Using Cannabis for Wellness

States around the country — more than 20 in total — have legalized medical marijuana. An entire generation has been told that this is something that’s “bad for you and wrong,” even though many in the medical field believe it can be an effective remedy for many issues.

Snip20170806_1.pngModern research suggests that cannabis is a valuable aid in the treatment of a wide range of clinical applications. These include pain relief — particularly neuropathic pain — nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and movement disorders. Marijuana is also a powerful appetite stimulant, specifically for patients suffering from HIV, the AIDS wasting syndrome, or dementia. Emerging research suggests that cannabinoids and terpenes found in cannabis work together synergistically to help protect the body against some types of malignant tumors.

Currently, more than 60 U.S. and international health organizations — including the American Public Health Association, Health Canada and the Federation of American Scientists — support granting patients immediate legal access to medicinal marijuana under a physician’s supervision. Several others, including the American Cancer Society and the American Medical Association, support the facilitation of wide-scale, clinical research trials so that physicians may better assess cannabis’ medical potential.

There are at least two active chemicals in marijuana that researchers think have medicinal applications. Those are cannabidiol (CBD) — which seems to impact the brain without a high— and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — which has pain relieving (and other) properties.

Cannabis and its psychoactive cannabinoid, THC, are considered incredibly safe for human consumption. The Drug Awareness Warning Network Annual Report, published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), contains a statistical compilation of all drug deaths which occur in the United States. According to this report, there has never been a death recorded from the use of cannabis. In fact, many studies show it is physically impossible for a human to die from a cannabis overdose.

Medical marijuana is quickly becoming one of the most versatile and effective products when it comes to improving overall health. Research has proven time and time again that medical marijuana has powerful healing abilities. And as the legalization of marijuana continues to sweep the nation, research will continue to reveal the undeniable health benefits of marijuana.




Marijuana Jobs | Budtender, Dispensary Agent, Master Grower and More

The marijuana industry is booming and with California legalizing it, more medical marijuana dispensaries are popping up. With the industry in its fastest rate of acceleration, it’s a good time to get involved.

Times have changed. Now that marijuana is recognized by esteemed authorities like the National Institute of Health, CDC and even, to a certain extent, the FDA, for its legitimate role in curing disease, the public demand for knowledgeable dealers who are qualified to advise customers about medicinal treatment options is at an all-time high.

budtenderIn the same way, customers ask trained holistic supplement sales professionals at stores like Whole Foods to help them decide which unregulated homeopathic remedies are best to treat their health conditions, budtenders are being asked questions about which strain and doses are best to treat conditions ranging from cancer to anxiety. If liability weren’t of paramount concern for dispensary owners, the well-being of their customers certainly is. With more and more states adopting new legalization measures, we can expect a significant rise in the number of retail dispensaries that will need qualified budtenders to interface with curious newcomers, seasoned users and everyone in between.

It´s not always easy to get your foot in the door of a booming industry because naturally there is a lot of competition. Here is an introduction to some of the careers in this growing industry.

Budtender or Dispensary Technician

Dispensary Jobs and Budtender Jobs are the most sought after jobs in the industry for entry-level. Budtenders are the face of the dispensary! The ones whom patients interact with on a regular basis. They are responsible for greeting patients, orienting them about strains and use, methods of delivery and titration (dosage). They must know how each strain works to alleviate the different debilitating illnesses for which the cannabis was recommended. They must be keenly aware of the difference of Indica, Sativa and their hybrids. A Budtender will maintain records of the effectiveness of the strain for the patient for long-term study and future reference and maintain the dispensary legitimacy. The Budtender should be personable, groomed and knowledgeable about the industry. They will be trained by the Dispensary Manager and should attend formal schooling. There may be part-time positions available as well as full-time. A Budtender salary usually starts between $12-15 per hour.

Cannabis Chef

A Cannabis Chef should first and foremost be a good cook and know the basics of culinary arts. Any infusion of edibles must be done in a commercial kitchen. The Cannabis Chef must be adept at baking, making tinctures, oils, cannabis butter, balms, extracts, and chocolates. There may be part-time positions available as well as full-time.

Delivery Driver

Companies with a medical marijuana dispensary license may be allowed to deliver products to patients who are infirm or homebound. The driver must be patient, kind and courteous with patients – this is a medical house call. They should like being around people and helping others, with a clean driving record. The Driver may never drive while impaired and should be knowledgeable of the area they will be covering. The order will be called in with a Budtender who will suggest which strain of medicine should be delivered, based on the patient’s history and illness. There may be part-time positions available as well as full-time.

Dispensary Manager

The face of a dispensary. The manager must interface with staff, law enforcement, vendors, and landlords. The main responsibility of the dispensary manager is to coordinate and facilitate transactions of the dispensary. They must maintain records, have contact with the grow sites, embrace patient education and understand marketing. They will train employees and decide which products to carry and determine the best pricing based on market conditions. They are responsible for keeping up with all changes in local and state law regarding operation of the facility. The most important job of the dispensary manager is to ensure that only the best and safest quality medicine is available at the dispensary.


