I am LaWann Stribling of STRIB'ble Treats by STRIB'ble District, LLC. My journey in cannabis began in 1994 after I was told I couldn't return home, essentially being kicked out the house on my 17th birthday.
After house hoping I found a family willing to allow me to stay for the winter months so I wouldn't be outside. That family indulged in a plant like substance I was not familiar with. All I know is they were always happy, smiling and laughing. One day I asked if I could join in, after a few weeks of asking I was finally given a shotgun. To me that feeling was everything, it took away the depression I was feeling, helped me sleep and allowed me to smile. I indulged when it was available to me. For 13 years I partook and at some point I felt like I was abusing the plant to keep me numb.
I decided I would quit and needed to focus on getting my mental right.
Years later, married with 5 more kids I realized that was suffering from severe anxiety and insomnia. My husband and I talked about it and decided to give this plant a try again. 11 years had passed by and I knew I couldn't handle flower so I spoke with a family friend and was able to acquire edibles. The edibles were wonderful yet I didn't like the fact that I had to eat things I didn't care for.
At that time I decided to go back into my research and learn more about the plant. I bought and read 3 books about cannabis. From there I began creating my own ghee cannabutter, delicious desserts and even a beast pain cream. I love the fact that these infused desserts have brought joy to many elders. They appreciate having a delicious treat after dinner that helps alleviate pain and allowed for great sleep. I look at myself as a healer for our community. I've hosted CannaWomen info sesh to bring the knowledge and awareness to our community to end the stigma.
While we were at the opening of the Culta Cookies launch party, we ran into our friends Evan Weinstein and Chris Keating of the Moonrise Festival, a regional marquee entertainment event on the East Coast, Evan one of the founders of this local-legend Summer time party in the city took a few moments to get acquainted with Our Community and chat with us on the record.
How did it all begin... Origins of the Moonrise Festival and your overall vision?
With Starscape Festival going away, we knew we had to come up with something new for the area. There has always been a solid dance music scene that stretches back decades. The focus became on what’s next. The name itself was just something we came up with in a brainstorm session at our office. I actually came up with it this name while we were putting names up on the board. The moon is an extremely interesting celestial body that has tons of weird theories and mystique tied to it. So it just worked.
How long have you and Chris (pictured right) known each other and where are you from?
Chris & I, we’ve known each other for a while. We worked on a bacon festival tour together a few years ago.
Tell us about the behind the scenes challenges of running such a popular show @ the scale you guys are doing it?
The line up is a tough challenge for us every year. You want to keep it relevant, but keep it fresh, but also take some risks and push the envelope a little. Last year I feel like we really nailed it for both the fans and for ourselves. Its a real blessing when you get to work with artists who are not just successful and talented but you also really love their music.
We also had some slots open that ended up being filled by some really talented artists who have emerged since the beginning of the year like Lick, Brondo, Death By Romy. The line up last year was just solid in my opinion.
Many artists use cannabis, how would you say the cannabis connection to the creative and performing arts influences how the artists make music and how the fans enjoy it.
The connection between cannabis and creativity goes back hundreds of years if not more. One of my favorite books is called Writing on Drugs, and its all about the influence of drugs on popular authors and their work, Cannabis has a huge section in that. Ultimately I think artists are always looking for ways to expand their mind in different ways and they have found that cannabis does that for them.
We agree... Thanks Evan. Hit Those Links Below
Greetings fellow Connoisseurs, we are chatting with Malcolm Roberts... Who is a very active member of the Maryland Cannabis Community and Scene, he's agreed to answer a few Q's for our Community Quick Hits.
At 23 years old you have to be one of the youngest MD Dispensary Managers, how did you initially get into the medical cannabis industry and what's your journey been like so far, seems to be pretty good and I bet your friends are jealous?
-Thanks for having me Greg, I wouldn’t say they are jealous, more so interested to learn about the advantages I bring to the medical cannabis industry throughout Maryland. As far as me starting out in the industry, I began my adventure with Melting Point Extracts (MPX). My main duties were cultivation, lab processing, and deliveries. With my experience & connections I gain from working with one of the biggest processors in Maryland I expanded my horizons and ended up moving up more towards my field of expertise which is operations management. Developing relationships with our amazing sister store Southern Maryland Relief. Michelle, Brittani, and Justin were directly involved in the development of Blue Ridge Wellness.
