Here at MJBI we spent a lot of time thinking and writing about cannabis. Even after collective decades in this industry, we’re still amazed by the complexity of the issues and stories that spin around this plant. From the science of terpenes to the fight for an equitable industry to the R&D process that led to fast-acting edibles, the potential for exploration is limitless. But let’s not lose sight of the lighter side of weed. This 4/20, we asked our staff and other industry insiders to share their favorite (or most ridiculous) memories of being high. Some answers had us cracking up, while others reminded us that cannabis is essential medicine. The bottom line? We love weed. Happy 4/20!
Erin Parkins, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, The Honeybee Collective
“Weed is a must on any camping trip. Once I was setting up camp at a walk-in campsite in Big Sur and unknowingly left the homemade weed cookies at the campsite while we walked back to finish unloading the cars. We returned to find squirrels going ham on the six cookies I had brought, one for each of us. We were dismayed and disappointed, but there were about 1 ½ cookies left so we made the best of it and split them between us. It turns out we didn’t need much more than that to have us saying things like “I feel like I’m in Big Buck Hunter right now.” When we realized how high that small amount of cookie got us humans, I became very worried for the poor squirrels that ate their body weight in them. I choose to believe they were fine and just had a very chill, sleepy few days.”
Justin Singer, CEO and Co-Founder of Ripple
“The summer between my junior and senior year of college began by scoring a half-ounce of what the dealer called ‘Orange Crush.’ It was the most energetic high I’ve ever experienced, and a good friend and I spent that summer working/studying all day before playing golf from 5 p.m. to dusk while high as could be. Some strains put you to sleep—that strain just made the world brighter. I’ve yet to find the same effect, and at this point, I mostly chalk up the effect to the time, place, and mindset. But that was definitely a great summer made greater by being the right kind of high.”
Hilary Yu, Founder of Our Academy and Our Dream
“I went to a PR event for a cannabis edible brand that was doing a painting night and went directly after a day of meetings and was naturally starving, so I demolished every snack on hand. Turned out an intern mismarked the non-infused with the infused food and I had eaten what was equivalent to 500mg of drizzled chocolate popcorn. I immediately started panicking as they were giving instructions on how to paint by numbers so I bolted and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to leave the gated house… Turns out there was a ring camera that caught me hopelessly trying to escape this PR influencer party for a whopping 20 minutes (btw I was not the influencer, I was the +1) and that footage is out there in the world.”
Rebecca Warner, Senior Vice President of Sales at Leafly
“I have never been a heavy user of cannabis and have often found that my tolerance trends on the low side. But I recall the time I tried Camino’s Wild Cherry edibles during a particularly stressful evening as Hurricane Ida rained down in NYC. I don’t think I have ever been more blissfully relaxed than I was that evening. Since then, Camino’s edibles have been one of my favorites.”
Morgan Worley, Business Development Specialist at Jage Media, Inc.
“I recently hosted a small party where we played Truth or Dab from First We Feast.
We were getting to know some new friends. To play, one person draws a Truth, Roast, Pop Quiz or BFF Trivia card and everyone must either answer the question/challenge truthfully or enjoy a mouth-burning dab of their Last Dab hot sauce (rated at 2 million-plus Scoville units).
We chose to interpret the dab challenge loosely by passing the Puffco around when we’d had enough hot sauce. We plowed through multiple grams of concentrates that evening. Not only did we learn a lot about each other, we now have many inside jokes and plan to make it a monthly ritual where we attempt to mindfully pair concentrates with hot sauces.
As someone who doesn’t value drinking alcohol like I did in my 20s, this was an exciting way to host a party without a resulting hangover (though the hot sauce definitely had lingering effects the next day).”
Jarell Wall, CEO & Co-Founder of Gentleman Quinn’s
“One of my favorite times getting stoned was really where the idea of my company, Gentleman Quinns, began. Three of us, from the dispensary I worked at, traveled to Boulder, Colorado back in 2015. We were really just getting to know each other–myself, the general manager, and a budtender. Something of a team-building smoke out.
