The WeedWeek Playlists
Molly Peckler of Highly Devoted returns to the pod to help us celebrate our 100th episode. She joins Alex and Donnell to talk through cannabis love in the time of Covid-19 and some highlights from past episodes.
Molly Peckler on WeedWeek
Weedweeknews – 43-love-in-the-time-of-legalization-with-highly-devoteds-molly-peckler
Highly Devoted on Instagram
Alex Halperin’s Cannabis Dictionary
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This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.
Alex Halperin (00:06):
Welcome to WeedWeek. I’m Alex Halperin.
Donnell Alexander (00:08):
And I’m Donnell Alexander.
Alex Halperin (00:10):
This is the WeedWeek podcast. You can subscribe to our free newsletters WeedWeek, WeedWeek California and WeedWeek Canada, all at weedweek.net and you can find this on Twitter and Instagram @weedweeknews. Got any feedback? Write to us at email@example.com and of course rate and review us on iTunes, so to help other folks find the show today to help us celebrate our hundredth episode, we’ve got returning guests, Molly Peckler, the founder of Highly Devoted. Thanks so much for joining us, Molly.
Molly Peckler (00:36):
Thanks for having me guys. Happy 100 episodes.
Donnell Alexander (00:40):
So, what’s going on with Highly Devoted in Molly Pecklers career?
Molly Peckler (00:43):
So, we’re at a very interesting point in the lifetime of Highly Devoted. We’re best known for being a cannabis friendly matchmaking company. We help cannabis consumers find love.
Donnell Alexander (00:54):
I have been to one a year thing. They’re lovely. And you know, we talked a little bit about what you’ve done in Beverly Hills, but the East side thing, beautiful people. Do you have a secret to that? How you get these beautiful people who love weed to show up in one place?
Molly Peckler (01:07):
I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I have really been trying to build this movement for several years. I started this company back in 2015 and just talking about the benefits of cannabis for connection. And so a lot of people are attracted to that and it resonates with them. So I’ve been able to build this really wonderful network and people want to connect and meet other people who enjoy cannabis and plant medicine. So, I was a mainstream professional matchmaker before I started this company and I saw how much judgment and stigma is still associated with cannabis. And so that’s why I wanted to create a service specifically for people who want to have plant medicine be reflected in their relationships. So, you know, I’ve worked one on one with clients, which I’m moving away from a little bit now and going to be creating some exciting content, like a book and a podcast. But I also love hosting mixers and events where people come together in a really beautiful setting and connect and enjoy cannabis together.
Donnell Alexander (02:08):
Well, thanks for coming here with us and joining us. I mean, because we’re doing the celebration of the 100th episode and we’re doing under these circumstances that are pretty dark. I mean it’s raining out in LA as if to underline the heaviness, do you want to talk about what it’s like to commemorate in kind of a complicated mode.
Alex Halperin (02:27):
Is kind of a complicated mode. The industry is struggling and also the, the world is sort of buckling under this virus.
Donnell Alexander (02:39):
Well, no, do we really want to say that, I kind of fancy ourselves on nuanced podcast? The world is buckling is the word?
Alex Halperin (02:46):
Okay. The world is certainly adjusting to this virus, which is affecting things in all sorts of ways. And that includes cannabis. It includes how people interact at sort of the interpersonal level, but also on the sort of a mass scale. And so it’s something new and it’s going to have some pretty severe ramifications.
Donnell Alexander (03:13):
We’re going to talk a little later about the people being close aspects of this new era that we’re entering, but first call us the state of cannabis because when Barbara Ehrenreich was on our show, she called us the ones of weed week and I enjoy that. So we’re going to get the wonky stuff out of the way. Our meat and potatoes, our e nuts and bolts. I forget what cliché I’m relying on.
Alex Halperin (03:38):
We’re going to hear from some of our favorite past guests Godfather of Legal Weed: Steve DeAngelo, sex and political guru Dan Savage, my marketing Maestro Sherbinski and Bruce Linton.
Shaleen Title (04:16):
This is Shaleen Title from the Cannabis Control Commission. Congratulations on a hundred episodes. Alex and Don Al, keep rocking.
Donnell Alexander (04:25):
Yesterday you sent out an all caps tweet, something that I ordinarily do not approve of, but it seemed like you had a really, do you want to tell everyone about why you did that thing with all the fire and emojis?
