Cannabis Art History Around The World

written by Renee Thompson

Originating in Central Asia, the use of cannabis sativa hemp spread across into China around 2800 BC. Later, around 10,000 BC an artist in Neolithic Japan created what is thought to be the earliest visual depiction of cannabis in a cave near what is now Kyushu. The painting shows the leaf motif common in many cannabis inspired artworks, and also appears to show smoke, an animal, and a person. During this time, hemp seeds were used as a food source, fiber material, and smoked in Asia. Over thousands of years many cultures would use and alter the cannabis plant, leading to its use in many rituals and artworks, and a higher concentration of THC. Even language was impacted by the cannabis plant’s iconic leaf design. The Chinese character (麻), which is the character used for hemp, is thought to be two cannabis plants underneath a shelter. Thousands of years later, in 1800, East Asian art like ‘Lovers’ by Choki still showed the culture’s developed relationship with the cannabis plant.

As the cannabis plant traveled to the West through India and the Middle East, smoking cannabis became a ritualistic fashion. The Greek father of history, Herodotus, wrote about how Scythians in 440 BC would throw hemp on hot stones and breathe in the vapor and rejoice. This method of smoking cannabis could very well be the inspiration behind “getting stoned.” The style of ingesting cannabis by placing the plant on hot stones is thought to have originated in China, where cannabis was ingested using brazier’s and stones at funerals. Chinese researcher Yimin Yang believes that this practice was done in hopes of communicating “with nature, spirits, or deceased people.” These ceremonies usually included music and dancing, which could be the origin of the relationship between music and cannabis.

There are even visual renderings of cannabis gods and goddesses, which were seen in Egyptian, East Asia, India, and several other indigenous cultures around the globe. Most commonly, Mother Earth is shown as the patron goddess of Earth and everything green, cannabis included, which is why many modern cannabis-inspired works incorporate her image. In Egypt the goddess Seshat is the patron of writing, creativity, scripture, and mathematics. It is believed that she originated written language, and that she harnessed some power from the cannabis plant. Seshat is usually depicted with a cannabis leaf above her head. In China during the Song Dynasty, the goddess Magu is known as the Immortal Hemp Maiden. Ma Ku, a Taoist goddess whose immortality is said to be the cause of her knowledge and use of superior medicines like the Elixir of Life. In her folkloric stories, Ma Ku is said to have invited Taoist philosophers to smoke some herb, as well as eat foods from the heavens. In India, the god Shiva is known as the originator and lord of bhang, a cannabis based paste that was used throughout the country in 1000 BC.

As cannabis traveled to Europe, during Medieval times, the Renaissance, and Enlightenment periods lead to an influx in botany-based artworks. These were commonly works produced by monks studying plants and are more scientific in nature. Much like diagrams in textbooks, these artists would rely on the illustrations to further their understanding of the world. They would spend a long time illustrating things like the growing stages of the plant, the plant’s natural environment, and other organisms that may co-habituate with the plant.

During marijuana prohibition, there were many anti-cannabis propaganda works made, such as ‘Reefer Madness.’ These posters and works were meant to highlight negative stereotypes surrounding the substance and those who use it. Art made in, or inspired from, the 1960s is what most people have seen of cannabis art. It usually uses bright colors and is said to be influenced by other hallucinogenic substances such as magic mushrooms and LSD. One interesting artistic niche during this time was the alternative comix movement. This is when publications like Zap Comix by Robert Crumb would expand the comics medium to extend to more adult topics like sex, drinking, and drugs; like cannabis. There are many subtle and clear-cut references to cannabis use in alternative comics, like in Robert Crumb’s comix strip titled ‘Stoned Again.’ Rick Griffin, the illustrator behind ‘A Puff of Kief’ was also a part of the alternative underground comix movement of the 1960s.

In modern times, as legalization support is growing and with the increased connectivity of the internet, there is more cannabis-inspired artwork than ever before. Many ceramic and glass artists have taken to making intricate delivery systems for cannabis, and several illustrators have made cannabis art and merchandise. However, social media apps like Instagram and Facebook have been known to ‘shadow ban’ or penalize these cannabis artist accounts. Censorship in cannabis-inspired art is not new, and has been happening for hundreds of years, but that doesn’t make it any less harmful to cannabis artists and it won’t erase the rich ancient history humans have with cannabis.

