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The Budtender Diaries – Building Trust

 

by Anna Ervin 

I think that “I don’t know” might be some of the most unappealing words you could hear come out of a budtender’s mouth. Sure, we all have to use them at times, and hopefully we follow up with a quick “but let me find out for you,” before proceeding to dig for more details… but what happens when those details aren’t readily available to us? Or we’re fed misinformation about the products we’re being asked to sell? I’m convinced that there is no greater shame than being unable to answer a question a patient has asked about the medicine they choose.  

I’ve always been naturally self-competitive, so this kind of setback has been a difficult pill for me to swallow. There have been occasions that made me want to melt into a puddle of embarrassment on the dispensary floor after a patient left without making a purchase. This has little to do with monetary loss for me. Sure, I would want the dispensary I work for to succeed, but at the end of the day the thing that gets me is knowing that I failed to make the process of shopping for medicine easy and transparent for my patients. Looking back at a time when I was just a patient, I can remember feeling pretty discouraged when the people selling me medicine weren’t able to answer my questions about where it came from, or how it was cultivated or processed. I’m now positive that they felt the same.  

I think I speak for most budtenders when I say that we want our customers to leave happy, empowered, and informed. At the end of the day, we need our patients to trust us, and the source of that trust traces back to both our own responsibility to stay informed, and our relationships with the brands that stock our shelves.  

Now, I’m not here to whine about the issues I see without proposing at least a few ideas for solutions. I don’t have the type of brain that allows me to recognize a problem without coming up with a million ways to solve it. At the same time, these are just ideas. The goal is simply to offer a new perspective. Hopefully, this is only the beginning of the conversation. So where do we start? 

Last month the focus was how cultivators and processors could better provide the resources and tools budtenders need in order to create a solid bond with dispensaries. This month, I’m turning the tables, but that doesn’t mean that both sides of the industry won’t find a little insight here.  

I’ve said this before, and I will continue to reiterate for the rest of my career, but it is a budtender’s responsibility to continuously educate themselves about industry standards, as well as the science that goes into cultivation and extraction. I know this is a daunting task for some (like me). So instead of droning on about topics I don’t fully understand (yet), today I’m offering a list of tools budtenders and dispesaries can equip themselves with in order to build a foundation of trust and transparency, furthermore empower their patients to make educated choices when shopping for medicine.  

 

Easily Accessible Lab Results 

I know this seems obvious, but hear me out. I have worked in one dispensary, so I can’t speak on how many of the others operate. However, I will say this, it is gut-wrenching how grateful my patients were that I actually had test results on a shelf behind me for literally any of the products they asked for. This shouldn’t be something patients are surprised to see, it should be something they are used to. Having lab results that are easily accessible not only provides valuable information for patients that understand those results, but it gives budtenders a tool to help them sell products they may not know as much about. 

 

Understanding Cannabinoids and Terpenes 

Buy a poster for reference, make flash cards, do whatever you need to do, but learn your cannabinoids and terpenes. Though research is sparse, and we’re only just beginning to understand the effects these components contribute, this is hands down one of the most useful tools you could utilize to help you recommend products to patients. The most important thing to remember is that the research that’s currently available is just a starting point. Cannabis affects everyone differently, so while you might begin by explaining that terpinolene can provide energy and focus for some, you would also benefit from explaining that it can invoke anxiety or even sedation in others. This level of transparency with your patients not only empowers them with useful knowledge about cannabis, but it inspires them to pay closer attention to how different components of the plant benefit their experience or overall health.  

 

Knowing the Right Questions  

Rather than getting caught off guard on the sales floor, equip yourself with the knowledge your customers may seek before the products you sell even hit the shelves. What were the cultivation methods used? Processing methods? Are the extracts full-spectrum, distillate, or some form of isolate? Were solvents used in extraction? Are the products single-sourced or did they come from a collective of licensed cannabis businesses? The list could go on. These may be a bit on the extreme end, but there’s nothing worse than being surprised by a question that indicates your customer knows what they’re talking about. Talk to your cultivators and processors. Even if you’re not entirely sure what you’re asking yet, keep asking. I promise most of the people investing their time and livelihoods into cannabis are eager to share their expertise with you– and if they’re not, you should definitely ask more questions. 

 

Building trust with our patients begins by building a foundation of trust in our cultivators, processors, employers, and ourselves. Put yourself in a patient’s shoes (this shouldn’t be difficult for most of us). Wouldn’t you want to purchase products from someone who takes the time to educate themselves and research what they’re selling? What are your thoughts? Let me know! 

 

 

The Budtender Diaries 

A monthly column which aims to shed light on important topics within the cannabis industry, and invoke positive change by inspiring empathy, awareness, and independent thinking. If you are a member of this community, you have the potential to help create an industry that benefits both patients and the makers of their medicine. If you have questions, stories, or topics you’d like to add to the conversation, please submit them to anna@herbagemag.com 

Empower through Education, by Anna Ervin

The Captain

by James Bridges

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Captain Kirk’s Edibles 

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

The Chronisseur

By Pamela Jayne 

12 years and 1300 miles ago, before dabs existed and the idea of legally growing and using cannabis in Oklahoma was inconceivable, The Chronisseur debuted in Nug Magazine, a west coast cannabis lifestyle publication. At the time, Hopper was the founder of a referral-only medical cannabis collective in his hometown, San Diego, California. That was just a small part of his now 30 year career in the cannabis industry. He has been growing since 1989, has traveled the world as tour manager of Kottonmouth Kings and created the strain Kingsblend for them, grew the cover of High Times, was a weed tech for Cannabis Culture magazine before there was such a thing as a “cannabis stylist”, and a litany of other accomplishments that fill out the stoniest resume you’ve ever seen. 

Read ‘Anandamide’ by Kevin Ferdowsian

Part strain review and part insight into the current state of cannabis affairs and lifestyle, focusing mostly on local happenings, The Chronisseur was, and is, all about the love of the plant and the lifestyle it inspires. Now that Hopper is officially an Okie, The Chronisseur has found a home here at Herbage, where he will be reviewing strains and products from across the state each month.  

A lot has happened since the last installment over a decade ago, but as much as things have changed, they have also stayed very much the same. Cannabis is still healing bodies and minds and uniting people from all walks of life, but it is not without challenges as the Oklahoma cannabis community navigates a Green Rush that has attracted national attention.  

The local industry has sadly, but not surprisingly, been infiltrated by far too many get-rich-quickers and laughably inexperienced “master growers”, and will rely on its OGs to retain credibility and avoid implosion as the mainstream comes knocking. Hopper, despite his unfuckwithable credentials, insists that he is just an old school stoner who loves weed, and is grateful to be a part of the Oklahoma cannabis community. These days he’s one third of RX3 with partners, Ron and Johnny Richter (formerly of Kottonmouth Kings). They, along with another partner, Dusty, own R3m3dy Gardens in Tecumseh, an indoor and outdoor facility that focuses on both hydroponic and organic cultivation. Hopper also produces RHO (Rosin Hash Oil) a highly potent solventless concentrate that he created while living in Humboldt County, California. After turning down a few job offers in the Oklahoma market, Hopper knew the time was right to finally make the move when he and yours truly found out they were expecting a baby…not long after his 50th birthday.  

Oklahoma has opened its arms to Hopper, and he is grateful for the warm welcome he’s received. He has been truly impressed by the cannabis community here, and loves seeing such genuine excitement in an industry that has become jaded over the years in other states. He recognizes a real culture being born here and is excited about his place in it and proud to be a part of it. Whether it’s in the garden, at the rosin press, at an event (He’ll be at The Brickhouse in Shawnee on 6/2 for the King Klick and Blaze Ya Dead Homie show), or right here at Herbage, Hopper is adamant about shining cannabis in a positive light and looks forward to connecting with others who feel the same way, so if you see him out and about, come up and say High! 

The Budtender Diaries- Empower Through Education

 

 

by Anna Ervin

“Hi there! I just read your article in the newest edition of Herbage and it really made a lot of sense! We were wondering if you might have some insight for us as a producer/cultivator on how to better reach and connect with budtenders. We have had some ideas like giving out swag, but does something like that really work? Or it is more of a personal connection that will seal the interest. Thanks a bunch, also congrats on the new column, really love your work!” 

 

Hello friends! Thank you for the feedback, I am so grateful to hear that my words were received well. I am also thankful you brought up such a great question. The relationship between cannabis brands and budtenders is a topic I’ve been eager to explore. I’ve seen many different sides of the industry, from production to sales, and finally, retail. I understand the dedication and time that it takes to cultivate medicinal cannabis, both the tenacity and psychology that go into sales and marketing, as well as the social awareness and constant industry research that fuel successful retail storefronts. 

Retail is where I’ve found myself most comfortable recently, so I don’t pretend to understand the exact sciences that go into the process of cultivating or processing cannabis products. At the same time, I wouldn’t expect the average cultivator to fully comprehend the processes of marketing or moving products off the shelf. Each field requires its own set of skills and confronts a unique combination of challenges. That’s why I wanted to start this series; to bridge the gap and invite empowering and educational conversations to take up space in the industry. 

From a budtender’s perspective, I see three essential tools that every vendor and cannabis broker can utilitze to help dispensaries move their products off the shelves… Because that’s the ultimate goal, right? The faster your products move, the sooner you’ll receive another order from inventory. I know that seems obvious, but you’d be surprised by the number of brands I hear about that reportedly believe delivering their products is the final step in solidifying a spot on the sales floor. The problem is, this method isn’t sustainable. Sooner or later, orders stop flowing in because products that lack the necessary marketing tools and information sit stagnant on dispensary shelves. 

So what are those tools, and how can they benefit vendors?

 

Budtenders Are Patients Too

First and foremost, it’s important to remember that the majority of people that make up the cannabis industry are also patients. If they aren’t, they probably have someone close to them who relies on cannabis for some sort of relief. In my opinion, this basic understanding is the key to empathizing with anyone you work with regarding cannabis. 

Get to know the people selling your medicine. I carry a lot more confidence in the products I  have been able to try firsthand. Samples are a great way to get into the dispensary, but once you are on the shelves, challenge yourself to actually sell those products to the budtenders first. If you can convince us to buy, you’re also empowering us to understand how to recommend that medicine to patients. 

 

Empower through Education

Nobody wants to be bad at their job. A budtender’s responsibility is to understand the products they are selling, and for the most part, that entails a lot of industry and market research. When I am selling products that boast words like “organic” or “full-spectrum” but neglect to elaborate on what exactly those processes look like, I am forced to rely on a broader definition of those terms. Anyone reading this with an inkling of knowledge about cultivation or extraction likely knows that organic and full-spectrum can both look like a lot of different things. 

I’m not implying that budtenders shouldn’t also actively seek out this knowledge, and the appropriate questions that we should ask vendors about their products is a topic I would love to explore further later on. The point I’m trying to drive home is that information and education go a long way on the sales floor. Give your partners in retail a reason to talk about your brand. 

 

Visual Representation

So what is the best way to get all of this information across to the sales floor? You could walk into the store and simply vocalize it, but if you’ve ever played a game of telephone as a kid you probably understand how spoken words often get lost in translation. Budtenders are often tasked with the daunting (but not impossible) task of remembering valuable information about each item they retail. In some cases, this can mean dozens of different brands or hundreds of unique products. 

I often find myself looking for visual cues that help me relay information to the customer. So, when vendors bring in infographics, product flyers, and merchandise, I’m much more likely to spend a little more time talking about their brand. When I’m trying to move items that don’t boast as much information, I will typically look online for more resources, and I’ve been disappointed at times to find that some really great brands provide very little marketing material on their website or social media. 

Visual representation is everything. Sure, swag and merchandise fall into that category, customers are more likely to ask about a brand if I’m wearing their t-shirt to work once a week, but I feel like the priority should once again lean toward the spread of information and education. 

When you go the extra mile to understand your market (budtenders making up a good chunk of that), and provide valuable tools to educate and empower the sales floor, you are ensuring dispensary staff that this is a team effort, and that you understand your responsibility to help move the product beyond the point of delivery. I hope these thoughts have been helpful and have answered your question! As always, these are just my opinions, and I certainly don’t speak for budtenders, or the industry, as a whole. If you have any questions, stories, or comments about the Budtender Diries, please submit those to anna@herbagemag.com

 

Anandamide

 

THC’s endocannabinoid counterpart

by Kevin Ferdowsian, JD

Kevin is an attorney, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and homeopathic practitioner. Kevin graduated from Duke University and OCU law, and lives with his wife Anna and two children, Ivan and Arthur.

Because cannabis sativa contains more than .3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it is classified as a schedule I – status drug by the US federal government and is subject to a host of restrictions as a controlled dangerous substance. These restrictions have severely limited broad-scale rigorous studies on THC and its therapeutic value. That’s not to say research hasn’t been done. In fact, nearly $2 billion per year is spent to determine all the harmful effects of cannabis. The conclusion of our tax dollars at work? For people over eighteen, cannabis is relatively harmless.

Easy Street Extracts, by Anna Ervin

So, we don’t have a lot of research on THC consumption in regards to therapeutic benefits. We do know some applications at this point; for PTSD, opiate addiction, and various neurological disorders to name a few. But there is growing evidence that THC and cannabinoids in general, possibly in concert (entourage effect), may have substantial therapeutic applications. These include alleviating symptoms from cancer, inflammation, blood pressure and heart rate disorders, metabolic disorders, fevers, locomotion disorders, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, colon disorders, reproductive disorders, bacterial endotoxicity, cirrhosis of the liver, sepsis, central nervous system disorders, and even aging. That is an extensive list of ailments for which THC may treat.

If federal research has not been funded, and even private research is so highly regulated, how do we know these potential applications? Basically, even though researchers are limited in their study of THC, there have been robust studies on its endocannabinoid counterpart: Anandamide. Anandamide (from the Sanskrit for “inner bliss”) is an endocannabinoid synthesized in all animals including primitive creatures, such as nematodes. It binds to the same receptor as THC (CB1R) and induces similar psychotropic effects. These compounds, though molecularly distinct, are pharmacologically similar. The list cited above is taken from recent studies on Anandamide; considering that THC mimics Anandamide and initiates the identical process, clearly future research should focus on THC as a therapeutic for many of these ailments.

As a co-owner of multiple cannabis businesses, I am interested in the advocacy of researching THC for its therapeutic value as well as its cultural acceptance. We all should be. THC, along with other cannabinoids, could open the door to accessing the endocannabinoid system, a fundamental governing system that appears to regulate the activity of every other physiological system.

THE TRUE, DARK HISTORY OF THANKSGIVING

THE TRUE, DARK HISTORY OF THANKSGIVING

By Mary Belle Zook

Provided By Citizen Potawatomi Nation Public Information

Dr. Kelli Mosteller

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plymouth and pilgrims

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

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

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

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

Disease

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Squanto (Tisquantum) and the Wampanoag

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ways to combat the false narrative

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

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

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

 

Medicated Macaroni Salad

by Anna Ervin & Dondi Cobb

You know those dishes that just taste like summer? Like one bite instantly takes you back to camping trips at the lake, or BBQ’s with your family?

If you’ve been following my recipes for a while, you’ve probably noticed that I begin the majority of my recipes with a blurb about how my mom made this for me when I was a kid, and how I’ve adapted it to fit my diet and lifestyle.

The reason I use so many of my mom’s old recipes is that through those familiar flavors, I can relive some of my favorite memories.

I think a lot of people realize that cutting animal products out of your diet is a pretty major lifestyle change. It doesn’t take long after exploring a vegan diet to realize that 90% of your favorite recipes include the ingredients you’re striving to avoid. When I first made the switch, it was the home style comfort foods that I had grown up watching my mom create that I missed the most.

I made it my goal to transform as many of those dishes as I could into something that I could enjoy with a healthy conscience. I share them today because I want people to see that eating plant-based doesn’t always have to mean sacrificing the flavors you love (unless that flavor is prime rib, I still haven’t figured that one out).

This is one of those side dishes that you could easily buy a tub of at the store, but my mom took the time to make it at home summer after summer, which just made it that much more special. We would have it during camping trips, hikes, and backyard hangouts. I honestly have very few memories from summertime during adolescence that didn’t involve this salad. We still enjoy it to this day, only now it’s in a way that the whole family can experience.

The recipe calls for regular macaroni noodles, but I highly recommend chickpea noodles for a gluten-free option. I don’t personally have an sensitivity to gluten, but I do notice that my body functions a little slower when I consume a lot of it. As with cannabis, even the most delicious things in life are sometimes better explored in moderation.

Speaking of moderation, I decided to microdose this recipe, depending on how many servings you get out of it. I added 1-2 Tbsp of cannabis-infused oil, amounting to about 75-100mg of THC in the entire dish. For an extra pop of flavor and medication, try sprinkling a little bit of Two Twisted Girls’ medicated Lemon-Lime Beer Salt over the dish.

Check out the full recipe!

Tulsa Massacre 100 Years Later

1921 – 2021; Remembering

by Veronica Castillo

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

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

The Greenwood District- Black Wall Street: Before the Massacre

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

May 31, 1921- The Massacre on Black Wall Street

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mehka King, founder of Cash Color Cannabis says:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bee Weldon, owner of Bee Kynd says:

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

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

The owners at JustinCredible say:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In Closing

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

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

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

 

Fact Check:

https://www.history.com/news/black-wall-street-tulsa-race-massacre

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/04/what-is-black-wall-street-history-of-the-community-and-its-massacre.html

https://origins.osu.edu/article/illegalization-marijuana-brief-history

Strain of the Month: May 2021

By James Bridges | Herbage Magazine

It started raining. I looked at the clock.  After cursing myself for working entirely too late and long into the next day I decided to stop.

I recalled stopping another time that week and my fresh hunt was waiting on me in the other room and I nearly forgot.

The aroma that oozed from the sac, (that’s right, I said sac), shouted old school.  No…not blunt old school. Further… Yeah, there it is.  Where are my papers?

This ground-up perfectly.  I was wondering when the bad would hit.  Rolled and….

Still waiting on that bad…

Fire makes things happy in my head.  Especially the fires at the end of my sticks.  The rain kept coming…

By the way.  I was impressed with my roll.

Wiping my eyes I walked back into my dining room for something wet.  There was a blur and I was in my happy place.  Swirling around in my house I caught glimpses of paintings and colors popping from corner to corner.  The bubbles were there.  Only a few strains do this for me and this was definitely one of them.  Pop. Pop. Pop.

I had to take a load off.  I felt as if magic were coming from my brain and I just needed a second to restore.  I found myself still asking, “When will the bad part hit?”  It never did.  I threw myself onto the chair, not like a ragdoll, but as if I were actually a rag doll.  I didn’t move and it was glorious.

That’s when I realized this strain was insanely accurate when being named

“WIZARD SHIT”

Grower: Hermetic Flower

Total THC: 23.27

Indica DOM

@hermeticflowercompany

 

Sugar with Coffee & Cream

by James Bridges | Herbage Magazine

A situation arises in a person’s life when they first venture out into the unknown.

That’s Not a Potato, by James Bridges

I was a young Okie.  I was born in some other, most likely gawd awful, state, but I was raised an Okie.  In my personal journey, I had never, truly, experienced culture other than what I grew up with.  So when I turned 19-years-old I hit the road.

I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but I had a feeling that “different” was going to be interesting.

If I were to create a perfect social experiment to see how humans can relate I would cram a bunch of 19-year-old boys from all different parts of the country into one living area for roughly 8 to 9 weeks.  Sound familiar?

From the day I landed into that “social experiment” I realized the world that I knew my entire life was far more interesting than anything I have ever dreamed.

Here was this white as can be Okie tossed into the mix with a surfer/salmon fisherman from Portland, a self-proclaimed beatbox master from Jersey, a kid that smelled like he just walked out of the swamp, a Satanist from Arkansas, a super short white dude from Brooklyn that swore he was friends with all of the Beastie Boys, then there were 6 guys in the very back where I was headed.  These guys were tall, except one.  He had to look up.

Arms folded, looking down the nose, they watched as I dropped some luggage.  I was intimidated.  They knew who I was just by looking at me.  A little scared white boy from Oklahoma. The tension in the air…

Laughter instantly broke out from all of them.  Crisis averted.  I knew this was going to be something I would always remember.  Three of my new close, (our sleeping arrangements were very tight) friends were from the west coast.  There was Long Beach, Torrance, and Covina, California.  The other three were from, that’s right, the east coast.  There was the Bronx, Brooklyn, and of course Queens.  This was in the early ’90s.  Imagine the banter/threats of murder in your sleep that flew around.  It was quite interesting.  I learned a lot.

I learned more about culture during that 9 week period more about the world than I ever learned in any school ever. I discovered a lot of things about people. Culture, fear, anger, brotherhood, and especially about myself.

Though I still have yet to discover which group was right.  West Coast or East Coast.  I’m sure that may go on as long as there are coasts to argue about.  The congregation of all of those coasts, including from the banks of the farm pond, would not have been possible in a closed-minded environment.  We must learn from one another.  It’s actually fun.

If you take away geographical devotion to a human-generated power scale structure society that we now live in, the color of one’s skin, and most of all money, the result is simple.

Human.

That’s Not a Potato

by James Bridges | Herbage Magazine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

After four or five months as outside investors, Rocky and his close partners knew they were onto something good, but felt very limited within the Brothers Grimm atmosphere. Rocky and his intuitive wife Sherli made the decision to move forward with the partners and discovered a wonderful threshold which was Seeds Here Now.

“Now we are on the premier genetics where the real deal takes place,” Rocky was excited to show the rooms. As we walked through the hall I couldn’t help but notice the attention to detail. Even the bolts in the wooden bed frames looked as if they were carefully placed. If there’s one thing that I am learning about Rocky and his crew. They are running a tight ship.

“So with this new build I wanted to know, exactly, how everything was working. Let’s say I took a hands on approach,” there’s that smile.  “I was there from the sheetrock to hanging lights. You name it partner.”

“We went through fourty or a million different variations of lighting, soil, and what have you… Everyone had an opinion. Most were different. So, I went with the old tried and true. The way I know.” Rocky seemed proud. I was reluctant to ask for the secret sauce. So I left it at that.

During Rocky’s journey he ran into someone special, Luke Dreyer. Luke quickly became the shop’s operations manager. There are people behind the scenes, but this seemed different. “Luke is like a cannabis whisperer,” Rocky laughed. I could tell he meant it.

“I work 7 days a week. I follow all of the best genetics online. I stay on top of things like OMMA compliance, and much more. My job is something I love. These plants are like my family. It’s funny because harvest day is always a happy/sad day for me. I’m sad they are all coming down, but I’m super happy to know the medicine is helping people.” Luke quickly exited the room to go to work.

