1st Time I Bought Legal Weed

Karyn Wagner and Chris Russo, Stars of Lady Buds

Episode 179

Show Notes

Karyn Wagner and Chris Russo

In today’s episode we hear from Chris Russo, director of the compelling documentary Lady Buds. The film follows the journeys of women entrepreneurs in California’s famed Emerald Triangle as they navigate the legal cannabis market. Chris takes us back to the first time she bought legal weed and shares her experience getting a medical card in Los Angeles. We also hear from Karyn Wagner, one of the stars of Lady Buds and a serial entrepreneur in the cannabis industry, as she shares her perspective on indoor vs outdoor grown weed. Enjoy!

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Podcast Guests



Ellen Scanlon (00:00):

This podcast discusses cannabis and is intended for audiences 21 and over. Welcome to How To Do The Pot, a podcast helping you feel confident about cannabis for health, well-being, and for fun. I’m Ellen Scanlon.


One of the biggest misconceptions about shopping for legal weed is thinking that you need to know a lot about cannabis before you go. You do have to bring your government issued ID, and it will make it easier if you bring cash. But visiting a dispensary has become a lot like a regular shopping experience now that more states have legalized it. This series is dedicated to providing you with a support system of women all across the country who have been in your shoes. While these women offer a lot of helpful tips and thoughtful observations, they’re not without a few mishaps and laughs along the way too.


I hope these stories make you feel supported, less alone, and a little lighthearted when you decide to make your first cannabis shopping trip. I really want you to have fun. Before we get into this week’s episode, I’d like to ask you to take a second and subscribe to How To Do The Pot’s newsletter. We are working hard to grow our audience and signing up will really help. The newsletter is a little reminder to feel confident about cannabis for health, well-being, and for fun. I love to hear from you too, so you can always reply and tell me about topics or guests you’d like to have on the show. Join the thousands of people who look forward to it twice a month by going to dothepot.com to sign up today.


Thank you. I really appreciate your support for this show. Chris Russo is the California-based director of the documentary film, Lady Buds. Lady Buds is a very moving story. It tracks women entrepreneurs in California’s famed Emerald Triangle growing region as they enter into the legal cannabis market. If you want to check it out, it’s available to stream on all the platforms. Chris takes us back to the first time she bought legal weed. If you’re not from California, at election time, we vote on a lot of propositions or ballot props. In 1996, California became the first state with legal medical cannabis after voters passed Prop 215. And then in 2018, adult use of cannabis became legal with the passage of Prop 64.

Chris Russo (02:44):

Before Prop 64 passed, we had something called Prop 215 in place in California, which was called the Compassionate Use Act that was passed in 1996 with the help of Dennis Perone and Scott Imler and the LGBTQ activists of the late ’90s during the AIDS crisis in San Francisco. In Los Angeles, they used to have these places you could go to see a doctor to get a medical marijuana card, if you will. I remember being so intrigued by this quasi-formal system that was set up. I went to this shady doctor’s office in Hollywood, in a strip mall, to get this card. I went into the office and the doctor visit was over FaceTime in the office in the strip mall to a “doctor.”


I told the doctor that I had trouble sleeping and anxiety, and I was out of there within a half an hour with a medical marijuana card and went straight over to Zen Healing in West Hollywood. Dispensaries at that time were a little bit scary to go into and they were dark and had bars on the windows in seedy areas. I remember I initially really enjoyed buying the Kiva Chocolate Covered Blueberries. Those were one of the first edibles that I bought in the recreational legal market. I liked to support women-owned dispensaries and smaller boutique dispensaries, kind of like a kid in a candy store when I go into them.

Ellen Scanlon (04:26):

One of Lady Bud’s stars is Karyn Wagner, a serial entrepreneur. Karyn entered the cannabis industry when she inherited her late husband’s cannabis farm in Humboldt County, California in 2010. When she first bought weed in the adult use market, she did not like the look of the product on the shelves.

Karyn Wagner (04:48):

I was appalled, absolutely appalled. The shelves of the dispensary were filled almost exclusively with indoor weed, warehouse weed, weed that had never seen the sun. Why is this so egregious? Indoor weed is a result of prohibition, and here we had legalization. Humboldt and the Emerald Triangle produce the absolute creme de la creme of weed. Our cool nights and hot stays produce the very, very best terpenes and overall cannabinoids. Why in the world would you smoke indoor weed? Indoor weed is also a climate disaster. It uses so much energy. It’s crazy.

Ellen Scanlon (05:34):

What’s your view on indoor versus outdoor grown weed? I would love to hear from you. If you want to learn more about Humboldt County and the Emerald Triangle, plus follow Karyn’s journey in legal weed, check out Lady Buds wherever you stream movies.


Thanks for listening to this episode of How To Do The Pot. If you’d like to share your story about the first time you bought legal weed, please send a voice memo to hi@dothepot.com or DM us at @dothepot. For lots more information and pass episodes, visit dothepot.com, and that’s also where you can sign up for How To Do The Pot’s newsletter. If you like How To Do The Pot, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts. It helps more people find the show. Thank you to our producers, Madi Fair and Nick Patri. I’m Ellen Scanlon and stay tuned for more of how to Do the Pot.



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