Strain of The Month: Deadhead OG

written by Mac Larsen 

The last time Jerry Garcia performed in Oregon was June 19, 1994, at the University of Oregon’s Autzen Stadium. I was, by a technicality, in attendance at the ripe age of negative six months old. My Mom describes herself as “Dead Tolerant,” she was dragged to the show while pregnant by friends from her undergraduate years and refuses to this day to tell me if she imbibed in any of the usual extra-curricular activities that accompany a Grateful Dead concert. 

Some people think that the music you listen to can have a big influence on the tastes of your child-to-be, much like the foods that you eat can inevitably lead to culinary preferences (I’m looking at you, Taco Bell). For those that doubt this theory of musical conditioning, I would refer them to the thousands of hours of golden-age hippie jam-band songs I’ve consumed since that fateful day before I was born. 

If you weren’t born into a primordial desire to listen to graying rock stars play 20-minute guitar solos, our Strain of the Month can provide ample support for your onboarding into the jam-band lifestyle. In recent years The Grateful Dead has seen a resurgence in popularity among the vintage t-shirt wearing crowd of younger audiences, buoyed by tours fronted by early-2000’s soft-rock wailer John Mayer. 

To celebrate the high holiday this year we’re recommending Deadhead OG, an Indica-dominant hybrid combining Chemdog with SFV OG Kush. Aptly named after the fans of the good ol’ Grateful Dead, Deadhead OG is a hoppy flower perfect for a quiet night at home listening to live albums of your favorite throwback artists. Dank and floral, Deadhead OG is the sort of hybrid not so persuasive to stick you to the couch for the evening but not exactly feeling ready to run a mile at Hayward, either. 

Weighing in at a potent 22% average level for THC, Deadhead OG is a perfect strain to include in your shopping during 4/20 sales at local dispensaries such as Eugene OG or Track Town Collective. For the discerning shopper, Deadhead OG is not the sort of Indica-dominant flower that leaves you unmotivated or tired. A progressive high, Deadhead OG can provide a euphoric early phase that develops slowly into a relaxing, preoccupied sense of calm. Describing Deadhead OG is quite a bit like describing one of the best Grateful Dead shows. It features jubilant highs and calming, mysterious lows, switching between the two with ease. A cannabis classic, I recommended combining a holiday celebration with Deadhead OG with a listen to the Dead’s best Oregon concert “The Sunshine Daydream,” you won’t be disappointed. 

Cultivating Progress: Cultiva Law

Written and photographed by Megan McEntee

Aaron Pelley made his name as a cannabis lawyer in the early 2000s. He not only won a large case, but made the argument that his client deserved to get his cannabis back. 

“That made them the first police station slash dispensary in the United States,” said Pelley jokingly. His passion for this standard of justice inspired Pelley to create what is now known as Cultiva Law. 

Cultiva Law is a firm dedicated to the cannabis industry: dealing with legal, business and compliance related cases all around the west coast. Chris Girard, paralegal and strategic operations at Cultiva, describes the firm’s ultimate goal as “the furtherance of policy and the plant.” I had the opportunity to sit down with Girard and Pelley, founder and CEO, to speak about cannabis law and the industry, as well as issues that arise within the livelihood of a lawyer in this field.

 Pelley started out as a criminal defense lawyer dealing with domestic violence and sex offense cases. After a few months, he realized that he didn’t want to represent sex offenders and domestic abusers. 

“If I was going to continue doing it, I was going to represent people committing the kind of crimes that I could see myself committing,” Pelley said. So he began representing drug-related cases. 

This was back in the early 2000s, when there were only one or two “pot” lawyers, as they were called by the general public, in each state. Once medical cannabis started rising in popularity, he began handling the corporate side of the budding industry. 

“I knew I wasn’t smart enough to host an entire corporate law firm,” said Pelley. “So I started hiring other lawyers to handle the transactional side of this.” Enter Cultiva Law. 

Cultiva thrives on its connection to the culture of the industry. Dependent on building the trust of clientele in this field, cannabis lawyers need to be well versed with both industry knowledge and an understanding of the client on a personal level. Pelley takes this aspect of the job very seriously, articulating that a relational understanding is just as important as a legal understanding of cannabis. 

“I have to be the person that they trust,” Pelley said. “These other lawyers aren’t as good if they don’t understand the culture. They don’t understand the people… and frankly, they just don’t understand the outlaw mentality.” Pelley works with a variety of clients who are trying to navigate the newly legalized industry. Many of these clients have complicated criminal histories. Pelley recognises this, stating “these guys were former outlaws, and yeah, they need to be reformed. But they come from a different place.” 

