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INSIDE: COVID-19 boosts pot deliveries

SUMMER 2020

SOUTHERN OREGON

GOOD HERB

LADIES OF PARADISE

Makers of Lady Jays prerolls aim for the right ‘feminine aesthetic’

DRIVE-THRU POT SALES RIVER CITY HAS CANNABIS IS A HIT CONTINUE TO SOAR WINNING FORMULA


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CANNABIS ENTREPRENEURS

THE WOMEN BEHIND

LADIES OF PARADISE Makers of Lady Jays prerolls aim for the right ‘feminine aesthetic’ to sell products to women By Sarah Lemon for the Mail Tribune

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PRODUCT PHOTO LADY JAYS CBD PREROLLS

Striking the right “feminine aesthetic” with color schemes, graphics and text is key to selling products to women, says Lady Jays founder JadeDaniels. Lady Jays, she adds, plays up “girl power” with its “clean, legible, eye-catching” design that’s still “fun and funky.”

earable fashion couldn’t hold Jade Daniels’ interest like the latest trends in cannabis. And her website Ladies of Paradise seemed like the perfect platform for cultivating a cannabis brand where she used to sell exotic jewelry, handbags and other accessories. Adapting the business name that formerly described indigenous women of Guatemala, Daniels reasoned that places where cannabis is legal are their own kind of “paradise.” “Our company is just all about cannabis culture and community,” says Daniels, 32, of Jacksonville, adding that she wanted to highlight “women doing cool stuff.” Beginning with a cannabis-themed blog that featured women contributing to the cannabis industry, Daniels and her four partners built Ladies of Paradise over several years into a creative consulting company that specializes in photography, social media and search engine optimization. From branding and marketing, Daniels branched out into product development with last year’s launch of her own pre-roll line, dubbed Lady Jays. PHOTO BY HARLEE CASE “Everyone just loves our Beginning with a cannabis blog that featured women contributing to the industry, packaging.” Daniels and her four partners built Ladies of Paradise into a consulting company Striking the right “feminine aesthat specializes in photography, social media and search engine optimization. thetic” with color schemes, graphics and text is key to selling cannabis fonts and “stickers slapped on it.” products to women, says Daniels. And when it came to women’s participation in Lady Jays, she adds, plays up “girl power” with its cannabis, some media verged on offensive, says “clean, legible, eye-catching” design that’s still “fun Daniels, explaining that some widely read publiand funky.” cations commonly depicted bikini-clad, tattooed “Our look I would say is very colorful.” women posing with bongs. Poor branding was pervasive in the legal canna“This is tacky,” she says. “We can do better than bis industry until just a few years ago, says Daniels, this.” recalling products’ dark-hued labels, overly stylized


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CANNABIS ENTREPRENEURS Other women, which constitute more than 45 percent of cannabis users, are likely to agree. Women are far more inclined than men to try cannabis in sprays, capsules and topical formulas and increasingly look to CBD and CBG for relief from menstrual cramps and as skin-care alternatives. THC’s appeal also is strong among women who, experts agree, are the cannabis industry’s fastest growing demographic, according to a December article in Cannabis Industry Journal. And Ladies of Paradise, says Daniels, receives plenty of feedback from women who want to support women-owned businesses. In exchange, Lady Jays donates 3 cents from every box to nonprofit groups that support women. “It’s been really cool to see more products pop up for women,” says Harlee Case, co-founder and creative director for Ladies of Paradise. A sharp sales jump boosted Lady Jays during this past spring’s strict statewide measures to slow the spread of coronavirus, says Case. Shopping online, customers snapped up CBD and CBG products that include 5-gram packs containing 10 pre-rolls, 1-gram single pre-rolls and 3.5- and 7-gram jars of trimmed flower. Lady Jays THC pre-rolls are available at more than 60 retail outlets around the state, including Rogue Valley Cannabis, owned by Daniels’ domestic partner. Frequently sold out, Lady Jays’ demand outpaced the supply of suitable flower, say Daniels and Case. A recent partnership with Million Elephants in Southern Oregon should consistently keep Lady Jays online and on shelves. Lady Jays also has sourced flower from Southern Oregon’s TKO, which has its own pre-roll line, and TreeTop Gardens in Cave Junction. “Flower cost affects us,” says Daniels. “We started when flower was at its lowest.” Market fluctuations are just one reason to extend the company’s reach beyond cannabis, says Daniels. Although gaining nationwide name recognition for Lady Jays CBD and CBG lines is Daniels’ goal, Portland-based Ladies of Paradise actively courts clients outside the cannabis industry who need creative and marketing services. “We want to branch out,” says Daniels. “We don’t want to be pigeonholed.” An ice cream company in New York and an entrepreneur offering permanent makeup are among the most recent Ladies of Paradise clients, says Daniels. They’ve also planned photo shoots with a host of companies known for sustainability, she adds. The Ladies of Paradise portfolio features a variety of images related to fashion and body care. Case, a 28-year-old Central Point native, is the primary photographer for Ladies of Paradise. “I never went to college,” says Case. “I’ve always been an

Ladies of Paradise, receives plenty of feedback from women who want to support women-owned businesses. In exchange, Lady Jays donates 3 cents from every box to nonprofit groups that support women.

Jade Daniels strikes a fashionable pose amidst the harvest. PHOTO BY RYAN MCKINNON

entrepreneur.” Case and Daniels agree that cannabis-related businesses, more readily than other sectors, encourage women to hold higher positions in their organizations. A 2015 survey of 630 marijuana professionals found women had leadership roles in 36 percent of those businesses, compared with 22 percent of U.S. companies generally, according to the trade publication Marijuana Business Daily. “This is an industry where (women) feel like they can be,” says Daniels. A mentorship program is in the works for Ladies of Paradise, but was slowed by the coronavirus outbreak. Similarly, the company’s elaborately orchestrated events have been put on hold, including a rooftop party booked for July in Portland. In the meantime, the company will keep inspiring women to “fly high,” says Case, beyond traditional notions of fashion and femininity.