“We are a small operation compared to many.” Fisher said, knowing that I know that does not matter when it comes to good medicine. He and his wife, the team, and even his daughter Jenni Leigh Fisher have all found themselves in a very unique situation. They are growing top shelf flower and are able to sell at top shelf prices. That and they are in a pre-order atmosphere. It’s hard to stay mad at anything for long with that kind of juice in my book.

Rocky expressed his extreme gratitude for his relationships he has made with whom he considers the best of the best in cannabis.

“Come over here James. I want to show you something.” Rocky pointed at the table. He explained to me the elusiveness of some of the strains and seeds in packages. “No one gets to see this kinda stuff James. But I do because of Seeds Here Now.”

Tyler Dodd Rides the Wind

by Michael Kinney

In 2020 Tyler Dodd found himself sitting face to face with boxing legend Mike Tyson in Los Angeles. At the time Tyson was training for his comeback exhibition fight against Roy Jones Jr., but was carving out time from his schedule to meet with Dodd.

Dodd, who is the CEO of Arco Bellum, was brought in to meet with the iconic boxer to pitch him on how he could help Tyson Ranch, a packaging and licensing company founded by Mike Tyson, find a home in Oklahoma.

However, there was a problem. According to Dodd, there was a mix-up and his meeting hadn’t been scheduled and the executives who run Tyson Ranch had no idea why Dodd was there. According to Dodd, the pitch he and his team had worked on for days was all but forgotten. As he put it, he was choking in what may have been the biggest moment of his business career. “My entire team put in a lot of hours on this pitch, we did a very elaborate pitch with slides and graphic designs. It was very personalized for Tyson Ranch,” Dodd said. “I just instantly choked. I didn’t know what to say, I didn’t know what to talk about.”

That is when Dodd fell back on what he knows best. He started to tell the room of his life journey and the remarkable tale of how he was not supposed to even be alive right then.

“I just started to talk about my story,” Dodd said. “That’s really all I had in my tool belt in that moment. “I’m completely aware of absolutely absurd my story is. I’ve seen it all. It’s the wildest thing you’ve ever heard. I say this no with ego, but disbelief. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard a story, fiction or non-fiction that compares to mine.”

Dodd was born and raised in and around Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Early on in life he quickly found he was
drawn to the street life.

Dodd said by the time he was 15, he had the makings of being a really talented boxer. However, he was still living the street life and everything that went along with it.

“I couldn’t really get separated from it,” Dodd said. “I ended up, like a lot of people, a causality of the opioid epidemic. It started off with prescription pain meds back when I was 15. By the time I was 21, I was completely homeless, living under bridges, shooting heroin.”

Dodd said a major turning point in his life came in 2002 when his father died of Cancer. The family was
so engrained in poverty, they didn’t have the money for his cremation.

“That is when it went downhill,” Dodd said. “I was certain I was going to die on streets.”

Dodd said starting in 2003, for almost a decade, his existence was that of a homeless man and drug addict on the streets. From Oklahoma to Florida, he was living day to day panhandling for money to get his next high.

“That was my existence,” Dodd said. “I thought I was going to die like that way.”

Then, in 2011, Dodd was sent to prison in North Carolina for obtaining narcotics by fraud. He was locked up close to a year before being let out.

During that year, Dodd said he had been clean of drugs and started seeing resemblances of his former self.

Unfortunately for Dodd, he didn’t find himself any better situation than when he went in.

“They let you out of prison and they put me on a bus right back down to Florida,” Dodd said. “I was 30 years old and going right back into that life without a choice. I didn’t have options. There weren’t any options for someone like me. That is when I realized it was next to impossible for someone who is chronically in this position to get out of it.”

Dodd decided he needed a change of scenery. He hustled up some money and bought a bus ticket to Daytona Beach from Miami. Once he got on the Greyhound, he noticed the final destination was Boston, Ma.

Instead of getting off in Daytona, he stayed in his seat and rode the Greyhound all the way up to Boston.
Yet, while his surroundings changed, Dodd’s way of life didn’t. He continued to be homeless and a heroin addict. The only difference is the winter months made his existence that much worse.

After a year of living that way, Dodd decided to take advantage of state-funded treatment programs that Massachusetts offers.

He said he went to detox for the first time. It was the first of several trips there as I tried to get clean.

Finally, in 2013, Dodd said he found some success and got sober. However, the state couldn’t find him a bed in a halfway house.

“I knew this was my last chance,” Dodd said. “I had been homeless for 10 years. I had been on life support multiple times for multiple different things. Really almost died multiple times. Major surgeries, overdoses that required life support. I just knew that if I didn’t get somewhere and like really get some help, that I was going to die.”

Not wanting to go back to living on the streets, Dodd said he brought back to life a lie he had been using when he was homeless and panhandling in San Antonio. He told officials he had been in the military.

“I ended up in a halfway house for veterans. They let me in without having to show my discharge papers,” Dodd said. “I was there for a few weeks when a guy came to speak. For whatever reason, I identified with him. I don’t what it was, I asked him to be my sponsor. That’s kind of what you do with these 12 step programs. He ended up taking me through the steps and for the first time I told him I was never in the military. I was just a junkie trying to live.”

Dodd was expecting his new sponsor to be grossed out by the revelation. He knew how serious it was to impersonate veterans.

Instead, Dodd was told he just needed to go back to the halfway house and tell the truth.

But even that seemed too much for Dodd.

“I told him I won’t tell the new lie anymore, but if I go and tell these guys, then they are going to beat me up,” Dodd said. “I will be kicked out of the house and I will be homeless again.”

The sponsor told him to pray for willingness and he did.

Three days later, it was April 11th and he still hadn’t told the residents at the halfway house about his lie when he left that morning to look for work. It just happened to be the same day of the Boston Marathon and Dodd said he found himself near the finish line when everything went crazy.

“I heard the bombs go off,” Dodd said. “It turned my stomach. I noticed a police officer standing across the street and her reaction after listening to her radio, I could tell something bad had happened.”

Dodd told the officer he had EMT basic training with an emphasis on mass causality from when he was 18. She told him to go to 800 Boylston street because “they are going to need all the help they can get.”

According to Dodd, there was just one other guy running toward the bomb site. He turned out to be an emergency room doctor and drafted Dodd to be an extra set of hands for him.

While working in the marathon’s medical tent, Dodd’s life was about to change, but he didn’t know it.

“I came across a girl and actually thought she was dying in front of me,” Dodd said. “She was white and had a tourniquet on her leg. She was terrified.”

The then 20-year-old lady was Victoria McGrath and she had been standing five feet away from where the first bomb exploded and a one-inch piece of shrapnel had been lodged into her leg.

McGrath was hysterical and thought she was going to die.

Just days earlier, Dodd had promised he would never lie and say he was a veteran again. But in order to help calm down McGrath, he told her the scar on his arm came shrapnel he had received in during military service in Afghanistan.
‘I told her I bled worse than she did and I know the tourniquet hurts. You are going to have a scar like mine, but you are going to live,” Dodd said he told her. “I felt immediately guilty for lying about being in the military again. When I was done, I went back to the halfway house kind of shook. It was a pretty crazy experience.”

It turned out McGrath was the daughter of a pair of wealthy IBM executives who had connections with the state’s democratic party.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick visited McGrath in the hospital and asked what he could do for her. The only thing she wanted was to find this war hero named Tyler who saved her life.

During his national press conference that night, Patrick asked for the veteran named Tyler to come forward and be recognized.

After speaking with his sponsor, Dodd called the number Patrick had provided the media and told them he was the one they were looking for. When the local media arrived, Dodd told them he wasn’t in the military, but he wasn’t able to tell them why he lied about it.

It wasn’t until the next night when Dodd went on a series of different TV shows that he was able to tell his story and explain how the lie came about. That included the Today Show, ABC World News and the Pierce Morgan show twice.

“He wasn’t a combat soldier in Afghanistan — he wasn’t in combat,” McGrath told NBC News . “I don’t regret it — I don’t regret him telling me that, and I hope he doesn’t either. I hope he’s proud of it.”

During Dodd’s last appearance with Pierce Morgan, Morgan told Dodd he had a feeling he would not be unemployed much longer.

Morgan was right. Dodd’s decision to run toward danger and to help others during the Boston Marathon bombing completely altered the direction of his life.

“It changed my life for sure,” an emotional Dodd said. “It’s crazy how everything happened the way it did. It’s absurd. It changed every aspect of my life. My family has been in generations of poverty since the trail of tears. Not only did it change my life, but potentially change the lives of generations in my family. It’s a heavy thought.”

Dodd went on to work at a radio station in Boston before getting an opportunity to move back to Oklahoma with his daughter where he was making $200,000 a year selling cars. He said it was impossible not to be grateful because for much of his life, he would have been grateful just to have had a car to sleep in.

Dodd went through a downturn in 2017 and said he lost his mojo and couldn’t sell cars anymore. He was on the verge of filing for bankruptcy and selling his house.

“That is when State Question 788 came up,” Dodd said. “I said there is no way this is going to pass. My family has been cultivating cannabis in Oklahoma for three generations. So I was like I know how to grow weed. And the law passed and the licenses were only $2,500 and they allowed
fucking felons to get them.”

After a slow start in the business that saw him losing most of the money from his investors, Dodd decided to gamble it all on the belief he could make it big in this new and growing industry.

Dodd got his hands on $5,000 to get 11 entries in the High Times Cannabis Cup, which was coming to Oklahoma for the first time in 2019. Dodd walked away with four awards, including Best Hybrid Flower with Emerald Wholesale.

That led to an invitation to a celebrity Madden 20 event that Snoop Dogg was hosting during Superbowl weekend. After Snoop posted a photo of the two hanging out. Dodd was solidified in the industry.

Dodd quickly went on to co-found Arca Bellum in 2020 with Zeke Newsom. Its mission is to ‘collaborate with operators throughout all the investment and fundraising stages. To understand the type of companies and we tend to work with, take a look at some of our current and past partnerships.’

Arco Bellum struck big deals with Cookies and some of the biggest names in cannabis.

That is what led Dodd to not only getting to know Tyson, but also become a business parter as Tyson Ranch expanded into Oklahoma late last year.

“With this being one of the hottest cannabis markets in the United States, it was a no-brainer to partner with Tyson Ranch to bring the best in health and wellness to the cannabis community in Oklahoma,” Dodd said. “It’s an honor to be able to partner with Mike and his team, and to help them execute their plans to expand into this new market.”

Dodd is living the dream life he never imagined was in store for him. He is hanging out with celebrities, training with the same boxing coach that trains Tyson and traveling the country in style just a few years removed from living under a bridge and not knowing where his next meal was coming from.

When he looks back on where he came from and what he has gone through, he knows it’s an amazing story.

“I’m just blown away this is my life,” Dodd said. “I never would have guessed this. Not in a million years. If would have asked me to write down everything I dream of three years, I would have sold myself short.”

But while he is making sure to enjoy the new life, Dodd said he will never forget those who have not been as fortunate. And as much as he is invested in building his brand and businesses, he is just as, if not more focused on those who are still living the life he left behind.

“With the miraculous nature of my story, it would be a slap in the face to whatever orchestrator you want to call it for me to not drag some other people out of the mud,” Dodd said. “There is a huge portion of me when I was homeless that felt I wasn’t valuable. I believe I didn’t have anything to offer. I think it’s important that there are voices that can tell these people there are so much more out there. Everybody has something they can offer.”

Earth Day: The Good I Can Do

by Tab Moura

When I think of Earth Day, I think of— well— the earth. The whole world. All at once. And wow… where do we even begin, right?

Weed Like to Talk About Dandelions, by Tab Moura

We can talk about common topics if you really wanna, like climate, and climate, and viruses, but I feel like sometimes we miss the forest for the trees when it comes to the planet. With all of its enormous planetness, we risk forgetting our neighborhoods and homes. This year I’m looking at the ways I can personally be more earth-conscious. 

 

Metal Straws – this has been so helpful for my husband and I. We prefer to use glass or metal for our drinkware. Due to our kids’ special needs, we prefer plastic straws for them, but we still buy reusable. 

Bees wrap – this one is growing on me. The wax paper is thick, but with use, it seems to continue to cling better.

Berkey – we were in a really tricky place when COVID began last year. Our tap water is not safe, so we exclusively used bottled water. When water was sold out, we had to get creative. Our Berkey truly saved the day.

Reusable grocery bags – this is just common sense at this point, besides being good for the environment, I am a big fan of how strong they are. 

Reusable water bottles – I love my reusable water bottles, there are so many kinds. Because we have 5 people under our roof, I’ve been able to get a few kinds while we each figure out what style we prefer for functionality. 

Recycling – we have found that whether we have a recycling box or not, we prefer to recycle. You can look around to find your areas’ recycling drop-off locations, or contact the city and request your own recycling bin. Recycling facilities are designed to reduce the effect of our waste on our environment, it’s estimated that the average American produces an annual amount of 2,072 lbs of trash… for obvious mathematical reasons, recycling helps us avoid a Wall-E situation.

Gardening and compost – one of the things we can do to improve the vitality of our Victory Gardens (or even the little tomato plant on your back porch) is to put food scraps from leftover produce in the soil. I’m not gonna get real technical, there are some great resources for learning more about composting. I hope you take a look!

Green medicine – we have had a cannabis industry in OK long enough for us all to acknowledge that those plastic containers begin to pile up pretty quickly. Ideas I’ve seen include: growing at home, bring used plastic containers to the dispo, or even bring a glass container to the disposal. 

Buy used clothing/ donate used clothing – I missed shopping used clothing stores last year! These stores are seriously so fun to explore. I like that they have clothing from multiple decades all in one place, and this also helps to reduce waste. 

 

What are you doing differently this Earth Day? Have recent events changed your perspective on what you can do to help reduce your own carbon footprint?

Prepared

by James Bridges | Herbage Magazine

There’s a constant battle within me between my expectations and reality.

It’s been pointed out to me several moments in my life.  It seems as if I want more than what is possible.  Even as a child.  Not in a direct way.  So subtle that everyone can hear it if they simply listen.

Strain of the Month, by James Bridges

We know it as resistance.  As a child, I knew it as, “that’s just the way it is.”

Returning from digression…

If you’ve ever been “stood-up” you will understand there is a deep gut feeling of loss and near derangement that the “stand-up” victim must process.  Most of us fail to process.  But it all comes out in the wash right?

That gut-check feeling comes from somewhere.  It’s because those expectations were never met.  Now amp that up.

More…

Keep going…

In my head I tend to see what is possible by looking at what is physically possible rather than taking into account the mental capacity of those who would be carrying out those tasks.

For example as a child I looked at money in chunks.  I could not for the life of me understand how my parents struggled. I would compute the math in my head.  It was simple moving parts of a puzzle.

I traveled down the river of thought flowing through my small head.  I never thought of the time it would take to feed and clothe three children.  The stress involved.  The overwhelming thought of what is coming next cripples some.  Yet, my head says it can be done.

It’s the same with friends and family.  The expectations are there.  It makes perfect sense to me.  Yet there’s always that something called the human element.

If you are like me you have tried to battle this.  Constantly.  Let me give you a word of advice.

Stop.

Just stop fighting the fact that you will always have higher expectations than others.  The key is figuring out how to recognize when you are doing it and is it being done in a healthy way.

In my world it usually begins with the tragic moment right after the initial announcement of any kind of news or change in plans where I panic.

Step 1.  Step back

Step 2. Toss in some meds

Step 3. Realize that my expectations are not going to be met

Step 4. Figuring out a way to move forward

In the past I would drink that away.  Bury it down there so I didn’t have to deal with it.  Luckily, without that with which my operating system did not agree, I am able to take these new steps to manage those thoughts.

The thoughts that become the corkscrews in my head.

Bicycle Day

by Anna Ervin

When I was a kid, my friends and I used to google our birthdays to see what kind of weird holidays they fell on. Mine was April 19th, and to my horror, I learned that in some parts of the world this is considered Terrorist Day.

Trust the Process, by Anna Ervin

Of course, at the time I wasn’t even aware of the unofficial holiday that fell one day after my birthday. Once I did eventually figure out what the 4/20 culture was all about, I found myself even more disappointed. I tease my mom often, “you couldn’t have waited just 4 more hours to birth me?” To be fair, I was already 6 days behind schedule and making my debut in the world at a whopping 10 lbs.

So, I had come to terms with my fate… Until recently learning that I share my birthday with another odd holiday, one that’s much less aggressive (well, depending on who you ask).

Bicycle Day. Seems pretty innocent, right? Wrong. Bicycle Day has a really interesting origin story, one that actually has very little to do with bicycles.

Around mid-April 1943, amidst a dark time in world history, Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann accidentally discovered the psychoactive effects of Lysergic acid diethylamide, a substance more commonly known today as LSD or “acid.”

According to his writings, the synthesis of LSD-25 had previously been intended to obtain a “circulatory and respiratory stimulant.” However, the substance was deemed useless and set aside without testing for nearly 5 years, when Hofmann decided to revisit the studies. In the process, he managed to drop a small dose on his skin, resulting in what he reported to be a “remarkable experience.”

Hot Flash, by Dondi Cobb

To ensure that this state of mind was in fact influenced by LSD-25, he made the bold choice to experiment further. On April 19th, 1943, at precisely 4:20pm (I know, right?), Hofmann dosed himself with ten times the amount he had absorbed through his skin just days prior. According to his journal, his experience ranged from dizziness and anxiety, to “visual distortion, symptoms of paralysis, and desire to laugh,” but the most notable part of his trip was the bike-ride home:

“Kaleidoscopic, fantastic images surged in on me, alternating, variegated, opening, and then closing themselves in circles and spirals, exploding in colored fountains, rearranging and hybridizing themselves in constant flux.”

If you know, you know.

I have a pretty good idea how the majority of you will be celebrating April 20th this year, but what about April 19th? Obviously, LSD is still considered a Schedule I substance by the DEA, although clinical studies on the therapeutic effects of the substance are taking place across the globe.

So, while I cannot, in good conscience, recommend that you explore such a dangerous and deadly substance (I hope you can feel the sarcasm dripping off your page), I would like to recommend picking up a book by Albert Hofmann himself. Or, I don’t know, maybe ride a bike?

Found Myself in Texas

by Brittiany Ralls

Visiting family and friends in Texas quickly reminds me of the days of the past. At least for a lot of the country at this point. Texas is still one of the few states that does not have a cannabis program in place that allows for a majority of their citizens to access their medicinal cannabis. The Texas program is limited to an extreme and is denying many of its citizens the medical option they need in place of the pain management facilities that are the current option. Many of which are just fueling the war on drugs that has clearly been lost. So many people are still relying on this as an only option, leaving many using substances that are detrimental to their long-term health and no end in sight with the current climate of regulation. There are hopes of new regulations coming that could change cannabis laws. In Texas, there is always hope. But, never quite the reform that is necessary.

Texas Again, by Brittiany Ralls

We as humans all have an endocannabinoid system that is directly affected by the cannabinoids we take in just like any other vitamin or nutrient-rich substance necessary for the sustainment of life. Especially a happy one. Yet there are children, elderly, disabled, shit every human in a way has had to suffer without the correct cannabinoids to sustain a healthy lifestyle. Science is completely disregarded as if it isn’t a part of this that matters. When in reality our doctors haven’t even been taught about a system that does exist within our bodies. So how would they even begin to know how to practice with a medicine and bodily system they know nothing about. They can’t in good conscience tell you anything about the endocannabinoid system, they never even learned about it. Since cannabis is an illegal substance that somehow decided that the system within our bodies no longer existed also?! I didn’t realize that’s how science worked. This is why we need access to information that we can rely on as patients. With the current climate, we can’t even go to our doctors to get information that we know we can rely on. That is why utilizing resources like Herbage Magazine is so vital. Writers, like me, want the real information. We want to give you the information you can count on, the information you know is helpful.

Which is what our goal will be, impacting the Texas community by educating and stimulating the community through volunteering. Showing the citizens of Texas, who are hesitant about cannabis, that we are wanting to be a part of society and impact it in a good way. That we are more than willing to prove our intentions through action within our communities by providing the bridge needed for the path necessary for growth as humans, and righting the many wrongs done by the war on drugs. By showing who we are, what we support, and being honest about our needs, we can make changes to the current medical cannabis program. With the help of those in support we need everyone we can get to make the changes we want to see for those that we care about and the life we know we are deserving of. Which includes access to cannabis as a medicine for as many Texans as possible. Who’s ready for this wild ride? I know I am!

Brittiany Ralls | Consultant

brittiany.adilas@gmail.com

936.239.6257

 

Hot Flash!

by Dondi Cobb  | Two Twisted Girls

Just a few months ago, the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) released exciting results from a new study of menopausal women and their treatment of choice for their worse symptoms. It seems women today are choosing, more often, to relieve the harsh symptoms of menopause with cannabis than other, more traditional ways, such as hormone replacement therapy. One in four, to be exact. But that wasn’t the biggest surprise I found while researching this story.

While testing as post-menopausal, I personally have never experienced any symptoms of menopause. I don’t know why. I consider some of the trauma that occurred in my life during those years.  Maybe I just got a pass. I dealt with the death of my mother and husband.  I suffered two heart attacks.  I was not sitting around waiting for a hot flash.

When asked to write this story, considering this part of life had been a blur, I started scouring the web for the symptoms of menopause, figuring I would see potential uses for cannabis in these ailments.

The list was fairly well known to me, hot flashes, insomnia, mood swings, body aches, vaginal dryness, loss of sex drive and, well, pretty much the common signs of aging. I could definitely see how cannabis could help with all except the biggie, hot flashes. The most common complaint I’ve heard concerning menopause is hot flashes. How could cannabis possibly help here?

To understand how cannabis helps with hot flashes, we must first understand our endocannabinoid system, which I know very little about. However, I do know that each of us possess one.  Apparently, estrogen is a part of our endocannabinoid system (ECS). Somewhere along the line, God must have thought, I’ll throw this one in for the ladies. Thank you!

We all have estrogen, and my understanding is, as we age and go through menopause, our estrogen levels lower. So, our ECS, that is scattered throughout our bodies and holds estrogen, has receptors that THC binds to, or seems to recharge. It’s complicated. So complicated, that we are just beginning to scratch the surface of the potential health benefits of this healing plant. But it’s certain, something is going on.

For over two years, I‘ve moonlighted at a medical marijuana doctor’s clinic, Skyping with doctors, meeting and uploading patients. I’ve met a fair representation of Oklahoma patients and the majority are aging, educated and looking for less harmful alternatives to their growing list of pharmaceuticals.  When applying cannabis to the symptoms of menopause, it seems we have most covered and the majority of health experts agree that a combination of cannabis and hormone therapy may be even better. One thing is certain, every woman is different and the secret to discovering the magic mixture that works best for you is trial and error.

