Southern Oregon Good Herb | Winter 2019

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INSIDE: The Martha Stewart of marijuana edibles






Local growers develop cannabis sign language for hearing-impaired




HEMP ENTREPRENEURS When it comes to hemp and CBD, Murphy Hemp and Wellness pretty much covers it all




CANNABIS COOKING Meet Laurie Wolf, “the Martha Stewart of marijuana edibles”


CBD TEACHER Anna Symonds travels the West to keep people abreast of research into CBD

Volume 3, Issue 1 PUBLISHER Steven Saslow EDITOR David Smigelski, 541-776-8784 Email story ideas to PHOTOGRAPHERS Jamie Lusch, Andy Atkinson, Denise Baratta GRAPHIC DESIGN Robert Galvin


ADVERTISING Bill Krumpeck, advertising sales director, 541-776-4385

POT PIONEERS A look back at five years of legalization


STRAIGHT DOPE ‘I wanna get high with Trump’


Cannabis briefs

What do docs say about CBD pet remedies?




Global Hemp Innovation Center at Oregon State University works for the future of cannabis

One award-winning company grows regeneratively by “keeping it lean, keeping it humble.”

2  | Sunday, December 8, 2019  |  Southern Oregon Good Herb

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Rick Cipes, John Darling, Heidi Happonen, Sarah Lemon, Damian Mann, Rhonda Nowak, Annette McGee-Rasch




Home Grown ORegonicX is developing sign language specific to cannabis for the hearing-impaired




SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES For subscription services, call 541-776-4455. n Southern Oregon Good Herb is published quarterly by Rosebud Media, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501. Phone: 541-776-4411. Copyright 2019, Rosebud Media. All rights reserved. Reprinting in whole or in part is expressly forbidden without written permission from the publisher. n Rosebud Media LLC assumes no responsibility for any claims or representations in this magazine or in any advertisement. All materials contained within are for educational purposes only and intended for legal marijuana operations where allowed by state law. Rosebud Media does not encourage the illegal use of any of the products contained within. ON THE COVER Angela Panks makes the sign for terpenes at Home Grown ORganicX near Grants Pass. Photo by Jamie Lusch






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Sunday, December 8, 2019 |



Anna Symonds travels the West to keep people abreast of research



orking for East Fork Cultivars of Takelma, Anna Symonds, a 38-year old professional rugby star, visits many dispensaries, conferences and public platforms to tell the story of the positive healing and recreational uses of CBD. Especially telling was her recent visit to Lakeview — Lake County was the reddest Oregon county in the last presidential election — where she trained budtenders in two dispensaries on the latest details and discoveries about cannabis, especially CBD, then gave a well attended talk at the public library.



Anna Symonds teaches one of her CBD classes. Although her lectures are going online, she finds driving around Oregon and Northern California and educating people in the profession and the public in person is more effective.


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Southern Oregon Good Herb

There, Symonds learned, were two ladies from each Anna Symonds of the two major churches, desiring to learn about the benefits of cannabis while she gave a broad outline of what it does for health, emphasizing that, because it’s been outlawed forever, science is just learning what it can do — and you, the consumer, are now free to experiment and find out what it does for you, both in health and mood control. Her popular lectures are going online, but she finds that driving around Oregon and Northern California and educating people in the profession and the public in person is far more effective, especially given her enthusiastic, informed and charismatic delivery. Four out of five of her presentations — they’re free — are at dispensaries and last an hour or two. “What I’m presenting to the public is: Here’s how YOU can find what’s right and effective for you — tincture, capsule, topical, edible, vape, preroll? “There are just so many choices now and such a hunger for information — and Oregon is so far ahead of everyone, including California.”

EDUCATION “What I tell people is we don’t have an answer about what platform and what dosage. They have to find their own, by starting low and seeing what it does for you, then, increasing dosage if desired.” As always these days, the focus is most intense on the health aspects of the plant, especially CBD, though it’s become more widely understood that mood-altering THC assists in its healing work. “People say they want 1) relief from pain, 2) help with sleeping, and 3) anxiety and mood improvement,” says Symonds. After that, what she hears most is the need for help with autoimmune problems, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, migraines, head injury, and Alzheimer’s. “She’s incredibly articulate as she travels around talking about the latest science around CBD. She is very comfortable with her knowledge,” said Sage Pearsel, general manager of Rogue Valley Cannabis in Ashland. “Her presentation was dynamic and fun. She allowed a lot of questions and gave us all CBD care packages with East Fork products.” Since federal legalization of hemp

“We try to bridge the gap (between the industry and the public in need of healing), because the medical industry treats it as a side topic. They need to give attention to the new technologies and make sure people are safe and that product is free of contamination.” COURTESY PHOTO

Anna Symonds speaks about CBD during a panel discussion at a cannabis conference.

last fall, scientific research on CBD has grown apace, and Symonds continues to add it to her “CBD Certified” workshops. On completion, she hands out window stickers and pins for budtenders to wear, certifying they are up-to-date on the latest science. “The science is evolving so fast,” says Pearsel, “that we are getting ready to ask her back again to bring us up to date.” East Fork Cultivars pays Symonds to get the latest information out to

budtenders and devotees of the plant, but she doesn’t use it to sell their product, she says, adding, “We try to bridge the gap (between the industry and the public in need of healing), because the medical industry treats it as a side topic. They need to give attention to the new technologies and make sure people are safe and that product is free of contamination.” Some doctors have started coming to her talks and sharing their experiences with the plant. It’s important

to note that Symonds emphasizes cannabis is NOT a drug. It’s only been considered thus because the federal government, she notes, classified it as a Schedule I drug in 1970 for political reasons, to stigmatize and jail people of color, hippies and anti-war protestors. “If we’d never detoured into cannabis prohibition, just think where we’d be now with research on its healthful properties. It still hurts people today, because they can’t get access to it in some areas, and that’s a gross injustice, and it’s part of why I’m driving around giving these talks.” Symonds, a New Hampshire native and daughter of a musician who went to Woodstock and appears in a PBS documentary about the legendary concert, says she first got stoned at age 13, before she ever had a drink. “Alcohol takes from the body, and cannabis gives back to it,” she says. “It’s soothing and helps me recover from the bruises and pain of rugby.” She’s a player with Oregon Sports Union Rugby “Jesters,” which plays other teams around the West and, Symonds adds, she and the top women players lean toward toking old-fashioned joints.

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Solving CBD: Leafly publishes series on CBD potency

Oregon pot getting more potent In 2015, the average THC potency of cannabis sold in Oregon was 17.8%. In August 2019, the average THC potency tested in Oregon was 20.1%, according to Confident Cannabis, described by Forbes as a maker of tools that help businesses test, sell and buy wholesale cannabis. Last October, Confident Cannabis launched a software platform in Oregon that tracks cannabis activity and trends, which helps wholesalers, producers and retailers make informed decisions based on factors such as cannabinoid profile, terpenes, price and lab results. Among the company’s recent findings is that nearly five times more weed is being lab-tested for terpenes now than four years ago. In October 2015, 7.2% of tests that went through Confident Cannabis partner labs in Oregon elected to test for terpenes. In August of this year, 31% of all samples elected to have terpene tests. Speculating on that growth, Confident Cannabis says terpenes are becoming a selling point for dispensaries and growers. “Several dispensaries list the terpenes on the shelf as a selling factor, and we believe more will do so in the future,” the company said in a release. “Since more consumers and retailers are looking for terpenes, growers that test for them may sell their supply faster and for a higher price. According to lab testing, the three most present terpenes in Oregon weed since October 2015 are beta-caryophyllene, beta-myrcene and alpha-humulene.

Leafly, the online cannabis resource, published a three-part series in November investigating the state of the CBD market, including the labeling accuracy of popular products and how the CBD manufacturing process works. Leafly tested 47 widely available CBD products, finding one in three tested products delivered less than 80% of the CBD promised. Other key findings included: Just over half (51%) of the 47 products tested delivered CBD within a 20% range of the promised amount. Fifteen percent of the products tested contained more than 120% of the promised amount of CBD, while 11% of products delivered no CBD whatsoever. TED WARREN / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Although 11% of the Leafly published a three-part series in products tested contained no November investigating the state of the CBD CBD, this is an improvement market, including the labeling accuracy. compared to a 2016 study by the US Food & Drug Administration, which tested 22 CBD products and found 18 of them contained much less CBD than advertised, and often no CBD at all. Tinctures and gummies were the most reliable form factors, Leafly said, whereas water was the least reliable form factor. Capsules consistently delivered more CBD than promised, and vape pens and topicals had the most variance in results. To read the entire Leafly Investigation, see strains-products/cbd-oil-test-results.