Shaleen Title (04:40):
So the reason that I’ve sent out an all caps tweet was because for the first time in Massachusetts, we approved an economic empowerment applicants. And in short, that includes the businesses that were able to demonstrate that they provide economic empowerment to those communities through their own ownership, through their hiring of people with convictions, for example, and different ways that they demonstrated to us that they would be supporting those communities. So we have 123 applicants who met that criteria, but so far none of them were able to get through the process because of its capital, because of challenges getting to the local approval process and different barriers that we’ve tried to address piecemeal. So, to have yesterday the first one approved not only the first one approved, but to have them be the first licensed business in Boston. So that now this is a very misleading statistic, but it’s true. 100% of the marijuana business and license in Boston are minority owned and economic empowerment. I think is worthy to have an all caps tweet with emojis.
Speaker 6 (05:54):
The cannabis industry has not become a true global ecosystem. It is incredible to observe and to have a front row seat to looking at it.
Donnell Alexander (06:04):
I´m sorry when you say it’s a global ecosystem, I don’t know what that is.
Speaker 6 (06:07):
The emergence of connectivity and position of regions around the production distribution processing of cannabis, is just unprecedented. So you’re now seeing not just the United States and Canada sort of, you know, playing at the local level, but you’re seeing countries within regions positioning to become exporter or to become importer or to become to focus on, for instance, hemp production or whether it is processing goods and sending those out. When you look at a national market, you see companies positioning to take over certain roles. When cannabis, we’re now globally, we’re seeing countries positioning to take on certain roles. I had never seen that before.
Donnell Alexander (06:54):
It’s the best of times for you. Correct? But it must feel like you’d left the hood or something. What is it like for you right now?
Speaker 7 (07:01):
It doesn’t, no. I mean, it doesn’t feel like I’ve left the hood because I still spend an awful lot of time and an awful lot of energy advocating on behalf of this plant and behalf of the cannabis community. So I don’t feel in any way that I’ve become disconnected with my roots, but I feel a lot of mixed feelings. On the one hand, my main allegiance in the world, my main mission in life is making sure everybody who needs this plant gets it. And I don’t think that we accomplished that goal without engaging the same mechanisms of global commerce that produce and distribute every other good. So I am happy to see the corporate world in here. When I see corporations that otherwise would be selling tobacco or alcohol or pharmaceutical products instead selling cannabis, I view that as a huge victory. At the same time, my friends, my dear ones, the people whose children I’ve held in my arms as babies who loved this plant more than many of the people who are now making fortunes off of it are suffering. And I’m suffering along with them. I feel that pain
Speaker 8 (08:12):
Accounting and shareholder engagement for very big profitable companies is very different than for companies that starting out. I suspect if you looked at who owned a bunch of Amazon in the early days, first 10 years, and who owned bank stocks, there was probably a low correlation. Now the bank stocks are worth exactly 3% more and Amazon’s got a little bit more. And so it’s really what ride are you taking and what’s your appetite for it?
Donnell Alexander (08:38):
We heard from (inaudible) of New Frontier Data, Steve DeAngelo of Harborside and Bruce Linton, moments after, days after, weeks after he left that job? Well, what happened there? What do we have?
Alex Halperin (08:49):
That was a couple of weeks after he was dismissed as head of Canopy Growth.
Donnell Alexander (08:55):
Sound the cluster of an audio they’ll select from those smart people. What seems valid to you? What’s your takeaway is the most interesting thing.
Alex Halperin (09:05):
Everybody involved in this ecosystem or space or industry what have you really knows, and the sales figures bear out that this is going to be a really big thing, a big cultural thing, a big financial thing.
Donnell Alexander (09:26):
I mean culturally it already is.
Alex Halperin (09:27):
But just as a real impact on the way we live our lives that people haven’t necessarily talked about like smartphones, but at the same time you can hear from them, but also from just about anybody involved, it’s taking a long time to happen. And there are a lot of casualties both in terms of businesses and people still in prison.
I moved to California in 2016 and I remember being so gung-ho about Prop 64 and voting to legalize cannabis and we heard all of these murmurs from a lot of the cultivators up in Northern California about saying that it’s not a great idea and that there’s a lot of issues that are going to happen because of this. And I was just like, no, I just want to legalize cannabis. Now seeing this a few years after the fact and understanding that it really is a mess right now. At least in California and a lot of other places. I’m just really like, we have to do this right, especially when we do it federally. When we legalize it federally, I thought that we would be a lot further than we are right now.