It’s very well known that the most common uses for cannabis are pain and insomnia. Therefore, it would be reasonable to believe cannabis would be beneficial for these menopausal symptoms. Cannabis is also commonly used for the treatment of depression and anxiety, mood swings. Topicals work in a different way but are a wonderful option to help with vaginal dryness. I make a secret potion that, when used correctly, will light your fire, ladies. It is seriously Viagra for women. And, now that I’ve learned the secret to unleashing natural estrogen in my body, hot flashes can be addressed. Whether you choose to smoke or use other forms, menopause symptoms are very easily and successfully treated with cannabis.

If your health care provider cannot see the benefits and recommend cannabis as a safe, alternative option, find someone who is educated on the wonderful benefits of this amazing plant.

Beating Censorship

by Veronica Castillo

Free speech is the bedrock of American democracy.” This is what Americans are told on whitehouse.gov’s, executive order, preventing online censorship. The government goes on to say and assure Americans that:

Our Founding Fathers protected this sacred right with the First Amendment to the Constitution.  The freedom to express and debate ideas is the foundation for all of our rights as a free people.

In a country that has long cherished the freedom of expression, we cannot allow a limited number of online platforms to handpick the speech that Americans may access and convey on the internet.  This practice is fundamentally un-American and anti-democratic.”

Social Media Censorship and Cannabis/Hemp

The cannabis industry struggles with freedom of speech on social media. In the cannabis industry, there is no free speech, no marketing, no education, no pages/accounts that are safe on social media platforms. Because of the federal prohibition that the American government has hurt Americans with, social media platforms use this as a reason to keep the community oppressed.

Of course, Lobbyists pay people, corporations, and institutions to do things like this. Industries like big pharma don’t want the truth about cannabis to be released. The issue of censorship is something that people and businesses are fighting, and courts are trying to figure out. A google search focused on social media censorship lawsuits reveals the following headlines:

  • Media Veteran Suing Facebook Over Cannabis Ban
  • Lawsuit Argues That Feds’ Cannabis Ban Violates Our Constitutional Rights
  • Facebook Hit by Landmark Censorship Lawsuit in Poland
  • Facebook Is Finally Getting Sued for Its Anti-Weed Policies
  • Lawsuit, Media Campaign Hit Facebook Over CBD, Hemp Ads

This is a short list. Censorship has been keeping courts busy, but to date, the platforms prevail because like the police, there are rules, policies, and amendments that keep them safe. For social media platforms, it’s the 1st amendment. The 1st Amendment does protect free speech to a certain extent, just not on social media. Freedom Forum Institute explains:

The First Amendment protects individuals from government censorship. Social media platforms are private companies, and can censor what people post on their websites as they see fit.

So what can the cannabis community do about this outside of filing lawsuits? Beat the system.

5 Social Media Tips for the Cannabis Industry to Avoid Jails and Restrictions

Doc Hollywood is a censorship genius and his groups prove it. Both focused and centered around cannabis, he has been able to grow these groups by the hundreds each week, resulting in member figures over 300K. The cannabis community faces the fear of pages being deleted and so, we chatted with Doc to get his insight and advice for the cannabis industry.

Here are 5 tips from Doc Hollywood that he used to grow his Facebook groups Cannaworld and Follow the Munchies:

  1. When posting about cannabis, post the strain name only with a gas emoji.
  2. No labels or logos captured in the image/video.
  3. Never promote the sale, for example, don’t say you just bought cannabis, just picked up cannabis, or encourage people to visit dispensaries or cannabis related websites.
  4. No hashtags whatsoever.
  5. When sharing, highlight and show off the cool photo you took vs. focusing on the product and where the product can be found.
Other Ways the Cannabis Industry Can Market Their Products and Service

Social media is important for all businesses but isn’t the only way. Businesses in cannabis can:

  • Publish a blog with SEO content (written for search engines to pick up)
  • Work with influencers
  • Get your brand story told by a writer/publisher

Why published content? Because when shared on social media, it qualifies as an editorial and therefore, not promotional; but also because when people are searching for information, Bing and Google reign supreme.

In Closing

It’s important to think about the content/images posted on social media. In cannabis, one flagged post could mean starting from scratch with building a following that likely took a lot of time and effort to build. Studying demographics also helps. For instance, Social Media Today, a social media news platform shows the following:

  • Gen Z chose Instagram as the platform to follow brands.
  • Baby boomers spend most of their time on YouTube and the Facebook Feed.
  • Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen X chose YouTube as the platform they rely on when making purchase decisions.

One day soon, this will no longer be an issue because as always, the plant prevails!

 

Plant Medicine for Spring

by Tab Moura

This may not come as a surprise to you, but I’ve become known for my creativity with natural medicine. While I do enjoy making natural choices, my use of natural products is truly out of necessity due to my health disorders.  The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that it’s not easy to cut things out—but it is easy to trade them out. Just like many of you, I get colds and seasonal allergies, and my allergy to corn has yet to prevent me from finding relief.

Stoner, by Tab Moura

The plant medicine sphere is quite a marvel to me, we invest a lot of faith in this plant, and it doesn’t disappoint us. I feel this way toward all plant medicine. As an epileptic, I’ve utilized its benefits in ways that big pharma probably doesn’t want you to believe are possible, and I know dozens of cannabis patients who can say the same. 

Plant medicines are powerful, but they work better paired with conscious food choices and active lifestyle choices. That said, even if you aren’t where you want to be yet, plant medicine can be an important first step to changing other habits. I love to study the relationship between terpenes and essential oils, this is perhaps the easiest plant medicine tool to adopt. Depending on your diet and pre-existing health issues, these may not replace serious daily prescriptions but can be a gentle addition to your self-care routine. (NOTE: not all essential oil brands are made for ingestion, always verify this when choosing an essential oil product.) 

Essential Oil Blends for Spring:

My favorite daily go-to for Spring is my Lemon, Lavender, and Peppermint essential oil blend in a capsule with RSO. I’m familiar with getting yearly sinus infections around this time, so I began fighting back. If I do get sick, I like to add oregano and cinnamon to the blend.  Your breath won’t be very flattering, but one of these bad boys will certainly help move the congestion around. Other good options are things like dandelion, milk thistle, and probiotics. There are many brands out there, so as a rule, I recommend consulting with someone more knowledgeable than yourself when you are trying something new.

If you want to experiment with the essential oils, but prefer to inhale your terpenes, I recommend finding a product or strain that contains terps like Linalool, Limonene, Caryophyllene, and Ocimene. I recently tried THC Bomb by LITS, and it tasted great with my allergy oil blend as well.

Natural medicine may be a bio-safe choice for health and wellness, but without a basic understanding and respect for these methods, you will likely struggle to see results. This is why I always recommend researching or finding a consultant/health advocate of some kind to meet with you. The journey into natural medicine is unlike any of my experiences with allopathic medicine up to this point, it requires us to respect and understand it— but it leaves us in charge of our results, and it’s that freedom that has healed my body.

Hi My Name Is

by James Bridges | Herbage Magazine

Moving around the country has never been a problem for me.  It’s nearly impossible for me to comprehend the words, “stay put”. It’s how I’ve come to learn that adaptation is not simply about evolving to your environment.  It’s more about introducing yourself into that environment in a way that you feel comfortable enough to make yourself “at home”.

March ’21 Strain of the Month, by James Bridges

I think it was something infused into my bloodstream as I was that little pod waiting to enter this strange new world and it is the need to connect with my neighbors.  It’s how I roll.  It’s how I get by. It’s one of the largest factors that drives my lifestyle.  It’s the need to connect and know the people and for them to know me.

After a spell in Ventura county I made the next stop on my life journey to north Texas.  I found myself living in a state I grew up learning was Oklahoma’s nemesis.  I knew no one.  So I did what I always have done.  I proved some people wrong and landed a job the day I landed in Texas.

I was under the strong impression that I was in the right place when my future management told me that if I “smoke weed then just drink a ton of water for a week and get back to us.”  I looked at the kind gentleman and replied with a smirk, “I got this.”

Long story, short…a visit to my local GNC store for some cleansing niacin, my jug of water, two days later, I was at work.

Where Did You Get All That Drip, by James Bridges

A couple of weeks after I started I began making friends on the floor with my peers.  But the group I wanted to hang with were the managers.  I knew they smoked and I could relate.  Plus, even then, I knew the meaning of the word “pals”.  It was charity poker night and I had an idea.  I went home and cleaned out my 61’ Chevy.  I pulled up to the office to pick some people up.  I knew the bosses would be there.  They both turned and noticed as I drove around.  Yep, there’s the nibble.  They’ve almost taken the bait.

Later that night I dropped them both off as they were hugging me.  It was a great night.

No matter what someone looks like.  No matter how intimidating the thought of having a conversation with someone might seem.  No matter how much money someone has.  No matter the color of the skin.  No matter the age.  We all have something in common.  We all want connectivity.  Well…there might be a few of you wanting to be alone for the rest of your existence….okay, wish granted…. But for the rest of us, it’s important to connect.

Can we just get back to that?

Where Did You Get All that Drip

by James Bridges | Herbage Magazine

There’s an essence you get when certain people enter a room or conversation.  I can’t really pinpoint the exact emotion.  It’s the one when you are in a room with someone you’ve only seen through a screen.  Or that magnetic person that was up on stage spitting into a microphone 5 minutes earlier is sitting next to you passing a blunt.  Or when a beautiful woman enters the room full of unsuspecting men and there’s silence.

I’m not sure what that is but I met someone in the Oklahoma cannabis industry that made me feel that way.  Gabriel Quinn is one of the men behind the curtains with SAP XTRAX.

SAP XTRAX is a dedicated team of friends developing only pure, full-spectrum concentrates and extracts. They also provide flowers, topicals, and edibles.

“We are a fully integrated system that not only cultivates marijuana but also it has an avenue for the culture of sales of the product. We actually started off in the industry as loud promotions. We were looking at the cannabis industry and seeing what and how it was going to turn out.  We were thinking okay, well in all the other markets you saw marketing and advertising for cannabis through culture. From social media to clothing it was a feeling for the market.  So when Oklahoma started off we didn’t have that marketing.  We just had dispensaries selling a product and brands that no one knew. So we kind of wanted to be the first to offer innovation and expertise in that area.” Gabriel demanded the room.

“We are really focused on putting Oklahoma on the map in the most fair and honest way and combining culture and cannabis.”  Grant Quinn, COO of SAP was as passionate as his brother Gabriel while speaking of his brand.  “We see a need for quality and we have it.  We think that the best way is through culture, education, and quality.”

Gabriel spoke with a sense of urgency, “We are working with musicians. Red Dirt music and who would have thought Oklahoma had such a hip hop scene?  We also do events and benefits to tie to the community.  We sponsor cannabis events such as Poetry and Chill and educational opportunities like the Cowboy Cup.  We work with Tulsa folks to raise awareness of the race riots and American history that’s really rich in Tulsa.  We believe in getting involved.”

Trey Wiles is the creative director for the group.  We partnered up with the best photographer and videographer in Oklahoma and we said alright, “we want to make things happen for the Cannabis industry and Oklahoma culture.”

The group had an opportunity to sponsor an event called Fire in Little Africa Friday’s. “We were able to really dive into cannabis culture and the Hip-Hop scene in Oklahoma.” Trey was pumped. “We were able to showcase our product while talking about the culture scene in Oklahoma.  The artists gained more attention.  That’s been a great experience for everyone.”

You may have noticed a last name similarity.  Well we all know how fun working with family can be. Grant said it’s interesting. “You know you can trust each other. That’s what’s cool about it and we can literally be at each other’s throats then the next day it’s okay.”

“I can be yelling out one minute but I know I have to turn around and call him whenever there’s an issue and vice versa.” Gabriel was grinning but sincere as he explained. “So It goes vice versa. I mean… it’s crazy.  I was praying for a partner and we got a great team of dedicated people.  10 and growing.”

Innovation and diversification is the strategic plan for this up and coming business to watch.

Tyler Davis is the VP and director of sales for SAP.  “Oklahoma, as we know, is one of the biggest markets in the country right now. So covering everything from dispensaries to processors and growers has proven to be challenging. Everybody wants us right now. It takes time. But we made a name for ourselves. I will walk in shops and some people already know who we are.  It’s nice when that happens in Tulsa and we are based out of OKC.”

Ryan James Circle is the man with the greenest thumb of the group.  “I can’t claim it as my own technique, but we grow in rockwool for our clones and flowering rooms. I use coco for our mother plants. We completely control our environment and irrigation strategy with crop steering to get the best quality and yield possible out of our genetics.”

I’ll say it again.  I know it’s almost become cliche’ to say, but growers just talk in their own language.  That’s why I like to talk to the grower.  I want to know why.  I want to feel what they feel in some way.  So I asked Ryan his favorite strain to grow.  Think about it like a first date.  What movie do you like…

“That’s a very hard question to answer because there have been so many amazing cultivars I’ve had the opportunity to grow. But currently my favorite strain to grow would have to be the cut of Ice Cream Cake from Seedjunky jbeezy. It grows huge beautiful purple, frost covered flowers.”

“The future is bright for SAP, we are just getting started on this journey and we can’t wait to bring more of the best cannabis flower and cannabis products possible to the patients of Oklahoma, and hopefully sometime soon to the rest of the country with the fading stigma and changing laws!” Ryan was able to give a glance at a window of who his character really was and it looked good.

Find out more by visiting SAP online:  sapxtrax.com

Texas Again

by Brittiany Ralls

Here we are in Texas! Seeking legalization in a big way for Texas patients. Like I said in my last piece ”Houston is Home,” there is legalization in Texas, minimally. But legalization does exist in Texas. There are also areas of decriminalization too.

As patients, we need to demand more.
Spreading the Word of Cannabis, by Brittiany Ralls

Texas needs to catch up soon. This period of time I’m subtly calling “The Herb Age.” Throughout history, there are periods of time labeled “ages.” I can’t “officially” deem this time we are in as “The Herb Age,” being that I am not a historian or whoever names ages, but I’m doing it anyway! Welcome to The Herb Age!

What a better way to help de-stigmatize, by educating. Here we are in an age of herb with so many opportunities for change within so many communities. Being able to influence how the world will see cannabis in the future and de-stigmatizing something that is so beneficial to the human body leaves most of us in the cannabis community elated.

We will see cannabis infiltrate every other industry. Cannabis can create a more sustainable world. Cannabis can help create happier humans. Those of us who have started to see some of these changes are so excited to show the rest of the world how amazing cannabis is.

It’s just the beginning. We will see it make huge changes to our world and the ability to sustain it. Being back in Houston with the goal of helping de-stigmatize cannabis is exciting! Houston is so diverse with a background in philanthropy that is driven by wealth that has been created here. It’s a great place to start. So much of the cannabis community is rooted in giving back and helping so many in need that merging the two should be a lot easier if we start with a commitment to helping the community we hope to be a part of.

There are a lot of people in Texas on both sides of cannabis. There is a lot to prove. With diligence and a support, the cannabis community can make it happen in Texas.

Cannabis: Crossing the Barrier

by Tab Moura

Imagine being in a large facility, you know that it contains a wealth of knowledge, riches, and untold technological advancements… but you don’t have electricity in all of the rooms. So, you know what’s there, you just cannot analyze it. This is my experience with Epilepsy. My seizures affect my ability to smoothly access various parts of my brain. 

Dab Love, by Tab Moura

It’s difficult to talk about this with people who have known me the longest because there was no single moment where we noticed my seizures begin. But what we do know is that my personality, speech, and memory are affected when my seizures are close together. My EEG indicated that I have partial seizures in my right frontal and right temporal lobes, as well as secondary generalized seizures, where there’s a kind of ripple effect through my entire brain. 

The brain is such a delicate organ, and as much as I have researched it, and have met with a handful of neurologists, I can confidently say that our day-to-day choices directly affect our brains more than we realize. 

The brain and its cerebral spinal fluid are encased in three protective layers, made up of connective tissue. Unique to the brain, it has a beautiful system for nutrient delivery and toxin removal… You may know of this as the blood-brain barrier (BBB).

The word “barrier” makes it sound tougher than it really is… the truth is, more things get past that barrier than we like to admit. Fat-soluble vitamins pass easily into the brain, but so do many medications, caffeine, sugars, several chemicals, and virtually anything that can be nanotized.

Ready to Regulate, by Tab Moura

Cannabis is fat-soluble, it passes easily into the brain and is received by the endocannabinoid system as God created it to. So not only does it pass through like so many other things, it has a welcoming committee that’s happy to see it. Cannabis is a vital food nutrient, and unlike other fat-soluble ingredients that can cross the BBB, there isn’t a toxic dose of cannabis. 

I’ve had a handful of people ask me, “are you not worried about the long-term effects of cannabis on development, or aging?” My honest answer? ”I’m pretty excited about them actually.” 

I lost the second and third languages that I worked for years to learn; they slipped away from me. I lost childhood memories. I lost my mental health. I lost my ability to create art and write poetry… and you wanna know what is helping me retrieve those parts of my brain again? Cannabis. 

If you want my advice, I recommend being a lot more concerned with the ingredients that cross the BBB, but aren’t beneficial… don’t take my word for it, do the research. You won’t regret it.

Rusted

By James Bridges | Herbage Magazine

Finally after hearing and reading and talking back-and-forth I am able to sit down with this once cannabis prisoner, the “Genetics Man” himself, Brandon Rust.

“When I go in there I put in the contract that any genetic material is my property. “That’s one of the reasons why some of those I help don’t sell cuts.  It’s because those are my genetics. I don’t want market competition…. Brandon Rust”

This is the kind of logically creative (it’s a term now) individual that I’ve been looking forward to talking with and getting his insights on the plant to paper.

“I don’t grow you know cookies and gelatos and you know all the stuff that’s just hype. I would much rather smoke some of the stuff that we’re going to be hunting.”

Bam!  In my face was some Sour CheeseBerry day 28. My fingers instantly went for the leaf to squeeze and smudge a smell.

Brandon was in his element, “ This is a very interesting strain right here. You hardly see Delta 3 carene (promotes healthy bones) and ocimene (anti-congestant/anti-inflammatory) as the top terpenes very often.”

What was very interesting was that most of the varieties that are in the room are from 20 years ago. A friend of Brandon and the gang bred these between 2001 and 2003.

Brandon was laser focused, “We have some pretty super old and really good strains that work.  Old blueberry, super silver haze, old stuff from San Diego, the bull rider, p91… and you can see the transition from the clones to all of these super silver haze crosses. They’re super long and sick.  It’s all filling in and you can see from right there.”

Brandon seemed to have been a little Rusted himself.  Smacked in the face with this knowledge of what fantastic cannabis really could and should be, he pointed at his crop as we stood and looked.  He talked about them all as if he were the paterfamilias.  Yet he treated them as if he were their humble servant.

“I want to find the ones that are best suited for our environment.” Brandon pulled down a stem. “Look how much leaf there is. So it’s not necessarily desirable based on flower production. Since we’re going to be working with different processors this might be one of those things that is excellent for washing right?  This is what we do. We hunt strains.  We grow the best.  We have strains that are rare.  If we grow some of those and they are of the same quality, but for whatever reason aren’t as “pretty” then we send them to wash.”

It made perfect sense to me.  Why would you throw out something that smelled exactly like the bottom of a garbage truck?  The only reason I can find is if that smell were not intentional. However, this purposely grown stank smelled like the garbage truck was buried under another garbage truck for a few years.  Must have been some potent stuff…

Brandon also does some outside consulting in the grow space.

“My Consulting is pretty selective because I don’t have the time to allocate. I know a whole lot of hands-on stuff but remote consulting is a lot easier. I can do soil auditing. I can look at soil in saturated pace testing.  I can help dial in the numbers to get to targets.  One of the biggest assets I offer is knowledge in ways to cut costs.”

Brandon continued, “I’m able to reduce the input costs because typically in cannabis you’re using fertigation salts and it’s very very expensive. It’s a continuous occupancy and expenditure that increases the production value.  That increases the cost to grow that cannabis.”

“When you’re doing something organically with modified mixes and living soils you can reuse the soil continuously cycle over cycle so you’re not wasting any. You’re not throwing it out. Also to get your soil’s back to the target levels you can take what’s called a soil and saturated paste testing. These mixes work more like hydroponic media than they do actual soil because there’s no sand, silt, or clay. There’s no naturally weathered elements to this soil. So what we’re looking at is what elements fall into the solution. Water until you’re able to take the saturated paste test and it gives you those values and you can dial in those values based off of your mineral inputs.”

“Let’s say if you were deficient in calcium but everything else was in balance. You could add something like Gypsum to give more calcium into your soil. The calcium level will increase with a little help. “

“A lot of different functions of overall mineral inputs are very cost-effective and are typically used for conventional agriculture.  That’s one of the reasons why they’re so expensive. Because these things are produced for applying pounds per acre. You can use the same very inexpensive CDFA certified organic mineral inputs to increase and balance your soil and keep it in balance. Furthermore, if you do that, you’re going to be able to maintain your health and your quality. Your production will be consistent as long as you’re collecting data and you’re using science then you’ll always be able to maximize your quality and yield.”

Brandon is not alone in this venture. “My partner he’s been growing indoors since 92 he showed me how to do this. I had the opportunity to get him out here to work on this project and we work really well together. We maintain this place just as if it were a boutique style. Even though we scaled this we still do all the maintenance work. We still do all that integrated pest management protocols. We still go in and prune. You know… we do all the same things that we would do for a boutique style or indoor cultivation and the reason why is because we still want to be able to produce high-quality products to the market and what I think that would be a cheaper price point.”

Something we can all get behind is what Rust Brandon and the crew believe in wholeheartedly; “a little trickle down to the patient, they will be able to consume a high-quality product that is safe.”

“I do not want to do anything to my plants that isn’t natural. That’s why you see all these sachets hanging. These beneficial mites will protect these plants from any type of pest and these plants are protected. Even though you can’t see. These plants have been biologically protected. I can safely say that we did this the right way, our way, and it’s the healthy way…Brandon Rust.”

A METRC Primer

by Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish |

Many months ago, OMMA announced that it had awarded METRC its seed-to-sale contract. Now, implementation is in full swing, with initial training and credentialing classes available and completion required by March 26, 2021. Notably, OMMA also has announced that it will require beginning inventory to be completely reported into METRC by April 30, 2021. Perhaps this spring’s million-dollar question in Oklahoma is, “What does METRC mean for OMMA commercial business licensees?”.

What is METRC?

METRC is a privately owned track-and-trace system that depends on 1) physical, proprietary RFID tags that must be purchased only from METRC, and 2) METRC’s online, cloudbased software. This software requires an internet connection and computer for access, and supports an open “Application Programming Interface” (“API”) that allows licensees to use METRC with any third-party point of sale systems (“POS”) that have the appropriate API to integrate with METRC. However, such a third-party POS is not required, because a licensee can input its sales data into METRC directly, if they so desire.