Online See ladiesofparadise.com and shopladyjays.com

On the cover: Jade Daniels and Harlee Case of Ladies of Paradise ride the bucket of a tractor above a plot of cannabis. Photo by Ryan McKinnon

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TERROIR Geology professor John Bershaw and his graduate students from Portland State University are examining whether the unique chemistry of Southern Oregon soils has a significant effect on the chemistry of cannabis plants grown here. The study included five different types of soil in Southern Oregon. Soil in beds from left: A Mollisol (McNull Series) from the Bear Creek Valley area; A Alfisol (Ruch Series) from Applegate Valley; A Mollisol (Takilma Series) from the Illinois Valley; and A Ultisol (Pollard Series) from the Grants Pass area. Not pictured is the bed with soil type A Mollisol (Camas Series) from the Grants Pass area. PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN BERSHAW

INSIDE THE SCIENCE OF

By Rhonda Nowak

P

TASTY BUD

reliminary findings from a study conducted by a Portland State University geology professor show a significant connection between the chemical makeup of cannabis plants and the native soils they’re grown in. The results move the cannabis community one step closer to a better understanding of how regional terroir (pronounced ter-wahr) affects the unique character of outdoor-grown cannabis crops. Terroir, a French word that translates to “land” or “territory,” includes several distinctive features of a place, including soil composition, climate and topography. John Bershaw and his graduate students at PSU focused their research on

Study shows Southern Oregon native soils affect cannabis chemistry

how five native soils in different parts of Southern Oregon impacted the chemical composition of two strains of marijuana plants that were grown and harvested last year. “The five soils used were chemically unique, and our results show that this is impacting plant chemistry,” Bershaw said. “For example, a soil with a high amount of magnesium from the Illinois Valley produced plants with relatively high magnesium concentrations.”

Magnesium is one of several minerals found in varying amounts in soil. It’s an important nutrient because it enables plants to absorb the sun’s energy during photosynthesis. Magnesium deficiencies, as well as excessive levels of magnesium, in soil can have detrimental effects on plants. Bershaw worked with the staff at Alter Farms in Grants Pass to collect soil samples from five cannabis farms that represented the diversity of native soils in Southern Oregon. Each soil was analyzed for its composition of organic matter and inorganic minerals. Two of Alter Farms’ strains, Fire Runner and Purple Hindu Kush, were selected for the study, and three clones of each strain were planted in outdoor raised beds, each bed filled with a different soil type.

Knowledge of the relationship between soil composition and cannabis characteristics will inform the growing practices of cannabis farmers.


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PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN BERSHAW

Cannabis plants in Bershaw’s study were almost ready for harvesting in September 2019. Each bed has six plants, three clones of two different strains grown at Alter Farms — Firerunner and Purple Hindu Kush.

After harvesting last fall, cured flower samples from the six study plants were analyzed for cannabinoid and terpene concentrations, as well as levels of macronutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, sulfur and magnesium) and trace minerals (such as iron, manganese, boron, copper, iodine and zinc). Data analysis is still underway; however, Bershaw said initial findings support the theory that growing plants in native soils contributes to the unique characteristics of cannabis grown in different parts of Southern Oregon. This is good news for craft cannabis growers in our area, who want to market their flower and tinctures as distinctive. In addition, knowledge of the relationship between soil composition and cannabis characteristics will inform the growing practices of cannabis farmers, including how soils can be amended for optimal results. Until now, evidence of the effects of terroir, including soil composition, on cannabis has been largely anecdotal. However, marijuana studies have been increasing after 46 states in the U.S. have legalized medical marijuana and 11 states have legalized recreational marijuana. Oregon legalized recreational marijuana in 2014. Research on the effects of soil characteristics on cannabis may still be in its infancy, but different soil types are known to have significant effects on other crops such as wine grapes. For example, sandy soils produce grapes that are processed into lightly colored, aromatic wines, whereas soils with high clay content produce grapes that become wines with deep colors and rich, complex flavors.

Bershaw’s study included three of 12 soil types — Mollisols, Alfisols and Ultisols. Samples of three different Mollisol soil subtypes were collected from farms in the Bear Creek Valley, Illinois Valley and Grants Pass. Samples of Ultisol soil were collected from a cannabis farm in Grants Pass, and samples of Alfisol soil were taken from a farm in the Applegate Valley. The three soil types have different physical and chemical properties. Mollisols are grassland soils that have high fertility and are rich in calcium and magnesium. Ultisols are acidic forest soils with relatively low fertility; a lot of the macronutrients have been leached from Ultisol soils. Alfisols are also forest soils that are similar to Ultisols, but they are less acidic and more fertile. Bershaw said further details of his research findings will be available later this year, and then we’ll know more about how different soils impacted the chemical composition of the cannabis tested. “There’s still a lot of data and ongoing analysis,” Bershaw said. “That being said, the initial finding is significant as it suggests strongly that there is a significant connection between soil and plant chemistry.”

Research on the effects of soil characteristics on cannabis may still be in its infancy, but different soil types are known to have significant effects on other crops such as wine grapes.

Rhonda Nowak is a Rogue Valley gardener, teacher and writer. Email her at Rnowak39@gmail.com. For more about gardening, visit her blog at http://blogs.esouthernoregon.com/theliterarygardener/ and check out her podcasts and videos at https:// mailtribune.com/podcasts/the-literary-gardener, and her website at www.literarygardener.com.

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CANNABIS COOKING

CANNA-BALLS STYLED AFTER

ALICE’S ‘BROWNIES’ By Jessie Moore The Fresh Toast

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id you know that the original marijuana brownies weren’t really brownies? They more closely resembled what we would now call “energy balls.” In a nutshell, the story goes like so: Alice B. Toklas, lifelong companion of Gertrude Stein and Paris salon fixture, was writing an autobiographical cookbook in the 1950s. The book included several guest recipes from her Bohemian buddies. One of her mischievous friends, Brion Gysin, submitted a recipe for something called “Hashish Fudge,” which comes with the warning that moderation is key and that these little treats might induce thoughts on The recipe for “many simultane“Hashish Fudge” was ous planes.” The recipe didn’t omitted from later actually include printings, but you any chocolate, but was rather a can’t un-ring that bell: Alice B. Toklas melange of spices, nuts and dried would be forever fruit, pulverized associated with and formed into little balls. cannabis baking. Apparently, Toklas didn’t do much recipe testing, because the recipe was submitted in the manuscript and printed in Britain, where it caused quite an uproar (Toklas claimed ignorance, stating that she didn’t recognize the Latin name). It was omitted from later printings, but you can’t un-ring that bell: Alice B. Toklas would be forever associated with cannabis baking. This simple recipe is inspired by Brion Gysin’s confections. They come together in minutes, but provide much more than one afternoon’s delight.

