My Cannabis “Why”

A Live FACEBOOK feed on “Why” Cannabis is important.

A Young lady came into the shop and declared she was 6 month clean from Meth and had just regained custody of her children.

Finding Your Way to The Other Side of Trauma With Cannabis

As posted in Elevate

I wasn’t sure how to start this piece. How do I have a conversation about what happened on October 1? Should I say where I was? Seems insignificant in comparison to where the victims were. Do I say how I felt? How I feel isn’t as important as how the victims and their families feel.

Honestly, I am unsure if anything I write matters in comparison.

Almost a month ago, Las Vegas was involved in a mass shooting. This city and I will never be the same.

Two days after the shooting I boarded a plane to California to see my son. The timing couldn’t have been any better. I was overwhelmed with emotions and I needed to hug my son. As I sat on the plane I began to write my son a letter. It’s a habit I began the first time I flew away after he was born. It helps relieve my anxiety.

You see, I am Bipolar type 2. As a result of my mental illness, I suffer from mania from time to time. As I get older it gets worst. I am not sure when or why I get anxiety and or panic attacks, they just happen. Here I was on a plane to California two days after the nation’s deadliest mass shooting and the pilot had just announced we were going to be delayed due to Air Force One landing.

I felt myself panicking.

I took deep breaths and started talking myself down. Reminding myself that my anxiety was all in my mind. I was okay. Everything would be okay. My panic was increasing and I knew I had just a very few minutes left before I would be irrational. I jumped up and asked to use the restroom. The flight attended told me I had to be quick because they were sure we were going to be given the okay to take off soon.

I went into the restroom and looked at myself in the mirror. I told myself to calm down. Nothing was helping. Thankfully I carry my RELAX CBD vape pen around my neck at all times. I knew I was risking being thrown off the plane but I had to take the chance. I was overwhelmed and seconds away from a full-fledged panic attack. If you’ve never had a panic attack, for some, the symptoms mimic a heart attack.

I inhaled the vape three times and allowed myself to relax.

The flight attendant knocked on the door and said they had been given the okay to take off and I would need to take my seat. I sprayed my body spray before exiting and went to my seat. My anxiety had subsided before we had taken off. I relaxed and enjoyed my flight.

Many people are suffering from 1 October in a variety of ways. I have received an influx of questions regarding cannabis and its effects on PTSD, anxiety, and stress. Every time someone asks me about treating their ailments I ALWAYS recommend a CBD (cannabidiol) treatment. CBD is cannabis’ secret weapon and has significant medical benefits, but does not make people feel “stoned” and can actually counteract the psycho-activity of THC. The serum comes in many different forms — one less intrusive than the other. CBD has been known to send lifetime illnesses in remission and submission. The cannabinoid has been effective in dissolving blood clots, acts as a healing aid for skin issues and has anti-inflammatory properties.

For me, it takes the place of my anti-depressants and anxiety pills.

I am proud of how the Las Vegas community has come together and loved on each other. If I were able to, I would have offered EVERY SINGLE one of the victims and their families a week’s supply of CBD elixir. I know it would have aided in some relief as they dealt with what they had witnessed. We are #VegasStrong.

Stay Engaged

​On Sunday night I had a conversation with my team about staying engaged with our patience. 

It’s been 37 days since we’ve been recreational and I’ve seen as many people in those days as I have all year. It’s been overwhelming! I feel like I’m being pulled in 100 different directions and I haven’t necessarily been effective. 


It’s not my intent to be absent in the moment but it’s happened more times than I’d like to admit. 


Sunday I had an African American couple come into the dispensary RIGHT BEFORE WE CLOSED! I could see they were skeptic but I was “too busy” to consult them. I was in the cage watching them go from one consultant to another. 

They were in our consultation space for 45 min. 


I have EXCELLENT consultants but on this particular Sunday, none of my consultants were African American. 


As I watched the couple in my camera I began mumbling to myself, “why were they taking so long?” Why in the hell hadn’t my consultants closed this deal. What the hell was the problem?! 


I sat in the cage fuming. I was tired and I wanted to go home! 


We close at 6:00pm. At 6:15 they Finally came to the cashier. As the cashier was repeating their order, they turned around and started walking to another display case asking questions. 


By this time I’M OVER IT! I come out of the cage with the intent to get them out of my store. As I’m walking from the cage to them I catch a glimpse of my reflection in the glass window. I see the sternness of my face and in that moment..I was aware and awoke.
I relaxed my jaw and reminded myself why I get up every morning.
As I approached the couple I could see their concern. I asked the questions I knew no one had asked. The same questions I always ask my patience. 