Sources:

https://www.vice.com/en/article/78yvgz/a-visual-history-of-the-pot-leaf-weedweek2017

https://www.leafbuyer.com/blog/cannabis-art/

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/2500-year-old-chinese-cemetery-offers-earliest-physical-evidence-cannabis-smoking-180972410/

https://hightimes.com/culture/internet-marijuana-censorship/

http://plantillustrations.org/volume.php?id_volume=6863

http://www.japanhemp.org/en/ukiyoe.htm

https://www.britannica.com/plant/hemp

https://www.northernstandard.com/a-brief-history-of-cannabis-in-art/

The Mother Plant of the Goddess — Cannabis

Where’s the Weed, Anime?

Written by Annie McVay, photographed by Renee Thompson

If you’re anything like me, you’ve noticed an astounding lack of cannabis in anime. Growing up in the United States, we’re constantly bombarded with jokes and references to using cannabis. We know bloodshot eyes are a dead giveaway and that you’d better have a dang delicious drink to cure the oncoming cottonmouth. Even when pot was illegal in all 50 states, there were iconic films themed around Mary Jane. Cheech and Chong: Up in Smoke has long been praised for starting the stoner entertainment genre in the United States. With anime comprising 60% of the world’s animation-based entertainment, I have to ask: where’s the weed? 

But hey, let’s start with the fun part and recount the times cannabis has appeared in anime! Anyone who’s watched Samurai Champloo knows that hip-hop beats aren’t the only dank part of this action-packed series. In episode nine, “Beatbox Bandits,” Mugen is caught by the Tengu warrior-priests while on a mission to deliver a severed head, which inevitably leads to starting sacks of weed on fire in the storage shed to escape imprisonment. During the escape, Mugen inhales the purple haze emitted from the burning “holy grass,” causing a psychedelic fight scene. Although the warrior priests didn’t get to use their cannabis to start a revolution in the Japanese government, it did save Fuu and Jin from execution.

Besides that blatant representation of cannabis, anime has very obscure references and negative outlooks on the substance. In episode 20 of Assassination Classroom, Nagisa scolds Yuji, a minor character, for smoking cannabis. Detroit Metal City (highly nonsensical and full of jokes, not for the light-hearted) features the manager making the main character Souichi smoke cannabis in hopes of unleashing his true evil. If you’ve ever watched Eureka Seven, then you’re bound to have questions about Stoner, who is modeled after Che Guevara. And while Che Guevara never smoked the drug or promoted its use, we’ve all seen his image on smoking paraphernalia. Other honorable mentions would have to go to Brook from One Piece and Pannacotta Fugo from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, who both have “purple haze” incorporated in their respective arsenal.

 So what’s the deal? For so much anime out there, the number of cannabis references is ludicrously low. Things become a lot more clear-cut after considering Japan’s strict laws against cannabis and the history behind them. Using or possessing Mary Jane can get someone up to five years in jail, and a fine, wholesale, transport, or cultivation can earn someone a 7 to 10-year sentence. Cannabis has been illegal since the Potsdam Declaration after the end of World War II in 1948. Yet, before WWII, the entire country of Japan used cannabis for all sorts of ceremonies and traditions. Shinto priests burned cannabis to exorcise demons, pilgrims left it as offerings on shrines, and families even burned it outside their homes during Obon, Japan’s festival of the dead, to invite ancestral spirits. 

Japan is so staunchly against cannabis that they believe the substance is one of the most deadly drugs known to man. Ironically, Japan doesn’t classify cigarettes or alcohol as drugs, either. Drinking is so socially acceptable that no laws are prohibiting cracking open a cold one with the boys in public. Alcohol itself is sold 24/7 at convenience stores, supermarkets, and even in vending machines on the street. It’s also normal to show up to work hungover (so much so workers are not allowed to call out when hungover). Co-workers love to drink together after work, and refusing an invitation can be interpreted as an insult. 

While drinking in public and smoking cigarettes are a-okay, cannabis will land you in a world of social shame and criminal charges. Neighbors and even doctors will narc on anyone they suspect of smoking reefer. Various celebrities have been caught enjoying cannabis, and it kills their career. Junnosuke Taguchi, a former male idol of KAT-TUN, was initially facing the death penalty for smoking a joint with his girlfriend. Fans even lament their idols’ poor choices and rally at their subsequent press releases to express support for “getting clean.” 

But fear not! Shining through like a ray of sunshine is Michiko Kameishi, a determined lawyer who claims she’s “always thought that Japan’s Cannabis Control Law is absurd.” Kameishi is a skillful and intelligent lawyer who hates “unreasonable regulations that have no scientific basis.” After hearing how Los Angeles had trendy dispensaries and parties with frequent cannabis use, she knew the time had come to act. Japan may be steeped in propaganda surrounding cannabis, but Kameishi and the power of science may just change the country yet. And if attitudes about cannabis become more positive, we’re bound to see more references in anime.

