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By: Veronica Castillo   The east coast cannabis scene is blossoming thanks to legalization and decriminalization in just about every state on that coast. Most of us know the west coast to be the birthplace for cannabis culture, and for great reason- because it is. See, in the 70’s, the 1st wave of what Street […]

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By: Veronica Castillo

 

The east coast cannabis scene is blossoming thanks to legalization and decriminalization in just about every state on that coast. Most of us know the west coast to be the birthplace for cannabis culture, and for great reason- because it is. See, in the 70’s, the 1st wave of what Street Roots referred to as “counter-culture types”, swarmed to portions of Mendocino, Humboldt, and Trinity counties in Northern California, the Emerald Triangle. They grew their own vegetables and cannabis. 

In that region of California, the soil is said to be magical. According to Street Roots, the story goes: Southern Humboldt discovered new methods for producing sinsemilla (a type of cannabis with a higher THC content). During this same time, fear of tainted cannabis was widespread and cannabis consumers wanted their cannabis grown in America. So, fear and the discovery of high THC cannabis gradually made northern Cali the cannabis mecca. Though, it’s also important to note that northern Cali is the mecca because they grow and supply more than 80% of the cannabis consumed in this country.

However, it’s important to note that the east coast is making waves in being the consumer mecca of the United States. Looking at New York City for example, they are the only city that allows consumption of cannabis anywhere that tobacco consumption is allowed. Though a little later to the legalization party, the east coast is doing its thing!

Recently I went on tour with Sunflower Spacecakes on the: Sunflower Spacecakes presents, the East Coast Cannabis Tour with Vee. Sunflower Spacecakes is a Philadelphia treasure and a  vegan 420 friendly company making the best vegan cannabis infused edibles out there! 

The mission and focus of this tour: to spread light, love, and to congratulate the east coast of the United States on legalization and decriminalization of cannabis-marijuana. Here’s how it went.

777- 7 Cities, 7 States, in the 7th Month of the Year

The east coast cannabis tour crew traveled in a black van, loaded with black owned businesses, and pulling up to black and minority owned businesses to spread light, love, and congratulations- it was magical. On the van:

  • Sunflower Spacecakes
  • Vee- the Traveling Cannabis Writer
  • The Lair 420 Social Club
  • Green Hart Kitchen and Apothecary
  • Hygh Maintenance Society
  • All Jazzed Up Beauty 
  • Therapeutik Touch Massage
  • Our Welding

From cannabis products, to cannabis services, to vegan infused goodness- the van was loaded with a variety of greatness. Our journey was supported by a few sponsors:

  • Cash Color Cannabis
  • GenoType CBD
  • Docta Transportation
  • Korasana
  • Try Plain Jane

Together, we documented one of the first multiple state cannabis tours on the east coast!

Eastern and Western Massachusetts- The First Stop of the Tour

JustinCredible Cultivation- Massachusetts 

My portion of the tour started a few days before everyone else’s. JustinCredible Cultivation (JCC) sponsored the first part of my journey so that I could get to know them. JustinCredible Cultivation (JCC), is the first black owned and licensed cannabis cultivation company on the east coast. During my one on one time, head of JCC marketing, Ashanta McGhee, took me on an eastern to western Massachusetts cannabis tour. During that time I met Rebelle Dispensary, Dreamer Dispensary, and Major Bloom Dispensary. 

These dispensaries proudly carry JCC products on the dispensary shelves and it was amazing seeing a black owned and operated brand on the top tier dispensary shelf. Everyone in the dispensaries raved about JCC grown cannabis flower. It was amazing visiting each dispensary,  but I need to highlight Major Bloom Dispensary

You see, the founders and owners of this company are founders and owners of the first black owned manufacturing operator, coupled with a retail and delivery license. Additionally, Major Bloom is an impact-driven Cannabis lifestyle brand with a mindful mission to inspire perseverance and social change.This dispensary is more like a movement. It’s a place that has incorporated space, and offers solutions for those impacted by the war on drugs. 

Later in the week, while visiting JCC on site, I learned about JCC’s sacrifices, their passion, and their mission all in the name of cannabis. Imagine walking into a cultivation site; pause- look around- you see all of that? Many cannabis cultivation facilities are built out and generally ready when they are purchased. This wasn’t the case for JCC. The story goes: there was nothing but land- and day by day the team showed up with determination and gratitude, and built the facility from the foundation on up. 