We all arrived, it was a little dark, super windy, but the budtender elected to roll a blunt and somehow he managed to roll with no light. He handed his blunt to the GM, Austin. Austin thought it was a joke and tossed it on the ground. The budtender found it, dusted it off, and let us know this is how he rolls blunts. Big as hell. Austin and I are from the Midwest during the illegal days. You weren’t rolling gigantic blunts or joints.
The budtender handed us the lit blunt. I replied ‘What a gentleman, Quinn!’ That is how our story began. At that moment, coworkers became business partners. We smoked, got stoned, and really sat in Boulder for some hours formulating our brand. We built the roadmap that we’re riding on now. “
Mell Green, Contributing Writer at MJ Brand Insights
“I had a college friend who was known to puff herb, quite frequently. One night, she’d dare me to finally try it. I had never smoked or consumed THC and just a few weeks before, I was told by my sister that she tried it and felt like she was in another world. I was a little timid but my friend assured me I’d be okay. We walked around the neighborhood, she passed me her neatly packed joint (still don’t know what strain it was) and I took two big puffs. In no time, I was laughing so loud, people walking by thought I was absolutely insane. I returned home and thought it’d be a good idea to call my boyfriend. We stayed on the phone for nearly two hours with me laughing every other word, I could barely speak. He was a little annoyed but congratulated me on my first “high.” After our call, I completely raged and ate everything in my pantry, later falling into one of the most deep and peaceful slumbers I’d ever experienced.”
Holly Devon, Writer at MJ Brand Insights
Over the years, I’ve come to think of cannabis as a sort of herbal Doctor Who phone box. I never quite know where in the timespace continuum it will take me, and upon my return the experience can be a little difficult to explain—nowadays I mostly keep them to myself. But the beginning of my toking life was a simpler, more innocent time, when weed was a silly giggle fog that wrapped itself around my overwrought brain and told it to stop working so hard. I recall one such occasion when it nearly stopped functioning altogether: a classic tale involving college, equally stoned friends, and my first trip to Amsterdam.
I was staying with this impossibly cool friend of a friend, who wore Dutch knee high woolen socks with short shorts as she rolled joint after joint in the little student apartment whose floor me and my less glamorous friends had taken over. But Amsterdam’s signature coffee shop edibles proved to be an effective social equalizer. They were enormous, bland, and extremely potent. Each of us recklessly devoured one before we set out for Amsterdam’s premier stoner tourist destination: the Van Gogh museum. The edibles went into full force midway through the (seemingly eternal) tram ride, and by the time it dropped us at our stop, the journey had become a quest. We marched in what we believed was the direction of the Van Gogh museum, and when we came upon a large circular tower straight out of a fairytale we were certain we had found it. We began winding around the tower in a single file line, incredulously struggling to find the door. Round and round we walked, feeling with our fingers for what we were sure was a secret doorway. Obviously the priceless Van Goghs were being kept in some secret tower—but why? Was this any way to run a tourism economy? Eventually, one of us noticed the throngs of tourists waiting in line in front of the capacious modern building a few yards away, and sheepish and giggling, wandered over to join them. To this day, I can not remember a single Van Gogh, only the mysterious tower I saw when I was apparently still young enough to believe in fairy tales.
Onell Crawford, International Vape Consultant
“When I was younger I worked in a call center. I had never consumed prior to this. A group of us went out for lunch and took a couple tokes. When I got back to my desk, a call came in. I answered in regular fashion but asked if I can put him on hold. I totally forgot what I was doing shortly thereafter. When I realized I had someone on hold I returned and said thank you for your patience, how may I help you? He said, why was I on hold? I said I needed to review your account….He said, I didn’t give you any information to review. Lol. Well then…”
Deborah Johnson, Investor Engagement Manager at Jage Media, Inc.
“When I was in college (Penn State Nittany) I was def the smoker hippy chick. I used to hang out on the sidewalk of our main street and grab my friends walking by and drag them up to my apartment to partake in a good smoke. My memories around cannabis all involve great friends, great chats, great sex, and great experiences. I love sharing the plant with friends.”
