Posts in Cannabis 101
The Business of Cannabis: Cannabis on Tribal & Trust Land Pt. 1

Historically marijuana cultivation on tribal land was seldom. Cannabis Indica grew wildly and there was no need for them to grow mass amounts when, depending on where they were, they could gather and collect what they needed. Natives in early (written) documented years used marijuana for ceremonial and medicinal purposes. When smoking cannabis, which not all tribes did, they viewed this as way to connect with their Creator. Just like any ceremony conducted, Natives would use specific pipes to inhale the smoke. These pipes were seen as living beings and spirits, making the act a very personal ritual.

Cannabis on tribal.jpg

The late 1800s roll around and the USA now makes each tribe become federated and divi up the land they once roamed according to weather and food cycles. Now Sovereign Nations, each tribe has their own form of government called Council. One act of the Council is to bring forth a new law and oversee the passing of any law pertaining to their trusted land. To begin selling or cultivating cannabis, each tribal member must vote a majority to legalize the act. Even today, cannabis is legal in the state of Washington, but unless the tribe you have entered has legalized the substance, and very few have, you would then face a federal offense.

The Nisqually Indian Tribe, a tribe located in the state of Washington near Olympia, is where I met with a tribal member, Monty Sison, and the heads of their economic department, Cynthia Iyall and Bob Iyall (sister and brother), to discuss their plan in the coming years and/or if they even had one. Some tribal members have begun to make those first crucial steps in legalizing the plant by sending out a survey to each of the 900+ members. After analyzing the responses, about 80% of the tribe has said they are in favor of legalizing and getting involved in the cannabis industry, while the other 20% says no. Can you guess who the 20% are?

Elders traditionally have a lot of say in the tribal community. They are held to the highest regard, and their thoughts and opinions on matters are taken very seriously when deciding the future of their youth. Many of the elders today are from a time when the US government was putting the most money into propaganda, highlighting the (speculative) negative effects the plant holds in society. Many of these elders have also lost many friends and family members to substance abuse stemming from generational trauma, causing them to perceive the legalization of cannabis as a clear way of promoting a drug to Native youth.

Cannabis 2.jpg

Cynthia and Bob both stated that they will put the time and effort into planning as soon as the tribe votes and passes the legislation. Until then, they both have other economic opportunities to focus on. Both shared a concern over recent letters from Jeff Sessions to the heads of the state, claiming they are in route for a crackdown from the DEA.

Let’s rewind to August 23, 2013: Obama is in office, Michelle is our First Lady, and we've come to one of the most crucial moments in modern cannabis history. The Cole Memo is released. The Cole memo consists of eight guidelines for states to follow to assure that the federal government would not officially step in and interfere with the states' endeavors in regulating the schedule 1 substance. Put forth by Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole, the Cole Memorandum’s highlights are as follows:

• Preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors;

• Preventing revenue from the sale of marijuana from going to criminal enterprises, gangs, and cartels;

• Preventing the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal under state law to other states;

• Preventing state-authorized marijuana activity; from being used as a cover pretext for the trafficking of other illegal drugs or other illegal activity;

• Preventing violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana;

• Preventing drugged driving and the exacerbation of the other adverse public health consequences associated with marijuana use;

• Preventing the growing of marijuana on public lands and the attendant public safety and environment dangers posed by the marijuana production on public lands; and

• Preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property.


The Cole memo now gave free range, in some sense, to regulate the production and sale of cannabis. However, the memorandum was missing one very important element. Cole stated that this memorandum was allowing “state and local government” to regulate the production and sale of cannabis, leaving sovereign nations in question. Because trusted tribal land is the associated tribe's land to govern, a few tribes got the green thumb to join in what is now referred to as the “Green Rush.”

One Nation that is visible in the press for jumping in the game a little too quickly, and still has a court case pending against them, is the Flandreau Sioux Tribe in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. And yes, this is a federation of the same tribe that fought for their water rights at Standing Rock this past year. The Sioux tribe had high hopes (no pun intended) to have the first ever Cannabis adult resort. There, you would be able to stay at the five-star hotel, smoke amazing ganja, and all the while be immersed in the divinity of the first nations culture.

The tribe immediately held a Council meeting after the release of The Cole Memo, voted to legalize, and began breaking ground for a massive grow operation. Yes, the tribe did the right thing by legalizing cannabis on tribal land but what they failed to work with was that fact that cannabis was/is still illegal in South Dakota, making it still illegal for anyone, Native or non-Native, to buy any type of cannabis products and leave reservation or trusted land, or participate in resort or lounge activities and drive home intoxicated afterwards. Should anyone be stopped by police after doing so, they would face charges with the state of South Dakota, which would also be fronting the bill (via tax dollars) for jail/court.