1. What will we be using Cannabis for? 


2. What are you currently using? 


3. What part of Cannabis frightens you?


Anytime I’m going to Consult I know I need the WHOLE story and my people love to tell me their stories. That’s how I’m able to be most effective.
I found out He was a diabetic bus driver with chronic back pain and arthritis. He  can not use THC. 


I suggested some things but because I suggested something completely different from my consultants he was skeptical. 

By this time it’s 6:30 pm and my team is watching.
I’m finally COMPLETELY engaged with this couple. I’ve made up my mind that they were leaving believers. 

I pulled out my handy sample kit. Sprayed his hands with a CBD pain elixir. Kept talking to him in a calm voice and waited for him to feel the relief.
His pain subsided, he was amazed. My team was in awe and I had finally won his trust. 


It’s easy to disregard the people by “doing business as usual” but that is NOT why I fell in love with Cannabis.


I fell in love because I love to serve and I knew, if the people would believe, Cannabis could assist my people that suffer with lifetime illnesses have a better quality of life. 


I’m NEVER doing business as usual. I don’t care about impressing people. I’m ALWAYS looking for the next opportunity to make an impact. 


It is my pleasure to serve. 


exchangethehigh.com
Engage with my at http://www.Urbanlasvegas.com

I’ll Never Forget 

Day 3 of legalization in Nevada and I’m lying on my couch thinking about how many of my uncles, brothers and father’s are still incarcerated because of this plant I’ve been legalized to sell. 

I think my community thinks I’ve forgotten. I’ll Never Forget who’s blood was shed for my opportunities. As a matter of fact, I strive for excellence in an industry where I’m less than 1% because I’ve been impregnated with the responsibility to be the best BECAUSE I am the less than 1%. 

It’s now my responsibility to know more, shine brighter and be even more available. Its become my duty to educate and promote Black own and Black ran Licenses in the Industry. To expose people of color in the Industry so that our youth can have someone to aspire to be. 

I also consider it my responsibility to destigmatize African Americans in the Marijuana Industry. I get offended when people assume I’m somewhere “getting high” just to get high because I’m “in the Industry.” Then when I’m with my white counter parts they are being considered Industry leaders and are being asked legitimate industry questions.

 The media strategically puts African Americans on the news in their stories. They want to pacify us to believe we are more. We aren’t….

 I won’t forget. 

1 day before our first legalized Independence day in Nevada and I’m STILL fighting for my freedom.  I KNOW the police pulled over African Americans this weekend to see if they were High. I know our neighborhoods are being over policed and targeted because “we’re getting high.” I haven’t forgotten.
I love this Nation but I don’t always feel loved by this Nation. I’m still the black girl working in an industry where they call my brothers thugs. 

I won’t forget BECAUSE I’ll always be Black first. 

The Dawn of Legalization in Nevada

In less than 24 hours Nevada will sell marijuana to adults over 21. In a business full of people of means there is an anxiousness to stop the bleeding of cash. An estimated 46 Dispensaries in Nevada, all medical facilities have been operating in hope for this day.

Many of the Industry leaders in Nevada have spent most of their lives believing marijuana was a gateway drug and everyone that smokes it was a thug. Some of them still do. However, on tomorrow night, they will ALL make their mark as the FIRST to sell marijuana legally in Nevada.

Las Vegas is estimated to have over 40 million visitors this 4th of July. Many of them will absolutely try pot for the first time while they are here. I wonder how many of those people will walk into a minority owned establishment and purchase minority products?

While I will admit this is a time to celebrate I also can not help but mourn a little. I know that someone in my community is STILL incarcerated for the same amount of marijuana someone else this weekend is going to be able to purchase “legally.”

In 2016 I advocated for Question #2 because I knew legalization was what was best for my community. Not because of the dollar but because if there is a possibility ONE of my brothers didn’t go to jail for pot, my community wins. Also because I have a minority son and it is my responsibility to make a better future for him.

So although legalization is a victory for those who will profit, I am very much aware of the places where my community is losing. There is 1 Black owned Dispensary, 3 Black owned cultivation and not one black owned lab. That means the odds of someone walking into a minority by ethnicity owned dispensary is 45 to 1 and the odds of someone buying a minority by ethntecity product is 75 to 3. I know these numbers sound unreal but I can only write what I know. This is the place where I mourn our loss.

My mentor once told me, “everyone is ok with Minorities being employees, NO ONE wants us to own.”

I have seen the future of this industry and I am few and far between. The future is White male doctors, scientist, lawyers and politicians. They ALL believe this plant can help treat many ailments but their true consumers are minorities. Marijuana is legal, they are getting paid and they STILL just see us as thugs.

 

 

Marijuana is Now in the Gym

This is a damn good idea! Former NFL Running back Ricky Williams is set to open the world’s first Bud Based Gym in San Francisco.