MC - What's it like to work on the front lines in Cannabis retail? I bet there are some big challenges and conversely big opportunities? What do you look for in a good team member?
Working in cannabis retail has its advantages and disadvantages. Cannabis helped me when I broke my L1 Vertebrae in a horrible car crash so watching patients receive medicine that’s healthier than general pharmaceutical meds is rewarding in its own personal way for me. Same goes for my team at Blue Ridge. We may not be able to relate to your ailments all the time, but I always make sure we are educated enough on the condition to have you leaving out the door confident with what you are using.
Day to day operations at Blue Ridge are very personal and laid back, we’ve incorporated our dispensary into a house style vibe, when you walk into Blue Ridge you’re welcomed by our secretary, and then transferred into our waiting room. Generally, we don’t have long wait times so when your names are called, our security sends you over to one of our Patient Consultants in the sales area. We have a very knowledgeable and friendly team. Julian for example is more into Sativa flower whereas Nick is more of an Indica type. Both are still very knowledgeable, but it adds to the experience factor you receive at Blue Ridge Wellness. We are a deli-style dispensary where we not only weigh out flower but concentrates as well. That makes us the second medical retail, to offer that in the whole state of Maryland. We always would like our patients to leave with more knowledge about cannabis then when he/she checked in.
I hear you are making some waves with your music project, tell our readers about that aspect of your life and do the two mix?
As far as my music, Me having my first sold out show last year at Baltimore Soundstage in March with international headlining artist “A boogie Wit Da Hoodie”. I’ve retracted back from the stage front and began working on my fundamentals again so that I can have another great year. I’ve recently became a father of my first son “Legend”. There is no greater feeling than being a father and inspirational role model for him. My music gained a lot of attention from medical dispensaries and landed me to be the first artist to become sponsored by a medical dispensary in Maryland! From then I just reached out and developed genuine connections with powerhouses in the industry and it’s kind of took off from there. My diverse and unique attitude I would say is what makes me stand out and leaves an impression on people.
Prefer Bong, Vape, Pipe or Joint... Flower or Concentrate and lastly favorite food while medicating?
I prefer a Big Dab out of my rig to start and end my Day lol. My favorite food to eat medicated is chocolate chip cookie dough
Greetings fellow Connoisseurs, we are chatting today with David Hernandez the Maryland Director for CannaGather Baltimore a local and regional networking organization, their mission statement:
We attended the Launch Party back in March @ The R House (Great Spot) with speaker George Martorano where the overall vibe was informative and fun with a heady mix of vendors, speakers and selfies... lots of selfies, we saw many of our friends and made some new ones @ the party and had a mellow great time... A couple gummies prior helping out with the latter.
Since then CannaGather Baltimore has been meeting regularly and fortunately they have expanded and grown their networking meetings into something that is becoming a force in the developing Maryland Cannabis Scene.
MC - David will tell us a bit about how he came to CannaGather, what they're all about, some personal fave strains and his current track choice.
David H - For those who do not know, Cannagather started in New York as a cannabis networking and community group focused on fostering an inclusive and informative environment for the regions budding Cannabis Industry! Since it’s inception back in April of 2014 the platform has spread to having chapters in 17 cities across the U.S. and Canada! My journey with Cannagather started back in March of 2018 when I attended my first Cannagather event in New York City with my friends at Happy Munkey.
From my first interaction with the platform I fell in love with how this networking event, unlike many others I had been to, was so successfully creating a welcoming and engaged cannabis community. Even though I was living in Baltimore from my first event on I made a point of not missing any Cannagather’s, moreover I also made it goal to visit the other Cannagather chapters across the North East.
It was not until MJ Biz Con 2018 in Las Vegas where I was first inspired to bring the Cannagather platform to the DMV area. After about 6 or 7 months of attending Cannagather’s in New Jersey and New York I was eager to shorten my traveling load, but more importantly bring the same community building space I was traveling for down south! I was first hired as VP of community for DC Cannagather in January 2019, which was an eye opening experience into the hectic world of event planning! Just to give you an example, the night of first Cannagather DC the venue we rented literally caught on fire! Luckily we were able to find a lot minute venue change, and even more luckily the event turned our great!
