Blunts & Bogeys by Michael Kinney

Jake Spiegel could be heard from far away. After dropping a long birdie putt, he and his playing partners screamed in excitement before giving out high-fives and fist pounds between each other. “I’ll tell you right now, this is the team you want to be a part of,” Ryan Bloemke said of the group. “The energy’s high. The weather’s great. The atmosphere’s great. Everybody’s having a good time. We couldn’t ask for more.”

This display of jubilation wasn’t at the Masters Tournament, which was being played at the same time hundreds of miles away, or some stuffy corporate retreat. Bloemke, Spiegel and the rest of their foursome from NexLeaf Cultivation were competing in the Blunts and Bogeys Golf Tournament. Hosted by Herbage Magazine, the tournament brings businesses and individuals from throughout the Cannabis industry together for an afternoon of golf, fun and Networking. The tournament was held Saturday, April 8 at the Choctaw Creek Golf Course.

“This event is important for team camaraderie and a little bit of exposure,” Bloemke said. “Just kind of exposurewith the community. But with that being said, I mean, we’re just here to have a good time and try to spread some awareness.”

With the temperatures hovering around 80 degrees, 30 teams convened in Choctaw for an afternoon on the links. But it was Exotic Cultivators who came out on topafter shooting an amazing team score of 52 over the 18 holes. Even those who didn’t take the top prize, couldn’t have been more pleased with the day, which included some very full and valuable gift bags, a catered lunch from DOPE Chef Jay , beverages and all the medical cannabis that patients could load onto their carts.

“We got blessed with the best day of the year so far for golf,” said Jamie Marshall of Dazed Cannabis. “So that along with the company getting to spend time with each other outside of work is always a positive thing. Andgetting to meet new people and getting to see what they’re doing and how they’re doing it is always interesting and fun.”

However, according to James Bridges, the Herbage Magazine founder and creator of the Blunts and Bogeys Golf Tournament, the event has always been more about bringing the industry together than the final score.

“We definitely wanted to show the overall unification of our community across the state,” Bridges said. “We had dispensaries there, we had growers there, we had processors there, we had photographers there. We had event people and festival throwers. We had distribution companies there. We even had apparel companies involved. And so, with all of these people, and with all of that, the thing I think of most is that it is VERY possible to have a group of like minded individuals gather onto a field of grass and play together as equals. Not just one sector of the industry. We can look at all the different sectors of this industry and have them come together and meet each other and have a good time and do all the things that we did in a big way. And we proved it.”

Sponsors and participants were made up of an eclectic group from around Oklahoma. They included: Oryon Cannabis, THE COWBOY CUP, Livesource Cloud, Electric Avenue Farms, Resonant Cultivation, 4H Pharms, HWY-Lines, Dazed Cannabis, NexLeaf Cultivation, The Laughing Goat, Well Rooted, The Cowboy Cup, UFCW 100, 77 Farms, Exotic Cultivators, Ruby Mae’s, Jagged Quail, The Pott County Hideout, Drip Cultivation, Stay at Home Dabs, B&K Buds, Bono-Ape, Pharm Phresh, Alliance Oklahoma, Holiday, Level Up, RX3 Gardens, and Vibe OKC.

During the past few years, Herbage Magazine has held several different golf tournaments. That includes the Herbage Golf Fall Classic, which was last held in September of 2022. Yet, this edition of the Blunts and Bogeys Tour is by far the largest he and his team have put on.

“I was more than pleasantly surprised,” Bridges said. “I think everyone benefits from it. The people that attended, participants, all of our sponsors. The golf course itself and the community of everyone that was involved. I think it was an overall success. So much so that we have scheduled our next two golf events for this year alone.”

Dan Carmel, owner of Oryon Cannabis, was excited. “As proud sponsors of Herbage Magazine’s Blunts and Bogeys, we at Oryon Canna were thrilled to see cannabis and golf enthusiasts come together. Our team is passionate about promoting the positive effects of cannabis, and events like these help us do just that. We can’t wait to continue supporting the cannabis community. Thanks again for having us, and we’re grateful to play a small part in the growth of Oklahoma’s cannabis culture.” Brandon Leinberger from Oryon Cannabis agreed with Bridges’ assessment of the need for the importance of industry-wide events like Blunts and Bogeys.

“It definitely ties people together,” Leinberger said. “No matter what you’re going to do, it’s got to make the community feel more together when you’re doing things representing the same thing and sharing fun experiences.”

The growth in the tournament can be tied to the growth in the cannabis industry and its strong ties in Oklahoma. Since medical marijuana became legal in the state, cannabis has evolved and expanded to become a lifestyle, a way of community support, commerce, and even fun.

“It’s been a great event to get together, connect and network with other owners, employees, everyone in the industry,” said Mike Cataldo of NexLeaf and LiveSource. “It’s good to be outdoors and be active and do something besides sitting around. It’s good to be out and about on a beautiful day and network. It’s good for being together with the employees as well as just talking to people. I think it’s important because it shows that you are part of something larger than just yourself. Just being part of the community is important to us and the Oklahoma cannabis community.”

Yet, it is still considered in its infancy, which is why industry events, like HerbageGolf, are important, said Hunter Hoppy from 4H Pharms. “You know the cannabis community is not too big in Oklahoma right now,” Hoppy said. “It’s still growing. So, getting everybody together and making sure everybody has their own back was good.”

Hunter used as an example the recent failed vote on State Question 820 that would have legalized the sale of recreational marijuana to anyone 21 and older as an example of why the people in the industry need to work together even more. “I work in the cannabis industry, and I work in the mobile home industry. They’re both small industries, but there is a lot of money in both industries,” Hoppy said. “So, we always stay tight-knit and we have each other’s back. I think that’s what it takes to be able to make this thing work. The vote for adult cannabis use just got voted down. I think doing things like this will keep everybody together and help make that happen one day.”

According to Cataldo, Blunts and Bogeys forces business owners to delete their more individualistic tendencies and look at the bigger picture. “I think events like this are a necessary part to grow together versus as individuals,” Cataldo said. “A lot of times we are closed off within our company and we just worry about ourselves. Events like this create partnerships where we can all grow together versus individually.”

One of the first-time competitors at the Blunts and Bogeys was Joe Lee, an organizer with UFCW 1000. His union was one of the tournament’s sponsors and provided the golf carts. As Oklahoma’s cannabis industry grows, Lee said his union wants to be part of their growth and make sure people understand just how specialized the workers are. “Cannabis workers are highly skilled professionals and should be recognized as such. They are extremely dedicated, knowledgeable, and passionate about the industry. They deserve to be recognized and have a voice in the workplace. That is why the Blunts and Bogeys tournament is so important. It gave him a chance to meet and talk to business owners about what it’s going to take to help the industry grow and get stronger.

“We bring a lot of things to the table as far as political connections, affordable health insurance and retirement plans. Things like safety on the job and just helping support the industry as a whole,” Lee said. “There is a lot of people’s hard work, sweat and blood that’s gone into this industry and we want to help the industry survive and maintain.”

Almost to a person, the main word that was used throughout the day was community. Everyone seemed to know that whatever lies ahead for the Oklahoma cannabis industry, it is going to take the entire collective to keep it working and growing. “I think it’s important for us to have opportunities to get to know each other and spend time together,” Marshall said. “Because at the end of the day, we’re all in the same industry, in the same business. And there are a lot of things that it’s going to take a long time to get through all of this. I think we’re going to have to have a lot of cooperative things that we do right in order to overcome some of the challenges that we have and that we’re going to have.”

It may seem unrealistic to some that a friendly golf tournament can help strengthen and expand the cannabis industry. But those who have attended any of the past outings will co-sign on what the experience has done for them in terms of bringing people together. Bridges says that he has been grateful that the community can find a way to unify. “I know there are so many other creative ways we can accomplish such positive results. I hope others in our community can come up with new creative ideas. As always, I hope Herbage Magazine can contribute to that positive outcome in any way possible. We will continue to reach our goals by staying true to one another.. We all want the same thing. We all want people to have a better way of life. We want them to have a choice and we want them to not feel bad about that. In a way we truly are a big family.”

April Showers Bring May Flowers

It may be time to shatter any illusions you have of yourself or others. Peel away these misconceptions about your life and see yourself for the amazing being that you are and how you were intended to be. There is nothing wrong with you. Break those illusions they are not true. You or someone you love may be suffering from something painful confusing or unpleasant. You must endure and push yourself through these moments in life. You should know that you are strong and it may be incredibly hard to know that in this moment you will move past this into better times. You are not alone. Think about what it is you sincerely want out of life and whether you’re showing people your true self. Align your different personas into one and doing so you will conserve your energy. Think about situations where various personas work together to support your authentic self. Release the excess baggage from those personas so that you can find a free pass for your spirit and soul. Plan your next steps with an eye to the long term. Have patience; there are more good things to come. This is a time to end those addictions or codependencies. The difficulties are lifting. Information is coming to help you. It may be a bit uncomfortable to hear, but be present in your emotions and speak your truths with kindness Letting go of the belief systems that no longer serve you. Important life changing events and situations that will lead to significant opportunities of assistance in the forms of money, advice, and career. The outlook is bright when lead with your passion. Take a breath and know the stability you have been seeking is near.New friends will arrive and romance will flow. Take a break from society and commit to your spiritualgrowth. You have the potential to make life great!

RX3 has the R3m3dy

“Just a couple of old school stoners using new school tech to create innovative, clean, and highly potent cannabis products.”

That’s how Hopper and Ron, the team behind RX3 and R3m3dy Gard3ns describe their companies. A lot has changed in the 30 years since Hopper first started growing cannabis, and RX3 is evidence of that evolution.

The entire product line is single source, full spectrum, and solventless. It features the usual suspects- gummies and prerolls, but it’s the other products that put them on the next level. RHO is a solventless hash oil that Hopper developed while living in Humboldt County, California. The clean, solventless
version of Rick Simpson’s infamous cancer killing RSO is so powerful that a dose the size of a grain of rice is recommended to begin. He thought RHO was the pinnacle of potency, but then along came the newest addition to the lineup- RX3 Nanograms. Nanograms are made with RHO, using Nano technology, which increases the bioavailability of THC from roughly 9% to 90%. Bioavailability is the ability of a substance to be absorbed and used by the body. Simply said, it gets you really high, really fast, and lasts a long time. As Hopper calls it, “High school high”. The tiny amount needed for a big effect makes it especially user friendly. It can easily be added to any food or beverage, or drop a few drops directly in your mouth. Think everything from sushi to salsa to yogurt. The possibilities
really are endless. A package of Nanograms may only contain 25 milligrams, but because of the high bioavailability, it’s theequivalent of roughly 200 traditional milligrams, and unlike traditional edibles which may be full of sugar, dyes, animal products, and common allergens, Nanograms can be safely
used for any set of dietary needs or lifestyle preferences. Keto, vegan, low sugar, low fat, or vegetarian, it’s compatible with them all. This is truly the future of cannabis consumption.

Hopper explained that he had to leave behind the old school mindset of growing just to produce flower, and open his mind to everything that could be made with the plant, because the real product is the THC, not the flower. He also knows that you have to work with the best to get the best. That’s why they have partnered with Arcadia Brands in Edmond to make edibles and concentrates. “I’m not a gummy maker, so I found the best one there is” Coincidentally, Hopper had seen Arcadia owner,
Robert Cuthbertson, years before on a Pure Pressure YouTube video. Little did he know they be working together in the not so distant future. With their mutual love of full spectrum solventless extraction, Hopper knew it was the perfect fit. RX3 and R3m3dy Gard3ns are a labor of love and perseverance for both Hopper and Ron. The things they’ve been through since the beginning of the two ventures would have broken most, but they have chugged along. Hopper survived a near fatal case of West Nile Virus, and Ron tragically lost his brother to a senseless murder. If recovering and grieving while running a small business sounds hard, that’s because it is. “It was a tragic end to the year, with the murder of my brother,” Ron told Herbage, “but we’re back with a vengeance. We’ve been in the lab processing and making a lot of new products over the past few months. We brought our Elixir and Nanograms to market, and we’re working on a full spectrum, solventless disposable cart now. We have been working really hard these past couple of years, and on May 7th we’re going to celebrate.”
Coming up on May 7th, RX3/R3m3dy is putting on a concert at the Brickhouse Saloon in downtown Shawnee. After all the hard work they’ve been doing, it’s time for some fun, and they want everyone to come out and join them. Hed(pe) will be headlining the show sponsored by friends and business partners of RX3/R3m3dy. There will be tons of giveaways, lots of smoke, and maybe even a surprise or two. Tickets are available now on Eventbrite.

By: Pamela Jayne

There is Hope – Steve Miller Essential Tremor

Essential Tremor is a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary shaking or trembling
movements, most commonly affecting the hands and arms but also sometimes affecting the head, voice, or legs. The tremors can range from mild to severe and can worsen with movement or stress. ET is the most common movement disorder, affecting up to 1% of the population, and it typically starts in mid to late adulthood, but for Steve it began as a kid.

While the exact cause of essential tremor is unknown, it is believed to be due to abnormal communication between certain areas of the brain, particularly those involved in controlling movement. There is a genetic component to the disorder too. This hereditary condition has led his father, sisters, son and daughter to all having different levels of progression. When speaking to Steve he described the feeling as if you were sitting in a massage chair turned on high, vibrating intensely 24/7 and that’s what his day looks like, centered behind his diaphragm.

There is no known cure for Essential Tremor, but there are several treatments that can help manage the symptoms. These include medications such as beta-blockers and anticonvulsants, which can help reduce the severity of tremors, as well as occupational therapy and physical therapy, which can help improve coordination and reduce the impact of tremors on daily activities. In some cases, deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery may also be recommended, which involves implanting electrodes in the brain to help regulate abnormal movement signals.

According to Steve, he hasn’t had the best of luck with doctors being willing to hear him out and listen to him or even let him demonstrate how it’s effective, by putting a few drops of an RSO base oil, along with a combination of cannabis derived terpenes and cannabinoids. He doesn’t take any of the 43 different medications that he had previously been on for ET. Cannabis has been a major part of his healing journey for the last three years, when he started experimenting with this plant. There’s been multiple doctors who have lost Steve as a patient, simply because they wouldn’t listen to him. It also seems to be that they’re losing a Pharma patient because cannabis is healing him instead and it’s definitely a threat to the pharmaceutical industry.

Upon entering Steve’s home, he purposely didn’t want to medicate before we got there so we could see the severity of his shakes and then to see them subside. By using the RSO combo in the morning,(about 160-200 mgs) which is about 6 grains of rice, it takes quite a bit for him to help. He applies about six drops to his wrists. Eventually, he stops shaking and his symptoms are not as prevalent from the start. This is applied two times throughout the day, followed by a nice dose of RSO to help him sleep throughout the night. This formula is what he’s been experimenting with on his own, making his medicine with the help of other knowledgeable minds.

I got to sit down with Steve and chat with him about growing up, his experiences with Essential Tremors and figuring out what’s going on with it, and how he handles this disease on a daily basis. To get to know him a little better, I asked him how he grew up and what life was like dealing with ET.

Since third grade, Steve grew up in the house we were sitting in, that he currently lives in right now. I could only imagine the nostalgia and memories, being a 70 year old man living in the house you grew up in. 1962 is when they moved into the home and the main road was a dirt road at the time in the city; not anymore! Steve’s dad dealt with ET, and his mother had it too. Steve and both of his sisters also dealt with this disease, which I quickly learned can drive you absolutely mad, not being able to handle the symptoms. Steve has always had a gift of being a caretaker for other people and took care of his sister before she passed.

Drinking alcohol has been known to control the outer shakes and your cognitive function, but that can be a slippery slope. This disorder can cause people to create suicide by alcohol, and dealing with high anxiety symptoms. This method was always helpful, but not a good habit. Steve completely quit drinking though a few years ago and chooses to medicate with plant medicine only now.

Growing up was pretty tough for Steve and having Essential Tremors really affected him as a kid, even more so than being an adult. He started noticing the shakes whenever he was in first grade. His teachers even noticed it but didn’ know what to do with it, much like the doctors today he says. It wasn’t easy for him to make friends because no one wanted to talk to him, he was made fun of and always was alone, with horrible anxiety. He failed first grade and was happy taking an F, because he couldn’t get up in front of the class and talk at all. Even as an adult, he’s had trouble with finding work for the same reasons. No one wants to hire you if they see you shaking, while working on machines and working on cars often. Steve emphasizes on the fact that he’s had to reinvent himself so many times for this exact reason. The anxiety that ET brings you can come out of nowhere and makes you so anxious that you just have to keep going and allow yourself to stay busy.

Anything with purple Steve says he is attracted to and it helps him. Myrcene and Caryophyllene are terpenes that tend to help with anxiety. His first time trying RSO happened to be a full-spectrum White Widow strain that was a 1:1. It calmed his inner tremor down to 50% of what it is normally and he could actually sleep. He currently has a grower, nourishing a 1:1 strain for him now.

The disease itself changes and you have to know how to deal with it, so you can live a life to where you feel like you have some kind of healing control of your body, without it driving you mad and living a miserable life. Sounds intense, but that’s exactly what ET is, it’s intense and affects your life, your brain function, your heart, and really all areas of your life. Cannabis has been a huge tool and trauma healer for Steve.