Ricky and founder of 420 Games, Jim Mc Alpine will open a workout outpost where people can workout and vape or consume edibles in the facility, reports 

Williams was forced to miss the entire 2006 season after violating the league’s substance abuse policy, but played in Canada for the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts. Ultimately Williams played for the Saints, Dolphins and Ravens through the 2011 season, and in January 2012, surpassed the 10,000 career rushing yards mark, becoming the 26th player in the NFL’s history to do so. He retired from football a month later.

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the place will be called Power Plant Fitness and will be focused on enhancing workout performance and healing through the use of cannabis.

Good luck Ricky!! We at Blackabis are cheering you on!!

Nevada’s Marijuana Initiative “Question #2”

 

The preamble to the Nevada Marijuana Initiative states, “In the interest of the public health and public safety, and in order to better focus state and local law enforcement resources on crimes involving violence and personal property, the People of the State of Nevada find and declare that the use of marijuana should be legal for persons 21 years of age or older, and its cultivation and sale should be regulated similar to other legal businesses.”

“The People of the State of Nevada declare that the cultivation and sale of marijuana should be taken from the domain of criminals and be regulated under a controlled system, where businesses will be taxed and the revenue will be dedicated to public education and to the enforcement of the regulations in this act.”

Does the State of Nevada agree?

This is the question that every person in Nevada who is interested in Cannabis wants to know: is Nevada ready for adult use of marijuana?

Many Nevadans believe that since the state already offers legalized prostitution and gambling, that it just makes sense to legalize marijuana as well. On the other side however, there are others who believe that Nevada is a conservative state and that decriminalizing marijuana is not in the voter’s interest. Personally, I don’t believe that the average voter in Nevada has enough knowledge about the Marijuana Initiative to choose one way or the other.

The initiative was approved for the November ballot and was released on March 16, 2016 via the Nevada Secretary of State website.  It is a twelve-page, eight-section document in which three of the pages are descriptions of effects.  A few sections are titled: Definitions, Limitations, Powers and Duties, Personal Use, and Excise Tax. To my surprise, the language used in the Marijuana Initiative wasn’t difficult to understand and once I completed the reading, the direction the initiative would take here in Nevada became quite clear.

 

One thing that every voter in Nevada should know is that the intention of this initiative is to end prohibition and decriminalize marijuana.  Stated within Section 6., Personal Use and Cultivation of Marijuana, it allows for a person over the age of 21 (adult use in Nevada) to purchase, possess, or transport one ounce or less of a marijuana flower or 1/8 of an ounce or less of concentrated marijuana such as: edibles, wax, dab, shatter, etc. without prosecution.

Though adult use will no longer be considered a felony in the state of Nevada this won’t negate penalties altogether.  The initiative will make it legal for those over the age of 21 to grow their own marijuana as long as you don’t live within 25 miles of a marijuana retail store and where you grow must be out of sight and secured with lock and key. If you do decide to break this rule, the consequences are detailed in sec 14. Penalties.   This section states you will in fact incur a fine. The first violation is considered a misdemeanor with a fine not to exceed $600. The second offense will amount to a fine of $1,000. The third offense will be considered a gross misdemeanor and finally, after the fourth offense, an offender will qualify for a Category E Felony (1 to 4 years and $5,000 fine) . The penalties outlined in the Marijuana Initiative for growing plants illegally almost mirror the current penalties in Nevada for possession under an ounce of marijuana. With the exception of participation in a drug rehabilitation program and the third offense being a fine of $2000 and upwards of one year in prison.

It’s imperative that I point out the initiative will allow the state to impose a 15 percent excise tax on all wholesale sales of marijuana. This tax will be used to pay for the costs of carrying out the initiative (jobs) and whatever is left will be deposited into the State Distributive School Account (DSA) General Fund (education). As of April 2016, the state had collected $229,000 in taxes with the excise tax at only 2 percent. My News 4 for reported 75% ($171,949.19) of the revenue has already went to the Schools Account. This outstanding amount has only accumulated since Medical Marijuana Dispensaries opened in July. I have a son in school, so I know first-hand how much Clark County schools could benefit from this revenue. Maybe it will mean an increase in teacher salaries or even initiatives provided to prospective teachers? Currently Nevada ranks number three in the nation for highest high school dropout rate and ranks last with graduating African Americans. 

The initiative also outlines how, based on population, many retail store licenses will be made available to the state of Nevada and continues to detail what happens with the current medical marijuana business licenses. Current licensees will have 12 months to submit applications and the state has 90 days to execute each application beginning at the licensee’s submission date.