Donnell Alexander (10:53):
And I’m just going to be the devil’s advocate here and say that I think from the business side it is a mess. Obviously from the governmental side it’s a mess. But for the millions of people who are discovering cannabis, all these old people who are going to be endorsed a lot lately apparently, it’s a fucking revolutionary time. I always have to put that out there. I know the suffering is real, but I also know that people are getting the very cheap ones. And then there was a well-tested ones, variety I couldn’t have imagined as a young smoker.
Alex Halperin (11:20):
There’s something I mentioned in the newsletter this week, but I want to get Molly’s perspective, I said surely there are some businesses that are going to be doing pretty well because of this virus and people are gonna have to stay home more and people are gonna have more time on their hands and a lot of people are going to reach out for cannabis, but at the same time it could have effects that we don’t quite understand. And I think you with your business have an interesting perspective on that. Like what do you, the Coronavirus is not a very sexy crisis.
Molly Peckler (11:56):
It’s quite unsexy actually. Now it’s, you know, the beauty of cannabis is that it’s for sharing, it’s for connecting with others. I love being able to pass around a joint and just have a great conversation and hang session with people that I care about, but now is not the time to do that. I think it’s really important that people put their hygiene and their health before anything else. Don’t share joints with anyone. Don’t share glass, don’t share vapes. Like really make sure you’re keeping everything clean and sanitized. Keep it to yourself. I think if you are in a small group setting, it’s a very small group right here and I think we’ve all been taking hygiene seriously in this group, but it’s something that you can’t rely on all the time when you’re going into larger groups. So if you are going to hang out with people that you care about in a small group setting, hopefully, you know, in a private place, everyone bring their own, consume their own and you can still be with each other and connecting and enjoying that sesh vibe without actually sharing cannabis with one another. I know I just told you to not share joints with anyone, but my husband and I, we both work from home. We’re going to be spending all of our time together, so we’re probably still going to be sharing joints because, you know, I said if I catch coronavirus you catch coronavirus and vice versa. So hopefully we make it.
Speaker 9 (13:25):
Happy anniversary WeedWeek. Congratulations on your hundredth episode. Good job.
Donnell Alexander (13:31):
There’s a callback to the sort of specialty that Alex is assigned to. We’ve got two callbacks and we’re not even halfway through the episode, but in terms of cannabis bringing people together in these close quarter times. Yeah, we’ve got something. But first there’s a union thing and a grower perspective that I want to share here. The illicit market is now officially the bad guy. You didn’t always feel that way.
Brian Mitchell (13:52):
Yeah. Today I would say it’s the bad guy, I’d say that the people that allow it to b exist or the people you should be talking to. Because it’s their job as a governing body to handle that. And I think at the same time, the people that established this regulatory system did not think about the transition from and making it easier for those involved in illicit market to transition a lot more efficiently.
Donnell Alexander (14:23):
So what are your conversations with them like?
Brian Mitchell (14:25):
I can’t really say how I really feel about it because I almost (inaudible) you know, I’m sitting back here like what was I thinking?
Alex Halperin (14:39):
I’ve definitely talked to some, some larger companies that aren’t necessarily thrilled about their workforces unionizing, is there a lot of pushback.
Jackie Cornejo (14:53):
I would say it really depends and we understand that this is a struggle, right? having organized workers in any other industry, you hardly ever see an employer who embraces you with open arms. But this isn’t about the employer. It’s about the workers having a choice, and the ability to choose whether they want to be in a union or not. And that is something that we are incredibly proud of. You know, a lot of cannabis workers probably didn’t know for a long time that they are subject to the same labor laws as any other worker. That they should not be paid in weed. They should not be paid by the piece.
Alex Halperin (15:34):
Yeah, it was Brian Mitchell and Jackie Cornejo. What’d you think?
Alex Halperin (15:39):
Both of them speak to some of the sort of nuts and bolts of this industry, especially Jackie, where she’s advocating for workers to have their say and a fair shake for working in this industry. And, we all sort of know people who run cannabis businesses, they’re managers and management, there’s a certain wariness about their workforces organizing and there’s certainly some tension there and that even as some workforces have organized that. But yeah, this is a real industry with real issues, same with Brian and competing with the illegal market. That was something presumably the alcohol industry had to do at the end of prohibition and stuff like that. And there’s a path to legitimacy, but we’re not totally there yet.
Donnell Alexander (16:30):
You put on events and I know there are limitations to what you can and can’t do.
