By Jessi Lane, Patient Advocate
Heavenly ratios do not just fall from the sky like hail, or do they? Amy and Chad Bates of Edmond own and operate CBE Farms, a boutique cannabis grow buried deep in Logan County, Oklahoma. CBE specializes in cultivating the frostiest cannabis colas and produces niche medicinal ratios for patients seeking refuge in a cannabinoid profile. “We strive to eliminate opioid addiction, battle mental health and relieve everyday aches and pains,” says Amy Bates. The Bates do not have Flynt Lockwood’s FLDSMDFR from the Sony Pictures Animation movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. The churning out of sticky, stinky terpene-rich nugs does not just happen on its own. Lots of lemons have had to be squeezed for this delicious, Oklahoma heat-quenching lemonade.
The year was 2018. That June, Oklahoma had just legalized cannabis as medicine. Amy and Chad were running Green Country’s renowned Bulldog Roofing and Restoration, serving Oklahomans since 1996. “We service the Oklahoma City Metro and surrounding areas as well as the Tulsa Metro,” says Amy. “We do residential roofing as well as smoke, fire, and mold restoration and remediation.” Chad’s meticulous attention to detail, cleanliness, and order and his deep understanding of the importance of the checks, balances, and interpretation of data proves to serve him well in future endeavors.
A family member had just received a cancer diagnosis and Amy’s brother, Brad, was struggling with PTSD. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website states “about 12 million adults in the U.S. have PTSD during a given year” (2022). “When I started dating Amy, Brad was nine years old,” Chad relays, wistfully recollecting his dear brother-in-law, as if lost in time – “He knows me well.” Brad Harkins, a devoted husband, father, and friend loved to play baseball, wakeboard, and snowboard, and competed in mixed martial arts. Stationed with the first armored division in Germany upon enlistment, Brad – a heavily decorated Tanker/Driver – proudly served his country in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“With Oklahoma passing medical marijuana, we knew we had to start growing,” Amy says. Once the license was paid for and filed, the Bates still had to figure out how to fund their humble new venture. The lemons seemingly piled up as the PTSD medication Brad relied upon caused seizures, and in the Spring of 2019 the last seizure took Brad’s life. “On the very day we laid my brother to rest, we had a hailstorm,” recalls Amy. With all the sudden work laid out for Bulldog Roofing and Restoration, “This was how we would fund the grow.”
As is customary for the Oklahoma cannabis industry the first harvest was, if nothing else, a learning opportunity – and undiscovered magic waiting to happen – as they were hit with a hard blow. “Late in flower we found a male plant had seeded the entire crop,” says Amy. What is that Dr. Ian Malcolm quote from Michael Chrichton’s Jurassic Park (1990)? “Life finds a way.” The Bates were beyond devasted and angry, however steadfast, they persisted and continued to grow their operation.
Hopeful that something good would come from their situation of unfortunate events, a few months later CBE Farms germinated some of the seeds from that hapless harvest and Brad’s Gas, previously known as Okie Blaze, was born! She is a rich, bright orange cinna-pine flavor profile. Generously bathed in Limonene, b-Pinene, and Caryophyllene, with a touch of cis-Nerolidol and Linalool, she is uplifting, balanced, and an ideal digestif. Many people have found this 2:1 CBD-rich cultivar to be a life-changing blessing, according to CBE Farms. “We would love to have Brad‘s Gas available nationwide,” Amy says. “Our goal is to help as many people as we possibly can and help them live a better quality of life.” Chad has remained ever aware of the celestial encouragements he receives as CBE encounters their own Oklahoma industry ebb and flow. He says, “I think [Brad] knew if I had the right signs along the way, I would never stop trying to get his flower to patients hopefully across the country someday.”
A year ago, this past month Chad found himself having to contemplate closing the doors of CBE Farms. Chad recalls, “we just were not making enough money. I was in front of our farm just sitting there thinking, [and the] next thing I know plain as day I hear ‘DONT QUIT CHAD.’” Chad knew it was Brad giving him the push he needed in that moment. He continues, “every day I go in my farm I think about Brad and the responsibility he’s given me.” It is a big one, no doubt. CBE Farms boast many of their patients have even been able to discontinue prescription pain medication using Brad’s Gas. What a beautiful gift! That lemonade sure is beginning to taste sweet! In addition to Brad’s Gas, today CBE Farms proudly offers Oklahoma patients eight boutique cultivars- Wedding Cake, Red Hot Cookies, SFV OG, Runtz of Eden, Strawberry Blaze, Straw-nanna, Sunset Sherbet, and Tokyo Snow. What a line-up! However, upon cure this craft grow sells out quickly – within days. The only retailer lucky enough to regularly stock the full CBE Farms offerings is Yukon’s Okie Medicine Flower, located at 1701 S. Mustang Road.
With the goal being to provide Brad’s Gas to as many patients as possible, Chad finds his little grow stifled with the recent changes to the OMMA enforced lab requirements. As it is, Chad understands that each batch, each day it is prepped for retail sale, must have an isolated lab test associated with that date – regardless of how many hours in that day were used for actual work. With the fees charged for this many required tests, and only twenty four hours in a day, is this new fee structure sustainable for craft Oklahoma grows? Is the whole point to flush them out of the running to make way for the Whole Foods and Budweiser of cannabis who have friends in high places? Chad and Amy remain open-hearted and connected to their celestial guide in Brad. They understand that timing is everything. While they currently may not have a board room of shareholders and the humble wooden kitchen table by which they hand-trim, shed tears, and strategize merely seats four, what CBE Farms provides to Oklahoma is a heavenly ratio worth repeatedly going to the mattresses for. “This is truly the definition of lemons to lemonade,” Amy says. “We are continually amazed at how Brad’s Gas has and continues to help so many. I know my brother had his hand it.”
Jessi Lane, Patient Advocate is an independent writer and Oklahoma cannabis industry professional since 2018. She is a Certified Cannacian III and Trichome Institute Certified Cannabis Consultant with a “full spectrum” Postpartum Wellness background.