The stigma surrounding cannabis and other drugs creates this social divide, as well as the recency of decriminalization in Oregon creating a new realm of legal uncertainty. Cultiva takes measures to make sure these people feel safe in the wake of a stressful situation with the law. Whether it’s the rocket-shaped paraphernalia in the lobby of the office, the psychedelic band posters on the walls, or the laid-back demeanor of the staff, Cultiva designs every part of the experience to make clients feel safe and seen. 

Misconceptions about cannabis use, both medicinal and recreational, plague the justice system. Pelley has helped countless medical patients with legal issues. “They’re using the drug to become functional. And people that are using cannabis recreationally are functional, and they’re using it to become impaired,” said Pelley.

Let’s say someone uses medicinal cannabis to treat their epilepsy, and they get pulled over; Pelley introduced this hypothetical with a fresh perspective. 

“What do you want more? Do you want a person driving down the road that could have epileptic seizures? Or do you want somebody who’s using cannabis medicinally, and in very measured doses, in order to prevent his seizures?” Context matters in a courtroom, and the current systems in Oregon tend to lack the leeway needed to accommodate these situations, according to Pelley. 

Cannabis DUIs are a hot-button issue within the legal and law enforcement community. It is a class B traffic violation if the driver or passenger consumes cannabis while inside the motor vehicle, according to Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 811.482. There is a lot of discourse surrounding whether or not smell should be considered probable cause, especially considering possession of cannabis alone is no longer illegal in Oregon. Scent could just mean there is cannabis in the vehicle, which is legal as long as the person in possession is over 21 and the product is sealed in a closed container. 

“Smell doesn’t always equal consumption. The scent of marijuana should be no different than the smell of coffee,” said Pelley. 

Cultiva Law’s caseload is largely business-related, and as such, Girard had insights on how the fallout of the war on drugs impacted disadvantaged populations struggling to break into the industry. Directly after the commercial sale of cannabis was legalized in Oregon in 2014, the first people to start dispensaries tended to be small growers with large investors. These investment groups required startup money to be vetted, meaning the funds were examined for risk potential. 

For people who were selling cannabis in the illicit market prior to legalization, this new requirement posed an issue in moving into the legal market. 

“Ironic that they don’t want people that made a lot of money selling weed to be licensed, and make the state taxes,” said Girard. “I mean, this drug trade originally was built on an inclusiveness of all racial categories, and of all economic categories… And so when we look at the recreational market, it should be no different.” 

This has contributed to an imbalance in the industry when it comes to the racial and socioeconomic background of cannabis business owners. “It’s insane, the economic divide that’s in the industry,” said Girard, “I think that divide is also what keeps the war on drugs going… what keeps it fueled.” The Oregon government has made an effort to remedy this through social equity programs. 

In 2016, the Social Equity and Educational Development (SEED) program was introduced in Oregon. One of the initiatives in this program, the SEED grant, aims to provide more accessible licenses to people in “economically disparaged areas and discriminated groups” receive special consideration for a cannabis business license. 

“I think that we’re gonna see a lot more opportunities that then may be granted to the industry as a whole once we see the positive effects they have,” said Girard. 

One opinion seemed universal across the conversation: once cannabis is legalized federally, progress will come faster. And what we’re seeing is that the economic development that legalized commerce is providing is actually pushing the state legislature to catch up. 

For example, the DEA and USPS are currently working together on policy regarding the mailability of Delta-9 THC, due to the economic opportunities it will provide as well as the precedent set by the mailability of hemp flower. 

“We’re seeing the end to the war on drugs, not through presidential action or legislative action like we’ve been promised for so many decades by every politician. Now we’re seeing it because of the mechanisms of an industry that are forcing it to happen,” said Girard. “It’s phenomenal to watch.”

The staff at Cultiva Law are working hard to try and remedy a broken system, and an infantile industry. Whether it’s taking countless pro-bono cases, filling the pews of a courtroom, or fighting tooth-and-nail for their clients; they are making a difference that can be reflected in the tides of a developing industry and culture. “I don’t think anybody should be going to jail for a plant,” said Pelley with a wry chuckle. “I just don’t.”

 But change is happening, one small win at a time. “Change has to come slowly. Otherwise it’s too chaotic,” said Girard. “Right?” 

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:

Prosecuting Peace: lasting impacts of cannabis prohibition 

Written and photographed by Gino Savaria 

The isolated backwoods of Douglas county enticed Chris Poulos as a reprieve from the excessive stimulation he was sensitive to. It seemed like a perfect first home for him and an ideal place to grow cannabis— until he spent four years immersed in a battle with Oregon’s judicial system.

Poulos shared that he has struggled with PTSD from a young age, and that he is on the autism spectrum. He said it wasn’t until he tried cannabis as an adolescent that he realized the chronic stress and dissociation he was used to was not the only way of being. 

