Van der Pop

VdP Voice | February 24, 2018

Kieryn Wang

What to Expect from Your First Trip to a Dispensary

What to bring with you — and what to buy

When I got invited to a friend's wedding in Portland earlier this year, hitting up a dispensary was at the top of my tourist to-do list. OK, I might seem like a loser for admitting this, but here goes: Despite being close to 30, I had never touched weed before. Sure, I know plenty of people who smoke on the reg, but it's just not something I ever felt compelled to do — mostly because I can’t stand the smell.

That being said, I was curious about what it would feel like to be high, so I decided to buy some edibles at a recreational marijuana dispensary near my Portland hotel. Because I was such a pot newbie, I really didn't know what to expect when I stepped foot inside. If you're as green as I was (pun intended), or if you've simply never been to a dispensary before, here are six things to consider before you go.

1. Have a current photo ID with you. Recreational marijuana is legal in nine U.S. states (plus Washington, D.C.) for those 21 and up. And you will be carded before going inside a dispensary. This isn’t like the liquor store you frequented in high school, praying you wouldn’t be ID’ed when you headed to the register with a bottle of cheap vodka. I visited two dispensaries on my west coast trip (one in Portland and one in Seattle), and both times, I was carded before heading inside. One of my friends had a passport card with her, which she hadn’t signed — and the security guard outside the dispensary in Seattle wouldn't let her in because of that, even though she was clearly over 21-years-old.

2. Bring cash. I'm someone who charges everything (what can I say, I like racking up credit card bonus points). A dispensary is not one of the places where you can just swipe and go, though. Most dispensaries are cash-only, so fill your wallet up first (some dispensaries do have ATMs). Prices will vary depending on what you get, so don’t be stingy with your withdrawal. I bought a chocolate bar for $24 in Portland (I split the cost and the bar with three other people) and four individually wrapped brownie bites in Seattle for $4 each. If you want to smoke, the price will differ by strain and could be more than $10 per gram.

3. Every dispensary's setup is different. I did zero research before visiting my first dispensary in Portland, so once I walked through the front door, I wasn't sure how the store would even look. This particular dispensary had a waiting area where an employee checked my ID. I got there right before the dispensary closed on a quiet Sunday night, so I didn't have to kill any time in the waiting area. I was let right into the next room, where all the goods were kept under lock and key behind the counter. In Seattle, the dispensary I went to was a lot bigger. You could walk around and look at everything behind the display cases lining the walls, and the store had a dark, moody vibe.

4. The employees are there to help. I knew I wanted to get high, and I knew I didn't want to smoke, but I didn't have a clue what edibles I should try. So, instead of taking a random guess, I asked the woman working at the dispensary in Portland what edibles she'd recommend for someone who'd never had any weed before. She suggested a chocolate bar because it was broken up into servings of 5 mg THC. She recommended having one serving, waiting an hour, then having another if I didn't feel anything. I’m glad I took her advice — after about an hour, I felt slightly buzzed, and then I ate another half serving.

5. Which is a good thing, because the selection can be overwhelming. In Seattle, the dispensary I visited had so many more options than in Portland — I kind of just stood there for a few minutes taking it all in. I asked a guy who worked there if they sold any single-serving edibles since I'd need to finish them before heading to the airport the next day, and he steered me to the corner of the store where I found exactly what I was looking for. (Peanut butter brownie bite? Sign. Me. Up.)

6. Don't psych yourself out. Although there was absolutely no reason to be, I was nervous before going to a dispensary for the first time. Because marijuana has been illegal for the majority of my life (and somehow still is in New York City, where I live), I felt like I was doing something wrong on the walk over. I’ve had it drilled into my head for so many years that pot is dangerous, which I know is completely wrong. Once I got over the irrational fears that were ingrained in my head, I was able to fully enjoy the (very legal) experience. Here’s to hoping I get to shop at a dispensary — and enjoy a high — again sometime soon.
 

