they put me on a bus right back down to Florida,” Dodd said. “I was 30 years old and going right back into that life without a choice. I didn’t have options. There weren’t any options for someone like me. That is when I realized it was next to impossible for someone who is chronically in this position to get out of it.”

Dodd decided he needed a change of scenery. He hustled up some money and bought a bus ticket to Daytona Beach from Miami. Once he got on the Greyhound, he noticed the final destination was Boston, Ma.

Instead of getting off in Daytona, he stayed in his seat and rode the Greyhound all the way up to Boston.
Yet, while his surroundings changed, Dodd’s way of life didn’t. He continued to be homeless and a heroin addict. The only difference is the winter months made his existence that much worse.

After a year of living that way, Dodd decided to take advantage of state-funded treatment programs that Massachusetts offers.

He said he went to detox for the first time. It was the first of several trips there as I tried to get clean.

Finally, in 2013, Dodd said he found some success and got sober. However, the state couldn’t find him a bed in a halfway house.

“I knew this was my last chance,” Dodd said. “I had been homeless for 10 years. I had been on life support multiple times for multiple different things. Really almost died multiple times. Major surgeries, overdoses that required life support. I just knew that if I didn’t get somewhere and like really get some help, that I was going to die.”

Not wanting to go back to living on the streets, Dodd said he brought back to life a lie he had been using when he was homeless and panhandling in San Antonio. He told officials he had been in the military.

“I ended up in a halfway house for veterans. They let me in without having to show my discharge papers,” Dodd said. “I was there for a few weeks when a guy came to speak. For whatever reason, I identified with him. I don’t what it was, I asked him to be my sponsor. That’s kind of what you do with these 12 step programs. He ended up taking me through the steps and for the first time I told him I was never in the military. I was just a junkie trying to live.”

Dodd was expecting his new sponsor to be grossed out by the revelation. He knew how serious it was to impersonate veterans.

Instead, Dodd was told he just needed to go back to the halfway house and tell the truth.

But even that seemed too much for Dodd.

“I told him I won’t tell the new lie anymore, but if I go and tell these guys, then they are going to beat me up,” Dodd said. “I will be kicked out of the house and I will be homeless again.”

The sponsor told him to pray for willingness and he did.

Three days later, it was April 11th and he still hadn’t told the residents at the halfway house about his lie when he left that morning to look for work. It just happened to be the same day of the Boston Marathon and Dodd said he found himself near the finish line when everything went crazy.

“I heard the bombs go off,” Dodd said. “It turned my stomach. I noticed a police officer standing across the street and her reaction after listening to her radio, I could tell something bad had happened.”

Dodd told the officer he had EMT basic training with an emphasis on mass causality from when he was 18. She told him to go to 800 Boylston street because “they are going to need all the help they can get.”

According to Dodd, there was just one other guy running toward the bomb site. He turned out to be an emergency room doctor and drafted Dodd to be an extra set of hands for him.

While working in the marathon’s medical tent, Dodd’s life was about to change, but he didn’t know it.

“I came across a girl and actually thought she was dying in front of me,” Dodd said. “She was white and had a tourniquet on her leg. She was terrified.”

The then 20-year-old lady was Victoria McGrath and she had been standing five feet away from where the first bomb exploded and a one-inch piece of shrapnel had been lodged into her leg.

McGrath was hysterical and thought she was going to die.

Just days earlier, Dodd had promised he would never lie and say he was a veteran again. But in order to help calm down McGrath, he told her the scar on his arm came shrapnel he had received in during military service in Afghanistan.
‘I told her I bled worse than she did and I know the tourniquet hurts. You are going to have a scar like mine, but you are going to live,” Dodd said he told her. “I felt immediately guilty for lying about being in the military again. When I was done, I went back to the halfway house kind of shook. It was a pretty crazy experience.”

It turned out McGrath was the daughter of a pair of wealthy IBM executives who had connections with the state’s democratic party.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick visited McGrath in the hospital and asked what he could do for her. The only thing she wanted was to find this war hero named Tyler who saved her life.

During his national press conference that night, Patrick asked for the veteran named Tyler to come forward and be recognized.

After speaking with his sponsor, Dodd called the number Patrick had provided the media and told them he was the one they were looking for. When the local media arrived, Dodd told them he wasn’t in the military, but he wasn’t able to tell them why he lied about it.