“When you’re 15, you don’t know what the hell’s going on, but I realized ‘wow, I suddenly feel better when I use this substance,’” Poulos said. 

By his late 20s, he had grown a passion for cannabis, as well as about 70 developed plants. He said that many of his friends couldn’t grasp how he calmly produced a small farm in his house while Douglas county tended to deal harsh sentences for cannabis related crimes. To Poulos, the risks hardly registered. 

That was until Feb. 16, 1996, when two police detectives drove past numerous cautionary road signs and up Poulos’s steep gravel driveway. In an appellate brief of the incident, the two officers reported receiving an anonymous tip that led them to the backwoods residency. Poulos said that to this day, he does not know exactly where they received their information from, but suspects the electric company’s meter reader. 

Poulos said that as they spoke at the top of his drive, the lead detective identified a cannabis plant sitting in a second story window. Poulos believed this would have been far outside their vantage point. 

“They came at 10 a.m. when the sun’s fairly high and the window is more of a mirror, and yet they somehow knew there was a plant behind it. Which was stupid to leave there of course on my part, but I don’t know if there was anything I could have done at that point,” said Poulos.

He said the officers seemed to show up loaded with the information they needed to make an arrest. Yet, according to official records from the court of appeals, they failed to secure a search warrant before arriving. Although the injustice was obvious, the point was moot.

“What was interesting to me was the lead detective had a macho attitude seeming to say, ‘I’m hot shit, and I can do whatever the fuck I want. I’ll throw your ass in jail. I don’t need a search warrant,’” said Poulos.

He recounted that the officers locked him in a Roseburg jail cell for four nights. On Feb. 21st, he was released 45 miles from his home without a vehicle or money to help him get home. When he returned to his property, it was as if he had been robbed. His truck, his house, his CD collection; the state had seized it all, claiming it must have been purchased with drug money, according to Poulos. Intending to push back against the infringement on his freedom,, Poulos quickly hired Robert McCrea, an attorney based out of Eugene. 

“Back then, especially in Douglas County, they were sentencing people for 20 years. So my attorney wasn’t gung ho or like ‘we’re going to get you out of this.’ I guess he didn’t want to make any claims he didn’t know for sure,” said Poulos. 

For eight months the case loomed over his head, leaving him to simmer on the diverging paths ahead of him. He said that when the day of the trial finally arrived, the prosecution approached McCrea with what Poulos believed to be a decent offer: the state agreed to keep him out of prison as long as he pleaded guilty. 

“I think that’s usually their plan when they acquire evidence without a warrant, and most of the time people probably take the deal because they don’t want to go to jail. It’s kind of like a little scam,” said Poulos. 

Poulos said their defense was based on sound logic and McCrea appeared relatively optimistic, so he decided to deny the plea deal. They instead argued that the arresting officers lacked a warrant, and signs warning trespassers should have made it clear that Poulos did not welcome uninvited guests to his property.

According to Poulos, the presiding judge, Joan Glawe Seitz, had commented that she was familiar with the area and would have been uncomfortable driving up to his house herself. He said the case wrapped up fairly quickly and Seitz declared him innocent of the charges against him. However, the prosecution immediately filed a notice of appeal, claiming the judge was biased and the case deserved a retrial. Poulos’s relief vanished as he remained suspended in the legal system’s web. 

“They just made it as hard for me as possible. While they used tax money to pay the prosecutor, they knew I’d bleed from my own pocket. My attorney wasn’t gonna do the appeal for free,” Poulos said. 

With the state still in possession of his truck, his only mode of transportation at the time, and his debts compounding, Poulos turned back to cannabis as a source of income. He said he didn’t see much of a choice, and feared losing his house if his bills were left unpaid. 

A year after his first arrest while awaiting an appeal, Poulos came home to find a note left by county law enforcement requesting that he surrender himself. The detectives searched his home while he was out—but this time they had a warrant, he said. 

Poulos called McCrea, who suggested he listen to their note. After spending one night in a jail cell, he was released with another trial ahead of him. 

According to Poulos, they obtained the warrant for his second arrest by using information from the still open first case. 

On July 23, 1997, three appellate judges considered the arguments made by the prosecuting and defending attorneys. The prosecution claimed that the no trespassing signs and various others  posted were insufficient to imply the detectives were unwelcome, and he should have erected a physical barrier instead. McCrea challenged these allegations, asserting that the measures Poulos took were sufficient enough.

The appellate judges affirmed the ruling of the first trial, stating that “there was no evidence that even the customary casual visitor would be welcome on [the] defendant’s property.”

Half the evidence the prosecution held against Poulos dissolved with this judgment, and freedom appeared within reach. Yet, the state still justified its warrant. They argued that his electric bill was far too high for a property without a permanent resident. 

