Sharing stories is how we learn and connect. Kirk travels westward from Dauphin along North American’s most northern provincially connected highway system. Listen to the quirky, cool Bud Tenders stories he brought back from the road.
E75 - Road Stories
(Yes we have a SOCAN membership to use these songs all legal and proper like)
Kirk: So, Trevor, we're back.
Trevor: Kirk we're back. Yes. Well, let's do the quick review. For those who don't know, where did you start, like where's Reefer MEDness based out of and how did you get there and what was your transportation, and where did you go?
Kirk: Reefer MEDness - The Podcast is based out of Manitoba Dauphin, Manitoba, Canada. We, my wife and I took a trip up to Flin Flon, which is about four to six hours, depending on the vehicle and how many times the puppy had to pee. So, yes, Michelle and the puppy and vanHoot drove up to Flin Flon in a headwind the whole way.
Trevor: VanHoot is literally the name of their vehicle.
Kirk: We're calling it vanHoot for the hell of it. It's coffee colored. It's it's a hoot to drive, and it's been known to have some medicinal hoots in it. So we we drove up Flin Flon headwind all the way in and a V8 305 GMC V8 just. And it's like the old the old days of traveling with with that lovely smell of gas coming from the exhaust. There's no catalytic. I think there's a catalytic inverter, but there's no there's no electronics in it. You have to wind down the window. It's got the no drafts. It's lovely. 1983 Rally Sport. Yeah, so we went to we went up to Flin Flon. There are two stores in Flin Flon. I talked to both of them. The one the one store was not prepared to, was not prepared to talk to me. But yeah, but it was a nice store is in a hotel. And then the next store, I posted it and and I met the owner and the owner told us a really cool story. Spencer told us a really good story about what was in the building before he did his his his retail store in it. So that's kind of cool. From there,.
Trevor: Yeah, it's almost a ghost of cannabis past store. Yeah. And I really I really like that, Spencer said. You know, I think about getting into a new business. I thought maybe I'd start a construction company, but I've got a hemp shop now.
Kirk: Yeah, and I'm sure he's doing fine because I can tell you, man, and all these hemp shops I went to, there was never. Empty, none of the shops are empty. There is always a customer coming in from there. We traveled down the Northern Highway Saskatchewan and went to Prince Prince Albert, a town that I've always wanted to go to.
Trevor: So, so help me. So help me situate Prince Albert. I know Flin Flon is right on the Manitoba, Saskatchewan, border. a little bit north of us, where whereabouts is Prince Albert?
Kirk: You're going to be going southwest to this almost the center scattering. It's the most northern major city of Saskatchewan. Are you going to call a major city? And it is. It's a big city. It has three cannabis shops. And I got a story from there. I had Five Buds. I spoke to a fella there.
Kirk: I thank you. I spoke to him. I went to another shop and and had a lovely conversation with a lady. She told me a fantastic cannabis story and I was really happy to have it. She was very nervous. I got a text from her soon after I left saying that the owners of the shop don't want any advertising, don't want me to do anything, so I can't tell that story. Then down the hill, as I was getting back on the highway, I realized, Oh, there's another shop, and it looked like a First Nations, First Nations shop. So I went in there looking for a story and I talked to the owner. I talked to the manager. None of them wanted to give me a story. I said, OK, fine. No worries. So got back in the vanHoot and headed towards Alberta. We got into Cold Lake very late and there was no camping anywhere in Cold Lake, so we ended up, we ended up going into a northern or our small little lake and had a wonderful, wonderful evening in this small, little private lake. From there, we went to Slave Lake and had a conversation with Fire and Flower and
Trevor: situate switched, situate Slave Lake for us, I don't know when relation to Edmonton.
Kirk: North, almost directly north and it's it's central north, almost parallel to Lac La Biche. You got lots of fish. You got at the Athabasca, Slave lake, High Prairie, Grand Prairie, sort of that that highway, which is another northern highway. So Michelle and I, Michelle and I purposely took the most northern highways of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. And yeah, I got another great story from Jordan in Slave. So there's three road stories. It's interesting.
Trevor: I like the Jordan, Jordan story, had a relative and A. involved in it. I thought that was a sweet story.
