Spotlight – Justin

At Mavuno of Ohio, our Brand Ambassadors are not just individual personalities; they act as the embodiment of our values, passion, and commitment to your health and wellness. Meet Justin, whose warm personality and extensive knowledge allow us to connect with you on a deeper level

Q:As a Brand Ambassador, how do you see your position contributing to increased representation and diversity within the cannabis industry?

I think our going into the community and spreading positive news about cannabis in a black-owned business helps a lot with diversity because there are very few of us in it.

Q:What advice would you give to those aspiring to be in the cannabis industry?

The advice I would give someone is to never stop researching and discovering new incredible things that cannabis can do. Don’t limit yourself; go get it!

Q: How has cannabis positively impacted your life?

Cannabis has a positive impact on my life because it helps with stress and pain.

Q: As an advocate for cannabis education, what key messages or information do you feel are important for people to know?

Cannabis helps the body achieve homeostasis. Additionally, cannabis could potentially heal better without combustion of the flower. And, don’t be a stat chaser!

Q:How do you engage with the local community, and are there any community-focused initiatives or causes that are close to your heart?

I engage with the community with my genuine personality, and the event that I found the most fun was the Fireside Chat event hosted by Harvest last year.

Q:In honor of Black History Month, can you tell us about a figure from Black history who has inspired you?

There are many black figures who inspire me because they are all strong, but the one who inspired me the most was MLK. Despite the hatred and ignorance, he still found a way to bring peace and unite races for the greater good.

Q: What's your go-to cannabis strain, and what do you love most about it? Any special memories or experiences associated with it?

There are many strains that are my favorite, but I’m going to say Sour Blue Diesel by Buckeye Relief because it has a fresh taste, not too high in THC, but always pretty good on terps. I had a good experience with SBD when I was in pain; this strain tends to help alleviate pain because of its CBG content.

Q:What's the last show you binge-watched?

The last show that I binge-watched was ‘The Brothers Sun,’ an American Chinese series on Netflix. It’s a pretty dope show.

Q:If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be and your superhero name?

The superpower that I would have is telepathy, allowing me to read minds and move things with my mind. My superhero name would be ‘BrainStorm’.

Q:What's your dream vacation destination?

Tokyo, Japan!

Q:If you could have any animal as a pet, real or fictional, what would it be?

Appa, the flying bison from Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Q:If you could master one new skill instantly, what would it be?

How to flip $1000 into $100,000.

Rooted Legacy: Cannabis Throughout Black History

Ancient Roots in Africa (3000 BC - 1000 AD):

Did you know that the Mexican term ‘marijuana’ is linked to the word ‘mariamba’, which was used in Kimbundu, a trade language from West and Central Africa? “A Brief Agricultural history of Cannabis in Africa” by Chris Duvall shows that cannabis came to Africa around 1000 years ago, marking the plant’s official introduction to the continent. However, there are many signs that ancient Egyptians found several uses for the cannabis plant as many as 5,000 years ago. It wasn’t until around 1500 AD that the plant’s popularity started to grow and spread over Africa. Farmers were known to cultivate the plant under a variety of settings, and cannabis gardens have been documented in many African countries, including South Africa, Mozambique, and Angola.

 

Pipe smoking, a huge shift in cannabis consumption, originated in Africa around this time. Before this development, cannabis was often ingested orally in Asia, where the plant originated. “The History of Cannabis in Africa: True Tales of Oppression, Suppression and Exploitation” mentions that there were many different techniques to prepare the cannabis plant for smoking, but the most simple and popular method was to dry the flowers beforehand. 

 

The introduction of pipe smoking in Africa led to a significant shift in the cultural and historical landscape of cannabis usage, which we see all over today. Modern techniques of cannabis consumption, such as water pipes, hookahs, and bongs, all trace their origins back to the single invention of pipe smoking, showing the impact African history has on today’s cannabis culture. 

Arrival to the World Through African Slave Trade (1526 - 1867):

As the slave trade unfolded, cannabis was valued for its health effects, primarily as a stimulant and medicinal plant. A complex relationship with the plant began as slavers provided cannabis for slaves to smoke during forced marches to give them moments of relief in the painful, horrible journey. 

 

A commercial trade where slaves transported cannabis shipments to the coast was also established during this time. Cannabis seeds were sown into the clothing worn on slave ships and were spread upon their arrival to the Americas, allowing the plant to travel across continents. Chris Duvall’s “The African Roots of Marijuana” mentions that these slaves “carried Cannabis indica to more locations and for a longer period of time than any other group of migrants.”