Story by Christina Heiser

 

Hot Box Rewind

Kieryn Wang

Huge thanks to The Cloud Room for hosting and to Red Light Lit for bringing words and music to this magical evening. Special shoutout to our speakers Jennifer Lewis, Amber Flame, Sheba Queen, Kelsey Whitman, Nathan Langston and Nick Jaina. And of course thank you to all the wonderful attendees. We hope you left feeling inspired and ready to explore all the benefits cannabis can provide. Stay tuned for audio from the event and in the meantime get brushed up on our guide to sex and cannabis right here

IMG_3114.jpg
IMG_2799.jpg
IMG_3105.jpg
IMG_2829.jpg
IMG_2862.jpg
IMG_2969.jpg
IMG_2941.jpg
IMG_2886.jpg
IMG_2856.jpg
IMG_2909.jpg
IMG_3052.jpg
IMG_2806.jpg
IMG_2772.jpg
IMG_3065.jpg
IMG_2777.jpg
IMG_3107.jpg
IMG_2816.jpg
IMG_3111.jpg
IMG_2779.jpg
IMG_3087.jpg
IMG_2771.jpg
IMG_3120.jpg
IMG_2809.jpg
IMG_3069.jpg
IMG_2838.jpg
IMG_3117.jpg
IMG_2832.jpg
IMG_3118.jpg
IMG_2840.jpg
IMG_2780.jpg

All photos by Kelly O. 

California Dreaming

Kieryn Wang

California Dreaming
One cannabis activist’s wish list in light of the Golden State’s recent adult-use legalization

My relationship with cannabis has always been a positive one; I’ve always found the plant interesting, especially in terms of how it affected my physical and mental health. I’ve used cannabis on and off throughout the years since I first tried it in my teens, but it wasn’t until college that I really started to understand society’s misconceptions about its use. To me, cannabis had always been used socially, but I started to notice with the increasing stress of college, that I began turning to cannabis as an alternative to alcohol to cope. Whether I was struggling with anxiety or pain due to debilitating menstrual cramps, micro-doses of cannabis – specifically strains high in CBD – became a solution for me.

Image uploaded from iOS (2).jpg

Living in California prior to legalization, I wished to see this sacred plant finally break out of prohibition. I knew it would be an important step in the ability to share cannabis’s restorative capabilities, without feeling judged by society and always feeling like I had something to hide.

Prior to January 1st, I had hoped that with yet another state legalizing cannabis (Nevada), we would start to see a chain reaction among other states regulating cannabis a new way – as an alternative medicine, rather than a Schedule 1 drug. I hoped California might be the state that could be catalyst for pervasive legalization and decriminalization. However, with this exciting new turnaround of legalization came my fear around how the big tobacco companies would utilize their established lobbyists to manipulate cannabis sales, availability and distribution. I feared they would see marijuana as a commodity only for money and not for its restorative properties and use the current industry and consumer nativity to cut corners and push out the smaller companies additionally burdened with new and changing regulations.

The failed war on drugs has allowed for the unfair jailing of thousands of individuals to be criminally sentenced. It upsets me that decades of racial profiling and subsequent non-violent arrest has torn up families and communities, leading to decades of hardship and despair. I strongly believe that the decriminalization of cannabis will allow poor and minority populations to advance and will lessen the harrowing grip of the current opioid epidemic on ravaged communities. Earlier this month, the city of San Francisco started applying its new marijuana legalization law, which successfully wiped thousands of misdemeanor and felony convictions off the books. This decision will affect thousands of residents whose cannabis-related conviction deterred their opportunities to find employment and contribute to society. This is one huge step in the right direction since legalization took effect this past January.

VdP-2018-02-quote-kyra-muellery-yamamoto.png

I’ve personally felt a calling to open up about my relationship with cannabis, and to help guide those that are new to the realm of legal cannabis use. With cannabis being more accessible than ever before, the awareness of what this plant can do for many needs to be of high priority. The first person I was genuinely able to convince to give cannabis a try was my seventy-year-old grandmother, who had always feared cannabis due to it being illegal in the state where she lived. Now that she finally felt confident she wasn’t doing something against the law, she tried the CBD cream I gave her. Since then, she has completely gone off of her prescription pain medication for arthritis and uses only CBD to alleviate her symptoms.

For a long time, prescription drugs were the only option she ever knew, and from someone she was supposed to trust at the hospital; now that cannabis is finally legal, she has found a much less addictive and mind-altering alternative to pain pills. I know my grandmother is not the only person out there whose life could change dramatically if given the encouragement to try an alternative to pharmaceuticals. My hope now is to continue to share and attempt to provide awareness about cannabis and its availability here in California, and to help lessen the stigma and lead other individuals down a similar path as my grandmother’s.