Using your hands, grab a small handful of the mixture. Press it together, and form into a ball. Place on the parchment-lined baking sheet. The mixture should be loose, but when you clump it together, it should stay together.

Canna-Balls Makes 14-16 servings 1 cup dried figs ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes 1 cup toasted nuts (I used a mixture of pecans and walnuts) ¼ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1-½ tablespoons cannabutter, melted Directions: Place a sheet of parchment paper on top of a baking sheet; set to the side. Combine all of the ingredients except the cannabutter in either a powerful blender (such as a Vitamix) or in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients resemble a coarse meal. It should be loose, but when you clump it together, it should stay together. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the melted cannabutter, and gently knead

the mixture with your hands to evenly distribute it among the mixture. Using your hands, grab a small handful of the mixture. Press it together, and form into a ball. Place on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Continue with the rest of the mixture. I ended up with 14 balls, each about the size of a heaping tablespoon. Store the balls in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 6 months. Recipe notes: These balls are naturally gluten-free; you can make them vegan, too, by using cannabutter made with coconut oil or a non-dairy butter substitute. Remember: it can take up to 2 hours to begin to feel the effects of cannabis-infused treats, and the effects can last for several hours. Enjoy in moderation!

Remember: it can take up to 2 hours to begin to feel the effects of cannabis-infused treats, and the effects can last for several hours. Enjoy in moderation!


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WE ER! V I L DE

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Reserve the Trim Bus to trim up to 1,000 lbs/day! MF-00129113

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RETAIL

HOME DELIVERY

GETS A BOOST

Online orders are organized for delivery in Ashland from Breeze Botanicals; there is a $75 minimum for delivery.

The pandemic has made home delivery a popular option for cannabis buyers By John Darling

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n this time of pandemic, some people, especially older people, like to avoid retail spaces and get cannabis products delivered to their doorstep. No problem. It needed to happen, and it is happening. Brie Malarkey of Breeze Botanicals Breeze Botanicals in Ashland asked makes up to half home delivery a dozen deliveries for status last fall from a day, and people the city of Ashland, seem to be but it was still in the pipeline until coroordering more navirus exploded on per time, most the scene. The store of it smokable was quickly licensed in mid-March. bud or prerolls. “We emailed them and got it in half an hour. They recognized the need both for the safety of our employees and for so many people stuck at home and needing access to cannabis.� Breeze Botanicals makes up to half a dozen deliveries a day, and people seem to be ordering more per time, most of it smokable bud or prerolls, says Malarkey. Edibles are also popular.

PHOTOS BY ANDY ATKINSON

Breeze Botanicals manager Sam Schuh on her way to deliver a cannabis order.


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RETAIL

With the virus, demand for home delivery has “dramatically increased,” says Zack Kohle, owner of Emerald Triangle dispensary in Medford, “because people don’t want to go into town anymore.” the store has a wide range of products in both CBD and THC, he says. “My customers love weed, and it helps them through these hard times.” Pot delivery understandably has rules about insuring drivers, since they are cruising around with drugs and cash — and the insurance process is complicated, the stores note. Rules also say cannabis goods must be transported in a locked strongbox that’s bolted to the vehicle, and to reduce the temptation for a stickup, less than a combined total of $3,000 can be delivered at one time. Rules also say stores can deliver only to a “real” household, not dorms, businesses and such. This helps keep cannabis out of the hands (and pipes) of those younger than 21.

PHOTO BY ANDY ATKINSON

Breeze Botanicals manager Sam Schuh prepares an order of cannabis flower for delivery.

The minimum order is $75, and delivery is free. Most orders seem to come in the evening, with delivery the next day. Many people like to order hemp products online, but a lot of it still gets delivered locally, Malarkey says. THC products aren’t legal to ship from online sources. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission legalized home delivery three years ago. Dispensaries must get permits from cities to deliver — and Breeze in Ashland can deliver only within the city limits of that town. The company also has a store in Gold Hill, which was the first legal recreational dispensary in Oregon, but does not deliver at this time. Zack Kohle, owner of Emerald Triangle dispensary in Medford, says he got the jump on it in 2018 by focusing on delivery for the elderly, disabled people, veterans and those in hospice care. With the virus, demand for home delivery has “dramatically increased,” he says, “because people don’t want

to go into town anymore.” In addition to enhanced safety, delivery ensures more privacy. A lot of people still don’t want to be seen entering a pot shop. “We’re doing a lot for the elderly now to make it as safe as possible,” says Kohle. “We’re really clean people, and we all wear masks and gloves.” Emerald Triangle was one of the earliest shops in Medford to offer delivery, starting three years ago, and

MF-00129209

Sam Schuh, manager of Breeze Botanicals in Ashland, says drivers are hyper-careful to observe sanitary procedures, wearing masks and latex gloves at all times, and sanitizing gloves between each drop. They keep a six-foot distance by setting product on a step, stepping back if they have to, and asking that license and cash also be set on an in-between surface. Breeze also does curbside sales, passing cash and product preferably through the passenger side or into the back seat. Easiest is ordering online, then coming to pick it up. In the store, they allow only three people at a time, but you don’t have to be masked. All store workers, however, are masked all the time.


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DISPENSARY PROFILE

PHOTOS BY ANDY ATKINSON

Victoria Romeo, general manager at River City Retail in Merlin, says most of “the team” of nine people at the dispensary have been together for several years.

RIVER CITY RETAIL HAS

A WINNING FORMULA By Annette McGee Rasch

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A jar of local flower at River City Retail.