 

In the 16th century, slaves from various countries including Angola, brought cannabis seeds to Brazilian sugar plantations. Slave owners encouraged slaves to tend to their own cannabis plants in order to combat periods of ‘laziness’ and to increase productivity while they weren’t actively being forced to work.

The Jazz Era and Prohibition (1910- 1939) :

“Why, When, and How Marijuana Became Illegal” mentions how marijuana was utilized for various reasons for centuries in the Americas, but it wasn’t until the Prohibition Era (1920-1933), when alcohol was banned, that its recreational use really took off. Southern state governments began to regulate the cannabis plant around this time, claiming that its use had an impact on crime rates and that by banning cannabis, it would cause immigrants who brought the plant with them to leave. By 1931, recreational cannabis had become illegal in most of the United States, however it was still growing and thriving in the Jazz landscape. 

The History Channel states that the 1910’s marked a golden age for African American culture– the Harlem Renaissance had begun and the American Dream was going strong. The Black community sought refuge in communal spaces where they could dance and hang out called juke joints. These places were a safe space for Black people to escape from their everyday racial struggles. This made it an ideal space to partake in drinking, dancing, and listening to their favorite Jazz musicians. Cannabis was utilized by many, many of these Jazz musicians who played in juke joints from 1920-1939 for its ability to help the creative process as they made music and to keep that flow going while they performed. The love for reefer (or cannabis) showed through the numerous songs that Jazz musicians dedicated to it. 


Black Jazz musician Louis Armstrong is among the top artists of all time in the genre, and he took the music scene by storm with his transformation of Jazz music, including his song “Muggles”, a slang term for marijuana. Cab Calloway, the first African American to sell one million records, joined the ranks with a few releases mentioning marijuana during the 1930s and 1940s, including “Reefer Man” and “The Man From Harlem”. Despite segregation going strong, these songs were playing in many households across the country. 

 

 Due to its links to African Americans, jazz became known as “The Devil’s Music” and deemed to be demonic and immoral, sparking fear in those who believed the propaganda. “Reefer Madness”, a movie that made its debut in 1936, was just one of the campaigns to prove that marijuana brought nothing but trouble. 

Reefer Madness Cover

The War on Drugs (1971 - 1995) :

Harry Anslinger, director of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, had done much work in the 1930s-1960s to link anti-cannabis rhetoric to an anti-Black mindset. He was quoted saying, “Satanic music, jazz and swing, results from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and others.” According to “Racism and Its Effect on Cannabis Research” by Robert Solomon, Anslinger’s work to introduce marijuana reform with the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act set the stage for the Marijuana Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Signed by President Richard Nixon in 1970, this act categorized drugs from Schedule 1 to 5 based on the danger they pose (marijuana falls as a schedule 1 substance) and is still in place today. 

In 1971, President Nixon declared the “War on Drugs” to combat drug abuse and increase government efforts to control it. According to PBS’ Marijuana Timeline, the initiative went into the background for a little while, until conservative groups lobbied for stricter policies and gained a lot of support from large organizations like the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This did much in changing the public opinion of cannabis to a negative one. President Ronald Regain strengthened the initiative in 1981, when he signed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act. 

PBS’ Marijuana Timeline goes on to mention that under the Anti-Drug Abuse Act, policy allowed for three infractions before life sentences were given. 100 marijuana plants was sentenced equal to 100 grams of heroin. Unfortunately, this led to a snowball effect as incarceration, especially of Black people, became much more emphasized than treatment due to governmental pushes and public fears of the crack epidemic rising. 

 

According to the 1996 Crime in the United States (CIUS) Report, from 1980-1995, there was an 80% increase in the total number of arrests for the possession or sale of marijuana. In 1995, the proportion of Black people in total drug arrests increased from 24% in 1980 to 39% in 1995. On the other hand, White arrests decreased from 75% in 1980 to 60% in 1995. The distribution of other racial groups stayed relatively the same during this period.

The Present (2000 - Present) :

California became the first state to legalize recreational cannabis use for adults 21 and over in 2016. In the years since then, we’ve seen several states reform their cannabis policies, with Ohio becoming the most recent state to legalize recreational marijuana in 2023. As marijuana possession and use becomes legal across the United States, we reach a new climate as the public opinion on marijuana steadily changes. 