Changes In the Wind, by Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish

METRC’s implementation by OMMA is not for the benefit businesses or patients. Instead, the METRC system benefits the governmental agency who has contracted with it—here, OMMA. METRC offers online training, inventory and lab testing guides, and an Oklahoma-specific supplemental guide. METRC’s website states that it has provided track-and-trace solutions for 13 other states and the District of Columbia. Thus, while it is not in use by all medical (or adult-use) programs, it certainly has a significant stake in the market share.

METRC charges licensees $40 per month, per license, as a reporting fee to access the platform and for ongoing support, maintenance, training, and the like. In addition, METRC’s proprietary RFID tags are 45 cents per plant tag and 25 cents per package tag. These tags are not interchangeable or reusable. They contain barcodes and chips that uniquely identify each plant and package, as the case may be, operating like serial numbers for each plant. These RFID tags must be read with an RFID tag reader. Here in Oklahoma, where we have only a medical system, the tags will be yellow. Blue tags are used for adult-use/recreational systems. Users must manually enter additional information, including weight, custody transfers, and test results into the METRC system. All information is only available to each specific licensee and to OMMA.

Training Requirements

OMMA requires all licensees—those currently operating and those with commercial business licenses that are not currently operating—to complete METRC training and credentialing classes. METRC began offering daily training classes for employees on March 1, 2021, and all METRC training and subsequent credentialing of businesses into OMMA licensees’ user accounts must be completed by March 26, 2021.

After completion of the training and credentialing, then licensees will have access to a Beginning Inventory Guide, which provides the information necessary for licensees to enter their initial plant and/or package inventories into METRC’s system. Given the short time fuse on full integration requirements mandated by OMMA, licensees should complete their METRC training and credentialing, and review the Beginning Inventory Guide as soon as possible.

Impact on Licensees

OMMA requires all commercial business licensees to enter and report their beginning inventory into METRC by April 30, 2021. What does this mean, exactly? On April 30, 2021, the beginning inventory period for METRC closes and OMMA commercial business licensees who are actually operating must report all inventory transactions to, and into, METRC. In other words, the last monthly report OMMA commercial business licensees (who are actually operating) will submit to OMMA will be the April 2021 report, which will be filed by licensees in May 2021. However, OMMA licensees who are not actually operating will continue their filing of “zero inventory” monthly reports with OMMA.

Every licensee must have a designated “METRC Administrator” in the METRC system, to complete the credentialing process. The METRC Administrator must be an owner or a designated manager of the OMMA licensee, and must complete METRC’s new business training course, which is provided in a webinar-format at this time. OMMA has advised that advanced training classes will become available in the future, and will be tailored for administrators according to license type. Licensees should select the METRC Administrator with great care, given that these persons will have complete access to, and control over, the licensee’s governmental reporting system. Any missteps or sabotage by a disgruntled employee could prove fatal to the licensee’s compliance and could likely result in fines or loss of the license.

While OMMA has not overtly stated this, it is axiomatic that METRC will lock down genetics statewide. What does this mean? As of April 30, 2021, no out-of-state genetics will be considered acceptable under OMMA standards and Oklahoma law. While the issue of out-of-state seeds has arguably remained somewhat of a gray area, METRC’s implementation transforms the gray to a clear black and white. OMMA’s statewide track and trace system will easily flag any seeds that cannot be accounted for as having originated in the State of Oklahoma, and genetics acquired from outside the state will not be acceptable or legal.

So…what’s the take-away?

It could be a stressful spring here in the Wild, Wild West.

Strain of the Month: March 2021

by James Bridges | Herbage Magazine

 

SLYMER

Sativa Dominant Hybrid

2.79%   Terp

20.98% THC

 

Effects:

Uplifted

Hyper Awareness

Appetite Suppressant

 

Bored.  Sometimes I get that way with my meds.  Just boring ole meh, yeah it works, medicine.

So it’s time to hunt.

Shuffling through the lists of strains to try can get a little overwhelming.  Luckily I know just the remedy.

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe… Slymer is the way to go.

Someone told me once that if I can find a strain that shakes the dust off a tired brain as well as give you an uplifted euphoric high then they would bow down to me and say they were wrong.

Get those knees ready.

I was no longer bored.  Once my decision was made Slymer organically became the perfect choice.  I was able to no longer imagine myself cuddled in a bed and doing literally nothing to actually looking forward to my next tasks..  I was very hyper aware without being too uncomfortable.  The haze between the eyes is such a pleasant feeling.

The only downside, if you want to call it one, is that I actually had to have several conversations with myself reminding me that I need to eat.

Want to get things done and still enjoy the most out of your meds?  Try Slymer.  Not to be confused with Slimer.  Ask for it to be grown by

Hempcrete

by Anna Ervin

Hempcrete may very well be the future of natural building. This biocomposite material is mold and fungus resistant, fireproof, earthquake resistant, and 100% biodegradable. It has been around for nearly 30 years, and developers are constantly refining their process to make it even better. So, what exactly is it, and why aren’t we seeing more builders utilize the material?

Medicated Lip Balm, by Anna Ervin

I reached out to Jessie Smith of Oaksterdam University to gain a little insight on the benefits of using hempcrete for natural building and to gauge the direction she sees this market heading in. Jessie comes from a family of builders yet grew up with the idea that the expansion of cities was eating up precious farmland.

With an interest in sustainability and living in a natural environment, Jessie went to school for toxicology, where she learned about bioremediation, the process of using plants to take toxins out of our soil and environment and binding them into a carbon-based form.

“Hemp is a bioremediation plant,” Jessie informed me. “It has the ability to reverse climate change and a lot of the problems we’ve created. However, we can’t consume that hemp because of the toxins it has absorbed.”

This is where hempcrete comes into play. “Everyone that’s growing hemp is really trying to get into the CBD market,” Jessie said. “We’re getting a lot of people that don’t understand how sensitive cannabis is and that it’s going to pull in those toxins from the soil. Or they don’t know how to prevent mold and pests, so they’re not able to put their products into the consumer market.”

A Budding New Market

Will this surplus of non-medicinal hemp prompt manufacturers and builders to work with hempcrete on a larger scale? Only time will tell. “Right now, it’s not being utilized as much as it could be,” said Jessie. “There are a couple of companies coming out, pressing bricks. I haven’t necessarily seen commercial uses for it.”

“When you look at natural building over the last 100 years,” she continued, “using those straw, clay, and lime water mixtures, that is starting to pick back up again. Those types of buildings are starting to pop up, but for the most part, it’s residential.”

Up until recently, it has proven difficult for people to get a loan for natural building. However, with the production of hempcrete becoming increasingly common in places like France and Canada, and hemp becoming widely available, more and more lenders are beginning to see the value. “We’re at a tipping point in the market,” Jessie told me.

A Breeding Ground for Potential

“With the progressiveness of Oklahoma Policies,” Jessie said, “how many licenses are on the market, and how much lime is prevalent there, it is a huge breeding ground for potential.” If that’s the case, what is it going to take for Oklahoma to tap into this industry?

Noble Nectar Extracts, by Anna Ervin

With our state being one of the few to allow the outdoor cultivation of medicinal cannabis, we need to first address the issue of cross-pollination. “The pollination radius of hemp is 5 plus miles,” Jessie told me. “Pollen can migrate. When you have hemp pollen fall onto your medical cannabis, you could end up decreasing the potency and medicinal potential of the medical plant.”

“With outdoor growing,” she continued, “you need to make sure that we don’t go to war with each other. Keep hemp production and medical production separate so they are not devaluating each other. Farmers are actually really good at figuring out how to work together.”

“Oklahoma could also learn from Oregon,” Jessie said, “who has hemp and medical cannabis growing. They are figuring it out by county. They are also finding natural pollen boundaries by topography and wind flow.”

As well as figuring out the production of hemp on a large scale, natural building is labor-intensive. We need to be honest in communicating the growing pains that both our outdoor farmers and our builders are going to face in order to see an industry like this take off in Oklahoma.

Is Hempcrete the Future?

Hemp is denser in carbon than any other plant, this is what makes byproducts of the plant so durable. The more hemp we plant, the more carbon those plants will absorb from the atmosphere. According to an article from Architect’s Newspaper, one cubic meter (35 cubic feet) of hempcrete has the potential to absorb up to 287 pounds of airborne carbon dioxide.

While the cultivation of hemp is cleaning up the environment, hempcrete itself could also create a safer, healthier household. When using natural materials, you don’t get the toxic off-gassing that comes with many conventional building materials.

Industry leaders at Hempcrete Direct report that this versatile material is fireproof, earthquake-proof, and moisture resistant, making it ideal for locations (like Oklahoma) that can suffer extreme weather conditions.

“The natural fibers and materials,” Jessie reported, “allow the vibrations of the earthquake to go through the house, rather than cracking and breaking down like concrete. Wildfires go right around hempcrete houses because the embers have nothing to catch on.”

Significantly lighter than concrete and allowing for more energy-efficient transportation, hempcrete could offer a whole new level of sustainability to the construction industry.
History Unfolding

So just to recap, we have a product that is changing the way that we grow, build, and even exist by literally hitting the reset button on our environment, and continuing to provide benefits for our health and safety over time. How exciting is it to be able to witness this potential shift in both consciousness and sustainability take place?

After over an hour on the phone with Jessie, I felt that we had only glazed the surface of this topic. Now that I have realized just how much potential the hemp industry holds for Oklahoma, not just economically, but also when it comes to sustainability and adopting a healthier lifestyle, I look forward to keeping an eye on this industry in the years to come.

Women of War

by Tab Moura

March snuck up on me this year, maybe the winter storms distracted me for a little bit… but I’m back on my game and ready to see what this month has for us. What’s special about March?

Oh, plenty!

Asthma and Cannabis, by Tab Moura

I was reminded that we celebrate Women’s history during March, a month that was chosen, many believe, because of the anniversary of the first women’s suffrage parades. But maybe we should look closer at March… it may help us to see Women’s history month in a new light.

The origin of the name “March” is believed to originate from Martius, or Mars, the god of war. March was originally the first month of the year, and January and February were the last two months of the year.

March was the beginning of the year, with the Vernal Equinox. Basically, a calendar that synchronized with the start of Spring; it was a time of transformation and newness. It was celebrated much the same way that we celebrate New Years’. Some believe that it was named after the God of War because March was when armies would return to war after resting all winter.

I’ve been told that March was chosen, perhaps, because marching and activism were such integral parts of women’s history over the last 100+ years. But the heart of March is not protesting, it was war. It was the product of strategic rest and courageous planning. Roman soldiers would return home in the winter, not to huddle and stay warm… but to check on their homes, hug their loved ones, and gather resources/weapons they needed in order to contribute to the campaign in the Spring. During years of war, soldiers spent as much as 2 whole months at home, or none at all. They lived lives of sacrifice.

When I consider the mountains that have been moved in the name of women’s rights, I don’t only see what has happened over the last century, but also the way that women held up entire families and communities during those years of war, all those centuries ago. March was when they would take over everything, knowing they may not see their husbands, fathers, or sons again. In this way, I see the thread is woven through all of history… women fighting wars in their own way while demonstrating incredible bravery and strength. What a powerful tribe we are.

High on Green Mountain

by James Bridges | Herbage Magazine

Once, when I was very young, my little sister, brother, and I went on a canoe trip with my grandparents. Some of my most cherished memories come from the adventure road trips with them. One day it was a different kind of an adventure.

We found ourselves in a bit of a pickle. On one end we had my 100lb sopping wet grandmother clinging to a tree with her other hand holding onto a quickly sinking and non-user-friendly vessel as her grandchildren dog paddle to safety. Meanwhile, Gramps is swimming and trying to collect all our valuables. To say the least…it was by far one the most dramatic things to ever happen to a group of children and their grandparents while on vacation. Ever. According to the audio tapes of those children involved telling the story once they got home to mom and dad. Seriously, the tapes exist…

Now on this wonderful day I can revisit an area that has been imprinted into my head as a danger zone.

Today on this beautiful mountain, overlooking the winding and always intriguing Illinois river, I was able to witness this chaos of survival. I was able to witness the survival mode of something positive and uplifting. I was able to bury that danger brand I associated with the Illinois river and replace that danger association, with something positive.

Green Mountain Farms in Tahlequah, OK was founded in 2018 by Mark Turner and has been pesticide-free since day one. They consider themselves pioneers in irrigation theory. What I walked into was an automation system that blew my mind.

“I can go back 2 years and tell you what happened every week with battling humidity and weather conditions outside versus what is going on inside of the building. Our state-of-the-art monitoring systems help me predict what I need to do, no matter what conditions are occurring. For example, if you have a storm coming and it is going to surround your building, it could bring a hundred percent humidity for the next 6 days and you just put a new crop in the Cure room even though we have three inches of rain already. Mother nature. She comes right in with you”

Mark took a moment to shift his thoughts to vapor pressure deficit.

“This is the key number I watch right here.” As he pointed at one of his many graphs on a screen, “This is the VPD, that’s what determines how stomata on the back of a marijuana leaf will open and contract based on the ambient conditions in the room.” He was teaching me something.

“I am sure you have been in grow rooms where the plants look like they are praying and look happy. They are not happy. They are trying to expose the back of their leaves to as much of the atmosphere as possible and capture some CO2. She either has too much light, too much food, or not enough CO2 for her to absorb the food she is getting. VPD allows me to monitor these and find the ideal leaf temperature and humidity to grow thriving plants.”

“If you can maintain the temperature within 2° plus or negative, or the humidity 2% plus or negative, you can actually watch the stomata of the plant constrict or expand on a microscope. So, I know to watch the VPD closely, this way I keep those stomata cranked wide open all the time, maximizing growth. Manipulating the watering frequency makes them believe they are going into drought, causing them to uptake more nutrients. Then if you maintain a specific moisture content, voilá, magic.”

I felt like I was talking to a baseball team manager at some point and other points I was listening to a Ted Talk hosted by Einstein himself. I noticed the intricacy of this new-found technology that Green Mountain Farms uses to produce some of the top-quality products in the state.

“Everybody here is very passionate with good souls,” Mark said to me.

“I’ve got my own fishbowl here and everybody here is a different kind of fish, swimming around trying to make it better for all the other fish in the bowl. We all work well together and they bring a passion to work every day, I love it. We soak it up and we are learning together. There ain’t like no secret deal here. When everything works together, it’s fire right?” Mark is correct.

Brent Sullivan, who is a key player for Green Mountain, met Mark while he was selling vehicles at a local dealership. “Being in the car industry, I saw a lot of people that claimed they were growers. Mark came in and there was just something different about him.” Brent was recalling as if it were a memory from childhood. “Mark bought several cars from me for his people at the grow. He talked about his grow and the technology that he was working with, and I was intrigued. I was so inspired by his passion. I asked Mark right from the get-go if I could invest, he told me no.” Brent laughed out loud. “He said no, no, I’m good.”

“Mark came back and bought a few more cars. I would ask how it was going and again I would be inspired. Of course I asked about investing again. Again, Mark said he was good. I attempted this several times.” Brent = Determination.

“I got a phone call from Mark about three weeks later and he finally said he needed help.”

Forced by growth in the company, Mark could no longer keep up. He was directed by the universe to bring on a team of outstanding individuals that bring their own set of talents to make the well-oiled machine I see before me today at Green Mountain Farms.

Cecilia came onboard in January 2020 as a trimmer. “At that time we were just selling flower as fast as we could get it trimmed. Mark did a great job teaching us by giving us hands-on experience with the flower from the very first. He had us working one-on-one with the plants.”

Cecilia has an interesting background to wind up in cannabis, but now that I give it a thought, it completely makes sense as to why she is so good for the brand. She has a degree in fine art and worked at The Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas before moving to Tahlequah.

“There are many duties at the grow that I do or oversee, along with a team of people.
“Kadin, Justace and I make sure all of the orders go out correctly. We build routes and schedules deliveries. Most of all, we work hard to be good stewards of our cannabis.

Once the products come out of the cure room to be handtrimmed, that is when my work begins. I work with other team members to make sure everything in the cure room is organized, labeled correctly, and properly tested. I oversee our cured flower until it goes out the doors, bound for one of our dispensary partners. I also communicate with the dispensaries to make sure they have everything they need from us, including in-depth information on each strain to pass along to budtenders. It’s a lot of hats, but a
lot of fun.” Cecilia continued to show her smile.

Come to find out, Mark does have some inspiration. Some of it from a completely different industry.

“Up in Pryor, Oklahoma they have a Google facility. I did some research and found that the HVAC needs of a building full of super computers is similar in technology to what is needed to control humidity in grow rooms in respect to painting the line, control-wise. So, we ordered those exact units except we doubled their dehumidification capability. This turned out to be a wise choice!”

Mark is obviously an indoor hydro/irrigation expert. I asked him his thoughts on those that are getting into the outdoor grow industry in Oklahoma.

“Oh my,” Mark shrugged. “Everyone says ‘I want to do an outdoor grow.’ I want to say to friends of mine, you are a gust of wind full of mold spores away from losing the whole entire crop. I considered spending $250,000.00 on a RF (radio frequency) machine to remove yeast, mold and all other contaminants, just to have some peace of mind. We even had some of our product treated in this manner for research and development. I wanted to see how the RF equipment affected our product. If it worked, we would also grow outdoors. I want to grow the best medicine, but also have some insurance if the Oklahoma
weather did not cooperate, so we tested. The terps were gone. THC might have stayed consistent, but the soul of the plant was gone.”

Even the best of us make calculated and sometimes very hard to live down mistakes. But the great ones learn from them and carry on, like Mark. “I bought two 200 acre lots across the road, on top of the hill right, before testing the RF treatment. I was in on the whole outdoor grow idea. Growing indoor is always challenging and my roots are sun-grown so I considered heavily taking the risk of an outdoor crop. In the end, I had to opt out.”

Mark pointed out, “Improvement is exactly what we’re striving for and creating here. For the same reason ferns grew 20 ft tall back in prehistoric days, they had the perfect ambient conditions, that is what I am trying to create  at Green Mountain Farms. We are not reinventing cannabis; we are merely finding better ways to grow it.”

Sowing the Seed

by Chet Tucker

We’ve covered genetics (seed), soil, and now we’ll cover the basics of the critical necessity of water (good water), along with touching on growing hydroponically. Nature provides the needed nutrients of water via rain and dew, however many cannabis growers use controlled environments to maximize the strength and quality of their cannabis crops. With these alternative growing environments, greenhouses, indoor facilities, and hydroponic grows allow the controls needed to avoid the collapse of a crop due to flooding or drought (and other natural disasters). However, it’s not as simple as just turning on the water hose to feed your plants.

Sowing the Seed: Seed to Soil, by Chet Tucker

Cultivators are very in tune with the necessity of “clean” or balanced water. A vast majority of city and county water supplies are filled with chemical treatments that can negatively affect plants (and humans for that matter). So, it’s important to understand what’s in your water and to counteract any negative impurities with treatments to neutralize, especially those that are harmful and that can show up in the final lab testing needed for sales. And though well water seems to be far superior to other forms of water, it’s not always the case and it’s just as critical to measure the pH along with other elements to ensure quality water. Rainwater and osmosis water are obviously great but just as mentioned before, treating them to include what’s needed to fulfill the plant is crucial.

Hydroponic cultivation is growing without the use of soil and is an extremely efficient and popular way to cultivate. Cannabis is typically supplied a nutrient-rich array of oxygen, nutrients, and water. The cannabis roots expend less energy acquiring food from soil and redirected energy allows the plant to acquire “food” easier. You use less water than soil grown cannabis along with needing less space. However, the negative side is that hydroponic grows can stunt the root structure vs soil which allows an extensive root structure to form.

Now, back to water in soil. Cannabis doesn’t like continuous irrigation, it originates from a dryer climate so the plant should be watered well but then the soil is allowed to dry before watering. Many use an every other day watering system, watering slowly and uniformly, to balance the irrigation and avoid over-watering. A good balance of absorption and drainage is critical to the plant’s success which means quality substrate is equally important. Just like so many pieces of the growing process, balance is key and it’s no different when it comes to the quality and amount of water used in cannabis. There are far greater details to explore but the basics are outlined here as we move into the light for next month’s edition of Sowing the Seed.

Chet Tucker
Executive Director
Cell: 580.350.0168
7680 Nugget Hill St.
Edmond, OK 73025
www.arcadiabrands.com

Easy Street Extracts

by Anna Ervin

Nothing will solidify your love for humanity more than getting to explore the mindset of individuals who are passionate about helping Oklahoma patients find medicine that works for them.

I had heard nothing but positive things about Easy Street Extracts, so I went into this interview with pretty high expectations. Josh Parsons, Kevin Ferdowsian, and their crew of dedicated processors did anything but disappoint.

Kevin and Josh started their journey into Oklahoma’s cannabis industry through a mutual appreciation for and belief in the power of cannabis as medicine. These two seem to have a unique, holistic perspective on cannabis that can sometimes be hard to find.

Easy Street Extracts’ flagship product are vegan, full-spectrum gummies infused with rosin that’s pressed in-house. I feel like this is a bold choice, but one that makes me want to support their company even more.

The quality of your medicine, how it’s processed and where it’s coming from are all factors that influence the amount of healing you will receive from it. Let me tell you, my heart swells to see industry leaders taking the time and dedication required to produce products that truly fulfill their potential as medicine.

 

Josh Parsons, Easy Street Extracts

It’s interesting to me that you were both attorneys before you got into the industry. How did you get from there to here?

Josh: Well, we were both in oil and gas and it was the perfect time to transition into something. Oil and gas has its ups and downs, and it was on a down swing. We were both interested in the product as well.

We both advocated for SQ 788 and believe in cannabis as a medicine. It was just perfect timing.

Kevin: I’ve known Josh for a long time, and I know how he works, and we just work really well together as far as problem-solving. We had talked about partnering, and we had done deals together and just always been good friends. This opportunity arose and both of our business strategies are to chase burgeoning markets. This was a burgeoning, developing market and we had some good strategies to enter into the marketplace.

For me, the idea of transitioning from fossil fuel generation to a plant base that I actually really believe has strong medicinal value, and it’s four times more oxygenating than a rainforest as a crop… I just saw a lot of potential and it was inspiring to be part of that.

 

Tell me the story behind your name and logo.

Josh: Easy Street just means easy going, comfortable, worry free. That is kind of the place we wanted to be in. As far as our logo, our ad group came up with that. I thought we needed a mascot. A walrus represents a lovable, lighthearted yet sophisticated character. He’s got a bow tie, he’s supposed to be in a tux, like a sophisticated, fancy walrus.