It wasn’t until the next night when Dodd went on a series of different TV shows that he was able to tell his story and explain how the lie came about. That included the Today Show, ABC World News and the Pierce Morgan show twice.

“He wasn’t a combat soldier in Afghanistan — he wasn’t in combat,” McGrath told NBC News . “I don’t regret it — I don’t regret him telling me that, and I hope he doesn’t either. I hope he’s proud of it.”

During Dodd’s last appearance with Pierce Morgan, Morgan told Dodd he had a feeling he would not be unemployed much longer.

Morgan was right. Dodd’s decision to run toward danger and to help others during the Boston Marathon bombing completely altered the direction of his life.

“It changed my life for sure,” an emotional Dodd said. “It’s crazy how everything happened the way it did. It’s absurd. It changed every aspect of my life. My family has been in generations of poverty since the trail of tears. Not only did it change my life, but potentially change the lives of generations in my family. It’s a heavy thought.”

Dodd went on to work at a radio station in Boston before getting an opportunity to move back to Oklahoma with his daughter where he was making $200,000 a year selling cars. He said it was impossible not to be grateful because for much of his life, he would have been grateful just to have had a car to sleep in.

Dodd went through a downturn in 2017 and said he lost his mojo and couldn’t sell cars anymore. He was on the verge of filing for bankruptcy and selling his house.

“That is when State Question 788 came up,” Dodd said. “I said there is no way this is going to pass. My family has been cultivating cannabis in Oklahoma for three generations. So I was like I know how to grow weed. And the law passed and the licenses were only $2,500 and they allowed
fucking felons to get them.”

After a slow start in the business that saw him losing most of the money from his investors, Dodd decided to gamble it all on the belief he could make it big in this new and growing industry.

Dodd got his hands on $5,000 to get 11 entries in the High Times Cannabis Cup, which was coming to Oklahoma for the first time in 2019. Dodd walked away with four awards, including Best Hybrid Flower with Emerald Wholesale.

That led to an invitation to a celebrity Madden 20 event that Snoop Dogg was hosting during Superbowl weekend. After Snoop posted a photo of the two hanging out. Dodd was solidified in the industry.

Dodd quickly went on to co-found Arca Bellum in 2020 with Zeke Newsom. Its mission is to ‘collaborate with operators throughout all the investment and fundraising stages. To understand the type of companies and we tend to work with, take a look at some of our current and past partnerships.’

Arco Bellum struck big deals with Cookies and some of the biggest names in cannabis.

That is what led Dodd to not only getting to know Tyson, but also become a business parter as Tyson Ranch expanded into Oklahoma late last year.

“With this being one of the hottest cannabis markets in the United States, it was a no-brainer to partner with Tyson Ranch to bring the best in health and wellness to the cannabis community in Oklahoma,” Dodd said. “It’s an honor to be able to partner with Mike and his team, and to help them execute their plans to expand into this new market.”

Dodd is living the dream life he never imagined was in store for him. He is hanging out with celebrities, training with the same boxing coach that trains Tyson and traveling the country in style just a few years removed from living under a bridge and not knowing where his next meal was coming from.

When he looks back on where he came from and what he has gone through, he knows it’s an amazing story.

“I’m just blown away this is my life,” Dodd said. “I never would have guessed this. Not in a million years. If would have asked me to write down everything I dream of three years, I would have sold myself short.”

But while he is making sure to enjoy the new life, Dodd said he will never forget those who have not been as fortunate. And as much as he is invested in building his brand and businesses, he is just as, if not more focused on those who are still living the life he left behind.

“With the miraculous nature of my story, it would be a slap in the face to whatever orchestrator you want to call it for me to not drag some other people out of the mud,” Dodd said. “There is a huge portion of me when I was homeless that felt I wasn’t valuable. I believe I didn’t have anything to offer. I think it’s important that there are voices that can tell these people there are so much more out there. Everybody has something they can offer.”

Hicksford Farms: That Good Life

by Anna Ervin

Pura Vida

When Jason and Jennifer Hicks packed up their family and moved to Costa Rica for a few years, they learned to embrace the Pura Vida lifestyle. I recently had a chance to visit their facilities in Durant, Oklahoma, and found that Hicksford Farms is the perfect representation of “the pure life.” But what does that mean?