The founders and owners of JCC slept in an RV (4 people in one RV), while the JCC facility was being built. All hands in, no man or woman left behind- the team dedicated their lives to ensure the launch of JCC. The passion is felt in their facility. The cultivators, facilities management, logistics/inventory crew, working together to ensure a smooth operation. It was amazing to experience cultivators singing to the plants, the plants moving to music, and the warm and grateful welcome. 

Later in the week, JCC hosted the east coast cannabis tour crew– tour of JCC’s facility. During the tour, CEO and Head Horticulturist Reginald Stanfield, educated the tour crew on various topics covering cultivation and the process to build the facility, and launch the brand. They were gracious in sending the tour crew off with samples of multiple strains they grow. The tour crew was high, happy, and grateful for JCC’s hospitality and an experience many of them haven’t had.

Can I just say that when the streets are talking about JCC, you must tune in because I discovered that the buzz is real! Their Northern Lights Blue, Jelly Breath, and Taffy are soooooo magical; pretty, dense, and potent!

Elev8 Cannabis Dispensary- Massachusetts 

Founded by the youngest black man in America to own a cannabis dispensary, Elev8 dispensary was one I couldn’t wait to walk into. It’s not everyday that a van loaded with black owned businesses gets to spend with and support a black owned cannabis dispensary. The team at Elev8 was excited, attentive, and took the time to talk to the tour crew about what it’s like to be a part of the legal cannabis industry, and a part of the team at Elev8. The founder and CEO of Elev8, Seun Adedeji, couldn’t be there during the tour, but graciously invited the tour crew out to lunch the following day- and of course we accepted.

Before leaving Massachusssets, we met with Seun, at ZAZ Social, a black owned establishment. When we walked in, Seun’s energy was felt instantly. He was grateful to us for stopping by Elev8, and wanted to introduce us to more people doing and building great things in cannabis. JCC joined us (Ashanta and Reginald), along with Low Key Dispensary, and We Can Deliver Boston, 2 black/ brown owned businesses in cannabis. Zaz Social was amazing! The food was great and they had something for everyone. 

Next up- Portland Maine!

Portland, ME- The Ocean and Yoga Stop of The Tour

The tour was mainly focused on cannabis; however, we had an ocean and yoga stop. I must say, I don’t think Portland, ME has summers- not the ones I’m used to experiencing anyway. We did visit the ocean, but when the sun left us, we had to leave the ocean. It was cold! But equally, if not more…beautiful. The east coast cannabis tour crew also visited Hustle & Flow Yoga for a Sunday morning reset with a class take over. 

Next up- Hartford, Connecticut!

Hartford, CT- The Vegan Foodie Stop of the Tour

Parkville Market, recommended by Noirveganista, was amazing! I was born and raised in Caribbean culture and it’s a little different being out west where it’s not easy to find. Parkville Market was like going home. A soon as I walked in, a Puerto Rican restaurant grabbed my attention. Not long after that, a Jamaican restaurant grabbed my attention and so- I had both!

The tour crew needed this day to indulge and we did. We spent a few hours eating, decompressing, and spreading light, love, and congratulations on cannabis legalization. We also spent time having something like a photoshoot to document the good vibes and energy.

Next stop- New York City!

Brooklyn, NY- Prospect Park- 420 Friendly Pop-Up

We popped up at Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY- under a beautiful pavilion that kept us cool from the summer sun. Sunflower Spacecakes and team set up their marvelous station and as they set up, the other black owned businesses on the van set up, and  when we turned around, we noticed more black and brown businesses in cannabis pop up and set up too. Our tour was making noise and people met us there to meet and support! 

It was beautiful to see black owned businesses being supported by locals, who were happy to see us around. That visit led to connections that led to collaborations, and gave us memories that will stay with us for lifetimes. I have always loved New York and this visit left me more in love. Spending time in Brooklyn gave us time with nature, which is always a gift. 

Next Stop- Washington, D.C!

Washington, D.C- Canna Capecod 

I couldn’t wait to meet Sunflower’s inspiration, Canna Capecod; a 420 friendly, all in-clusive, bed and breakfast (also known as bud and breakfast). This vibrant, comfortable, and beautiful space hosted the east coast canna tour crew for a night that we will never forget. Nicole is dope! She is such a warm host, totally in love with what she does, and totally passionate about showing folks an amazing cannabis filled time! Did I already say all- inclusive?

