What’s in Your Stash? Cannabis Reviewer Jack Daniel

Southern California cannabis patient, cultivar reviewer, and editor, Jack Daniel, has an admission with a certain item in his stash box.

“I probably wrote one hundred cannabis reviews before I started grinding my buds – and now, I don’t know how I ever did it!” he laughed. “Everything goes through the grinder now.”

Daniel’s grinder is a stainless steel number that grinds with precision, made by Compton Grinders, from Compton, California – made in the U.S.A.

The necessity of grinding flower is two-fold. Firstly, it releases the terpenes of the flower for better flavor, without the charred flower being repeatedly torched.

The flavor or scent of the cannabis flower is where the beneficial compounds of the plant are. Beneficial herbs have scents to attract us; we need them for our health and wellbeing.

Grinding is also more cost effective, insuring no morsel of goodness is wasted.

“In the center of the tray is my daily driver glass pipe from San Diego local glass company, Opinicus9,” he shared. “Though I will dab occasionally, and eat an edible once in a while – bongs are rare, joints are for friends, but my pipe is my trusty sidearm in all situations.”

Opinicus9 is a glass pipe manufacturer in San Diego, in Southern California, specializing in fine, one-of-a-kind glass dab rigs, pipes, and beautiful hand-blown jewelry, with pieces also available on its Etsy site.

On the top right of his stash box is his nug jar, currently full of Beard Glue, and Yeti OG.

Repurposing containers for weed is nothing new, and though there are many fancy containers now on the market, Daniel’s trim jar is a re-purposed Garbage Pail Kids candy container shaped like a trash can with lid.

“All my stems, leaves and anything else that gets stripped prior to the grind goes into the little trash can,” he explained. “When it is full I give it to my dad and he makes his own remedies from it.”

What's in Your Stash? Cannabis Reviewer Jack Daniel

Courtesy of Jack Daniel

His dad, who is also a California cannabis patient, boils the remains of Daniel’s flower and stems to make a poultice for topical use.

In case you aren’t familiar with the term, a poultice is an ancient remedy wherein plant material is soaked in alcohol and applied topically for pain, inflammation, and infection. A poultice could also be used on the chest or back for lung conditions.

In Latin America, grandmothers still soak cannabis and other beneficial plants in a 96 percent alcohol for topical use. Important to note, these methods are as old as the hills, but modern medicine via synthetic formulations have all but bumped Grandma’s remedies to the curb.

Daniel first partook of the herb in 1996, right after basketball season ended in his senior year in high school, and never looked back.

“I loved weed immediately and have smoked virtually every day of my life since,” he shared.

Diagnosed in 2010 with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, his cannabis use became serious, as Daniel was told he had a six inch by six inch tumor, two inches wide, lodged between his heart and lung.

“I dubbed it the malignant pork chop,” he reminisced. “It was during this time I decided to take a closer look at those seedy ads in the back of The Reader. I went out and got my medical marijuana recommendation, and bought $280 worth of the best weed I had ever seen from a dispensary. Safe to say, the cultivar, Master Kush and P91, or Poway Class of ’91, got me through most of my treatments.”

At the time, concentrates to ingest to treat cancer and symptoms weren’t in his radar, and he smoked to control symptoms with success. This led him down a new career path, writing weed reviews for several publications, including Weedmaps, where Daniel was listed as a top ten reviewer.

“Using cannabis during my traditional cancer treatments was a supplement, not a cure,” he added. “Smoking cannabis allowed me to eat on a regular schedule, sleep in a regular schedule, and it made my attitude bright enough to play with my kids.”

Cannabis gave Daniel enough motivation to get to work each day in a construction job – even though he said his mind and body were running on empty. Like many in the cannabis space, the experience changed his life and career forever, and he now spends his days writing about cannabis – with his stash box nearby.

“I like being a freelancer, writing full-time from home – with no boss, no editor, and no fucks left to give,” he laughed.

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Shut-Down Meatpacking Plant to be Reopened as Medical Cannabis Facility

In an example of the opportunity that legal cannabis can offer economically depressed communities, a former meatpacking plant in Michigan that has sat idle for almost 25 years will soon be reopened as a medical marijuana facility. OrganiLife, located in Saginaw County in Chesaning, Michigan, will begin operations later this month at its cultivation and processing facility in a 30,000 square foot building growing 4,500 plants. The site also has 16 additional buildings that could eventually house 500,000 plants if business conditions warrant the expansion, according to property owner Beau Parmenter.

The OrganiLife campus was formerly the home of Peet Packing, a meatpacking enterprise with more than 200 employees that went bankrupt in 1995 after providing jobs for the community for 110 years.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for employment and investors in the community,” said Parmenter. “It’s phenomenal what we’re bringing to the table to get this place back on track.”

So far, 20 jobs have been created since renovations at the site began last year and another 20 will be added soon. In the long term, the facility could generate 350 jobs.