Molly Peckler (16:33):
I did a series of events that you guys actually attended at the SIXTY Hotel in Beverly Hills. And they actually reached out to me initially because they had seen other events that I had done and they were like, okay, this is the caliber of cannabis events that we would like to put on at this hotel. And they were consumption events. It was beautiful and, and everyone had a wonderful time and the events were very successful. But after two events, the hotel said, you know what, we’re just a little bit too spooked to do more cannabis events.
Alex Halperin (17:06):
Why were they spooked?
Molly Peckler (17:09):
I think their ownership got involved and they were just like, like I said, there were no issues or anything bad that happened at the event, but I think they just were not comfortable with it anymore. So it’s very disappointing because I love doing cannabis events. I love bringing people together and allowing them to be in more of like a chic, modern, upscale environment than, you know, a prototypical cannabis event. And to see just how powerful of a social lubricant cannabis can be, you can’t really do that all the time anymore. And I did think that with legalization here in California that it would just make things easier, but it’s actually ended up making things a lot more complicated. That gray area that we had before legalization was really beneficial for doing a lot of these types of events. So it’s, you know, there’s a lot of pros and cons to legalization.
Alex Halperin (17:59):
So much of your business is based around sort of cannabis, bringing people together and stuff like that. And now we have this new issue with this health crisis. How are you thinking about adjusting your business to the new reality?
Molly Peckler (18:12):
Yeah, well, I made the decision last year that I would actually no longer be taking on matchmaking clients, which was my bread and butter of my business and I really wanted to affect change on a larger scale and help more people than just one-on-one my clients. I still have about probably 10 clients right now that I’m working with and it’s really challenging right now to connect with people and get people at least even in the mindset of wanting to date. I work and I interview potential matches for my clients. And so just like getting people to actually sit down and focus on love right now it has proven to be quite challenging. But moving forward, what I’m doing is really trying to make content that can help a lot more people. So I’m writing a book right now which I’m really excited about. We are just finalizing the proposal right now and about to send it out to publishers. So hopefully 2021 you’ll be reading a Highly Devoted book all about, not only cannabis for connection, but I’m really starting to include psychedelics into that as well because it’s incredibly powerful and beneficial in my own relationship as well.
Alex Halperin (19:20):
But also very different.
Molly Peckler (19:22):
Very different. And we can get into psychedelics and how that benefits relationships as well. But I’m also going to be launching a podcast called Lovestone, which I’m very excited about as well. So you guys will have to come on.
Donnell Alexander (19:36):
Yeah, we’re going to talk about sex a little bit. Next. You’re very enthusiastic. I want to ask Alex though these nuts and bolts episodes where we get into the weeds. Do you have a favorite of the people that we’ve had on.
Alex Halperin (19:52):
One episode that sticks out to me is Danny Gonzalez, who’s sort of a high-end dispensary designer.
Danny Gonzalez (20:01):
I’m talking to a client about a project in Boston right now. We just signed a lease where it’s three floors and I’m hoping to create a lounge for them. A lot of times I’m an idea guy, I come in and say, can we do this and can we do that? The same thing where I’m doing here proposing a tonic bar with a client here, but we have to see about the legality about it because it’s different in Boston than it is in Los Angeles. I mean it’s different in Santa Monica than it is in West Hollywood. So those are the issues we have to encounter and deal with at the time.
Alex Halperin (20:35):
Retail is not, and sort of the nuts and bolts of retail and really the environment of a store and how you create an environment that’s conducive to selling and stuff like that is really not something I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about, but I found him really interesting and really thoughtful and sort of in the industry there’s sort of this cliché about the Apple store of weed and he went beyond that and has had some more sophisticated thinking on that, which I thought was really interesting in sort of unexpected ways.
Donnell Alexander (21:10):
There was such a specificity to his take.
Alex Halperin (21:12):
Right. He talked about having dispensaries with swimming pools. Well that sounds pretty cool.
Donnell Alexander (21:18):
I think we’re going to get it, but the delay, don’t you think that the delay is what’s making us crazy here?
Molly Peckler (21:22):
Yes I remember, what was it in 2018 when people were applying to get the consumption lounges in West Hollywood and then that took an additional, I don’t know, six or nine months to even get the responses back. And now we’ve only had one open and it’s already changed ownership.
Buck Angel (21:40):
Hey, this is Buck Angel. Congratulations WeedWeek on your 100th episode. That’s badass. Keep going my friends and cannabis rules.
Donnell Alexander (21:49):
We’ve had some very respected people give us some insights on cannabis and their lives, their sexuality. I chose a few, you can tell us what you think.