I believe that California will be on the forefront of positive momentum and change for cannabis this year. California is currently undergoing Assembly Bill 2020, which would make it legal to hold events where cannabis can be sold and consumed if the local government approves. If this bill passes in March, it will bring even more accessibility and the opportunity for understanding cannabis use in social settings. Consumers will get to not only connect with the products first-hand, but also begin to feel socially accepted in using these products, thus lowering the stigma around cannabis use.

Image uploaded from iOS (1).jpg

This year will bring more attention and curiosity than ever before to cannabis, thanks to the mainstream catching onto the conversation. With that, my hope is that this year more residents in California will take an active part in understanding and accepting cannabis as an alternative medicine and fighting for its legal right.

 

Story by Kyra Mueller-Yamamoto
Photos by Bess Byers

VdP Holiday SESSION

Kieryn Wang

What more do you need than some cones, some cookies and some candy to make for a great holiday party? We had so much fun with our friends last Friday as we kicked off the holiday weekend. A huge thank you to The Goodship for the sweets, Raven Grass for the flower, Planetary Apothecary for the insights and Bess Byers for capturing the smiles. We can't wait for next year! Want to attend our next SESSION? You can sign up for our newsletter so you don't miss it.

20171222-DSC_8848.jpg
20171222-DSC_8916.jpg
20171222-DSC_8672.jpg
20171222-DSC_8793.jpg
20171222-DSC_8766.jpg
20171222-DSC_8770.jpg
20171222-DSC_8773.jpg
20171222-DSC_8979.jpg
20171222-DSC_8986.jpg
20171222-DSC_8991.jpg
20171222-DSC_8730.jpg
20171222-DSC_8998.jpg
20171222-DSC_8809.jpg
20171222-DSC_8995.jpg
20171222-DSC_8880.jpg
20171222-DSC_8844.jpg
20171222-DSC_8717.jpg
20171222-DSC_8714.jpg
20171222-DSC_8795.jpg
20171222-DSC_8710.jpg
20171222-DSC_8826.jpg
20171222-DSC_8742.jpg
20171222-DSC_8958.jpg
20171222-DSC_8751.jpg
20171222-DSC_8834.jpg
vdp hieroglyphs banner.png
20171222-DSC_8736.jpg
20171222-DSC_8760.jpg
20171222-DSC_8733.jpg
20171222-DSC_8831.jpg
20171222-DSC_8689.jpg
20171222-DSC_8712.jpg
20171222-DSC_8727.jpg
20171222-DSC_8728.jpg
20171222-DSC_8818.jpg
20171222-DSC_8808.jpg
20171222-DSC_8815.jpg
20171222-DSC_8785.jpg
20171222-DSC_8821.jpg

A LETTER FROM APRIL PRIDE

Kieryn Wang

What a year. Has it really only been a year? In one year, did our Seattle born-and-bred brand go from hometown hero to North America’s most recognized female cannabis brand? Yes. Is our team tired? Yes. Does the fresh flower help? Yes.

Because if I hadn’t lived it, I wouldn’t believe it.
Because if I don’t get it down on paper as it happens, I’ll regret it.
Because if I don’t get the details right today, I’m certain the important points and players will be left out tomorrow.

Let’s take a look at the not-so-small happenings for Van der Pop in 2017. Our second year.

Only fitting that Van der Pop got hitched in February. Acquired by Toronto-based Tokyo Smoke, we also set up shop in our first Seattle space to host SESSION. With black-and-white graphics wheat pasted on all surfaces, the brand’s signature design elements came to life and set the stage for SESSION at home and on the road.  

Photo by Kristen Angelo

Photo by Kristen Angelo

Photo by Kristen Angelo

Photo by Kristen Angelo

Photo by Kristen Angelo

Photo by Kristen Angelo

March is my birthday month. And this fish asked White Rabbit High Tea (featured in NYT this month) to create an afternoon that – I’m happy to report – photographed more civilized than it played out.     