Hicksford Farms is owned and operated by the Hicks and Crawford families. I wanted to learn more about how these families were bringing Pura Vida to Oklahoma medical cannabis, so I took the opportunity to sit down with some of the crew; including Lead Cultivators Jory Hicks and Kory Bailey, Media Manager Brett Hicks, as well as two of the owners, Jason and Jennifer Hicks.

Jory explained that Pura Vida “is a part of Costa Rica’s culture. They don’t mean pure life when they say it. It literally translates to ‘pure life,’ but they use it in many situations as ‘it’s all good,’ or as a way to keep going and keep grinding through the hard times and the hard work.”

“It shows in their attitudes towards each other,” he continued, “and that spoke to us because we’re coming from a different culture where people aren’t necessarily that caring with each other. There’s nothing in our language that’s really deep in our culture like that. There, you’re going to hear it every two seconds. So it permeates. You’re saying it, and it becomes how people are.”

Jennifer added that “we feel like the cannabis culture has really adopted that for us here in Oklahoma. So that is where we tie that in, it helps us come together as a community. We’re reaching for something natural, helpful, and pure.”

Pura Vida is appropriately the name of Hicksford’s new CO2 extracted, full-spectrum oil, but we’ll dive more into that later.

A Day in the Life

As I toured their facilities, I couldn’t help but wonder what a typical day in such a large operation might look like. When I asked Jory, he informed me that the job involves a lot more plumbing and electrical work than actually getting to work with the plants.

“There are 20-30 HVAC units in all the rooms, so at any given point one of them is doing something weird,” Jory said, “so we’ll tinker with that, get our water made, record our temperatures and get all of our data recorded, then we set out and make a plan for the day. As far as taking care of the gardens, the building, there’s a lot of stuff going on.”

Hicksford Farms is currently working with over 3,000 plants in their 7,000 square foot operation. They offer 14 commercial strains at their CannaMed dispensary, with over 30 currently in testing. With that many different plants under their roof, I had to know if they play favorites. Which strain is their pride and joy?

Brett explained that picking a favorite is harder than it looks. “It’s so cool to be vertically integrated because the way that we sell it is actually a huge indicator of how we grow it. Our budtenders and our staff at our dispensary are always talking about the medical side of it, the terpenes. What are you trying to solve with this plant? What is this plant giving to you that you want more of? It then educates our grow that this is what’s missing. This is what’s missing from our lab, what’s missing from the market.

“So it’s hard for me to say which is my favorite,” she continued. “I mean, I have different ones that taste amazing one week or something that I use for pain at certain times… But all of them are so intentionally picked, that there aren’t any that we get bored of. They are all here for a really good reason. Everyone who grows it and sells it knows that reason.”

“Acai Gelato is my favorite thing right now because we’re about to harvest it, and when we’re about to harvest a plant it’s just so gorgeous. This is our first time getting to harvest a strain-specific room.”

Making a room strain-specific allows lead cultivators Jory Hicks and Kory Bailey to truly hone-in on the needs of that individual strain. Jory tells me that having more than one strain in a room makes it quite difficult to make adjustments between cycles. “The more rooms we get, the better the current strains we have will get because the more space they’ll have. Eventually, maybe it’ll just be two strains in a room.”

Clean & Simple

In addition to Hicksford Farms, Good Oil Boys processing and CannaMed dispensary are also licensed by the Hicks and Crawford families. Add a second dispensary expected to open in 2021, and an additional 35,000 square feet of grow facilities to build upon, and I think it’s safe to say that we can all expect to see big things coming from this crew in the next year.

But before we dive into that, I wanted to find out more about some of the advancements they had made since Herbage last visited the farms in 2018. According to Jory, creating the perfect full-spectrum oil has been at the top of their to-do list, but they weren’t always 100% sure if they should go with full-spectrum over what appeared to be the more popular alternative at the time, distillate.

“The full spectrum oil was a divide at a certain point because it was new,” he said. “We were all on different pages of, should we go with this darker colored oil? It’s all distillate right now.”

Brett added that “everything on the market was telling us that’s where the money was, distillate cartridges with terpenes added. So, it was a huge leap to say okay, it’s not the color, or taste, or the smell that anyone is used to, but if we put our heart in it and tell people about our heart for it, it will sell. We’ve seen people’s lives change completely. 100% different lives, 100% different medical routines, everything about it.”