Putting “Marijuana” In The Ground

written by Skyla Patton, photographed by Nina Compeau

Cannabis has a world of controversy surrounding it on all fronts, whether it be legalization, decriminalization or social acceptance. While people immersed in the industry work tirelessly to strip the cannabis plant of it’s shrouded stereotypes and narratives, other problematic aspects can slip through the cracks as we try to deal with the big picture. If you dig deep enough, you’ll find the dark roots of a commonplace term in the cannabis industry: marijuana. 

Weed, dope, grass, herb, cannabis, cannabaceae, mary jane, the good green stuff; casual and professional slang thrown around to describe cannabis. Even with the plethora of language that surrounds cannabis, marijuana is the title that has remained dominant over the years. It’s suggested that one origin story of the term comes from Chinese “ma ren hua,” or hemp seed flower (cannabis is the genus of cannabaceae, or hemp when referencing non-drug usage). Underneath the seemingly innocent and casual lingo of marijuana in America lies a trail of xenophobia, racism and societal injustices. 

At minimal face value, the word has contributed to the furthering of harmful and inaccurate stereotypes throughout history. The word “marihuana” (also spelled marijuana) was weaponized in the early 1900s with the rise of immigration from Mexico and the consequential steady employment in available cannabis fields for Hispanic workers. Prior to this, cannabis had been marketed by pharmaceutical companies as a sleep aid and pain reliever and it came in a liquid form. This product was most widely available to the wealthier (and whiter) population, but lower socioeconomic classes had significantly less access to this form of cannabis and were more likely to smoke cannabis flower. Even though the various classes and races generally use cannabis at the same rate, people of color and impoverished communities are systematically targeted for it. This dynamic of class-based privilege is still represented today in the gentrification of high-end dispensaries developing locations in communities that still actively suffer from consequences of the war on drugs. 

Following the wave of immigration, the upper classes of America quickly associated the disparate increasing financial depression and social strain with Hispanic and black communities, seeking somewhere to point a finger of blame. This included their well-known cultivation and consumption of marijuana, rapidly snowballing into an ordeal of systematic racism perpetuated with stereotypes that would have long-lasting consequences on both marginalized communities and cannabis. This downward spiral initiated the path for cannabis to exist as Schedule 1 Drug to this day, defined by the DEA as “drugs, substances or chemicals with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” Elites and politicians of the time, such as Harry Anslinger—the ‘godfather’ of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics of which he served for 32 years—used the unabashed xenophobia and racism of the nation to racialize marijuana and paint an image of violence, crime and fear over both the plant and the communities cultivating it. 

This stereotype spread like wildfire through the United States and white America ate it up as quickly as they could. Images of pot-smokers rapidly evolved from a wealthy white party appetizer to degenerate, dangerous criminals and offenders who were determined to rob the rest of the world of their nice things and sanity. Marijuana took up a new “exotic” persona, and Reefer Madness or The Devil’s Lettuce took hold. 

Narratives spun by politicians such as Anslinger included forming an addiction to marijuana and resulting violent tendencies (including murder or assault), communist brainwashing, and the (dark organ music playing here) furthering of racial equality. Anslinger was quoted in a statement saying, “the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races… reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.”

These stigmas pushed the images of violence and racism that championed the prohibition of cannabis—not dissimilar from the prohibition of alcohol which would follow a few decades later—which many still struggle in navigating today. It also largely contributed to the deep-seeded institutionalized racism that has carried over to today in casual industry usage of the word marijuana and rampant injustices against minorities within the cannabis community.

While many individuals, either as casual consumers or active participants in the industry, are catching on to the dark roots behind the word marijuana and switching to the friendlier formal term cannabis, it’s important that we get the facts straight. The continual use of terms that are outdated, inaccurate and harmful to any grouping of people is simply another avenue of furthering oppression and institutionalized racism, regardless of historical erasure of meaning and connotation. While it’s important to note that many still debate the origins and etymology of marijuana, it’s also crucial that we as a society are able to identify harmful microaggressions as we see them and address them unequivocally to best protect all members of the communities we’re in.

The pursuit of intersectionality in our verbiage is particularly important to focus on if you happen to be of a community that is in no way disadvantaged by racial or socioeconomic stereotypes and systems—AKA, check your privilege and go from there. Outside of adjusting our vocabulary and understanding the deeper meanings behind the words we use, the next step is to educate the cannabis community on the harms of the drug war and the true science behind the plant. 

For more information on cannabis and its relation to race, check out Race and the Drug War by drugpolicy.org or The War on Marijuana in Black and White, an article published by the American Civil Liberties Union. 