“This was my house. I lived there every day and they just flat out lied about it,” he said. 

According to Poulos, the second trial revolved around this new notion. The state presented that the Registered Guard receptacle sitting beneath his mailbox was overstuffed with newspapers, and was apparent proof he did not actively live there. Combined with a statement from the electric company regarding significant power usage, they argued that the property was solely a cannabis farm.  

“I wasn’t receiving any newspapers at the time, so I would just take the junk mail and stuff it in the Registered Guard receptacle, not really thinking much of it. I wanted to hold up that newspaper receptacle and say, judge does this fucking look like newspapers to you? Or does this look like trash?” said Poulos.

However, he did not need to; after a third trial he was once again declared not guilty. He said that this judge even appeared fairly irritated with the lead detective, who at this point Poulos felt was  harassing him. 

As the prosecution ran out of steam, they made a hail mary effort for an appeal that once again ended in favor of Poulos.

Poulos narrowly avoided prison, but he did not get off scot free. He soon found the Department of Revenue billing him for $18,000. This was money he did not have, and as interest rates approached 10%, he felt cornered. Poulos said that he didn’t really know what he was supposed to do, so he just kept filling out forms the Department of Revenue sent him, hoping it would stall the process a bit—and once again found his way back to growing cannabis

After numerous documents sent back and forth, he was slightly surprised to see that he had another court date. This time, he would be the prosecutor. He found a tax lawyer in Eugene and pushed for the absolvement of the debt. 

He was disappointed to learn that while they could not throw him in jail, the department of revenue had no issue fining him. In the end he was able to take the fee down to $8,000.

“There’s a lot of things that get fucked up when the state comes in and interferes with your life. So you know, it kind of forced me to address my anger and where my life was because ultimately it’s up to me,” said Poulos

Nearly 15 years after his first arrest, a bout of depression pushed him to turn off his grow lights and leave his cannabis plants in the past. Yet, nurturing plants continues to be a daily ritual that helps him find peace. Poulos said that he sustains an ample garden and greenhouse of vegetables, but he does not grow cannabis anymore.

As he sorted through potatoes crowded by eager shoots he reflected. “I am so thankful that, now, I can just walk two blocks to a store and buy standardized edibles without any danger of getting arrested.”

Strain of the Month: Kentucky Bluegrass

Written by Lily Brennan, photo by Leafly

It’s the middle of winter. The sky is gray and the roads are mucked with mud and trash. An unknown residue is lining the sides of your favorite pair of rain boots and it almost seems like a sign to stay in, snuggle up, and share a bowl and some stories with friends. Well let me give you a tale that you can add to your roster…

Ever heard of the legendary “Godfather of Grass” and his classic hybrid strain “Kentucky Bluegrass?”

Johnny Boone, otherwise known as the Godfather of Grass, is a legendary figure in the weed smuggling world. As a once-been leader of the “Cornbread Mafia,” a rural Kentucky-based drug organization that grew 29 large illicit cannabis farms in 10 states, Boone obtained an intense following and was looked up to by many. After a mass arrest of the mafia in June of 1989 with over 70 arrests and 47 tons of confiscated cannabis from the site, the U.S. attorney in Louisville coined the Cornbread Mafia as the “largest domestic marijuana syndicate in American history.”

After the arrests of the Cornbread Mafia, Boone included, law enforcements believed this to have a positive impact on the community. However, after Boone was released and then arrested once more in 2017, the Godfather of Grass began to publicly defend the Cornbread Mafia and his crewmates.

“We’re from a poor place. … I don’t think anybody here is into any kind of thievery. I can only say that … in our area, marijuana is one of the things that helps put bread on the table for people,” he told the judge, according to the Washington Post. “We’re not criminals, we’re not. We’re not the kind of people who go out and harm people.”

The truth was that the local communities thrived off of the Cornbread Mafia’s business. Stationed in rural, small towns, there weren’t many job opportunities. The cannabis industry became a livelihood for many locals. After the organization’s bust in 1989, neighboring towns became impoverished. Local enforcement didn’t know what to make of this endeavor.

This has left Johnny Boone to be seen through two different perspectives: an infamous kingpin who ran the largest cannabis drug-ring in American history, or an individual whose cannabis business created commercial growth in local communities.

Boone’s story and the strain within it became so popular High Times magazine dubbed it as “Kentucky Bluegrass.” It is an evenly-balanced hybrid strain crossed between Blueberry and Huckleberry Kush. 

With this cross, notes of sweet berries can be found while smoking it, all to be rounded out by a soft lemongrass aftertaste. Although a hybrid, it is an excellent strain to use to relax and is even made popular by medical users to relieve pain and physical stress. You can nearly feel yourself transporting to a rural Kentucky farmland, surrounded by warm sun and nature’s silence. 

