Heck Yeah, We Do Sell Recreational Marijuana Here!

Gone are the days of, “Pssst! Hey, do you know where we can score some pot?” It is now legal for participating Oregon Medical Marijuana Dispensaries to sell marijuana to adults who are 21 or over.

That’s right, folks, you can all (21 and over) come in to Substance and buy marijuana from us, legally. For real.  No code words or secret handshakes are necessary. You know what makes us extra awesome? We accept credit and debit cards, so you don’t even need to drive by the ATM first.

Oregon Recreational Marijuana law states that we may sell up to 7 grams – 1/4 ounce – of flower per day to someone who is at least 21 years old.  We also have seed packets available and a list of clones that are available to pre-order.

Due to the high demand of our client base, we rotate through a variety of marijuana flowers –buds – and our selection is always changing.  Flower is packaged in 1 gram, 3.5 gram, and 7 gram bags and we have a wide selection of pre-rolled joints available.  We also carry a selection of pipes, grinders, lighters, and other non-medicated items.

Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) cardholders have their own sales island and are allowed to purchase all of our flower products as well as our tinctures, edibles, concentrates, oils, candy and beverages.  Unfortunately, those products will not be available for the recreational users until the end of 2016 due to pending legislation.  We highly recommend you obtain your medical card to have access to all of our delicious products.

Please be respectful and don’t spark it up in our parking lot.

History of Marijuana

The Unexpected History of Ganja

When you hear the term ‘ganja’, the first thing that comes to mind might be Rastafarianism. Rastafarianism is a religion that began in Jamaica in the 1930s, combining Protestant Christianity with mysticism and a pan-African political consciousness. Rastas use ganja (cannabis) as part of a spiritual, meditative practice. Interestingly, however, the word ‘ganja’ does not originate in the Caribbean. Rather, ‘ganja’ is of Sanskrit origin, an Old Indo-Aryan language from the Indian subcontinent.

So how did a word with Indian roots become so prevalent in a primarily Jamaican religion? The answer lies in the importance of cannabis to aspects of Hindu culture and society and British 19th century imperial policy.

Hinduism and Cannabis

Hinduism is a diverse religion from the Indian subcontinent, dating back as far as the 2nd millennium BCE. Many of its holy texts are written in Sanskrit. Several of these texts identify cannabis as sacred, leading one scholar to assert that “Hindus regard cannabis in much the same way as Christians regard the holy sacrament of wine.” The importance of cannabis to parts of Hindu society can also be seen in local religious practices throughout the Indian subcontinent. In several cities and regions, deities are offered cannabis as part of religious ceremonies.

The British Empire, Slavery, and Indentured Servitude

The British Empire formed the link between the Indian subcontinent, and, hence, Sanskrit-based words for cannabis, and the Caribbean. By the late 18th century, Britain had gained strategic control over parts of India, further consolidating its control throughout the 19th century. In 1833, Britain outlawed slavery. Consequently, the empire’s colonies, especially its rubber and sugar plantations, needed laborers.

Britain looked to the Indian subcontinent for manpower. Indians were taken abroad, often as indentured laborers, to plantations in a variety of locations, including Jamaica. Between 1845 and 1917, Britain brought nearly 40,000 Indian indentured laborers to the country.

Ganja and Rastafarianism

The interweaving of Indian and Jamaican cultures that followed brought the word ‘ganja’ to Jamaica. By the early 20th century, smoking ganja had become common practice among young, black Jamaican field workers. The black-power, pan-African message of Rastafarianism found fertile ground among this disenfranchised population.

As many of these workers were displaced and moved to poor, urban areas, the message of spiritual ganja-use, pan-Africanism, and black liberation grew stronger. Jamaica’s elite felt threatened by this movement, and in 1948, ganja was made illegal. Thus, by the mid 20th century, ganja had become an integral part of the anti-establishment movement that is Rastafarianism.

Recreational or Adult Use, Marijuana or Cannabis: Which Term to Use?

If you’ve ever been to a dispensary, you might have noticed some slightly different language to refer to the products and services inside than you have heard colloquially or in the popular media. In this post, we give a brief breakdown of why we use the language that we do.

Recreational vs. Adult Use

With legalization in Colorado and Washington, and now in Oregon as well, you’ve probably heard the term “recreational marijuana” to refer to cannabis use outside of medical marijuana programs. Here at Substance, we refer to cannabis usage for adults over the age of 21 who do not hold Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) cards as “adult use”.

We use this term because we believe that responsible adults can and should be able to determine what cannabis usage means to them. The medical vs. recreational binary creates a false choice for cannabis users, reinforcing the idea that non-medical users of cannabis are making inherently risky or reckless decisions. Sensible, adult cannabis users who do not have qualifying conditions for the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program should face no more stigma than adult users of alcohol. Adult beer drinkers, by comparison, do not have to go to the ‘recreational beer store’.

Cannabis vs. Marijuana

Cannabis and marijuana essentially refer to the same thing. Technically, cannabis refers to the parent plant, which can be broken up into Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. Sativas and indicas are what we seek on the medical and adult use markets – ruderalis lacks the cannabinoids that provide those sought-after therapeutic benefits. Hemp is used to refer to a low-THC variety of Cannabis sativa that is often harvested for industrial use.

Marijuana is generally used to refer to higher THC (or CBD) varieties of Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. However, the term has not always been so commonplace. Widespread usage of the word ‘marijuana’ began following the Mexican Revolution of 1910, when the United States saw a large influx of Mexican migrants. Many of these migrants used cannabis as a medicine and a relaxant, and as anti-Mexican sentiment went on the rise, racist propaganda spread fear of the Mexican “Marijuana Menace”.

