Today’s episode explains where you can buy legal weed in the U.S., helps you understand what is driving the fast pace of legalization, and gives you a sneak peek into our new series where women share the story of the 1st time they bought legal weed. Happy 4/20!
Ellen Lee Scanlon: This podcast discusses cannabis and is intended for audiences 21 and over.
Timeka Drew: Okay. I can definitely remember the first time I bought legal weed in Northern California. I had just moved there not too long ago from Indiana. I was lamenting to my hookup at the time who was providing me with my medical cannabis. And he was going through the story about how he almost had gotten pulled over by the police. And he was worried because he had a bag of cannabis on his seat next to him. But then he went into this whole story about how it was actually not that big of a deal if you did get pulled over. And actually weed is legal for me. And I could actually go to a dispensary down the street and purchase it.
Timeka Drew: And at first I thought he was joking with me and I was like, “Stop joking. This is really mean to do to a medical cannabis patient. Don’t pull my leg like this.” But I did a little bit of research after that. And I found that I really could go down to the Compassionate Caregivers in Oakland. And that’s what I did. I went down and I did their intake and talked to their medical professional there. And they were very happy to help me out with my Crohn’s disease. And I bought a $400 ounce of Blue Dot. I think I probably cleared out one of my credit card credit limits at that time to do so. And it started there.
Ellen Lee Scanlon: Welcome back to How To Do The Pot. I’m Ellen Scanlon, the co-creator of the show. You just heard from Timeka Drew, the California based founder of Biko flower, who started in cannabis as a medical patient treating her Crohn’s disease. Today we’ll talk about where you can buy weed in the U.S., help you understand what is driving the fast pace of legalization and give you a sneak peek into our new series where women share the story of the first time they bought legal weed.
Ellen Lee Scanlon: Do you get How To Do The Pot’s newsletter? You can sign up at dothepot.com and please follow along on all our socials. And as always, if you like How To Do The Pot, please rate and review us on Apple podcasts. It helps more people find the show.
Ellen Lee Scanlon: This episode falls on 4/20, which has historically been a day of celebration for people who love weed. I remember being in San Francisco in 2016 and seeing a huge line on the street at about 10:00 AM. I didn’t know what was going on and asked someone in line who reminded me that it was 4/20. Beyond the great deals available at most dispensaries, it is a day to celebrate all the pioneers who have advocated so fiercely for legalization. The pace of change in cannabis has been really fast and COVID seems to have accelerated it even further.
Ellen Lee Scanlon: The past six months have radically changed the legal landscape in cannabis. In the November 2020 election, adult recreational use of cannabis, which means for anyone over 21, was on the ballot in New Jersey, Arizona, South Dakota, and Montana, and for medical use in Mississippi. It passed in every state. So far in 2021, Mexico has legalized cannabis and Virginia, New Mexico and New York legalized it through their state legislatures.
Ellen Lee Scanlon: So in the past six months, nearly 50 million people across the U.S. have newly legal access, 50 million people in six months. So if you’re over 21 and live in the now 18 states plus DC, check out the map of legal states on dothepot.com and I’ll link to it in the show notes. You can now possess, consume, and in most states, walk into a store or have we delivered to your house. In case that makes you a little nervous, we want to help by sharing the first time stories of women across the country. If you’d like to share your story, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or DM us at dothepot. Cyo Nystrom is the co-founder of Quim, a self-care line of CBD and THC-infused intimate wellness products for humans with vaginas and humans without vaginas who love vaginas.
Cyo Nystrom: I am going to tell you guys about the first time I ever bought legal weed. It was June 25th, 2015. I went with a coworker. I had gotten my medical card probably about a week or so earlier. And I know it was that date because we went after work to the Green Door in downtown San Francisco. And then we walked over to the opening night of Magic Mike XXL. I think we got a pre-roll and maybe some edibles, smoked downtown, probably not the safest or smartest place to smoke cannabis. And then went into the movie theater, which to this day is the best movie theater experience I’ve ever had. I’ve never been in a theater so filled with joy and with such a responsive audience. So that is my first legal weed experience. And I hope everyone got to experience Magic Mike XXL with the help of some cannabis because it made it even better.
Ellen Lee Scanlon: We cover a lot of topics relevant to women on How To Do The Pot. And I always want to share resources so you can learn more about cannabis. Have you listened to the Brave New Weed podcast yet? On Brave New Weed, journalist Joe Dolce interviews, the brightest, most provocative leaders in cannabis about science, politics, medicine, social justice, manufacturing, and all the many, many ways that cannabis touches our lives today. The show offers high minded conversations for the post-prohibition era. That’s where we are. And shines a light on this amazing, fascinating, and often misunderstood plant. The cannabis industry moves fast and Brave New Weed can help you navigate it, check it out wherever you listen to podcasts.
Ellen Lee Scanlon: Christine De La Rosa is the co-founder of The People’s Dispensary, a retail shop with locations in California and Oregon.
Christine De La Rosa: I was not somebody who smoked a lot of pot coming from Texas because Texas, when I was growing up, had a lot of skunk weed. So that’s what I was introduced to. And then when I went to California, it didn’t occur to me that there was better weed, to be honest with you. But also I was in a very high power job. I was a consultant, a technology consultant, a database architect, and really just doing my own thing. It really wasn’t until I got sick, which was around 2010, which was I got really, really sick. I almost died from a pulmonary embolism from undiagnosed lupus. And then spent the next five years suffering with the symptoms of lupus and the chronic illness and the flares and all of that and was on about 11 pills a day.