ABOUT HARVEST HELPER Baylee Sweet co-founded Harvest Helper Trim Store in 2015, with partners Scott Hober and Chris Hober. This family business offers every farmer and producer the most innovative products and machines on the market while building strong relationships within the growing industry. Harvest Helpers trained staff are available to offer top of the line auto trimmers, buckers, drying racks, storage bags and processing equipment.

You can reach out to Baylee or any of the team members at Harvest Helper through the company website, you can also follow Harvest Helper on their Instagram page harvesthelpertrimstore. 6

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We have two showroom locations in Grants pass Oregon and Olympia Washington. Our team has more than 20 years of customer service experience along with years of hard work and dedication to the cannabis movement. Baylee has spent countless hours getting her hands dirty with each piece of equipment and getting into as many farms as she can to get real world knowledge to offer real training and solutions that lead to a successful harvest at any scale. She gets machines running on her YouTube channel, Harvest Helper, so farmers all over the world can make more educated choices when it comes to drying, curing, trimming and storing.


OLCC goes ‘In the Weeds’ The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has created a podcast focusing on oversight of Oregon’s recreational marijuana industry. The podcast, called “In the Weeds – The Ultimate OLCC Potcast,” focuses on various topics related to legal weed and how the state is handling it. An episode published in October focused on the vaping respiratory illness crisis and Oregon’s ban on flavored THC vaping products. The podcast launched in April 2019 “to provide more digestible details and nugget-sized information about the regulations and rules governing Oregon’s regulated marijuana industry,” OLCC said on its website. The podcast, aimed at OLCC recreational marijuana licensees, their employees and others interested in the legal marijuana industry, takes a more conversational approach to explain the expectations and guidelines for operating a legal marijuana business. “It’s just three of us — sometimes with a guest — sitting around talking about the rules, which is something we do every day anyway,” said Amanda Borup, OLCC recreational marijuana policy analyst, and one of the co-hosts of “In the Weeds. The other co-hosts of “In the Weeds” are TJ Sheehy, manager of the OLCC’s Marijuana Technical Unit, and Mark Pettinger, OLCC spokesperson.


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A New Frontier By HEIDI HAPPONEN “Why global?”


Global Hemp Innovation Center at Oregon State University works for the future of cannabis

hat’s one of the first questions Jay Noller, director of the Global Hemp Innovation Center at Oregon State University, is asked. The answer is rooted in both fact and vision. First, it is global because it represents research that is taking place across four countries in North America, Asia and Europe. The Hemp Innovation Center is the epicenter of some of the world’s leading pioneers in the science of hemp.

Second, and maybe more importantly, it is a nod to the future of hemp and its potential to solve a host of global challenges _ in health care, food production, the built environment and more. The economic and scientific opportunities with a crop that has been illegal for the past 80-plus years is nearly immeasurable. The hemp center is based in the College of Agricultural Sciences, but it includes more than 40 researchers representing 19 different discipline areas in research, teaching and Extension. From food innovation and pharmacy to public health, policy, business and engineering, hemp has created a wave of excitement across the university.


Hemp plants being grown and researched in campus greenhouses by Jay Noller.

“As much as anything, our role is to lead a fundamental cultural shift in how we understand and talk about hemp.” Jay Noller, director of the Global Hemp Innovation Center at Oregon State University 8  | Sunday, December 8, 2019  |  Southern Oregon Good Herb


Hemp plants being grown and researched in OSU campus greenhouses. Getting in on the ground floor with hemp provides the university an opportunity to bring together top-tier research, teaching and outreach that is integral to its land-grant mission. OSU PHOTO

It is rare that a new plant is launched into the entrepreneurial and scientific ecosystem along with all of the limitless potential it represents. While that reality is ripe with possibility, it also means there is a lot of work to be done in research.

Starting From Ground Zero According to Noller, the great challenge of hemp is taking it out of what was largely a black market system into the scientific and commercial realm. “As much as anything, our role is to lead a fundamental cultural shift in how we understand and talk about hemp,” he said. “While legal, it is still not entirely comfortable for people who are unfamiliar with the plant and who may exclusively consider it in terms of its psychotropic properties, which are only a fraction of the applications of hemp.” Another aspect of starting from the beginning in research includes the development of of terminology

and processes that we take for granted with other agricultural crops. “We don’t even have an agreedupon term for measuring hemp fiber,” Noller added. “We may know what a bushel of wheat is, but there is no common word or standard measurement yet for hemp grain.” The exciting part of getting in on the ground floor with hemp for OSU and its partners is it provides the university an opportunity to bring together top-tier research, teaching and outreach that is integral to its land-grant mission. According to Alan Sams, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences, “The potential to be part of an entirely new agricultural commodity, in partnership with many disciplines and colleges across the university — and partners around the world — is truly unique and exciting.” As the research begins, the 1,342 licensed growers from around the state are eager to see the university

take this leadership role, as well. Justin Bordessa, from Hemp Ag Solutions, explained, “It’s going to take years of research and development from a university to get the hemp industry on the same level of all the other industries.”

Why Now Oregon State’s decision to launch the new hemp center follows Congress’ adoption of the 2018 Farm Bill that removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act and initiated the creation of a framework to become a fully legalized commodity in the future. “Hemp has incredible potential across several industries and sectors, including in food and health products, and as a fiber commodity,” Sams said. “We believe that OSU is uniquely positioned to serve the global need for researchbased understanding of hemp as a crop and for its use in new products.” SEE INNOVATION, 10  |  Sunday, December 8, 2019 | 9



Hemp food products showcased at the launch of the Oregon State University Global Hemp Innovation Center.

“I like to imagine that one could sit in a house made of hemp, eating food made out of hemp, taking medicine made of extracts from hemp, wearing clothes made of hemp.” Jay Noller, director of the Global Hemp Innovation Center at Oregon State University Continued from Page 9

Oregon State University researchers plant hemp seeds at the OSU North Willamette Research and Extension Center in Aurora. 10  | Sunday, December 8, 2019  |  Southern Oregon Good Herb

According to the Brightfield Group, an analytics firm that tracks the cannabis industry, the hemp-derived cannabidiol market is expected to grow from $618 million in 2018 to $22 billion by 2022. In addition to the research taking place, the hemp center is also serving as the state’s only seed certification service for hemp, providing a valuable service to farmers. While it currently certifies seeds for as many as 48 agricultural commodities grown in Oregon, it is the only university in the nation to certify seed for hemp. When asked what his immediate goals are for research and outreach, Noller explained that the center will be iinitially ficused on how to efficiently and sustainably grow hemp for seeds, for hemp fiber materials that can be used in textiles, and construction materials as well as hemp essential oils that have popular health and wellness uses, and hemp grains for use in foods and feed.

HEMP INNOVATIONS As a newly decriminalized crop, there remains much to learn about the potential it offers. According to Noller, hemp is a unique agricultural comodity because the entire plant can be harvested and put to use. “I like to imagine that one could sit in a house made of hemp, eating food made out of hemp, taking medicine made of extracts from hemp, wearing clothes made of hemp,” Noller added with a smile.

200,000 plants. With numbers like that, the margin of error in calculating the differences between different hemp trials is negligible. “We have learned a lot already,” Noller added. “Enough to make us keenly aware of the fact that we have much yet to learn.” Here in Oregon, the center is conducting hemp trial research at 10 experiment stations across the state. The trials serve two key functions.

much as is done with other types of crops. “We can’t just turn on a switch and have the infrastructure and experience to conduct hemp research like we do with other plants,” Noller said. “The first year is very much about culturally and structurally setting us up for success so that we can truly make a difference in this new field.” While research is in its beginning sages, other areas of the college and university have also been looking into hemp. The Department of Food Science and Technology is working with hemp essential oils, the College of Engineering is starting to look at different delivery systems for those oils, and the Food Innovation Center in Portland has already started working with food entrepreneurs on products that contain hemp seed.

‘I have just one word for you’

Industrial hemp fields almost ready to harvest, with pivot irrigation.