While I was enjoying Cannagather DC something I noticed was that there was still a huge disconnect between the Maryland community (particularly in Baltimore where I was living) and any events in DC. So I began planning on how to bring Cannagather to not just Maryland, but to Baltimore! In my eyes Baltimore is a city that is starved for safe spaces for positive community building, especially in the cannabis space! So in April of 2019 I convinced the CEO of Cannagather to let me open up a Baltimore chapter and the rest is History!
What is your personal medical cannabis story? Tell our readers what if any issues does it help with you David?
My Medical Cannabis story starts here in Maryland back in 2014 when I enrolled and moved into my dorm at Goucher College. Prior to moving down to Maryland I was living in my hometown of New York City with my parents where I was at best an occasional cannabis user. And in no way did I view my use as medicinal. That all changed once I was introduced to the freedom of college living! Having been a sufferer of debilitating Migraine headaches I was a daily user of klonopin, topamax, maxalt, and zolmitriptan.
However I decided to stop taking medications after I had interaction with someone living on my residence hall, where I was left feeling uneasy and introspective about my prescription use. A decision I wanted to make now living away from home. At the same time as I stopped using prescription pills to treat my migraines, I was introduced to the world of concentrates and my favorite way to consume, dabbing! Within weeks of enrolling I was a habitual cannabis consumer, consuming a minimum of three times a day. And at the same time I noticed a steep decline in my migraines, which I quickly attributed to my newly found smoking ritual.
It was not until 2018 I actually applied to be a medical cannabis patient, citing my chronic pain from Migraine headaches as my medical qualification. Today I am still a proud medical cannabis patient and I can also proudly say my migraines are virtually a non issue anymore! In the rare occasion I do begin getting the feeling of nausea or dizziness from an emerging migraine, I use RSO to relax and if needed help sedate myself to ward off a full fledged migraine.
Lastly David, what strains and/or concentrates and MD cannabis brands do it for you... and favorite music track currently?
At the moment some of my favorite products / strains coming out of the Maryland medical cannabis program are:
I have very eclectic musical taste! I am huge fan of Rap and Hip Hop, but in the last few weeks I have been really enjoying Vaporwave music, as well as more synth heavy tracks.
"On the days that call for dabs, I am always on board with Budders or Batters, our Greasy Grapes from our newly harvested outdoor crop has one of the best dab flavor profiles I have ever had..."
Greetings fellow Connoisseurs, we are chatting today with Karly Ziegler who works for Culta Cannabis as their Field Marketing and Merchandising Specialist. We see Karly all over Maryland delivering the good word about wellness through Culta Brands - Culta Cannabis + Concentrates, Sun Grown, Willie's Reserve CBD Rich Flower and their chic dispensary in Federal Hill, she's a busy person so we're thankful she can take a minute to chat with us.
She'll tell us a bit of background on Culta in Maryland, working in the cannabis bizz and most importantly her fave strains, concentrates... and current fave music.
I have been to one of her In-Dispensary Presentations @ Culta and was impressed with the amount of detail and depth of knowledge one must posses to do the job, part salesperson - teacher and science geek, there is a lot of science in what they do setting the foundation for a HIGHER more informed conversation with Our Community
Karly please tell us a bit about your job and Culta in general, what are some of the challenges and opportunities in your position?
Currently I am Cultas Field Marketing and Merchandising Specialist! I handle various education and PR tasks such as pop-ups, marketing collateral, budtender training, packaging, apparel. Recently I have also been overseeing our larger music events like Moonrise and Fright Night. I have a very unique opportunity to travel through the state meeting clients, patients and industry enthusiasts. It gives me the ability to see the industry from a very interesting perspective.
Given that Culta is vertically integrated I have the joy of working with the plant from seed to sale. Watching our entire staff care for the integrity of the plant, look out for our patients and strive to provide a great experience for anyone who comes across our brand and flowers, is a great blessing!
We know that Culta - Cookies (TM) will be launching in January... There is intense interest in the Cookies brand in general, with Berner its creator and the introduction into the Maryland Market of one the first Super Star brands from California, I am starting to see the iconic blue "Cookies" t-shirts popping up at events and online, seems there is anticipation building, care to talk a bit about the brand tie-in and launch for our readers?
