Mental Health & Addiction Awareness & Activism are essential Values to Original Product Cannabis + Concentrates Inc.
As so many of the people involved with the Company have experienced their own version or know someone close to them suffering, either way, the epidemic of Addiction and a Mental Health afflictions can decimate the Patrimony of any Family.
Naloxone Kits and Maintenance Assisted Therapy are two useful Harm Reduction tools available for free in Hamilton, Ontario. The work done by the amazing people at ACT BARTON & New Day IDA in terms of Medical/Emotional Support and Addiction care is invaluable. This Clinic supports Cannabis Assisted Harm Reduction for Qualified Patients and makes referrals on site for ACMPR Status Applications.
The Harm Reduction Approach:
Cannabis as a Social Connector and a Plant-Based Medicine
#420AM was conceived after living my own Life as a Opiate user and seeker.
Look up the Hashtag #420AM and you will find many interesting interpretations:
Rolling a traditional Flower Joint provides stress-relief, excitement and comfort for many of its users.
As with many pleasurable activities, even if they are not good for you – they involve some sort of Ritual that will provide physical and emotional soothing for us. This is why binge eating Sugar can be so addictive for some because the foods we eat release chemicals which then trigger our Dopamine Receptors.
Some may even experience a “Placebo Effect” in anticipation of receiving their “drug.” This can happen to Opiate Addicts who when they are waiting for their drug to be delivered and they know with 100% certainty it is coming – their Withdrawal symptoms may actually go away for a short while as they wait with excitement and relief.
Although I thankfully never had to walk the streets at 4 am; I would often wake up around that time with the usual burning stomach ache. It is a ache of Anxiety, dread and slight Withdrawal from the Opiate drug I relied on.
Opiate Withdrawal is incredibly painful both Mentally and Physically. Hardly anyone can bow-out of an Addiction by going Cold-Turkey. Quite frankly, there is a small percent who may need Methadone Maintenance treatment forever and that’s OK – It keeps people alive, off the Streets, no longer wandering around for their drug.
One would hope they could come off one day but Harm Reduction is the key for some people’s survival.
If I hadn’t been Enabled for so long, and of course incredibly motivated to stay Addicted; I could have easily ended up on those streets selling my soul to the Devil (as if I hadn’t already but new lows can always be achieved). It’s a sad reality for most suffering from Active Addiction – you will do almost anything to get your fix.
When I finally got clean from Opiates (396 days ago today), and realized I wanted to do something proactive about this Epidemic – I chose a Harm Reduction approach on the Streets with an initiative called #420AM.
The Ritual of Rolling
When I see Someone on the Street seeking money, I will hand them some papers and enough Weed to roll a Joint. This encourages them to stop and sit down awhile; break up the Weed and roll it. The Ritual of Rolling forces them to concentrate on what they are doing which can discourage the obsessive drug-seeking and ruminating that comes along with Opiate abuse.
Cannabis should ease their Withdrawal symptoms (if THC content is high enough), relieve their nausea and cramping along with slowing down their Heart Rate and sky-high blood pressure rates due to Stress, Anxiety and other drugs. Over time, they may learn to embrace Cannabis as a Harm Reduction method.
The biggest challenge of enacting this approach in the past is that there wasn’t enough THC in Flower (Weed) to really make an impact.
Now that we are able to give out Candies that are Lab-Tested and properly packaged with Nutritional Content; the person taking it knows they are getting enough of the Medicinal Ingredients that can reduce symptoms of Withdrawal. It can also help reduce Cravings over time once the person is stable.
Stability and Maintenance only comes once someone has completely surrendered to their Addiction. Full Remission comes rarely on its own and it may take several attempts but individuals always require a lot of love and support.
The #420 Project provides that compassion and acceptance based upon the #Cannagirl Community.
If you drive down Barton St. any time between Midnight and 6 am – you will see quite a lively Community. One of my first stops is the Hamilton Public Library on the Corner of Barton. I bring Naloxone Kits with me for my #420AM efforts just in case I need to use one.
I don’t typically leave my car as it isn’t safe to do that alone and I quite often am. I try to go down there around 12:30 am most times but I’ve gone out at 4-5 am as this is when the need is the greatest.
I’ll hand out some 140 mg pack Mary’s Medibles Gummies Indica and one of the girls will hand them out to everyone. There is always a risk the ladies could just trade these for Drugs but usually they consume some of the package.
Basically, I tell them they are for “if the night doesn’t work out.” Which is code for not being able to earn enough cash to buy drugs or sell themselves for trade. I do not want to come off sounding shameful towards them for what they need to do to Survive.
If these girls actually consume a Gummy; which is 35 mg of THC per candy – within an hour they will feel the effects on their system.
