High Recommendations: Rebel Spirit 

Written by Annie McVay, photographed by Gustavo Del Real Figueroa

When we first discussed the importance of this issue of Green Eugene, I knew I had to find the perfect pick for High Recommendations, and had a goal in mind: the product needed to support an organization that helped those incarcerated for cannabis-related crimes. And not only a product, but one that a local Eugene dispensary carried. 

Rest assured, after reading this, you can do your part to fight mass incarceration for cannabis crimes! Rebel Spirit Cannabis Company partners and profit shares with The Last Prisoner Project, which advocates for criminal justice reform in three ways: prisoner release, record clearing through clean slate initiatives and reentry programs. Together, they create a pathway of hope and success for its constituents.

Rebel Spirit CEO Diane Downey and her husband Chris Beckler became very active in the cannabis industry, which is how they met the founder of the Last Prisoner Project, Steve DeAngelo, through his Harborside Dispensary in Oakland, California.  When they found out DeAngelo was shifting his sights to creating the Last Prisoner Project, the couple knew it was just the cause they were looking to support. Rebel Spirit was one of the first, and most charitable, cannabis companies to profit share with the Last Prisoner Project.

“We didn’t know when we got involved with Last Prisoner Project that the overwhelming majority of the 40,000 people who are still incarcerated for marijuana offenses are people of color,” said Downey. “Our continuing involvement with the Last Prisoner Project is to try and right some of the wrongs of the world. Mainly the disparity in race and the way the marijuana industry is turning out for white people versus people of color.” 

Rebel Spirit stands true to their slogan: Live free, fly high! During the 2021 Oregon Growers Cup, Rebel spirit won best pre-roll—and I understand why! The packs of pre-rolls are convenient, with each joint expertly filled with finely ground cannabis. 

There are three types of pre-roll packs: hybrid, indica and sativa. Each comes with five joints of two different signature strains, which keeps things fresh as you alternate between them. The flavor while smoking the joints is earthy and natural, all thanks to the 19-acre Willamette Valley farm, utilizing organic and sustainable horticultural practices. Rebel Spirit also prides itself on sourcing recycling-friendly materials for packaging, trying its best to avoid plastics and other unsustainable products.

As explained by Downey, the company name is in honor of family friend Uncle Mark, who was truly rebellious and embodied the spirit of testing the limits. Eventually, Mark moved out west to Oregon and found solace in the remote wilderness living off the land. He was arrested in 1992 in what was then the largest outdoor cannabis growing bust in the State of Washington. Mark refused to cooperate with authorities and remained loyal to his partners, which landed him with the mandatory minimum of ten years in federal prison. Unfortunately, in 1997, Mark passed away in prison in Lexington, Kentucky, far from his Pacific Northwest farm—with only five years of his sentence remaining. 

Downey is an alumni of the University of Oregon Honors college, where she met her best friend, Jill, who is Mark’s niece. Beckler, who is best friends with Mark’s nephew, stopped by on a condolence call and met Downey. The two fell in love. They shared a few fun years with Uncle Mark before he was incarcerated. In 2015, the couple put a mortgage on their home, bought a piece of land, and named it Uncle Mark’s Farm. Starting on the medical side, Rebel Spirit was one of the first cannabis businesses in Oregon to get its recreational license. 

“When we went to market with our product, we realized that people don’t go to a dispensary on Friday night to get their ‘Uncle Mark’ on. They go to get their rebel spirit on. And so Mark is our rebel spirit and that’s where our brand name comes from,” said Downey. 

Are you curious about other companies that support the Last Prisoner Project? Here are some brands that sell products online:

High Recommendations: Time for a Trip

Written and photographed by Kaylynn Wohl 

Another ritual has been added to my routine. I get my cashback, roll over to Jamaica Joel’s on 13th and Willamette, and make my way up the brick-color tiled stairs. Passing through the middle chill zone with a posted up Tiki DJ, I enter the dispo. I look around at all the weed things for sale, pretending I’m in the market for something new while playing it cool like I don’t go there regularly. Once the budtender asks what I’m looking for, I quit the games and get straight to business. “Do you have Trip Packs right now?” I ask, ready to be squinty-eyed. 

Purchasing prerolls seems silly if you’re a seasoned roller who prides on self efficiency, but sometimes the lazy couchlock hits and there’s no motivation to break it down and roll it up. These packs definitely combat this minor inconvenience, making chain smoking easier than ever. Locally sourced in Southern Oregon by Epoch Farm, Trip Packs come in paper cigarette pack-like containers that hold 10 half gram joints, ready for any on-the-go adventure. The environmentally concerned toker in me is always glad to avoid the thick plastic pop tops that many prerolls come in. My singular complaint: resealing the pack could be improved, a sticker is provided but not always effective. Still, they’re super aesthetically pleasing, and one carton even features our beloved Bigfoot chillin’ a mountainous forest scene. 

For different occasions and unique adventures, there are four kinds of packs. The standard pack, perfect for any high time, is where these products all began. They come in many fan favorite strains like Blue Dream and GMO Cookies. Hitting the trails? Try the Adventure Pack for terpenes rich in taste and low THC to ensure continued movement—or the ability to still get your shit done. 

The seasonal packs come in a white carton displaying artwork of a mountain, a crystal cluster and an Aurora Borealis skyline. This line is designed to get smokers through long snowy nights with a higher THC to keep you warm. Afterall, what better way to get through a winter than to be toasty with Ultraviolence. My favorite addition to my own stash would have to be the variety packs due to having two options in one buy. Sometimes I mix them up to make myself guess what I’m puffing on. 

The single strain packs also come in many fan favorites like Bruce Banner and Secret Formula (this one gets me absolutely blasted to Pluto compared to the rest). For the variety packs, I highly recommend: Mendo Purple and Purple Punch or Deadhead OG and Sunday Driver. 

These products are super affordable, hooking you up with five grams for what an eighth can typically go for. The quality tight roll keeps them from burning out quickly, and the half gram size ensures lasting flavor throughout the burn. Planning a trip? Incorporate these j’s on your packing list for an extra lit adventure!