So what makes the Good Oil Boys’ CO2 extracted full-spectrum oils so special?

“It all stems from the flower,” Jason tells me.

“At the end of the day the plants just need the bare minimum to stay happy,” Jory added. ”What you feed them, it doesn’t matter what color the bag or the barrel is… There’s way too much in the industry, it’s overdone with nutrients, products, and additives.”

“It kind of goes back to our lifestyle and how we feel about how we take care of our bodies. Simple, like in Costa Rica,” he said. “They don’t have Whole Foods for you to go buy all these different supplements. But you’re going to find all these happy, healthy people with just the bare minimum inputs going in. And then the nice environment, their lifestyle.

“It’s just like the plant,” Jory continued, “their environment, the light, everything is tuned in so all they need is just the right amount of nutrients.”

Brett took me into their lab to show me the process. “We do super cold CO2 extraction. It’s one of the cleanest ways to get the product that we’re looking for.”

“We do strain-specific pulls every single time, then we do native terpene pulls and reintroduction as well. So, the taste, the smell, the cannabinoids, the terpenes, everything from the plant is put back into the cartridge. Nothing is taken out, nothing’s added that doesn’t need to be added.”

“We’re passionate about it because we understand that the endocannabinoid system doesn’t just need one thing,” Brett said. “Your body has places for every little bit of what our full spectrum oil has to offer.”
Hicksford Farms will be introducing their full-spectrum oil early this year, but you can also purchase their strain-specific boom sticks or moon rocks, both infused with Pura Vida oil at CannaMed dispensary.

No Challenges, Only Solutions

At this point in the interview, I can’t help but admire the collective positive attitude shared by this group of canna-preneurs. While touring the facility, Jason had told me that “what makes Hicksford so special here as a team is that we have 13 family members, and each of us has a specific skill set. The greatest thing is that we all have the same passion in mind. With that, we’re moving mountains.”

Curious to find out how they resolved things as such a large group when faced with obstacles, I asked the crew what challenges they’ve faced in the last couple of years.

Kory’s response, “no challenges, we rock.” We all had a good laugh, but when the dust settled the rest of the group agreed.

“I think that the general attitude is that we don’t have a lot of challenges,” Jennifer added. “We just have solutions. We like to have that sort of attitude, that way we don’t get bogged down.”

Brett suggested that this attitude was a reflection of how the owners operate. “Jen, Jason, Kristin, and James are not only the leaders of two families but of the three businesses. When you have people who don’t back away from challenges, there’s no such thing as no, really.”

“If just any person on our staff has an idea,” she continued, “it has ears, it goes through people and we all discuss it. I feel like that collective, solution-based culture of our grow, dispensary and processing makes it to where looking back on the challenges you’re like, that was cool figuring that out. We all put our heads together and now it’s way better.”

“With commercial growing, there are a lot of challenges and if you bow down to every single one of them or you quit every single time, there are a lot of things you can miss out on. I think that the way this grow works is more-so about what makes the plants happy. Our growers are looking at the plant, not necessarily the highest yield they can possibly get out of it, or how they can get it to look best for Instagram clout or whatever. It’s more so, is this plant happy?”

Though a solution-based approach to problem-solving has helped this crew achieve great heights in their career, Jory pointed out that there is in fact a learning curve to growing indoor.

“We’re playing God with this, doing the whole indoor thing,” he said. “It’s a whole different animal from outdoor, and that’s something I think people underestimate greatly. The electrical load, the square foot is in the realm of 200x that of a regular residential electric and HVAC load. I would say, that’s probably one of the biggest challenges, to constantly be looking in the corners and crevasses at what’s really going on.”

Patient Testimony

With minimal studies and research on the effects of cannabis, I learned that the Hicksford family values the feedback they receive from patients. “We let our patients tell us what is working, mostly. That’s kind of how we learn,” Jen told me.

Brett added, “in a world where people are caring more and more about where things came from, we are in a good position to tell them where it came from. The same people who work at our dispensary work alongside the growers and all of the trim staff know the processing staff.”

“We are the same family, the same team,” she continued. “So if someone ever has a question about the way it was grown or how it was made, we’re never going to be stumped. We have the answer because we are a part of the creation process. Any person who is anywhere in any of the companies has the confidence of feeling good about who they work for because we stand behind one thing, which is clean medicine.”