Steve’s main goal is to help kids with this disease. To have a program and the tools in place to diagnose kids in school with it and be able to recognize this disease and what to do so they could help themselves and be better students and take care of their wellbeing, without feeling lost and alone.

During our time together we also touched on the power of other plant medicine that he hasn’t had the opportunity to dive into just yet, but plans on it to see how other plant medicines are also very beneficial to our cognitive and physical functions and could actually be surprisingly healing and powerful to a body that is experiencing Essential Tremors.

Essential Tremor Awareness, Mental Health & Cannabis Awareness are what Steve is passionate about. The power of cannabis as medicine and what it’s doing for people who experience ET is truly amazing and deeply healing in more ways than one. You can’t help but think what it would be like for everyone to be able to have access to this plant, including those who are incarcerated. This plant will eventually be healing to an entire Nation, once it goes Federally legal. In the meantime, people like Steve can share their stories and he even had the chance to medicate in front of the OMMA team and they were very moved after seeing the results right before their own eyes. He’s living out his childhood dreams and it’s touching to see. It’s one step at a time with like minded people helping others and gathering as a community to be heard.

Lettuce Learning by Chet Tucker

With a saturated cannabis market here in Oklahoma, it’s important to understand not only basic economics but also how your product or service fits or outshines. At the date of this writing, we have over 6,800 licensed growers serving a medicinal market that makes up about 10% of the state’s population (aka Med-Rec with the ease of getting a medical card). That number would still be considered high even if it were serving the 4 million residents (and those traveling in) had the vote gone recreational. Obviously, had our vote gone recreational, it would have “bailed” out thousands of
businesses that are fighting for survival. Add the fact that we have 1,800+ processors and we all get the picture … there’s no green rush! That ship has sailed for the foreseeable future which means those that are here for the long haul have to continue finding ways to improve and diversify to remain.

Specific to the wholesale vendors, how do your businesses do more than survive in such a flooded marketplace? I believe it takes a plethora of angles to do more than make ends meet. First, I believe you have to truly have a passion for what you’re producing and selling. Sounds like a no-brainer but like any other business or product, there has to be a rooted passion for what you’re doing to truly excel but even more critical in a market that has nearly 10,000 different businesses competing for consolidating dispensary shelf space. So, whether you’re here producing flower, carts, edibles, topicals, tinctures, etc., you first have to be all-in with your work ethic and passion for setting you and your business apart!

Next, you have to determine how you’re setting yourself apart from the parking lot full of vendors vying for dispensary and patient need and desire. Flower makes up a majority of sales, especially if you consider pre-rolls which are followed by carts, edibles, concentrates and then to the even tighter market of the variety of products that make up the remaining 5% of sales. If you’re diversified in the space, it could certainly help if you’re standing out in a few different product categories. With so many options for patients and dispensaries to choose from, what makes your product or service stand above the rest? Is it a unique or sought after product or strain? Is it backed with product guarantees to the dispensary and patient? Is it professionally packaged and distributed properly? Is it consistent quality? With the state of the market, it really needs to be all the above!

So, how do you even make it in the door? One of the first wins in business is being “first to market”. For those that’ve been here since inception or have expanded from other states, they will have a much higher success rate than those just entering the market. Dispensaries and patients have had years to become familiar with and trust the quality and consistency of the vendors that have established themselves. For the thousands that have come in over the last year or two, it’s about all of the aforementioned and the value add of being professional and consistent in your sales approach. In my last article, I shared that you certainly have to be patient and kind as you understand that not every dispensary will carry your product and let’s be honest, there are some that you may not want to be in or that can afford certain tiers because their geography within the state doesn’t match the dollars that can be spent.

When the market first took off, dispensaries were scrapping for any and all products they could get in and even when trying to build long term relationships and/or contracts, most weren’t willing to make said deals because of the supply and demand and the uncertainty of whether those businesses would last. However, the market is still lopsided with the supply being high (yes, I said high) and the demand not meeting the level of production that’s coming out of cultivation and processing facilities. Sadly, there’s been many frustrated with this flipped conundrum and taking it out on each other. That’s not good business. If you’re in a single lane (not vertically integrated), it’s important to understand that while some dispensaries may be negotiating at high margins, many are passing on the savings to the patients to compete at the retail level. Retail cannabis spaces don’t have the “luxury” of the expense write-offs that other cannabis businesses are able to leverage. Additionally, they will typically have a higher cost of real estate (lease) and more compliance certifications and fees within their respective city limits. Last, they are responsible for the 7% marijuan tax on top of all other taxes and expenses. Let’s wrap with some of the basics and etiquette that can be shared between both the retailers and wholesalers.

It’s important to respect each other’s time and business space. For vendors that are out there hustling face to face, store to store, be respectful and mindful of the retail space in which you enter. You certainly will always take a back seat to any patients/customers that are in the store and I believe most everyone gets this “rule of thumb”. If you do come face to face, bring your professionally packaged samples/products … and bring your best. Too often, I’ve personally heard, “well this isn’t what we currently have” or “this is some older stuff, our new stuff is much better”. You will quickly lose any credibility if you’re bringing older samples or stuff that isn’t professionally packaged to display/pitch. There are far too many that have it together so you’ll be wasting your gas and time if you’re not coming to make the best impression. Next, respect the owner, purchasing manager, or budtender that may say “no” to even seeing the product or declining it. They may have other appointments or they may not be taking in new products at that time. Shoot for a date and time on a calendar if they are interested. If they do agree to check out your product, make sure you’re sharing what you need and that you’re not taking up too much time. The good ol’ elevator pitch of 2-3 minutes should be enough to make the impression needed for a small chance at an on-the-spot sale or a chance to come back for a sale and delivery.

For dispensaries, I feel it’s equally important to be open and honest about where you’re at with products and needs. No need to waste anyone’s time if you’re not taking on any new products or if you are only looking for a specific product. Additionally, it’s not hard to be kind to the person that’s out trying to share their products and earn a living. If they call or come in, be kind and respectful and guide the person for a future date or sharing that you will take a card or look them up and get back with them. Most importantly, if an appointment or sale delivery was made, someone should be there for the appointment or to call and reschedule ahead of time if they aren’t going to make the appointment. If there is a delivery, it’s critical that money is there and the transaction is completed. I’ve personally experienced deliveries to dispensaries where there was no money or they weren’t prepared for the delivery even though it was properly communicated. That’s unfair to the vendors and the person that’s on a schedule of deliveries. Last, many dispensaries have websites with customer/vendor contact form to make appointments. It’s a wise use of everyone’s time to leverage these for making appointments or avoiding wasted time with a business that’s not interested in taking on new products. All in, it’s common courtesy and doing your best to respect your fellow man. Next month, we’ll dive into the power of online awareness and communications and how they can streamline and improve credibility and opportunities.

A Toke of Wellness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Raise Your Highbration

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

Let’s begin by defining ‘vibrational medicine’.

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

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

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

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

Low situatons breed low results.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Cultivation Corner

So the last several articles have touched on sourcing your genetics from seeds vs. clones and getting through the vegetative stage. It’s about time for us to start talking about the flowering stage, and how to optimize your bloom cycle for the best buds you can grow!

In the next few articles, we will start tackling all of the tips and tricks to tweak your flowering cycle for maximum optimization.

But first, let’s make sure we haven’t forgotten any chores during our veg cycle.

Why is Veg so important?

As we’ve explained before, what you do in Veg greatly impacts what you can do during the flowering stage. There are all sorts of tactics that should be employed during the flowering stage, but many are unavailable or just won’t make a difference, if you slacked off during the vegetative stage.

The vegetative stage is when plants are pliable and capable of being trained. This is very important. Also, veg can be extended if necessary. Unlike flowering stage, which has a set end date, the veg stage can be prolonged if necessary.

During veg, you can exercise much greater control, and you should, so that you can  take full ownership for the shape of the plant. This way, you set yourself up for success when it comes time to flower.

Checking off your “To-do” list while in Veg

Now, during veg, you should have done some low stress training and pruning. The goal here is to make your plant look less like a Christmas tree, and more like a Hanukkah candle. We don’t want it growing up tall and skinny. Such a structure won’t yield much, and all but the top buds will lack that rock hard density we prefer. So we solve for this problem by pruning our plant during veg, and by training it to take the shape of the Hanukkah candle.

But how do we achieve this shape? The answer is well-timed topping.

How to Top your Veg Plants to create a SCROG canopy during flower

We prefer to wait about five or six weeks into veg before we top our plants. Some may top earlier in veg, and we have done that as well. But we have found that topping small plants severely stunts growth, which either prolongs the length of veg, or you end up with a smaller plant during your normal veg cycle (for us, about 8 weeks).

When we top our plants, we are looking to create a “crown,” that is, a group of
surrounding branches. Kind of like a 360 degree Hanukkah candle, to use the reference from earlier.

To do this, we cut the center branch right off.


Yes. Really. We go to the main stock, in the middle, that would ordinarily possess the king cola of the plant. And we chop it off at the node about a foot down. You may be shocked that we would do this, because the plant has basically been cut in half. Did we just waste 6 weeks of growth?

The answer is “No,” and here is why: this style of topping actually accelerates the growth of the surrounding branches.

Within one week of chopping the center stalk, the surrounding branches will have risen up to the original height of that center stalk. No time lost at all. In fact, it will seem like you just jumped into the future!

Now you have a plant that is ready to be SCROGGED (spread throughout trellis netting) to create a SCROG (screen of green) canopy.

Preparing to “flip” your plants into flower

Now that you have topped all of your plants, you are about ready to flip your light cycle to 12/12 and start flowering. But not yet. Let’s wait just a couple more weeks. During this time, you will want to do another session or two of pruning. Really create that lollipop shape during the last week or two of Veg. This will set up you up for the greatest success in flower.

Next article, we will move on to the flowering stage!!

Cannabis Corner – Lettuce Learning

As we start a new editorial chapter, I want to frame up the goal of what I hope to share through Cannabis Corner. I am a business owner of a full vertical which also includes some other cannabis partnerships. I have been in cannabis for about 10 years, 4 years here in Oklahoma, but many of those were travel ventures in NorCal. I grew up in the infamous Lawton, OK and cut my teeth in a town known for its grittiness. I then made my way across the Red River where I worked for big ol’ corporate America for nearly 20 years. With a background in real estate, finance, sales, marketing, and communications, I’ve worked with a smattering of professionals all over the world. Last, I’ve always loved the creative aspects of writing, photography and design and they have kept me constantly expanding in areas that keep me feeling young and inspired.

Now, with some of the foundation laid, I hope to accomplish a vibe that’s encouraging and uplifting while being real and informative. My ways or opinions may never align with everyone and certainly aren’t the gospel. However, the way in which we treat and uplift the growing cannabis community is what it’s really all about. No matter what business or position you hold, it’s important to accept new ideas, criticism, and honest feedback. Not everyone is built the same so some may be more direct than others but in the end, it’s loving our neighbors and business partners as if they resided under our own roofs.

I plan on sharing perspectives from every angle of the business that I touch and some that I’m dipping my toes in to understand and request feedback and positive resolutions. Whether it be some basic sales etiquette or ideas on how to keep your world compliant, I hope that there’s a new learning or at least an “aha” moment that jogs your brain or inspires you to take a step back and improve your daily grind.

I’m sure I’ll bounce around each edition with something that’s more recently impacting me or my businesses personally and expound upon anything from processing to growing to packaging to retail sales. Whatever it is, it’ll be done with goodwill and an intent for people to dig into and learn beyond some of the tips or strategies that relate. There’s so much out there to experience and I hope that I can share as much to keep you from running into walls or knowing whether it’s worth it to jump into a new facet or arena that you may be considering.

With a short and sweet intro, I want to start with something simple for the next edition by sharing that it doesn’t cost you a dime to be considerate and kind. And though honest feedback and self evaluation may not feel kind at times, it’s critical to avoid taking too many things personally unless you’re going to evaluate them and take charge to improve. So, be mindful of how you communicate in person, on social media, on chat boards, and over the phone/text. Communication is a key player in improving yourself as an employee or entrepreneur. People will take note and many times things can be misconstrued if you’re not clearly and kindly working to share your point of view or make a sales pitch. See you next article for tips on booking appointments and making face to face sales calls  with your buyer/customer. I appreciate the opportunity to write and share some of my biggest learnings and for the time you spend reading along.

A Toke of Gratitude

The pace of life today is fast and stress is an inevitable part of that, but it doesn’t have to take over your daily experience. Stress can be turned into a helpful ally by cultivating a better relationship with it, thereby increasing resilience, and
improving your overall well-being. The article discusses the role of the endocannabinoid system and cannabis in addressing stress, as well as tips for reducing your stress levels and feeling more peaceful every day.

First, we need to understand how stress works in the body. When we perceive a threat, our bodies release stress hormones. This activates the Sympathetic Nervous System, preparing us to fight or flee. In order to protect us from danger, the Sympathetic Nervous System provides energy and strength to overcome the threat. When the threat subsides, the Parasympathetic Nervous System takes over. The system promotes relaxation, rejuvenation and repair. It also reduces the activity of the Sympathetic Nervous System and stimulates digestion and reproductive functions – bringing our bodies back into balance.

The key to building a resilient relationship with stress is to promote the Parasympathetic response so that it can work its magic! There are many tools that we can use to do this, including mindfulness, movement, and plant medicine.

Cannabis + Stress

Cannabis helps manage stress through its interaction with our internal endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS functions like a control center in our bodies that helps keep things balanced and working properly. It does this by using special molecules called endocannabinoids, which connect to receptors in our bodies to regulate things like our mood, hunger, sleep, and how our bodies feel pain.

Consuming cannabis is a great way to promote a Parasympathetic response, initiating our body’s healing state. Cannabis contains powerful compounds called cannabinoids (THC, CBD, CBN, etc.), which bind to our body’s endocannabinoid receptors and help calm down the nervous system, control inflammation, promote balance, and ultimately reduce stress.

Double Your Stress Support

Incorporate a gratitude practice into your cannabis consumption! By focusing on what you are grateful for, you can become more mindful and present. This shift in perspective can help to calm the mind and soothe the nervous system, reducing the effects of stress and promoting feelings of peace and contentment. We call this a “Gratitude Sesh” and here’s how you can try it for yourself

You’re Prepared to Sesh Intentionally!

At the end of the day we don’t have control over what’s happening around us, but we do have control over what happens within. By harnessing the benefits of plant medicine and promoting a positive mindset, you create a more balanced relationship to stress and can cultivate a happier, healthier, and more peaceful life.

Bridget is a practicing embodiment coach. She 
holds certifications from AFPA in holistic
nutrition, as well as specializing in herbalism
from Herbal Academy. Bridget founded Inner
Calm Co., (@innercalmco) a wellness company,
with the desire to help her clients find balance
and confidence in their wellness journeys.


Digital edition of the MARCH 2023 print issue #51 of Herbage Magazine.

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


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: 



Cannabis Inamorata

The average Valentine date includes a gift, flowers, a nice
meal, maybe wine, chocolates, and (hopefully) a little sexy time. For the newly coupled, this opportunity to lovebomb one another can feel giddy. For seasoned lovers, it can be a tool for reinvigorating romance. For the unattached, hopefully the heart-shaped holiday inspires a commitment to self-love. The indulgences of Valentine’s Day provide an excellent opportunity to acknowledge the heart’s desire but to do so, let’s have a brief (maybe true) history of Saint Valentine and the holiday as we know it.

Saint Valentine was the patron saint of epilepsy and beekeepers, which is a far cry from Cupid and chocolate truffles. It was around the circulation of Parlemont de Foules, a 14th century poem by Geoffery Chaucer, that the Roman saint became associated with love and mating. In the poem, the protagonist drifts to sleep and is escorted through the heavens to a “well of grace” beyond the gates guarding Venus’ celestial temple. Upon finally passing through the Goddess of Desire’s temple, the subject steps into a bright spring day to find Nature conducting a parliament of birds. Under Nature’s watch, a young bird is to choose her mate from three competitors. After some time, the formel requests that Nature allow her not to choose; Nature obliges and thus grants free will to the young formel.

In the wake of Chaucer’s poem, lovers began to send letters and poems to each other, with increased fervor during the Valentine’s season. Interesting that a poem identifying the nature of love and lust to be free will would generate the consumerist bonanza that we identify as Valentine’s Day in the 21st century. Everything is freaking pink and covered in hearts and even the most romantic
among us must feel a slight roil of disgust at the onslaught of marketing campaigns aimed at coupledom, or more starkly – at the absence of coupling.

Whether blissfully (or even unwittingly) single or happy in love, Valentine’s Day should be a whimsical and fun way to feel a little passion. For cannabis enthusiasts, there is no better way to show love than with a healthy dose of THC. Enjoying any holiday,
but particularly one so amorous, does require a supreme level of chill. To reduce anxiety, choose cannabis varietals that are rich in terpenes such as limonene, beta-caryophyllene, and linalool. You may be familiar with these terpenes and how aroma affects your mood when you recall lavender, vanilla, and pumpkin spice – all scents made with essential oils featuring the same terpenes.

To settle into your Valentine’s experience, you might consider an indica-dominant flower that carries limonene – a terpene that has been shown to reduce anxiety and increase focus. This combination can be found in Skywalker OG, an indica varietal that users state helps them get out of their heads and into their bodies without feeling foggy or too high. Other favorite varietals for amping up the love connection include Wedding
Cake (caryophyllene) and Zkittles (linalool). For fellas looking to increase libido, try heady Gelato, rich in myrcene. Girl Scout
Cookies is a varietal featuring linalool that has been reported to work particularly well for vaginal arousal.