 

Since we last visited you guys, which sounds like it was around the time that you first got started, what are the biggest developments you’ve made?

Josh: Really, just perfecting our processes. We were not candy makers before, so we have kind of developed into professional candy makers. We have got our process down and are really efficient. It’s the cleanest possible product you can put on the market. We are proud of what we have done.

 

Kevin Ferdowsian, Easy Street Extracts

It sounds like you have grown a lot in the expansion of your sales as well.

Josh: I think we’re producing ten times more than we were after our first few months. And we have a really good following. We get amazing feedback from our patients. We have people tell us they won’t eat anything else because they just love the effects of our gummies, and they really get the entourage effect from the rosin.

 

So it’s not just a product that people are seeing on the shelf and saying, hey I want to try that, but you’re actually gaining loyal followers. And you’ve seen growth on that level, not just on the numbers level, but as a grassroots, independent company. And you’ve figured something out.

Kevin: One of the most powerful ways to grow is to hear about a brand from someone you trust, like a friend who has tried it. Word of mouth development is really where it’s at.

Well, that starts with the product. Good product development takes time and requires patience. If you want it as perfect as it can be given your circumstances, you’re not satisfied with something that is inferior.

We came up with a hundred iterations of our gummy until we came up with what we wanted. For subsequent products we want to do the same thing so on the back end we don’t hurt our brand. That patient loyalty is because it’s a good product.

Josh: That is our main focus is premium products and helping patients, so we’re not just rushing something to market to try to make money.

 

I like that you’re not playing a popularity game, you’re playing an actual content game which means that you’re bringing the good and you’re popular because of that.

Kevin: It’s a little slower growth model, but it’s way more solid. We can see that we are eating into some of that. Because other brands that came to the market early, they built a lot of loyalty early. When you try a gummy, or try a product, you kind of stick with it, it almost becomes a personal thing.

One of your questions is what are one of the obstacles we’ve encountered. It’s really getting people to try something that they’re not used to. And we think that if they do try it that they will really enjoy it.

That it’s really a valuable product, and when I say value, for the quality that it is it’s at a very good price range. That’s what we wanted to do. Although it’s a premium, crafty product in a way, for how we do it, it’s much more labor intensive than the way anyone else does it. We really have focused on the quality of the product.

 

And you have human hands on it that care. Your team seems to be a very big part of this culture.

Josh: They are really passionate about cannabis and about the quality.

Kevin: Our team is made up of people who have experienced the health benefit of cannabis. And in some cases, it has saved their lives. Specifically, in the case of opioid addiction, people have gotten off heroin using targeted cannabis doses. The people on our team know that and I think that’s why they’re so passionate about it. It either affected them individually or somebody close to them.

 

You claim that your products are the fastest acting edibles on the market. Why do you think patients are feeling the effects of your products so quickly?

Kevin: You want some science?

Let’s hear it.

Kevin: “Not all milligrams are born equal” is our motto around here. And they are not. If you have 20mg of distillate, it is just not the same as 20mg of rosin.

What we do is we try to do the best research for the existing science, and as the new science comes out, the surveys and results. We’re vertically integrated so we’re interested in all of it, the medicinal components of what we’re doing here but also the growing technology.

There are two good reasons why our product is fast acting and the reason it stays around… When you consume edibles through ingestion, your liver produces 11-hydroxy metabolite, it’s an additional psychoactive compound, also known as 11-Hydroxy-THC. When that is produced it has a conditional, entourage, synergistic effect with the cannabinoids, and you get a heightened sensation.

That’s why when you smoke 100mg, which is about the average joint, it doesn’t have nearly the effect that 100mg of edibles would, tolerances and built tolerances aside.

The second component is the delivery method. As it turns out, coconut oil is an ideal soluble lipid that, number one, infuses well with cannabinoids and number two, is directly absorbed into your intestines and into the liver. Basically, there are a few oils that do that. I’m not going to reveal all of our secrets as to what we do to make that happen, that’s what a lot of our R&D went into. But the choice of ingredients and how we process is why our product as an edible is so much more fast-acting than other edibles. It’s science. If you have a direct streamlined course to the liver, you are going to have a quicker production of 11-hydroxy metabolite, it’s going to enter your bloodstream much faster, and you’re going to have a psychotropic effect much faster.

Furthermore, with a lipophilic substance like cannabis, if it is infused properly, that effect will last much longer as well because you don’t metabolize it as quickly. So, you get a consistent dose into your bloodstream, and you kind of stay at a high. Now there are other reasons, and they have to do with the fact that it’s made with rosin. But essentially, that is the scientific explanation in layperson’s terms without going too far into biochemistry.

Josh: It has a lot to do with our process too, when we add it to the gummies, ingredients, and stuff like that.

 

So basically, what it comes down to is the way you guys process it is the best way for your patients to metabolize it.

Kevin: We think so. That’s what the present evidence suggests, and we try to follow what the evidence tells us.

Josh: And the feedback we get. People tell us it is fast acting all the time. We have had people tell us they felt it in five minutes, which is crazy for an edible. Some of them take 45 minutes to an hour.

Kevin: One of our philosophies is, even though we think we have the best product, we still want to make it better, we still want to improve so we can always know that we are doing the best by our patients and by fellow Oklahomans.

Josh: We want to stay cutting edge. We feel like if we are not growing, if we get stagnant, someone’s going to knock us off the shelf. So, we are working on new products now, and hope to have at least four new products this year.

 

Switching directions here, do you guys see any room for improvement in the medical cannabis industry in Oklahoma?

Josh: I’d like to see the focus be on medicinal rather than just headshops, or people just wanting to go get high. It is a medicine, so I want the education side of things to pick up where people know the difference between a good product and a bad product and focus on the medicinal value of cannabis.

Kevin: People are on pain medication, sleep aids, stress medication, mood stabilizers, a whole host of pharmaceuticals that we know are wrecking their bodies. It’s tearing up their livers, destroying their kidneys, and people are dying from it. There has never been a recorded case from the use of cannabis.

Cannabis in its proper form treats all of those things. It treats opioid addiction in some patients, it just has this dramatic effect on people.

Josh: If you look at the states that have legalized, their opioid deaths have gone down a significant amount, so it’s obviously a better alternative to getting hooked on hydrocodone or morphine, whatever they’re taking.

Kevin: That’s something that we are really aligned with, “what’s behind the getting high component?” That’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with that. But when that is the sheath, the covering of what medical marijuana is, then it kind of takes away some other intrinsic values that can really benefit people.

People discard it, they say “oh that’s a drug,” or “I don’t have time for partying.” Personally, it’s helped me tremendously. I think people would be surprised what people can accomplish using this medicine.Doctors, lawyers, teachers, people all over the state have been using this compound to their benefit. I think a lot of those people would like to, in earnest, share that with other people.

The stigma actually stops people from potential health outcomes. I’m not one of those people that thinks this is a panacea, it is not. It will not solve all of our problems. But there are some specific things that will help.

As long as we say this is an evil drug and we put people in jail over it, and we have for so long, that stigma will take time to wash off. You know, you talk to people, and the demographic that could benefit the most from this herb is older people, and so many people over 65 have a negative impression of this.

Josh: They have heard the horror stories of the war on drugs. I think the stigma is going away faster than I thought, though. As a conservative state, Oklahoma has really embraced it.

Kevin: One thing I would like to see is a little more consistency with the regulation. There are some internal inconsistencies that they are working through. Any industry that is developing is going to have those hurdles. OMMA in my opinion has been fantastic, trying to sort through the legislative scheme that they have available to them. I would like to see some better guidance on some discrete issues within the law.

As far as the consumer base, the purpose of this law was to keep it in Oklahoma, all aspects of it, and I would like to see fellow Okies try Oklahoma products. There are a lot of premium, high quality products out there.

Josh: That is a big card we like to play, support local. It is sad to think that people who are putting their heart and soul into this, putting everything on the line financially, are getting put out of business by someone from out of state. That just does not sit well with me.

Kevin: And they are circumventing the law through kind of manipulative means, in my opinion. The purpose of the law was to make these predominantly Oklahoma sourced companies. They have just done a lot of things to bring people to Oklahoma, and that revenue is going out of state, largely.

Josh: We’re fine with a free market, we just like to give our fellow Oklahomans a boost.

 

What’s next the next stop on Easy Street?

Josh: Another hurdle that we have dealt with is just educating consumers on the difference between rosin and distillate. I think a lot of people are only getting information from the budtenders, so we don’t get to deal with them directly. If the budtenders are not telling them this is rosin infused, or not telling them the difference between rosin and distillate, they have no idea. I think for people to really understand the benefits of rosin-infused gummies instead of distillate we have to educate, and have budtenders educate. That’s a major focus right now.

New products are going to be our main focus for the next few months. We kind of hit the brakes on it last year. When covid hit we started working in shifts, and it just messed up our mojo with developing. We didn’t really have any sales people going out, and we didn’t want to risk anyone being around people.

So, that is the focus now, new products and educating people. We are going to try to do more events when covid subsides. We are going to try to really get the educational aspects of it out there.

 

 

I had the opportunity to try some of their 10mg gummies, what an experience. If you’re looking for me, I’ll be on Easy Street. Stay up to date on the latest from Easy Street Extracts on Facebook @easystreetextracts and Instagram @easy.street_extracts.

www.easystreetextracts.com

 

Training Through Terps pt. 3

Eliminate the Struggle

by Micah McKamie

When building your workouts, one of the things that I consistently see is a lack of focus towards routine and consistency.  “Finding” a way to “Fit” your workouts in throughout the week is setting yourself up for failure.  

Intro to Training through Terps by Micah McKamie

Too many times we go into the planning and scheduling process of working out with the, “I will make time” mentality for your fitness and weight loss goals.  We go through our daily routines determined to make time for our fitness, however, we constantly fall short.  Why?  I want to be fit?  I have the desire!!!  I have the knowledge!!!  Unfortunately making time isn’t enough to sustain what it takes to become physically fit.  

The main issue is how we categorize the need in our heads.  By just making time for something you are already limiting your ability to work out to when it’s convenient.  When everything else is done, you will get to that run, knocking out the workout of the day, or get a good Yoga session.  Now, because we “make time” for our workouts in our head, we justify the lack of workouts that this causes.  I am just too busy, there isn’t enough time, and I just don’t have the mental capacity or energy, become normalized statements when your brain passes over the “what’s next on the list” thought.  

This is where I usually hit a wall with people, because the next part doesn’t make sense unless you practice it; the more you work out, the more energy you have.  This is hard for most people to understand because the first few weeks of making physical fitness a priority are exhausting.  The soreness, the mental anguish from making yourself keep going even though you are sore and achy.   Waking up your muscles and endorphin system out of hibernation takes time and work and honestly, it’s the part people hate the most. 

Part 2: The Journey, by Micah McKamie

That is where cannabis products come into play.  The abundance of products out there that are designed towards a medical or even a recreational standpoint can be highly beneficial to kick-starting your fitness journey.  Strains can be used to get you going, tone you down, eliminate soreness, and just make working out fun.  One group of products that I love is the pain-relieving capabilities of transdermals’ and there are quite a few on the market, but two have stood out.  Mary’s Medicinals 1:1 transdermal patch is crazy good.  The first use, you look at the little 2-inch pad and wonder how this could even work. However, less than 5 minutes after application this little guy will loosen you up, eliminate pain, and honestly put you in a good mood.  The second is a new product from Sunday Extracts.  They have not only made a 1:1 salve that works immediately, but it’s also made with hydrosol.  If you are not aware of what hydrosols are, they are the moisture leftover when extracting essential oils, so it is medicinal and really good for your skin. The reason I bring these up is even at the ripe old age of 39 I am able to get immediate results from these products which have aided me in longer and more reoccurring workouts than without. 

Not only processed products, but really good flower can also aid in the success of those just starting their fitness journey.  I always suggest lower THC doses or more manageable THC:CBD doses so as to make you successful and not just get you ripped. I have gone over a few of my favorite strains in past articles that focused more on performance, than pain management, so I thought I would list a few pain strains that have worked for me!.

Gorilla Glue #4

Great flavor, Creative producing, great for pain relief and reducing inflammation. No Time, Fabulous Cannabis

Skunk Hero

Great pain reduction, good for relaxing muscles, a sativa that is not energy producing, however does not rob you of your energy. Sunday Extracts

Mac Stomper

Great for recovery, reduces stress and inflammation, helps to release lactic acid build up, mood elevator. Gray Matter Farms 

Hulka Kola

2:1 ratio, great for body relaxation, clears your thoughts and aids in meditation, specifically hunted to reduce pain and inflammation, Does not have a CBD hemp taste Kola Organics 

 

Now, go into this knowing that it also is a process.  I have spent many a morning bombed out of mind sitting on the floor next to my weights and wondering if this would work.  The key was knowing myself, my tolerance levels, and how terpenes affect me differently, as well as, figuring out what strains and products work best at what times.  Eliminating the struggle through canna-centric workouts is what it is all about.  Cannabis isn’t a shortcut, it’s an add on.  It is a key to get to the other 90% of our potential.

I know l have said it before, but training through terpenes is as much about learning and knowing yourself as it is about Cannabis.   It isn’t just about utilizing medical marijuana to make working out fun or tolerable, even though it is an amazing side effect, but it’s about learning what makes you tick. How best to use clean motivation internally to meet your goals?  What will make this process go smoothly for you?  Canna-centric isn’t about other peoples’ routines, its how to harness your already installed and dormant passion to fulfill your goals and let’s be honest getting a little baked.  

 

If you are looking for a reason to start your canna-centric fitness journey, we will be coordinating a cannabis friendly group run on February 28th.  If you are curious about what Training Through Terps does, or interested in shot-gunning and running with us contact us at Cannabiscommunity405@gmail.com or DM us at @trainingthroughterps on Instagram!!!  Are You In?

Spreading the Word of Cannabis

by Brittiany Ralls

Have you ever been to a place that felt like home even without ever being there? Being back in Houston has me feeling like I’m home. Which to be honest I’m not really in Houston, but rather the surrounding area, closer to Galveston. Being near the ocean puts my body at ease in a way a mountain range never could. I’m so glad to be back! Where the city is diverse and the day turns into night and continues on, never ceasing. 2020 was hard, in so many ways. But with that hard came growth in so many ways. Being back in Houston at the beginning of 2021 has me hopeful and ready for the year. The city of Houston is home to many like me. Someone who was born somewhere else and lived somewhere else a majority of their childhood but loves Houston and all it has to offer.

How Sustainable is the Cannabis Industry? by Brittiany Ralls

About half way through the year, after all the quartining had been steadily put into place, my husband and I decided that we needed more than what we were doing. We missed the ocean and being in the water. We needed more than working in the cannabis industry and helping others see their dreams come to life. Which can seem selfish but, a part of our passion is helping others with their passions. We have put OUR passions on the back burner to help others though. So we were ready to start seeing our dreams come to life. The biggest issue with part of that dream was that we dreamed of it starting in Texas. Texas is my husband’s home state and Houston is where I moved when I turned 18. I lived in Houston for 11 years before pursuing my career in cannabis in Colorado. I’m originally from Oklahoma, but Houston has felt more like where I should be since moving there. It’s where my children were born, it’s where I learned a lot about what I’m capable of and is even the reason I had the courage to move to Colorado with the intent of learning cannabis.

]We came back with the anticipation that Texas will be legalizing soon. I don’t know if it’ll be in 2021 or it’ll be another 5 years, all I know is most states have shown that they prefer their own residents being majority owners in the cannabis business, so my family can’t miss our chance at staking a claim in our home state of Texas. With all that said, since I will be in Texas I will be doing pieces on everything related to Texas culture and helping Texans get informed on cannabis/hemp and the amazing community we are. Which…. if you didn’t know, Texas has a medical cannabis program. It’s very restricted and difficult to participate in. But, it does exist. There are a ton of CBD only stores and CBD is basically sold almost anywhere. So Texans do have that option for their cannabis medicine. The problem is, there is still a hard stigma attached to cannabis and anything related to it in Texas. Leaving many patients without any way to know where to find valid information about cannabis/hemp brands/products or what will even work for the ailments they are treating. I hope to help the cannabis community in Texas so that we can hopefully see our dreams come true of full cannabis legalization in Texas.

Noble Nectar Extracts

Photo Credit: Miranda Cummings | Words by Anna Ervin

When asked what drives the Noble Nectar team, founder and co-owner Preston Anderson, told me that “providing quality cannabis products for patients is the foundation and objective of Noble Nectar.”

“We come from cannabis marketing, sales, and retail experience,” Preston explained. “We learned many lessons from other cannabis markets and realized that a lot of brands simply were not putting the patients first. The more we became educated about the versatility and vast benefits of cannabis, the closer we wanted to be to the product development side of things.”

Looking back at their first year of business, I asked Preston what advice he would give to himself when they first started operating. His response, “just stay true to the mission and trust the process and the rest will fall into place exactly how it’s supposed to! 2020 was a scary year to be in your first year of business, I wish I could have shown myself then just how far this team has come now.”

2020 was a dumpster-fire of a year indeed, but this crew still managed to build something that they can be proud of amidst all the chaos. One of their biggest hurdles? “Sourcing top quality material,” Preston reports. “With over 6000 cultivation licenses in the state of Oklahoma, we have the opportunity to be really selective on what we use for our concentrates. This has also driven us to grow our own material that is up to our standards.”

Noble Nectar has been in business since mid-2019, but it was not until January of last year that they began to really grow as a brand. Just a short year later, with new products expected to hit the market and a 1st place Cowboy Cup buckle literally under their belt, Herbage wanted to catch up with the Nectar crew. Still reeling over their award-winning product, Preston and marketing director Miranda Cummings were excited to share a little insight into what’s been going on behind the scenes at the Nectar headquarters.

White Cherry Wedding Cake Live THCa Diamonds – Macro Shot Photographed by Daniel Hays @replaymediaok

Tell me a little bit about the different product lines you offer.

PA: Our current roster consists of our Live THCa diamonds and plasma, which is a combination of live THCa diamonds and terpenes. Both consistencies are featured in our Flawless (single source) line and our VVS line which features starting material sourced from talented Oklahoma cultivators across the state. We also produce high-quality Live Resin Cartridges, and a dosable dab product through our exclusive partnership with Dab Tabs.

Let’s talk about your collaboration with Dab Tabs. I think these little stones are one of the coolest inventions in the history of cannabis, but for those who have yet to try them, can you explain?

PA: Sure! We certainly can’t take credit for the invention, but we immediately knew these were going to be a game-changer in the industry.  DabTabs, or “dablets,” were created by ilo Research out of Oregon and are measured portions of cannabis concentrate encased in a natural mineral-based ceramic that is dosed at precisely 50mg. Cold starting this pre-dosed ‘dablet’ allows the user to get a consistently measured flavorful dab at a low temperature. On a personal note, cold starting three of these in a banger is one of my favorite ways to dab currently.

Innovative Dab Tabs Dablet in action with the Shatterizer vape tech – Photographed by Rachel Roller

You guys just released your new Live Resin Carts in September, tell me a little more about those and why you think more cannabis users are ditching the distillate.

PA: I think more cannabis users are ditching the distillate because I believe consumers are looking for a better experience out of their cartridges. Although distillate is the more affordable option for cartridge production, the distillate carts just don’t satisfy me with the taste or the quality of high – and I think many other patients would agree.

MC: We wanted to develop a product that honestly felt like a dab on the go and, according to our beta testers and our patients, we’ve accomplished that. We also have had a lot of fun with creating ‘flights’ with our cartridges to provide different and interesting combos of two different strain options in one purchase for our Oklahoma patients.

Congratulations on taking home first place in the Liquid BHO category at the Cowboy Cup, when choosing your entry, what made you decide to go with Wedding Crasher Diamonds?

PA: Thank you so much! We knew entering one of our THCa diamonds from our newly released Flawless (single source) line was a no brainer. Our team has been working really hard in the lab and in the grow with some pretty amazing genetics from the best breeders around. It was a hard decision between the eleven single source strains we just released, but when my extractors and I tried the Wedding Crasher we knew this had to be an entry. The taste and high were so on point.

MC: Aesthetically speaking, the Wedding Crasher diamonds were my favorite to take photos of. The size, the way they sparkled in the light, and just the way they looked after terpenes were drizzled over them I knew made them award-worthy. Echoing Preston, the taste was simply irresistible and the high was the perfect balance of tingly and focused/uplifting.

Cowboy Cup 1st place award winning Wedding Crasher Live THCa Diamonds – Photographed by Miranda Cummings

What changes are you looking forward to seeing the Oklahoma Cannabis Industry make in the coming years?

PA: Our team believes there is a need for more robust consumer education programs. Educating the public on the versatility of cannabis, how to use a variety of products, and the proper techniques that go along with those products is something we would love to play a larger role in, come 2021. Overall, I am really looking forward to any and all positive changes and improvements to the medical market that are coming in the new year.

What’s next for Noble Nectar?

PA: We are deep in the process of releasing five new product lines within the next quarter and adding educational programs to better benefit budtenders and consumers. Lots of big things in the works for Noble Nectar that we are excited to announce when the time is right!

MC: We are also getting ready to graduate our first semester of The Nectar Collective and select our next ten members for our six-month beta testing class! We’ve been receiving feedback on all of our products from our current ten amazing individuals since August and were able to provide them with our favorite tools and accessories to medicate with, in return! It’s been a really amazing program for us and getting to give such cool products and gear to deserving patients in Oklahoma has definitely been one of the highlights of our year.

Can we look forward to an announcement about another Noble Cup soon?

MC: We’ve been in serious planning mode when it comes to what the 2021 Noble Cup will look like, and we are very excited to be able to share those plans with Oklahoma as soon as we are able to 🙂

 

Follow Noble Nectar Extracts on Instagram (@noblenectarextracts) and Facebook (@noble.nectarok) to stay up to date on the latest products to hit the market.

www.noble710.com

Medicated Lip Balm

5 Medicated Lip Balms

+ DIY Lip Scrub Recipe

Note: This article originally stated that Simply Bare’s Feel This Lip Balm was 10mg, but has since been updated to reflect the correct dosage. Feel This Lip Balm contains 50mg of THC, and 50mg of Hemp Fat. 

by Anna Ervin

Two years ago, I was doing my absolute best to get through my first winter living in Colorado. If I’m being completely honest, I had never really thought much about my skin, nevertheless my lips, or the products I used on them. But there I was, four months into what felt like the longest winter of my life, and feeling every last effect of Colorado’s cold, dry weather.

Vegetable Pad Thai with Infused Spicy Peanut Sauce

My lips burned, cracked, even bled that winter. I had never experienced anything like it.  I ran to Pinterest for remedies and ended up learning a lot about what goes into the products we put on our lips in the process. While certain name brands in the cosmetics industry are beginning to look at their ingredients and make some long-overdue changes, there are still a lot of bad apples out there putting harmful products in storefronts.