Then vs. Now: Reflecting on Oregon’s relationship with cannabis

Written by Lily Brennan

Last year when I moved to Oregon, my father and I did a cross-country road trip from New York. As soon as we crossed from Idaho and into the Beaver State, we were instantly welcomed to the first dispensary we’ve ever seen, with New York still being an illegal state and all. And as we ventured onward, it seemed as though the further you traveled into the state, the more apparent cannabis was for Oregonian lifestyles and cultures. It had me wondering…

What was Oregon like before recreational legalization in 2015? Would I have been a bit less shell-shocked if I had moved here prior? Coming from a state where I was used to the negative connotations and illegal activity pinned on cannabis use, I was interested in finding out just how much Oregon may have changed due to its legalization.

Background

Oregon was the first state to have decriminalized small amounts of weed in 1973, as well as one of the first that allowed medical use. This being said, tolerance has a history of being challenged by those who oppose it, and this was no different for recreational legalization.

On November 4th, 2014, there was a statewide ballot that contained the Oregon Legalized Marijuana Initiative, Measure 91, otherwise known as the Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act of 2014. This went on as an initiated state ballot (a citizen-initiated ballot measure that amends state law) which was then approved by only 56.11% in favor.

Measure 91 legalized recreational cannabis for people ages 21 and older, allowing them in turn to possess up to eight ounces of “dried marijuana” and up to four plants. After its initial approval in 2014, Governor Kate Brown signed its legislation on July 27, 2015, making the first legal sale date for marijuana up a year to October 1, 2015. Oregon was officially the third state in the US to legalize recreational cannabis use.

The Initial Aftermath

It seemed almost instant that recreational cannabis was a controversial topic in Oregon. During the 2015 legislative session, the Oregon Legislature considered a 17 to 20% state sales tax on marijuana retail sales. This upset many individuals who were already practicing medical cannabis use, but also those who planned to start legally purchasing for recreational use. Others found it as a beneficial opportunity for the state.

Opinions seemed relevant to county locations as well. For example, legislation was also designed in 2015 to allow counties where 55 percent or more of voters opposed Measure 91 to ban cannabis sales. A total of 15 counties rejected the initiative by that margin, all of which are east of the Cascade Range.

Overall, the reaction to Measure 91 passing was extreme from both ends. Some were incredibly joyful while others were absolutely enraged. At this time, many were unsure of how this would affect societal interactions, taxation, local cultures, regulations, or even the impressions of the state in relation to the rest of the US.

So… Did Things Change?

After legalization, recreational cannabis became an incredibly successful industry across Oregon. In mid-2016, there were fewer than 100 Oregon businesses licensed to sell recreational cannabis. Applications for licenses began to skyrocket towards the very last months of 2016, partially due to the legalization that required businesses to obtain a “recreational license” from the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC) in order to recreationally sell, effective Jan. 1, 2017. The number of licensed retailers nearly tripled in the one-month span from early Dec. 2016 to early Jan. 2017.

As expected, state and local recreational cannabis sales/excise taxes generated (and still does today) a hefty amount of tax revenue. For example, over $78 million in tax revenue was generated in 2017, the same year that licenses were a requirement in order to sell recreationally. Many may wonder where this tax revenue goes. A 2019 audit found that “most of the collected taxes have gone toward shortages in the city’s general fund and specifically to police and transportation programs.” 

Socially, it seems much more widely accepted to use cannabis now. Despite the controversy that sprouted from its initial legalization, recreational cannabis use has become extremely common, and is even seen as equivalent to alcohol consumption by many. There are still some Oregonians who don’t support it, but reports have found this to be heavily related to generational and regional differences. Many report that Oregon’s prior history in relation to cannabis may have helped dissipate the initial tension, as medical legalization in 1998 paved a way to remove negative connotations associated with weed.

Culturally, much of Oregon stayed the same. Similarly to how medical legalization began to normalize cannabis use, cannabis itself had already begun assimilating into Oregonian cultures for decades. Recreational use becoming legal created a larger space and community for consumption across the state, even as far as having cannabis-themed restaurants or bars. The cultural tolerance to weed stayed the same, while the execution of the practice became more publicized.

Reflection

Despite only being legalized recreationally six years ago, cannabis has been oriented into Oregonian cultures and lifestyles for numerous decades. As Oregonians it is important that we all understand the recreational laws, and continue to educate ourselves to keep both ourselves and the greater community safe.

Harvesting Hacks

Written and photographed by Skyla Patton 

The leaves are changing color, the wind has a chill to it and the colas are leaning over with the weight of the world on their shoulders… harvest season has arrived! After a long season of cultivating and doting over your plants, the time has finally come to bust out the shears and get to work. Check out these tips to make your harvest season go a little smoother, whether it’s your first time or you’re a seasoned chopper looking for new tricks. 