Having fire flower is just the first step to a satisfying Valentine’s experience. Punctuate your evening with cannabis infused and
derived treats for all of your senses. Pick up a mocktail kit from Mimosa Creek Mixology to get your cannabinoids in without getting high (or drunk). Feed your sweet tooth with any of the lickable spreads from Mystery Baking Company. Indulge your senses with a MariBliss Candle featuring terpenes and fragrances engineered to elevate your mood, a bath bomb from Feel This Skincare loaded with cannabinoids to nourish your skin, or a massage featuring any of the outstanding infused topicals available in the Oklahoma cannabis market.

Speaking of topicals, Bison Extracts, an Oklahoma processing company with a firm understanding of the power of terpenes introduced me to their infused lubricant. Their product, Liberation, was initially developed to treat polycystic ovarian syndrome, a painful condition that causes infertility. Owner Necole Cantu explained that Liberation was formulated with gynecological oversight to ensure that the full spectrum cannabis oil and proprietary essential oil blend are safe and effective for consumers who need relief from this impactful condition. As a secondary perk, users reported that the product encouraged sexual stimulation and lead to increase in libido. Of the number of lubricants surveyed for this article, Liberation was the easy
winner for texture, scent, uptake time, duration, and clean up. The infused lubricant takes around 20 minutes to “kick in” and
the increased arousal sensation lasted through climax.

Whether you’re showering your sweetheart with affection or focusing on your own needs this Valentine’s season, you can certainly find some amazing ways to incorporate cannabis.

Dict For V-Day

by James Bridges

I broke up with that disgusting and dreadful monster 4-years-ago and I think about her every day.

I couldn’t help the temptation. The blissful period when the thoughts stopped swirling in my head was my muse. She was, without a doubt, the one that would always be there to comfort me when I needed her. I told myself at a young age that one day we would part. In actuality, I counted on the fact that I would forget that promise to myself one day and my relationship would last forever.

I thought I loved her, but I realized, not as quickly as I would have liked, that I was under a spell. That spell that she cast had a hold of me and would not allow my thoughts to wander too far away.

Many other people have had “relations” with this overbearing and smothering polygamist. Though she is very committed to seeing that your side of the relationship is followed through, she could care less about the expectations that any of us have had of her.

She is the epitome of everything I know, love, and hate with a passion. “But it’s been 4 years!” you say, and I hear it. I just can’t wash it away. Sadly, I believe it may have been true love…

My thoughts have shifted over time. I’ve invested in the “new” me. I noticed early that I judged myself constantly. I started to think that this must have been the way I’ve acted toward myself for the majority of my entire life. Who was I to judge?… Then I started to wonder why I would do this to myself. With that, of course, came more self-judgment.

I’ve entered into a new space, now that it’s been 4 years. This space does nothing to take me away from the love that I still feel in my heart for her. I can’t seem to shake that. However, I am doing my best to play an active role in creating more changes for the betterment of my life. This new level of clarity is definitely becoming the most psychologically challenging aspect of my growth. It’s just so hard to get away from that cold hearted beast.

I struggle with calibrating my thoughts to align with my actions. I see it with my mindseye, yet I cannot fix it. It feels electric. The vibrations and emotions that are flowing as you watch yourself behave as if you are no longer in control. It’s a very unusual and strange experience. I’m sure many of you can relate.

I’m told it’s just a phase. Another stepping stone to get away from attachments, which may lead me back to her. Even though, a lot of the time, I struggle to have any desire to lift my foot, in hopes she may call again.

For now I will replace my old Valentine, called addiction, with something a little more pleasant. The thought of what is to come. This keeps me going. I know that someday my relationship with her won’t be so rocky. Maybe then everything will be aligned.

About The Cover – Czr Prz

Czr Prz

February 2023

Star Child 16’x20′ painted for Plaza
Walls Mural Festival Oklahoma City
OK 2022

Czr Prz is an urban contemporary artist working in sculptural fabrication, large scale aerosol murals, and all manner of design.

Born and raised in working class Chicago, Prz’s 20 year creative career has spanned America all the way to Europe. Across their multifaceted media, Prz’s artworks tell stories in the folklorico tradition instilled by his Latino-Caribbean upbringing.

Prz recovered from Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2015, a battle that halted his trips abroad, resuming his creative practice without missing a beat. In the
past year alone, Prz has painted murals for CATAN in Albany Park and Paint Memphis Fest in Tennessee. Prz’s fine art fabrication has shown at Modern Eden Gallery in San Francisco and Epiphany Center for the Arts, where he’s the curator behind Idol Hands, a group show centered around craft on view through Feb. 2022.

Prz is also one half of Ava Grey, a creative firm based in Chicago’s South Side.


Digital edition of the February 2023 print issue #50 of Herbage Magazine.

Herb•age strives to bring you fresh content regularly.

We cover a wide range of cannabis culture and medical marijuana-related issues. In other words, It is our mission to be the voice of the growing cannabis industry in the state. Through fair and open discourse we hope to continue the trend of bringing cannabis out of the shadows and into the mainstream where it belongs. So, please join us and help us grow with Oklahoma!


Steve Miller – Essential Tremors Breakthrough Using Cannabis


This is an update and a breakthrough discovery regarding Steve Miller and his battle with essential tremors. Miller has suffered from severe tremors his entire life. A group of cannabis researchers have come up with a formula they believe could lead to a solution for many who suffer the same.

Steve Miller
By Michael Kinney

Steve Miller has tried to live a peaceful life. Despite numerous medical battles, he does his best to stay stress-free.

However, in early July, Miller was at his breaking point. It was a place he had been just a few times in his 69 years of life. But this time it was worse.

Miller suffers from a disease called Essential Tremors. It causes his body to violently shake, especially when his anxiety rises. As Miller cared for his sister, who was going through her own issues, he had what he called a psychotic break that affected him mentally, emotionally and physically.

“When she was trying to get off alcohol and stuff we both kind of started feeding off each other’s anxiety she ended up in the hospital and going to the emergency room because she didn’t know how to handle it,” Miller said of his sister. “I didn’t know how to help her. She actually had seizures that morning. So, I called an ambulance and got her. And then she got back home. And I, I can’t tell you how many days it was, but about 3, 4, 5 days later, I had to call 911 for me and take me to the emergency room, full chest pains.”

Miller said the pains felt like he was having a heart attack and he couldn’t breathe

“I had been shaking so much for so long and so hard that my intestines were just tied in a knot,” Miller said. “. Once you get anxious, you kind of get a little bit psychotic when it gets real bad.”

Produced by Herbage TV – For more shows and information visit
🍁 Connecting cannabis community since 2018.
🧠 Empowerment through cannabis education and destigmatization.
©Herbage TV 2022

Herbage Golf – Spring 2023

Spring 2023

WHEN: Saturday, April 8, 2023, 10:00 AM


Plan to arrive by 10:00 AM for registration. Shotgun start at 11:00 AM.
Look forward to having fun and enjoying friends while your team participates in playing the “Best Ball” hit down the fairways.

We will have guest dab bars and plenty of giveaways available from our amazing sponsors.

Plenty of fun contests will be on the course, including a $50,000 prize for Hole-In-One!
Win prizes – Network with cannabis industry colleagues – Have fun!

WHERE: Choctaw Creek Golf Course and The Country Club Restaurant, 2200 North Hiwassee Road, Choctaw, OK 73020


For Obvious Reasons, No Receipts

For Obvious Reasons, No Receipts

By Kathleen Barker

Oh how far we’ve come from 1986 and getting our weed through reefer Rick! Though I think many of us can agree that we’d drop a lot of cash to do a deal with Eddie Munson. But here’s my question, what kind of flower does our favorite metalhead prefer? Is he more of a sativa smoker? Or an Indica kind of guy? And what about Terps?

Let’s ask some loyal Tumblr fans what they think, aye?

Lei: “Ooh, my first instinct is to say he’d go for a sativa. He’s a high energy kind of guy, I think that he might want something that would stimulate his mind and fuel his creativity when playing guitar or writing campaigns. Though perhaps on other occasions he may want an Indica just to be able to chill out and wind down, become one with the couch so to speak. He sells it so he’s got choices you know? Options at his disposal for different needs. The terpenes that stand out to me with Eddie in mind are Limonene, Myrcene, and Pinene. Limonene for the elevated mood and anti-depression. Eddie is a naturally positive person so I think he’d appreciate added benefits here. Myrcene for the added creativity that psychoactivity brings, and Pinene for memory retention and alertness since it seems pretty clearly to me that Eddie has ADHD and would really benefit from some help in those areas!”

Johnny: “Given that he’s well-versed in alternative medicine, maybe even a damned witch doctor due to being a dungeon master, he probably smokes both, but as far as a preference goes I guess sativa. He has lots of high-yielding energy, he’s very outgoing, so I don’t see his preference leaning towards couch potato vibes which would be Indica. As far as Terpenes go? Definitely some Limonene but after that shit with Chrissy? Linalool. He needs to relax and sedate himself after all that.“

Tess: “Eddie Munson is definitely a mood smoker. Majority of the time, I see him smoking a sativa dominant hybrid. His creativity is flowing and he is Vibing like the true metal man he is. However, when he is wanting to play guitar alone in his room, I can see him appreciating an Indica. No matter which mood he was sporting that moment in the day, he is definitely lighting up something skunky, linalool, or alpha – pinene dominant.“

Becca: “So I strongly feel Eddie goes for the sativa strain. As a musician and a Dungeon Master he needs all the alertness he can get and Indicas do the total opposite. Indicas I feel are more for relaxing. As for the Terps, I see him being into limonene, Myrcene, Linalool,  Borneol, and Eucalyptol.“

Well there you have it puppet’s! Majority rules in favor of sativa for the Master of Hellfire! Personally, that was my vote as well, it just seems to make sense for our lovable metalhead. But hey, maybe Kas the bloody handed will have a different taste…dun dun DUN!!!! He’s alive dammit, there’s no convincing me otherwise. UNTIL NEXT TIME – Kat

Pressing For Gold – Wellevate Farms

By James Bridges

We pulled into the parking lot of what was obviously a structure built to move heavy machinery and vehicles, I noticed the sign for Wellevate Farms, but I couldn’t help but wonder. I thought to myself, “Why is that large, roughly 75 foot tall, gas rig blocking my parking space?” Then I took a good look around. I noticed more heavy equipment, trailers, and yes, even more rigs that stood tall and inoperable. I thought to myself again, “Maybe I should open my eyes and stop listening to that constant repetitive voice coming from my speakers?”

I felt as if I had driven into the wrong address until I recognized a smile. The smile was large and the man behind it couldn’t seem more welcoming. Adam Stockman presented himself as one of the directors. The man that wears many hats with a team of fellow multi-hatters designed to accomplish whatever is put in front of them. We were invited inside.

John Hughes himself would have been jealous and may have even made the motion to dial his attorney if he were to walk into the facilities at Wellevate Farms in Skiatook, OK. The large, almost circular interior structure with a maze/classroom aesthetic would have him screaming at the old troupe to gear up and shoot The Breakfast Club 2.0.

“So this room will soon be the house dispensary.” Adam pointed over my shoulder. “That’s why we picked the one with the exterior door.”

We met Adam during the Cowboy Cup in December 2022. One of the late nights of the cup led both myself and Brook Miller to a table where Adam and a new product awaited our introduction. The product is actually designed and offered by Wellevate Farms themselves. It’s called the WelleVape.

I will do my best to describe the product. The product is vaporized inside of the device. The vapor then flows and fills the chalice or glass. Then bottoms-up! You drink and repeat. It’s surprising, unique, and comes with an experience to accompany your meds.

We were invited to repeat as many times as desired. We made sure we had plenty of “introduction” time for one another.

“We found a way to procreate our own dispensary.” I listened as Adam opened up more. “Yeah. and, we’re about 60 days out. We were lucky for how we found ours though. I mean, I’ve heard $$$$ over and over, and we found something nowhere near those numbers. We were able to acquire this and even own the building. Most licenses are not available the way ours was, and for that we are very grateful.”

He must have noticed the twitch in my brow as he spoke and peaked my interest. Adam continued, “Yeah. The old owner just didn’t ever put anything together here. We took it off his hands. We think we can do something special with this place. That’s what we are here to do.”

The informed and intelligent Adam pointed out that the goal was to become more of an appointment only dispensary. They want to offer medicines to those specifically in the area that are in need. However, because that is where their cultivation and lab is located, they feel it best to keep the main gate closed to the public.

“Everyone always says they want to carry our product.” Adam showed that giant smile again. “We know we have the right product.” Adam’s confidence was sure. “Our sales have already given us a very positive projection. Now it’s time to network, continue marketing, and advertising so we can become more top of mind for patients when they choose.”

These guys definitely have a “There’s nothing in getting our way” attitude. They have a fully operational grow facility. They are smashing killer solventless hash rosin on a press made for giants. They have 120 Square Feet of freeze drying space. They even have their own CO2! Afterall, we were essentially standing on top of a natural gas well. I couldn’t have been more impressed.

Adam continued to show us around. “I mean, with the equipment that we have and the facility that we have, it’s been a long haul. We are all-in on the investment, time and money. More than I could have fathomed. So it’s a long game. We’re honest with ourselves though. We have an accountant. Other than accounting, we don’t really outsource anything. Everything is pretty much created in-house, even metric.”

The team at Wellevate was surprisingly small compared to the output of the facility. There’s Adam Stockman who is the general manager/all hats, and a very knowledgeable lead cultivator, Brandon Summers.

We ran into Devon Gaines and Chad Upton. Both are hash washers for Wellevate. They help press the magic, which is Wellevate Farms signature hash rosin. Fluid for the god’s, if you will. We actually had the opportunity to witness the making of said fluid.

The press was more than a press. We walked into the dedicated press room and sat back and watched as they prepped the product. At 180 degrees this beast will smash 3 full 15 gram pouches at one time. That is 45 grams in one press. They use a Low temp V2 Medusa. They have also fabricated a custom mechanical arm, which adds tilt to the base of the press to assist the drip. The team claims that they have noticed a slight change in quality since implementing this lift system. I was more than impressed.

photo by Justen Christensen

“It’s a lot like a family around here.” Adam explained a common scenario in the cannabis industry. However, this one seemed to be run by individuals that have the mental capability to set boundaries around those emotions. They were there for business, and they all knew it. “Yeah. I wouldn’t say that on any given day, we all get along by any means. But at the end of the day, I also know that if I need something, I’m going to call one of these guys. We butt heads, because we all have real high expectations of what we want to happen. We know that we’re on the right team. We are like a bunch of brothers and sisters around here. We’d probably be better off with some boxing gloves some days. In the end we love and respect one another.”

Adam walked us through the place as if he were showing us his newly remodeled house. I felt that if Adam had a second home it would have been the apartment he slept in and paid rent for about an hour away. I even had the thought of asking him for random shop items. I had an inkling that he would be able to whisp off for a minute and retrieve anything that I requested.

I was curious about his thoughts on cleanliness and managing quality and testing. Knowing now of how small the crew was that operated such a large space, I wondered if there might be issues. As I looked around in every room there were signs of constant cleaning. Some of the spaces looked as if the equipment had just been installed. These guys had the process down for sure. The convincingly honest Adam opened an eye, “My strategy for taking lead for testing is to reach my hand into the big tub and get five grams of random nugs. I’m not cutting the top. I’m not cutting the nicest, prettiest bud off the top of the nicest, prettiest plant in the room. I literally want to take an honest sample. I think it causes us to get lower numbers sometimes. But, I’d rather somebody get a bud from us that says 25% and they get home and they get 30%.”

One of the largest factors keeping the overhead so low while also giving Wellevate Farms the ability to operate with a crew of only five is automation. “Whenever we harvest, we’ve got the bucker.” Adam started pointing at massive and sometimes intricate pieces of hardware inside the expansive main floor. “We’ve got the sorting table, I’ve got the machine trimmer, and we have a room over here that holds 288 plants. We can harvest that in one day with only three people. Our goal is always to go from a live plant to the freezer in a maximum of 45 minutes. If we can hit 30 to 40 minutes, that’s where I’m happy. An hour is acceptable, but not desired.”

After viewing the rooms, which included three mom rooms, a separate clone room, and 13 others used for cultivation, I was asked to enter another part of the building. As I walked through the doorway I felt as if I had entered a portion of the building which was its financial nucleus. It was warm and inviting, yet very much more formal than the rest of the building. I was introduced to two partners. Blaine Heg and Gary Lewis were welcoming and relaxed. I felt comfortable as we spoke.

photo by Justen Christensen

“When you get the right people all pushing in the same direction it’s hard to stop.” Blaine seemed very savvy. His demeanor demanded respect, however I felt the desire to give respect even with my eyes closed. He seemed very well established and I could sense that any ventures that peaked his interest would certainly be solid.

“We’re more hands on.” Blaine took the lead, “We come from a world where we realize that everything mechanical is gonna break and it’s nice to know we can fix it. One of the biggest things for us is the ability to have everything right there. If we don’t we can usually find it or fabricate it ourselves.”