Because of the history of racism associated with the term ‘marijuana’ in the United States, and the general applicability of the term ‘cannabis’, we use the latter. Considering this history, and the stigmas still surrounding cannabis use today, we feel that using the term ‘adult cannabis use’ over ‘recreational marijuana’ helps combat the negative associations that we as a society have with the cannabis plant.

We hope this post has been informative. Thanks for reading, and we look forward to seeing even more of you join our community of adult cannabis users come October 1st!

Cannabis and the Hemp Industry

Hemp, a low-THC variety of Cannabis sativa, has long had a wide variety of industrial uses. With uses ranging from paper to plastic substitutes to cooking oil, hemp is among the most versatile crops produced.

The Historical Context

Hemp has a long history in the United States. The crop was first planted in Jamestown, Virginia in the early 17th century. In World War II, the U.S. government even launched a massive “Hemp for Victory” campaign, encouraging farmers to grow as much of the plant as possible.

Attacks on cannabis, beginning in the early 20th century, soon ceased to differentiate between hemp and marijuana. Some believe hemp was intentionally targeted by William Randolf Hearst because it threatened his interest in the newspaper industry, although this history is disputed. With the passage of the Controlled Substances Act in 1970, hemp was made illegal to grow without a special permit by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Permits have been extraordinarily hard to come by since the law’s passage.

Hemp and Legalization Today

As legalization of cannabis progresses across the United States, efforts to reinvest in hemp are abound. The passage of the 2014 Farm Bill allowed for hemp to be grown for agricultural or academic research. Colorado’s pilot program has taken off, and Oregon’s Department of Agriculture established its own pilot program in February of this year.

Unlike its Coloradan counterpart, the Oregon program has been off to a rough start. Earlier this year, medical marijuana growers in southern Oregon raised concerns over hemp cultivation, citing fears that cross-pollination may weaken the quality of their crop. They want hemp farmers to grow their crops in eastern Oregon, where they hope the Cascades will act as a natural barrier against rogue hemp pollen.

However, the three most disputed counties – Josephine, Jackson, and Douglas – have some of the best conditions for outdoor crop cultivation in Oregon. Warm average temperatures and plenty of precipitation make for long outdoor growing seasons. Eastern Oregon, by contrast, is considerably drier with colder average temperatures. Researchers believe, however, that hemp requires less water than other varieties of the cannabis crop.

For now, Oregon’s industrial hemp program is on halt. The Department of Agriculture recently announced that it would temporarily stop issuing licenses for industrial hemp. Officials say that the decision is unrelated to marijuana growers’ concerns, but rather is due to a range of complex policy issues. Regardless, the road ahead appears to be a challenging one for cultivators and policymakers alike.

Strain Review – Chem Dawg

Chem Dawg (sometimes Chemdawg) has secured quite the name for itself over the years. A series of successful crosses of this strain to make such powerful strains as Sour Diesel and OG Kush has made Chem Dawg a favorite amongst growers and consumers alike. Its potency is well known, being largely THC dominant, with strong traces of powerful terpenes to ensure its medicinal efficacy and strength, not to mention its distinctly diesel-like aroma.

Many patients enjoy using Chem Dawg to help them manage their stress, depression and anxiety, which is indicative of the strain’s heavy euphoric and heady effects. However, it is particularly effective at managing pain and painful body symptoms that can arise from a variety of conditions. When asked, many patients say that Chem Dawg is a truly exceptional strain and one whose experience they would not want to pass up.

Generally, THC levels of Chem Dawg average around 20%. That being said, the particular crop that we at Substance are currently carrying tested at 25% THC. That, coupled with its strong aroma and flavorful kick, certainly ensures that this is one of the best Chem Dawg crops in Central Oregon. Its potency may be a concern for some folks new to cannabis, but if that is the case, there are options for you to help you balance the intense cerebral effects of strains like Chem Dawg while still taking advantage of their notable medicinal applications. For example, you could pick up a CBD-intensive edible to help balance the cannabis experience.

Stop by Substance Medical Marijuana Dispensary soon and speak with our staff about THC, CBD, edibles, and strains like Chem Dawg to find out what will work best for you.

For prices and availability, visit our Online Menu. 

Historical Cannabis Use in India, Pt. 2

One of the most commonly consumed preparations of cannabis in India is called Bhang. Bhang is offered to Shiva images and statues throughout India, especially on the festival of Shivratri.

Cannabis is such an important part of the religious culture of Benaras, the main city of Shiva worship, that it is sold in government-run shops and used by pilgrims and common folks alike, being part of the religious culture.

In reviewing the use of cannabis in India, the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission conducted a government study on the matter and made the following conclusions in their report: “…It is inevitable that temperaments would be found to whom the quickening spirit of bhang is the spirit of freedom and knowledge. In the ecstasy of bhang the spark of the Eternal in man turns into the light the murkiness of matter.

“…Bhang is the Joy-giver, the Sky-filler, the Heavenly-Guide, the Poor Man’s Heaven, the Soother of Grief…No god or man is as good as the religious drinker of bhang…The supporting power of bhang has brought many a Hindu family safe through the miseries of famine. To forbid or even seriously restrict the use of so gracious an herb as the hemp would cause widespread suffering and annoyance and to large bands of worshipped ascetics, deep-seated anger. It would rob the people of a solace on discomfort, of a cure in sickness, of a guardian whose gracious protection saves them from the attacks of evil influences…”

Ayurvedic and Indian doctors still prescribe cannabis to treat a range of conditions. Slowly the west is finally beginning to recognize the true values of this remarkable plant.