Vaporizers: better for you and your bud

words by Bryan Dorn | photos by Dana Sparks

As marijuana tiptoes towards legalization and legitimacy all over the world, healthy and effective methods of consumption are popularizing. Alternatives to smoking such as edibles, topicals and vaporizers have stepped up to the plate, each with their own pros and cons. However, vaporizers may be the latest and greatest option for consumers looking for the respiratory relief of using edibles and topicals without the slow onset.

“I would smoke a spliff like every night basically,” esays Shae Wirth, musician and marijuana enthusiast. “When I would wake up and try to play the horn I just didn’t have the amount of power behind my lungs as I had before. So I finally was like alright this has gotta change.”

Wirth got his first herbal vaporizer, the Da Buddha, in his freshman year of college in an effort to minimize the smell associated with marijuana smoke — a vaporizer is a device that converts herbal and/or concentrate material into vapor, typically for inhalation. However, the lack of portability made strictly vaporizing difficult for Wirth. It wasn’t until Wirth’s junior year of college that he purchased the portable vaporizer known as the Pax 2, and committed to herbal vaporizers as his regular form of consumption. Wirth describes the difference as night and day. After buying a portable unit and sticking to it, Wirth realized that vaporizers were not only a different way to consume, but a better way.

“If you do wanna smoke a lot, just vape. Because I’ve found it really doesn’t affect my lungs,” says Wirth. “I know tons of music majors who really struggle with this— they’re like coughing in rehearsal and shit —and I’m just like get a vape. That’s the solution, get a vape.”

Vaporizers come in all shapes, sizes and colors, with many having temperature control features. These devices most often take on two forms in the marijuana industry— desktop and portable. Desktop vaporizers, such as Wirth’s Da Buddha, plug into the wall and are typically larger and more expensive than portable vaporizers. Meanwhile, portable vaporizers run on battery power and are typically smaller than desktop units, such as Wirth’s Pax 2. “Usually my friends are kind of hesitant, because they’re like ‘oh vaping that’s kind of  whatever,’ but as soon as they try it they usually like it.

An experiment from 2004 published by the Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics found that marijuana vapor contained three non-cannabinoid compounds while marijuana smoke contained 111— five of which were known organic pollutants that have proven toxic and carcinogenic effects. One of the three non-cannabinoid compounds found in the vapor was the terpene caryophyllene.  Terpenes are organic compounds that gives each marijuana strain it’s distinct smell and flavor profile.

It’s no secret that different compounds boil at different temperatures. The same is true for the various compounds found in marijuana. Vaporizers with precise temperature controls allow marijuana smokers to dial in the high they are looking for by tapping into the various terpenes and cannabinoids associated with the product. This means consumers could experience a whole different suite of compounds, from the same buds, by vaporizing at a different temperature.

Studies have yet to accurately test the differences between an all-vape and an all-smoke lifestyle for marijuana users over a long period of time, and a lot of the research around it is still up in the air. This leaves users to find out the possible health benefits of switching to vaporizers on their own.

While vaporizers may seem like the be-all end-all of healthy marijuana consumption at first, many users still prefer to smoke. According to University of Oregon senior Ryan Lemoine, marijuana consumer, many people complain about vaporizers not hitting as hard or being too expensive. “All types of smoking are very different, like a bong rip is going to hit you immediately and you’ll probably be coughing,” says Lemoine. “Vape smoke definitely lasts a lot longer, and it’s less intense for sure.” This lower intensity means using vaporizers can take more time to get high and have more of a learning curve, according to Lemoine.

Many people can also be deterred by the price of vaporizers. While a small oil pen typically won’t make a large dent in your wallet, some desktop vaporizers can cost up to $600 for the unit alone. These high costs are not easily overlooked by consumers who aren’t planning on vaping regularly or have a tighter budget. However, for consistent consumers who enjoy puffing herb more regularly, the pros and cons of looking for alternatives should certainly be considered.

Quality herbal vaporizers are not commonly stocked at local smoke shops, but it never hurts to look. The popular portable Pax vaporizer can be found at smoke shops such as Midtown Direct. However, websites like Puffitup and Planet of the Vapes have a much wider range of options than smoke shops near campus. Those looking into purchasing a vaporizer should consider multiple options to see what will best fit their price range and lifestyle.

First They’re Sour, Then They’re Stoned

words by Julio Jaquez

From the first sniff of the jar, the musky aroma lets you know that this strain isn’t here to mess around — or is it? Sour Patch Kids is a dense, all around uplifting strain that is destined to make you feel the intense waves of a euphoric high. This sativa-dominant strain allows you to feel every moment at its peak, while also being completely relaxed and content. Whether it be a night out on the town or a calm Sunday, Sour Patch Kids is the perfect strain to either let go and breathe or check some things off of your to-do list.