Four years in the making While enthusiasm for new hemp research is creating a buzz in Oregon, Noller and his team have been researching hemp across the globe for more than four years. He has specifically been targeting locations that share Oregon’s 45th parallel — prime conditions for hemp production — in countries such as Serbia and China that have fewer legal constraints on hemp cultivation and production. In Serbia, for example, Noller has been able to plant hundreds of acres of hemp. Within an acre, there are approximately

The first is to develop a foundation for future hemp research at these stations so that the plant breeders, agronomists and others already working there have the opportunity to gain familiarity with the plant. It’s as much of a cultural learning curve as a scientific one, since hemp until now has been off-limits. Second, with these trials underway, the university and its experiment stations will be better equipped to take their science to the farm — helping growers on their properties better understand challenges they face growing in different soils and climates

With all the potential and enthusiasm for hemp as a new crop with seemingly limitless potential for new products, I can’t help but be reminded of a famous scene in the 1967 classic film “The Graduate.” Benjamin Braddock, played by a young Dustin Hoffman, is trying desperately to escape the college graduation party his parents are hosting. Suffocated by the well-,eaning but overbearing friends of his parents, pressured to answer the question looming over every graduate’s mind — “What are you going to do with the rest of your life?” — he attempts to duck out when one of his parents’ friends, Mr. McGuire, pulls him aside. “I just want to say one word to you. One word. Are you listening?” McGuire says. “Yes, Mr. McGuire,” Ben says. “Plastics,” McGuire says. Maybe hemp won’t be as pervasive as plastics — although several different types of plastics can be made from hemp. Only time will tell. And certainly the pervasiveness of plastics came with some unforeseen consequences. However, the point is we stand at the dawn of a new crop that can produce materials that hold a great deal of promise across all facets of life.

While enthusiasm for new hemp research is creating a buzz in Oregon, Noller and his team have been researching hemp across the globe for more than four years.  |  Sunday, December 8, 2019 | 11



Laurie Wolf, founder of edibles company Laurie + MaryJane, was dubbed “the Martha Stewart of marijuana edibles” in a 2017 article in The New Yorker.

‘I hate edibles that taste like weed’ “Elevating the edible” is Laurie + MaryJane’s business motto. Shoppers accustomed to the ubiquitous pot brownies and Rice Krispies Treats instead encounter Wolf’s sophisticated “almond cake bites,” “brownie truffle bites,” brownedbutter cookies and ginger-molasses cookies.



aked goods sold a decade ago at dispensaries in Oregon were clichés of contraband cookies. Consumers couldn’t mistake the key ingredient overwhelming those medical marijuana edibles, often homemade and packaged in plastic baggies. Convinced that cannabis consumers hungered for something better, Laurie Wolf — a classically trained chef, cookbook author and longtime recipe developer — knew she could satisfy the collective appetite. Retailers’ cannabis edibles, she says, “completely sucked” before culinary experts like her stepped onto the scene.

“There are dreadful cookies out there,” says Wolf. “I hate edibles that taste like weed.” With a dozen books to her credit, four of them manuals for cooking with cannabis, Wolf had

12  | Sunday, December 8, 2019  |  Southern Oregon Good Herb

Laurie Wolf uses her skill as a classically trained chef to create world-class edibles

hundreds of recipes and decades of experience on which to draw. Two years after Wolf and her daughter-in-law, Mary Wolf, founded Laurie + MaryJane in Portland, the company touts a dozen cannabis and hemp treats, the former stocked in more than 200 dispensaries around Oregon, the latter at the state’s New Seasons stores. “We’ve tried to raise the bar,” says Wolf, who was dubbed “the Martha Stewart of marijuana edibles” in a 2017 article in The New Yorker. Indeed, “elevating the edible” is Laurie + MaryJane’s business motto. Shoppers accustomed to the ubiquitous pot brownies and Rice Krispies Treats instead encounter Wolf’s sophisticated “almond cake bites,” “brownie truffle bites,” browned-butter cookies and ginger-molasses cookies.


The old cannabis classifications of indica and sativa play a much smaller role in Laurie + MaryJane’s selection, says Wolf, explaining that cross-breeding has made the terms all but irrelevant. So she chooses strains that complement the food ingredients’ flavors, as well as how they work on body and mind. There are even chocolate cookies for vegans and cheese crisp crackers for anyone who favors savory snacks. “I love how it sort of sneaks up on you,” says Wolf of dosing with edibles. The “full-bodied” high is just one benefit of using cannabis for a range of ailments and chronic conditions, she says, explaining that her epilepsy has subsided over the past five years of daily cannabis use. “There is a cannabis product for like every body part now,” says Wolf, whose forthcoming book, “Apothecary,” delves into the pharmacopeia of cannabis and hemp remedies, including suppositories. It’s due out in fall 2020. “This plant is a fucking miracle,” says Wolf. “I know tons of people who don’t take Ambien anymore,” she says, adding that eating one of her almond cake bites at bedtime induces the best night’s sleep some customers have had in 30 years. But Wolf, a 65-year-old New York native, didn’t set out to disseminate the doctrine of cannabis. She left studies at New York University in her early 20s to train at Culinary Institute of America. Developing recipes as a consultant to New York restaurants, the young chef met Bruce Wolf, a photographer who encouraged her to try food styling. As husband and wife, the Wolfs have since worked on numerous projects together and relocated to Oregon in 2008. Magazine work has been Wolf’s bread and butter for decades. She served for nearly 20 years as the food editor for Child and briefly for Mademoiselle before management realized that “nobody who read the magazine actually ate anything.” But demand from periodicals kept growing as Wolf developed recipes exclusively for their pages, including such cannabis-industry publications as Culture, High Times and Dope Magazine, as well as The Oregonian and San Francisco Chronicle. The key ingredient in so many of Wolf’s recipes is full-spectrum, organic coconut oil. Laurie + MaryJane sells 4-ounce portions infused with hemp-derived cannabidiol, or CBD, which has potent pain-relieving properties with none of the mind-altering effects of cannabis’ tetrahydrocannabinol — THC.

Find Laurie + MaryJane products at more than 20 Southern Oregon retailers, available on the map of dispensaries at COURTESY PHOTO

Laurie Wolf produces cannabis edibles that are stocked in more than 200 dispensaries around Oregon.

Granola toasted with CBD-infused oil is another Laurie + MaryJane specialty. For its THC-containing edibles, Laurie + MaryJane steeps cannabis, sun-grown in Southern Oregon, directly in coconut oil. The absence of solvents retains the plant’s full range

of chemical compounds, such as terpenes, cannabinoids and flavonoids, says Wolf. The process differs dramatically from preparing edibles with isolates and distillates that extract only cannabis’ THC, she says. Incorporating all of the plant’s compounds, including essential oils, ensures they

all work together, each magnifying the therapeutic benefits of the others, which has been termed “the entourage effect.” “That’s really our main focus ... to have the effects of the terpenes,” says Wolf, referring to the numerous organic compounds in cannabis that play a role in flavor, aroma and physiological response. The old cannabis classifications of indica and sativa play a much smaller role in Laurie + MaryJane’s selection, says Wolf, explaining that cross-breeding has made the terms all but irrelevant. So she chooses strains that complement the food ingredients’ flavors, as well as how they work on body and mind. Supplying those strains, East Fork Cultivars in Takilma has been at the forefront of sustainable, organic, craft production of cannabis and hemp since 2014. Farm co-founder Nathan Howard credits Laurie + MaryJane with helping to “normalize” cannabis. “They’re certainly innovators.” Although state laws keep Wolf’s “world class” products “locked” inside Oregon, Howard, citing recent legislative progress, says he sees the potential for interstate commerce in the adult-use market by 2021. Howard has served on various political and environmental campaigns, councils and committees, and his company’s Portland office adjoins Laurie + MaryJane. “We recognized they were our people,” he says. The demographic responding to Laurie + MaryJane products, however, defies stereotypes. Popular with “soccer moms,” says Wolf, are her line of “low-dose cookies,” containing 10 milligrams of THC and billed as a starting point for newcomers to cannabis edibles. They also come in entirely biodegradable packaging, a selling point for environmentally conscious shoppers. Yet for all the satisfied customers relaxing with their tasty treats, there are still plenty who want to get as high as they can at the lowest price, says Wolf. So she created a line of THC fudge, dubbed “Go Fudge Yourself,” that’s been selling like hotcakes, particularly in Southern Oregon. “There’s still a lot of stoners out there.”  |  Sunday, December 8, 2019 | 13




When it comes to hemp and CBD, Murphy Hemp and Wellness pretty much covers it all By Annette McGee Rasch



Eli Doyle, sister Seraiah Doyle and mom Lisa Doyle are part of the Murphy Hemp Company family.