The store in Merlin prides itself on an experienced staff

ith so many dispensaries out there, how does any particular cannabis shop stand out Most of “the team” of nine and draw a loyal following? people have been together for At River City Retail, located in several years, which is “rare in the heart of Merlin, the winning formula is all about the people, says this fast-growing nomadic industry. We all just found each other General Manager Victoria Romeo. “We’re a super passionate team, and stayed. We spend more time with each other than we do with and we offer premium products,” our own families — so we take our Romeo said. “Our budtenders are relationships seriously.” professional and personable, and Located roughly nine miles north we’re deeply committed to the of Grants Pass, River City Retail integrity of this industry. Colleccaters to both medical and recretively, we have a vast amount of ational users with an inventory of knowledge that we love to share with our customers.” 75 cannabis strains and “the whole

array” of products. “Many of our customers pass a lot of other dispensaries to get to us, and that says something,” Romeo said.

COVID-19 has changed the game Most dispensaries were designated “essential” businesses, like pharmacies and grocery stores, during the coronavirus shutdown. “Business exploded,” Romeo said. “We stand up and serve people. We shoulder through it. It’s what we do. Quite legitimately, many medical users really stocked up,” she explained. “We initially saw some really giant purchases — we could barely keep up — though that’s slowed down. But also, there’s just really a lot of new consumers.”


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DISPENSARY PROFILE “With all the mass anxiety and people trapped in their houses with their families all the time, something needed it give — so a bit of cannabis seems to be what the doctor ordered to help keep the peace,” Romeo said. She added that many new customers are trying out different options, spiking sales for edibles, tinctures and oils. “It’s been like 420 every day,” she joked. A trifecta of situations aligned: COVID, stimulus checks and now summertime.” These days Romeo hears more customers saying they’re nervous about leaving the area. “They’re coming in to buy their vacation supplies. And we live in paradise, so why leave?” The team takes COVID seriously. “We’re all about precautions,” Romeo said. During the quarantine, the dispensary predominantly did curbside service, with the staff sporting gloves and masks. Now that the store is open again, customers easily practice social distancing as the building is large, light and airy. Romeo said many customers miss being able to sniff the jars ... but she said her budtenders are adept at describing the flavor, smell, terpene profiles and the overall character of the various cannabis strains. Even though the COVID crisis has driven up demand, River City’s prices remain stable. “It’s absolutely unprecedented, this level of business,” Romeo said, “but our growers are not gouging, and we’re not going to jack up our prices to capitalize on something really tragic that is happening either.” “We always sell cannabis products from our local farms and processors — but to be fair, we try to rotate our relationships with vendors. So we’ve got huge variety, cause honestly,” Romeo quips, “nobody wants to eat the same cereal every day.” The store sells cannabis flowers, pre-rolled joints, concentrates, extracts, edibles (from gummies to cake balls), tinctures, oils, topicals (including creams and oils), and all the latest in supplies and paraphernalia displayed at the store. Plus there are daily specials, senior discounts on Sundays, and “every day we honor all first responders.” Emergency personal, firefighters and veterans always receive discounts. Romeo said customers often ask about the differences between indoor- and outdoor-grown cannabis. The team consensus is that growing indoors facilitates better control, so key growth elements like light and water can be fine-tuned,

cannabigerol, which is just another of many cannabinoids that has a wide range of positive benefits for human health.” Alter Farms produces CBG oil, tinctures and isolate extracts, which are becoming more popular. CBG is thought to have “really strong anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties,” but it doesn’t get one high in a psychoactive sense. But when paired with THC products, Romeo says a patient can create a customized medication that provides a full range of relief. Again, the entourage effect. Fresh on Romeo’s mind is the recent death of Charlotte Figi, a 13-year-old from Colorado Springs who suffered from a rare form of epilepsy. When Figi first began taking CBD oil, her debilitating seizures were dramatically reduced and she was weaned off of anti-epileptic pharmaceutical drugs. She was soon able to walk, play and feed herself, and her story, featured in academic literature, sparked a movement that led to sweeping changes to cannabis laws around the world. A high-CBD marijuana strain and an entire CBD product line, Charlotte’s Web, was named for her. Sadly, she succumbed in April to what her family believes was COVID-19. It’s personal for Romeo, as her own daughter was recently diagnosed with epilepsy. “Cannabis is a critical part of her medicine. Sometimes it can stop a seizure in its tracks, and it helps keep her PHOTO BY ANDY ATKINSON dose of anti-seizure meds to a minimum.” Sassy Logan and store General Manager Victoria Romeo Many industry-watchers look through cannabis buds at River City Retail in Merlin. believe full legalization of we have products for every need and every cannabis nationwide is on the horizon. Romeo budget. has reservations. “We see it all: from those in end-stage “I mean you want it, but ... I’m pretty concancer to those who just beat cancer, with the cerned about the ramifications.” help of RSO.” Rick Simpson Oil is a conRomeo said she worries about agricultural centrated full-plant cannabis extract that conglomerates planting huge fields of cannaproduces a high-yield of terpenes and associ- bis. “Seeing how GMO corn crops are altered, ated compounds and is formulated into oils, we don’t want that to happen to our cannabis edibles or topicals. supplies. Romeo notes how full-plant extractions “Plus, I love all our small farms,” she adds, exhibit stronger “entourage effects” than “and if our farms lose their access to the other flower extraction methods, which market, that would kill local jobs and destroy means more therapeutic compounds are pressome really beautiful medicine.” ent per gram. River City Retail is open daily, 9 a.m. to As research identifies an ever-increasing 8 p.m., and until 7 p.m. Sundays. From I-5, profile of cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, take Exit 61 and head west 4 miles to Merlin. more diverse and specialized products are The address is 115 Galice Road, Suite A. Reach evolving to feed a booming global market, and the team at 541-450-1585. there’s no end in sight. “The public is now broadly familiar with Reach Cave Junction freelance writer Annette CBD (cannabidiol) extracts, tinctures and McGee Rasch at annetterasch@yahoo.com. oils,” Romeo said. “So now we have CBG, or which can yield higher THC content; but with outdoor grows, “we believe you’ll get a really unique terpene profile. One of our suppliers, Alter Farms, is a great example for that,” Romeo said. “Their natural combination of sun, earth, air and water makes a really unique flower and terpene profile that can only come from the outdoors. “We’re very passionate about staying current on both trade-craft and the evolving science,” she said. “Every day it seems like new cannabinoids and terpenes are being identified, and the impacts to health care can be groundbreaking. “The whole games has changed. You can get products with or without THC, it’s not just about getting high,” she said. “There’s so much more to the medicinal aspects than what anybody had known previously. ... Now