Upon arrival, cannabis was ready, along with: beverages, snacks, and the scent of the first meal being prepared; and the cooked foods kept on coming! ALL-INCLUSIVE. Walking around the space is an automatic dose of happiness. I stayed in the master suite and it was set up for me to never leave; equipped with a full bathroom, a small refrigerator, a microwave, a handful of industry magazines, beautiful decor, and so much class. 

Outside is such a vibe, such an oasis. That night, we all gathered outside to celebrate sharing time and space. House of Weird Perfection (who traveled from Ohio), Canna Vibezz, LLC, and Noirveganista came over to join the fun. We laughed, we sang, we smoked, we let the gravity bong hits take us higher, and exchanged gifts. The rain came and we moved everything indoors because the celebration wasn’t ready to come to an end. 

Canna Capecod was so comfortable both inside and out. Nicole’s passion and warm energy really elevated the entire experience and I cannot wait to get back out there!

Next stop- Fredericksburg and Virginia Beach Area, VA!

Fredericksburg and Virginia Beach Area, VA- Peacock CBD and Hydrokulture Hydro Shop

As soon as we arrived at Peacock CBD in Fredericksburg, so did the tornado that touched down not even a mile from where we were stuck in the van. The rain literally felt like 300 pounds hitting the van, with large golf ball sized hail chunks, and high winds. Thankfully, we weren’t impacted directly. I remember turning to everyone and saying “welcome to the south during hurricane season”. I didn’t know what else to say as the southern born and raised person on the van (I laugh at that present day, LOL!). 

When we finally exited the van, we walked into Peacock CBD, and again, I was so happy seeing the looks on everyone’s faces because, for many if not all, it was their first time walking into a space with so many CBD products, a huge variety in cannabinoid inclusion in products, terpenes by the jars, and lab/processing equipment. Peacock CBD is one of the best companies and brands out there in my opinion, and so I was too happy to share them with everyone. 

They graciously gifted the tour crew with so many products and invited us to their other business- Hydrokulture Shop, also in Fredericksburg. When we arrived, again, looks of amazement. Virginia can grow and this place has everything a grower needs to grow cannabis: soil, pots, tents, lights, and more. The crew spent time shopping, learning, and observing. 

Henderson, NC- The Final Stop of the Tour: Brown Family Farms, CFSA and Hempfinity

The visit, this story, this family… needs more focus than this…and soon, it will be published in my blog: veetravelingvegcannawriter.com. For now, let’s see if I can summarize. Imagine your feet touching the soil that ancestors blessed, took care of, built, birthed, and lost their lives on. Imagine in that walk, approaching structures, still standing, a little worn, built by the hands of ancestors, many who were enslaved. Imagine standing there and hearing the ancestors greet you with their voices being carried by the wind. 

GreenHart Kitchen and Apothecary, one of the businesses on tour, describes this place as:

“The emerald fields of Hempfinity, the hemp division of Brown Family Farms and Produce, almost glowed in the sun as they greeted us. Here is where we witnessed the direct effects of ancestral magic!”

This place, so massive and magical; Brown Family Farms and Produce is the home of Hempfinity and both are now owned and operated by 4th generation farmer, Patrick Brown. Hempfinity is home of the hemp used in hemp fashion through brands like Dickies, and it’s home to the hemp grown to create the multitude of CBD products available through Hempfinity

We learned so much about the business, the land, the history, and plans for the future. Every single one of us felt intense emotion, intense connection, and intense gratitude being on site. 

In Closing

Even as a writer, I find it hard to come up with the words at times. An experience I’ve never had, a journey never traveled, memories that I’ll keep with me, and bonds tied up like the infinity symbol- this east coast cannabis tour was magical and will never be forgotten. 

There will be a round 2-3-4 and beyond because Sunflower Spacecakes will be presenting many tours- featuring Vee. Like the one in Feb 2022: Sunflower Spacecakes presents the West Coast Cannabis Tour featuring Vee.

East Coast- thank you for everything! I can’t wait to show love to the coast again! Tap in and let us know the businesses in cannabis doing big things on the east coast.  

 

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