Photo by Jessica Eriksen

Photo by Jessica Eriksen

Photo by Jessica Eriksen

Photo by Jessica Eriksen

To appropriately celebrate Spring Fever, in April Hot Box: Women’s Sexual Health in the Age of Legal Cannabis debuts. The Alchemist’s Kitchen in Manhattan hosted an evening of lively discussion on menstruation, menopause and sexual pleasure. Included in the audience were writers and journalists who published kind words - seen on Narrative.ly and Salon.

The next week was April 20th, aka 4/20. Van der Pop celebrated Cannabis Christmas at MedMen West Hollywood, one of California’s top dispensaries, where Poppins was revealed!

april weho.png
Photo by Jessa Carter

Photo by Jessa Carter

Photo by Jessa Carter

Photo by Jessa Carter

Photo by Jessa Carter

Photo by Jessa Carter

Designed over many late nights (and on my mind during daylight hours), this – the second incarnation of our signature stash bag – marks a professional high for me as a designer. Getting it right included visiting the 3rd-generation, family-operated leather goods manufacturer in Rome while on family vacation. (Grazie, la mia famiglia!)

May Flower. Finalized an agreement with Canada-based WeedMD to distribute Van der Pop-branded cannabis to patients across Canada. Check.
May Issue. Playboy publishes a few of my thoughts on weed and sex. Check. Plus.

Rewind to April. Hot Box debut in NYC. Audience members also included an NYU reproductive health professional. Let me repeat. An NYU reproductive health professional came to hear me  – not a health professional! But a woman who has talked to a lot of women. About cannabis and sex. And cannabis for sex. And cannabis to relieve inflammation related to period pain or endometriosis. It goes on and on. And as a believer in passing down hard-earned or little-known wisdom, I knew information, education and simply sharing the stories of women was in Van der Pop’s immediate future.  

So in June we shifted gears. Less time developing product to smoke, store and share cannabis and more time cultivating content to help women make informed decisions on all things related to cannabis. Content that we work tirelessly to get right. As right as our products. As compelling to read as our products are to use. With the same attention to detail synonymous with Van der Pop’s signature goods.

In July we launched SELF, our self-care line of hemp-seed oil products for beauty, body and brain. Remember this. It’ll be important later.

Photos by Jessa Carter

Photos by Jessa Carter

Summer SESSION could only happen in August. And only be a true happening if it were to take place in L.A. So we did that. With lots of our favorite partners in the industry including Canna Curious Club, etc…. Hot Box makes its West Coast debut complete with a slide show! (Wouldn’t you like to see that?) Five days of lots of hustle, lots of heart and lots of herb. In that order.

When it is learned that September 21st is International Day of Peace, well, it is decided this is the day VdP Voice drops. Make no mistake, Van der Pop is on a mission to help women find peace. A moment of peace. Peace of mind. The permission to peace out. It all counts.

How does Van der Pop end 2017 as strong as we started it? Enter November.
Van der Pop successfully launched in Canada. Van der Pop hosted Women & Weed in Toronto.
Van der Pop ships two medicinal strains crafted in partnership with WeedMD to patients throughout Canada. Van der Pop published the findings of a groundbreaking survey of over 1,500 cannabis consuming and/or curious women in North America.

Photo by Kayla Rocca

Photo by Kayla Rocca

Photo by Kayla Rocca

Photo by Kayla Rocca

Photo by Kayla Rocca

Photo by Kayla Rocca

Photo by Kayla Rocca

Photo by Kayla Rocca

Survey says: The top four reasons women consume cannabis are for stress relief, relaxation, pain management and to reduce anxiety. Months before we fully understood the significant role cannabis played in the wellness practices of female cannabis consumers, Van der Pop launched SELF.

Mic dropping.

Over the year and the year before, countless women have confided in us that they [voice lowers to a whisper] “cannot roll a joint.” Neither can I. Nor will I ever. Nor will you. Maybe we don’t have time to learn, and we definitely don’t have time to smoke a half-ass joint. Ladies, Van der Pop gives you Pop Sticks, our Signature pre-roll cones. Easy to pack. Smooth, slow burn. Showstoppers. And the chart topper for this year.

Mic dropped. Now the ball can. At least for one night.

Thanks for inviting us in with an open mind, inspiring us with your honesty, and including Van der Pop as part of your session.

xXx April

 

Are you 21+?