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RETAIL

PANDEMIC FUELS

POT-BUYING EXPLOSION By Damian Mann

S

ales of cannabis punched through the stratosphere in May, soaring 55% over last May and eclipsing April’s banner month in Jackson County, based on data from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. “We’ve had a lot of people who have come in kind of stressed out and need to relax,” said C.J. Butler, budtender at Emerald Triangle Dispensary in Medford. “Everybody seems to have been very inquisitive lately, looking for a way to chill out.” Butler said many Recreational and customers have medical cannabis expressed interest in sales in May 2020 the health benefits of cannabis, particularly focusing on edibles. Recreational and Many customers medical cannabis are looking for help sleeping and other sales in May 2019 ailments, he said. The Oregon Liquor Control Commission has seen a surge in cannabis sales since the pandemic walRecreational and loped the economy medical cannabis in March and forced sales in May 2020 many to stay at home. According to OLCC, JackRecreational and son County saw medical cannabis $5,039,963 in sales sales in April 2020 of recreational and medical cannabis in May 2020 compared to $3,236,580 in May Recreational and 2019. medical cannabis April was another sales in March 2020 record month locally with $4,259,465. Josephine County saw a 69% spike in May compared to May 2019, posting $1,810,946 in cannabis sales. In April, Josephine County posted record sales of $1,480,360 compared to $956,427 last year, and $1,287,896 in March compared to $931,452 in the same month last year.

Jackson County

$5,039,963 $3,236,580

Oregon

$103 million

$89.5 million $84.5 million

PHOTO BY DENISE BARATTA

Fireside Dispensary in Phoenix has not only had an uptick in sales, but buying habits have changed. Instead of Fridays being the peak day for sales, the big days are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday as people stock up for the week.


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Sunday, August 16, 2020 |

JAMIE LUSCH / MAIL TRIBUNE

Emerald Triangle Dispensary in Medford is among the stores seeing explosive sales growth during the pandemic.

Ryan Vanderpool, a manager at Statewide, March was a record Fireside Dispensary in Phoenix, said month, with cannabis sales of $84.5 he’s definitely noticed an uptick in million, breaking the previous record sales. of $79.4 million set in August 2019, “Honestly it’s kind of crazy, according to OLCC. The March record fell in April, when especially once the unemployment Oregon consumers bought $89.5 mil- benefits really kicked in.” Vanderpool said people who lion worth of cannabis products. The couldn’t consume cannabis because record fell again in May when cannaof their former job now don’t have to bis sales hit $103 million. As of this writing, June was looking like another worry about getting tested. Buying habits have also changed. banner month. Instead of Fridays being the peak Preston Massey, manager of Grateday for sales, Vanderpool has noticed ful Meds in Talent, said sales are up the big days are 350% this year over “Quite honestly, considering Monday, Tuesday last, and up 75% all that is going on, we are and Wednesday as quarter over quarter this year. all blessed to be able to have people stock up for the week. He said customers access to quality marijuana Also, the price of are consuming more products than usual, products at affordable prices edibles has come to weather the pandemic down drastically in which he attributes the past two years, to Oregonians and economic crisis.” with 50 milligrams having to deal with Preston Massey, manager, of THC in a chocthe recession as well Grateful Meds in Talent olate or gummy as the pandemic. Massey has also noticed more Cali- costing around $10 or less. Two years ago, a similar product would have cost fornians hanging out up here because this area’s economy is more open than up to $30. June has already been a good month theirs back home, and the cannabis as well, Vanderpool said. products are cheaper. “Every time we think it’s going to “I would say all sales all across the slow down, we have another busy spectrum have heated up, but bud day,” he said. is still king, while established edible “We’ve seen an up-tick in cannabis brands like Kotton Mouth, gummies sales since the pandemic took effect,” and the Chocowana Bar are impossisaid Clay Bearnson, co-owner of ble to keep in stock,” Massey said. The Oregon Farmacy in downtown Another interesting twist is that some customers have been complain- Medford. “Sales are at premarket saturation levels.” ing about toothaches, buying Rick Oregon isn’t alone when it comes Simpson Oil to put on their gums to to record-setting pot sales during the relieve the pain, Massey said. pandemic. Sales records have been “Quite honestly, considering all falling with regularity in numerous that is going on, we are all blessed to be able to have access to quality mar- states, including California, Washijuana products at affordable prices to ington, Michigan, Nevada, Colorado, Illinois, Oklahoma and New Mexico, weather the pandemic and economic according to news reports. crisis,” Massey said.

Experience Matters.

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RELIGION

CANNABIS FOR CHURCHGOERS

‘WHAT GOD OFFERS US IS NOT A WAY OF ESCAPE’ By Sarah Lemon

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Quoting from scripture is prevalent in Part II of “Jesus and Mary (Jane).” In response to the question: “Is smoking pot a sin?” authors Charlie Grande and Barnabas Sprinkle respond with an exploration of defining sin, why sin matters and how God’s plan remedies sin.