“It’s pretty much consensus-based, but we really just have these rap sessions and try to respect each other’s opinions. It’s family, so we can be really honest. It’s like a mini-democracy in a lot of ways. We try to help each other.” Eli Doyle Luke Doyle tends to 80 acres of hemp on his family cattle ranch in the Applegate Valley. 14  | Sunday, December 8, 2019  |  Southern Oregon Good Herb

hen it comes to the fast-growing hemp industry, the Murphy-based Doyle family does it all. They farm, press seed, breed hemp strains, buy, sell and trade hemp seeds and crops, develop products, facilitate online sales — and sell CBD products from their three Murphy Hemp and Wellness stores in Josephine County. The family is also deeply committed to educating both producers and consumers about hemp cultivation and the myriad uses for CBD products. For the Doyles, hemp is a passion that’s personal. “We’ve seen a lot of our family members transformed by CBD hemp healing properties,” said 21-year-old Luke Doyle, who grew up in the business and now runs the farming operation. “So we want to help others succeed in this industry, and we want the community to be in good health. “We take pride in growing high-quality hemp and producing best-in-class CBD products — though our goals aren’t about becoming a huge money-making machine, “ he added. “We mainly want the products to be available to people.” “This past year many retailers raised their prices, but we lowered ours,” said Eli Doyle, older than Luke by two years, who manages sales and oversees the stores located in Grants Pass, Merlin and Murphy.


Lisa Doyle, mother of Luke, Eli and three more children, handles finance and bookkeeping; while Seraiah, one of the sisters, works in the stores. Luke’s wife, Zaruba, is involved in production; and the farm itself is located on another family member’s land. “We stick to hemp-related products because of the wider customer base,” Eli said. “Only 20 percent of the population enjoys the feeling of a THC high. Also, people who can’t tolerate THC, the intoxicating ingredient in marijuana, usually do fine with CBD products, which just has tiny traces of THC. Pretty much everybody can tolerate CBD.” Stronger marijuana strains might have 20 to 30 percent THC content; and ‘one-to-one’ cannabis strains have equal amounts of CBD and THC. But government-sanctioned CBD hemp must test at 0.3 percent THC or lower. “Typically all our products are below .3 percent THC,” Eli said.

Beginnings The father of the clan, Kit Doyle, was one of the first to grow hemp in Oregon after the prohibition was partially lifted in 2014, according to his sons. “We started in agriculture in 2009, after the housing market collapse,” Luke said. “Dad was a home developer and there wasn’t any work.” Doyle initially started a seed-pressing business: growing or buying and then cold pressing pumpkin, camelina and sunflower seeds. “That company is still going strong,” Eli said. “I ran our first single-head cold expeller press at 13. “That business got us into hemp,” he added. “We learned how hemp seed oil is really good for you, with all the omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.” Now, many of the Doyle’s CBD products have a hemp seed oil base. “Research tells us that CBD works better when taken with omega 3s and 6s. A lot of people use MCT, alcohol or glycerin as a base for tinctures, but a cold-pressed oil base works better with the body. You just get more out of it.”

finance and bookkeeping; while Seraiah, one of the sisters, works in the stores. Luke’s wife, Zaruba, is involved in production; and the farm itself is located on another family member’s land. “The business helps keep the whole family tied together,” Luke said. The farm crew, which includes family friends, swells to a dozen people during busy periods; and the stores employ another six people. So how do the Doyles make decisions? “We have meetings when there’s time. It’s pretty much consensus-based, but we really just have these rap sessions and try to respect each other’s opinions,” Eli said. “It’s family, so we can be really honest. It’s like a mini-democracy in a lot of ways. We try to help each other.”

The Farming Operation The Doyles cultivate and produce their products organically.

They grew about 80 acres of hemp this year on an old hay and cattle farm that, according to Luke, tested clean for pesticides. “Our soil is really fertile, and we’ve found we don’t need synthetic nutrients or pesticides, the plants do better without them,” Luke said. “The plant doesn’t need anything that man makes, it can get it all from the earth — and hemp naturally has the oils that repel most pests. These plants are working with us. “Hemp plants aren’t like other plants,” he said. “And I still have a lot to learn, but I do know the plants are smarter than we might think they are. They communicate very strongly to you when they need water or nutrients. There’s just something special about the plant, and we’re very grateful.” The Doyles are seed specialists. “We’re breeders,” Luke said. “That’s what my father focuses on. We also supply many local farmers.” “Last Oct. 31, the United States Department of Agriculture put out new regulations that say how

much THC is allowed in hemp products, and that number is a little lower than what Oregon state law had specified, which is kind of too bad, because a little THC helps the medicine work better, without getting you high,” Eli explained. “So we’re working on breeding strains that will be compliant with the new federal laws.” The Doyles don’t use single-season plastic sheet mulching that many hemp farmers utilize. While plastic mulching is standard agricultural practice, Luke says bees and other pollinators lose out when the ground is covered in plastic. “And black plastic can leach chemicals into plant roots and cause the roots to overheat. The plastic breaks apart when you try to lift it out of the ground, it’s not recyclable, and disposal is a problem. Plus deer can get tangled up in the piles of discarded plastic on the edges of some fields. We just don’t need the plastic to make a living.” SEE HEMPSTERS, PAGE 16

Family Focus “Dad founded the business, and he passed it on to us to run,” Eli said. “He works behind the scenes now, but he’s involved with the big picture and is always there to advise us.” Lisa Doyle, mother of Luke, Eli and three more children, handles

Hemp and cows are two of the things being raised on the farm in the Applegate. PHOTO BY DENISE BARATTA  |  Sunday, December 8, 2019 | 15



The family-owned Murphy Hemp Company store on Williams Highway in Grants Pass. From HEMPSTERS Page 15

“To handle weeds, we usually plant cover crops, like clover in fall, or rice straw in spring, and sometimes we’ll weed whack between the rows,” Luke said.

Murphy Hemp Exchange The Doyles buy, sell and trade bulk hemp, hemp seed and hemp extract — both in the stores and online at “With so much new hemp farming, prices have come down,” Eli said. “We offer farmers the best prices for their material.” Farmers provide a certificate of analysis from a reputable lab (the Doyles use ChemHistory, located in Milwaukie), which discloses both CBD and THC percentages. A “good test” also shows terpenes and major cannabinoids, as well as pesticides, herbicides and molds. Bulk biomass sales involve mulching the entire plant, which is then typically sold to extract companies, or those who make their own products.

The Stores The Doyles’ three Murphy Hemp and Wellness stores are located at 154 Merlin 16  | Sunday, December 8, 2019  |  Southern Oregon Good Herb

Road, Merlin (541-916-8407); 405 NE F St., Grants Pass (541-761-5944); and 6890 Williams Highway, Murphy (541862-7420). Plans to expand into Jackson county are in the works. Products are also sold online at MurphyHempCompany. com. “When people buy online, there’s a lot to choose from, but in our stores, you can have conversations and learn about the differences between isolates, broad-spectrum, full-spectrum CBD products and whole-plant extracts, which is really the highest quality you can get. It’s the best,” Eli said. “Whether it’s a tincture, candy or capsule, we recommend whole-plant extract products.” The Doyles place primary focus on full-spectrum and whole-plant products and are phasing isolates out, “because isolates are much less effective. And if you’re drug tested for your job, then we recommend broad-spectrum products, which has all the THC completely removed.” The stores also sell oils, extracts, pet products, topicals, crèmes and salves. “We have our own in house brand, Bodies Best, and we also carry others people’s brands. We also do blended teas and infused honey sticks, plus little chocolates — all at different strengths,” Eli added.

The Doyles place primary focus on full-spectrum and whole-plant products and are phasing isolates out, “because isolates are much less effective. And if you’re drug tested for your job, then we recommend broad-spectrum products, which has all the THC completely removed.” The stores also sell oils, extracts, pet products, topicals, crèmes and salves.