Speaker 11 (21:58):
No one. Back in the day we didn’t talk about being trans. We didn’t talk about having a sex change. We didn’t talk about any of that. I was the first guy here in Los Angeles to have it done that. Mine was the first for my top surgery, having my breast removed. The doctor had never done that. And same with my hormones. The doctor called me a guinea pig because he had never worked with a woman becoming a man.
Alex Halperin (22:16):
How do you become the first person?
Speaker 11 (22:19):
Yeah, that’s a good question.
Alex Halperin (22:21):
Especially, you know, it sounds like you didn’t have much money.
Speaker 11 (22:24):
I didn’t have any money.
Alex Halperin (22:25):
How did you make that happen?
Speaker 11 (22:28):
So I started getting sober and then I found a therapist who was a gay woman and had a job, had a steady job at this shop here in Los Angeles called Maxfield, which a lot of people know it’s a very high end luxury store. And I was the warehouse manager there and I was getting sober and my therapist said, you know, I said, I’m a man. And she said, I believe you. But that was before computers, before any technology, we couldn’t go on the internet and Google trans, how to have a sex change. I had to go to bookstores. And so one of the bookstores was called Different Light. And I found a magazine in the back that was homemade magazine from transgender women. So men becoming women. But I said to myself, that’s me. And so I found doctors in that book and those doctors had only worked with men becoming women. But I went to them and I said, I’m a woman becoming a man. That’s when they said, well you can be my guinea pig, I’ll experiment. And that was how I became the first person to do that. Yeah. And I just showed up and I said, I want to have a sex change.
Donnell Alexander (23:29):
So we came here to talk about cannabis and your products and your involvement in the industry, which actually I didn’t know until very recently. And you’ve come in here with buckshot. It’s a boner drink, I know that because the label says that, and I know this wasn’t overture to a party. You said it lasts 72 hours. What the fuck is this? What are we doing?
So no, that’s kind of like marketing, you know what I mean? But some guy, if he drank the whole thing, he will have a boner for two days.
Alex Halperin (24:09):
Can you explain specifically what it is that New Frontier does?
Speaker 11 (24:13):
New Frontier Data, and I say that because there is actually a company that is in pornography and that is called New Frontier. I kid you not, I recently found out, so I’ll make it a point now. New Frontier Data.
Donnell Alexander (24:25):
They’re looking for a different frontier.
Speaker 11 (24:28):
Yes, very much so. I tried to figure that out. Why New Frontier?
Dan Savage (24:31):
If you want to introduce weed to your sex life, just bring it up. People often hesitate to, whether it’s weed or whatever else they want to do or try in the SAC, they’re also often really hesitant to throw it out there for fear of being rejected. And I think people should not run from rejection, but embrace it when it comes. Because it lets you know whether this is the right person for you to be with. And the sooner you figure that out, the better. You know, if you don’t figure out that this is the wrong person to be with until you’ve been together 10 years and you have two kids, you’re fucked. Do you want to figure that out before you get married and scramble your DNA together? Just put it on the table, to see how your partner reacts. And if they have an irrational reaction that’s based on a lot of stereotypes about pot or drug war horseshit that may have been pounded into their heads, reason with them, send them to normal, put books in front of them. If there are people in their lives who use pot that they are not aware they use pot. Ask those people if they will come out to your partner as a responsible pot user. One of the people that I know personally, it was a friend of mine and my husband is one of the top surgeons in Washington state at the top hospital, the head of surgery and a complete daily stoner since age 12. He is fine. And you know, individual results may vary and people probably shouldn’t start smoking weed when they are adolescents. There are studies that show that that isn’t good for cognitive development, but obviously my friend’s brain was big enough to compensate. And it can help to like meet those people and then relax. And then if your partner is worried about, you know, baby steps, whatever it is you’re talking about sexually, if your partner is worried about being out of control with being high for the first time or not sure they’re going to want to have sex while they’re higher but are not sure they would be comfortable having sex and they worry that if they get high and have sex, something will happen that leaves them when they sober up or during feeling traumatized, just get high and don’t fucking have sex.
Alex Halperin (26:30):
So that was Dan Savage on one of our early episodes and the lady with the lovely laugh was Haley Fox who was my co host for the first third of our episodes. So thank you so much Haley who did a great job and is a great journalist here in LA. But so this is a bit of an intimidating question, but do you have a critique of Dan Savages’ views?