The owners at Wellevate Farms have been able to incorporate the use of other subcontractors. “We’ve brought subs in on our buildouts. These are local electricians, plumbers, contractors, builders, and more. We work side by side with them. Honestly the questions they’ve asked have been game changing. It’s valuable because I never thought of it the way they bring up specific issues.”

Many leaders in cannabis, as well as so many other industries, tend to think they can purchase success. Some go out and purchase the “best” lighting systems. Maybe go look for the most expensive starting quarterback when all they needed was to look around at the team. Blaine and Gary didn’t want that. They had no desire to go scouting. They wanted to build a strong and long lasting environment with people they knew and trusted. So they did both.

Fortunately they did, in-fact, find the experts fit for Wellevate Farms. However, in this case, they didn’t have to go out and seek it.

photo by Justen Christensen

Herbage Magazine January 2023

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

The Feminine Divine

Nobody Puts Tessy in a Corner; From Crunching Numbers to Liberating Oklahomans, a Woman’s Story of the Reclamation of Her Own Power

by Jessi Lane, Patient Advocate

Tessy Copeland-Dukes, EA is a trusted, kind-hearted woman with a take-no-bull disposition. She understands that you can catch more flies with sugar than you can vinegar. She strives to end generational patterns, traumas, and stigmas with herself, so that her children can live lives bigger than she had. She is warm, caring, and wise beyond her years. Tessy is one smart cookie. When she has something to say she is clear and concise and holds a captive audience. If she were running for District Rep, you would cast your vote for Tessy. Her passion for the cause is contagious. Tessy Copeland-Dukes embodies the Divine Feminine.
Tessy comes from a long line of strong, independent, empowering women. Tessy’s late grandmother Dorothea Copeland was a standout female plumber in the 1960s, who went on to work till age of ninety-three. She owned a plumbing shop and once earned top saleswoman for Kohler. Her Aunt, Mary Jo Copeland, was the first female Mayor of Tecumseh, Oklahoma – a quaint city comprised of fifteen square miles total, where Tessy’s family still resides. The late Mary Jo Copeland was the mother of Mary Copeland Fallin, who served as Oklahoma’s first female and 27th Governor from 2011 to 2019. While Tessy has so much admiration for these women before her, she also respects their differences in views. She has set out to create her own journey.
Tessy herself is a well-educated analytical person. Having graduated from East Central University with a master’s degree in Accounting, Tessy spent 11 years overseeing large corporate banks and multi state corporations as a Senior Tax Accountant. She poured her life into her tax job, working seventy to eighty hours per week in a male-dominated industry while raising her children. “Within that male dominated upper management environment came a lot of expectations without recognition,” she says. “No, I don’t expect to be patted on the back, but when you’re relied upon to deal with duties above your pay grade because ‘you’re the best one for it’ or ‘the staff respects you more,’ you would think that would be enough to prove your worth.”
Having personally cared for her father for 16 years battling by his side through addiction, mental health, liver failure and transplant, his PTSD, Cancer, and suicide of their loved ones, Tessy continued to pour into others, including her mother who at that time lived with alcoholism. Tessy was determined to create a healthy life for herself. During her time in college, Tessy befriended her now business partner Melinda while doing odd jobs including a position in Melinda’s custom drapery shop. Years later, in producing quality foods for Oklahoma farmer’s markets and co-ops across the state, Mittie’s roots budded with the 2012 opening of Mittie’s Kitchen – when Melinda started a commercial kitchen with the support of Tessy from a tax accounting standpoint. Mittie’s Kitchen was named for Mittie, Melinda’s grandmother. With the 2018 passing of State Question 788, Tessy and Melinda felt their calling. It was time to merge their shared passion of providing small batch, high quality goods with their life-long enthusiasm for cannabis as medicine – and in April 2019 they did just that.
Mitties Medicinals is a family owned, female owned, small batch cannabis processor. A locally renowned mom and pop brand, Mittie’s Medicinals’ boutique full spectrum product line includes nano emulsified drink mixes, tea bags, suckers, and Cannagars. Combined with their gummy and hard candy selection, Mittie’s provides a plethora of reliable patient consumption possibilities. Mittie’s products are made with love from the Mittie’s family including her spouse, Mikie, who comes from a human resource and finance background and is a valuable business resource. “[Mikie] handles a lot of the Cannagar production. He packs, I wrap them,” Tessy says. Currently he is still juggling his primary job to provide health insurance. Tessy notes their business has given them a platform to do something they both love together and strengthen their marriage in many ways.
With Mittie’s power-packed line of wellness products, and the life changes folks – including Tessy’s own mother – are accruing because of it, comes a new-found level of respect and admiration from her peers Tessy never felt in accounting. “I don’t want to work in corporate America,” she told High Hopes podcast (Spotify, 2022), “I don’t want to run my business like corporate America. I don’t want to run my business like big pharma.” While Tessy fully believes in what she is now doing and her pure intentions to help patients, she says she “has spent many years being sat in the corner, quietly counseled for advice that was portrayed to the masses as theirs. I was never given the deserved respect for my successes but quick to be reminded for my failures.” Tessy often finds herself inundated with Imposter Syndrome and gets uneasy with praise and recognition but says that Mittie’s has given her a new sense of being.

While industry professionals trust and respect Tessy and patients rely on her brand for consistent, quality cannabis as medicine, there are unavoidable peaks and valleys along her entrepreneurial journey. “Such a struggle feeling like you’re doing everything for [the] right reasons but then you hit so many roadblocks that make you want to just turn around.” She says some days that is how she feels about every part of her life. “[The industry] started to get more corporate,” she told High Hopes. She went on to say, “I started feeling discouraged in the last few years. It was like more regulation, more regulation and it felt so much more like big pharma – like companies were taking these more corporate styles the way they were putting their products out there and I didn’t want that.” Tessy and Melinda wanted it to be like their roots, like the farmer’s market. “I wanted it be more like that atmosphere – like we got to really help patients,” said Tessy.

It is common knowledge that Oklahoma’s market was so outlined to inevitably result in oversaturation across the board. The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority June 13, 2022 licensing report shows 2,266 licensed retailers and 1,449 licensed processors. Recently, commercial processors have experienced varying burdens with the state-wide transition to the contracted METRC seed to sale tracking system. “METRC is not really developed for small manufacturing which presents a lot of challenges in the way we manufacture edibles,” Tessy says. “Testing, quality, and compliance is very important to us but so is efficient manufacturing.” She explains that METRC is set up for mass production. Only after mass production does it allow you to test products, which she finds is a very inefficient way to produce goods at their scale.

Tessy considers the first few years to be continued beta mode and through research and development and life experience believes they are ready to continue steps to expand their patient reach. “METRC implementation and economy has impacted sales more than anything,” she says. “We see that cannabis sales really reflects the economy – when it’s back to school, holidays, times patients have other financial obligations like rising gas and food prices they use less disposable income on cannabis.” She goes on to say, “I think that might surprise a lot of people with the stigmas around cannabis.” In her observations, Tessy has found cannabis incomparable to addictive drugs or even tobacco in this way – when patients do not have that disposable income, she finds they do not purchase. “It’s ok, things are incredibly slow in the market [currently] but on the other hand I’m super low on inventory.” With family emergencies, deaths, and the team spread thin, Tessy is feeling that roadblock, however she remains hopeful, empowered, and ever patient. “Even on the darkest days,” Tessy says, “I know with time the light will shine again.”

After winning the 2021 Herbage Magazine People’s Choice Award for Best Blunt with their Cannagar as well as several edible wins and connecting with the people of Sherweed Forrest, Tessy finally felt like she identified with this community of people that have the same like-minded vision. “It’s about having small batch, high quality products at affordable prices,” she told High Hopes. “I know that I’m not going to get rich in this and that’s okay to me because I am providing for my family, and I am so rich in the community that I have built.” She continues to show out for her brand industry event after industry event, which helps fill her cup, but Tessy understands when it is time to pause for family. The delicate balance of fulfilling both business and personal obligations is not for the weak. You must remain steadfast and steady.

“I’ve lived a lot of life in my 38 years,” says Tessy. “My life is never dull and sometimes feels like more adventure than I signed up for but it’s beautiful – all the good, the struggles, the ups and downs have made me a better human being.” She never looks at adversity with defeat but instead chooses to sit back and look at it from an all-encompassing view. “I accept the reality that it will work, or it will not, but the journey has purpose no matter how hard it is to see – and I do my best to choose grace.” She goes on to say, “I hope that I raise my kids to be better human beings than me. I hope that I build a legacy whether big or small that they can be proud of.” Everything produced by Tessy, Melinda, and the Mittie’s family has a purpose, a passion, and a story. It is about time you join Mittie’s in your own story of healing and happiness.

Jessi Lane, Patient Advocate is a writer and Oklahoma cannabis industry professional since 2018. She is a Certified Cannacian III and Trichome Institute Certified Cannabis Consultant with a “full spectrum” Postpartum Wellness background.

Survive To Educate

By James Bridges

I pulled around the corner of the large empty parking lot. It was mid-afternoon. I could barely stand the sweltering heat radiating from that giant gas globe in the sky. I needed something cold. Something with some sort of quench at the end of it. There was a coffee lounge and an interview waiting just over the next curb.

I had landed. The place was called Aces of 8’s. I knew I was about to get lucky.
Alan Matthew Taylor, AKA the Dab Father, seemed to be setting up shop in the corner of this dark and surprisingly inviting coffee house, which I found even more inviting after grabbing the coldest bottle of liquid I could find.

“Yes. I’d love a dab from the Dab Father,” I announced after the invite was given by Alan. He immediately began serenading me with his open arms and inviting tone of voice.
“The funny part about that name is that it didn’t even kick in until about three years ago,” Alan chuckled. I was, of course, intrigued. I bit.

“Yep. I was not known as the dab father until 3 or 4 years ago. Way back when weed was still illegal in Oklahoma,” Alan grinned. “ Of course, I was still dabbing.”

“So my next door neighbor decided he wanted to come over and start learning how to dab. The first couple of times, he nearly killed himself trying to hit it. He never really damaged anything. He just coughed until he would pee.” We both giggled. Of course. That’s what grown men do when they hear the word “pee”.

“Okay. So, all right now,” Alan continued, “I came to find out that he didn’t really smoke dabs before. So we came to the conclusion that it’s time to teach him. At that time there were about four, five of us friends starting to catch onto this whole dab thing. I myself have been partaking in the art of dabbing for about 10 years.” So, the name Dab Father was just a joke at first. You know, like the godfather of dabs. So, slowly but surely, I started teaching people.”

I was curious how one goes about teaching another to “dab” properly. First of all, let’s talk about what dabbing is for people new to the game. Dabbing is consuming very potent and concentrated forms of cannabis. You use something called a dab rig in order to consume said magical products. This can and does, at times, resemble something straight out of a chemist closet. Yet, let me tell you from experience, it works and it works very well. But still. How does one teach this?

“What I try to do is look at extremes then dial things down in order to create the best results.” Alan dove right in, “So we don’t let you pass out, but we get you right to that edge where you wanna pass out, but you’re still able to function. Eventually, we’re getting you used to your moderation types. It’s at that point when you’re able to understand there is a medicinal value and you simply need to find that value number and dial it in. This is one of the biggest challenges when teaching people how to medicate themselves. It’s not about trying to over do it.”

When I enter situations such as this interview, I tend to reflect. I remember what the thought process was like just a few short years ago. To have to hide in the dark to gain access to such medication and pleasure feels like an eternity at times. Others, not so much. Other times it feels as if we have immediately stepped into a time warp. Here we are. Sitting in a coffee house in the middle of a summer afternoon while ripping dabs from a dab rig that looks as if it were made by nasa. Damn, I love this moment.

“Now it’s a process of teaching them about terpenes and which ones are going to benefit them the best.” Alan was getting to the next part too quickly for my taste.

I wanted to have more depth. Why is this person that is sitting in front of me qualified to educate me on cannabis? The “little red dude on the shoulder” advocate was put to rest.

“I was running gorilla grows in California for, I don’t know, let’s call it three and a half years.”

I leaned forward.

“On the outskirts of vineyards in Stockton, California. We were right on the edges, just on the edges of where the police couldn’t get us and the sheriff wouldn’t mess with us.” I could tell Alan was traveling back in time.

“The biggest problem we had to worry about were produce farmers. They would just go through and mow it all down. They didn’t care.” We both laughed at the thought. “They just chopped it all down, cause they knew the cops would never show up. They had the mowing on a schedule. Eventually, we actually had to get in ‘good’ with the field workers. They would let us know when we needed to move out.” Alan grinned, again. “I ended up going up the trees and I started planting up in the trees.”

Instantly, I pictured cannabis plants all over tiny tree houses. I wondered how many times people have actually walked under a barrel full of this beautiful plant and never knew it.

“Never, not even once, did we get caught. Right. Sheriffs would come looking. They would fly the helicopters over. You could see it from over top. Right? But, you could be standing directly under it. The police would come and look and it would never be there. We built these little platforms across the tops. We had irrigation hoses running up and everything.”

Something happened in the room that is rare when two people like us are present. A very long pause. I had to calculate some things in my head.

“Yeah. Haha.” Alan was laughing. “I eventually discovered that the trees wouldn’t be sufficient. We were right next to a river. So we ran the water right out of the river and straight up. I mean it. Talk about a gorilla growing. Honestly it was just trying to be sneaky. I knew cops usually never looked up. Right? I have run from the police in the past. I hid under cars. They always found me. Right? If I hid up on top of things, they never looked up. So this became a cat and mouse game. The mouse is up there and the cat is down there looking around. They’re looking down at the ground. Does it make sense?” I nodded and confirmed. “Mm-hmm.” Alan smiled. “Put the weed in the trees, put the weed in the trees. Yeah. Put the weed in the trees…”

Long before I ever talked with the Dab Father I worked with the Dab Mother on a few projects. It seems that communication is not only an issue in the medicinal cannabis side of the coin, but with actual communication companies as well. Herbage, until inspired to be remedied, was one of them. So I thought I would ask a little about the better half of Alan. You know, just to make sure. I was pleasantly surprised with new information about already known acquaintances.

“20-years-ago I had a cervical issue that came back Atypical.” Jennifer unexpectedly began telling her journey. It was apparent that there were no regrets. “I went through some procedures and they did a cryosurgery. Everything’s been fine since, but my daughter’s pregnancy was a hardcore weird. It just ran the mill with me. At that time, I just hadn’t felt the same since. I finally got in touch with a really good OBGYN and they found atypical endo cells. So they scheduled an ultrasound. It came back fine. There was still that question of why.”

“So we went ahead and did a cervical and an endometrial biopsy yesterday.”

Wait, did she just say yesterday? As in, the day before we had this interview? She started this out with “20-years-ago.” Anyone else catch that?

“So hopefully, um, it’ll be, it will be good news. Um, but, uh, yeah.” She smiled and carried on as if this was normal. For her, it was.

I wanted to know more about how she became an actual cannabis educator.

“I’ve always been intrigued by how the body works. As a kid in science class I felt at home. I loved it when it came to biology and we had to dissect everything.
I just wanted to know what’s in there. How does it work? You know, what’s going on? Um, then I kind of lost track. My career changed. I ended up in the military, did some stuff there, but then after I picked up and went to school to be a medical assistant and continued on and got my associates in sports medicine.”

Jennifer let me know she discovered that Western medicine “ticks her off.”
She was very adamant that the practitioners and decision makers are constantly pushing medications that seem to be the most profit driven rather than what is best for the patient.

Surprisingly, I was able to get somewhat of an insight to the amount of judgment that goes on behind the scenes in a doctor’s office. According to Jennifer there were many personal and moral judgment calls being made by those that have the power to possibly change the quality of life of others. “It was too much.” Jennifer spoke as if she found a lump of clay in her pudding.

Now that she is “free from that world”, Jennifer educated others in regards to cannabis use and benefits. Jennifer herself has gone through quite the personal transformation.

“I got sick with pneumonia back in 2019. That’s when I got really serious with cannabis. I started to notice changes. I started realizing that different strains were affecting my appetite and other health benefits that were specific to something. I just needed to figure it out. So, I started digging into terpenes and the cannabinoids that are in those certain strains. Everything started relating. I knew then and there that I could figure out a terpene that could help with certain ailments. So I did a lot of research. Sometimes it would help, sometimes I just needed to mix that plus something else and it would be near perfect. That would then unlock something else.”

With exercise, diet, and cannabis, Jennifer drove her weight down over time and in a healthy way. No pills. When she began she weighed 250 lbs heavier than she did that day.

“I got on a scale this morning and I weighed 135 lbs.” We both laughed.

“I fought and fought and fought my weight for years before cannabis. I was in the gym every day, making sure my diet was on point, but I couldn’t lose weight. I was constantly gaining and I didn’t understand that stress is a huge factor. So digging into, you know, the spiritual side of things and learning how to try not let things affect me that used to drive me out of my mind. Things just started falling into place and, and I’ve just kind of noticed lots of different changes.” Jennifer seemed to sigh a little out of relief.

I could sense a bit of comfort in the air. Jennifer was comfortable with exactly where she was on her path. Awareness is abundant in society yet genuine awareness of oneself is still rare to find. I believe that Jennifer has found it and she wants to share.

“I love my church, but I’ve been judged a lot for what I stand behind. I am judged pretty hardcore at my job, and it’s really, it’s been tough. It’s amazing to me because I want to shout at them and say I’m still the same Jennifer that you guys knew beforehand! I’m just in a better place.”

