California Dreamin’: Exploring the weed culture

By Bill Lewis
Reader Contributor

Several months ago, a medical marijuana company purchased a small, 120-acre town called Nipton, Calif.

Nipton is a nearly-deserted mining community north of the Mojave Desert and south of Las Vegas that was purchased by American Green for $5 million.

American Green has the wet dream of creating a community culture around medical and recreational marijuana. Imagine a Marijuana Spa of the world.

I came here to see what it was all about. But that’s another story.

I was sitting in my RV in Nipton thinking: I sure would like to go to MJBiz Trade Show in Las Vegas. The event is billed as “The largest cannabis industry conference in the world.”

The promoter, Marijuana Business Journal, charges $500 for a one-day ticket. That’s a little out of my league.

Then I had this epiphany: many years ago I wanted to attend an outdoor rock concert that featured Wolf Man Jack in Bellevue. I called Pete Thompson at the Daily Bee, and voila! I’m off to the concert, press pass in hand. Lesson learned. Thanks, Pete! Hello, Ben!

Marijuana evokes a multitude of mind candy. To some it is the devil itself, to others a creative supplement that enhances their artistic endeavors, or just kick back and enjoy the day. To many, it’s medicine.

I spent most of my time on the floor at the show, absorbing the current information regarding the miraculous aspects of this magical herb.

I heard stories that would give you chicken skin, stories relating how friends and relatives given terminal diagnoses that are now well and happy thanks to cannabis.

I heard stories about overcoming addiction from opioids using CBDs to manage their pain. CBD stands for Cannibidiol, which is one of the active cannabinoids found in marijuana. CBDs don’t have mind-altering effects like THC.

I heard stories about how reasonable the cost is for treating illnesses of all kinds with CBD.

The booths were manned by professionals who work for these companies. There were no models to attract the unwary, only knowledgeable people happy to share the story of their journey into the cannabis business.

The show itself was oriented toward the medical side of cannabis. Venders produced evidence of the many medical discoveries of the power of this herb.

One speaker was Bruce Linton of Canopy Growth Corporation. This Canadian company is devoted to medical cannabis. Linton claimed over 20 conditions which respond to their oils, tinctures and flowers. This as a result of 15 years of research and utilization by patients. Patients who abandoned the protocol of pharmaceuticals which are expensive and seldom actually cure.

There is now a plethora of anecdotal evidence showing palliative benefits as well as cures. Furthermore, there is new research revealing there are 90-plus individual cannabinoids which are now being tested to determine which of them — either singly or combined — work best to treat individual conditions.

The machines developed to process cannabis were amazing. They were high-tech hunks of stainless steel armed with computer brains that trimmed, weighed and filled containers with cannabis flowers. Even more amazing was the number of machines processing the flowers into tinctures, oils and edibles.

I’ve attended many conventions in four different industries, and I can honestly tell you, this was as professional as any I’ve attended.

Thanks, Ben and the Reader, for making this story possible. I have advocated for this industry for almost 50 years, and it is satisfying to see we are finally overcoming the Schedule I drug classification given to cannabis by Richard Nixon. Rest in peace, Tricky Dicky. We miss you, but not the trouble you caused.

For those of you who are adventurous and have Etrade accounts, you could learn a lot from these web sites: The Marijuana Times, technical420.com.

It’s the “Green Rush,” you know! Let’s hope Idaho jumps on the bandwagon in the near future to take advantage of this emerging industry.

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