Considering that your lips are right next to your mouth, I feel like it’s pretty important to pay attention to what goes on them. So what should you avoid? Parabens, synthetic fragrances and dyes, harsh chemicals, BHT, petroleum jelly, the list could honestly go on for ages.

Imagine trying to keep all of this in mind during your weekly trip to the grocery store. So, I thought I’d make things a little easier and share 5 clean, toxin-free, and for the most part, locally-sourced alternatives, as well as my own exfoliating lip scrub recipe. Oh, and did I mention these are medicated alternatives?

 

Feel This Lip Balm, by Simply Bare LLC – 50mg THC | 50mg hemp fat

I could not have dreamed of writing this article without mentioning Feel This. Utilizing as much of the plant as possible in order to provide maximum healing effects, Simply Bare is one of the first companies invested in independent research over the benefit of using Hemp Lipids in cosmetics. In addition to being full spectrum, Feel This products are leading the industry in sustainability with their FDA-approved, recyclable packaging and labeling printed with biodegradable ink. The focus of this company is to trigger a lifestyle change for their consumers, one that prompts them to pay closer attention to the beauty industry’s carbon footprint, as well as to the ingredients used in our skincare products.

Seven Wonders CBD Lip Balm, by Key to Nature’s Blessings – 25mg CBD

While most of our options are micro-dosed with THC, this particular lip balm is safe for those who simply prefer the power of CBD. Key to Nature’s Blessings makes their Lip Balm with ingredients like Mango Seed Butter and Tea Tree oil to not only hydrate, but also heal dry lips. Tea Tree oil is also great for relieving cold sores, acne, and bad breath. This balm makes a great gift for friends and family that don’t have an OMMA patient card.

Mint Oil Lip Balm by Mammoth Processing – 8.45mg THC

Another local option, Mammoth Processing produces a medicinal lip balm that boasts 1063MG of terpenes per tube. Terpenes add anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, moisturizing, and mood-enhancing properties to topicals (to name a few). This medicated balm uses a base of coconut oil, beeswax, and organic shea butter for maximum hydration and protection from the elements.

CBD Lip Tint, by Key to Nature’s Blessings – 25mg CBD

In addition to their lip balm, Nature’s Blessings also offers a lip tint for those of us who like to add a little color to our palette. This has personally been my go-to lately. Despite wearing a mask that covers that part of my face, there is just something about wearing a little color on my lips that really boosts my confidence. Made with the same base as the Seven Wonders Lip Balm, the color of this tint is not overwhelmingly bold, instead, adding a subtle depth to the natural color of your lips while still providing moisture.

Lip Bong, by Mary Jane’s Medicinals – 9mg THC / 3mg CBD

This Colorado-born company focuses on a holistic approach by producing all-natural and organic topicals. The packaging on this one claims that no chemical solvents were used in production. With ingredients like cannabis-infused grape seed oil, jojoba oil, and essential oils of peppermint, this lip treatment reminds me of my favorite natural products used in my own homemade remedies.

 

 

DIY Exfoliating Lip Scrub

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp finely ground sugar

1 Tbsp MCT oil

1-2 drops sweet peppermint essential oil (or peppermint extract)

Instructions:

Mix sugar and MCT oil (can also use olive oil, grapeseed, or jojoba) and stir. Add more oil if the mixture is dry. Stir in essential oil or extract a little at a time, perform a patch test, and adjust accordingly. Try to avoid adding too much peppermint or opt to use a different type of essential oil to avoid irritating inflamed lips.

Whimsical Imaginations

Whimsical Imaginations
Cover Artist, Kathy Long

by James Bridges | Herbage Magazine

“A lot of my inspiration early on was escaping. I dealt with a lot of trauma as a child. I was always interested in the Whimsical types of things. I’ve always loved fairies and dragons and stuff like that.”  Kathy looked through her camera as we talked through Zoom.  It’s a rather odd way to conduct an interview, but it’s becoming easier to swallow.  I suspect I’ll never be able to keep it down in my gut though.

“I always wanted to be a part of that world. I actually speak Elvish.” Kathy smiled.  I could tell I was speaking with someone that had a huge imagination and I really enjoyed the entryway to what I am sure is a wonderful land of amazement inside of her head.

Follow Kathy on Instagram

Kathy happens to work in the cannabis industry as her “day job”.  The team down at HempRX in Tulsa have the pleasure. She could recall being there for about 5 months or so, but like many of us on this planet right now….time is hard to keep up with.

“Being in the cannabis industry was a very unexpected opportunity that fell in my lap. My husband said you should go by HempRX.  They are looking for someone like you in their store. I was like okay.”  I noticed the word n-o-b-r-a-i-n-e-r lift off of her head and dissolve into thin air.

“I actually dabbled with THC when I was younger.  Before it was ever measured and prescribed if that’s what you call it. I discovered I’m more of a CBD person.  This is the interesting part. My mother’s side of the family actually had someone in there. I believe it was a cousin who has schizophrenia and I don’t possess that Gene, but whenever I smoke I straight-up hallucinate.  So I get the same high with CBD as you would with THC.”  She was saying with her eyes wide open.

I found this to be rather interesting.  How could someone hallucinate from CBD?  I looked.  It is impossible to completely rule out if CBD will ever produce hallucinations.  Most importantly there are very few actual recorded cases of CBD oils and hallucinations.  Furthermore, studies show that CBD may help “dampen the abnormal brain activity that can cause the hallucinations and delusions linked with psychosis, paving the way for it to be recommended to help with these kinds of problems for patients in the future.”

“I moved to Oklahoma because my husband is a dialysis patient and his working ability is limited and working with cannabis is one of the things that actually helps him. He has an autoimmune disease. Cannabis actually helps him to not get sick every morning. It’s a job where he can freely smoke and take care of his autoimmune issues and still work reasonable hours.”  Kathy seemed at peace.

Kathy not only produces some fun talent on canvas she is an advocate for her patients that she has grown to know.  She loves the cannabis community and seems right at home within it.  Find more of her work on Instagram or check out her website here.

Spin the Love

by Anna Ervin

I think it is safe to say that for obvious reasons a lot of us have been feeling restless lately. Being cooped up at home has many people looking for new ways to stay entertained, or perhaps returning to old ones. One industry, in particular, has seen a substantial increase in sales since the beginning of the pandemic, and I am not talking about medical cannabis.

Last August, Billboard reported that “online music marketplace Discogs’ global sales in the first half of 2020 were up nearly 30% over the same period last year.” Later reports indicated that record sales were expected to continuously rise throughout the second half of the year.

I have always been curious about collecting vinyl, so I made a trip to one of Tulsa’s largest record stores, Josey Records, to see if they could convince me to pick up a new hobby. Store manager, John Gabriel, tells me that people who wander into their store are often in awe of the fact that they are still selling records.

Is Vinyl Making a Comeback?

People might claim that the future of music is digital but according to John, “you can’t hold it, you can’t touch it. With a record, you can pull it out and see the grooves, you can see where the songs are, you can actually look at it.”

“I think people are more into having that physical thing,” he continued, “and it just sounds better. If you listen to Spotify on decent speakers, you can tell the difference. You can tell that there’s stuff missing. It’s not the same.”

“So,” John said, “it’s the sound, the quality, and the hunt. I think a lot of people got rid of all their vinyl to buy CDs, then got rid of their CDs to buy digital, and now they are remembering that they loved vinyl. Then for some of the kids, it’s something new. People are kind of just getting back into it and finding things they either didn’t know existed or didn’t know to look for.”

“Even if you don’t want to start a giant collection like we have, you can get one of our crates, fill it up with 50 records and just have it in the corner, listen to them when you want. We also sell these Bluetooth speakers. You can hook up to your turntable, play a record, and when that is done you just open up your phone and put Spotify on through those.”

How Did Josey Records End Up in Tulsa?

Co-owners Waric Cameron and Luke Sardello opened the first Josey Records store on Josey Avenue in Dallas around 6 years ago. Now in a new Dallas location, Josey is the biggest independent record store in the country. They have since expanded to a couple of other cities, including the opening of the Tulsa store in March of 2017.

“I think they just saw an opening here and thought it’d be a good place,” John said. “We have a great location; the area is really coming up. Deckopolis just opened, and Buck Atoms is really helping. I think a lot of people stop from Route 66 and hang out there, then come in here.”

“I love that Tulsa is embracing this area,” he continued. “When I was a kid, 11th street was kind of a rough spot, but now it’s cool. It’s Route 66, people can walk around, shop, have great pizza.”

NOTE: Upon John’s recommendation, I did indeed have some of the best pizza just down the street at Bobby O’s. Aside from making the biggest pizza I’ve ever seen, Bobby O’s also offers a vegan menu and facilitates an entirely separate gluten-free kitchen. Check them out!

Pandemic Influences Record Sales

When the pandemic first began to take hold over US Cities, Josey Records attempted to keep their doors open for as long as possible.

“When it first happened,” John said, “before there were any ordinances, the owners called and said they were sending us this plastic shield. They wanted us to get gloves, sanitizer, whatever we could get. And people had already started buying that stuff, so it was kind of hard to find. We have the tattoo guys next door, and they gave me a couple of boxes of gloves and a few reusable masks. That really helped.”

However, like a lot of small businesses, when a city or state mandate forced them to close their doors to the public, they went online. “Every day I would take a picture of around 60 records that we have in the store and post them to Instagram and Facebook,” John told me. “Our customers are great, that kept us afloat, for sure. I did that for like 2 months, come in every day for 4 or 5 hours, fill orders, pack boxes, ship them and some people did curbside. As soon as we could we opened back up.”

Where to Begin

Tucked into the Pearl District off Route 66, Josey looks small from the street but once inside, boasts the largest used vinyl collection in the city. I had a feeling that if ever there were a time for me to ask for advice on buying my first turntable, this was it. John’s advice? Splurge on the player, save your money on vinyl.

“If you have a cheap player,” he told me, “it is probably not going to sound that great. They make those little suitcase ones, and we don’t even carry them because people end up disappointed. A lot of times they don’t play heavier records. Newer records are thicker and weigh a lot more. They are supposed to last longer but they don’t work on the cheaper players. If you have a decent player, even the $100 ones that we have here, it just sounds better. You can hear what is going on with the music. It’s not all compressed.”

“We have noticed,” John continued, “that these kids will get really expensive players, spend thousands of dollars on records, realize it’s not the work they wanted to put into it, they would rather just plug their phone in and play music. They come in here and we give them a fair deal, but they get a tiny fraction of what they spent just two years ago.”

“So, buy the used ones, ” he said, “buy the cheap stuff, see if you like it. We have a dollar section. Our dollar section is for the most part just stuff that we see all the time, like gospel, big band stuff, stuff that isn’t really popular. There is a lot of classic rock in there that either the sleeve is busted up, or it’s scuffed, but it should play.”

“That is a good place to start. Find something that you like, a band you know or something you have heard. Get a player and just kind of listen to it, see if playing it for 20 minutes and having to flip it over, then having to switch records is something you want to get into.”

Check out Josey Records on Facebook and Instagram for inventory and store updates.

For the Love Of

by James Bridges

Herbage Magazine

Gripped in.  The seat feels like it was molded for me.  There’s a dark gray sheen in every glance.  The angle of the dash feels like a beast, yet makes perfect sense in its design both aesthetically and functionally.

I push the button.  Like most, I’m going to spend a lot of time with this thing today.  The quick crank and start of the push button still reminds me of being a kid and riding my first, real-deal, tricked out 4-wheeler in my teens.

Call me a kid, but I like my cars just like I loved my toys back then.

The padded leather steering wheel may not sound like much until you are on your day three of road.  Synced up and tunes are playing.  Damn, the sound system is nice.

I feel the engagement of the tranny as I pull back on what I hope will never change about a Jeep.  That is the fact that it is NOT simple to put into gear.  #Engineering matters.  To simply use one finger to slap something into gear does not feel like I am driving a real piece of machinery.  Sorry fairweather drivers…

The dark tinted windows make it easy for me to observe.  As I have somewhat of a passion for observing.  Let’s not forget the convenience of medicating.

For as long as I can recall I have had a love for cars.  I surround myself with things like this.  I look around and I see things that fit my taste perfectly and some are always missing a little something.  For my car though.  It is my world.  To me that’s comfort.  I can make that whatever I want it to be.  I have control over it and the feelings that I have for it. I found it.  I found something that makes me feel in an interesting way that I like to feel.

But it has no soul.  Is that love?

How Sustainable is the Cannabis Industry?

by Brittiany Ralls

In the last piece “How Sustainable is the Cannabis Industry?”, we chatted about how cannabis

How Sustainable is the Cannabis Industry? (part 1) by Brittiany Ralls

sustainability is hindered in part to laws that restrict the ability of businesses to be able to be more sustainable. Huge bummer, I know. But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to participate in programs or come up with ways to be more helpful in the aspect of sustainability. What are some of the steps your business can take to make your cannabis business more sustainable and eco-friendly? There are quite a fews ways, depending on the kind of cannabis business you have. We will start with simple solutions that most cannabis businesses can focus on at the moment to help get you going in the direction of sustainability. These are small things that could be implemented within your cannabis business quickly and easily thus getting you and your employees in the mindset of sustainability.

There are few ways to get started with this and I suggest starting with paper. There are quite a few ways to eliminate the use of paper as much within your cannabis business. Now I know that some cannabis businesses can’t do this completely, especially with programs like METRC that require you to print manifests to carry when transporting cannabis. But, you can eliminate some paper waste by using programs for your employees to clock in and out, dispensaries can use online loyalty systems for their patients instead of paper cards for the patients to keep track of, processors and cultivators can create documents for their testing accessible through QR Codes instead of printing testing papers to go along with the sales they make.

Grandfather of Alternative Rock | Photo Cred: Jeff Hooten | by Brittiany Ralls

Plastic packaging is a huge contributor to the amount of waste generated by the cannabis industry. Currently using plastics that are more eco-friendly will also mean a higher price tag. To keep from having to pass that cost along to the patient most companies opted for what is affordable vs. sustainable. But, with the ability to influence the laws created for this industry we can also create plastic buy back programs for recycling. Implementing recycling procedures for employees will help the entire company in its efforts to be more sustainable in the long run. If your business is a processing company you can use energy efficient equipment to help cut energy costs, as well as, implement systems that help employees reduce waste during production by using automated systems or make sure that your SOP’s are made with sustainability in mind.

These are some quick and easy ideas that can help get you started to becoming a sustainable cannabis business. Putting you ahead of the curve and allowing you to be prepared for the future of what cannabis will be. Cannabis will have the ability to help usher in a new mindset of creating a world that is sustainable and eco-friendly, so long as those within the industry put an emphasis on these factors and ensure that they matter. Which they do and will even more in the future.

Brittiany Ralls

Consultant

brittiany.adilas@gmail.com

936.239.6257

Congress Boards the MJ Research Train

by Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish, Cannabis Lawyer

In the wake of passing the MORE Act, which I wrote about in my December 2020 column, two other Acts related to marijuana were passed by Congress at the end of 2020. The U.S. House of Representatives approved the Medical Marijuana Research Act (“MMRA”) on December 9, 2020. MMRA is bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Andy Harris (R-MD) that addresses the burdensome impediments to legitimate medical research. Subsequently, on December 15, 2020, the U.S. Senate approved its own bipartisan bill, the Cannabidiol and Marihuana Research Expansion Act (CMREA). The CMREA also promotes cannabis studies and addresses current impediments.

More Act by Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish

A 2017 report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine found that “research on the health effects of cannabis and cannabinoids has been limited in the United States, leaving patients, health care professionals, and policy makers without the evidence they need to make sound decisions regarding the use of cannabis and cannabinoids.” Thus, passage by the House and Senate of MMRA and CMREA is good news moving into 2021. It appears that Congress finally recognizes the value of cannabis research, and plans to encourage studies by removing antiquated federal roadblocks. The caveat is that, in order for federal legislation to become law, it must be passed by the House and the Senate, and signed by the President. Hopefully, Congress will reach an agreement on a unified version of these two bills during the early months of 2021.

Barriers to Cannabis Research

Federal law severely limits studies concerning health benefits of cannabis. There is a burdensome registration procedure, protocol reviews are redundant in many instances, security requirements are onerous and unnecessary, especially given that approximately ninety-nine percent of Americans now live in a state where marijuana is legal in some form, and there is just a complete lack of significant research. Limitations also apply to where marijuana for research can be obtained and unfortunately, the quality of that marijuana has been poor—a recognized fact now—which has inevitably hampered accurate results of any significant research studies concerning its health benefits

Cannabis Testing by Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish

Source Limitations for Marijuana Used in Research Since “marihuana” remains a Schedule I substance under the federal 1970 Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”), the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) regulates its cultivation for research purposes. The DEA controls registration requirements and establishes annual aggregate production quotas under the authority of the CSA. Unbelievably, the DEA has issued only one registration for research marijuana cultivation—to the University of Mississippi. Thus, only the University of Mississippi has been authorized to grow marijuana for use in research studies. Every few years, the University designates the land where marijuana crops are grown based on current and expected demand. Then, the marijuana is grown, harvested, stored, and made available in bulk or as particular elements of the plant, for use in research. The subpar quality of the University-grown marijuana renders it almost useless in conducting serious studies that might yield reliable, usable data leading researchers to significant conclusions about marijuana’s health benefits.

Additionally, studies have shown that this marijuana has lower levels of THC and CBD as compared to commercial grade cannabis products and is, in fact, genetically closer to hemp than the marijuana varieties sold at dispensaries in states where marijuana is legal. Given that marijuana and hemp are genetically distinct, reliance upon the low-grade marijuana cultivated at the University of Mississippi for research about its health benefits is problematic. Participants in studies who consume the varieties cultivated at the University may experience vastly different effects than patients and adult-use consumers that obtain their marijuana product from dispensaries, yielding unreliable results and faulty conclusions. However, efforts by the DEA to expand the number of federally authorized marijuana cultivators for research purposes are underway, and passage of the above pieces of legislation will likely ensure that higher quality marijuana becomes available for research purposes.

Medical Marijuana Research Act

The MMRA achieves four main goals. It addresses the poor quality and inadequate supply of medical-grade marijuana available for use in research; provides a clear path for researchers to study cannabis products used by patients and adult-use consumers pursuant to state-legal programs; streamlines the unduly burdensome, redundant process that researchers must navigate before obtaining a license to conduct marijuana research while guarding against misuse and abuse; and requires that the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provide a report on the status and results of new research concerning the health benefits of marijuana.

The full text of the MMRA can be found here.

Cannabidiol and Marihuana Research Expansion Act

The CMREA, passed by the Senate, is primarily intended to streamline the application process for researchers to study marijuana and to encourage the Food and Drug Administration to develop cannabis-derived medicines. The congressional summary of the Act states that it allows “accredited medical and osteopathic schools, practitioners, research institutions, and manufacturers with a Schedule I registration” to cultivate their own cannabis for research purposes. This provision would insulate researchers from the requirement of using the poor quality marijuana cultivated at the University of Mississippi.

The Act also specifies that physicians can discuss the risks and benefits of marijuana with patients, and, in similarity to the required report under the MMRA, requires the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to submit a report concerning the potential health benefits of marijuana and addressing barriers to cannabis research and how best to overcome those barriers. The CMREA has been endorsed by mainstream medical organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association and the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

The full text of the CMREA can be found here.

 

Differences in MMRA and CMREA

One major difference in the MMRA and the CMREA is that the House bill (MMRA) allows scientists to obtain marijuana from dispensaries in legal states for research purposes, whereas the CMREA allows them to cultivate their own marijuana for such purposes. Both provisions are clearly designed to circumvent current federal requirements that marijuana used for research purposes must be cultivated at the University of Mississippi. Another difference in the two pieces of legislation is the provision in the CMREA protecting physicians from penalties under the CSA, to allow discussion of risks and benefits of marijuana products with patients.

Will we see more federally-approved marijuana research projects in 2021?
Stay tuned.

Information contained herein provides general information related to the law and does not provide legal advice. It is recommended that readers consult their personal lawyer if they want legal advice. No attorney-client or confidential relationship exists or is formed between you and Ms. Parrish as a result of this article.

Hicksford Farms: That Good Life

by Anna Ervin

Pura Vida

When Jason and Jennifer Hicks packed up their family and moved to Costa Rica for a few years, they learned to embrace the Pura Vida lifestyle. I recently had a chance to visit their facilities in Durant, Oklahoma, and found that Hicksford Farms is the perfect representation of “the pure life.” But what does that mean?

Hicksford Farms is owned and operated by the Hicks and Crawford families. I wanted to learn more about how these families were bringing Pura Vida to Oklahoma medical cannabis, so I took the opportunity to sit down with some of the crew; including Lead Cultivators Jory Hicks and Kory Bailey, Media Manager Brett Hicks, as well as two of the owners, Jason and Jennifer Hicks.

Jory explained that Pura Vida “is a part of Costa Rica’s culture. They don’t mean pure life when they say it. It literally translates to ‘pure life,’ but they use it in many situations as ‘it’s all good,’ or as a way to keep going and keep grinding through the hard times and the hard work.”

“It shows in their attitudes towards each other,” he continued, “and that spoke to us because we’re coming from a different culture where people aren’t necessarily that caring with each other. There’s nothing in our language that’s really deep in our culture like that. There, you’re going to hear it every two seconds. So it permeates. You’re saying it, and it becomes how people are.”

Jennifer added that “we feel like the cannabis culture has really adopted that for us here in Oklahoma. So that is where we tie that in, it helps us come together as a community. We’re reaching for something natural, helpful, and pure.”

Pura Vida is appropriately the name of Hicksford’s new CO2 extracted, full-spectrum oil, but we’ll dive more into that later.

A Day in the Life

As I toured their facilities, I couldn’t help but wonder what a typical day in such a large operation might look like. When I asked Jory, he informed me that the job involves a lot more plumbing and electrical work than actually getting to work with the plants.

“There are 20-30 HVAC units in all the rooms, so at any given point one of them is doing something weird,” Jory said, “so we’ll tinker with that, get our water made, record our temperatures and get all of our data recorded, then we set out and make a plan for the day. As far as taking care of the gardens, the building, there’s a lot of stuff going on.”

Hicksford Farms is currently working with over 3,000 plants in their 7,000 square foot operation. They offer 14 commercial strains at their CannaMed dispensary, with over 30 currently in testing. With that many different plants under their roof, I had to know if they play favorites. Which strain is their pride and joy?

Brett explained that picking a favorite is harder than it looks. “It’s so cool to be vertically integrated because the way that we sell it is actually a huge indicator of how we grow it. Our budtenders and our staff at our dispensary are always talking about the medical side of it, the terpenes. What are you trying to solve with this plant? What is this plant giving to you that you want more of? It then educates our grow that this is what’s missing. This is what’s missing from our lab, what’s missing from the market.