Lastly, I’d like to go on record saying, “I will be voting yes on question 2!” I am a registered voter in the state of Nevada and I wholeheartedly support the decriminalization of marijuana. Also, I encourage all of my fellow African-American entrepreneurs to go to the Nevada State Website and begin your application. Start looking for a place of business and get your investors/partners together. Get ahead of the opportunity, not behind it. If you can’t afford to start a marijuana business, there are many marijuana support business opportunities, for example: bookkeeping, human resources, cleaning, disposal, anything! We cannot be left behind!

~A’Esha Goins

 

For More information visit : Yes on Measure 2 

Picture courtesy of Regulate Marijuana Facebook Page.

Why Blacks in Cannabis Matter

Recently I had a discussion with an associate regarding Blackabis. He asked me why am I making being an African American in Cannabis a “thing?”

Let me start by saying, I am not the one that made being Black in Cannabis a “thing” our history did.

In 1971 President Richard Nixon proclaimed, “America’s public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive.”

 It should be difficult to have a  conversation about legalizing marijuana without bringing up the War on Drugs. After Nixon declared the War on Drugs he also placed Marijuana on Schedule one. (Other drugs on Schedule one are Heroin, LSD, Ecstasy, and Meth.) John Ehrlichman, Nixon’s domestic-policy adviser is quoted in Dan Baum’s article Legalize It All saying, “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

Ronald Reagan took office in 1981 with his election the anti drug hysteria had reached an all time high. President Reagan and his wife’s “Just Say No to Drugs” campaign introduced a no tolerance anti-drug  environment. The incarceration rate of possession went from 50, 000 to over 400,000 by 1997. Many of the possession offenses were for an ounce or less of marijuana.  Showing a disparity of over 60% being African American and Latino.

Today we are watching history evolve into the decriminalization of marijuana, which I like to call the “Free the Weed” era. In the “Free the Weed” era selective states are voting for legalization of marijuana  and marijuana commerce. In 2014 Colorado reported to have created over 10,000 jobs and 3.5 million dollars in tax revenue.   However, to qualify for employment and/or  ownership you had to be drug felony free. Which is the requirement for every state that has legalized marijuana commerce. Every employee and owner in each state has to register with their respective states as a legal cannabis worker.

The background check is another weeding out process ( pun intended). The background check automatically deters the African American and or Latino candidate. It also disqualifies any candidate that has a drug related felony. Which seems ridiculous considering you could do time for possessing an amount that is as little as a joint. AND who is more qualified for a job in marijuana than someone that has experience with weed?

I didn’t make being black in cannabis an issue or a “thing.” but I am black and in the business of cannabis. I am one of the few African Americans and even fewer of the number of African American women in the business. My opportunity doesn’t make me privileged it makes me aware. In my awareness I recognize the responsibility to advocate the decriminalization of marijuana, educate on the legalization of cannabis and inform the patients of their options.

A’Esha Goins

 

 

 

African American’s Will NOT Miss The GREEN RUSH

 

African American’s are not going to allow the Green Rush to happen without us!! Thanks to Amanda Lewis’s Buzzfeed article How Black People are Being Shut Out of the Weed Boom eyes are being opened and ears are listening. Even I have become acutely aware of  new opportunities that may become available in the Cannabis industry.

Black Enterprise’s Sirita Wright released a 2-part series entitled “11 African American Cannabis Entrepreneurs You Should Know” “11 African American Cannabis Entrepreneurs You Should Know” part 1 & Part 2 which just left me thirsty to know more. There has to be MORE than 11, right?

Let’s not forget what’s going on in San Francisco. Reverend  Brown, the head of the San Francisco NAACP in California, stepped up and asked the city to support Tiksiha Ong’s application for a dispensary. Kuddo’s to the NAACP!  I think that is truly endorsing the advancement of colored people.

I am excited for Ms. Wanda James in Colorado. I had an opportunity to speak with her when I was in Denver last February. She was solid in her advice an eloquent with her wisdom. She truly is a leader in this industry and let’s just say it… #blackgirlsrock

Finally, I personally know 4 additional African American’s in Cannabis. 1. Frank Hawkins (  NWC Dispensary) 2.Larry Smith ( G5 cultivation) 3. Jo Cato ( Cannabis focused Magazine, PULSE) 4. Leslee Wilburn ( Cannabis infused Masseuse, Ilan Massage)   I guess Las Vegas, NV is the forgotten city. Las Vegas has been Medicinal since 2006 but the state issued regulations for licenses in 2013. Nevada Wellness Center is black owned and the ONLY African American Owned Dispensary in Las Vegas with a predominately minority staff.

As we proceed we will discover NEW endeavours together. We will discuss articles that have been written about us, I will introduce other people of color in the Cannabis industry, I’ll report the changes in laws and advocate for patient care.

 

I look forward to serving my community.

A’Esha Goins

 

Picture courtesy of New Cannabis Venture:

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