“The whole goal is to bring those jobs back into the community,” said OrgainLife cultivator Zach Chludil. “It’s gonna take a little bit of time, but there’s no reason with the current demand in the market that once we’re licensed and up and going, we should be able to literally grow along with demand which can lead to significant jobs in due time.”

OrganiLife successfully lobbied the county commission to have the property annexed to the village of Chesaning from Chesaning Township to take advantage of a more friendly regulatory environment. Parmenter said that the company has been welcomed by the community and is already lining up customers for its product.

“Quite a list of provisioning centers are waiting for the product already,” he said. “They’ve got a waiting list that keeps growing daily because they need good product.”

“It’s an all-natural product that they’re producing,” Parmenter added. “They’re using plant-based material for all the sprays, nutrients. No pesticides. No insecticides. That’s a thing. Going all-natural.”

County Benefits from Legal Cannabis

Chesaning is also the home of another medical marijuana business, VB Chesaning, and Great Lakes Natural Remedies will be the third cannabis operation in Saginaw County when it opens this spring.

Bill Federspiel, the Saginaw County Sheriff, has been working with Great Lakes Natural Remedies to help ensure the safety of the community. Federspiel says that he understands that medical cannabis operations can be an attractive target for criminals.

“This is a commodity,” Federspiel said. “It’s valuable to some people and it’s expensive to some people. It has a lot of potential to generate a lot of money.”

VB Chesaning is also operating at a site that was formerly occupied by a large employer, McDonald’s Dairy. Kate Weber is the executive director for the Chesaning Chamber of Commerce, which claims both VB and OrganiLife as members. She said that the medical marijuana industry is spurring business development and new jobs for the area.

“Two large employers have sat empty for so long are now being re-purposed, and it’s good for the community,” said Weber.

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Classing Up Cannabis: Why Your Cannabis Brand Needs A Solid Website

Editors Note: Welcome to our newest bi-weekly column, Classing Up Cannabis. Consider this your go-to spot for fluid, applicable advice regarding the image, design, marketing, and branding of your cannabis business. Right now, most of the content in the cannabis zeitgeist neglects to highlight or speak to the minds behind businesses—you know, those fueling the industry.  Whether you’re just launching a brand or your long-time business has weathered the transitional storm of complex regulation, we dedicate this column to you. 

Anyone who has ever dated in the digital-era has likely, at one time or another, searched their potential partner online. Why wouldn’t you? Safety is the most important aspect to dating. But this puts us in a position of constantly being judged (and judging others) for our online content. We live in a time when our digital lives are becoming a bigger part of our offline existence. Trolls can’t hide, avatars give way to real people, and embarrassing tweets resurface decades later.

How we present ourselves online is no longer separate from our daily lives. The same goes for a company and its online presence. With so much information being disseminated online, sometimes the best place to start reaching new customers is with a website. It gives your company an online home and a place to share news, events, and products.

Here are four important roles your website should fulfill in order to be an effective tool in your marketing toolbox:

Locate your Product

With myriad restrictions on selling cannabis products, the information and merchandise available on a canna-business site differs from what’s allowed on non-cannabis related pages. Potential customers need to know where to find your product, whether it’s physical locations, online only, or a mix of the two. Do you have a brick and mortar store? How about a pop-up that only appears at certain times? If you have an impressive list of retailers selling your products, show off your stockist list.

Provide Contact Info

Provide your customers with a way to find you. If you’re a startup working out of a home office, you shouldn’t give out your mailing address. But give any contact information you feel comfortable providing online, including a phone number and all social media platforms where customers can connect with you. At the very least, provide a contact form or an email address so people have some way of reaching you. This isn’t a time to play hard to get.

Give Interested Parties An Opportunity To Explore Your Brand Persona

This is where you show off your personality, tell your story, and highlight what your company is doing (and who is already covering your company in the media). Through design, logos, and copy, you have the opportunity to stay in control of your brand’s narrative. If you want to go the extra mile consider adding a blog that allows you to expand outward from your products and look at the industry as a whole. Don’t forget to add a space where you can mention press coverage so you can show your customers that people are talking about you.

Sell, Sell, Sell!

Don’t let Amazon have all the fun. Sales opportunities are one of the main reasons to have a website. More and more companies start every day that have no physical store. If you sell cannabis accessories, hemp products, or an ancillary cannabis product that you can legally sell online, don’t pass up the opportunity. Take advantage of interweb sales!

Think about the three main types of website viewers—the skimmers, swimmers, and diversand what each wants to know about you. Maybe the skimmers only want to see where you’re located; swimmers want that along with knowing whether they can purchase products online; and the divers want it all. Create a balanced website and you’ll have the opportunity to reach all of them.

A well-made website helps you reach more customers and introduce yourself to them. They may not find you in a store, and without that discoverability, you could miss out on a lot of potential new customers. Where people once browsed the aisles of stores for hours at a time, people are now listlessly strolling online. A clean, well-designed website that balances pertinent information with personality will help you cut through the noise and attract new customers or clients.

But we can’t make any promises for your dating life.

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