“So it’s hard for me to say which is my favorite,” she continued. “I mean, I have different ones that taste amazing one week or something that I use for pain at certain times… But all of them are so intentionally picked, that there aren’t any that we get bored of. They are all here for a really good reason. Everyone who grows it and sells it knows that reason.”

“Acai Gelato is my favorite thing right now because we’re about to harvest it, and when we’re about to harvest a plant it’s just so gorgeous. This is our first time getting to harvest a strain-specific room.”

Making a room strain-specific allows lead cultivators Jory Hicks and Kory Bailey to truly hone-in on the needs of that individual strain. Jory tells me that having more than one strain in a room makes it quite difficult to make adjustments between cycles. “The more rooms we get, the better the current strains we have will get because the more space they’ll have. Eventually, maybe it’ll just be two strains in a room.”

Clean & Simple

In addition to Hicksford Farms, Good Oil Boys processing and CannaMed dispensary are also licensed by the Hicks and Crawford families. Add a second dispensary expected to open in 2021, and an additional 35,000 square feet of grow facilities to build upon, and I think it’s safe to say that we can all expect to see big things coming from this crew in the next year.

But before we dive into that, I wanted to find out more about some of the advancements they had made since Herbage last visited the farms in 2018. According to Jory, creating the perfect full-spectrum oil has been at the top of their to-do list, but they weren’t always 100% sure if they should go with full-spectrum over what appeared to be the more popular alternative at the time, distillate.

“The full spectrum oil was a divide at a certain point because it was new,” he said. “We were all on different pages of, should we go with this darker colored oil? It’s all distillate right now.”

Brett added that “everything on the market was telling us that’s where the money was, distillate cartridges with terpenes added. So, it was a huge leap to say okay, it’s not the color, or taste, or the smell that anyone is used to, but if we put our heart in it and tell people about our heart for it, it will sell. We’ve seen people’s lives change completely. 100% different lives, 100% different medical routines, everything about it.”

So what makes the Good Oil Boys’ CO2 extracted full-spectrum oils so special?

“It all stems from the flower,” Jason tells me.

“At the end of the day the plants just need the bare minimum to stay happy,” Jory added. ”What you feed them, it doesn’t matter what color the bag or the barrel is… There’s way too much in the industry, it’s overdone with nutrients, products, and additives.”

“It kind of goes back to our lifestyle and how we feel about how we take care of our bodies. Simple, like in Costa Rica,” he said. “They don’t have Whole Foods for you to go buy all these different supplements. But you’re going to find all these happy, healthy people with just the bare minimum inputs going in. And then the nice environment, their lifestyle.

“It’s just like the plant,” Jory continued, “their environment, the light, everything is tuned in so all they need is just the right amount of nutrients.”

Brett took me into their lab to show me the process. “We do super cold CO2 extraction. It’s one of the cleanest ways to get the product that we’re looking for.”

“We do strain-specific pulls every single time, then we do native terpene pulls and reintroduction as well. So, the taste, the smell, the cannabinoids, the terpenes, everything from the plant is put back into the cartridge. Nothing is taken out, nothing’s added that doesn’t need to be added.”

“We’re passionate about it because we understand that the endocannabinoid system doesn’t just need one thing,” Brett said. “Your body has places for every little bit of what our full spectrum oil has to offer.”
Hicksford Farms will be introducing their full-spectrum oil early this year, but you can also purchase their strain-specific boom sticks or moon rocks, both infused with Pura Vida oil at CannaMed dispensary.

No Challenges, Only Solutions

At this point in the interview, I can’t help but admire the collective positive attitude shared by this group of canna-preneurs. While touring the facility, Jason had told me that “what makes Hicksford so special here as a team is that we have 13 family members, and each of us has a specific skill set. The greatest thing is that we all have the same passion in mind. With that, we’re moving mountains.”

Curious to find out how they resolved things as such a large group when faced with obstacles, I asked the crew what challenges they’ve faced in the last couple of years.

Kory’s response, “no challenges, we rock.” We all had a good laugh, but when the dust settled the rest of the group agreed.

“I think that the general attitude is that we don’t have a lot of challenges,” Jennifer added. “We just have solutions. We like to have that sort of attitude, that way we don’t get bogged down.”

Brett suggested that this attitude was a reflection of how the owners operate. “Jen, Jason, Kristin, and James are not only the leaders of two families but of the three businesses. When you have people who don’t back away from challenges, there’s no such thing as no, really.”

“If just any person on our staff has an idea,” she continued, “it has ears, it goes through people and we all discuss it. I feel like that collective, solution-based culture of our grow, dispensary and processing makes it to where looking back on the challenges you’re like, that was cool figuring that out. We all put our heads together and now it’s way better.”

“With commercial growing, there are a lot of challenges and if you bow down to every single one of them or you quit every single time, there are a lot of things you can miss out on. I think that the way this grow works is more-so about what makes the plants happy. Our growers are looking at the plant, not necessarily the highest yield they can possibly get out of it, or how they can get it to look best for Instagram clout or whatever. It’s more so, is this plant happy?”

Though a solution-based approach to problem-solving has helped this crew achieve great heights in their career, Jory pointed out that there is in fact a learning curve to growing indoor.

“We’re playing God with this, doing the whole indoor thing,” he said. “It’s a whole different animal from outdoor, and that’s something I think people underestimate greatly. The electrical load, the square foot is in the realm of 200x that of a regular residential electric and HVAC load. I would say, that’s probably one of the biggest challenges, to constantly be looking in the corners and crevasses at what’s really going on.”

Patient Testimony

With minimal studies and research on the effects of cannabis, I learned that the Hicksford family values the feedback they receive from patients. “We let our patients tell us what is working, mostly. That’s kind of how we learn,” Jen told me.

Brett added, “in a world where people are caring more and more about where things came from, we are in a good position to tell them where it came from. The same people who work at our dispensary work alongside the growers and all of the trim staff know the processing staff.”

“We are the same family, the same team,” she continued. “So if someone ever has a question about the way it was grown or how it was made, we’re never going to be stumped. We have the answer because we are a part of the creation process. Any person who is anywhere in any of the companies has the confidence of feeling good about who they work for because we stand behind one thing, which is clean medicine.”

I stopped by CannaMed to chat with the team’s Sales Manager, Tristan Hicks. “It’s rare that you can actually come into a place and know the family that grows this flower, and that the crumble is coming from this flower.”

“It’s all about the experience here. We wouldn’t be here without the patients. There’s not enough love in the world, so we’re just trying to love people the way we love these plants.”

Transparency and Education

It’s that same level of transparency that helped Hicksford build social media platforms that keep patients informed. When I asked what drives their passion to help educate the public, Jason responded that “these days, it seems to be getting harder and harder to find the authenticity of these companies or the people that are running them.”

“So as a medical cannabis leader, we’re taking over, and want to get the medicine to the masses. Not just here in Oklahoma, but abroad. And that means sticking to high expectations and standards.”

Brett, who manages the company’s social media, added that “The education part is just fun. Breaking people’s minds open about their endocannabinoid system or the different ways they could be using the plant or the different way they could heal some spot on their skin. Seeing people’s mindset change and open up to more self-care, that is a cool transition to watch.”

Brett occasionally budtends at the CannaMed shop, where she always assures her patients that the products she sells are products the family consumes. ”I will never tell you about a product that I have not personally tried, or that hasn’t been vetted by not only our family but also testing labs.”

She continued, “it matters what you put in your body, and if it doesn’t matter to you yet, we need to talk to you about why it should matter. There is so much stuff on the market that is not created or thought of as a healer at all. If it’s not meant to heal, or the intentions of the person growing it or making it weren’t to heal, that could make it harder for you to heal using that product. Or harmful.”

Happy Plants, Happy Patients

As much as this team advocates for the quality of their medicine, I needed to find out just how they implemented that extra level of care into their operation. In Jason’s opinion, time and intention are key ingredients. Hicksford claims their plants as part of the family, and quality family time is important.

“I think it’s just spending the time that these guys do with our plants is everything,” he said. “You know, if you’re not spending time with the ones that you love, you’re just not going to have a relationship at the end of the day. So that’s really what it boils down to. We love our girls and we spend a lot of time with them.“

Everything at Hicksford is done by hand with a lot of careful intention and love. Brett pointed out that it’s actually really cool to see growers work with plants in this way. “The way that we move plants, the way that we move leaves, I mean you saw Jason doing it earlier, we’re gentle.”

“These are our baby girls, she continued. So every single person who touches it has terpene retention and end product in mind. Those girls and guys in the trim room have a certain finesse. This comes from a lot of training and intention.”

“We don’t do things sloppy at all. We don’t do things half-hearted. Any time we’re interacting with the plant at all it is super intentional. The littlest things can change the entire structure of the plant.”

Jory added, “You’re asking a lot from that plant. And it’s a weed, so anyone can grow it and people have that mindset coming out of the black market.”

”You’re literally stressing it, trying to get it to produce the medical product that we need before it ends its life. It’s kind of a sacred relationship between what we’re asking of it and what it’s giving us before it dies. It’s a special dance all the way through to the end of the cycle.”

“I can sleep good at night,” he continued, “knowing that those products will show themselves to the people. Once it’s done and we did what we did, we can know that patients are going to experience it that way when they consume it every time. The employees here have so much passion for it, the growers are just super into it.”

So, what’s next for the Hicksford Family?

Hicksford Farms has big plans in store for 2021. Keep an eye out for their new strain, Banana Mac, that will drop early March exclusively at CannaMed. You can also be on the lookout for a new CannaMed dispensary opening later in the year. But for now, this crew has some serious work to do.

Jason tells me “We’re currently experimenting with a lot of genetics and we’re so close to having this place built to where we can breed our own, and that’s where it’s at.”

“We’re at a point where before we do more flower rooms, we need to expand our veg room and expand our offices,” Jory added. “We need to get people set up, set up the front line so we can handle all of this growth.”

He continued, “there’s been a lot of boot-strapping it that’s got us here. But we don’t want to go crazy providing this medicine for people, so we’re going to try to build out the front, get the veg room expanded so we can bring more genetics without going crazy as well.”

After having the chance to witness the intention and love that this family puts into everything they do, I have to say that I’m looking forward to watching them continue to grow in the Oklahoma cannabis industry.

Hicksford Farms is raising the bar when it comes to growing, processing, and selling medical marijuana in our state. And if you care even a little bit about the quality of your medicine, you should keep this crew on your radar.

Showcasing Love through a Pandemic

by James Bridges

All of the “make 2020 disappear” jokes aside, I was on a mission to find some magic. As with many, I am ready to move on and find something wonderful to experience.

On a very routine basis I find myself in the bottom of a well looking up at no ladder and realizing that I was actually the one who removed the ground which created the well to begin with.

Touch the Fire by James Bridges

I then step back and recall a voice of wisdom that once told me to just let the universe guide you. “Who the hell do you think you are. Do you really believe you are incredible enough to guide the universe?”

That’s usually when the magic starts to happen.

I allowed the universe to take control. Anthony Bruno was now in my car talking about… Magic.

“Magic is something that I’ve always had a love for, but I’ve never really had a chance to showcase it.” Anthony seemed a little out of place at first. Could have been the microphone being shoved in his face. Who knows? But once he started actually talking about his talent he lit up.

“I’ve always done tricks or magic for my friends. I consider myself pretty good at it. So I needed an outlet. The pandemic actually helped me with that.” Anthony spoke carefully. “I’m not saying it’s a good thing. But it actually helped me focus on what I needed to do next for myself and my passion.”

“I saw David Blain do his first street magic special back in 1996 and I was hooked. I was probably about 5 or 6-years old and I just kind of fell in love with it. Then I picked up a deck of cards. I started teaching myself card tricks. I’ve always been a lover of magic. Off and on throughout my life I’ve had the opportunity to dabble. So I would say yeah, probably about 20 years so far and I do not see myself stopping.” Anthony glowed.

He described magic as if it were simply an everyday part of his life. Tricks, magic, illusions… whatever you call it it was fun and uplifting for Anthony and those that have experienced his craft.

“My first little magic set it was a little deck of cards that if you went through them one way they all looked like different cards but if you went through them a different way they were all the same. That’s my first one that I remember performing it for my family. Obviously I didn’t perform very well but they acted like they were amazed. Seeing them react to it kind of got me hooked.

Countless numbers of talented people like Anthony are met throughout their struggle with authenticity with resistance. That can come from anywhere, especially from oneself. Anthony was and will continue to be at a fork or a decision point with his talents. Listen to the resistance and chalk this up to a need for attention? See past the attention and get to the core. You see…the attention is merely the conduite to which you can achieve your goal.

Call me Nuts – Gorilla Nut Review by James Bridges

“I really did like attention at some level but really on a deeper level it’s all about entertainment I just want to entertain. I want to put a smile on people’s faces, especially for you know covid-19 that’s going. People have so many bad things going on in their life. If I can just offer five, ten, or fifteen minutes of happiness then to me it’s worth it.”

Another interesting practice of Anthony’s is performing under a character. “So actually switch over. It’s still me and still Anthony but it’s like a different extension of myself. I’m able to be me but more. I’m able to express myself a little bit more than I normally would normally. I’m a little bit more introverted and kind of held back, but when I shoot into my performance mode I mean I’m just an extroverted. I’m wild. Out there. You know? I’m making jokes and so yeah it does it really brings out I would say probably the best in me for sure.”

Cannabis has become a part of Anthony’s performance as well. “I have one video where I have a poker chip and I change the poker chip into a joint but I am going to be working on giving some more cannabis influenced magic for sure in 2021. It’s going to be a fun year for me.”

“I struggled with social issues all my life and Cannabis helps me with that. When I got out of the military I went straight to Colorado. I was going to get in the industry. I started off wherever I fit in. Whatever I needed to do and here I am in the industry for around four years now.” Anthony said as if he had one last chance to say something. “It’s definitely a career that I love and I’m super passionate about and enjoy. It helps me a lot especially with anxiety and with performing and everything. Oh yeah it does 100%!”

Anthony Bruno Magic can be found on Facebook and Instagram

Booking Info: ☎️ 719-491-8687

Welcome to 2021!

by Amy Lee

Congratulations! You made it through one of the craziest, toughest years in history, thus far. Whether you felt it physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, or spiritually, you’re still here and for that I am grateful.

Spiced Pumpkin Hummus by Amy Lee

While 2020 may not have been your year, 2021 is your response. How will you bounce back from the beating that is commonly known as 2020? Currently, do you find yourself struggling with the weight of home life? Are you burnt out? Do you feel like you are merely surviving day in and day out? Or maybe you have that feeling that something is off but can’t figure it out or don’t know how to change it? You are not alone. Millions of Americans are feeling the same way but there is hope. You can choose to create change in your life through intentional living and goal setting.

Intentional living is the practice of living the life you desire most each day by responding to each scenario intentionally. By choosing to live intentionally, you can conquer anything! Creating intentional daily habits and goals assist in combating the auto-pilot mode many of us are stuck in currently.  One aspect of my job that I love is helping my clients clear their minds to create a vision for their future. With this vision in place, simple daily steps are created to reach that goal. Setting intentions paired with a simple goal-focused plan is key to living a more meaningful, balanced life.

Setting intentions for your life does not mean you are creating a grandiose plan to implement immediate massive change. Instead, intentional living creates a massive change slowly with each baby step in your wellness journey.

Four Tips on Creating an Intentional Life

  1. Get clear on a positive focus or goal (must be something you desire)
    • Example: Make bed every morning
  2. Commit to a period where you are intentionally working towards this focus, I recommend 3 to 4 weeks
  3. Recommit to your intention every day by stating it aloud, I recommend writing it on your mirror and repeating it daily
    • Example: I make the bed daily because I am neat and tidy.
  4. Let your intention be your teacher, are your thoughts and actions in line with your intention
    • Example: When tempted to avoid making the bed, what am I really saying?

 

These four basic steps for intentional living can help in creating a better way of life in 2021, imagine the life you desire most. Start small, like the example above, with attainable focuses and goals, basic needs, small cleaning chores, or focused mindfulness on positive thoughts. Whatever it is you desire most in 2021, pick a focus and work towards it, I am cheering you on!

Solventless Medicine

by Anna Ervin

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Jeremy Babbitt of 918OG and I don’t think I have ever had the privilege of meeting someone so passionate about what they do. Whether he’s studying the composition and behaviors of different trichomes or designing the perfect water chilling system to process bubble hash, he just won’t quit until he’s 100% satisfied with his process. And when that happens, he’ll turn around and do it again, somehow finding a way to make it even better still.

Located in Bristow and Tulsa, Jeremy’s operation is small, but his competition makes up some of the biggest names in the Oklahoma cannabis industry. Partnering with the Triminator and Nature’s Kiss, he has entered and won multiple contests with his solventless product, including both the High Times Cannabis Cup and the Cowboy Cup. These opportunities have given him a platform to educate and inform people about the benefits of solventless, and why they should care about the way their medicine is being made.

By the time this story is published, we should know how Jeremy placed in both Rosin and Ice Water Hash categories at the 2020 Cowboy Cup. If you missed his panel, catch up with him here and find out how this former communications engineer learned from industry experts and established a reputation as an award-winning hash processor.

How did you get into making concentrates?

I started off growing. And it’s the wild, wild west back in 2018. My first harvest hermaphrodited on me… So, I thought, I can clean it all up and make pre-rolls out of it. The day I was making pre-rolls, OMMA changed the rules and said, “only processors can make pre-rolls.”

So, I just applied and got my processing license. There was a pretty big demand for [pre-rolls], but I wasn’t planning on doing that with my next harvest. I thought, “well what can I do with this processing license?”

Now, in the past we would use BHO and I just never liked it. I didn’t care for the aftertaste and the high was just different. So, we would take nugs, squish them and just make flower rosin. I thought, I’m going to go ahead and get into the solventless side of the world. So, I just dove in, I got a washer, and my first original press and I really loved it. I thought, okay, I like the way this tastes.

I mean, I’m surprised you even have to have a processing license to do this. It’s like taking your lettuce that you harvest, and then you wash it off and sell all the lettuce. I’m just washing off all the trichomes, you know.

Growing is such a learning curve, and you’re always fighting battles and you’re always learning new things in that. And I looked at the processing side of making solventless and I thought, I can climb that a lot quicker.

I got lucky and had a couple of really good hash makers up in Cali take me under their wing… And I just did it every day. I was constantly hitting up growers like, “give me your trim… let me just run it and see what we can do.” I ended up working with a couple of growers, really honing in on my skills and being able to identify good product by just looking at it, and knowing what kind of strains and lineages would do well.

It sounds like you love what you do, and that’s what’s important.

Exactly. I do love what I’m doing, I don’t mind getting up and going to work anymore. Heck, most of the time I’m working 20 hours a day. I’m trying to build a greenhouse right now so I can get my own outdoor grow going. I love sun grown terps, I just feel like you get something better, not better but different.

What I’m trying to learn in growing is how to make that trichome better. I don’t want it too waxy where it builds up, I don’t want it too light where it just breaks off or breaks open. So, I’m really trying to learn that. I’ve been studying a lot of things from Frenchy Cannoli and different people out there that I feel like are on the same page. I feel like my set up is very similar to what they’re doing.

I’m also an engineer, so I love to build things. I built a whole water chilling system, so I don’t have to use ice when I wash my stuff. I can take my water down to 32 degrees and pipe it all over, and I’ve learned a lot doing that.

What drives your passion to create such a high quality of product for patients?

I’m smoking it too. I want the best, and I can taste it. It’s like in a coffee, you can taste the little minute differences. I want to be able to pick that out in a good hash. Weed should taste good. With rosin, you kind of have an overall taste to it, but the strain makes it a little different with all those terpenes. And just finding those terpenes that help people, because everyone’s a little different.

I had a guy tell me… “You changed my life. I tried your Purple Punch around two years ago… I’ve had respiratory problems so I can’t smoke flower. This, I can do. It gets rid of all the carcinogens and everything like that. You’ve changed my life; I don’t smoke anything else now.”

And it just kind of hit me. I want to make the best product and I want to have something out there on the shelves that’s the best for you, on every level it’s the best. You know, a lot of times when you’re running every day and you’re trying to get your plants in and trying to do everything you forget that, and you don’t see it all the time. But when you do see it, it’s beautiful.

So what do you think sets your products apart from other solventless on the market?

I really feel like some companies just put out anything, and a lot of time it hasn’t been stabilized. So you get it home, and it sits in your drawer for a day or two, and it tastes swampy. I really feel like taking the time to set my product.

I’ve got a lot of things setting, and a lot of these are experiments. I’m doing this strain for the first time, testing it 3 different ways and trying to see what’s the best way to stabilize it. I want to make [a product] that’s stable so you can keep it in your stash box, and when you open it up the next time it’s still good. You’re always going to have degradation, but I’m always trying to tweak and modify my jar tech to make a product that is longer lasting for the customer and tastes good.

What is the greatest challenge you’ve faced so far?

You know, like I said it’s been like the wild, wild west with the OMMA and the OBNDD. The hardest part is that you don’t know, am I doing the right thing? Are they going to come and shut me down? You almost just have to use blind faith and just keep moving.

I originally started off doing this with my dad and he loves to grow. But he just couldn’t take it, he was so worried they were going to come shut us down or throw us in jail. You know, his whole life he was raised “marijuana is bad, you’re going to jail.” So that was a hindrance, I wish that hadn’t been there and I could still be doing this with him.

And then just, finding good product. You know, hooking up with Nature’s Kiss was my best move so far. They consistently give me good product and it gives me the ability to learn so much faster. Because if I can get the same strain and I can play with it over and over, then I know, ok here’s what’s going on.

Where do you see the solventless market heading in the next few years?

The way I make solventless today will not be the same two years from now. Things are changing, we’re looking at sonic waves right now to be able to take those heads off. There’s been no money invested into this industry yet, but it’s coming. A lot of company’s are now like, oh, we need to invest money in research.. They’ve got to put the money into the research and development to actually build something, because now they can make a profit selling it.

Right now everything we do is all hokey. I’m taking a washing machine from Japan and I’m modifying it up and doing all this stuff. So it’s not as clean as I want. It’s not as precise as I want. There’s so much waste, so much waste in this industry. Just from a standpoint of doing that, by the time I get it from flower to frozen and washed all the way through, there’s just a lot of waste.

Where do you see yourself taking this company in the next few years?
Read More by Anna Ervin

That’s a good question… What’s my exit strategy? *laughs

I think it’s all going to depend on if they can declassify this as a Class I drug. Then we can actually have bank accounts. You know, we can right now but I don’t want to do it because they want .10 of every dollar I make. So it’s just not feasible.