Molly Peckler (26:54):
I really do agree with him. It’s the same type of advice that I use with my clients when they’re looking for love, bring up cannabis and see how they respond. It’s a really great way to tell whether they’re open-minded, whether they share core values, it can cut through a lot of the BS very quickly. I think it’s also really important when you’re talking about sex and cannabis to talk about consent because obviously when you do consume cannabis, it does have a psychoactive effect and you want to make sure that you discuss everything that you’re going to do with your partner ahead of time, just in case. I also recommend when it comes to cannabis and sex just start with a little bit because sometimes you can get a little bit too high and it could get in the way of that passion and chemistry. I also think that it’s really wonderful to utilize cannabis to kind of get rid of a lot of the obstacles that get in the way of having that great chemistry and passion because it’s really beneficial when it comes to helping you focus and kind of turn off the voice that’s going on in your head as well as it’s really beneficial when it comes to reducing pain and it makes it easier for women to achieve orgasm and orgasms are longer and stronger and more powerful and enjoyable. So I highly recommend combining cannabis and sex.
Donnell Alexander (28:28):
We very luckily have had a few episodes where we’ve been able to talk about it and I wasn’t able to include Mistress Matisse, but she had some great insights, especially on the longer lasting and more powerful aspects of cannabis and intercourse. And I think she’s talking more about lubricant.
Molly Peckler (28:44):
Something to keep in mind when it comes to cannabis lubes, which are quite popular today, is that all of the oil-based lubes that mainly utilize coconut oil are not conducive for using with condoms. So just make sure that if you are using condoms that you use a latex safe version. My favorite is called Quim. That I think is a really, really amazing product that can be used with condoms or without. Some of the most popular cannabis lubes are just straight THC and coconut oil and you cannot use those with condoms.
Alex Halperin (29:22):
And Madison Margolin.
Madison Margolin (29:22):
I work in the public sector on a public cannabis education initiative and I needed a quick ramp up. Finding WeedWeek was like hitting the jackpot, so educational and entertaining. If you guys had a fan club, I certainly would be president. Congratulations Don Al and Alex and here’s to another 100.
Speaker 12 (29:40):
Hi. I want to say congratulations on your hundredth episode. That’s really, really incredible and you guys are doing such powerful work sharing all the information that you do and it was such an honor to be on the show and I’m really excited to see what other guests you bring on in the future and where the cannabis industry goes. And I really thank you so much for helping to hold the industry accountable and spreading information.
Speaker 13 (30:10):
But now I’m going back again, what language is it wrapped in there? It’s (inaudible) I’m in English. When I bring this spirit to foot the people off top with the speed speech. I came to get damn busy here, but WeedWeek I’m in the room and you know, I got that God type.
Sister Kate (30:23):
What we’re trying to do is live a more elegant and charming and graceful lifestyle. And in doing that, we look to our ancient mothers and our ancient mothers, we believe, organize their lives by the cycle of the moon. We also believe that they believe, and that one-day science will prove that an energy travels with the medicine we make. And if it’s made in a spiritual environment and it’s guarded in a spiritual environment and it’s blessed before it leaves on its travels, it’s going to do more healing than if it doesn’t have that. And right now we are working with farmers who want to do some research with us and prove it, that there’s a vibrational and a potency difference between medicine that’s guarded and made by the women by hand in our ancient ways versus medicine made by a man’s factory.
Alex Halperin (31:09):
Are you arguing that Christians should be using cannabis or just that they should be familiar with it and if they should be using it, why should they be using it?
Speaker 14 (31:19):
I’m not really arguing any of those things. I’m saying there’s a conversation that’s void inside the church and there’s a lot of Christians that are torn and they don’t know if it’s right or wrong or if it’s okay. And me telling my story about my experience with cannabis, I was never involved in abuse. I wasn’t under age, it was once I was 37 years old and legal that it’s been very positive and it’s actually been the best awareness tool I’ve ever used in my life and it’s changed my life in so many different ways.
Speaker 15 (31:51):
I went online to the Department of Health in San Francisco and I got this list of the 10 dispensaries at the time. I went to like the first three places and you know, there was mixed vibes. And I ended up at this place on Haight street called the Vapor Room. I go in there and this place has like that seventies vibe, like to it. So I go in and there’s this guy Martin Olive, and he was the first one I met there and it was his establishment and you know, I took off my backpack and it was very personal. It was like, sort of like you and I right now. I just took my backpack off and said, Hey, it was like the tribal guys used to do it. Like, here’s my stuff, what do you think? And he pulls it out and he fluffs it up in the bag and he goes, do you do this? And I said, yeah. And he goes, wow, this is pretty amazing. And he goes, okay. And so I was expecting, you know, put it this way, he gave me about a thousand dollars more per pound than I thought was going to get. And then I was very happy because I got my investment back and then the bubble hash I made and I said, well what do you think of this? And then he’s like, Oh wow this is great. And so he ended up giving me like three times the amount I thought I was going to get for that.