Jen Seo, Director of Marketing and Partnerships at Nabis
“Personally I can’t pick one particular moment, every moment I smoke, drink, or eat cannabis I dose it so that it’s tailored to my own positive experience. If I ever want to experiment outside of my comfort zone, my favorite aspect of getting high is trying new product innovations and absorbing new higher experiences.”
Andrea Baillo, Vice President Research and Product Innovation at Open Book Extracts
“My favorite memory of being high is after you eat an edible. You continue to move along with your day and then slowly you start to realize you’re talking a lot more, your spirits are lifted, you might find normal things to be funny, and you go…Ohh yeah! I’m high!”
Wendy Campbell, National Sales Director at Jage Media, Inc.
“It was Spring break 1993. I traveled to Negril, Jamaica with a few of my college housemates. We happened to be in the right place, at the right time when we met Julian Marley (Bob’s youngest son) and, a longtime roadie of The Wailers. The energy was amazing and Ken drove us back to our cottage. When we arrived at the cottage Ken pulled all of the fixings out of the trunk of his car and proceeded to make us herb tea. Never did I think I’d be sitting in my cottage kitchen in Jamaica, sipping on Herb Tea made by locals and hanging out with a member of the Marley family and the band. It was one of those ‘pinch me please – is this really happening!?!’ moments that I’ll never forget. Plus, the tea set all of us sailing! For many years in the late 90s when The Wailers were touring the US, I met up with Ken and the crew all over the country. The tour bus was always parked out front of the venue(s) and I would go to the bus, they’d open the door and we’d smoke a big spliff to celebrate our continued friendship.”
Munib Bhandari, Co-Founder at The Grasse Company
“My first memorable experiences with cannabis was in college. My roommates and I would go outside the dorms and we would consume near the lake and I remember it was so nice to be high in nature and walking around with a slight fear of being caught. Till this day, enjoying cannabis in nature is one of my favorite activities.”
Hammadur Bhandari, Managing Member at The Grasse Company
“My favorite memory of being high was during family gatherings with my brother and cousins. We would go out to smoke, go to Blockbuster, walk up and down the aisles looking for movies and snacks. After that we would go home and watch the movie and then enjoy the amazing food!”
Andreas Neumann, Chief Creative Director at Jushi Holding Inc.
The first time I consumed cannabis, I was 18 and renting a little house in the forest outside Munich. I was in a mini Sons of Anarchy phase with my friends who were always up to no good. Some of my friends were dealing with hash rocks—they had this bowie knife that they heated up to divide it into pieces. But smoking it made me so tired and I said this is definitely not for me- I’d rather drink a beer.
The next time I tried it was 30 years later in California, and when I smoked my friends started looking like Game of Thrones characters. I started smoking every day, but only by myself, at least until I got used to it. The first time I had to have a family dinner when I was on edibles–that was my first time in a social environment with friends and family where you have to be able to handle yourself with a bunch of people who never have smoked and never will smoke. I kept thinking, ‘They know I’m high, they know I’m high,’ but they didn’t know. I was very hungry, trying to make sense of what was going on but also going places that don’t make sense. I was in another dimension observing myself trying to handle the other dimension, looking at a bottle of water, staring at it, thinking, “where does the water come from? How can we all be here together? There were the dinosaurs but now they don’t matter anymore.” It took me years to be confident enough to go out high to the cinema.
Chiah Rodriques, Operations Director, Mendocino Generations
“When I was a couple days post-spinal surgery I was feeling like nothing was helping me that the surgeon prescribed, and smoking wasn’t helping with the pain enough so I wanted to have some stronger dosage. I decided to take some capsules and we went to the dispensary and bought some hundred milligram Proof brand THC capsules. I took one, which was the largest dose of cannabis I have ever taken. When we came home I was laying on the couch and I smoked some of our sungrown, I don’t remember which strain, and in the middle of that high coming on I decided to drink an infused beverage. I forgot about taking the capsule! Total stoner move! About an hour later I’m dying of laughter in between moments of crying and exasperated calls for help for my husband. I am curled up on the couch feeling like I’m going to vomit! He starts laughing because the next minute I’m saying things like “Hey let’s go on a hike!” Which is ridiculous because I just had spinal surgery obviously and it’s nighttime! I think my husband thought I was totally insane! From now on I think I’ll take smaller doses!”