If we could get some of that stuff through congress and get some laws changed, it won’t be a competition of just, who in Oklahoma makes the best hash. It will be a competition of, does Oklahoma make better hash than Michigan… So I’m hoping within 5 years we’re there.

When I look at myself and say “what do I really want?” Well, I’ve got my own land already and I’ve got my own grow. I would have my own lab out there, and I would just be a self-sustained, small boutique-batch of high-quality hash. Everything I grow would go straight into being washed. And I would have my own, basically all under one roof, single-sourced type of product that I could put out there.

More Act

WILL THE MORE ACT LEGALIZE MARIJUANA ACROSS THE COUNTRY?

by Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish, Cannabis Lawyer

One of the questions I often am asked is whether, or when, Congress will legalize marijuana. Federal legislation has been introduced to accomplish this—either for medicinal purposes (CARERS Act of 2019) or for whatever purposes each particular state has legalized marijuana (STATES Act). The MORE Act decriminalizes marijuana and recognizes the rights of states to enact their own laws concerning it.

Significantly, the MORE Act is set for a floor vote in the United States House of Representatives the first week in December 2020, somewhere between Wednesday, December 2 and Friday, December 4, 2020. This upcoming floor vote is historic because it is the first ever Congressional roll call concerning a bill that would end federal marijuana criminalization, and by the time you read this, that vote likely will have occurred.

What is the MORE Act?

The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act (“MORE Act”) would remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Currently marijuana, like heroin, is listed as a Schedule I controlled substance under that Act.

Decriminalization vs. Legalization
Cannabis Testing by Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish

The MORE Act would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. However, decriminalization is not the same as legalization. Decriminalization is the removal of criminal penalties, whereas legalization is the removal all penalties.

However, the MORE Act would also recognize each state’s law concerning marijuana, thereby permitting states to enact their own regulation policies so that marijuana would continue to remain illegal in some states while legal in others. If the Act passes, then those states which have legalize marijuana for medical or adult (recreational) use, including Oklahoma’s medical system, would no longer have to live under the threat of federal interference with their marijuana laws or federal prosecution for the use, possession, or distribution of marijuana.

Assistance for Victims of The War on Drugs

Notably, the MORE Act would expunge and seal previous nonviolent federal marijuana-related arrests and convictions for those not currently serving their sentences. Those currently serving sentences for federal marijuana arrests and/or convictions would have the opportunity for a review of their sentences, with the potential to have their records expunged and their sentences vacated. As such, this aspect of the MORE Act represents a welcome reprieve for those adversely impacted by the war on drugs.

Are OMMA’s Residency Requirements Unconstitutional?
by Sarah Lee Gossett Parrish

Additional provisions include the establishment of an Office of Cannabis Justice within the Department of Justice. This Office would be responsible for administering grants to aid communities negatively affected by the war on drugs, including an “Opportunity Trust Fund” and a “Community Reinvestment Grant Program”. The Act would prohibit the denial of any federal public benefits, like housing, on the basis of marijuana use, and prohibit any adverse impact under federal immigration laws for those who use or possess marijuana. The MORE Act would also impose a five percent commercial sales tax on marijuana, the proceeds of which would be designated, at least in principle, to assist those adversely impacted by the war on drugs.

Paul Armentano, Deputy Director of NORML, stated back in August 2020, when House lawmakers were originally preparing for a September floor vote on the MORE Act, that “Passage of the MORE Act is essential in order to truly right the wrongs of federal marijuana criminalization, and to once and for all allow the majority of states that have legalized cannabis for either medical or adult-use to embrace these policies free from the threat of undue federal prosecution or interference.”

Will we see federal policy change by 2021?

Stay tuned.

 

Information contained herein provides general information related to the law and does not provide legal advice. It is recommended that readers consult their personal lawyer if they want legal advice. No attorney-client or confidential relationship exists or is formed between you and Ms. Parrish as a result of this article.

Habit Change

Are You Ready?

by Amy Lee

Well, we made it to December 2020. Most of us just barely hanging on by a thread, but here we are still standing, still breathing, and still fighting. That my friend is a celebration in itself.

I can honestly say that 2020 has simultaneously been one of the worst and best years of my life. With each devastating blow to my personal life or business, there has been an equal amount of celebration. However, it is with each obstacle that I have the choice to grow. This choice is in my reaction and response.

Mushroom Soup by Amy Lee

I can choose to wallow, become miserable about the situation, allow it to control my thoughts and energy or I continue to move forward. This year has allowed me the opportunity to grow more than I imagined, even in my darkest of days.

If you are ready to leave 2020 in the dust but don’t know how to make a change in your life, I’m here to help. I help my clients every day take charge of their life and create reasonable habit changes within their daily schedule and routine. Below, I have included the four stages of change. Here you can see where you are currently and what steps you need to take to achieve your goals.

Contemplation stage

This is where you consider change but now ready to start taking action. You believe your health needs to improve but you are stuck in the “how” mentality. You are not ready to ask for help.

Preparation stage

You have decided about the change(s) you would like to make in your life and are ready to take action. This stage requires specific goal setting as you prepare yourself to take action.

Action stage

You have been making habit changes in one or more areas of your life to improve your quality of life. You are adjusting to how it feels to eat healthier and move more. This stage also requires working towards overcoming things that hold you back.

Maintenance stage
Winter Wellness by Amy Lee

Congratulations! This change has become a habit! You have discovered different ways of sticking with your new favorite routine. When setbacks arise, you are able to get move past them properly.

 

Now that you have the steps to follow to move forward in 2021, here are my favorite ways to stay on track:
Hire a wellness coach

Having an educated wellness coach on your support team is extremely beneficial when accountability is an area you struggle.

Track your progress in a journal, on your phone, or on an application.
Create a healthy environment at home.

A balanced lifestyle is more than the food we consume, it’s all areas of our life we consume information and energy.

Reward yourself, you deserve it!

Treating yourself to something small you enjoy is a great way to reward your success through your growth journey. This can be something simple like an at-home spa night, treating yourself to a fruit smoothie at a smoothie bar, calling a friend, or purchasing a new wellness gadget.

For more information on one on one wellness coaching,
please visit www.TheBohoHealthCoach.com

Authentic Energy

Kenny Wilmath – cover artist

by James Bridges

A college drop out with only one thing in mind…. Stop wasting time. When Kenny Wilmath was caught red-handed by his mom drawing a picture of his grandfather he never picked up art again until way far into his 4th grade of grammar school.

Kenny had something inside of him that needed to come out and it was something that people had no idea was so important until now.

“It was what I saw in my eye. I was that way then and I will always be authentic to what I see and believe.” Kenny was very passionate about making his point. “I’m able to lay my head down at night knowing what I have done or said that day was from the “real” me and that makes me extremely comfortable within my own self.”

”I finally asked the question burning the tip of my tongue, “so why did you get in trouble in the first place?” Kenny replied, “because it looked just like my grandpa and not the way the polished grandpa might look in others eyes.”

Damn, this guys the real deal.

“Yeah, so then once I was introduced to a whole other world of art through my peers, even in the 4th grade, I knew I had some great things in my head that needed to be seen.” Kenny was nearly nonchalant while discussing.

In high-school Kenny was encouraged by a special instructor, Kathy Daily. “She’s an amazing artist and an even more amazing influence!” Kenny went on to tell. “She always pushed me to be more. The tutoring was one of those pushes. She is very dear to my heart.”

Kenny possessed… raw talent. So, they asked him to become a tutor to the other students. Kenny was happy to do so.

His caring personality started to peak out a bit at me.

Like so many other  talented artists… Kenny could not find the challenge or inspiration he needed from college. He left and eventually started shelving his work to the back of a closet.

Entering the universe is Kenny’s wife Falyn and brilliant daughter Krista.

Krista has autism cerebral palsy & Lennox Gastaut syndrome. “The Lennox Gastaut is our biggest battle because it causes seizures.” Kenny was explaining. Which brings their cannabis journey to light.

Kenny and Falyn have found a way to connect a positive and authentic energy to bring awareness for those living with this and other unwanted ailments.

Herb & Art was formed and has opened an avenue to destigmatize and educate about natural medicine that could help countless amounts of lives.

Herb and Art is meant to be a relaxed and creative experience. Kenny instructs you step by step while you express yourself through art.

Kenny wanted to make it clear he does not allow cannabis in the kids classes, because they aren’t card holders. Pediatric patients are a class of their own. “However, for our adult classes feel free to bring your own snacks, drink, and Cannabis” Kenny laughs. “It’s a great time and we are all doing something for the greater good.”

Kenny wanted to give one last message regarding our near future… “We can’t fall flat on our faces. We have only one way to go and that way is up. Don’t look back, just move forward.”

Find more information about Kenny, and Herb & Art on Facebook @herbandart420 and Instagram @herband-art420.

New Growth

by Tab Moura

When this year began, my goals seemed so open and shut. I had multiple big opportunities on the horizon, and I just knew that this would be a year that launched me toward bigger and better things. I chose a word for this year, “fire,” thinking that this would be one of those “this girl is on fire,” cute and empowering kinda things.

Little did I know, 2020 would be as cute and cuddly as a dumpster fire. Every curve ball imaginable has been thrown— by a flaming trebuchet.

Don’t get me wrong, I still find quite a bit of value in the word I have meditated on this year, but it wasn’t the lesson I expected to learn. I learned that fires are wild, they teach us about grief, releasing control and even growth. Sometimes they are literal, we see that with the wildfires in Australia, and across the west coast region.

Visual Meditation by Tab Moura

Fires are devastating, as loss always is, but in nature fires are also catalysts for new growth. Just as we wish we could control the big, messy, out of control things like viruses and wildfires, we also see the transformation that takes place in response to these events.

The response I’ve seen within myself, my community, and the world, gives me mixed feelings. No matter your spiritual or political beliefs, we can all reflect on 2020 with a sobering grief. Maybe you’re close to the flames, maybe not. The losses we all experienced this year are not far from our minds.

I am going to hold space for loss, without elaborating on it here. Today I want to focus on the growth that is only possible because of loss.

When I was young my family visited Yellowstone National Park. We drove through an area of the park that had been swept by wildfires a few years prior. The Park Ranger we met explained that in the forest there are layers of leaf litter with acorns underneath.

3 Things I’ve Learned from Writing by Tab Moura

When a fire passes through, the lower layers of the leaf litter are mostly preserved, with the heat allowing the acorns to open and new trees will begin to grow. In some cases “prescribed fires” are used to help lower the risk of catastrophic wildfires. This is done by reducing the amount of brush and crowding of trees. Along with reducing brush, a controlled burn helps return nutrients to the soil, a process that normally takes years of decomposing.

The point is, while fires have a cost, fires can also have benefits.

I realize that 2020 wasn’t a year with heaps of good news, so I’m not suggesting that the wildfire that touched your life was a gift… I’m saying that in lieu of the chaos that was beyond our control, we can look for the new growth. The acorns that are opening up in the wake. What new growth is at your feet? What new life is on the horizon? Your perspective can nourish the world around you.

 

Sun Grown in Living Soil

by Veronica Castillo

Small Batch Farm in Oklahoma Highlight: Wild Hare Farms

“We made the decision to grow outdoors under the sun, organically, in living soil and we’ve been striving for maximum sustainability ever since”

Alex, a biologist by trade with a background in corporate oil and gas; and Paige, a photographer, natural minded mama of 3 boys, and 5th generation farmer are the dynamic duo at Wild Hare Farms.

Wild Hare Farms is a small batch, organic, cannabis farm in Purcell, Oklahoma. Small batch farms, also known as craft cannabis farms, are farms that grow plants with mindfulness and close attention paid to each plant.

Alex and Paige are the planners, growers, trimmers, bookkeepers, marketers, and distributors (with a little help from the community during Croptober).Having launched with the freedom to so do under Oklahoma’s 788, they dove right into an industry they believe in: “it’s just us two here working our asses off every single day to make this dream a reality”.

Wild Hare Farms sits on 70 acres in a rural area of Oklahoma, south of Norman. This land has been in Paige’s family for 60 years. On the land, visitors will find an old rusty windmill turning with the wind, buffalo wallows visible in the fields, and the back of the farm fully terraced.

If you know me, then you know I love sun grown cannabis. I fell in love with it while spending time in Oregon. For me, the connection between plant and sun is so important. Indoor is pretty as heck, right? But I can’t help but love the buds that are kissed by the natural sun. Alex and Paige state: “we believe in working with science and nature to consciously cultivate plant medicine that gives back to the earth rather than taking from it”.

Speaking on multiple levels to my vegan heart, I was happy to interview the “scientist and the hippie who fell in love and made a canna business baby”, as Paige puts it. Check out the full interview below.

Please tell me about the start of Wild Hare Farms- was the journey a hard mission?

It definitely wasn’t easy! We saw the legalization of cannabis on the horizon thanks to 788 and knew it was a huge opportunity to get into a brand-new industry that we both believe in. Neither of us has ever been the kind to let opportunity pass us by so we dove into figuring out what it would take to make this happen. We looked to other legalized states to give us an idea of what a mature market could look like in our state. That’s when the benefits of growing sustainably became pretty apparent to us.”

Tell me about the ladies on the farm being kissed by the sun?

Ahhh there’s just something about watching a cannabis plant go from seed to 10+ feet tall in 7 months! The sun grown movement is a shift towards sustainability and giving back to nature. The cool thing about sun grown cannabis is it has to adapt to a wide range of stressors like bugs, weather swings, the intensity of the sun, etc., and the result is a terpene profile that is second to none.

We’ve had up to 17 different terpenes in our strains which is a testament to a life lived outdoors. IPM (integrated pest management) needs to be on point and when done right, sun grown flower is absolutely gorgeous. Unfortunately, there are a lot of misconceptions about sun grown cannabis in Oklahoma.

Some dispensaries won’t even buy outdoor because they think it’s of lesser quality. It’s our mission to grow some of the very best Oklahoma sun grown flower and help educate patients on why it’s important to buy organic, sustainably grown cannabis.

The good news is that we’re not alone and there are some other really great Oklahoma outdoor growers producing amazing plant medicine and spreading the word on sustainability.”

You all are an organic farm- what kind of nutrients do you all use for plant health?

Our plants are grown in 100 gallon living soil fabric pots. Side note: we’re excited about adding some 200-gallon pots next year! The soil in each pot was handmade and mixed by us last year, using locally sourced compost, pumice, coco coir, and various other organic inputs.

We’ve also added fungus, bacteria, and worms to create a truly living soil. We feed those organisms in the soil and in return they feed the plants. The plant communicates with the bacteria and fungus telling them what it needs. In exchange for that service, the plant essentially feeds the microorganisms.

That way, the plant gets what it needs when it needs it. How cool is that?! Our favorite amendments right now are alfalfa meal, neem seed meal, and malted barley. Alfalfa meal has a great N-P-K ratio as well as triacontanol which promotes vigorous plant growth. Neem seed meal also has a great N-P-K and micronutrient balance and is very pest preventative.

So, we foliar spray it before flower as well! Malted barley is full of enzymes that assist the soil microbes in the breakdown of amendments.”

Talk to me about essential oil baths in 80-degree weather. How does this benefit the plant?

In the Oklahoma summers, you’ve got to plan your IPM around the weather. If it’s too hot, foliar sprays can scorch your plant. As far as the essential oils go, we use a mixture of organic garlic and clove oils for their pest resistant terpenes.

Another part of our IPM is foliar sprays with organic food grade enzymes. Growing outdoors requires consistent preventative measures to keep the bugs and mold away but once you have that down, you can grow some amazing flower!

Tell me about sprouted seed tea- bubblin tea. What’s that for and about?
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We love making tea for our ladies! We use organic corn and alfalfa seeds for our seed sprouted teas because both contain chemicals that are extremely beneficial to plant growth. This replaces the need to go to the grow store and buy an overpriced bottle of synthetic enzymes.

It’s so easy to make yourself, organic, and better for the environment. The bubbling happens when we make compost tea! We aerate our compost tea for 24-36 hours to produce a bacterial bloom. Watering with compost tea can increase the beneficial bacterial load in your plant’s rhizosphere which promotes overall plant health. We’re really looking forward to trying some homemade KNF (Korean Natural Farming) inputs next year such as fermented fruit and plant juices.

You all trimmed for 12 hours one day, during a storm, with electricity going in and out. What got you all through that?

We knew there would likely be times where the electricity would go out and we knew we didn’t want to be scrambling in the moment to find a solution. We bought a generator earlier in the year and it paid for itself in one day during the ice storm!

Every minute, hour, and day is important during harvest and we couldn’t afford to lose a day of trimming because of no electricity. That was only one of many 12+ hour work days this year that we were forced to overcome a difficult obstacle.

Flexibility, resilience, a lot of sweat and tears, and sheer determination to make this dream work has gotten us through everything so far!

You all aren’t just a cannabis farm; you all grow vegetables too! That speaks to my soul being a vegan cannabis head and all. Are you all huge in plant health and lifestyles?

Yes, we are actually! Alex handed this question over to me (Paige) because I’m a bit of a health fanatic, ha! For real though, I just care SO much about the health of my family, myself, and the planet that it’s hard for me to look the other way when it comes to nutrition and sustainability.

Cannabis is Medicine – A Letter to the Government by Veronica Castillo

We eat mostly plant based and grow as much of our own food as we can on our little homestead. You’ll also find us doing yoga and meditation multiple times a week to help keep our body and mind in healthy working order to handle all the physical and mental requirements it takes to keep this farm running.”

Small batch farm today, does this change in let’s say, 5 years?

We’re looking forward to growing each year but plan to do so in a way that we never lose the craft and sustainability we’re working so hard to achieve. Right now, we’re really enjoying the personal relationship we have with each and every plant we grow and the learning experience that provides. We have big dreams for the future of our farm and strive to be influential in the push toward sustainability in the cannabis community.”

So where can you find Wild Hare Farms flower in Oklahoma? Check out their Instagram page that gets updated with each flower drop!

2020 Cowboy Cup Champions

Congratulations to the winners of The Cowboy Cup!

This year, The Cowboy Cup awards were sweetened with gift packages from Oaksterdam University & LeafyPack.

1ST PLACE INDOOR FLOWER & GRAND CHAMPION

Resonant Cultivation – Glazed Apricot Gelato

$7500 LeafyPack credit, Full Ride Oaksterdam Scholarship

 

INDOOR FLOWER

2nd Zenoa Cannabis – Donkey Butter

$5000 LeafyPack credit, $500 Oaksterdam Scholarship

3rd Bokashi Earthworks – Death Breath

$2500 LeafyPack credit, $250 Oaksterdam Scholarship

 

CO2

1st Marivana – Watermelon Zum Zum

$500 Oaksterdam Scholarship

2nd Five Leaf Labs – Wonka Bars

$250 Oaksterdam Scholarship

 

RESIN CART

1st Sunday Extracts – MAC

$7500 LeafyPack credit, $500 Oaksterdam Scholarship

 

DISTILLATE CARTRIDGE

1st – Xen Xtracts

$7500 LeafyPack credit, $500 Oaksterdam Scholarship

 

ICE WATER HASH

1st Cicada Labs – GMO

$500 Oaksterdam Scholarship

2nd Cicada Labs – Kush Mints

$250 Oaksterdam Scholarship

3rd 918 OG / Natures Kiss – Mimosa

$250 Oaksterdam Scholarship

 

ROSIN

1st 918 OG / Natures Kiss – Mimosa

$500 Oaksterdam Scholarship

2nd – Cicada Labs – Pixie Stix

$250 Oaksterdam Scholarship

3rd Cicada Labs – GMO

$250 Oaksterdam Scholarship

 

LIQUID BHO

1st Noble Nectar – Wedding Crashers Diamonds

$500 Oaksterdam Scholarship

2nd 710 Diamond Company – Super Glue Live Diamonds

$250 Oaksterdam Scholarship

3rd PC Dispensary – Mango Sapphire Diamonds

$250 Oaksterdam Scholarship

 

SOLID BHO

1st Slow Burn Desert Extracts – Lemon Cookie

$500 Oaksterdam Scholarship

2nd Escalated Greens – Rip Stick

$250 Oaksterdam Scholarship

3rd The Healing Clinic/Green Hill Farms – Strawberry Cheesecake Smoothie Crumble

$250 Oaksterdam Scholarship

 

BAKED GOODS

1st Kings Reserve – Blueberry Mini Muffins

$500 Oaksterdam Scholarship

2nd Pharmers Daughter Edibles – Maple Bacon Cake Jar

$250 Oaksterdam Scholarship

3rd – Clover Edibles – Compton Mini Cookie

$250 Oaksterdam Scholarship

 

HARD/SOFT CANDIES

1st – Infamous OG – Assorted Gummies

$7500 LeafyPack credit, $500 Oaksterdam Scholarship

2nd Sunday Extracts – Gummie

$5000 LeafyPack credit, $250 Oaksterdam Scholarship

3rd Kosmik Brands – Black Hole Gummies

$2500 LeafyPack credit, $250 Oaksterdam Scholarship

 

SPECIALTIES

1st OK 57 Extracts – Fire Crackers

$500 Oaksterdam Scholarship

2nd Argent – Peanut Butter Cups

$250 Oaksterdam Scholarship

3rd New Leaf Medicinals – Cinnamon Crunch Bar

$250 Oaksterdam Scholarship

 

TINCTURES

1st Peace Out Time – Zen Mint Mist

$500 Oaksterdam Scholarship

2nd Oklahoma Medicine Tropical Fruit 1:1

$250 Oaksterdam Scholarship

3rd Sunday Extracts MAC

$250 Oaksterdam Scholarship

 

TOPICALS

1st Oklahoma Medicine Eucalyptus 1:1 Pain Salve

$500 Oaksterdam Scholarship

2nd Terry’s Haze Collective

$250 Oaksterdam Scholarship

3rd Five Leaf Lab – Releaf Cream

$250 Oaksterdam Scholarship

 

PRE ROLLS

1st F5 Extract / Calyx – Killer Cupcake

$7500 LeafyPack credit, $500 Oaksterdam Scholarship

2nd GreySkull – West Maui Dogg

$5000 LeafyPack credit, $250 Oaksterdam Scholarship

3rd F5 Extracts / Calyx – Sunday Supreme

$2500 LeafyPack credit, $250 Oaksterdam Scholarship

 

INFUSED PRE ROLLS

1st Xen Xtracts – Stacker

$7500 LeafyPack credit, $500 Oaksterdam Scholarship

2nd Pharmhouse – Terple 17 Rocket Rolls

$5000 LeafyPack credit, $250 Oaksterdam Scholarship

3rd Xen Xtracts – Glass Paxx

$2500 LeafyPack credit, $250 Oaksterdam Scholarship