ENTREPRENEURS Hemp flowers — by the gram or by the pound — are also sold. “Some people smoke hemp for relaxation or for medicinal use, like for insomnia, arthritis, pain or anxiety. It’ll treat those conditions without getting you high.” The Doyles acknowledge that most hemp products on the market — like most herbal and vitamin supplements — currently provide no solid guarantee that what’s on the label is actually what’s in the bottle. “You should always ask questions: about where the hemp was grown, was it grown organically, and if there was batch testing. Feeling comfortable that the company you’re buying from is willing to answer questions is important,” Eli said. “A good company reputation happens when people try products and come back and say, ‘Hey, this really worked.’ “And there’s a lot of products out there that don’t. Which is why we give out free samples, so people can try it out.”

Education Whether it’s farming advice or product selection, information is


Murphy Hemp combines products for both people and pets at its location in Grants Pass.

shared both in the stores and through the company website. The Doyles also initiated What the Hemp, an annual trade show held at the Josephine County fairgrounds, where industry experts share information, display products and

advertise services. Held in the spring, hemp starts are also sold and teaching forums are offered. The family also does outreach to senior care centers to help seniors learn about the benefits of CBD hemp — and they offer senior and veteran discounts.

Experience Matters. Josepine County


A law firm with roots in the industry.

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Business Law

We test postharvest hemp

Administrative Criminal Defense

We test cannabis



Luke stresses that CBD hemp is gentle medicine and recommends that people “try products out to see if they work for you. Your body will tell you if it’s something you need. We all need to learn to listen to our bodies.” Going back to the beginning of recorded history, hemp or cannabis was used for medical purposes. The late astronomer and renaissance man Carl Sagan said “hemp was likely one of the first crops ever cultivated.” In 2737 BCE, Emperor Shen-Nung wrote about using topical hemp oils and teas to cope with pain; and Egyptologists cite evidence that ancient Egyptians used hemp or cannabis to relieve hemorrhoid pain and to treat sore eyes. So while modern regulatory authorities and most medical practitioners are not yet on board, and much more independently verified research is needed to determine efficacy and set consistent dosing standards for CBD hemp, there’s no denying the millennia-old anecdotal knowledge that hemp, indeed, is a powerful, yet gentle medicine. “And, it’s a beautiful plant,” Luke concluded.

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Lindsey Micheles, who is hearing impaired, works at Home Grown ORegonicX near Grants Pass.


“It’s really important that it’s coming from the deaf community for the deaf community. ... It’s very poetic.”

magine explaining the intricacies of growing cannabis by literally spelling out the industry’s specialized terminology. Or helping someone to purchase cannabis by spelling the name of every strain. That’s been the experience, until recently, of hearing-impaired growers of medical marijuana and the wider population of deaf cannabis consumers. A small Southern Oregon farm, Home Grown ORegonicX, is developing sign language specific to cannabis, which its creators hope will one day become accepted parlance.

Jared Panks, Home Grown ORegonicX

By SARAH LEMON Home Grown ORegonicX

Angela Panks makes the sign for plant at Home Grown ORegonicX near Grants Pass.

“Trying to find people to help and explain growing techniques to our deaf community is like trying to find a needle in a haystack,”

is developing sign language specific to cannabis to help the hearing-impaired says grower Lindsey Espy, who is hearing-impaired. “Many people wouldn’t take the time needed with a group of deaf and hearing-impaired medical patients. Instead, we began to build it ourselves and learn from our experiences.” Learning American Sign Language as a teenager helped Jared Panks participate with a deaf player on his hockey team. Panks says he understood some of the stigma because his grandfather was deaf. He also taught some signs and fingerspelling to members of his wildland firefighting crew to improve their cooperation under cacophonous conditions, such as operating chainsaws and close proximity to helicopters. SEE SIGNS, PAGE 20 |

Sunday, December 8, 2019 |



The group has so far identified signs for 50 cannabis-related terms, expressed on the farm and at industry events. The signs’ relevance derives from their development by people who understand both marijuana and the mechanics of signing. If arbitrarily assigned by experts in American Sign Language — but not in cannabis — the signs wouldn’t have nearly such depth of meaning. From SIGNS, Page 19

“People take their hearing for granted,” says Panks, 39. Panks’ knowledge coincidentally opened lines of communication with his future wife and business partner, Angela. Both teenagers, they were wakeboarding with a youth group when Panks realized Angela couldn’t hear the group leader explaining how to ride the board behind the boat. Panks jumped into the water to interpret with fingerspelling. “Having that language barrier basically cuts them off from the rest of the world,” says Panks. The couple’s paths diverged for several years until Panks saw Angela’s Facebook profile and sent her a friend request. The Grants Pass natives both had family members whose medical issues — spinal injuries, cancer and dementia — could be improved with cannabis use. Angela Panks, now 35, was diagnosed at age 13 with Usher

Syndrome, a condition that causes deaf people to go blind. Believing that using cannabis has helped to slow her vision loss, Angela was growing under Oregon’s Medical Marijuana Program when Jared joined her in 2007. “We decided that we were going to start growing to help our family,” says Jared Panks. Needs of the close-knit deaf community soon helped the couple to redefine their mission. While 20 percent of people worldwide are hard of hearing, and 5 percent are deaf — a large demographic — American Sign Language has large gaps, says Panks. Cannabis is among the topics lacking context and content for people who sign, he says. To complicate matters even more, he adds, marijuana and its use has long been signed using slang, some of it derogatory and offensive to people who rely on it as medicine. “Our deaf community, they still don’t have equal access to it,” says Panks. “There’s a higher purpose.” Sharing a common purpose,

the Pankses and three deaf growers started scripting new scenes in American Sign Language to communicate the process, along with the plants’ attributes, on their one-acre Josephine County farm. They’re also forming a nonprofit organization to guide their work and provide a platform for grant funding and charitable contributions. The group has so far identified signs for 50 cannabis-related terms, expressed on the farm and at industry events. The signs’ relevance derives from their development by people who understand both marijuana and the mechanics of signing, says Jared Panks. If arbitrarily assigned by experts in American Sign Language — but not in cannabis — the signs wouldn’t have nearly such depth of meaning, he says. “They have to know what they’re talking about to come up with the terms,” he says. “It’s really important that it’s coming from the deaf community for the deaf community. “It’s very poetic.”


Brandy Easley works at Home Grown ORegonicX near Grants Pass. 20  | Sunday, December 8, 2019  |  Southern Oregon Good Herb

CANNABIS CULTURE Representing six patients, Home “Hydroponic,” for example, is Grown ORegonicX made a morsigned with a swimming fish that jumps and morphs into a plant, says ally motivated decision to remain in Oregon’s medical milieu, says Panks. “Cannabis” is signed by the Panks. letter “C” formed over the heart. But its growers recently acquired “It’s love; it’s compassion; it’s 60 acres near Merlin with the caring,” says Panks. “That’s an long-term goal of operating a farm appropriate sign to our group.” licensed for recreational sales where The group attracts attention at deaf people can obtain hands-on numerous professional events and routinely makes new acquaintances experience. “Home Grown ORegonicX was — with and without hearing impairbuilt from scratch,” says Espy, a ments — eager to learn more. While 37-year-old Gresham resident. “We interpreting at an international compost our own soil, brew our own industry conference four years ago, teas, built our own ecosystem and Jared met Tommy Chong, arguuse natural forms of pest control ably marijuana’s most recognized like specific flowers.” personality with his own cannabis The farm has served on Josephine brands. Chong approached Home Grown ORegonicX about producing County’s cannabis advisory panel, and Angela Panks has been the first a video series of its sign language that could play in dispensaries, says deaf judge at cannabis competiPHOTO BY JAMIE LUSCH Panks. tions, says Jared Panks. Angela Panks spends time with her marijuana plants at Home Grown ORegonicX near Grants Pass. As Home Grown ORegonicX “Tommy’s also hard of hearing.” brings cannabis to new audiences, Acting as innovators and advoWhile interpreting at an international industry conference it’s also planting some seeds for cates hasn’t cooled the Home social change. four years ago, Jared met Tommy Chong, arguably marijuana’s Grown ORegonicX passion for is something deaf people farming. Growing 30 different most recognized personality with his own cannabis brands. cannabis strains, they’ve mapped 16 can“This do,” says Panks. “People like us are needed in industry.” terpenes that affectValley sleep, tradition The Black Bird has been a Rogue forthisover 50 ConChong approached Home Grown ORegonicX about producing a separate pain and clear mental function, says nect with Home Grown ORegonicX video series of its sign language that could play inyears dispensaries. - since 1965! we remain on Facebook. Panks. Locally owned and operated,

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POT PIONEERS From a glut of bud to a moratorium on recreational licenses to a hemp explosion — it has been a wild ride down cannabis road



regon’s road to marijuana legalization five years ago was anything but straight. Early attempts to sell medical marijuana ran afoul of local laws, and retailers struggled to gain a foothold in Medford and other cities that took a dim view of legalization. But there were pioneers who helped blaze a path to what has become Southern Oregon’s biggest agricultural crop, and an industry that now plays a significant role in the local economy.

