Talking Oregon Cannabis Laws with Leighana | Interview #35

Talking Dabs, OLCC, and Oregon Cannabis Law with Leighana from Oregon.

Q: Leighana, what’s up?
A: Just living the dream here in Oregon, slinging weed and taking dabs! :)

Q: How long have you worked in the cannabis industry?
A: I have worked in this industry now for a year and four months. I started as a budtender for the first 10 months, then as a budtender/administrative assistant for about 5 months, and now I am the assistant manager and I must say, I love my job!

Q: Mind sharing where you work?
A: I work for at Oregon’s Herbal Remedies in Veneta, Oregon. About 10 min outside of Eugene on the way to the coast; home to the Oregon Country Fair.

Q: What are some major changes you’ve seen in the industry since recreational has become a thing?
A: I’ve witnessed a lot of changes take place, really the laws seem to be constantly changing. Some of this biggest ones though I think would have to be the requirement of extractors to become licensed processor’s, the dosage of medical edibles dropping to a 100 mg potency limit, and the name changes of certain strains. The requirement of extractors to become processor’s was a huge shift in the law. It put a lot of extractor’s out of business; many couldn’t afford the $4000 license fee on top of all the facility changes it would require to meet the OLCC processor’s requirements. This law was bittersweet, while it did shut down a lot of really good extractor’s; it was necessary to make sure only certified processor’s are able to blast extracts. Considering how highly explosive it can be, I personally think it’s for the better that not just anyone can start blasting now. OLCC is also requiring certain strain names that appeal to children or are misleading be changed. This includes names such as Candyland and LSD. I have an article up on my blog named, The Candyman, that covers more on the strain name change topic for those who would like to know more.

Q: Favorite strain and why?
A: My favorite strain is New York Sour Diesel, but it has to be true NY Sour D; I even have my favorite narrowed down to a specific grower. This is my favorite strain because when you get the true genetics of this breed it has a very uplifting and euphoric high to it. It’s personal effects on me always give me a nice stoney head buzz while still a very much awake and alert feeling. I also love the terpene profile of NY Sour D, it gives off those very distinct diesel notes and flavors (my fav)!

Q: How do you inform a patient of a product's benefits with making medical claims?
A: I make sure to always give personal and first/second hand experiences to explain the effect that the strain/product has had on either myself or someone I have spoke with. Never make claims of a product’s effects and properties; I always phrase it as, ‘some say it has these effects/benefits’. It’s important to remember that with cannabis still being federally illegal budtender’s can’t legally tell a customer that a product will cure, prevent, or even treat an ailment.

Q: From your Instagram (@leighanalynn)… It’s easy to see you like to dab. Why do you enjoy concentrates over flower?
A: I like dabbing over smoking/vaping flower for a couple reasons. One I have a high tolerance so when I smoke flower I find myself needing to smoke a few bowls before I will even get a head change from the THC, let alone how much it would take to get baked; with dabbing it only takes one dab to get that same head change and three to get baked (for myself at least). So I find myself needing to inhale less smoke/vapor when dab that as opposed to when I smoke flower. Another reason I like to dab is the flavor. My favorite part of cannabis are the terpenes; my logic is that I will smoke enough to get high, so I want it to taste good. With extracts and concentrates not only are you concentrating the cannabinoids but you are concentrating the terpenes. Some waxes can strip the flower of its terpenes when being concentrated, but shatter and sugar waxes (my fav!) carry the most amount of terpenes.

Q: Well.. you have some major knowledge in the dabbing world. What are the differences between low temp vs. regular/high temp dabbing?
A: So, the ideal temperature for vaporizing a concentrate is 300-400 degrees fahrenheit. When you heat up a quartz banger, and it’s glowing red hot, that 1200 degrees; when it’s that light faint red, that’s 900 degrees. Lower temperature dabs are a more ideal temperature for cannabinoid decarboxylation as well as for getting the best terpene profile which means betting tasting dabs with higher ratios of THC. Another factor the think about it the hotter your banger/nail the hotter to smoke will be when you inhale, which means the more it will burn. My best advice is to time your dabs, play with your banger to find about what time works for you. My friend @_sm_art_ has a good rule of thumb, the amount of time it takes you to heat up should be about how long it needs to cool.