PHOTO BY JAMIE LUSCH

Pastor Charlie Granade of Grace Baptist Church in Rogue River describes himself as more conservative, while his co-author Barnabas Sprinkle tends to be more permissive.

annabis, for some Christians, can be a conundrum. Scripture makes no explicit reference to cannabis, nor implied acknowledgment of the plant’s existence. Yet there’s plenty in the Bible that can speak to the role of cannabis in health care, family life, society and spirituality, say two local pastors who delved into the subject and explained their interpretation in a new book. “I think it’s important to have a healthy conversation about it,” says pastor Charlie Granade of Grace Baptist Church in Rogue River. Sparking the conversation is “Jesus and Mary (Jane),” which Granade researched and co-wrote with pastor Barnabas Sprinkle, formerly of Southern Oregon. The self-published, 191-page book was released in June and is available on Amazon for $14.99, as well as at Grace Baptist. The subtitle “Navigating Marijuana & Cannabis in Light of Science and Scripture” has appeal beyond Christian congregations, says Granade, and hopefully will provide inroads for anyone inclined to dismiss church and cannabis as incompatible. “We’ve really tried to not make it about liberal versus conservative,” says Granade, adding that he falls in the latter group while his co-author, who pastored Westminster Presbyterian Church in Medford for eight years, leans more toward the former.


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RELIGION

Charlie Granade, senior pastor at Grace Baptist Church in Rogue River, is co-author of “Jesus and Mary (Jane).” PHOTO BY JAMIE LUSCH

“He started with more concern, and I started more permissive,” says Sprinkle, of New Jersey. “We both learned a lot and met somewhere kind of in the middle.” Educating himself about cannabis, says Granade, was the project’s initial purpose. Lacking personal experience with marijuana upon arriving in Southern Oregon from Alabama, Granade found his church surrounded by cannabis farming operations and its congregation inclusive of members who “grow it, sell it and smoke it,” including for medical reasons. “I know CBD is a great thing for a lot of folks,” he says, adding that he believes cannabis’ treatment of health conditions is more widespread in Christian congregations than members’ disclosures would indicate. “People are afraid of what they don’t understand,” says Sprinkle, explaining his disappointment that anyone using cannabis for medical reasons would feel shamed into hiding it from their faith community. Recreational enjoyment, however, constitutes the majority of cannabis use — about 83%, says Granade. And the detriment to children’s developing brains is the key point of the book’s first chapter, titled “What’s the harm?” Whether it’s a reduction in IQ or significant psychological disorders, the toll on teen cannabis users is well documented, say Granade and Sprinkle. The impacts of secondhand smoke on younger children also are cited, along with illnesses linked to vaping. “I kind of assumed cannabis had been the same plant for thousands of years, and — wow, that’s not true,” says Sprinkle, speaking of potency and potential for contamination from industrial farming and processing methods.

Ultimately, readers — Christian, secular and cannabis users all — should ask themselves if their choices are serving their “abundant life.” “Sometimes seeking escape gets in the way of seeking true abundance,” says Sprinkle. “What God offers us is not a way of escape.” “Anything can be used to try to fill that void,” adds Granade, citing alcohol, the internet or humanity’s myriad other distractions and indulgences. Cannabis as an introduction to the occult is chronicled in one of the book’s passages, narrated by one of several people the pastors Cannabis, he says, suffers from being illegal interviewed. instead of being extensively studied. Drug use as a fun pastime became a night“It’s sad to me that we know too little,” mare for this man, who says he nearly suffered says Sprinkle, who holds a degree in physics a psychotic break. and characterizes his as a “science-minded The pastors venture that numerous other family.” sources, from historical texts to modern “God creates something good, and then articles in the mainstream media, confirm a humans do something else with it.” connection between drugs and the “risk for Both the public and the cannabis industry, demonic bondage.” the pastors conclude, would benefit from On the other end of the spectrum, the more FDA regulation. pastors decry any notion that cannabis or Conducting his research primarily at South- counterparts that shift consciousness could ern Oregon University, Granade consulted enhance one’s spirituality. There’s no record domestic and international sources beyond or tradition of either Jews or Christians using “big pharma.” mind-altering substances to enter a spirit “We’ve even quoted from Leafly,” says realm, as adherents to some other religions Granade of a popular cannabis consumer do, says Sprinkle. website. The everyday awareness that God granted Quoting from scripture is prevalent through- humankind is ideal for worshipping him, he out Part II of the book. In response to the adds. question: “Is smoking pot a sin?” the authors “He meets us there,” says Sprinkle. respond with an exploration of defining sin, why “God wants us to have a truly abundant sin matters and how God’s plan remedies sin. life,” he adds. “And we don’t need substances The next six chapters rest on the foundato have that.” tion of the gospel and, at the end of each, Online pose questions for small group discussion or self-study. For more information, see charliegranade.org

Cannabis, says co-author Barnabas Sprinkle, suffers from being illegal instead of being extensively studied: “God creates something good, and then humans do something else with it.”

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COMMENTARY

SOUTHERN OREGON

1992 FLASHBACK

GOOD HERB sogoodherb.com Volume 3, Issue 3 PUBLISHER Steven Saslow EDITOR David Smigelski Email story ideas to: dsmigelski @rosebudmedia.com GRAPHIC DESIGN Robert Galvin CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Rick Cipes, John Darling, Sarah Lemon, Damian Mann, Rhonda Nowak, Annette McGee Rasch PHOTOGRAPHERS Jamie Lusch, Andy Atkinson, Denise Baratta ADVERTISING advertising@sogoodherb. com; 541-776-4422 SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES For subscription services, call 541-776-4455. ■ Southern Oregon Good Herb is published quarterly by Rosebud Media, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501. Phone: 541-776-4411. Copyright 2020, Rosebud Media. All rights reserved. Reprinting in whole or in part is expressly forbidden without written permission from the publisher.

Sunday, August 16, 2020 |

CAN’T WE ALL GET ALONG?