Kirk: Yeah, it's a great story. So I'm hoping everyone will enjoy these stories. You know, traveling right now, Trevor, and I think I said this in another episode where there is this window of opportunity where the province is opened up, but it's odd. It feels really odd. I still carry a mask in my pocket. I'm going to say 70 percent of the time I walk in and remember to wear the mask, and I look around and going, Oh jeez, I'm the only one. So you get a little self-conscious, and then I keep remembering that masks protect other people from me. But yet, but yet I have a mask that's actually an N95. It's a cloth mask that puts filters inside of it, so it actually is an N95. So in some ways I am protecting myself, but it's an odd time we live in my friend this this traveling during COVID.
Trevor: It is. And just I just because, for the record, I'm double vaccinated. I mentioned traveling in a previous episode. So yes, I'm wearing masks more often than not and where it's legally required, but also got got the whole double vax before I started moving around.
Kirk: Yeah, I've been double vax for, geez, I think three months already. So yeah, it's like it's so old news. I still can't figure out anyways, this isn't. We're not going to get into that.
Trevor: Yeah, this is ... Traveling. Traveling is good, and there cannabis stories to be had.
Kirk: So some people please enjoy this. I'm still in Alberta. I'm hoping, I'm hoping I've got. I've got a couple of storylines I want to work on. I'm in Lac La Biche. I went to the two stores. I went to spirit separately and went to equilibrium. Both stars are busy. I didn't feel comfortable asking for a story because they're so busy, but I do have Derek and I. Funny enough, Derek, who I interviewed in Small Town Alberta, episode whatever episode number it is, Michelle and I are camping. For the first two weeks we were here. We're in the driveway of Michelle's other sister and right across the alley is Derek and its like, Oh hey, how are you doing? So, yeah, he's a neighbor. howdy neighbor. So. So yeah, he's seen me see me crawl out of VanHoot in the morning and take the dog for a walk. And so, yeah, I'm going to interview him, I got a storyline, I want to go with him, so we'll catch up on his his little enterprise. His enterprises grown and then I hope to get down to Parkland Flower and see our friend down there. Kieley? Yeah, no, absolutely. Yeah. So we're going to go see her and then we're down to Hemp Fest. But traveling in COVID. All right. Traveling.
Trevor: Well, stay safe. And next time I see you, it will be in Hemp Fest. So they'll be they'll definitely be some episodes from there. So stay tuned, everybody, and enjoy this traveling interlude episode.
Kirk: We'll see what Rene puts together. Cheers
Rene: Thanks, guys. All right, so we've got three stories here. We'll just play the three stories in a row and we'll start off in Flin Flon with a talk with Spencer Payson.
Spencer: I'm Spencer Payson, owner of Payson's Joint in Flin Flon Manitoba. I opened the store back in December 2016. Journey kind of started around late June of that year. I was actually looking to open a construction company and my friend kind of talked me into opening a head shop. So he also works in the industry in kind of like we're seeing that, you know, cannabis was going to be legalized soon. So figured I'd worked for him in the past. This was a great idea. Working with him was one of the best jobs I ever had that. So I was like, Yeah, I'll do it. So over the next couple of months, I spent some time finding location and found this building. Interesting story about this building is that person that owned it previously, they were actually busted for selling cannabis out of the store. Oh, and they were busted. They said that when they were reigning them on the charges and how much cannabis they had, it was short. So when I bought the building, the electrician told me like, yeah, they came up short from what they originally knew they had. So there might be cannabis in here somewhere. So, me and my buddy had been spending like about a month cleaning up the entire store because this place was just filled with junk and there used to be a kiosk over there in the corner that took up about like almost a quarter section of the store. And we were hacking it up with a saw. And it was we had maybe two loads left to carry out and we had just taken a load to the dump. Came back in and there was this bag on the floor. Didn't really think much of it just thought it was like one of those bags that was in a box, you know, to kind of like, fill it up so stuff won't move around. So I kicked it out of my way. So like, yeah, let's pick up this, this and this, that should be a load. I turn around my buddy's holding this bag and he's like, Dude, I'm like, What? I'm like, that's just a bag, like a cushion bag. I grab it and I quickly realize it's a bag filled with weed. I was just like, Oh, so that's a load. Let's get out of here. So we jumped in my truck, we drove home and pulled out the bag. We weighted it out. It turned out to be a half pound and. It was lemon skunk. You could tell as soon as I smelt it. But yeah, so then slowly got the store in order, got all the merchandise. It's pretty much a one man show. A couple of friends came around when I received all the merchandise help me set up to showcase everything. I had one friend help me unpack everything, load the store up and yeah,.