Brie Malarkey was the first to open a “legal” medical marijuana store in Jackson County, Breeze Botanicals, on June 14, 2014, in Gold Hill, and then it became the first licensed recreational marijuana store in Oregon when she was granted the first retail license in the state in 2015. She now owns another store in Ashland, and her company puts out various products under the Sun God Medicinals label. Malarkey remembers her first days and how difficult it was to turn away a cancer patient because she didn’t have a medical marijuana card. “That moment has stayed with me, and it is one of the reasons I want to be involved in this,” Malarkey said. The industry has changed dramatically in the intervening years, but Malarkey said she continues to have the same commitment to providing the best quality product for those looking for the healing properties of cannabis. And she’s noticed a sea change in people’s opinions about cannabis. “I feel like there’s a lot more public acceptance,” she said. “I don’t see as much fear and judgment in the community.”


Brie Malarkey works at her dispensary in Gold Hill. Breeze Botanicals was the first dispensary in the state to receive an official OLCC recreational retail permit.

But the transition of rural land into acres of cannabis and hemp grows has been a hard sell for many Southern Oregonians. Many residents were alarmed at the large number of 6-foot-tall fences protecting the marijuana crops — which were required under state law. Next came hemp, and suddenly people were concerned that the crops were not hidden behind fences. Hemp, which doesn’t produce the “high” of recreational cannabis, looks almost identical and is just as pungent as its recreational cannabis cousin. Cannabis growers were alarmed when the first hemp growers announced they’d be planting male plants. The fear was that the pollen from the male plants would drift over to fields of cannabis, basically destroying the crop.

However, virtually all hemp growers began cultivating female hemp plants to extract CBD, or cannibidiol. Over the past year, when hemp growers began unraveling giant rolls of industrial plastic mulch, residents complained again, and it remains to be seen what the impact of all that plastic will be. Through all of these ups and down, Malarkey has seen a roller coaster of supply and a market flooded with inexpensive cannabis. Last year, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission stopped issuing new marijuana permits, saying the system was awash in a glut of marijuana — enough to last 6.5 years, according to state estimates — which was driving down prices and, some feared, could fuel black market sales in states where marijuana is still illegal.

“I feel like there’s a lot more public acceptance. I don’t see as much fear and judgment in the community.” Brie Malarkey, owner of Breeze Botanicals, the first “legal” medical marijuana store in Jackson County 22

| Sunday, December 8, 2019 |

Southern Oregon Good Herb


“I want to make sure people are not going to jail and have safe access to their medicine.” Lori Duckworth, who was arrested and covicted (later expunged) for operating Southern Oregon Normal The Oregon Legislature formalized the moratorium with SB 218, which put a freeze on new producer licenses through Jan. 2, 2022. Partly as a result of the glut, many recreational growers — and would-be growers who couldn’t get permits to grow recreational pot — planted hemp. Now many retailers and wholesalers are saying they can’t find enough cannabis to stock their shelves, and prices are again on the rise. As it turns out, that 6.5-year backlog of bud was processed into edibles, tinctures, extracts and other products with a more stable shelf life, leaving a scarcity of smokable flower, yet the moratorium continues.

then started stabilizing in the $1,800 to $2,400 range. At the peak of the glut, prices dropped as low as $300 a pound for outdoor grown weed and about $500 for indoor-grown, according to data from Confident Cannabis. At that point, local dispensaries were selling cannabis for $3 to $5 a gram. In November 2019, wholesale prices were rebounding. Outdoor bud was selling in the neighborhood of $800 a pound, with indoor bud going for $1,400 to more than $2,000 a pound. Malarkey said her stores try to maintain a niche of top-quality flower and artisan products. When she opened her store, she had only five strains available. Now she’s up to 30, which is a relatively limited number, but Malarkey said she wants only top-grade products on her shelves. Lori Duckworth “My focus is on organic and natural,” embraces friend Malarkey said. Kristi AnderBefore she started Breeze Botanicals, others son of Grants attempted to open medical marijuana stores, Pass after including The Greenery in Phoenix and MaryJudge Lorenzo Jane’s Attic and Basement in Medford. Both Mejia found The Greenery and MaryJane’s closed down Duckworth and after long legal battles in their respective her husband, cities. Leland, each In one high profile case, law enforcement guilty of a single raided Southern Oregon Normal, a downtown count of felony medical marijuana dispensary in Medford. delivery of Lori Duckworth vividly recalls the raid marijuana, disthat took place May 23, 2013, and her life was missing dozens turned upside down. of other charges Since then, she has had her felony conas part of a plea viction for delivery of marijuana expunged bargain. Duckfrom her record. Duckworth went through worth later had a divorce and successfully battled cancer, her conviction yet she has continued to work in the mariexpunged and juana industry and is now part owner of The continues to Coughie Pot, a store in Sumpter. advocate for Rather than retreating, Duckworth said the the rights of 2013 raid made her more committed to maripatients and juana legalization. others to use Duckworth said she helped with the effort cannabis. to legalize marijuana retail sales in Ontario. She is also helping with an effort to legalize MAIL TRIBUNE/FILE PHOTO marijuana in Idaho, and she is part owner of a hemp store in Boise. She is also working on her Hannah Hayes, sales manager at Confident Cannabis, a wholeown CBD brand that will include topical treatments. sale company that tracks marijuana sales statistics in Oregon, says “My life goal is to make sure that in every state it’s legal,” she that when legalization occurred local cannabis sold in the range said. “I want to make sure people are not going to jail and have of $2,500 to $3,000 a pound. That lasted about 3 or 4 months and safe access to their medicine.”

Rebounding from ‘THE GLUT’ The Oregon Legislature put a freeze on new producer licenses through Jan. 2, 2022, because of a perceived over-abundance of marijuana.

Prices at peak of the glut

Prices as of November 2019

$300 a pound

$500 a pound

$800 a pound

$1,400+ a pound

Marijuana grown outdoors

Marijuana grown indoors

Marijuana grown outdoors

Marijuana grown indoors  |  Sunday, December 8, 2019 | 23

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eck the halls with ... full on overload. Sorry. I am in pre-holiday season “trauma mode,” as I write this, I know it’s coming, and it always does the same thing to my skin: makes it crawl.

And, if Bernie or Warren can convince Americans to vote for an honest (enough) person, both have plans to federalize, Bernie within 100 days of being sworn in, regardless of Congress. That’s right, Bernie’s signing some papers. It’s funny, I have never been much of a Bernie Bro, but I find myself liking him more after his

I am referring to that first Christmas carol I am going to hear, piped into whatever store I may be in. Why do Christmas carols make me cringe? That is a good question, and one best reserved for my therapist, if I had a therapist, which I don’t. I got you, kid. And you’re looking as beautiful as Cher ever did. OK, I went away for a few and thought about it (lie: just went and vaped*). Two reasons the first carol I hear makes me cringe. 1. “The sale is on!” Put succinctly: “Consumer Culture Run Amok!” 2. Excuse to be nice to (almost) everyone for a month. Once January arrives, all bets are off. Speaking of bets ... I have lost money on cannabis stocks. (Full admittance: I am not a broker, and I have never played one on TV. I have played other things on TV, but that was another lifetime ago. Google it.) BTW, I am still a firm believer in the cannabis industry, and specifically stocks related to it. Of course, any new massive commodity like marijuana is going to take time to shake itself out. And, it’s not like the popularity of the drug isn’t going to continue to skyrocket, as more and more states move to legalization.

If you could get high with any of the candidates, who would you choose?