Set up a station beforehand 

Once you start pulling nugs down, everything around you will quickly become covered in a layer of sticky, almost-impossible-to-get-off resin, so it’s important to set up a work station first. If you’re outdoors, set out your tables and chairs and create separate areas for things like snacks and tools for the day. Put valuables like phones and keys (or other items you don’t want to get messy) in a basket for safekeeping, while things like gloves and trimmers should be laid out and easily accessible even with dirty hands. If you have a canopy or tent, put that up for extra weatherproofing.

Use buckets or crates to organize once the plants come down 

For different strains, most growers want to keep the plants separated so you know which is which later on while drying and trimming. Label buckets, crates or even laundry baskets with strips of painters tape and a sharpie so you know which containers have which strain as you take them down. When you dry the stems later on, use the painters tape again to separate the strains in sections while hang drying or label the trays individually, depending on how you choose to dry. 

Keep those trimmers clean

There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to work with a grubby, gummed up pair of clippers. Grab a lighter and an old rag or paper towel, and heat up the blade of your trimmers until the material smokes a bit. Wipe the blade (comes off very easily) with your rag and boom! Fresh shears, just like new. 

Stay hydrated and don’t shy away from the snacks 

Work is work, and harvest is a lot of work! It’s super important to take care of your body even while you’re grinding it out so the motivation is backed up by energy. Drink lots of water or tea to stay hydrated, stock up on easily-grabbable snacks and don’t hesitate to take a good lunch break when you need to fuel up. Pro Tip: Prepare a dinner in the crockpot before heading out to work so by the time you’re ready to eat, it’s ready to be eaten!

Take time to clean up the nugs

This is a hotly-contested debate in the growing community, but the bottom line is: nugs are easier to trim later on if you spend extra energy tidying them up on the stem during harvest. If time allows, spend a few extra minutes with each stem and snip off all the sun leaves with your clippers before drying so they’re not covered in wilted greenery by the time you’re ready to trim. Your future self will be thankful!

Don’t forget the entertainment 

Harvest is undoubtedly a long process, even if you’re only dealing with a handful of plants. Don’t make it harder on yourself and your work buddies by sitting in silence or forcing small talk for eight hours. Download a few good playlists with lots of energy, or my personal favorite, a binge-worthy podcast and let a Bluetooth speaker guide your work to keep everyone entertained, but focused. 

High Recommendations: WVA Gummies

Written and photographed by Alexandra Arnett

As a medical cannabis patient, edibles are some of my favorite ways to consume cannabis. To help with my anxiety I typically use 5mg-10mg of THC or a 5mg/5mg ratio of THC and CBD every few hours throughout the day. I also suffer from chronic pain due to a lower back injury I obtained when I was a gymnast, so in addition to regularly using cannabis topicals during the day, I do prefer to eat a high dose edible before bed so I can sleep through the night. There are hundreds of edible brands on the recreational market but few choose to branch out into having vegan options, especially when it comes to gummies. My favorite edibles are ones that are made with infused butter or coconut oil and use solventless concentrate. Cannabinoids bind with fat molecules to help your body absorb them better, instead of breaking down quickly and passing through your system. Due to its high saturated fat content, coconut oil is one of the best infusion mediums for helping cannabinoids bind to fat molecules for better absorption.

Right now my favorite edibles on the Oregon market are from Willamette Valley Alchemy. I’ve been a long time fan of the company, particularly because they produce wonderful Live Resin cartridges and have strain specific vegan edibles. Finding vegan edible gummy options can be difficult and it is even harder to find ones that are made with quality ingredients, no food dyes, and so on. Willamette Valley Alchemy gummies are made with coconut oil, fruit purees, have no artificial flavorings or food dyes, and they now offer two vegan options! The first vegan option they offered were 1:1 THC/CBD vegan gummies. The particular package I have now was infused with Sour Banana Sherbet and Cherry Wine. 

Next up, a product they recently released are their vegan 50mg THC gummies, infused with solventless concentrate! The batch I have currently is infused with GMO x Sunset Octane. Both options come with 10 pieces, with the 1:1 ratio having roughly 5mg of THC and 5mg of CBD per gummy and the 50mg THC option having roughly 5mg of THC per gummy. These vegan gummies are the perfect option for dosing throughout the day or if you just want to munch on a few gummies instead of a single one to reach that 50mg dosage. Occasionally I have seen limited edition flavors added into their product line, but each of their staple gummies come in a blend of five flavors per package. Strawberry Blast is my favorite, other flavors included are Passionfruit Punch, Blueberry Bliss, Sunrise Grapefruit and LaLa Lychee. If I’m being honest, all of their flavors are delicious.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to try Willamette Valley Alchemy’s’ products yet, I highly recommend picking up any one of their products. From their Live and Cured Resin cartridges to their numerous strain specific edibles, this company is an Oregon cannabis industry staple.