“My husband was the big driver.” Jennifer sounded thankful. “He introduced me to the whole thing. He hot boxed me the first time. It was great!”

Laughter, as you could imagine, ensued. If you know then you know.

“I’m just a patient that didn’t understand at first.” She sounded as if she were admitting guilt. I was holding onto the thought that she had to understand that her simplicity to this education is probably the most beneficial style of training to any patient wanting to make the cannabis choice. “I didn’t know what was going on. I just started digging in and researching and finding scholarly articles. I recommend this. However, I am here to translate and simplify if people ask.”

“Open communication between the patient, the patient’s doctor, and cannabis experts is key.” Jennifer reminds us. “Unfortunately, those conversations aren’t open. Doctors are making radical assumptions before seeing patients as well. I witnessed a conversation between the doctor and the patient. The doctor hardly had time to look over his clipboard before demanding that the patient not ask for pain medicine, ‘because you’re not gonna get it.’ The patient was very upset at the accusation. Medical professionals need to understand that there are alternative ways and there are healthy alternative ways, and it’s not just a drug.

Jennifer has a 23-year-old son, Devin. Okay. He was diagnosed at the age of four with severe ADHD and possible borderline personality disorder. He uses cannabis. Jennifer gave a simple opinion.

“I don’t think he medicates the way he needs to. It’s tough. I’m educating and training others. I want him to pick it up and really use cannabis for his advantage. I believe that if he would concentrate on the correct strains and terpenes then it would really help him.”

Her other child is a young girl named Sophia. Jennifer describes Sophia as her “mini me” as she has mocked the process when it comes to diet and a healthy lifestyle.

“That girl will reach for a bowl of salad before candy or whatnot. Now don’t get me wrong. She’s a little sneaker. I’ve caught her, but yeah, for the most part, she’s really good.

“I was 39 when I met Alan. I’m 45 now, but my forties have been my best years.” A calm sense was lingering. Jennifer was in a good spot. “Yeah. Um, I finally just figured out how to say, screw it, I don’t care. You know? If you don’t like me, whatever, it’s not my place to care what you think, you know? I’m more concerned about my family and loved ones. I’m healthy, they’re healthy. I can walk out of this life with a smile on my face, you know?

Alan commented about Jennifer as if he were talking about himself. I could see the love he had for another human being. I noticed a slight twitch on his lips from a “near tear” situation. “She dove nose first into this and it was. Just full on. It is amazing. Six years ago. She did not smoke weed at all. She was a heavy drinker. Jennifer and her family didn’t smoke cannabis at all.

“So THCV also helps the Thyroid. Not to mention a little bit of psilocybin.” Alan supports the use of all plant medicine in order to help the body, mind, and spirit. “Those combined together help unlock your brain and reset the chemical makeup, but it has to be done in very gradual motions. You can’t just jump in and expect to be healed. Right? It does not happen.”
Both Jennifer and Alan’s story is straight out of a script made to root for the underdog. This time the underdog is still paddling upstream. However, the destination is clearly in mind for the both of them. The most important part to them is being able to educate others. They want to help others to stay off off the bench of an underdog team, and possibly win once in a while.

“Yeah. I didn’t realize I’d be more of an underdog story actually.” Alan was completely serious.

Alan was recently named the Cultivation Director for Platinum Farms in Oklahoma. “I’m spending thousands and thousands of dollars to help get a very large farm. I’m looking back, wow. I mean, this, this is coming from a kid that grew up on the streets.”

“I’m 4-years-old. We moved from Oklahoma to California.” He was reminiscing. “We lived in a small apartment for a long time and it was just me, my mother and my little brother until my stepdad came along. My stepdad was great for the first few years. Like he was always great. And then my mom got sick and it was like, as soon as my mom got sick, he got violent and just belligerent and his number one punching bag was me.” I noticed a spark in his eye.

“When I was 7 until about 14-years-old, I was abused regularly. As soon as he came home from work, I either made myself completely scarce and disappeared, or I was guaranteed to get my ass whooped for something. It didn’t really matter what. So he put me to work at his rental yard, which helped give me the skills that I have today. I was driving tractors and hooking up trailers and filling propane. By the time I was 14 or so I was already working my way to being a full-time drug dealer. My step dad actually turned me into a drug dealer. We were picking up methamphetamine on an every two week basis.”
This got my head spinning. This person in front of me seemed nothing like the DARE posters that float around to warn children of dangerous people with evil drugs in hand. This was a very intelligent, well groomed, hyper focused individual. I asked him about the drug use.

“I was. Um, so about 12 years old was my first experience with methamphetamine. I didn’t really key in on it right then. So a couple months later my buddy brought it up again and then it was on from there. So at the age of 13, I was hooked on meth and I was running 24 hours a day for up to 21 days in a row. At this point I was mentally unstable. I was pulling guns on bushes. There was a video of me chasing ‘nothing’ down the street and shooting at it. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t believe it. Told everybody they were lying. That’s not me. That video looks like me, but it can’t be me.”

“So, I just completely played denial for a long time. I went back to doing exactly what I did best, and that was selling methamphetamine and marijuana. I mean, I was sitting there with long hair and a don’t care attitude for the longest time.

From the ages of 14 to the ages of 24 Alan was homeless. “I had my home base. It was a water tank on the corner. This thing is now a train station. I used to dig a hole under the side of the building and tunnel under it, so that I had a place that was warm during the winter. My mom was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. She couldn’t get outta bed. They couldn’t figure out how to get her pain under control. She had a bag about the size of this backpack full of pill bottles. It was not good. If she had a sniffle, it was right to the pain pills. I watched my mom go from this beautiful creature to this person that I didn’t know anymore. She would never come out of the room. She would just be hibernating 24 hours a day.”
“When she did come out,” he recalled. She was on meth and she let my stepdad do whatever he wanted to do because he supplied everything. It was a situation where me and my little brother were just kind of left out to defend ourselves.”

“My little brother was taken care of a little bit better than me. I was the older one and I still remembered my real dad. My step dad even told me that because I know my real dad, he shouldn’t have to care. I was 16. That moment was the first real fist fight that we got into. He kicked my ass. Hardcore.” I believed Alan as he was speaking. The sincerity in his voice was non negotiable.

“I came back one day. I beat him down. I made it a point to do it in front of everybody.
It took me almost three years to do that. I actually learned how to fight in prison. I’m not proud of that. It was something I could have avoided.”

“I wouldn’t call it a success story,” Alan pointed out. “I survived. I conquered a ton of challenges that you think would knock someone out when they are at the bottom. All of this has been a learning experience. It wouldn’t be anything without my wife by my side.

I revealed before that Alan is now the director of cultivation for Platinum Farms. I asked him about his qualifications once more. This is a rather large task and I was curious as to who would be accomplishing it.

“My dad was a cultivator before I was born. So, I guess I’m a second generation cultivator. On August 22nd, 1986, a 400 watt high pressure sodium light that was ordered out of high times magazine. He had it delivered the same day that I was born. It was installed the same day. I was put in that room. I have been in a cultivation situation since the day I was born. I took over cultivation operations at the age of 16. I was running around when I was telling you we were doing those gorilla grows and stuff in Stockton, California. They slowly got bigger. We needed more products. It was cheaper to produce it ourselves and then take it to the street. At that time, cultivation was a life sentence. So manufacturing was a life sentence. We were doing all of this.”

“We were open blasting in California. BHO open blasting in the middle of vineyards, so that we could see if cops were headed our direction. I mean, we would all jump on dirt bikes and take off, no joke. I finally started perfecting my open blast BHO. I wanted to be one of the first people that had the dragon balls, the 3000 gram hash balls. I never made it to that point, but I was one of the first people to have the sheets.”

“I was one of the first people in 2012 to enter canna-butter into a cannabis competition. I received 17th place out of about 1,700.”

“I’ve dabbled.”

I can see clearly that both Jennifer and Alan are in a much better place in life. They are now positioned as caregivers as well as patients themselves. Both are in a very unique position to help more people than they will ever know personally. The derivative effects from the knowledge and passing down of such knowledge will last for eternity. Or as long as those out there willing to make a choice for themselves will open their hearts and minds and listen to what is now simply put in front of them. Many call this knowledge and education the answer. I tend to agree.

Cover Artist – Sean Vali

By Sean Vali

I get so hypnotized when I’m drawing or painting. everything around me can disappear in a deep State of Trance that can really place you inside of the moment. Creating for me is trying to capture a vision that’s popped into my head and attempting to translate it into a physical form. like a still photograph from a dream that blooms and unfolds in so many ways.

Some images are formed in the smallest of moments While others grow over a longer time. Of time before they make it to the physical world. That’s where it all starts for me. all the while designing and redesigning and illustrating them in my head before finally taking it to the SketchBook to get the idea pushed further.

Some pieces have deep meaning and symbolism While others are more fun and free-flowing. like taking a hike through the forest or looking at the deciphering clouds. Then there are the pieces that are just for fun. What would a deer with weed plants as antlers look like?

Cannabis has been very close to my artwork for a long time. It has a way of quieting down the hustle and bustle of the world and allows me to focus and encourage the Deep Thoughts of creativity.

Can I create art without cannabis? Absolutely! It just doesn’t sound like very much fun to me.

Follow Sean on Instagram: @seanvali



Digital edition of the AUGUST 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!

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.


Strain Of The Month – GREAT SPIRITS

By James Bridges

I am standing inside of a room and I have a metal suit on. On each side of me there are magnetized walls. That’s what it feels like and it impairs me when I’m anxious. I have a feeling of displacement and cannot begin to start doing anything that has any kind of forward motion for myself or my business until that displacement is met with some sort of normalcy. I tend to cling onto the ground when this happens.

When I say ground I mean more of a “grounded” feeling. I need to connect with something familiar. I need to have some sort of alignment before I begin.

Today I made the right choice. I chose Baby Breath. This wonderful moment of alignment within myself was cultivated for our pleasure by none other than Great Spirits. Thankfully I was able to locate some, easily, at a local dispensary, Namah Cannabis, in Shawnee.

The high THC level of 28.4% and the terpine high of 2.4% helped tremendously. What really set it off for me in the beginning was the earthy flavors. I could instantly place myself in a realm of content and creativity.

I loved the aromas. I could smell a rose coming from one side. I was now relaxed.

Baby Breath cannabis strain comes from a cross between Freedom Baby and Grateful Breath strains. Knowing what I know now, if I were interested in getting a grip on myself and slowing down for a minute or two, I would look for this strain grown by:

THC 28.4%
TERP 2.4%



Shannon Seitter worked in conjunction with “The Happy Festival” to create this month’s cover of Herbage Magazine.

Shannon began a career in art at an early age self teaching to sketch..Shannon was inspired by the junior high art teacher. Shannon watched her paint across canvas and was awestruck by her ability to bring such beauty.
Shannon began a venture into painting. While beginning small and then grew through watching and observing other artists’ use of different mediums and techniques. Shannon began to grow a personal method of art.

After Shannon’s grandmother passed away, “I buried myself in my art and began to grow and use it not to just help myself through grief but bring beauty to others who also needed it. My art has been my passion.” Shannon has always amazed Herbage Magazine. “It is a beautiful and therapeutic way to express myself and bring additional beauty to the world. I love sharing my art with everyone and enjoy when someone connects to my art as I have. Each piece I create has a personal connection to me.”

Shannon’s hope is to bring more art to Oklahoma City and connect with more people who love the process of creation.

“I love working with other artists and bringing something new to life that didn’t exist. I find my inspiration in all things in life but from a new point of view.”

shannonseitter73@gmail.com | Facebook @moedartokc | Instagram moedartokc


The Happy Festival originated when Brian Butler, Daniel Stone, and Jason Smith, along with support from their spouses Katie Forehand, Lani Stone, and Miranda Smith, came together to bring a festival to Oklahoma to celebrate and honor their dear friend Happy Patel.

Patel was popular among his friends, who called him Happy. He came to the US as a student in 2009 with his twin brother Akash Patel. He was a co-founder of the garment company What’s Happy Clothing. Patel also worked to promote events, and local clubs in Oklahoma City. This loss devastated Happy’s community. Happy hosted “Life In Color” paint parties as well as other Electronic Dance Music (EDM) shows.

Happy was friends with DJs such as, world renown, NGHTMRE. He actually managed a few of his own. He even had an iconic t-shirt and hat that read Happy. To this day, people from all over the country still wear them.

His twin brother Akash started a foundation called Happy World Foundation after Happy’s death. Happy Festival is donating $1 from every ticket transaction to this foundation.   GO HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS


The Feminine Divine

Feel This

the Holy Energy Making a Planetary Impact

By Jessi Lane
Patient Advocate

Photography by Justen Christensen

Asma (“Ess-mah”) is a Palestinian Refugee, an entrepreneur, and a military spouse. She is an advocate for holistic healing and mindful living- a fierce protector of her family, of her personal goal and of our planet. She embodies the Divine Feminine. Goop.com tells us, “The sacred feminine energy is nurturing, soft, grounded with strong boundaries, and trusting of her intuition. The sacred masculine energy is present, logical, and focused with a deep desire to protect and build.1” The synergetic union of energies allow us to embrace “all that makes us human and holy,2” according to Goop. “I believe God works and flows through energy.” Asma says. “It’s in everything around us. It’s in us.” Asma grew up in a Muslim household with Christian extended family. Everyone prays for her to “see the light,” she says. “When I was a little girl, I thought God was this enormous giant.” She motions to the empty booth seat next to her in the dimly lit coffee shop, “Now I imagine God next to me all day -that respected fear.”

Her decade-long passion project turned small-batch skincare business, Feel This, is handmade, organic, inclusive, and breaking into new territories. “If it is not of natural source, it is eliminated from our equation,” she says. Los Angeles’ Spectrum News 1 reported in June 2020 that the national cannabis industry generates 150 million tons of waste annually. Feel This aims to reduce that human carbon footprint by reducing the amount of microplastics and toxic chemicals found in skincare products.

She believes every ingredient serves a purpose and says, “we are here to give your skin cells something healthy to feed on.” This mission of clean healthy food was likely derived from Asma’s mother and her grandmother before her. “My mom cooked everything. We weren’t allowed to eat out.” With a wide grin she recounts a friendly negotiation with the local Little Caesars staff. Asma and her brothers would pay for a slice or a couple and receive a whole pie they would then scarf down with their favorite side – hot Cheetos – before they trashed the evidence and headed home for their mother’s delicately crafted meals.

Asma’s mother was a determined woman in a new country. She didn’t speak the language and had three mouths to feed. As she worked relentlessly to provide for her children, Asma kept a watchful eye over her brothers. For some time, they made a home in San Diego but eventually moved to Flint, Michigan. Once she was old enough Asma moved to be near her father who was living in Tahlequah. Her brothers soon followed behind her, but the little family struggled to protect them from themselves. Her father, an entrepreneur, graduated from Northeastern State University with his degree in Mathematics. It was an Alma Matter Asma would one day call her own. But not without experiencing immeasurable heartache along the way.

One of Asma’s brothers had gotten into trouble and hit with pot charges. Because he was a Permanent Resident in Trump’s America and he was deported to Jordan, the place of his birth. “He was on one of the first boats,” Asma powerfully recollects through tears. “My reason to grind is to bring him home,” she continues, “nothing scares me because nothing is scarier than having your baby brother deported.” While in prison Asma’s brother learned to fluently read and write in Spanish and he learned to tattoo. He has gone on to become a high profile skilled tattooer in Jordan with an extensive celebrity client list. Asma will never stop pursuing her goals in the name of her brother. The silver lining lies where, through her beloved brother, Asma met Caleb- her partner in matrimony and in business. He is her constant supporter- quiet, with a sweet knowing smile.

Asma became a mother on someone else’s mission. Pregnant with her daughter, Sophie, Asma moved to South Korea, where Caleb was stationed. A military spouse in unfamiliar territory she had developed a perinatal dermal condition. She reached out to her grandma oversees for relief. In her home growing up, when someone had a nagging cough, it was treated with a spoonful of sesame or Tahini oil. Asma recommends this home remedy to this day. For her rash Asma’s Teta recommended warm olive oil blended with sugar into a paste. Later when baby Sophie developed cradle cap, Feel This Old Fashioned Bütter was too born.

Through isolation and a longing for community Asma discovered Hearts on a Mission, a health and wellness support group of military spouses. Her friend Gia encouraged her to turn her handcrafted home remedies into a marketable product. “You have a gift,” she told Asma. The Hearts on a Mission ladies put their money where their mouths were. “They wiped me out!” she joyfully recounted. With two thousand dollars in her pocket Asma embarked on her relentless personal mission to heal the planet and our bodies, no matter who told her she couldn’t do it along the way- and they told her. “They said you won’t. I said f-ing watch me.”

Caleb and Asma moved back to Oklahoma where Asma personally shattered glass ceilings in the automotive dealership industry. She knocked the machismo out of every service department she touched by excelling in customer service, retention and upsells. Caleb too excelled as a Service Advisor. She lovingly reminisces, “He respected my boundaries as a woman in the car industry.” In November 2018, the couple obtained their OMMA patient licenses. Having lugged the hefty stash of yogurt and mason jars used in her alchemy everywhere they called home, Asma at one point bought a couple of grams of CBD isolate, “just to play around.” She began formulating with her tried and true recipes. There was no stopping her from climbing to reach her goals and continue to shatter those ceilings along her way to the top.