The light green buds with subtle purple hues that mark Sour Patch Kids (also known as SPK) earns Green Eugene’s “Strain of the Month” for November. When you first lay your nostrils on the powerful pungent aroma of SPK, you notice the sweet-candy-like smell the flower emanates, making it hard to resist for sweet tooths. Initially, the 60/40 sativa blend sparks up an intense, euphoric feeling, and then slowly guides you into a space of focus where you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

Want to go to the gym? Want to write an article about the Strain of the Month? SPK allows you to concentrate while feeling those relaxing waves that sativa blends seduces you with. Budtenders eagerly reccomended SPK as a new-age strain that is certain to entice and entertain. With a texture like gooey crystals, the hairy lime green buds crumbled into the paper joint patiently waiting to be rolled tightly. Don’t have a grinder? Not a problem with Sour Patch Kids. After rolling a solid joint with the kind of treatment a beautiful SPK nug deserves, the strain is sure to deliver a head high that coats your mind and soothes your conscious. With an earthy flavor, the smooth hits pass seamlessly like clouds on the breeze. Within the matter of a few minutes, the intense, captivating high dissipates into thin air, converting the ambiance in the room into a space of zen and concentration.

Sour Patch Kids’ overwhelms the mind and body with relaxing symptoms that captivate you after a few puffs, but within a matter of moments any task seems feasible. Matched with a good to-do list and a hot cup of coffee on the weekend, finals week will be a breeze.

Extreme Makeover: Bong Edition

words by Josh Delzell | photos by Dana Sparks

A dirty bong is one of the saddest things to see as a frequent smoker. Your once pristine, sparkling bong is now covered in a sticky grime that smells funky and looks even funkier. Because of this, it’s important to clean your pieces regularly in order to keep the piece looking sparkly and clean. But what’s the best (and cheapest) way? There is bong cleaner you can buy online, but it usually ranges from $16 to $30. Never fear, there is a cheaper way, and it utilizes products that are usually found in your medicine cabinet.

 

Supplies: Toothbrush/pipe cleaner, paper towels, rubber bands, plastic baggies, hot water, salt, isopropyl alcohol (a lot), bobby pins.

How do I do it?: First remove the bowl and stem and dump out any water that is already in your piece. Take the toothbrush and try to scrub out any sludge you can manage to get off, wiping it clean each time on a paper towel. Do the same process with the bowl and stem. This part doesn’t need to be thorough, it just helps to get most of the heavy sludge out of the way.

Pour sea salt into both ends of the bong, so you have maximum coverage especially if the bong has multiple chambers. Pour a generous amount of rubbing alcohol into the pieces, and cover both ends with paper towels secured with rubber bands. Give a good cocktail shake, and let the piece sit for 24 hours, or overnight.

Now take a plastic bag and fill it with a generous amount of sea salt, and then toss in your bowl and stem. Fill the bag with the rubbing alcohol, using just enough to fully submerge the bowl and stem. Give the bag a good shake as well, and let it sit overnight. I’d recommend putting the bag into a mug, because the rubbing alcohol may eat through the bag itself.

After the long awaited 24 hours, remove your bowl and stem. Dump the mixture in the bong out as well. Finish it off with a last minute scrub and run some hot water through everything to get any leftover salt or rubbing alcohol out. Just like that, you have a sparkly clean bong that looks like new.

This method tends to lean more on the expensive side, but successfully gets your bong clean. Another more affordable route way is to soak your piece with denture or retainer cleaner, available in large packs at most department stores or pharmacies. The main component in denture cleaning tablet is baking soda. You can use plain baking soda as well in a bind, but denture cleaners have other ingredients that help dissolve any built up grime. It’s important with all methods to give your piece a good scrub before and after the soak to get off any extra residue. It’s really up to preference, and how clean you want your piece. Personally, I go for the rubbing alcohol method, just because it feels cleaner to me.

Do you have any other tips or tricks for cleaning your bong? Let us know for a chance to have your DIY featured on our social media.

What’s Legal Now?

words by Bryan Dorn

The web of ever-changing laws around marijuana possession is complex, and can leave consumers who are unsure of local laws stuck finding out for themselves— in either a dispensary or a courtroom.

Following legalization in Oregon in 2014, cities and counties throughout the state could opt out of marijuana production and distribution according to Measure 91. Currently, 95 cities and counties across the state are currently on the Oregon Liquor Control Commission prohibition record, meaning they have banned some aspect of the industry, if not an outright ban. This means the biggest factor to be aware of as a consumer is where you are, and what the marijuana rules and regulations are.

Consumers in Lane County have access to dozens of dispensaries, but just 30 minutes south retail shops in Douglas County will be non existent.