Too High: Edible nightmares, fever dreams and more

Collected and written by Kimberly Harris 

Kaylynn W. 

I ate a whole homemade marshmallow cereal ball edible and within an hour I was having an existential crisis, like having a sense of identity was super uncomfortable. I was looking at photos of myself and it was too much, I had to put down all my frames. I looked into my mirror and asked myself “who is this?”  and I laid fully clothed on my bed and started looking up at my ceiling. That’s when I started to see the world around me become glitchy, so I turned my gaze to the next wall, and I started to see three elves. They were about 3 ft tall with pointy hats, and they were whispering to each other because they saw me noticing them. I’ve never done DMT, but my experience was like a whole DMT experience. When I told people this story, they said that’s exactly what people see on DMT, like elves and stuff.

Madison R. 

It was my freshman year of college, and I  lived in the dorms with my best friend who was a really big stoner. My roommate said she was getting edibles from a friend and asked if I wanted one. I was down, and she brought home two small M&M cookies. Before she could even say anything, I scarfed mine down. I popped the whole cookie in my mouth because I thought that’s what we were supposed to do. My roommate looked at me with wide eyes, I’ll never forget the look on her face, and in shock while she explained that I was only supposed to eat a quarter of the edible. She apologized and advised me to stay in the dorm until it kicked in before she headed out to class. I decided to nap it off but when I woke up it hit me. I was totally hallucinating, seeing colors and shapes. I was super high all night. I also had horrible vivid nightmares and hallucinations. Ever since that moment I’ve never tried edibles again. 

Kaeden W. 

I had just started smoking and someone I knew made edibles, so I took one from them. I had never done an edible before, so I took the whole thing. I blacked out, and I haven’t blacked out from weed since then. I vaguely remember making butter noodles and not being able to communicate with my friend who also took an edible. I then shuffled two blocks home and it felt like it took two hours. There was so much THC in that edible that I was high for 24 hours, like violently high. I learned to never take the whole edible and always test the waters first.

Anonymous

A couple summers ago I was helping my then girlfriend move from SoCal up to Oregon. We stayed a night in Redding with her aunt, and her aunt wasn’t 420-friendly, but we still wanted to get high that evening. Edibles were the answer, or so we thought. Since we were both pretty unfamiliar with edible dosages, we decided it would be a good idea to split a super potent 350 mg cookie between the two of us. It wasn’t a good idea. Instead of having a fun, stoney night in a little forest cabin we spent the evening staring at the ceiling, uncomfortably melting into the mattress and trying not to yack. We couldn’t fall asleep for the longest time, but we had plans to leave earlier the next morning to Portland. Needless to say, that didn’t happen. We ended up sleeping until noon the next day and woke up to her mom calling us asking why we haven’t left for Oregon yet. Eventually we made it out of the cabin and up to our destination, but neither of us have taken an edible like that since. 

Skyla P 

One edible I took during a camping trip KO’d me and a few friends so good we couldn’t get up to make s’mores for hours (or what felt like hours) because we all knew we’d fall over or float away if we stood up and ended up just staring into the fire forever. We woke up the next morning and realized that the s’mores supplies were right behind us the whole time—maybe an arm’s reach away? I think it was from HUSH but all I really remember was how cool the stars looked between the trees. Nature rocks.

Jyles L.          

I was at 7/11 buying something and I was staring at the cashier for hella long but the machine was asking me for my pin and I legit zoned out. 

Anonymous 

I was so excited to celebrate 4/20 one year that I bought a whole bunch of edibles for me and my friend. She didn’t smoke or really do anything cannabis related, but when I invited her over to take an edible and chill on the stoner holiday, she was down. We were cheerfully catching up and enjoying ourselves as we waited for the edibles to kick in. I was totally chilling by the time the high set in, but my friend was not. She was laying on her back, holding her stomach and said that she felt sick and nauseous. I tried to help her out, but she ended up puking and next to my toilet for the rest of the night. I felt horrible for giving my friend something like that, and also for ruining a cannabis experience for her. Now, I don’t offer my edibles and cannabis goodies unless I know the person is a stoner lol. 

Madison I. 

It was my first experience with weed ever, and I took a homemade Fruity Pebbles Rice Krispie edible. My partner and I went to the beach and rented a room and had planned this whole weekend. When eating it I definitely didn’t care for the taste and only had a couple bites. At first, I was denying that I was high because I couldn’t tell at first. Then I started hallucinating and saw my partner floating into outer space. I swore there were bugs crawling all over him. These hallucinations continued for a few hours and then I ate a bunch of Chinese food and slept for like 12 hours. I definitely woke up the next day still high and we went to breakfast and toured around the town. It was quite difficult being a newbie. 