Asma persevered through business licensing, incessant packaging delays and interpersonal industry heartbreak. She went on to single-handedly plug her renowned Feel This product line into one hundred dispensaries. Feel These products include Asma’s famous Lipbôm – voted Oklahoma’s best cannabis lip balm in 2021 by Herbage readers – her incomparable Mineral Sünscreen and Coffee Sügar Scrub, plus Shower Stēamers, Underarm Bâr and other unique skincare food. But this road to the top has not been paved with gold and Asma has had to do some real soul searching as she pivots from the cannabis market to a boutique beauty and spa client list by removing THC from her entire line sans Lipbôm. Nearly all Feel This products are now hemp derived. While pondering the state-required packaging labels adhered to her precious metal tin reading “Women should not use marijuana or medical marijuana products during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects” and “Keep out of reach of children,” Asma began to reevaluate her target clientele. “My real clients are babies and grandmas,” she declared. I had to ask myself, “Do I want 1% of the world or 90% of Oklahoma?” With her eyes on that glass ceiling prize Asma is creating opportunity for herself using all her valuable skills.

Recently Asma and Caleb have launched a new project they call the Alpha Experience Collective offering creative one on one and group training to companies looking to transform their customer experience. Alpha Experience provides data driven results in the form of comprehensive brand strategy, interactive sales training, problem-solution strategies, recruitment and hiring, and many other customer retention and upsell points. The days of working to prove a point are behind her as Asma has written off crying over other people’s opinions.

A natural entrepreneur, Asma has many aspirations to heal the planet and its people including an animated children’s storybook character, Frank, the Alpha Experience Center, and maybe even a clothing line. She also dreams of creating a rehabilitation facility with a voluntary one year sign up that would include dorms, commissary, church and holistic, plant-based therapies because Asma is never doing anything for just her. She arrives for battle waving a banner of all the names of the people she loves and fights for. Even all of us and all the things are around us, for they too are holy energy.   FEEL THIS

Freedom Flower

By Chet Tucker

At what point did we wake up to realize that we’ve been indoctrinated into a system that curbs our natural instincts of being at one with ourselves and our provider, earth? Who decided that a truancy officer could enforce a dictated governmental (govern mental states) school systems that box our thinking and funnel our energy to learn so many irrelevant idealisms? When did we give up our individual and parental rights in exchange for what some foreign entity deems right for our minds? What form of being freely born unto a planet formed without ownership have we misinterpreted? Why does some collective bureaucracy dictate what we can and can’t do with our bodies, land, and property? Really think beyond a “that’s just the way it is” and realize that’s how programmed we are to accept the current state.

We’ve clawed back civil liberties and still haven’t won all the battles for self autonomy … but we’re getting there and just have to continue standing and speaking up. No single other person should control our individual rights. Not a single other person. If we are doing harm to another human then that’s where the line is drawn. However, to trust a collective of suits and ties to make decisions about our right to cultivate plant medicines, amongst other self liberties that I’ll not address here, is giving up our own rights. At what point were we convinced to keep pretty green lawns in exchange for spraying down some amazing and healing “flowers/ weeds” (cannabis aside) like dandelions. At what point did we wake up to realize the propaganda to spray DDT and other chemicals in the interest of our health?

So, what do we do to press forward a powerful republic of Oklahoma and put our rights above the “rulers” that say cannabis, again trying to keep it down this narrowed scope but it relates to so many other liberties, must be managed so tightly and that we allow a government to spend these tax dollars in ways that aren’t fully accounted for … only to spread their tentacles of control as if they’re doing us a favor? Whether you see it as medicinal or a basic right to a plant, it’s our right to consume as we may and without so much governmental overreach. The additional costs for tracking businesses and the rising taxes that stack up on the back end only comes out to cost the consumer/patient more. And for what benefit? The consumer then is faced with paying more for a plant than possibly their government assisted pharmaceuticals that are proving more and more to be less helpful than plant based medicinals. In addition, it creates a marketplace that’s considered as the illegal black market. Ironically, it’s more of a free market trade without all of the strings and costs attached.

I’ve passionately shared before that there is a need for regulating testing and dosage because we know that it’s important for consumers (patients) to know what they are taking. However, the tax monies earned by the state should be leveraged for honing in these test results with developing more useful and educational ways for the marketplace to thrive. THC, cannabinoids, terpenes, and how they interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) could only further illustrate the power of the plant, especially when the variety of characteristics are understood and illustrated for a better result for all. It’s not just indica, sativa, or hybrid; it’s how does this particular flower or processed flower product assist me personally?

I hope that words are read and digested to continue helping not only Oklahoma but other communities of people to demand transparency and more individual rights. A right to cultivate is a born right and we certainly don’t live in a “free” country if we are taxed to death (and sadly after too) and dictated as to what we can or can’t do with our bodies, lands, and property. The key is in our hand, not the other way around. Hanta Yo!

Could Raw Cannabis Be The New Superfood?

Written by Dr. Pepper Hernandez ND, Ph.D., CTC
Award-winning, Board Certified Holistic Health Professional

So did you know that cannabis is a superfood? I have been well aware of that starting over a decade ago when I started juicing leaves for health and wellness benefits. Cannabis is an incredibly unique plant that contains over 400 different chemical compounds. The number of vitamins, essential oils, and acids found in cannabis has leading experts calling cannabis a “dietary essential.” Cannabis is a particularly special plant in the world of nutrition because the herb contains extremely high concentrations of cannabinoid acids. Turns out, these acids are incredibly important for a human basic cell function.

Among the main cannabinoid acids so far studied are THCa and CBDa. In the process of smoking, vaping, or cooking cannabis, these acids are broken down into slightly different chemicals. Specifically, some convert them to psychoactive THC and cannabinoid CBD via metabolism. Activated THC and CBD offer their own benefits, but the one downside is that your body can only handle a limited amount of these newly activated cannabinoids. Decarbing is the process of converting these cannabinoid acids into their active form.

Raw cannabis is capable of processing extremely large amounts of THCa and CBDa without any issue. The body then converts these acids into the nutrients it requires through its own metabolism. The endocannabinoid system helps your cells communicate with each other when you consume these cannabinoids. By consuming more cannabinoid acids, chronic diseases caused by deficiencies in endocannabinoids may be prevented. Endocannabinoid deficiencies are thought to play a major role in the development of medical conditions like:

Anti-inflammatory properties
Anti-diabetic properties
Anti-ischemic properties

If you are going to start consuming leaves, grow your own, grow organic always, and learn how to choose the correct cultivar for your health and wellness needs. Start by adding leaves to your juices and smoothies. To keep the raw acids intact do not cook or heat the leaves. Eat them raw. #craftcannabis

The information in this article is provided solely for educational purposes. Research gathered from external sources has been used as a basis for the content. Before beginning any new diet or lifestyle change, check with your Cannabis Educated Physician or Cannabis Therapy Consultant.

Dr. Pepper Hernandez ND, CTC, CNHP is a Naturopathic Nutritionist, Cannabis Therapy Consultant, Founder and Education Director of the Cannabis Holistic Institute. To find out more about her private practice, educational programs, videos, and other offerings you can find her on the massive inter-webs, social platforms, or at drpepperhernandez.com.

Go forth, Go Cannabis…

The Andrew Lopez Story

By Michael Kinney

By all accounts, Andrew Lopez seems to be living the ideal life. The retired Army Staff Sgt., who spent 22 years in the military, is married with five kids and three grandchildren.

Almost nothing brings a smile to his face more than when talking about his family, except maybe his passion for lowrider cars. Especially the 1963 Impala that he has been working on for the past few years.
However, it took Lopez years of pain before he could get to the point where he could appreciate what he has. From the murder of his younger brother to having a fellow soldier die in his hands, the 47-year-old Los Angeles native has been to hell and back.

Lopez credits the discovery of medical cannabis for him being able to make his way out of the dark path he was on and into the light.

“I have been happy. Wonderful. I consider life lovely now,” said Lopez, who lives in Lawton. “I owe everything to Mr. Green. This is a miracle drug. Without, I don’t think I would be here to tell you the truth.”

Many of the issues Lopez has had to overcome began back in 2004 during his first tour of duty in Iraq. While on patrol was hit downrange with an IED (Improvised explosive device).
“It basically hurt my entire right side,” Lopez said. “I got severe nerve damage on the right side of my body. But it also messed up my back.”

Lopez was medevaced out of Iraq and taken to Landstuhl Medical Center in Germany where he underwent surgery. According to Lopez, after just three months of physical therapy and recovery, the Army sent him back to Iraq.

“I was hurt, but regardless of my injuries they still felt that I was fit to go back downrange with my back and neck injury. I was doing the same mission,” Lopez said. “I was still busted up. I wasn’t ready to go back and do much. But in the Army, they really don’t care. It’s to get the mission done first, then we’ll worry about you.”

Despite how his body felt, Lopez was sent back to Iraq to complete the final six months of his 18 month tour.

For the next few years, Lopez said he kept complaining to his superiors and doctors about his constant back pains. Their solution was to give him more pain pills and muscle relaxers.

“That was my life,” Lopez said. Pain pills and muscle relaxers and physical therapy. It was horrible because it messed my body up so much. I felt like I was always bloated. It was messing with my digestive system.”
According to Lopez, the only remedy the doctors had for him was to lower his dosages. But the pain and physical ailments continued.

In 2010 one of Lopez’s physical therapists was looking at his X-ray and noticed a mass that didn’t look right. She told him he might want to get it checked out and suggested that he might have a tumor. This was the first time anyone had mentioned it to him.

“She said this has been here for a while,” Lopez said. “She was looking at my X-rays back from 2008. I was happy that she actually spotted it. Because how many of my doctors in the military have seen this and haven’t said anything and just let it go by? All these years I keep thinking they could have found it so long ago. When you are in the military, you really can’t do anything. You can’t do anything because you are their property. That’s what gets me so mad.”

Lopez went and had an MRI done. When the test was completed, Lopez’s doctor had one question for him.

“He asked ‘how are you walking,” Lopez said. “I said excuse me. I walked in here with my cane. The doctor said no, ‘how are you walking? There is a tumor blocking all your nerves to your lower extremities. You shouldn’t be able to walk.”

Lopez said they scheduled him for an operation the very next week. But that week turned into years due to a difference of opinions between several physicians.
According to Lopez, the cancer specialist said he thought it was just a fatty mass and wanted to just keep an eye on it.

The cancer center in Lawton suggested radiation as a treatment. However, the doctors at the cancer center in Oklahoma City told them not to do radiation because it’s too dangerous and too close to his nerves.

“There was too much running through my head,” Lopez said. “I got doctors from over there, over there, these guys, those guys. I’m like you guys are killing me. What do I do?”

Lopez did his research and decided against the radiation treatment. He felt compelled to follow the advice of his primary cancer doctor who said it was just a fatty mass and just wanted to keep an eye on it.

However, in 2016, the mass had gotten so huge it was blocking his nerves. So, a decision was made to have surgery and remove it.

“They didn’t know it was cancerous until it got too big,” Lopez said. “All they could do was scrape out the tumor. It was too late to cut it out. From them scraping it out, they damaged even more of my nerves. I couldn’t feel my legs when I woke up. I was just devastated. I thought I was paralyzed.”
Even though the cancer had been removed, that didn’t mean an end to the medication Lopez was on. He had to continue taking a variety of different pills such as Oxycodone and OxyContin.
“It was enough to knock out a horse and they wanted me to take it every four hours,” Lopez said. “You basically could call me a zombie. I couldn’t live like that.”

In January of 2021, Lopez was at his breaking point. The years of constant pain and the medication had pushed the veteran to the brink until he did the unthinkable.

“It just got too much for me. I was just (at home) laying in bed and I couldn’t do nothing,” Lopez said. “The pain got too much for me. It got way too much for me. I ended up trying to kill myself. I said I’m done with this.”

Lopez didn’t go into detail on exactly how he tried to take his life, but he didn’t succeed and ended up being sent to a hospital in Texas, which he said made him even worse.

Lopez soon came back home and was still in the same situation he was before the attempted suicide. With nothing else to lose he decided to take his health and well-being into his own hands.
“It ended up just being me having to see reality on my own,” Lopez said. “I don’t know how to explain it. It’s just like I have seen the world through my other eyes. I think I had suffered just about everything. I’ve been through so much. My wife said I was like a cat, but with only two lives left.”

Lopez had heard medical cannabis was an option to help ease the pain. So he asked his pain management doctor if he would help him apply for his medical cannabis card. However, because the federal government still sees marijuana as an illegal drug, that goes the same for military installations. So, his doctor could only tell him no and that he doesn’t support cannabis.

Lopez didn’t let that stop him and found a more understanding physician who was not associated with the military, and he was able to get his card early in 2021. He said he didn’t care if the Army allowed it or not, he was tired of being helpless.

Lopez has been under the surgical knife 16 different times during his 22 years in the military. But he said medical cannabis is the only thing that has eased his pain.

“When I first tried, I felt the pain relief,” Lopez said. “‘I don’t need a wheelchair, I don’t need a cane. I walk fine. I am really glad I got rid of all the pills. Those man-made pills. They weren’t helping me at all. All they were ding to me is clogging up my stomach.”

Anthony Rodriguez, who runs the dispensary Nice Dreamz Collective in Lawton, has seen what a vast transformation Lopez has taken.

While Lopez is grateful he found cannabis when he did, he still feels anger that it has taken as long as it has for it to become available. When he looks back at his mother who had to deal with seizures her entire life, tears begin to stream down his face.

“This should have been legal a long time ago. My mom could have used this years ago,” Lopez said. “She is epileptic. My mom could have used this when she was young. You look at my mom now and her hands are all burned because she had a seizure when she was cooking and her hands fell in the oil. Now her hands are just all torn up. Her face is jacked up because she had a fall during another seizure. But this was illegal. She has suffered through so much when they could have just made something with this and” they could have given it to her. It is just so upsetting.”

Lopez now looks at his life and how he was living before cannabis and he can hardly believe how much he has changed. He says if he hadn’t found it in time, he knows he would have tried to take his life again and would have succeeded.

But that does not seem to be a worry anymore.

“It mellows me out. I see how it connects me more with my family. I really have a short fuse, but ever since I have been on cannabis, it has brought me a lot closer with my family,” Lopez said. “My kids see it a lot. I have been able to communicate a lot better with my kids than I used to. I am able to communicate better with my wife. Our relationship has gotten a lot stronger. It’s made me a better man. I wasn’t like this before. Ever since last year, when I tried to take my life, it has transformed me into a better man.”

Heartland Farms

Where Does It End

By James Bridges

Photography by Justen Christensen

If I were to get involved in a sporty game of “who would you rather” and the topic was: Who would you rather ride for two hours in a car with? I know my answer.

The rules are simple. No tunes and the conversation will be packed full of amazing attempts at philosophical exchange between two very unqualified thought provokers. I would definitely choose to travel with my friend and photographer Justen Christensen. However, little did I know… my ride along partner was, by chance, somewhat of a fanboy of the powerful Oklahoma original, and dominating nationwide company, Heartland Cannabis.

30 years ago Pat Dickey and Chris Elias made a pact. The pact was silent, but still they knew. They would be friends for life. Still to this day…they can look at one another in the eyes and trust in the sanctity of that relationship. Both can be extremely proud of a powerhouse company making waves in the cannabis industry.

As Justen and I approached the doors to one of the two facilities run by the operation, I couldn’t stop thinking about the Gelato. “Gelato 33 or something. You would not believe it. I love it man” Justen’s words were looping inside of my head. I just wanted to taste it.

We were both greeted at the door by Pat and Chris and some visitors from out of state. We instantly connected as they were visiting from an area that was literally blocks from where I had once lived. I collected a definite sense of a wholesome family and friends oriented company. There was this warmth about it. Like walking inside on a cold day into a warm room. Yet, it was hot outside that day. Still, I felt it.

They asked us to follow them down the hall as we opened the discussion with casual pleasantries. I was waiting for a break in the nearly silent noise that was surrounding us as we made it down a hall with tiled floors. Thankfully I heard a voice.

“Who’s the deadhead?” My trusty photographer saves the moment with his never ending eclectic knowledge of things most consider quite intellectual and intriguing.

“Been at every show for the past 5 years bro,” both Pat and Chris were smiling as if we had turned a page. Discussions of past encounters with the musings of greats such as Dead & Company along with many others were being reminisced from the newly found friends of the same tune. We walked further down the long hall toward more doorways.

Pat smiled as he looked back at me. He had to have noticed the look on my face as I understood the enormity of the warehouse. I’m wondering how many of our readers have been inside of a 19,000 sqft warehouse. What I am more curious about is how many of our readers have, “legally”, been inside of a warehouse that large with 6,720 sqft of actual flower canopy. It makes for a nice afternoon.

We were fortunate enough to see the moms during the 18 hours of lights on before the 6 of sleep while doing their best not to allow the forces of nature to blossom their flowers of healing.
24 total strains are currently selected through a process that is often overlooked and uncalculated by many cultivators and business owners alike. Pat presented it to me as something very serious. You go into the situation knowing that 3 out of 5 usually won’t hit.

Chris talked about the hand trimming and presentation of the flower. The importance of every step as a whole. He noted that his trim managers go through and make sure there are no seeds or stems throughout the product. “Pure nug,” Chris said with a cheshire cat grin. I couldn’t help but make the correlation as he held out a cleverly crafted Heartland Farms branded burlap/plastic bag. I took a whiff.