Dispensaries weren’t allowed to sell marijuana in retail stores until 2015. Since 2016, the number of medical and recreational dispensaries in Oregon has grown to over 500, according to the OLCC active marijuana retail license list from October 2018.

Marijuana legalization has been a long journey, and laws are still changing at the regional, state and national levels. This has caused rapid change in local regulations such as purchasing amounts, smoking restrictions and possession limits. Consumers can expect more change as marijuana legalization, regulation and taxation begins to spread across the country.

As marijuana tip toes towards full legality, knowing local laws and regulations can help equip consumers with the right tools to make good decisions when leaving the house with marijuana or sparking up a joint.

Here are the basics on recreational marijuana possession in Eugene, according to the OLCC:

Possession at home according:
You must be 21 or older to legally, possess or consume marijuana
Landlords can restrict possession, consumption and cultivation of marijuana on their properties.
Eight ounces of usable marijuana such as dried leaves or flowers.
One ounce of cannabinoid extracts or concentrates.
16 ounces of cannabinoid product in solid form.
72 ounces of cannabinoid product in liquid form.

Possession in public:

According to the OLCC, a public place is any space where the public has open access—this includes places like highways, streets, schools, parks, front yards, and bar patios.

One ounce of usable marijuana
One ounce of cannabinoid extracts or concentrates.
16 ounces of cannabinoid product in solid form.
72 ounces of cannabinoid product in liquid form.
These limits mean that while consumers can possess up to eight ounces in their home, they can only leave their home with one ounce at a time.

Possession on campus, according to the Dean of Students:
Marijuana in any form is strictly prohibited on campus.
Riding a bike or driving any motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana is prohibited.
You may possess and use marijuana off campus if you are 21 and older.
If students are planning on going to or through campus they are not allowed to possess marijuana.

Cultivation Rules according to the OLCC:
Adults 21 and older are allowed 10 marijuana seeds.
4 mature plants per household—NOT per person.
4 immature plants in a public space for the sake of transportation.

Note: While eight ounces may sound like a lot of marijuana, households with four mature plants may easily produce more than that amount come harvest season. Adults in Oregon can give or exchange marijuana to anyone 21 and older so long as no financial compensation is directly or indirectly exchanged, according to the OLCC.

Financial compensation can be seen as any exchange of goods, including: services, tips, admissions, raffles, fundraisers, donations and more.

Places where possession law may vary:
Federal lands
Tribal lands
Leased properties; tenants should ask their landlord.

Transportation:
Consumers must follow all public space possession amounts when transporting marijuana.
It is legal to possess on flights within within the state under public possession limits.
It is not legal to transport marijuana across state lines.
It is only legal to transport one ounce of marijuana at a time.
You can only transport 4 immature marijuana plants at a time.

Consumption
Operating a bicycle or motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana is against the law.
Consumption is restricted to private spaces.
It is illegal to consume marijuana in public places such as parks, streets, schools, front yards etc.

Meet The Clone Master: Skye Kirk of Sugar Top Buddery

words by Bryan Dorn, photos by Destiny Alvarez

Sift, jiggle, massage, tap, and twist— that’s the mantra ingrained into Skye Kirk when she’s rolling joints at SugarTop Buddery.

This technique is what allows Kirk to produce SugarTop’s signature 0.6 and 1.2 gram joints by the hundreds.

“I have rolled about half a million joints in a span of three years,” Kirk said.

Recently, Kirk graduated from the American College of Healthcare Sciences with a degree in complementary alternative medicines with a focus in herbalism.

”I’m very passionate about medical marijuana and I understand the difference between recreating with it and using it medicinally.”

Her passion for medical marijuana and other herbs has earned her the title of Clone Master at SugarTop. Clones are immature marijuana plants that are a genetic replica of their parent plant. Strains that grow and sell well often get cloned by growers in order to get consistent results every harvest. As Clone Master, Kirk’s work involves checking on plants and root systems, saving plant genetics and transplanting clones.

While they may be similar in size to a young marijuana plant, clones are often taken from cuttings of mature plants, not seeds.

SugarTop fertilizes, grows and harvests on a strict schedule. At SugarTop’s indoor grow operation, baby clones cycle through rooms with different light intensities and schedules to facilitate growth. First they are placed in the vegetation room to grow in size, and then they are moved to the flower room where the light encourages flower growth, or “budding,” in order to produce the smokable buds found on the market.

When the flower room is harvested, the plants in the vegetation room are cycled into the now-empty flower room. This rotation keeps SugarTop in a consistent cycle of growth and harvest.

To earn extra cash on the side, Kirk also trims for SugarTop come harvest season.