Alex Halperin (32:53):
Did you have any sort of gardening experience or are you non handy around the house or anything?
Donnell Alexander (33:00):
Speaker 15 (32:57):
I learned that I had one, but it was more like I followed instructions and I lived in San Francisco and I had pretty good genetics and I put it all together. It was like the perfect storm to have some pretty good shit.
Alex Halperin (33:15):
Your group has become known since legalization in DC for giving away cannabis I think. On the steps of Congress and the department of Housing and Urban Development.
Adam Ettinger (33:26):
Alex Halperin (33:27):
How has that gone?
Adam Ettinger (33:28):
Well, since gifting of cannabis is lawful and we made it lawful, we’ve incorporated free cannabis into important demonstrations. Probably the most memorable was the 4/20 where for about six weeks prior to the demonstration, the community met daily to roll joints and stashed joints until we had roughly 10,000 joints in the end that were given away on the day off 6,000 of which were rolled in my house. People might just come initially for the free weed, but then they ended up staying for the politics.
Donnell Alexander (34:02):
You know, I think about the things that we’re going to lose in cannabis and up until like three weeks ago, I was thinking about all the suits coming on. That was my biggest concern. 6,000 joints given out to people not going to happen anymore. And that was before my time. Who was that?
Alex Halperin (34:16):
Adam Ettinger and he’s a DC activist. He’s been involved in trying to gain access in DC for many years where it’s very complicated because like DC has legalized recreational, but they don’t have an industry. And as I understand it, that has to do with Congress has a lot of oversight over DC and the Republicans in Congress have been pretty hostile to that.
Donnell Alexander (34:42):
So okay. I put them all together. I put Craig Gross, the very famous .Mr. Sherbinski and the infamous sister Kate all on that little last group there because they’re characters. I meet so many interesting people in cannabis and I know you do too on the spot. Who blows your mind in the cannabis sphere?
Molly Peckler (35:01):
The first person that comes to mind for me is Barbie Summers. Barbie is the head of high dining and Mary Jane University. So she basically throws really amazing cannabis events. She’s best known for the Moonlit Moveable Feast, which happens out in Joshua Tree.
Alex Halperin (35:29):
What happens there?
Molly Peckler (35:29):
So it is under the full moon and it’s infused food and there’s all these really amazing activations, they always have sound baths and all sorts of like really cool things that you can enjoy and experience before and during your meal. And it’s really just amazing people that you get to connect with and you’re doing it out in nature. So it’s really just a very special experience. And then she also has this event called Sushi and Doobie, which you learn how to roll joints and how to make sushi. And she’s just this little ferry that is sprinkling cannabis dust wherever she goes.
Alex Halperin (36:11):
Somebody, I’m going to list who we’ve had on the show but only briefly, but I’ve written about him is a guy Kevin Rodeerick who’s an old school guy who’s been operating in Humboldt County for more than 20 years. And he was a self-described criminal and that is now going legit. But you know, it took a lot of smart, a lot of stones to do that and he’s just pretty impressive guy. And also very community minded.
Donnell Alexander (36:47):
I’ve only watched his videos on YouTube and been able to chat a little bit with them and recharge. Is there anything over the course of these 18 months? We’ve been doing this for two years. What’s aged the worst of all the things you’ve talked about, the idea of the green rush period.
Alex Halperin (37:01):
Yeah. I mean I still like using the term green rush, but some people don’t and some people have seen their businesses go under and they’re not so wild about the term green rush. I still kind of like the term.
Donnell Alexander (37:14):
Okay. Do you think Christians should have cannabis?
Alex Halperin (37:16):
Yeah. Why not?
Donnell Alexander (37:17):
Well, make cannabis make Christians better?
Molly Peckler (37:20):
Donnell Alexander (37:21):
Not just because it heals everything.
Speaker 2 (37:22):
No. But I do think cannabis and other plant medicine, at least for me personally, has really helped me to connect with my spirituality and just knowing that I’m part of something larger.
Donnell Alexander (37:34):
This was recorded in Vegas, Al Harrington.