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Q: You mentioned that you had H. Pylori. How did dabbing help you?
A: Dabbing helped my H. Pylori because of it’s concentrated cannabinoids. When feeling nauseous or being ill from it, I would dab CBD rich strains to help ease the pain and sickness. Coughing most times would make me feel worse and hurt my stomach more, I found with flower, from the smoke inhalation I was coughing more which was making me feel sicker and in some cases actually vomit. When I was dabbing to help I would take extremely small dabs, like micro dabs. One, the smoke/vapor from extracts is a lot smoother on my throat than that of flower, so I wasn’t coughing. Two I was receiving high quantities of CBD for the pain and inflammation which helped immensely. Dabbing helped me overcome some of the symptoms which allowed me to heal. Taking manuka honey, high quantities of vitamin C and kombucha for the probiotics is ultimately what eradicated my H. Pylori, but dabbing is what helped me maintain.

Q: Are there any changes you would like to see to the laws in the Oregon cannabis industry?
A: Definitely, I could go into a lot of issues I feel should be addressed and changed, like how highly regulated the cannabis industry is versus the alcohol industry or big Pharma. But the main issue I want to bring up is the way these states are writing these laws and setting the fees for people to grow or processor or own a dispensary. These laws are written in ways that favor big corporations coming in. No one who has been growing medically for the past few years has the thousands of dollars it takes to start one of these companies up then pay thousands more to the state just to get ‘licensed’, unless they are already a fairly well established medical business. If the state doesn’t hear from their consumers and hear that we want small local businesses supplying the cannabis industry, then we’ll have Marlboro selling joints soon.
Botanicare has already been bought by a member of Monsanto, and Marlboro is searching for land in southern Oregon right now, it’s time we say no to big business trying to come in for the ‘green rush’. Please write your local Representatives and your State Senate!

Q: What are some of the new laws to go into effect October 1st?
A: There was one major division that went into effect as well as new potency laws. Which means: new testing requirements, new packing requirements, and new labeling requirements and no more high dosage edibles. The new testing requirements is just a new standardized test and the facilities are now required to be certified. Doesn’t seem like an issue; until you find out that only two were certified as of the first week of October. That’s two testing facilities for the whole state.

Another of the laws to go into effect are the packaging laws; OLCC has an approved list on their website for packages that may be used. Luckily this issue wasn’t so hard, most items just needed to be put into a new reusable childproof bag. The biggest issues that came, were from the new labeling laws; which required triple the amount of information than what they had previously required. Also all labels must be approved by OLCC unless they are generic, meaning any product with cool font, a logo, a picture, or even any other information that wasn’t required had to be pre-approved by OLCC. On October 1st, no companies had approved labeling. This meant that most dispensaries and companies barely had products on their shelves October 1st and had to pay excessive amounts of money to remake labels for every single product the wanted to sell after October 1st. It was hell.

Lastly and the worst of all the changes to occur on October 1st, the potency laws. Edibles over 100mg have been banished in Oregon, even for those who hold medical cards. As someone who needs 150mg to get an edible high I don’t want to have to buy multiple products and consume multiple products just to get the same effect as one edible could have done in the past. Especially when the Cannabis industry faces the issue it does, of most edibles being made with garbage ingredients and full of sugar.

Q: What is the OLCC Licensee test like?
A: It was quite easy, the test booklet study guide that is online is mainly pictures and the test had ridiculously easy questions on. No one should have any issues with it as long as you’ve gone over the study guide once. It’s mainly questions on how old you have to be and what IDs are acceptable in Oregon. Easy Peasy!

Q: How is working with OLCC, transferring from a medical dispensary to a recreational dispensary?
A: So far so good. The dispensary I work for has got their inspection and got the go ahead from OLCC. The next step won’t happen until the day dispensaries actually transfer from medical to recreational. On that day all your inventory gets entered into METRC (OLCC tracking system). The scariest part of this I think is that you don’t know if the API feature for your point of sale system is compatible with METRC until the moment you try. In theory the companies say it will work, but no one has yet to try it. So if it doesn’t work… look forward to manually reentering every product in the store. Hah Hah….

Q: Where can people connect with you?
A: I have a blog called HighLeigh that people can connect with me on! I am also on Instagram!! @leighanalynn
You are amazing. One last question! What are you most grateful for today?
I’m thankful to be able to live in a time where I am able to do such a thing like this, a budtender’s interview. Cannabis has come so far, and this industry is only just getting ready to take off. It’s quite exciting to have a part in it, and for that I am grateful everyday!  Thank you so much!

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