We at Culta are EXTREMELY excited to launch these products and we see that the industry is getting amped up too! We love that the support for our products and brand has translated over to our newest partnership with Cookies. The flowers look and smell amazing and will be ready for harvest shortly as we prepare for our January 11th launch party!
We anticipate a good number of patients coming out to get first dibs on these products, we invite everyone to come down and party with us! It will definitely be a Maryland Industry first!
We have heard a lot about the industry and the job, tell us a bit about your personal faves... what strain and concentrates do it for you?
I'm a flower girl, tried and true. So I stick to buds mostly, our coveted DoSiDo#22 remains supreme in my tops faves. Scooby Snacks, SFV, and Hazmat are close behind. Blunts or my AMG beaker bong are my preferred methods of medicating. On the days that call for dabs, I am always on board with Budders or Batters, our Greasy Grapes from our newly harvested outdoor crop has one of the best dab flavor profiles I have ever had, I have gone through about 5gs of that so far! My newest found love is with RSO, I am convinced RSO can solve 99.9% of most peoples problems!
Lastly... Music you are currently into?
This is like asking me to pick a favorite snack, near impossible. Being a dancer for 16+ years you learn to like ALL kinds of music for your choreographer. Loving all type of genres from top 40 to country to 90s emo/angst music makes choosing one song pretty difficult!
But, my go to song for a pick me up or for a work out will always be 4 Non Blondes - Whats Up? (my parents would be proud)
We bet they are VERY Proud :) Thanks Karly
Greetings fellow Connoisseurs, we are chatting with Evan Damareck who is the retail dispensary manager @ The living Room in Pikesville. Evan has agreed to chat with us about his job the medical cannabis "scene" in general and some personal faves a long with the likes and challenges of working on the front lines in retail medical cannabis in Maryland.
Hi Greg. Thanks for taking time to chat with me. I love cannabis and have been a daily smoker since I was 17 or 18. My mom suffered a stroke 40+ years ago and seeing her slow decline in health and gradual dependency with opiods are the reasons cannabis as an alternative medicine has always been passionate for me and it seemed like a good career path, however that’s been a struggle getting her help because of the damage and pain the stroke caused. I started looking into the cannabis industry by looking on the MMCC website and looking up companies that won licenses. Then tried finding connections through LinkedIn, or looking if companies were hiring on their websites and went from there.
From day one the experience has been amazing, making every day truly feel like a vacation. The education part is ever growing and I’m constantly wanting to sharpen the sword. Meeting people throughout the industry in addition to patients has been a great experience too, hearing about all the different reasons people care for this great plant we call Cannabis. We recently re-branded to The Living Room and that’s been a great experience, the owners and team really stepped up to make their vision a reality.
Day to day cannabis dispensary work is challenging but so rewarding. You are working with patients who need their medicine and could be in great pain, or just hurting when they walk through that door. Having compassion and understanding along with wanting to give good service are 3 important qualities dispensary workers should have and part of what we look for when building our team. Following the COMAR state regulations is the #1 priority, its also important to be able to deal with change.
Change is a constant in this industry and something you really need to be ok handling, that can be challenging for some people. The recent vaping situation would be a good example of the need to be able to adapt and handle constant change.
Currently Evermore products are my favorite for flower and especially concentrates. By far Purple Obeah. Every time it blows my mind, the flower, the concentrate, any way shape or form, it’s a flavor profile that’s sweet/fruity and unique and nothing out there has matched it in my opinion. Blueberry Muffins flower is another good one with a unique fruit profile along with the concentrates too! GrapefruitZ and GMO are some of my favorite concentrates, especially as live resin batter or HTFSE/HCFSE. GMO for the opposite reasons I enjoy Purple Obeah so much.
GMO has a funk and stink to it that’s so different and stinky but in a really good way. Mag Landrace and Thai Lights flower by Verano or Donkey Butter and Poochie Love by Culta are some of my other favorite flower strains too.
MC - Bong, Vape, Pipe or Joint... Flower or Concentrates?
Evan - All of the above!
Usually flower throughout the day by bowl or Dart pod vapes, concentrate dabs in the evening out of my HS or MJ Arsenal mini rigs, and on occasion discos before bed.