Trimming is one of the final steps to prepare marijuana for consumption. When marijuana is harvested there are larger leaves– the iconic marijuana leaf– that surround the bud and hide the frosty flower from sight. Trimmers go through pounds of harvested marijuana with a small pair of scissors and a large amount of patience to shape and manicure the buds that are eventually consumed.

At 28, Kirk is the youngest trimmer in a room of 10 to 15 tight knit friends and seasoned trimmers at SugarTop, but that doesn’t bother her one bit. The atmosphere of trim days at SugarTop can turn a long work day into an opportunity to talk and socialize.

“It’s always my favorite because we get lots of snacks —lots of cookies and chips and vegetables,” laughed, Kirk. “We’ve decided not to call [them] trim days; we call it snack day just to keep in good moods.”

Trimmers usually work eight hour days and are often hunched over carefully analyzing marijuana nug by nug. These long days can be physically and mentally exhausting.

Before recreational marijuana, trimmers would often get paid per pound. This means that small, sticky nugs that are hard to trim can cut into profit. After recreational marijuana created a new market, many companies began paying employees hourly. The demands of the new, competitive industry make experience with trimming the number one priority for many employers.

Kirk began trimming when she was 22. She learned the techniques of a good trim from friends and family working as a trimmer for a small medical grow operation; those techniques helped her get a job at a medical dispensary.

She made $150 a pound at the dispensary, which was average at the time, but harvests were only every two months, so the job was inconsistent.

Now in the recreational marketplace, trimmers are required to have a marijuana handlers permit from the OLCC. The permit costs $100 and those seeking to work in the marijuana industry review education materials, take an online test and submit an application.

The state of Oregon allows trimmers to be paid hourly and taxes each paycheck; businesses are also allowed to offer an I-9 form to contract trimmers.

The I-9 form means trimmers are paid per pound and have to pay taxes at the end of the year, when they claim their revenue. An I-9 is typically more appetizing to experienced trimmers who work quickly.

“Some people can make $400 to $500 a day if they trim 3 to 4 pounds,” Kirk said. “You can still trim that 3 to 4 pounds in a day in recreational, but you may only get paid 12 dollars an hour.”

After recreational marijuana changed the industry in Oregon, Kirk began working for a local contract company that connects trimmers with dispensaries and grow operations that need help during harvest season.

Through the contracting company Kirk would get connected with growers to trim for large dispensaries. Sometimes contracts would take weeks and other times just a day.

In this new age of legalization, smelling like marijuana may be more indicative of a hard days work than a relaxing day at home.

“I remember getting done trimming one day and I got pulled over for having one headlight out, and I told the officer immediately, ‘I’m gonna smell like cannabis,’” Kirk laughed. “But he was very sweet because I had my permit and everything.”

Today, Kirk gets the best of both worlds at SugarTop Buddery with hourly wages and consistent work, but also the bonus of trimming SugarTop’s buds come harvest season.

“I think that recreational has made trimming not what it used to be,” Kirk says. “It allows [trimmers] to get into a different industry and have a stable income and I think it’s important to have stability.”

Kirk doesn’t plan on trimming for the rest of her life. In the future, she wants to be a medical consultant for marijuana and other herbs in order to bridge the gap between herbs and medicine.

Her passion for other herbs has brought her to volunteer as an Herbalist at Occupy Medical on Sundays.

According to Kirk, trimming was her way to support herself during school, learn more about the plant and enter the industry. A plan that may resonate with many people interested in entering the budding and competitive marijuana industry in Oregon today.

For now, Kirk will keep sifting, jiggling, massaging, tapping and twisting her joints at SugarTop Buddery.

Budtender Spotlight: Bridget Gavin of River Valley Remedies

How and when did you become a budtender?

I started out in April of 2015 working for Joe and Chelsea Hopkins at The Greener Side. Bloom Hill Botanicals, my family’s cannabis farm, provided The Greener Side with some flower and I jumped at the opportunity to work one-on-one with patients. I’m indescribably grateful for them and the opportunity to work as a budtender just as adult-use legalization became a reality in Oregon. I wanted to broaden my experience within the cannabis industry, and because of that I’ve worked with several different brands. Over time, I took positions at Cannabliss’ the Sorority House and Green Health. All the while, I was still actively a part of Bloom Hill Botanicals. I finally found my fit for budtending in River Valley Remedies, and I really feel as though I’ve won the employment lottery working here.

What was it like the first time you got high?

I felt all the constantly incoming stimuli from my anxiety suddenly become very orderly and manageable. I was in a safe space with people I trusted. Because I grew up in the area, the cannabis was a really good quality too. It was like I went from staring at a Jackson Pollock to a fractal. Everything had a lot more order to it.