Al Harrington (37:37):
You know, right now it’s popular to have the token black brother on the team. And that’s real. And I’m telling you that because I have meetings I go into and go and meet with MSOs and the one black guy that work in the office like, come come come in. And then they just sit in the meeting. Don’t say anything.
Donnell Alexander (37:54):
There was this weird thing where I saw him playing high school. He had a lot of pressure to become an NBA player. He was like 19. I thought it was the worst idea in the world and I was going to put all that in the podcast, but I didn’t, clearly it’s worked out fine for him.
Alex Halperin (38:10):
Al Harrington had some very astute thoughts on the role black people are currently having in this industry.
Donnell Alexander (38:19):
When I’m going through all this tape, not only do I find that people speak jumbled and I ask a lot of stupid questions, I find that sometimes this mask itself as a show about cannabis, that’s a show about social equity and I feel guilty about it, but not really. And I think that Al Harrington displays this kind of intolerance for what’s kind of routine. We do that show that sounds like a podcast about social equity and we come across some really good ideas. And actually it was you who mentioned Alex, that a campaign to get the right product on shelves in stores because people in cannabis care about where their stuff comes from disproportionately compared to most consumers who was it, from the Weedies? It was Amber Senter who brought this idea that I’d never thought about that. You know, giving people entry into cannabis business isn’t necessarily helpful if you don’t want to get into it. And if you’ve been wounded in the drug war, you might not want to deal with it again. So I commend you for that aspect of it. We’re funny and entertaining, but there’s actually new ideas here. And I talked to people in government who listened to us.
Alex Halperin (39:23):
With regard to Al Harrington. There’s a lot of distinctions between tokenism and valuing having a diverse team and I think he really cut to a lot of the real issues.
Donnell Alexander (39:37):
Yeah, it’s hard for people to listen and I want to thank our listeners for coming back all the time, especially y’all white people. It’s just amazing that you come back again.
Jesse Staniforth (39:45):
Hey, this is Jesse Staniforth Canada’s WeedWeek editor up here in Montreal. I’m a long way from Alex and Donny down there in Los Angeles, but I’ll tell you one thing, which is that there are few people in this industry I would rather sit down with and talk to about all the ins and outs and the goings on every week that I tune into the WeedWeek podcast is an opportunity for me to listen to those two guys like I was sitting in the room with them having a conversation. It’s an enormously valuable thing and I’m very grateful that exists. Thanks guys and congratulations.
Alex Halperin (40:10):
That’s our show for this week. As always, you can find us on Twitter and Instagram at WeedWeek news or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Molly Peckler (40:16):
The best place to keep up with me and Highly Devoted is on instagram@highlydevoted or you can check out our website highlydevoted.com.
Alex Halperin (40:25):
And for about some more weed news, you can sign up for the WeedWeek newsletters, weed week, WeedWeek Canada and WeedWeek California all at weedweek.net. And if you’ve gotten this far we’d love it if you could give us a review on iTunes. It helps folks find the show. On this hundred episode, I’d also like to thank, Hailey Fox who co-hosted the first, approximately third of our episodes, Alicia Byer, who’s done such a terrific job writing our theme music, our producers Hannah Smith and our current engineer, Larry Buhl and of course our producer Donny Shell.
Donnell Alexander (41:03):
I want to thank Hannah up because Hannah taught me how to produce these things in addition to other people and she made some of these episodes go. She taught me a lot. I want to thank Eileen who gave a bunch of ideas in her short time here and of course the late great Andre Bush of Fresno. They say the first 50 are the hardest to do. I beg to differ. Thanks for hanging out this first hundred episodes. You can also go back through the entirety. You can listen to all these people that you heard from today on our show page.
Alex Halperin (41:34):
We hope you will. I’m Alex Halperin.
Donnell Alexander (41:36):
And I’m Donnell Alexander.
Alex Halperin (41:38):
Our show is produced by Donny Alexander and engineered by Larry Buhl, Alicia Byer wrote our theme music. We’ll see you again here for the next hundred episodes later.
Donnell Alexander (41:49):
I’ve always wanted to ask you this one particular thing because when I was young, I hit my head when I was 17 and it changed me a little bit, it was one of those things that made me think about this quote made me accessible to this quote from George Carlin and he said, “a little brain damage is good for you sometimes.” Do you agree with that?
Speaker 17 (42:10):
I don’t know. That’s pretty interesting. Saying that stuff to me, I’m really bizarre sometimes.