I stopped by CannaMed to chat with the team’s Sales Manager, Tristan Hicks. “It’s rare that you can actually come into a place and know the family that grows this flower, and that the crumble is coming from this flower.”

“It’s all about the experience here. We wouldn’t be here without the patients. There’s not enough love in the world, so we’re just trying to love people the way we love these plants.”

Transparency and Education

It’s that same level of transparency that helped Hicksford build social media platforms that keep patients informed. When I asked what drives their passion to help educate the public, Jason responded that “these days, it seems to be getting harder and harder to find the authenticity of these companies or the people that are running them.”

“So as a medical cannabis leader, we’re taking over, and want to get the medicine to the masses. Not just here in Oklahoma, but abroad. And that means sticking to high expectations and standards.”

Brett, who manages the company’s social media, added that “The education part is just fun. Breaking people’s minds open about their endocannabinoid system or the different ways they could be using the plant or the different way they could heal some spot on their skin. Seeing people’s mindset change and open up to more self-care, that is a cool transition to watch.”

Brett occasionally budtends at the CannaMed shop, where she always assures her patients that the products she sells are products the family consumes. ”I will never tell you about a product that I have not personally tried, or that hasn’t been vetted by not only our family but also testing labs.”

She continued, “it matters what you put in your body, and if it doesn’t matter to you yet, we need to talk to you about why it should matter. There is so much stuff on the market that is not created or thought of as a healer at all. If it’s not meant to heal, or the intentions of the person growing it or making it weren’t to heal, that could make it harder for you to heal using that product. Or harmful.”

Happy Plants, Happy Patients

As much as this team advocates for the quality of their medicine, I needed to find out just how they implemented that extra level of care into their operation. In Jason’s opinion, time and intention are key ingredients. Hicksford claims their plants as part of the family, and quality family time is important.

“I think it’s just spending the time that these guys do with our plants is everything,” he said. “You know, if you’re not spending time with the ones that you love, you’re just not going to have a relationship at the end of the day. So that’s really what it boils down to. We love our girls and we spend a lot of time with them.“

Everything at Hicksford is done by hand with a lot of careful intention and love. Brett pointed out that it’s actually really cool to see growers work with plants in this way. “The way that we move plants, the way that we move leaves, I mean you saw Jason doing it earlier, we’re gentle.”

“These are our baby girls, she continued. So every single person who touches it has terpene retention and end product in mind. Those girls and guys in the trim room have a certain finesse. This comes from a lot of training and intention.”

“We don’t do things sloppy at all. We don’t do things half-hearted. Any time we’re interacting with the plant at all it is super intentional. The littlest things can change the entire structure of the plant.”

Jory added, “You’re asking a lot from that plant. And it’s a weed, so anyone can grow it and people have that mindset coming out of the black market.”

”You’re literally stressing it, trying to get it to produce the medical product that we need before it ends its life. It’s kind of a sacred relationship between what we’re asking of it and what it’s giving us before it dies. It’s a special dance all the way through to the end of the cycle.”

“I can sleep good at night,” he continued, “knowing that those products will show themselves to the people. Once it’s done and we did what we did, we can know that patients are going to experience it that way when they consume it every time. The employees here have so much passion for it, the growers are just super into it.”

So, what’s next for the Hicksford Family?

Hicksford Farms has big plans in store for 2021. Keep an eye out for their new strain, Banana Mac, that will drop early March exclusively at CannaMed. You can also be on the lookout for a new CannaMed dispensary opening later in the year. But for now, this crew has some serious work to do.

Jason tells me “We’re currently experimenting with a lot of genetics and we’re so close to having this place built to where we can breed our own, and that’s where it’s at.”

“We’re at a point where before we do more flower rooms, we need to expand our veg room and expand our offices,” Jory added. “We need to get people set up, set up the front line so we can handle all of this growth.”

He continued, “there’s been a lot of boot-strapping it that’s got us here. But we don’t want to go crazy providing this medicine for people, so we’re going to try to build out the front, get the veg room expanded so we can bring more genetics without going crazy as well.”

After having the chance to witness the intention and love that this family puts into everything they do, I have to say that I’m looking forward to watching them continue to grow in the Oklahoma cannabis industry.

Hicksford Farms is raising the bar when it comes to growing, processing, and selling medical marijuana in our state. And if you care even a little bit about the quality of your medicine, you should keep this crew on your radar.