Submitted by: Danielle Rosellison of Trail Blazin’ Productions
If you’re reading WhatcomTalk, an environmentally friendly online publication of positive stories, I’m going to assume we have a couple of things in common. If I’m off the mark, well, blame it on the narcissism my dad was diagnosed with and assume it was genetically passed on to me.
We care about the environment. Whether it’s the natural beauty of Mother Earth that makes us feel at peace or a self-serving view that climate change will disrupt our food chain, the environment is precious to us. We make choices to protect the environment any time we can, like buying organic, riding public transit or buying second hand clothes.
We care about our local community. Understanding that the cheap prices associated with big box stores come at a price to our local economy is inherent in our spending habits. We choose to spend more at the farmers market or at a locally owned and operated business, because we know that additional cost will help our community as a whole in the big picture. Spending more now to save later is investing in our future. We get it.
So my question is: How can we get these values, intertwined among us, to transfer to the cannabis industry?
In case you are new to the area, Whatcom County is a mecca of exceptional cannabis; we are the Humboldt of Washington. We cultivate some of the best cannabis on earth. Our genetics have been honed over decades across our county. They write about our growing methods in books. We should be proud and honor the legacies of Whatcom County that helped get the cannabis industry where it is today.
That said, cannabis farmers, perhaps more than any other farmer, need your help. They need the values intrinsic to Whatcom County to show at the check out counter of the retail cannabis stores. The good cannabis farms that care about people over profit, that are stewards of the Earth, are being negatively affected by corporate greed. But you can change all that! Following are a few easy tips you can do when purchasing cannabis to vote with your wallet, to support your local community:
1) Ask what products are from Whatcom County. Per www.502data.com, there are 76 licensed cannabis farms in Whatcom County, enough to stock all 26 retail cannabis stores in Whatcom County from top to bottom. There are flower companies, edible companies, concentrate companies, topical companies, affordable product, top shelf product and the only medical marijuana flower company in Washington right here in Whatcom County, meeting the needs of every cannabis consumer. If consumers consistently asked for and only bought local products, all those dollars would go right back into Whatcom County. This is the most simple way that Whatcom County residents can support local cannabis farms. Suggestions include Cascadia Gardens, Clandestine, and Trail Blazin’, all of whom are Whatcom County farms as well as members of The Cannabis Alliance.
2) Purchase product that has been tested for pesticides. Washington is the only state that does not require pesticide tests on adult use cannabis. However, many farms test for pesticides anyway because they care about consumers’ health and safety. If you go to purchase a product and they cannot provide the pesticide results for that product or company, find another product that has pesticide tests. Look for the DOH “General Use” logo or the “Pesticides Tested with Confidence” logo to know it’s been pesticide tested. Everything from Trail Blazin’has the DOH “General Use” and the “Pesticide Tested with Confidence” logo on it, proving that is has been tested for pesticides and heavy metals. Pro Tip: “Pesticide Free” on the label means nothing without a pesticide test to back it up.
3) Buy more quantity, less single grams. Washington rules require cannabis to be individually packaged, and the industry, specifically The Cannabis Alliance a non-profit dedicated to the advancement of a vital, ethical and sustainable cannabis industry, is working on solutions to this environmental waste. However in the interim, the best thing consumers can do is purchase larger quantities, creating less waste. An ounce, whether in a glass jar or Mylar bag, creates less waste than 28 Mylar bags. Pro Tip: Most quantities are as much as half the cost of a single gram unit when broken down by gram. Save the environment and your pocketbook in one fell swoop!
4) Look for Clean Green or Certified Kind logos on products. These are private companies who say that their standards are the same as the USDA Organic certification, which cannabis companies can’t use since the term “organic” is a federal classification and the Feds don’t like us. The WSDA, with the help of The Cannabis Alliance, is working on a Washington organic certification, but in lieu of that Clean Green and Certified Kind is the best we have.
5) Join The Cannabis Alliance and shop at stores who are members of The Cannabis Alliance, like Satori or 2020. Preserving the values we share, encouraging a socially conscious industry, fighting the wrongs of the War on Drugs is a HUGE undertaking, especially as many cannabis licensees are also fighting to keep a new business in a new industry afloat. We need other people’s help. If you appreciate legalized cannabis and believe cannabis can be the catalyst to change the way capitalism operates in America, join The Cannabis Alliance. Our grassroots movement has gone toe to toe with Big Money in an effort to do what is right, not what is easy. The more members and volunteers we accrue the better our positioning to take back capitalism to work for the many, and not just a few.
As consumers, you have so much power to help our local community. Let’s rise up and take care of our local cannabis businesses that share the values that we as a community embrace.