Kirk: Wonderful. Did you have a headshot first or,
Spencer: yeah, start off as a headshot. Okay? And last year, in November 2020, we opened his store. I got a license in October.
Kirk: So where is the cannabis?
Spencer: The cannabis is all through out the store. Okay, so like almost all the showcases, all those bins are all filled with cannabis.
Kirk: so at nighttime, then you don't lock it up in a safe, you must lock it up.
Spencer: Yeah, we got a vault in the back.
Kirk: OK, so it's all out. Wow. And what's it like? You mean you're so far away from everywhere and Flin Flon?
Kirk: What's it like getting cannabis up, accessing it?
Spencer: Oh, it's pretty easy. You know, we just have a route or cycle every two weeks. Manitoba now has a weekly order cycle, but just for the sake of paying bills and everything, I just order on the two week schedule.
Kirk: OK, now. And so what you got like, it's one of those boxes is cannabis. Yeah, well, you got a lot of cannabis in your store.
Spencer: Yeah, we got over about like two hundred and fifty products.
Kirk: Oh, wow. How do you keep track of all.
Spencer: A very amazing POS system,
Kirk: I guess.
Spencer: Yeah, I've opened. This is the first story I own, but I've opened up two other stores for other companies. Okay. Yeah.
Kirk: Since since you opened up this one.
Spencer: Yeah, before I open this one.
Kirk: Okay. And not in Flin Flon obviously.
Spencer: No. So the first story open was in a Assiniboia, Saskatchewan, opened up a Joint cannabis store there. And the. And I opened up another Virden in Manitoba Cannabis 204.
Kirk: That's wonderful, man.
Kirk: All right. And from Flin Flon, Kirk traveled on to Prince Albert, where he got a short my cannabis story from Dustin.
Dustin: So I'm Dustin Pylon, and I work at the firebugs in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. I got into cannabis when the store opened back in January. It's kind of a new thing for me, but it's something I'm learning every day. This is kind of why I got into it, right? New experiences and kind of something I really like to enjoy doing.
Kirk: How long have you been working at Five Buds
Dustin: Since we opened in January? Also just a few months now?
Kirk: And what did you do before you were a cannabis Bud Tender?
Dustin: I was a stay at home dad actually that stayed at home. I took care of five kids altogether, a couple step kids, a couple of my own. So, yeah.
Rene: And then Kirk traveled on to Slave Lake, where he spoke with Jaron Peters, who shared his My Cannabis Story.
Jaron: I'm Jaron Peters. I run a cannabis shop here in Slave Lake. I guess for my story. I'll just start how I began smoking cannabis, right? So it was before legalization. My aunties was an advocate in B.C. She got me into it, and it started with helping me mentally. I had a lot of depression and a lot of anxiety and stuff like that. I was never really thought I was going to get to the position of my own cannabis industry. And now a lot of what she said resonated with me because it was more, it wasn't about just getting high. It was, you know, helping day by day doing stuff just around the house even, just having a happier attitude going places. I used to have a really hard time going to like West Edmonton Mall stuff like that with lots of people. But I find now if I have like two something CBD, even before I go in, I'm just in a lot better mindset walking into these places. Throughout the years, after I lost my auntie, when I actually came into the cannabis industry because I wanted to just continue on that path where she wanted to go, she wanted to see it legalized. She unfortunately, passed away two months before legalization. So it unfortunate in that, but I figure if I can keep going the way she wanted to go and just having everybody happy and talking kind of figure now be a good way to help her memory. That's why I wear this instead of a lanyard. This is actually hers before she passed away.
Kirk: OK, so that's your story.
Rene: So there are some road stories from Kirk as he travels around Alberta. And of course, Trevor and Kirk are going to be at Hemp Fest in Calgary, collecting a lot more stories. So keep listening to Reefer Medness - The Podcast like us on Facebook? Follow us on Instagram. Do all those things? All right, so let's get to some music. Kirk had suggested because he's in Alberta, perhaps we play some Corb Lund or Ian Tyson, so I'll go one better and we'll play a song from Corb Lund featuring Ian Tyson. It's called Right On.
Kirk: I just realized I have a beautiful negligee hanging in the back there. I just realized that.