Screenshot 2024-02-21 at 12.05.44 PM

According to The Pew Research Center, 85% of Black Americans now say at least the medical use of marijuana should be legal. Outrage ensued as Black track star Sha’Carri Richardson was unable to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after THC led to a failed drug test. The growing support for her and other users of cannabis can be attributed to several factors such as the widespread popularity of Hip Hop culture and its ties to marijuana, increased research and understanding of the plant, and the success of states adopting new legalization policies.

California became the first state to legalize recreational cannabis use for adults 21 and over in 2016. In the years since then, we’ve seen several states reform their cannabis policies, with Ohio becoming the most recent state to legalize recreational marijuana in 2023. As marijuana possession and use becomes legal across the United States, we reach a new climate as the public opinion on marijuana steadily changes. 

 

According to The Pew Research Center, 85% of Black Americans now say at least the medical use of marijuana should be legal. Outrage ensued as Black track star Sha’Carri Richardson was unable to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after THC led to a failed drug test. The growing support for her and other users of cannabis can be attributed to several factors such as the widespread popularity of Hip Hop culture and its ties to marijuana, increased research and understanding of the plant, and the success of states adopting new legalization policies.

 

Mental health conversations have opened up and safe spaces are now ways to facilitate mental and physical self-care, many of which utilize cannabis to maintain this. A 2020 Statista survey showed that 27% of Black Americans aged 18-25 mentioned that they had used marijuana in the last month. The social aspect of cannabis remains strong as the shift from juke joints to Black nightclubs and bars gives a way to escape pressures of daily life and build community.

 

With that said, we still have much to do. The American Civil Liberties Union mentions that from 2001-2010, over 8.2 million people were arrested for simple marijuana possession. Of this number, Black people were around 4 times more likely to be arrested. Fortunately, programs like Last Prisoner Project, a nonprofit dedicated to reforming the criminal justice system and supporting those affected, are becoming more commonplace and pardons are being issued. With this information, we look toward a brighter future and are excited to see society form a healthy relationship with the plant that weaves a connection through Black history. 

 

To learn more about the Last Prisoner Project, click here!

Top 5 Unique Valentine’s Day Gifts Your Partner Won’t Expect

Valentine’s Day is here, and while it’s a time of love, it can be a bit stressful to figure out what to get your special someone. Look no further, we’ve created a list with the best gift ideas for you! From personalized fragrances to custom cannabis accessories, here are the top 5 Valentine’s gifts that will make your celebration a hit.

Customized Cannabis Accessories (#5):

You can elevate your partner’s cannabis experience by including that special personalized touch. Customize rolling papers with unique designs or their name, place a picture you both love on a high-quality grinder, or give them a cool reminder of their favorite character on a new lighter. This gift combines thoughtfulness and functionality into one amazing product, creating a unique and memorable addition to their cannabis repertoire. 

Etsy is an amazing place to get these items made and shipped to you, here are some options to get you started: 

  1. Personalized Grinder

  2. Custom Rolling Tray Set

  3. Custom Lighters

Memory-Making Time(#4):

As they say, “experience gives us memories that last a lifetime.” Whether it’s a cooking class, a uniquely-themed restaurant you’ve always wanted to try followed by a visit to a museum exhibition, or a weekend getaway, an experience that you both can enjoy together is sure to make a memory that you’ll be able to look back on. These shared adventures not only deepen your connection but also write stories that will become cherished chapters in the book of your relationship, making every moment truly unforgettable.

Below are some cool and unique things to do near you!

  1. Columbus
    1. Otherworld | Immersive Art Experience 
    2. Game Show Battle Rooms
    3. The Escape Game Columbus 
  2. Athens
    1. Athena Cinema
    2. Kennedy Museum of Art 
    3. Vacation Cabin Getaway
  3. Beavercreek
    1. Two Social | Gaming Center & Bar
    2. Wild Axe Throwing
    3. The Learning Kitchen 

Cannabis Themed Apparel (#3):

Does your partner have a passion for fashion? Make a bold statement with cannabis-themed apparel that reflects your partner’s tastes. From stylish T-shirts and hoodies to cool accessories and jewelry, there are endless options to showcase their love for cannabis culture. Choosing pieces that align with their style makes this a thoughtful gift that they will absolutely appreciate. Not only does this gift  allow them to express their interests, but it also adds a touch of individuality to their wardrobe, ensuring they stand out with a unique and fashionable edge.