Even though cannabis was legalized on trusted Sioux tribal land, the fact that their main consumer was traveling from an area of the state where cannabis was not legalized, posed a threat to the state of South Dakota. The federal government then proceeded to reprimand the Sioux tribe, stating that they had no business or right to legalizing cannabis before the state. Their Council ultimately decided to stay on good terms with the government by shutting down any future of the resort and burned their crop to the ground. But where did they go wrong? Cannabis was legalized on tribal land! They are their own sovereign nation and govern themselves (clearly only to a certain extent). What happened?! As mentioned above, the Cole Memorandum included all state and local government, leaving an unclear explanation as to where tribes fit into the picture...

...To be continued !  

~ Stoney Spice ~

Business Of Cannabis: "Killer Weed" Review

Killer Weed by Susan C Boyd and Connie I Carter provided great insight into Canada and their war on the marijuana business. This was not just about any marijuana business however, this book focused on British Columbia a.k.a the war on “BC Bud” and the grow operations. These grow ops were thought to supplement not just Canada, but the entire US nation filtering through Washington. Killer Weed broke down the facts and provided key examples as to how the media portrayed the industry versus the actual statistics. The amount of energy put into busting grow ops, especially those within racialized communities, is quite astonishing.


Where American government tends to racialize black and brown people in the war on drugs, Canada, to my surprise, racialized the Asian community above all others, specifically, Chinese and Vietnamese. Vancouver BC was portrayed and classified as the main hub for heroin dens and marijuana grow ops that filtered into the US. Washington State has stated their position by being very outspoken on the fact that the USA is being overrun by Canada’s drugs and forever claiming that “Canada, Mexico and South America has always been seen by the U.S. government as a threat.”

With pressure coming from the big bad U.S. to get their expansive drug runs under control, Canada’s law enforcement, the Mounties or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), began to switch gears and not bust your everyday average Joe marijuana user but start laying the law on the “major” grow ops that now “consumed” Canada. This was considered a $1-8 billion business. As pointed out by authors Boyd and Carter, the projected value of the market in itself is a large dollar amount with a very wide range. Carter also states that their projected numbers on the underground marijuana businesses are extremely unreliable, almost as if they are so unaware of the actual numbers and statistics that make up their War on Drugs.


Throughout the book, you start to get the feeling as though the media and the Mounties worked together in an effort to spread fear. Citing examples on how just about every news station was only reporting on a wild marijuana bust that of course involved a person of Asian descent terrorizing an all-white community with their drug/trap house in white suburbia, or how someone was robbed at gunpoint and later was busted in the act of using the money they stole to buy pounds of marijuana for mass distribution.

One point made that I found very interesting was that Parliament would have many motions brought to the floor to increase harshness of penalties against people who poses marijuana and are involved in marijuana grow ops (over 80% of these incarcerations were people of Asian descent), but the evidence brought to the floor was in fact false evidence. The statistics ultimately did not support their claims as to why penalties should be increased, this led the bill(s) to be dropped. This fight still goes on to this day. The RCMP has had many claims against them, pointing out that their public relations department “fluffs the news/reports” to cause fear in others, as well as profiling and racializing. Feeding their mission to not regulate but discriminate. Sound familiar?

~ Stoney SPICE ~ 

Cannabis 101: Intro to Shopping Legal Weed

Hey babes, hope you are taking care of yourselves and are enjoying your life! This post is from our Cannabis 101 series, which breaks down some of the "basics" of weed --- from identifying the different types of strains, to understanding some of its legal history. This post contains some tips for those just getting legal shops in their states on the east coast and throughout the country, and curious about where to start and what to ask your budtender when you go inside. Sometimes, though glorious, all the options can seem overwhelming and like anything, the more informed you are as a patient or customer, the happier you will be with your selection, and your experience on your weed journey will be much smoother :)


1. Let your budtender know if you want flower, concentrate, or edibles
Most dispensaries have a wide selection of products including pre-rolled joints, loose weed of all weight (up to an ounce per person in WA state) , vapor cartridges, or wax for dabbing in an oil rig. Knowing ahead of time if you're looking for something to smoke in a pipe, something already rolled for you, something to eat, or a topical will help your budtender know which products to show you. 

2. Let your budtender know what kind of high you are looking for
It is fun to experiment and try on different types of high, however it is helpful to have a starting point when talking to your budtender as it will speed up the selection process! Figure out if you are looking for a more cerebral, mental, and stimulating Sativa high, a more relaxing, body-centric, calming Indica high, or a Hybrid combination of both.

Samoas from Theory Wellness

Samoas from Theory Wellness

3. Let your budtender know your price range
If you don't they will likely show you the most expensive thing, which will likely be really nice, but they probably have something good in your reasonable budget (don't ask for the best weed in the store for $5 please!)

4. Let your budtender know if you have any allergies etc
This is more important, obviously, when dealing with edibles, which can come in almost any food item you can think of. Paying close attention to the ingredients can ensure you are not confusing any negative allergy effects with the effect of the weed, and also so you don't end up sick.