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f you remember where we last left off, I had stopped getting high. Well, that didn’t last long. Single and locked down, I just needed to mellow my life out. Success? Um, not exactly. Because who out there, in today’s society, can safely project the art of “mellow,” unless maybe you’re Matthew McConaughey and getting paid huge sums of money to sell Lincolns to other existential rich folks who happen to like to do their own ice fishing. I mean, definitely, the guy smokes a lot of pot. But I’m getting off track, in the outback with Matthew. Out of the outback, I am remembering my column at the end of 2019, and how I thought 2020 was going to be one helluva year. I never imagined this kind of hell. So, yeah, I’m back on the weed, and enjoying it immensely. BTW, I haven’t smoked in over two years. It’s been all vaping for me. And, yes, it seems way gentler on the body than smoking. Wait! Stop! Do not pass go before hearing me out. I am not vaping the pens with the oils, I don’t trust that shit. I am vaping the actual flower, ground-up and sucked down in a Vaper Brothers device. It looks like an old pencil sharpener, i.e., it does not look cool. And, because it’s not cool, and habit forming, I am not continually puffing on it like I would a joint. I get high to get high, bro. And, my vape device stays in my office and doesn’t

accompany me when I am in front of the TV watching COVID-19 and protest horror. Ah, the sight, man! Will it ever pass? Or are we on a downward spiral? I was in the 1992 Rodney King riots. Directly in them. I was at a Lakers vs. Blazers playoff game at the Forum in L.A. the night the riots began (Lakers won in double OT). And, let me just say, it was a harrowing experience trying to get out of Inglewood that night. Now, here we are, 28 years later, and I wonder if we’ve made any progress. Is there anything we can hold on to? Like, ya know, “hope?” I am hoping that this is one of those “10 Steps Back, 11 Forward” periods in our history. In fact, I am not only hoping, but I am going to meditate on it with Matthew McConaughey. In Alaska. Ice fishing. Honestly, I’m not a fan of the cold, but that doesn’t seem like a bad spot to be this summer, ya know, chilled the f*ck out! Look, no matter what side of the massive divide you fall on, I think there is one thing most of us can agree on (especially if you’re reading this magazine!). Cannabis is pretty awesome, and it actually is helping mellow me out a smig. Happy Birthday, America! Can’t we all get along?

STRAIGHT RICK CIPES

Rick Cipes’ YouTube comedy videos can be seen at https:// bit.ly/AgreeablesComedy.

■ 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.

I am vaping the actual flower, ground-up and sucked down in a Vaper Brothers device.

It looks like an old pencil sharpener, i.e., it does not look cool.

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SOGoodHerb.com

GROWING

HARDY SEEDS IN ASHLAND

HEMP LOVES COMPANY

Ashland hemp farmer uses corn, beans, squash, melons, herbs and grains to keep his soil happy By John Darling

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COURTESY PHOTOS

Chris Hardy cuts up melons grown on his Ashland farm. Hardy calls beans growing up through his hemp plants (above right) “Grandma beans,” because the heirloom seeds have been in his family since the 1800s.

e’ve all seen those long empty rows between hemp plants blighted with weeds and plastic mulch. Well, Chris Hardy of Hardy Seeds in Ashland is using a system to make them Earth-friendly and food-productive, interplanting with squash, melon, herbs, grains, beans and cover crops, and marketing their seeds as well. In the past season, on his farm on Eagle Mill Road, Hardy interplanted CBD hemp with 7,000 pounds of squash. He’d harvest them, cut them in half, scoop out the seeds, puree and bake the squash for half an hour, shape them into 20-pound blocks, freeze them and sell them to Grants Pass schools and the Ashland Food Co-op. “It’s great to add in many recipes, like lasagna,” says Hardy, whose website, growhardyseeds.com, boasts it’s “opensource, non-GMO and certified organic seeds, locally adapted and grown.”


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COURTESY PHOTOS

Chris Hardy interplanted CBD hemp with 7,000 pounds of squash, which he cooked and sold to Grants Pass schools and the Ashland Food Co-op. He sells the seeds through his business, Hardy Seeds.

In a process he calls “polyculture,” which ends up in the landfill, “a clearly he’s developing and interplanting unsustainable direction.” melons that resemble honeydew, Inspired by the concept, some valley taste like mango-pineapple and can hemp growers are starting to incorpobe dehydrated into fruit leather. Seeds rate these methods “and are looking are marketed and the leather is used in forward to using less plastic.” gifts and barter. Hardy says he’s bringing back many “We’re pushing the envelope to rare and heirloom seeds from all over diversify crops and the world to increase take on seed conthe diversity and tracts, and we hope resilience of the local to encourage hemp food system. growers to see there “We work to are other ways than improve seeds, select monocrop,” he says. and do trials with “One hemp grower them, and see if one did squash and variety is perfect donated them to the for the local envifood bank.” ronment and soil He adds, “It’s conditions.” unhealthy for soil Hardy helped and pollinators to lead the successful monocrop (with just 2014 campaign to hemp). Diversity ban GMO crops in above the ground Jackson County. His creates diversity website notes he is below ground. Polyan organic farmer Hardy interplanted CBD hemp with culture helps your and seed sover7,000 pounds of squash last year. main plant and the eignty activist who other plants. We interplanted a wide believes “First Nations families/comvariety of legumes and grains that munity, People of Color, and families incorporated much biomass to the soil experiencing food insecurity are our for carbon … and suppressed weeds.” collective priority. Removing the Hemp is just starting, and “it’s a barriers to the people having locally broken model,” Hardy says, “because adapted seeds of cultural significance if you monocrop, it’s unsustainable. as well as the land to plant and harvest It attracts pests, and when you get a their food is key to eliminating ineqlot of pests, you get disease in the soil. uity and restoring balance.” That system is destined to fail or at Hardy holds seed processing parties, least implicate pesticides to keep up introducing area folks to new varieties the health of crops.” and getting seeds processed, packed The vast majority of hemp farmand out to locals, with focus on the Three Sisters, corn, beans and squash. ers in this region mulch with plastic,

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SOGoodHerb.com

THE EFFECTS OF COVID-19

LIFE IN A PANDEMIC

‘IT’S A LOT SAFER THAN WORKING AT MCDONALDS’ By John Darling Neil Carter, owner of Hemp Farm Inc., waters Bubba Kush at the farm off of Highway 234 near Sams Valley.