Here’s a list of some amazing options we found: 

  1. Blaze It Hoodie
  2. Unisex Stoner Girl Sweatshirt 
  3. Unisex Plant Some Trees Shirt
  4. Nugget Plushie
  5. Resin Ring

 

Custom Fragrance (#2):

Did you know that attraction is often linked to scent? Harnessing this intriguing connection, we’re recommending a custom fragrance as the perfect gift.  You can work with a perfumer to create a scent that embodies the essence of your relationship or find a custom candle shop near you. Whether it’s a blend of floral notes, warm spices, or citrus undertones, a custom fragrance is a personal and romantic gift that will be cherished.

The list below has a few custom perfume and scent companies that ship to your house!

  1. Me Fragrance Custom Perfume
  2. Maison 21G
  3. Scent Crafters 

Harvest of OH Valentine’s Day Love Bundle (#1):

We’ve saved the best for last! Kick off the celebration with our curated Valentine’s Day Love Bundle, featuring the romantic essentials:  topicals, chocolates, and cannabis flower. Available on Valentine’s Day at a 30% discount, this bundle can be paired perfectly with a gift basket or given as a stand-alone gift. Complete the gesture with a personalized card, scented candles, and a heartfelt message, tailoring it to your partner’s tastes for a one-of-a-kind expression of your love.

This Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to step outside the ordinary to express your love with gifts that mirror the uniqueness of your relationship. Each of these presents is bound to make your celebration truly memorable. Demonstrate your appreciation for your partner’s individuality and celebrate the bond you share with gifts that resonate with their heart. Let us know all about how your Valentine’s Day went by tagging us @harvestofoh on Instagram!



The list below has a few custom perfume and scent companies that ship to your house!

  1. Me Fragrance Custom Perfume
  2. Maison 21G
  3. Scent Crafters 

Spotlight – Dalen

Meet Dalen, our dynamic Inventory Specialist at Harvest of Athens! With a keen eye for detail, Dalen plays an important role in ensuring our inventory management is nothing short of seamless. Join us in welcoming Dalen to his new role as he keeps our operations running smoothly and makes sure there’s precision in everything!

Q: With the start of a new year, what aspect of your role at the dispensary are you most excited about?

I’m most excited to be able to listen for new customer recommendations and continue to innovate our online menu, giving more accuracy and more detail on our products.

Q: What was your proudest moment from your work at Harvest in the past year?

My proudest moment would have to be receiving this promotion from Dispensary Associate to Inventory Supervisor within my first 6 months of work. When I came to Harvest I knew I was with good people who saw my potential, and that I could be successful with the fantastic team we’ve assembled.

Q: What's one thing you wish more people knew about the benefits of medical cannabis?

Medical cannabis comes in all forms, from flower, to oils, topicals and tinctures, drinks, gummies and even chocolates. Medical cannabis edible items can also be dietary-restriction friendly such as the vegan diet. This leaves lots of room to experiment with different forms of the same substance in order to best fit your day-to-day needs.

Q: As you start inventory management, what strategies have you found work the best?

What I’ve learned throughout my time as Inventory Supervisor, is that everyone has a different strategy to accomplish the same organizing goal, and putting the team first means that everyone has less work to be done so long as we’re all working together. My personal strategy though, is slow and steady wins the race. 

Q:Is there an unexpected item that is selling out the fastest?

I definitely have to give it to the Riviera Creek Infused Riv sticks, they’ve been in and out of the store faster than anything else, and in my experience, nothing else touches that level of potency at that price!

Q:Winter is in full swing. Do you have any favorite cannabis products or strains that you recommend for relaxation or cozy evenings?

This winter is a COLD one, so I’d recommend settling down at night with a nice cup of the UBGOOD hot cocoa mix and a Kiva chocolate bar in order to best enjoy the season. Though the Butterfly Effect infusion powder mixed into tea still is a nightly go-to.

Q: What would you be voted “Most Likely” for in a Harvest Yearbook?

Most likely to join a band.

Q:If you could teleport anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?

I’d go to Okinawa, Japan, although I’d need to bring my grandma with me since it’s where she grew up, I’d really love to see all of Japan using the public train system in a single trip. 

Q:What are some of your New Year’s Resolutions?

Exercise more, drink more water, and save money but don’t deprive.

Q:Would you rather always be cold or always be hot? Why?

I’d rather always be cold, because I can always bundle myself up but I can only un-bundle myself so much before someone has to call the police.

Q:What’s something you couldn’t live without?

I absolutely couldn’t live without my animals. I have two cats named Oatmeal and Tofu, and an Australian shepherd named Oliver.

Q:I think I’d choose to be Naruto Uzumaki, pretty self-explanatory, if you know you know.

Title : “Did I Ever Wake Up?” Genre : Sci-Fi Fantasy Thriller.

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