Anonymous

The first time I ever got high was when I first toured UO. It was the spring of my senior year and I was pretty set on attending but wanted to see the campus first. I drove to Eugene with my best friend, and stayed with her older sister who was a senior at the time. She gave us a tour of the school and asked if we wanted to get high that evening, and we obviously said yes. I remember driving to Safeway beforehand and stocking up on munchies, then going back to her house and going up to the roof to smoke. Her bong was made out of an old Grey Goose bottle and it was (to me at the time) MASSIVE.  We obviously had no idea how to use it, so she was lighting it for us, so she was lighting it for us and doing all the legwork. We sat up on the roof for maybe an hour and I felt absolutely nothing. My best friend was high, everyone else was high except for me and I thought something was wrong with me. My friend’s sister said ‘sometimes people just don’t get high the first time they smoke.’ I’ve literally never heard anyone say this except for her lol. We stood up to go downstairs and it hit me all at once like a train. My legs felt rubbery and I remember standing at the top of the stairs and wondering how I would get down hahaha. The rest of the night was pretty laid back: we sank into the couch and watched Brain Games, the most mind-bending show we could think of. I think we both sat there with our eyes glued to the TV for like three hours while my friend’s sister and her roommates came and went and did their own thing. I had such a nice time, I decided that night to commit to UO and the rest was history!

High Recommendations: THC Facemasks

written by Renee Thompson, photographed by Kimberly Harris

Disposable face masks for skin care are becoming more common, but in the ever growing beauty aisle, few environmentally friendly alternatives exist. One way to ensure your beauty routine is as green as possible is to make your own. There are hundreds of face mask recipes that use natural materials, and making them yourself is a great way to de-stress through the process or connect with others in your home. 

An easy way to add THC to a natural face mask is to use infused coconut oil or sugar. Some expected effects from using THC in face masks would include (but is not limited to) muscle relaxation and a slight tingling sensation. Everyday ingredients like honey, yogurt, and avocado act as natural moisturizer, and things like citrus and pineapple juice are effective at breaking down dirt in pores. Once a month, or as needed, treat yourself to some of our favorite THC infused combinations.

Pore Cleansing Mask 

Ingredients:

-½ lemon

-1 ½ tsp. honey

-1 tsp. of THC infused coconut oil

Instructions:

1. Cut lemon in half.

2. Over a bowl, use a fork to loosen the lemon sections while trying to keep as much of the lemon chunks and juice inside as possible. 

3. Pour infused coconut oil in the exposed lemon half.

4. Use a fork to push the oil inside the lemon. 

5. Repeat steps 3. & 4. with honey.

6. Use a fork to mix the honey, oil, and lemon juice inside the lemon. 

7. Apply the lemon with mixture to your skin. Make sure you apply an even layer to your face, leaving areas around your eyes and mouth exposed.

8. If needed squish the lemon, away from your eyes, slightly to release more of the mixture. 

9. Let the mask stay for 10-30 minutes.

10. Wash off with warm water. 

Tightening Mask

Ingredients:

-1 egg white

-⅓ cup plain uncooked oats

-2 tsp. THC infused coconut oil

-2 TBS. plain yogurt

Instructions:

1. In one bowl, mix your oats and yogurt until there are no clumps of dry oats.

2. In another bowl, mix together the egg white and oil.

3. Pour the egg mixture into the oat mixture and mix until they are combined.

4. Apply the mask while you’re over a sink to avoid any possible messes. 

5. Cover your face avoiding your eyes and mouth.

6. Leave the face mask on until the mixture begins to tighten and dry. This can take 25-50 minutes. 

7. Use warm water and a paper towel to get the more solidified chunks off your face. 

8. Use warm water and a gentle face wash to remove any excess. 

Nourishing Mask

Ingredients:

-½ ripe avocado

-1 TBS. or 1 tea bag of pure green tea 

-2 ½ tsp. THC infused coconut oil 

-1 TBS. honey

Instructions:

1. Cut a ripe avocado into small pieces and add them to the bowl.

2. In the bowl, use the fork and spoon to mash the avocado until it has reached a pudding-like state.

3. Add the honey, tea leaves, and infused oil into the mashed avocado. Stir all the ingredients together until they are well incorporated.

4. Put the mask on your face evenly, leaving your eyes and mouth exposed.

5. Let the mask stay on your face for 20-60 minutes, then use warm water and a paper towel to remove the bulk of the mask.

6. Use warm water to rinse your face of any remaining residue.