Indica should make them feel tired (maybe not if they use Amphetamines) so hopefully they will feel less inclined to walk the streets and more inclined to sleep. It’s a big trade off for someone used to repeating the same insane patterns every night despite the negative consequences but I am hopeful.
In bags, I have also included Feminine Hygiene Products, travel size Tooth Paste, Soap and Shampoo. Practicing a Self-Care Ritual usually goes out the Window when you are in Active Addiction as one’s Financial resources are limited.
Self-Care is fostered by giving them something to practice this with – like Soap; will in turn encourage them to actually practice self-care.
Harm Reduction and Overdose Prevention in Hamilton, Ontario is a huge aspect of running a business within the Cannabis Community:
The HOPE Project is run by an amazing group of People here in Hamilton, Ontario. They are dedicated to the cause of ending Opiate Abuse and Addiction in the City of Hamilton.
They were actually raided at one point and had their Donations seized. If you could only imagine the pollution of Needles, Waste and other in the Streets of Hamilton because of the intense impact Opiates have had in this City.
Cannabis has become a huge Economic driver for the City in terms of New Business Development and Investment Opportunities. Gentrification is happening everywhere and there is a steady pace of Growth and Expansion throughout the City.
“Jack of All Trades, Master of None”
“Jack of All Trades, Master of None”
By the end of June, OPCC Inc. had been running for 5 months and I was now running my own Cannabiz within my Cannabiz.
Sounds confusing right?
Basically I was running OPCC Inc. administration and Social Media, PR but I had to actually find my own Clients to build my own Client Relationship Model for my version of a Cannabiz run by a Cannamom.
There is a perception that exists of some Men and Women who own and run a “Cannabiz” that they are pushing product before the person which encourages Drug Use and Intoxication.
That notion is unfortunate and dangerous as it really comes down to People wanting to help others, producing a top-notch Cannabis Product or Distributing one known for its high quality THC Content. The reduced cost helps maintain the relationship as well. Can’t help that part; we are all naturally inclined to follow the best deals.
If we look at Costco for comparison; people will pay more for something even if they don’t have to – or need to. People willingly buy more of something if it’s a good deal and the feeling of Exclusivity is present. Triple that inclination if it’s a Brand people actually want to buy 4 boxes of.
Don’t forget the joy of Free Samples either.
In Costco’s case, the best incentive to shop there would be their 3-Tier Membership Packages and Annual Cash Back Rewards incentive.
Costco has been very successful in building their Brand without Advertising, PR or gimmicky promotions. They do things differently than most Retail Big-Box Stores do in that they beat to their own Drum. They don’t Price Match, nor do they care if you found it cheaper Online. They have a loyal following that builds on their Goodwill and Customers.
One of my goals for OPCC Inc. was to build a business model that closely resembled the Social-Cultural Following that DoTerra had enjoyed. DoTerra has been very successful in building a Community of Oil Followers and turning it in a Lifestyle.
Multi-Level Marketing for CBD Oil in the USA is a $22 billion dollar Industry. It has been successful in all parts of the States and it appeals to a large, diverse demographic of Women and Men, of all ages and Ethnicities.
Their version of CBD Oil doesn’t even have any CBD in it.
People are still buying it…
They don’t need to charge insane markups on Essential Oils because the Rep’s do most of the legwork and so there is hardly any overhead. They represent a shift back to the Basics of Business where you connected with your Customers and built relationships based upon Trust, Mutual Respect and Understanding.
Mobility may have been a factor back when Women sold Avon door-to-door but that challenge had be reduced greatly now that we ship stuff across the World on a daily basis. Most of these Women utilize their Social Media to attack the Low Hanging Fruit first but ultimately; only those with true self-enterprising abilities survive once the easy part runs out.
How do we bring the Goodwill of the Black Market into the White Legal One?
Obviously Cannabis is subject to Risk: Political, Regulatory, Market, etc.
Cannabis is indeed a Commodity on which a Futures Contract can be placed upon its Growth. This can further intensify Portfolio Risk because there are NO guarantees your Cannabis will grow and be suitable for Harvest and Sale.
When Diversifying your Investment Portfolio, especially in Cannabis – you should look beyond the scale of public Companies and Stock Markets for expansive, long-term Growth. Think creatively and long-term but also consider the Opportunity Cost: the Risk of investing money in one investment class over another, involved.
Farm-based, private Canadian-controlled Corporations have many Tax advantages which increases your ROI. For example; Shares owned in a Farm qualify for a special Capital-Gain Exemption.
Recovery Project, Part 3: #Cannabiz coming Next Week.
Have an amazing Weekend everyone. Cannacrawl is happening tomorrow in Hamilton, Ontario. I am looking forward to that.