Rick Cipes has a band, The Agreeables, and a fashion company, the 420 T-Shirt Collection, at

heart attack. Quick note on Biden: No. Mayor Pete: Perhaps. Russian Spy: More likely. If you could get high with any of the candidates, who would you choose? I’d choose Trump. I would love to sit in a room stoned with DJT, and watch him unravel. Maybe we’d end up playing bongos with Woody Harrelson, or a friendly game of Monopoly with Paul Krugman. (NOTE: Trump descalificado de ser el banquero!) Do you think cannabis helps alleviate anger? Has it for you? Or does it do a really good job of masking it? Why can’t we all just mellow out, man? What can I say, I just think it would be great if every day was Christmas, not in the commerce sense, but in the sense of kinship. Positive reinforcement for our species instead of instilling fear. Fear never ends well. Please consider this the day after Jan. 1, 2020 (that would be January 2). Reach out to others, hold doors open, tell people how grateful you are for them in your life, get off your f*cking cell for one minute and connect with whomever is sitting across from you, and smile. Because, whatever goes down in 2020, it’s going to be one helluva year. Especially if Trump doesn’t get high. (* Rick vapes the ground-up bud in a desktop vape with glass bowl and hospital strength plastic tubing. He does NOT advocate pens!

I’d choose Trump. I would love to sit in a room stoned with DJT, and watch him unravel. |

Sunday, December 8, 2019 |




Dr. Gail Colbern works with Stella, a Jack Russell corgi mix, at the Bear Creek in Animal Clinic Ashland. Colbern operates the Green Springs Veterinary Service.

Maybe Yes, Maybe No S


ome dogs freak out each July 4 when the fireworks get started. Or maybe it’s the first thunderclap signaling a summer storm that prompts sensitive dogs to start whining, panting or pacing — seeking an escape from the scary sounds. To sooth these frayed nerves millions of pet owners now turn to CBD. With nationwide legalization, the hemp market has exploded, leading to many varieties of CBD pet products: from tinctures and salves to doggie biscuits.

26  | Sunday, December 8, 2019  |  Southern Oregon Good Herb

The benefits of CBD use on pets remains a source of debate — and confusion — among animal-care professions While derived from cannabis, hemp lacks the higher levels of THC found in marijuana, so it won’t get your pet high — but countless CBD advocates claim it can ease separation anxiety, arthritis, chronic pain and more. However, because CBD medicines are so new, there are questions about dosing, effectiveness and product safety that conscientious pet parents want answered before they’ll use CBD on their beloved fur babies.

But when they go online for information about CBD hemp use in pets, they’re overwhelmed by a vast volume of oft-conflicting opinions. So pet owners frequently turn to their veterinarians with questions about potential CBD use for Frisky or Fido — though many are met with varied levels of resistance or even confusion surrounding the topic.

Can veterinarians legally prescribe CBD hemp products? “Regular vets don’t like it, even though the Farm Bill passed last fall, making hemp legal everywhere,” said Dr. Jeffery Judkins at the Animalkind Holistic Vet Clinic in Jacksonville (

PETS AND CBD “But as long as what I prescribe has less than .3 percent THC, it’s fine. Anything above that threshold is illegal in veterinary use, because federally, THC is still classified as a Schedule I drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration.” Other veterinarians interpret the laws differently, because while licensed to practice their craft by the state they work in; it’s the federal government that governs writing prescriptions. “The Food and Drug Administration says you’re not really allowed to talk about cannabinols and their use in medications, including CBD, so I can’t prescribe or distribute those medications,” said Dr. Gail Colbern, who owns and operates the mobile Green Springs Veterinary Service in southwest Oregon ( and also works at veterinary clinics in Ashland and Grants Pass. “A lot of conventional vets don’t want to deal with it because the legalities are still somewhat cloudy,” Judkins said, “but come on, who’s going to file a complaint over this? “Really, they’re just not comfortable, many vets are still all about using pharmaceuticals,” added Judkins, who utilizes many alternative treatments in his practice, including herbal and nutritional medicine, acupuncture, chiropractics and homeopathy. “Whether it’s legal or not, when I prescribe a medication, I want to see solid medical evidence that it’s going to work,” Colbern said.

So does CBD work? That’s the million-dollar question. “It’s kind of hard to gauge with a dog because you can’t ask them, but a lot of people report that their pets are less skittish, less anxious, less painful,” said Stacy Page, owner of Market Street Wellness in Medford. “Plus they sleep better, and that helps them heal. “CBD is definitely becoming more mainstream,” he added. “It really helps older dogs with arthritis. They can get up and go outside on their own or go up the stairs again.” Page and his wife, Meredith, make CBD tinctures, oils and biscuits — even bacon flavored, for the finicky eaters — and they use their own tincture product on both of their dogs, Chewy and Ginger. CBD helps Chewy cope with his separation anxiety; and Ginger, diagnosed with cancer, is taking the oil to “give her a better quality of life. She’s happy and comfortable.” “I do think it’s beneficial with chronic pain, but it’s not going to be effective for acute severe pain,” Judkins said. “It’s not a panacea. It’s not curing cancer, and even with epilepsy it’s only marginally effective, and it’s not really a good appetite stimulant. But it has been useful for anxiety. Really, it’s just another herb. The whole thing about hemp is overblown. It’s a fad now that will settle down over time.” “We don’t have a consistent product,” said

Colbern, who spent years as a biotechnology research scientist involved in the development of new drugs in both animals and humans. “We have a bunch of different people making a bunch of different things, so how do you compare potency? Stability?” she asks. “The same is true of CBD oil use in humans. When you make a drug, you must be able to precisely replicate it over and over to be able to say it’s a valid drug. That process requires a lot of research, testing and clinical trials to determine potential efficacy, safety and dosages. We just don’t have the data yet.”

Is CBD safe for animals? Page says when buying any cannabis — whether for human or pet use — to choose products labeled with “a Certificate of Analysis from a reputable lab that shows both CBD and THC percentages, and also test results for mold and contaminants like heavy metals, fungicides and pesticides.” Consumers can also look for a seal from the National Animal Supplement Council, an organization committed to “elevating and standardizing the animal health supplement industry.” “A lot of people just go online to buy CBD products — and that’s concerning,” Page said. “And especially online, we tell people to avoid companies that don’t share their COA.” The Pages sell a lot of oil-based CBD pet products, and Judkins agrees that oil-based is best for pets. The Pages buy CBD oils that have been tested for potency, pesticides and heavy metals. Then, when they make their own products, they test for potency again, “to make sure we have the right milligrams in there. “But they can’t get too much CBD, it won’t hurt them,” Page believes. “If they do get a lot, with all the oil, they may get diarrhea, or they may sleep too much for a while.” Colbern isn’t so sure. “Animals metabolize oils and products differently than humans, so without more research, we won’t know if a given CBD dose is efficacious — or safe. We do know that dogs are exquisitely more sensitive to THC than humans are. We’re seeing dogs coming into clinics that ate somebody’s stash, and they’re urinating all over themselves, have really slow heart rates, and they’re really stoned. We’ve seen an uptick in that since marijuana was legalized.” Colbern also points out how “people can buy untested herbs and oils for human consumption from health foods stores, because these substances have essentially fallen through the cracks and are not legislated for.” She explained that this is because “many decades before the explosion of products that we see on the shelves of health food stores today, a judgment was made that supplements didn’t

need to be regulated. “It could be said that the CBD industry is capitalizing on this hypocrisy and omission, but that doesn’t mean that professional doctors, who are scientists, after all, are going to buy in.”

Dose gradually “Start low and go slow,” is the mantra Page goes by. “We always tell people, whatever the recommended dose is, to start with half of that.” Another resource, Veterinary Cannabis (, an organization founded by Dr. Casara Andre, provides practical science-based education to veterinarians and the cannabis industry regarding CBD products, dosing, potential interactions with other drugs and more. While CBD is believed to cause few side effects, according to Andre, cannabis can interact with some drugs. Plus, combining CBD with other drugs may enhance the effects of pharmaceuticals, thus she recommends careful observation and to disclose any changes to one’s veterinarian. Page said a common recommendation is to start with about 1 milligram of CBD oil per 10 pounds of body weight twice-a-day and then to closely monitor your pet’s reaction. And many feel that it’s easier to scale dosages up or down with tinctures rather than biscuits or other treats. Judkins, who has been practicing for 30 years, says, “CBD hemp is a gateway herb and I am grateful for that. For me, the best thing is that it helps get people into using other herbs. “What’s rewarding is when clients see their animals getting better on more natural medicines, then they think, ‘would this work for me?’ Maybe they’ll seek a more natural health care provider. “So by working with pets naturally, you can get people inspired, and that informs their whole views on health care, medicine and nutrition. We’re all mammals; humans are just another animal as far as I am concerned.”