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he coronavirus has torpedoed every business and lifestyle in the country this year, but it has brought some benefits, starting with the increased legitimacy of hemp, achieved by its inclusion in federal stimulus funding. That’s the take of prominent hemp lawyer and lobbyist Courtney Moran, director of the Oregon Hemp Farmers Association, based in Portland. Hemp achieved legal status in the 2018 Farm Bill, and Moran notes, “it was important for the advancement of hemp to get this clarification from the FDA, especially with CBD moving into the mainstream market. “Every step the industry can take as a lawful entity is so important. … It’s another signal to the banking industry that we’re legal and here to stay. It’s absolutely still fuzzy with banks dealing with the marijuana (THC) industry. Those banks that have opened up are PHOTOS BY JAMIE LUSCH still charging high Demetrius Ross trims flower at fees for them.” Hemp Farm Inc. near Sams Valley. Some companies in the hemp industry have had to downsize “temporarily” and furlough some employees “until it clears up,” Moran says, and some of this has to do with oversupply and decline of prices that are forcing people to produce less this year. The Economic Injury Disaster Loans (up to $10,000) and Payroll Protection Plan have been helpful, she says, but some in the industry have had difficulty in getting authorization from banks to submit applications, “but overall, those committed to the industry are moving forward, and some companies have seen an increase in online sales of CBD products.”


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THE EFFECTS OF COVID-19 Neil Carter, owner of Hemp Farm Inc. works to dry hemp flowers at the farm off Highway 23.

PHOTO BY JAMIE LUSCH

Hemp farming has been deemed an essential industry and was eligible under the $2 trillion CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act, so “it’s business as usual in a lot of ways, and farms have not had to close down due to the virus,” says Sophia Blanton, organizer of Hemp University and a webinar on the stimulus topic. The pandemic has created a lot of displaced workers, and the hemp-cannabis industry “could provide a good opportunity to pivot, because planting and harvest always require a big work force, and there’s always a labor shortage in Oregon,” says Blanton. The coronavirus impact has been “major, with some really large companies down 40 to 50 percent,” says Karen Sprague, owner of Hemp Packers, a manufacturer of preroll and other hemp products. “Dispensaries and CBD stores are down, for the most part,” she adds, “with people afraid of going out of their houses to get CBD products. Online sales are up a little bit. Some offering delivery are more stable. It would seem people need more product in these times, but the reality is getting it to them. People are stuck at home and need relief from anxiety and sleep loss, what with all the changes in the world.” Hemp farmer Neil Carver, in White City, says the pandemic has made it hard to find employees. Many seasoned workers got $600 a week from

Unemployment Insurance, and that’s more than they could make working, he notes. Carver got $67,000 from SBA stimulus, and that loan turns into a grant if it’s plowed back into payroll. “Without Payroll Protection, I wouldn’t be planting,” he says. “I’ve got jobs waiting doing flower trimming and getting fields ready to plant.” Social distancing has changed the business, adds Carver. He tries to enforce the six-foot rule, has hand-washing stations nearby, takes temperatures and bars any sick worker, but “the trim station is an assembly line. It’s almost impossible to get masks. We use gloves for trimming.” Alex Bizeau, owner of Victory Banner Farms in Talent, says the pandemic put lots of people out on the streets looking for jobs — and he’s able to train them in one day and give them $15 an hour. Most have night jobs, he adds. Bizeau says the work of germinating and planting already provides a lot of spacing — and the inside job is sticky and dusty enough that they’ve always worn masks and gloves, “so it’s a lot safer than working at McDonald’s. That job is a petri dish. “My workers are able to pay bills the last couple months and they really appreciate it, because it’s not easy to find work now.”

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SOGoodHerb.com? Stay up to date on all the news regarding hemp and cannabis in Southern Oregon!

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Sunday, August 16, 2020 |

BUSINESS

LA MOTA

DRIVE-THRU BUD

PHOTOS BY JAMIE LUSCH

Customers at La Mota in Medford can use a drive-thru window at the former Umpqua Bank branch on Stewart Avenue.

A drive-up window at a former bank branch on Stewart Avenue in Medford has stirred interest By John Darling

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rive-through cannabis has some major advantages, especially in the age of COVID-19 — as you don’t have to risk a breach of distancing by going into a shop. It even feels safer than getting your cannabis delivered at home, where you still have to deal with someone coming to your home and exchanging payment and product. It’s similar to a drive-in bank and, in fact, the La Mota shop on Stewart Avenue in Medford used to be an Umpqua Bank branch. It has a drive-up window where La Mota budtenders can announce the daily special, inspect your ID, display product, pass money and deliver the goodies through a sliding drawer, says Justin Tonkin, district manager for La Mota’s five outlets in Medford. If younger passengers at the drive-up window seem to be contributing to the shopping decisions, or are handing cash

John Dickerson, budtender at La Mota in Medford, shows customers product through the store’s drive-thru window at its Stewart Avenue location.

from the back seat, the budtenders ask them for ID also. If it’s not forthcoming, they can wave the vehicle on, or suggest an adult come inside and shop, says John Dickinson, a budtender at the Stewart Avenue dispensary. “You have to be observant of the situation,” he notes. “We try to be real friendly, like Dutch

Bros, ‘Hey! how’s yer day goin?’ but we dial it down a bit.” The drive-through gets 20 or 30 customers daily, with volume peaking on Fridays, says Dickerson. Lunch hours and late evening also seem to be busy times. Many come for half-off flower specials on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. The store was

recently selling bud and prerolls for $2 a gram. Drive-thru is a good alternative for handicapped people or those with anxiety, he adds. The La Mota at Stewart and Kings Highway was a pioneering cannabis outlet, providing the first drivethru in the state, says Tonkin. Since marijuana is required by OLCC to be locked up at closing — the store closes at 10 p.m. — this ex-bank has the most secure lockbox in the civilized world — a cavernous vault protected by a three-ton door, says Dickinson, with a smile. If you’re wondering what La Mota means, it’s Spanish for “a little bit,” and it’s talking about ganja. What does ganja mean? It’s Hindi for weed. La Mota has 22 locations in Oregon, including four in Medford — at 17 S. Riverside Ave., 1035 Court St., 3460 N. Pacific Highway, and the store on Stewart. For more information, see www.lamota.com or call 541-382-9333.

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Profile for Rosebud Media

Southern Oregon Good Herb | Summer 2020  

August 16, 2020

Southern Oregon Good Herb | Summer 2020  

August 16, 2020

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