Veronica Castillo, Cannabis Writer
“The high that proved to me that cannabis was capable of healing me: Dayton, OH, 2015. It wasn’t my first time smoking, maybe my seventh, but it was the first time I smoked with the intent to heal. You see, I was diagnosed with basilar migraine (chronic migraine with vertigo) and I allowed the medical team to attempt to treat me with five different prescription medications. By 2015, I was desperate because nothing was working. In fact, during the fifth round of prescription meds, I felt worse. They wanted to add a sixth that was supposed to treat something that was developing from prescription number five. I was desperate!
At my dining room table that night while sitting with friends, I felt a migraine coming, the aura struck (an aura is a sensory, verbal, and/or motor disturbance that occurs about 30 minutes before the migraine strikes). As I grabbed a bottle of pills, one friend said something like: “You need to smoke weed instead of popping those pills.” I said: “F it”, and took a few inhales. This felt different than the times before. I remember falling into sleep and waking up the next morning making the decision to smoke weed from that point forward. I grabbed an eighth that afternoon and it has been me and cannabis since.
From 2014 to 2015, I suffered every week: one or two migraines that would last 1-2 days, and the smaller rebound headaches that came from all that trash in my system that the doctors prescribed me. Today, I live pretty migraine free. I may have an aura 2-4 times a year–but the migraine doesn’t surface because it doesn’t stand a chance–cannabis kills it upon contact.”
Evan Johnson, Marketing Manager at Jage Media, Inc.
“My favorite most ridiculous memory of being high would have to be the time I tried a gravity bong for the first time in college. I just remember being so high all I could think to do was laugh, and anytime I made eye contact with any of my friends in the room we would all start dying laughing. To this day, I don’t believe I’ve ever gotten that high again.”
Margaret Jackson, Writer at MJ Brand Insights
“A seed popped out of the bowl onto the trampoline, burning a hole in the canvas.
It was my first time getting high, and I was with my next-door neighbor, a guy I’d had a crush on since kindergarten. We laughed uncontrollably over everything and nothing, and I’m sure when I went back inside the house, it was obvious to my parents that I’d been ‘up to no good.’
My parents knew Joey was a rebel and thought shipping me off to boarding school was the best way to put an end to my relationship with him and cannabis. What they—or I—couldn’t know was that it was only the beginning—for both.
Marijuana was a part of daily life at boarding school. During what they called ‘milk lunch,’ a snack break, my classmates and I would head to our rooms to hang out in the closet doing bongs—with towels to (hopefully) disguise the odor. Visine and Tic Tacs were staples in all of our toiletry bags, although it was pretty tough to conceal my slitted eyes and the creases lining my forehead because I couldn’t keep my eyebrows down.
Of course we all raced back down to milk lunch to ward off the munchies we were sure to have between 10 AM and lunchtime.
While high school was certainly a time for experimenting with cannabis, it was that it made the true mark on my life and earned me the moniker ‘Margaret the Marijuana Monster.’
From wake ’n’ bake sessions to afternoon joints, my friends and I always seemed to be stoned. We even packed the bowls of our Graphics bongs as full as we could to see who could take the biggest hit — apparently my lung capacity was greater, earning me my nickname.
My parents’ efforts to keep my relationship with cannabis at bay failed. And that kid from the trampoline? We live together now.
Things have changed a lot since those days. While I still enjoy marijuana, I rarely smoke it, opting instead for edibles and beverages. The weed is stronger, too, meaning I consume much less than I used to.
But I do know people who are even more obsessed than I was 30 years ago. Maybe it’s time to pass the title on.