Ku$h action shot post-legal pick up

Ku$h action shot post-legal pick up

5. Let your budtender make suggestions :)
Budtenders talk about weed, look at weed, sample weed all day long, so similar to a wine connoisseur they will have good suggestions, but the better you articulate the type of experience you're after, the better their suggestions will be. 

Some spots/ companies on the east coast we recommend trying are:

Theory Wellness ~ MA
Theory Wellness is a new medical marijuana dispensary and cultivation facility in Massachusetts. As one out of only 10 companies allowed to operate in the state, they have quickly differentiated themselves through their focus on small batch, unique genetics and their dedication to expanding well-being through cannabis therapies. Knowledgeable budtenders can walk you through your first experiences. Tell them we sent you!

DC Taste Buds ~ Washington, DC
DC Taste Buds is an edible company run by Victoria Harris, Warren Brown, and Anna Leis. As DC's ONLY black and brown-run edible company and a team equally comprised of chefs and growers, they deliver soul and top-notch quality. Products will include doses and flavors for everyone and is a great place for those looking for excellent edible experiences. Check them out in DC dispensaries very soon, peep our caramel popcorn review, and stay up to date for the in-store release!

The ladies of DC Taste Buds

The ladies of DC Taste Buds

Pink Fox ~ Washington, DC
Pink Fox is a cannabis lifestyle brand based also in Washington, DC. Though you can order Pink Fox merchandise (such as T-shirts and hats) from anywhere in the country, if you are local you may also call to schedule an appointment to shop retail and receive a treat! Through supporting initiative 71, Pink Fox is able to provide cannabis and cannabis-infused gifts to their clients aged 21 and over as a thank you for supporting the brand. Since they technically do not sell weed, but rather support the cannabis lifestyle, chat them up while you shop for answers on weed facts or personal preferences without pressure of a sale. 

If you want a little more basic info still before making your first legal purchase, read up on THC and how to tell what kind of high you are after here!

We will make more suggestions for spots/ brands around the country. If there is somewhere you love and recommend drop it in the comments or send us an email!

~ Kenya Ku$h~


All Information Displayed In This Post Is For Educational Purposes Only, And Is Not To Be Construed As Medical Advice Or Treatment For Any Specific Person Or Condition. Cannabis Has Not Been Analyzed Or Approved By The FDA. Individual Results May Vary.

Cannabis 101: "Cannabis: a history" Review

Time for another valuable lesson on the policies, politics, and history surrounding cannabis in the west. This book report comes from one of Stoney SPICE's papers for her college class, The Business of Cannbis. Read below for her partial assessment of Cannabis: a history by Martin Booth and cannabis's legal history in the USA.


Cannabis: A History took me through a world that I had not realized existed. Sure, I knew that cannabis had been around in many cultures for many, many years. But little did I know the plant, solely used as a commodity, had such value to nations, particularly the U.S. That being said, I found it very interesting to learn the ins and outs of Britain’s forced trade with the New World settlers that began with a fiber better known as hemp.

When the colonizers ventured to the 'New World', Britain was at the time a major producer of hemp...or at least they were trying to be. Because hemp grew wild in so many places throughout southern Europe, it made it almost impossible to regulate a trade within the country and charge people when they could go gather what they needed in the hills themselves. But what about trading with the settlers in what was soon to be the United States? For hemp was not as abundant to them just yet. Or, what about forcing the new settlers to grow the hemp, ship it back to Britain for processing, and then ship the finished goods back to the settlers and sell it to them? Perfect!


During the 15th century hemp was not commonly used for medical or recreational use by the settlers, but to make thread, rope, cloth, paper, and food. This made hemp an important commodity worth the struggle and man power to produce. Colonies that were in Maryland and Virginia were known to be the main producers of hemp. Cannabis Indica being known for more temperate climates was more popular in these areas, but the settlers surprisingly enough grew Cannabis Sativa, making them responsible for introducing her to these areas.

Talk about the recreational use of cannabis amongst the colonizers is still up for debate. Though many of the 'founding fathers' were known to grow the plant, rumors float around historians' mouths that George Washington, being a hemp farmer dabbled for pleasure, as well did Thomas Jefferson ( though if true, it seems the plant had no effect on their moral conscious as both were devoted slave owners). But that doesn’t change the fact that hemp is still thought to have been grown strictly for trade and the widespread use of the fiber. If settlers during this time period were looking to use a mind-altering substance, they were more likely to use opium before consuming the resin that the female plants produced.

Cannabis: A History has done an excellent job of opening my mind to the history of hemp and cannabis in the west. Taking me on a journey through time and explaining the importance of cannabis/hemp to cultures around the world, I'm finding that this book is a must read for any doubter of the impact this plant has and has had on the world today.

~ Stoney SPICE ~