“We already had the Gelato 33 from Denver and one from LA,” Pat was talking about whatever was inside of the package he was carrying. However, my focus drifted away from his words about the package as I noticed the unique structure, color, and overwhelming brilliant aroma coming from it. Even in this crowded room full of flowers I was captured by the most valuable player in the room that they called, Gelato 2. It was definitely unique enough to be on its own.

“Right now the traditional lime green strains like OG’s, etc… are not moving as quickly as the dark colors, and more developed strains. We kind of focus on what is different and unique, but also a little tried and true because they move a lot better.” Pat’s business mind revealed a great strategy.

It was at that moment I understood the duo’s roles. Pat was a great sales person for the company. He was extremely intelligent and a natural. He came across as someone that could possibly score very high on an IQ test as well as roll the fattest joint you ever wanted, then smoke a while for some good company.

Chris was a developer type and a cultivator. He seemed to me as the Wyatt Earp to his Doc Holliday. I sensed a foundation of sorts that they could both grab ahold of if ever any one of them felt alone in this business and in life. There was camaraderie and brotherhood which must have supported them to work with such a strong passion to keep moving forward. Not alone, but together.

We moved on through the tour of this enormous facility. I noticed the fluidity and the careful planning that must have taken place during the layout stages of the property.

Chris was very proud to show what they have been working with a crew of people that are “extremely talented.” He introduced us to fellow employees along the way, as if they were family members. Some even were!

Taylor Elias is the nephew of Chris Elias. He doesn’t necessarily love being introduced in that way. However, it’s not for the loss of love for his proud uncle. Taylor runs the drying, trimming, and maintenance. The hardest part of the warehouse is the maintenance according to both Taylor and Chris. Some may disagree, however they were essentially holding the mic at the time. So…

Taylor seemed to know his job well. I was able to ask him about key performance indicators and he instantly schooled me in a course of curing I would have gladly paid tuition for. He loves working with the best team. He says it’s really not a matter of pay. He loves that they all wake up and work together to have the best day possible.

Chris glanced over with that cheshire cat grin again. “Tell him about the magic room.”

Taylor told a story about when he first started working in cannabis. He would walk by a specific room inside of the warehouse. He never went inside. He would always ask his uncle what was in the room. He thought of it as the “magic room”. He wanted to know if that was where his uncle kept all of his magic to grow everything. We all had a laugh.

Taylor said he knew there wasn’t magic. The room is a product storage room now. I wouldn’t necessarily agree with him. After he left the room Chris nearly teared up. It was a character trait I hope Chris never loses touch with.

“We finally have our license, you know? There’s no more gray area.” Chris’s passion peaked a bit. “We have legitimate bank accounts. We pay all of our taxes. It’s very hard whenever you’re running into thousands of dollars in cash and attempting to track everything. It’s been a long journey. In many ways it’s been surreal.”

While listening to Chris answer my question of whether he missed the “grind”, I received a glimpse of what a natural entrepreneur looked and sounded like. He explained how he loved the blossoming of a business. He loves to plant a seed, get everything ready to be on a growth pattern of perpetuity, and watch the benefits that it has for all of those that touch it. It is rather poetic in my point of view.

“Sometimes I am so excited.” Pat seemed a little reluctant. “I’m so eager to tell people that I’m one of the owners of Heartland Farms, you know? I want to. However, often, I just say that I work here. It provides me, you know, with more real information. Honest opinions are easier to get good feedback when someone is talking to an employee rather than an owner.”

I sensed a moment of retrospect within Pat. “Our first grow was over by the Drillers stadium in Tulsa. We had two, 600 watt, HPS lights in the garage. This is like 18 or 19 years ago. We were so freaking excited about our first quarter pound of weed. Every year it just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger you know?” Pat seemed to be reaching the point of awareness only privileged business owners achieve. “We went to Durango, Colorado and started doing a lot of outdoor cultivation. Our first green houses were very small, the second one was a lot bigger, and then the third one was huge. After that we went out to California to start commercial indoor growing . It’s funny to watch the evolution of this beast we developed and it’s been pretty sweet man.”

I couldn’t help but wonder if the two were where they wanted to be. Where was the finish line? Did it exist? Pat told me quite frankly, “We’re just going to keep producing exceptional medical cannabis to the best of our abilities. I don’t think we will be stepping back anytime soon. I’m still young. We both have a lot of years left to kick some ass. So I will see you in about 30-40 years. Then we’ll let you know.”

The Chronisseur – Essential Flowers

Words by Pamela Jayne
Review by Hopper
Photo by Ron Eberhart

And we’re back! I want to start by giving a huge shout out to everyone I saw and smoked with on 4/20 at The Brickhouse block party. It was a perfect day, with nothing but good vibes and great, likeminded people at a chill event celebrating this beautiful plant that has brought us all together. I can’t wait to be back at The Brickhouse on June 2nd for the Underground Alliance Tour presented by RX3 and Herbage Magazine, featuring King Klick, Blaze Ya Dead Homie, and Stacc Styles. This show is gonna be sick and the smoke will for sure be thick, so you do not want to miss it. Now let’s load up this DGAF bong gifted to me by the homie Chucky Chuck and get started…

Cookie Mac by Essential Flowers

Visually, it’s an impressively chunky, resinous, good sized nug. It’s incredibly dense and heavy, and has solid structure. The color is a paler shade of green due to the large amount of resinous trichromes, and it has extra-long orange pistils weaved throughout the knotty, swollen calyxes. It’s a looker, for sure, and it also smells amazing. I can’t wait to get this in my lungs and see what it has to offer. So it has a pretty heavy, substantial hit and cough that produces an instant head change. Do a big hit or two and you’ll be immediately relaxed, and able to forget about the stresses and frustrations of the day and get some clarity and motivation. The last time I smoked this, I went to pick up Ron at the airport. I rolled a fatty and we had a nice, productive ride back to my place while we took some phone calls and had a little RX3 mobile meeting sesh. I’d say this is a great strain for the working stoner. Even though Cookie Mac is a strain that tends to be more cerebral, it does also have some physical benefits. Shoulders relax and tension melts away, and you’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits of medicating, and still get shit done. Don’t get me wrong, you’re gonna have a chill, stony time with the Cookie Mac. It’s great for helping you laugh and see things in a positive light. You’re just not gonna get glued to the couch wondering why you can hear your hair growing. I think this is a great strain for both newer and more experienced patients, just adjust your dose accordingly.

Collision Kush by Essential Flowers

Up next is the Collision Kush (Triangle Kush x Kush Mints), also from Essential Flowers in Shawnee. I could wrap this one up right now in just three words- Damn near perfection. I mean, it’s just an absolutely stunning bud. Hats off to the grower. You can see the love and knowledge that was put into growing this. The super swole bud has phenomenal structure with very tight calyx formations. I can’t believe it’s even more dense than the Cookie Mac! The coloring is art. It has so many different shades of green ranging from emerald to olive to lime, and there are a few dark purple leaves in there too. It’s draped with these thick, burnt orange pistils and coated in trichromes that give it a really pretty sheen. And wow, it smells soooo good. The terps are LOUD LOUD LOUD. I get major notes of limonene with undertones of that traditional skunky/poopy kush aroma. The first hit expands the lungs just the way I like, and the second hit really opens you up. This is another strain I’d recommend for basically anyone. It gives you that classic, on the couch type of relaxation, so if that’s what you’re looking for, get the snacks ready and enjoy the munchies, and have a laid back night. You’re going to be introspective and talkative, in a positive way. It also opens up the mind and encourages creativity and long conversations. It really is more of that stereotypical high, which I personally love. I really can’t say enough good things about the Collision Kush. You’ve really got to get down to Essential Flowers and try it. I’m actually gonna head there myself soon to see what else they have to offer, because judging by these two selections, their shelf is pure fire.

That’s it for this month, check back in June to see what Oklahoma is gonna be smokin’ on this summer, and follow me on Instagram @hopper448 and let me know what you’re putting in your lungs. Peace!

Compliance In A Country Of Cannabis

Country Cannabis

By Michael Kinney
When Donnie Pyatt was asked to describe Country Cannabis, some of the first words he uttered were ‘veteran-owned’. As the Chief Compliance Officer of the Oklahoma-based dispensary, he could have used a myriad of different phrases, but that seemed to be the one that was most important to him.

It’s not just because Pyatt spent 23 years in the military himself. Or that his brother, Clint Pyatt, who founded the company was in the Marine Corps for six years as well.
“We come from a military lineage. Our dad was in the army and was drafted to Vietnam,” Donnie Pyatt said. “Both his brothers got drafted. My son is 18 and about to leave for the Marines Corps boot camp after he graduates high school.”

So, when Pyatt says Country Cannabis is ‘veteran-owned and also trying to help veterans out,’ it’s not just some words stuck on a company bumper sticker. It’s something they mean.
In the four years Country Cannabis has been in existence, they have strived to give to the military community. That includes providing a discount for military (retired or active) personnel.
Pyatt knows the physical, emotional and mental toils of being in the military and knows cannabis is an option that many veterans are starting to explore more and more.

“Every veteran deals with their demons the best that they can. All veterans will have demons. There is no doubt about that. For good or worse, if you become a veteran and get out of the service, you are a changed person,” Pyatt said. “How you deal with that is completely independent upon each veteran. I can’t say that a veteran is handling it wrong or handling it right because I had to deal with my own. If medical marijuana, or even if it goes recreational, if they have PTSD and they have demons, or they have things they can not forget, and if medical or recreational marijuana helps them, then more power to them.”

As a former member of the Tulsa Police Department, Pyatt has seen firsthand the alternative of not getting the help that is needed to battle those demons. That is a road that can lead to addiction to drugs that can destroy lives.

“I have seen so many lives shredded and torn apart by hard narcotics, oxycontin, prescription meds, Heroin is a huge one,” Pyatt said. “Those are nasty drugs to get addicted to. That’s why a lot of people are on heroin. People I have made arrests on and talked to, I would ask them why they are messing with heroin, it’s horrible. They are like, “well, I got hooked on OxyContin and I can’t get any more Oxycontin. It was just easier to buy Heroin on the streets.’ It’s a nasty drug to get addicted to.”

Part of stopping the surge toward opioids and other drugs means helping change the perception of marijuana in the medical field.

“Cannabis is not seen very well in the medical field as helping. There are still a lot of people who say it doesn’t help,” Pyatt said. “That is just not the case. We have patients who come up and they will tell us straight out they had a problem until they got their card and took our product. ‘I had nothing else to turn to. Now I do.’ It’s kind of like the giving back is being able to do something that is not a hard drug. I know from personal experience, from my wife’s family members, who could have had a better quality of life before he passed if was able to have medical marijuana.”

The Country Cannabis motto of giving back extends beyond the military as well. The very first Country Cannabis dispensary in Oklahoma was opened up in Wilburton, which is in the Southeast corner of the state. Built on the backs of the coal and gas industry, it now has a population of under 2,500 people and is declining.

It doesn’t seem like a prime spot to introduce a business. But that is not the way XX Pyatt saw it.

Photo by Justen Christensen

“My brother, when he came into Oklahoma, he started in Wilburton Oklahoma. My grandparents are from there, my parents still live in that area. Our bloodlines run deep in that county,” Donnie Pyatt said. “That is not an area that is usually hit with a lot of industry. He could have picked Tulsa right away. But his thinking was, if we go in there and do this, maybe we can help out the area and give some jobs to people. Maybe I can kick start the growth of Wilburton again and make it to where it’s not a dwindling little ghost town like so many other small towns in Oklahoma seem to be doing.”

Pyatt has only been with Country Cannabis for four months. He previously had been a member of the Tulsa Police Department for close to seven years until his brother was able to convince him to take a job with the company.

It was not an easy decision for Pyatt to leave the police department for a career in an industry he knew almost nothing about.

“The TPD, we have had our times when we have been in the news for stuff, but it is a huge family,” Pyatt said. “You make so many good relationships and they are just like your family members. It was a tough decision because it was like leaving one family to go work with my blood family.”

In that time Pyatt has had a crash course on the industry. He is having to learn the ins and out of not just the company, but also a growing industry that is still trying to figure out which way it’s heading.

“Wading through all the rules and compliance. Not just Oklahoma. We also have processors in Colorado, we’re getting into California, South Dakota, Florida is coming up, New York. Just reading all the rules and regulations for each state is definitely a challenge. It is exactly what I thought it would be. I knew I would be dealing with people who have been in the game for a while. I am new to it. I knew it would be very challenging to try and catch up and I’m not even close to catching up to everyone else’s knowledge in other companies or just my brother.”
Yet, the challenge of learning the industry is just one of the elements that excites Pyatt about his new position.

“What’s really exciting about coming to work for my brother at Country Cannabis is him opening up in other states. He puts the business in other states,” Pyatt said. “It’s just to see the company grow. That is what’s exciting. Like Kansas. It’s not legal there yet, but if I was a betting man, I would say it will be by next year.”

But no matter where a Country Cannabis store is located now and opens up in the future, Pyatt said they will still have the same foundation they started with.

“We’re not a bunch of people who just got together and said, ‘Oh, we’re going to make this company in Oklahoma and we’re just a bunch of outsiders and we’re just trying to do it to make money.’ I would like for people to know that Country Cannabis, born and raised, native Oklahomans, and we’re not out to just sell a product to get rich or to make money off of it,” Pyatt said. “That’s not the goal. The goal is to provide a product that people can take for medical issues. And that it’s just good people trying to do good things with it.”

Thank You All for helping honor the men and women who protect our freedom.

Rob & Sons Cannabis Company, 201 W 9th St, Shawnee, OK 74801
MJ’s Apothecary, 2311 E 12th Pl Tulsa, OK
Affordable Medical Cannabis, 1805 E Steve Owens Blvd Miami, OK
MedVets, 8 South Mill Street, Pryor, Oklahoma
Seed Cannabis 623 S Peoria Tulsa, OK
Seed Cannabis 4209 S Sheridan Tulsa, OK
Seed Cannabis 1430 E 71st St Tulsa, OK
Clover patch Mannford 36545 hwy Ok.51 Mannford, OK
Clover patch Stillwater 524 w 6th Ave . Stillwater, OK
Clover patch Cleveland 706 w Caddo Cleveland, OK
Clover patch Tulsa 3232 E 15th Tulsa, OK
VannCo Dispensary 2315 W. Edison St. Tulsa, OK 74127

The House Bills of 2022

Change on the Horizon of the Oklahoma Cannabis Industry Landscape

By Jessi Lane

The Oklahoma cannabis industry is preparing to buckle down in light of the May 26 roll out of METRC, Oklahoma’s contracted seed-to-sale and tagging system, as well as the introduction of several new House Bills designed to tighten up our Medical Marijuana program. As Legislature shifts their gaze to marijuana licensing and commercial grow reporting and closes in on retail counter flower engagement, cannabis industry professionals and patients alike question how these changes will affect them directly. 

All state laws originate as bills. On average, roughly 2,500 to 3,000 bills are introduced each session (Farmer 2022). The sessions are held the first Monday in February through the last Friday in May, allowing legislative committees four weeks to consider new bills. Once a bill passes House and Senate, either in its original or amended form, it is known to be “enrolled.” The bill then goes to the Governor and becomes a law once signed (Gerrish 2022). However, only about 20 percent of legislative proposals become law. “When a bill reaches the governor’s desk, he has three options. He can sign it, making it law. He can veto it, sending it back to the Legislature. Or he can leave it lay. During the legislative session, if he leaves it lay for five days, it becomes law without his signature” (Farmer 2022).

There are a number of House Bills regarding medical marijuana at play this session. While the OMMA catches up on their backlog of pending license reviews, inspections, and investigations, House Bill 3208 places a 2-year halt on any new (non-renewal) dispensary, processing, and commercial grow business licenses to begin August 1, 2022. Upon completion, OMMA’s Executive Director, Adria Berry, may lift this moratorium. 

HB 4056 creates a marijuana testing laboratory license category through OMMA. This bill also lays out who can and cannot operate the contracted lab and the ways in which OMMA may oversee said lab. A proposed substitute for HB 2179 suggests a tiered licensing commercial grow fee, determined by the size of the grow. The big guys and the little guys would no longer be required to pay the same fee. HB 4055 requires commercial growers to report their utilities and allow for data tracking. HB 3530 focuses on state tax revenue for the purposes of inspections. This bill allots five million dollars annually from state marijuana sales taxes to fund a county sheriff’s office grant to implement annual cannabis business inspections by the county Sherriff’s Department. 

Another bill to sweep the House floor on Lincoln Boulevard with 8 yeas and 0 nays is HB 4287. This bill – drafted by District 98 Representative Dean Davis (R) of Broken Arrow, who is a member of the House Committee on Alcohol, Tobacco, and Controlled Substances for the State of Oklahoma – is known as the Flower and Pre-Packaging Act. It directs processors and commercial growers to sell cannabis flower, trim, shake, kief, or other flower-based product not defined as a concentrate to retail dispensaries in prepackaged containers no less than 3.5 grams and no more than one ounce. Engaging with the flower, known as “deli style sales,” is prohibited under the Flower and Pre-packaging Act, however, the packaging -usually drams and mylar bags- is no longer required to be opaque as long as it meets all other state requirements and is in an opaque exit bag, per proposed HB 3019. State compliant allocated smell jars at the retail counter will be allowed (Legiscan 2022). 