“It’s kind of hard to gauge with a dog because you can’t ask them.” |

Sunday, December 8, 2019 |



“If we have the ability to pull ourselves away from just thinking about the dollar signs, then we can focus more on keeping this valley as beautiful as it’s always been.” Daniel Richardson,

Lane Creek Hemp Company

‘Keeping it lean, keeping it humble’ PHOTO BY ANDY ATKINSON


| Sunday, December 8, 2019 |

Southern Oregon Good Herb


Here’s how one award-winning hemp company grows regeneratively By RHONDA NOWAK


“Wildlife is super important to this won the Regenerative Cannabis Farm Award at the 2019 Cultivation Classic in valley. We’re trying to keep the deer hen I arrived at Lane Creek coming back, keep the fish in healthy Portland. Hemp Co. off Old Stage Road water, and also harvest a modest crop,” “It’s all about trying your best to in Central Point, the first thing I ran into Daniel said. implement regenerative practices on was managing partner Lara Richardson your land and help others do the same,” butchering a pig that was raised on the What does it mean to grow hemp regenDaniel said about the regeneration farm. Lara’s meat saw followed along eratively? Here’s how the team at Lane with a woman providing instructions on farming movement that inspired the Creek Hemp Co. do it. YouTube. I immediately thought, “Wow; Cultivation Classic award, as well as an Hügelkultur increasing number of cannabis growers. these folks are real do-it-yourselvers!” Their hemp plants are started in a Daniel said he was inspired to grow hemp By the time I left the farm, however, I hoophouse, and then transplanted using regenerative methods from his was dialed in to the fact that the operaoutdoors in the spring into raised beds, tions at Lane Creek Hemp Co. are really a cousin after moving to the Rogue Valley called hügelkultur berms. The berms are in 2015. family, team and community effort. built on contour to slow After leaving Lara to the down water drainage. pig, I spent the next hour The farmers prep the beds touring the 40-acre farm after harvesting by adding with her brother, Daniel layers of wood chips and Richardson, who serves organically grown rye as the hemp company’s straw, both of which are director of operations. I purchased from local learned why the farm, a sources. dream-come-true place to During rainy months, retire for Lara and Danthe wood chips and straw iel’s mom, Joan Sievert, is act like a sponge, retaincalled Lane Creek Reserve. ing water and inviting That’s because preserving fungi and other micro-orthe land and native wildlife ganisms to move in and for future generations is gradually decompose the primary goal of everyDaniel Richardson the material. The energy one who works on the displays his drying expended through this farm, which also includes hemp crop at slow digestion process not General Manager Zachary Lane Creek Farm. only prevents the soil from Comegys, and Lara’s partfreezing over the winter, ner, Joel Francois. PHOTO BY RHONDA NOWAK it also provides moisture Since 2017 when the first and nutrients to the hemp hemp plant was set into the plants throughout the The award committee looked at energy earth at Lane Creek Reserve, the folks growing season. In fact, farmers at Lane usage on the farm and toured the facilithere have been committed to farming Creek Reserve are able to stop watering ties in April before making its decision. practices that build biodiversity and their hemp crop in September during “That was a great day, when we were rejuvenate the soil in fields that prothe flowering period, which enhances able to show our model and share our duced hay prior to 2015. Since then, an quality. practices,” Daniel said. acre of land yields about 1,000 pounds Daniel and his partners do not till the Winning the Regenerative Cannabis of several strains of hemp each growing soil or add any fertilizers, herbicides or season, which is sold all over the country Farm Award has allowed Daniel and his pesticides to their crops. Daniel said, partners to showcase their growing style; as flower and CBD-rich hemp extracts. “Layering carbon (through hügelkultur) however, Daniel said they’re not out to Lane Creek Hemp Co. has its own subfeeds the soil and creates healthy soil tell other people how to manage their lingual tincture line and produces hemp habitat, so we can let the biodiversity of farm, but to provide an example of how for another tincture line. hemp can be grown in a way that is prof- the soil do the work for us.” This year, the company’s stewardSEE LANE CREEK, PAGE 31 itable and environmentally sustainable. ship efforts were recognized when they  |  Sunday, December 8, 2019 | 29


The farmers at Lane Creek Reserve manage about 90 animals, including two donkeys, a small herd of cattle, goats, sheep, pigs and chickens, and they produce lots of poop.

“Animals are an important part of a regenerative system. Their manure turns into an amazing conveyance of fertility.”

Composted manure from animals on the farm are a key part of Lane Creek’s approach to regenerative farming.

Daniel Richardson,

Lane Creek Hemp Company PHOTOS BY RHONDA NOWAK

30  | Sunday, December 8, 2019  |  Southern Oregon Good Herb


Polyculture Regenerative agriculture also focuses on supporting biodiversity above the soil line by growing more than one type of crop, or polyculture. The farmers at Lane Creek Reserve grow annual grasses and perennial plants to replenish soil fertility. Potatoes and garlic are planted in between the hemp plants to break up the soil and feed insects. Comfrey, a perennial herb, is particularly effective as a bioaccumulator because its deep root system absorbs and stores moisture,

making it available to the hemp plants during dry summer months. Comfrey also mines nutrients and minerals in the soil, so it’s “chopped and dropped” as a side dressing around the hemp plants. Implementing polyculture also helps protect the hemp crop from insect pests by luring them away from the hemp plants and attracting beneficial insects that prey on the pests. “If you only have one green plant growing (hemp), then that’s what the insects are going to go for,” Daniel pointed out. “If everything is green, and all of the niches are filled, then there’s no room for insects to devastate your crop.”

Manure composting Farmers at Lane Creek Reserve manage about 90 animals, including two donkeys named Sis and Jahn, a small herd of cattle, goats, sheep, pigs and chickens. The pigs and chickens eat kitchen scraps and provide food for the farmers, but the most important service all the animals provide is they produce lots of poop. “Animals are an important part of a regenerative system,” Daniel said. “Their manure turns into an amazing conveyance of fertility.” Manure accomplishes this work by inoculating the soil with a host of organic compounds that make plants strong and resistant to disease. These compounds include: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and trace elements such as copper, iron, zinc, manganese and boron. In addition, manure is full of bacteria and other microbes that stimulate the decomposition process. Daniel and his partners harvest the animal manure with used straw bedding, mix it with wood chips, and apply the mixture to the hügelkultur beds once in the fall, spring and mid-summer. Overhead watering brings earthworms up from the bottom of the berm to further enrich the soil and benefit the hemp crop.

A regenerative mindset

Implementing polyculture also helps protect the hemp crop from insect pests by luring them away from the hemp plants and attracting beneficial insects that prey on the pests. ANDY ATKINSON / MAIL TRIBUNE

Daniel Richardson walks through his Central Point farm.

For many new farmers, regenerative practices require a different set of farming skills and a different way of thinking. For seasoned farmers, regenerative practices are a return to traditional, time-tested methods. “If we have the ability to pull ourselves away from just thinking about the dollar signs, then we can focus more on keeping this valley as beautiful as it’s always been,” Daniel said. He’s grateful that he and his partners don’t have to base their decisions on investors demanding quick returns. As a small, independently owned company, they’re able to take the time needed to learn what works and what doesn’t on their particular piece of land. “It doesn’t happen overnight, but in three or four years, you’ve got a better understanding of your property and its position within the surrounding area,” Daniel said. In the coming years, Lane Creek Hemp Co. will emphasize its line of full-spectrum cannabinoid oils for tinctures. Daniel said their growing methods will increasingly bring out the purest expression of the hemp plant because their plants don’t have to assimilate store-bought fertilizers or pesticides. The company will focus on “keeping it lean, keeping it humble” by continuing to grow hemp with integrity and a commitment to regenerative farming practices. As Daniel said, “We’re only here for a short time, so let’s do something good.”  |  Sunday, December 8, 2019 | 31














| Sunday, December 8, 2019 |

Southern Oregon Good Herb