What’s one funny or weird customer interaction you’ve had?

I once had an older gentleman ask me where my ruderalis was at because all the real growers knew that was the best stuff out there. Ruderalis is another taxonomy of cannabis, like indica or sativa, and it’s usually associated with high fiber and low cannabinoid output.

How do you approach recommending a product to a customer?

Questions, questions, questions! I start by genuinely asking them how their day is going. Making the consumer feel welcome and connected with is essential to getting honest answers to questions relating to cannabis and how and why they use it. What’s your desired effect is probably the question I ask most behind the counter. Some consumers will have really specific end results they’re looking for and some are just looking for the current staff favorite. Budtending often requires unpacking incomplete information a consumer picked up online or from prohibition area, so getting to know the consumers baseline is really important. It all starts with being an engaged listener.

What’s one stereotype about cannabis users that’s true? What’s one that’s false?

If working in weed has taught me anything, it’s that the only guaranteed commonality between cannabis users is that they use cannabis. The people I get to help in a day represent such a wide array of life experiences I don’t think that there’s a particular stereotype that rings true for all or even most of them.

What do you look for in a strain?

Mostly smell. When I’m on the consumer side of the counter, I’m the person who wants to smell every jar. I also like to look into the producer and the genetic lineage of the strain. If a strain has a terpene profile available to look at that is always a huge plus for me. I make a note to look out for that producer at other shops in the future.

What’s special about this shop?

Education! There is a constant push for education of our staff which leads to education and empowerment of for our consumers. We aren’t just looking to push you into the trendiest product or highest THC. We really want you to be in control of your experience and getting the most out of using cannabis. Looking at cannabis not just as a single active ingredient but a medicinally beneficial plant containing thousands of compounds is at the heart of understanding cannabis’ full potential.

Best part about the job? Worst part?

I think the answer to both questions is the same, the people. Getting to know and help so many people is deeply rewarding; however, because cannabis is such a life-changing substance for people, the stories they share can be very emotional and even draining at times. However, hearing about someone being able to manage the side effects of their chemotherapy or the symptoms of their MS makes all of the emotional investment worth it.

Favorite way to consume?

I love a good clean bong rip, although a joint is my method of choice when in a group. I also have a medicine cabinet full of tinctures. The founder of Sativa Science Club, Mary Jane Poppins, has talked about how tinctures capture a particular strain at a particular harvest in a way that preserves it well for future enjoyment and I couldn’t agree more. Tinctures can almost be akin to vintages of wine in that way.

What’s your favorite munchie food or favorite thing to do while high?

My favorite activity for partaking is probably playing my ukulele or knitting. I really like to get creative when consuming.

What accessory or paraphanelia do you like to use?

My bong and I have been together for a while.

When I’m not here, I’m…

Usually helping out at Bloom Hill. When I finally get a moment away from the cannabis world I like to get my loved ones together for a nice meal.

Are you high right now?

Not necessarily, although I did take my CBD capsule this morning. It’s like my multivitamin, I try to never forget it.

 

Pucker Up for Lemon Kush: May Strain of the Month

words by Skyla Patton

Who doesn’t love a nice tart flavor with a good sour face to follow? Lemon Kush won’t actually twist you up, but it’s still time for this hybrid to have a turn in the spotlight. A descendant of Master Kush and Lemon Joy, this sativa-heavy strain is actually quite difficult to come by due to the high amount of variations that have been produced in backyard breeding. The name gives away its general aroma: Lemon Kush is heavily scented with sweet citrus, a sour tang and the earthy flavors of classic kush. This sour flavor comes from the incredibly high content of limonene, the same found in the peels of citrus fruits as well. It’s largely regarded as one of the best-tasting strains around, and was featured in our pairings guide as a nice citrus touch with the same foods you’d add actual lemon zest or juice to.

These buds are naturally compact, with rich and bright orange and yellow hairs that give it a fun, colorful look. Lemon Kush is renowned for it’s mellow, relaxed vibe and is one of the best strains to relieve general tension and stress.  On the downside, it’s also a killer strain for cotton mouth and the munchies, so be sure you’re prepared for both side effects before you settle in with this strain. Lemon Kush is best suited for a nighttime smoke rather than something you’d puff on before going out into your day, and can be quite helpful for insomnia or other sleep-related issues. Don’t think of it as a couch strain, though; the energy is considered uplifting and creative much more often than groggy or tiring. It’s interesting lineage can lead to a surprise combo of the hybrid, but generally, you’re likely to get something with a high THC percentage and mostly sativa-based effects. This is a great strain for an arts and crafts night or to whip up a new meal you’ve been itching to try.