Considering the nature of open container engagement at the retail counter paired with the current health crisis, and by citing preservation of the public peace, health or safety, the Flower and Pre-Packaging Act has been moved to Emergency status. The emergency clause is a provision that allows the bill to become effective immediately upon the signature of the Governor or at a specified date (Oklahoma Policy Institute 2022) and will “take effect and be in full force from and after its passage and approval” (Legiscan 2022). As introduced, HB4287 states that upon approval this act shall become effective November 1, 2022 (Legiscan 2022). Representative Scott Fetgatter tells Oklahoma City’s KFOR, “if all goes to the Republican’s plan, the earliest these policies would be put into action would be sometime in June” (2022). Until then, Oklahoma medical marijuana patients and industry professionals will stay tuned.

Dr. Carl Hart

A Scientist on a Mission to Spread Knowledge in Support of Health and Happiness of Drug Users

by Jessi Lane, Patient Advocate

Jessi Lane, Patient Advocate is a writer and Oklahoma cannabis industry professional since 2018. She is a Certified Cannacian III and Trichome Institute Certified Cannabis Consultant with a “full spectrum” Postpartum Wellness background.

“Whether we like it or not, recreational drugs are part of our society, and it should be our mission to use this knowledge in support of the health and happiness of drug users. Clearly, part of this mission is to try to keep them safe, not push them into the shadows and force them to risk their lives when there are better alternatives,” (p. 83) says Dr. Carl Hart (2022) in his latest book, Drug Use for Grown-Ups: Chasing Liberty in the Land of Fear.

Carl L. Hart, PhD, is a neuroscientist and psychologist studying the behavioral and neuropharmacological effects of psychoactive drugs in humans. Dr. Hart is the Ziff Professor of Psychology in the departments of Psychology and Psychiatry at Columbia University and is one of the first tenured African American Professors of Science at an Ivy League institution of higher learning. Hart is a member of the National Advisory Council of Drug Abuse and a board member of the Drug Policy Alliance. He has published a wide variety of scientific literature focusing on dependence, drug-taking behaviors, drug self-administration and the cognitive effects of drug use and has testified before the U.S. Congress serving as an expert witness on the effects of psychoactive drugs (American Psychological Association [APA], 2022). “I see the job of the scientist, in part, as helping to correct the blunders of politicians and journalists. It’s one of the reasons that I became a scientist” (Hart, 2022, p. 107), he says. 

It may be true that Dr. Hart is a renowned scientist and an educator. But first and foremost, he is an activist. He is committed to our nation’s citizens who are “tired of watching their tax dollars fund unethical people and corporations” (Dr Carl Hart, n.d.). Dr. Hart has shared that this ultimately perpetuates social inequality and does not lead to effective drug policy. “The privileges afforded to some are acquired at the expense of others” (Hart, 2022, pg. 26), he reminds us. In fact, a 2020 report released by the American Civil Liberties Union showed Black people are 4.2 times more likely than white people to be arrested for marijuana possession in Oklahoma, despite comparable national marijuana usage rates. Oklahoma also ranks thirteenth in the nation for the largest racial disparities in marijuana possession arrests (ACLU 2020). “This characteristically American pattern of cognitive flexibility on drug policy, with harsh penalties for some and sympathetic treatment for others, has a long history” (Hart, 2022, p. 25), he says. This issue of racial bias expands nations. “I have also observed that the enforcement of drug laws, regardless of the country, is frequently carried out in a selective manner. Individuals from despised and marginalized groups are disproportionately targeted, arrested, and imprisoned for drug-law violations, even though recreational drug use is common in every strata of society” (Hart, 2022, p.251).

Dr. Hart believes the US government should not infringe on certain unalienable rights of its citizens as described by the Declaration of Independence, of which he is inspired. Among these are the rights to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. He feels this document declares governments are created to secure these rights, not to restrict them. “Why is it that guns can be legally purchased but heroin cannot?” (Hart, 2022, p. 54) he asks. “Why is alcohol legal, whereas heroin is banned?” (Hart, 2022, p. 55) Dr. Hart has stated that adults should be permitted the legal right to sell, purchase, and use recreational drugs of their choice, just as they have the rights to engage in consensual sexual behaviors, drive automobiles, and purchase and use guns.If there isn’t vigorous and continuous resistance to governmental intrusions on freedom, the rights guaranteed by our noble founding documents will be steadily eroded. I remind[ed] my students that it is their responsibility to fight each day for these rights. If they don’t, we will lose them” (Hart, 2022, p. 38).

Psychology Group. (Nov. 9, 2016)
Photo by Bruce Gilbert

With his expertise in pharmacology and all the pomp and circumstance that accompanies a man of his stature having been published extensively on the topic of drugs, Dr. Hart (2022) relays to us in the simplest of terms and with certainty, “there is no drug that produces addiction after only one use” (p. 94). In his thirty-year career, Hart (2022) says he has “discovered that most drug-use scenarios cause little or no harm and that some responsible drug-use scenarios are actually beneficial for human health and functioning. Even recreational drugs can and do improve day-to-day living” (p. 9). Furthermore, he tells us, “There are virtually no data on humans indicating that responsible recreational drug use causes brain abnormalities in otherwise healthy individuals” (Hart, 2022, p. 96). To account for the relatively small percentage of individuals who do become addicted, Dr. Hart has found co-occurring psychiatric disorders account for a substantial proportion of these addictions. “We need to cut the bullshit,” he says, “and stop pretending drugs inevitably – and only – lead to undesired outcomes” (Hart, 2022, p. 62).

Any old-timer will tell ya, marijuana available today is ten times more potent than the marijuana of the 1960s. This political regurgitation implies “the weed of the 1960s might have been relatively harmless, but the current stuff is dangerous. Well, that’s an oversimplification,” (pp. 73-74) says Dr. Hart (2022). He firmly believes, decade after decade the public has been deceived regarding the real effects of cannabis. He tells us, “A stream of blatant lies has been promulgated to justify marijuana prohibition” (Hart, 2022, p.164). He goes on to say, “Too many people now have marijuana-use experiences that conflict with the cannabis gaslighting engaged in by public officials” (Hart, 2022, p. 164). According to DEA.gov, Marijuana is a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act, meaning that it has a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision (Drug Enforcement Agency 2020). However, the March 3, 2022 OMMA licensing report shows 381,974 Oklahomans have received their license to consume cannabis for medical reasons (Oklahoma 2022). Dr. Hart’s (2022) extensive research can also argue “to say marijuana is a gateway to harder drugs is baseless: correlation, a mere link between factors, does not mean that one factor is the cause of another” (p. 8) 

While cannabis may not be his primary drug of choice, Dr. Hart himself is a respected, successful drug user and is now, after many years, willing to share his firsthand experiences. “My conscience will no longer allow me to remain silent about my drug use, nor can I remain silent about the absurdity of punishing people for what they put into their own bodies” (Hart, 2022, p. 252). He goes on to say that, with his extensive studies, if he did not come out, he’d be a hypocrite and a coward (Hart, 2022, p. 252). “I should know because I had been living as such for many years, I refuse to do so any longer” (Hart, 2022, p. 252). He recommends that respectable middle-class drug users also stop concealing their use. In doing so it would help to thwart the generalization that all drug users are troubled, irresponsible members of society. Dr. Hart and his spouse, Robin, are in favor of whatever makes one a better person and makes the world a better place for all. “I am simply pointing out that we have found, at least from our perspective, what works for us, in line with who we are and with who we are striving to become- more compassionate and humane people” (Hart, 2022, pp. 116-117). 

Dr. Hart understands the immense importance of his position as Guide, if you will, when wistfully reflecting on Gil Scott-Heron’s 2010 song, I’m New Here– “It’s just that the song forces me to think about my responsibility regarding showing others around; to provide drug users with a few important lessons to facilitate their health and happiness. If I had to boil them down to a few tips, they would involve these four topics; dose, route of administration, set, and setting” (Hart, 2022, p. 73). In Drug Use for Grown Ups, Hart provides detailed strategies that a responsible adult drug user can employ to enhance positive drug effects, while minimizing negative ones. These are the same tactics used in his government-funded research designed to keep research participants safe. “Dose is everything” (Hart, 2022, p. 74), he says. “By dose, I simply mean the amount of drug taken. This is perhaps the most crucial factor in determining the effects produced by the drug” (Hart, 2022, p. 73). He explains that generally, larger doses increase the likelihood of harmful effects- this being one of the most basic principles of pharmacology. We know that potency is the amount of drug required to produce a particular effect and have learned the smaller the amount needed to cause the response, the more potent the drug. Dr. Hart (2022) includes, “the route of administration determines the speed at which the drug reaches the brain and, therefore, the immediacy and intensity of the drug’s effects” (p. 75). The set and setting – or environment, mindset, and company – will also affect the user’s individualized results, as well as the user’s tolerance.

“It is not surprising that the highest drug-related mortality rates in the United States are found in regions, including the Appalachia and Oklahoma, with lower rates of university completion and greater economic distress” (Hart, 2022, p. 79), he says. Drug testing facilities would greatly reduce these numbers as Dr. Hart has found that a grave number of ODs are due to contamination, often with illicit Fentanyl. “Imagine if we could provide [drug safety testing services] for communities around the world and give every user the opportunity to test their drugs to ensure they are safe. Deaths from contaminated drugs would be dramatically reduced” (Hart, 2022, p. 81). In his international travels Dr. Hart (2022) has found fewer drug related deaths where drug testing services are available and believes “if our current government – or any government – were genuinely concerned about the health and safety of drug users, it would ensure that free, anonymous drug-safety testing services were widely available” (p. 250). That may be far and away for Oklahoma – and sadly too late for many of our loved ones who are drug users – however in a feat of social service in April 2021 Kevin Stitt approved Senate Bill 511, allowing drug users to exchange used hypodermic needles for clean needles without fear of retribution. 

Recently Dr. Carl Hart visited Tulsa’s own Magic City Books for an in-person author event to celebrate the paperback release of his latest book, Drug Use for Grown-Ups: Chasing Liberty in the Land of Fear. He shared Tulsa’s evening engagements with Snoop Dog and Ice Cube, who were performing up the street. “50-year-olds on stage doing hip hop. That’s gonna be interesting,” he smirked to his intimate audience. “We are competing with some aging hip hoppers.” Dr. Hart has visited Tulsa before and was among friends at Magic City Books. As a knowing audience nodded their heads in agreement he confirmed, “Oklahoma, you’ve been arresting everybody in this state.” He reiterates, “you are really one of those states that really go after your white people.” Familiar characters named in the book proudly took audience with attendees present from various Tulsa communities in almost gleeful congregation. “After reading this book, I hope you will be less likely to vilify individuals merely because they use drugs. That thinking has led to an incalculable number of deaths and an enormous amount of suffering. (Dr Carl Hart n.d.)” He goes on to say, “If the ideas expressed in this book are embraced, we can get on with the business of treating each other better and enjoying more meaningful and fulfilling lives. And isn’t that what we all want” (Dr Carl Hart n.d.)?

Today Dr. Hart resides in both New York and Geneva. “I can’t do the American thing anymore,” he told his captivated Magic City audience. “I’ve had enough of the hypocrisy.” He encourages us to go, live our lives openly and out. “There is no such thing as being completely safe. Any life worth living is not without risk. So, I would suggest you live your life as you see fit. At least you will be living” (Hart, 2022, p. 53).

Tarostrology: Taurus Season

April 20, 2022 – May 21, 2022

by Anna Ervin

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

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

Sun: identity

Moon: emotions

Ascendant: personality

Venus: love

Taurus – Two of Wands

Planning, energetic expansion

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

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


Gemini – Five of Swords

Mind games, intimidation, manipulation

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

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



Cancer – The Hermit

Solitude, enlightenment

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

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



Leo – The Tower

Structures collapsing, catastrophe

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

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


Virgo – Seven of Pentacles

Pause, reflect

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

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


Libra – Knight of Cups

Emotional awareness

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

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


Scorpio – The High Priestess

Esoteric wisdom, reaching new heights in spiritual awareness

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

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


Sagittarius – Knight of Wands

Taking action, running with ideas

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

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


Capricorn – Eight of Wands

Quick action, fast progression

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

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



Aquarius – 6 of Wands

Celebration, parading accomplishments 

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

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



Pisces – Five of Wands

Conflict in energy and ideas

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

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


Aries – The Moon

Illusion, dreamstate

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

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



Read more by @cannabanana__


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

Lessons 27 taught me

by Anna Ervin
Photography by Ginny Dorsey | The Herb Chronicles

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

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

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

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

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

Lessons 27 Taught Me

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

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

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

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

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

I love you.

It’s a Brickhouse





By Michael Kinney

Driving into downtown Shawnee, the Brickhouse is kind of hard to miss. The large, red brick building stretches into the Eastern Oklahoma sky.

From the day it opened in 1910 the Brickhouse has been a mainstay of the business district in Shawnee. Now, more than a century later it’s considered a historical landmark. But Karla Jennings, the current owner of the Brickhouse, has not only revitalized the building but has a vision for it that its founders could never have imagined.
I would love to see it just be a welcoming place for the cannabis community, and hoping that they can feel comfortable getting out and feeling like they don’t have to be hidden,” Jennings said. “It’s all about coming out and not having the negativities of drinking, but more of the celebration of life and living and feeling good and being happy. I know a lot of people depend on that for the cannabis industry to fill those things, to be able to socialize without having anxiety and without having a lot of the things that come along with that, that cannabis helps with.”
According to historical records, the Shawnee Garment Factory was founded in 1903 to supply overalls to railroad workers for both the Rock Island and Santa Fe railroads. Their original factory was located at 324 E. Main.

But after seven years of operation, the owners moved the factory to the newly constructed building downtown at 113 1/2 N. Bell.

The ground floor was rented to retail businesses while the back, the basement and two upper floors were used to manufacture various garments, including Round House Jeans, which was named for the “round house” railroad repair station. The Garment Factory and Round House Jeans operated out of the Brickhouse for the next 85 years. It wasn’t until 1995 that the business moved to another location.

Up to that point, the building had been owned by the Nuckolls, Truscott and Antosh families. It wasn’t until 2014 that Jennings and her father, Travice, purchased the Brickhouse and became the next proprietors of the historic building.
“When we bought the building, there was already a business inside of it, So we bought the businesses also,” Jennings said. “That was Brickhouse Saloon. There was also a little hamburger joint and antique store downstairs. Eventually, I took over running the restaurant but didn’t like that. We started doing the remodeling. It has been a work in progress since the day we bought it.”

The building had fallen into disrepair throughout the years, so Jennings, Travice, and her brother Colton performed a complete restoration.

“We have taken it back to as original as we can get it,” Jennings said. “That is why people are so intrigued by the building. You can see all the exposed brick now. All the tin on the ceilings and all the wood floor. All that original fun stuff you don’t get to see very often anymore.”

Jennings said her main idea when they took over was to model in some ways after City Walk, which was a multi-level club in downtown Oklahoma City. It had five different clubs.
“I always thought that would be cool if I could do something like that with a big building,” Jennings said. “I have pretty much pulled it off now. Brickhouse Saloon has been the main business part of the building. We added a dance club right off the bat called Vibes. That is on the second floor. That was the money source for years.”
Heading into 2022 The Brickhouse was home to Brickhouse Events, Brickhouse Saloon, Vibes, Brickhouse Ground Floor and a karaoke bar, which are all under the Jennings umbrella. Despite running a variety of different businesses out of the Brickhouse, Jennings wasn’t satisfied. She had wanted to open up her own dispensary ever since it became legal in Oklahoma. However, her plans kept falling through.


Herbage Magazine recently moved its headquarters and studio in as tenants inside of the building as well.
“What had happened was COVID came around. My bar business, which is where my income comes from, suffered a lot. So, I panicked and said I don’t want to open my dispensary yet because I don’t know what my money is going to be like. “

After Jennings was able to reopen her saloon and things started to get back to normal, the idea of the dispensary resurfaced. That is when Max Pecina, Jaime Roman and Anthony Alvarez of Firework LLC walked into her saloon.
“These guys, they came into the bar. They had been in town working on some other aspects of the industry,” Jennings said. “We started talking and they told me they were in the marijuana industry. I told them I had been wanting to open a dispensary for three years.”

The trio told Jennings they weren’t really looking to open a dispensary at the time. Their focus was on other places. That didn’t faze Jennings and she made them an offer they couldn’t refuse. “I said come look at my vision anyway and let me give you a tour of the building,” Jennings said. “Everyone loves to look at the building. So, we went down and I started showing them all the things I had envisioned and my thoughts and what we could do. They were overwhelmed.” Jennings’s vision and the magic of the Brickhouse itself seemed to have an effect on Pecina, Alvarez and Roman and began to have talks with Jennings over the next few months as they all got a feel for each other.
“I just explained to them I already have thousands of people that come in and out of the building,” Jennings said. “We just have got to give them a place to purchase their medicine. I told them I want to provide a place where everybody can come together. They don’t have to go out and sit in their cars. They don’t have to go to allies where they get rained on. To smoke. They don’t have to be treated like their bad.
“I told them I want to provide a place where they can come in and have a large, friendly big room where they can partake and medicate and also have a good time. A full night of entertainment.”

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.