Christine De La Rosa: I bought my first legal weed in Oakland at Harborside in 2015. So I got my medical marijuana card, went to Harborside, having no idea what I should buy to treat lupus. I knew what I should buy if I wanted to get high. I knew what I should buy if I didn’t want to smoke, I wanted to eat, I wanted to do an edible. But as it pertained to what I was experiencing health-wise, I didn’t know. And never to shade anybody’s business, but when I got there, they didn’t know how to support me medically either. At that time it was a medical only, were not in adult use yet. And my particular person that I got just really didn’t know what to do. I was like, “So I have lupus. I have blood clotting issues. I have flares in my knees and my legs.” I’m telling them all the symptoms that they’re just looking at me like, “Well, here’s some indica.” I was like, “I don’t know that that’s exactly what I need.”
Christine De La Rosa: So I ended up buying a bunch of different things, flower, vapes, edibles, gel caps. And that was really my first experience. And I bought as much as I could afford because I knew I was just going to have to do trial and error. And I think where we are today, as opposed to where we were in 2015, we are leaps and bounds beyond somebody saying, “I really don’t know.”
Ellen Lee Scanlon: If you have questions about cannabis and auto-immune diseases like Crohn’s and lupus, stay tuned. We have upcoming episodes with medical experts and women sharing their stories about how cannabis has helped them with painful symptoms and allowed them to stop taking often more than 10 prescription drugs every day.
Ellen Lee Scanlon: The first time I bought legal adult use weed was on vacation in Colorado in 2015. I had read an article in Vogue about a dispensary called The Farm in Boulder, and really wanted to check it out. And it felt like the original Kiehl’s store on Third Avenue in Manhattan, an old-fashioned apothecary. The woman who helped us was so enthusiastic and knowledgeable and nice and welcoming. I remember saying to my husband that she was the best retail sales person I’d ever had. I think we bought a pre-roll and smoked it outside in Boulder later that night. It was surreal knowing that it was totally fine, totally legal. It was really an amazing experience.
Ellen Lee Scanlon: Today’s high five, what is driving cannabis legalization? Number one, social justice. 40,000 people remain in prison in the U.S. for cannabis crimes. More than 15 million people have been arrested for cannabis crimes just in the past decade. And although black and white people consume cannabis at the same rate, black people are four times more likely to be arrested than white people.
Ellen Lee Scanlon: Episode five of How To Do The Pot is about social justice and the modern cannabis industry, and explains the equity programs that are part of many states’ efforts to use cannabis legalization, to support the people and communities affected by the war on drugs.
Ellen Lee Scanlon: Number two, medicine for the people. Cannabis is currently a schedule one drug, which means it’s officially considered a dangerous substance with no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. If you’ve listened to our show, you’ve heard the very moving stories of how women consume cannabis for medicine. But a huge barrier is that the federal government still enforces restrictive policies and regulations around research. The states with legal cannabis are putting pressure on the federal government to make it easier to study the effects and provide real data about why it works for so many people.
Ellen Lee Scanlon: Number three, bi-partisan support. A 2020 Gallup poll showed that two thirds of Americans believe that cannabis should be legal. And it’s one of the only issues that different political leanings can agree on. Half of conservatives polled think that it should be legal, joining nearly 80% of liberals and moderates.
Ellen Lee Scanlon: Number four, COVID budget shortfalls and taxes. Have you ever heard the saying that history doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes? Alcohol was prohibited in the U.S. from 1920 to 1933. And one of the main reasons that prohibition ended at the federal level was to raise tax revenue during the Great Depression. States are looking at serious budget shortfalls due to COVID. And legal states are making literally hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue from weed. Politicians of all parties are paying attention.
Ellen Lee Scanlon: Number five, a financial opportunity. When a new industry that is conservatively estimated to be worth $25 billion sprouts up, a lot of people take notice. I love working in cannabis because it literally touches every part of our culture. And it’s only just beginning as a legal industry. We believe very strongly that women should play an equal role in its growth. Women are half the population, so let’s make sure women have 50% of the jobs, run 50% of the businesses and make up 50% of the board seats at companies in cannabis. And since women make nearly all household purchasing decisions, the fastest way to make equal representation happen is to vote with your dollars. The next time you buy cannabis, consider who’s running the company and tell your friends. Let’s make sure that everyone knows how important it is to buy from brands run by women and with the best interests of women in mind.
Ellen Lee Scanlon: For today’s strain wreck, High Times magazine has been spreading the word about weed culture since 1974. In honor of its many contributions to legalization, today’s pick is High Times’ number one strain of all time, OG Kush. OG Kush is also on our list. Check out episode 38 of our series Saturday Strains that demystifies the 12 essential strains every woman should have in her stash. OG Kush produces a euphoric stress, reducing high that’s good for chronic pain or to help you sleep. It can bring on the munchies and may also bring on dry eyes and mouth. In dispensaries, it’s usually listed as a hybrid. And if you can smell it, you’ll notice fuel, skunk and spice. As a chef I talked to recently said, “Your nose knows.” If you can, smell the weed and see if you like it. That’s a good way to start experimenting and find the strains you like best.
Ellen Lee Scanlon: For today’s podcast picks, I like Asian America hosted by Ken Bong. San Francisco’s Chinatown, a close look at the densest urban neighborhood west of Manhattan. How To Do The Pot, Cannabinoid Connect hosted by Kevin Carrillo. This is the episode with Evelyn LaChapelle, who’s the re-entry coordinator at the Last Prisoner Project, which is a nonprofit coalition of cannabis industry leaders that are dedicated to bringing restorative justice to the cannabis industry.
Ellen Lee Scanlon: Thanks for listening to How To Do The Pot. You can find us on Instagram @dothepot. And for lots of more information and past episodes, visit dothepot.com. Thanks to April Pride, Madi Fair, our brand manager and our producer, Nick Patri. I’m Ellen Scanlon, and we’ll be back soon with more of How To Do The Pot.