This is one of the most sought after, highest paying, and dangerous jobs in the Medical Marijuana industry. An extractor is the one that takes marijuana (trimmings and/or flower) and makes hash and/or concentrates using different methods such as CO2 or Butane. An extractor must be extremely knowledgeable in this process to avoid the possibility of explosions, especially when dealing with large quantities at once. They must be aware of things like the room venting and how to monitor alarms for gas leaks, in addition to knowing the proper techniques to maximize the extraction potency.

Laboratory Workers

Testing is one of the growing sectors in the Medical Marijuana Industry. More and more testing labs will be opening each year as local and state governments vow to make marijuana as safe as possible for patients. If you like working with the science end of marijuana then this may be the place for you. Laboratory Workers will be dissecting and testing marijuana to ensure there or no pesticides, no heavy metals such as lead, and that the proper amounts of cannabinoids, especially THC and CBD levels exist.

Marketing and Sales

Just like any other industry, your company will not succeed unless people know you exist. Many dispensaries have started hiring marketing and sales teams to assist with getting their name and brand out there. The Marketing and Sales Team will also assist with creating logos and sales to bring more attention and patients to the dispensary.

Master Grower

The Master Grower oversees the construction and design of the grow operation. He/she maintains the environment for the room and trains the Apprentices and/or Supervisors to do the job while he/she is away. The Master Grower is mainly there to see that the schedule and method advocated is followed according to specs and protocols. Daily records must be kept that document changes in chemicals and lighting for future reference, guidance, and consistency. The cultivation site will have a log that is maintained by the Master Grower. They will monitor each harvest so medication and alteration patterns can be studied. A Master Grower Salary can range from $80-$150K, depending on location and size of growing operation.

Cultivation Supervisor or Assistant Grower

The Cultivation Supervisor oversees the Grow Crew and Trimmers. They are there to fill in for the Master Grower when they are unavailable. They are the equivalent of an understudy – they must know everything the Master Grower knows, and maintains the day to day operations of the cultivation site and trains the remainder of the crew.

Trimmer or Cultivation Site Worker

Trimmers are responsible for manicuring and preparing of the medicine. They must be able to take raw material and prepare it for curing. This entails cutting the buds off the branches and getting the ready for the Master Grower to cure. The Cultivation Site Worker maintains the plants, ensuring the chemicals and lighting are monitored according to the cultivation site schedule. Also includes harvesting which entails cutting down, hanging, planting, pruning, feeding, etc. There may be part-time positions available as well as full-time.


There are many different needs for Security in the medical marijuana industry. Some dispensaries and cultivation centers will have on site security guards, just to make their employees and patients feel safer. At times Security will be needed to ride along with the manager to the bank, to make large cash deposits. With Medical Marijuana being an expensive commodity and an almost completely cash business, security is a must!

Setting High Standards for the Cannabis Industry

Legitimizing the business of cannabis is a priority for business owners who want long term success. Ultimately, nationwide legalization depends upon public acceptance and that depends upon removing the stigma and stereotypes associated with marijuana. Since budtenders are front and center in dealing with the public, they have a responsibility to present themselves as both professional and knowledgeable. To keep the legalization movement strong, marijuana business owners are setting high standards for their staff. Short of experience, independent studies and formalized training is the best way for job applicants to show the effort to meet those high standards.

Take Responsibility!

With all of the craziness of our current presidential campaign and a recent business crisis, I am inspired to write about personal responsibility. Personal responsibility is defined as a person’s “response-ability,” that is, the ability of a person to maturely respond to the various challenges and circumstances of life. It is the inner resources, assets, and advantages of personal responsibility and character that one brings to the challenges and circumstances of life.

When personal responsibility  is low, a person is a victim of circumstances, at the effect of life and not able to consciously and purposefully choose his or her own thoughts, feelings and actions. Victims typically identify themselves based upon attributes of powerlessness, dependency, entitlement, apathy, worry, fear, self-doubt, and the like. The victim lives at the effect of what happens around them and has little personal responsibility to, in response to the challenges of life, choose and direct life’s direction and destiny.

You are responsible for yourself, whether you like it or not. What you do with your life and what you have done already is up to you.

But Dana! Things happen to me that I have no control over all the time!”

Sure. And while you may not be able to control everything that happens to you, you are nevertheless responsible for how you think, act, and feel in response to those things.

You need to make a conscious decision to become the sole person responsible for your life, and you need to make that decision now. But you can’t just say you’ve decided to take personal responsibility and then have it be true. Surrendering responsibility is a habit that you need to remove, and here is how.

Recognize Your Choices – At any given time and in any given situation, you have a choice of how to respond. It doesn’t matter how dire your circumstances are. You could be locked away in a prison, but you still control your mental state. You can choose to focus on something positive, no matter how negative or un-free a situation you are in. From now on, look at the choices you have available to you instead of feeling constrained.

Take the Blame – When something goes wrong, openly acknowledge it as your fault, even if you feel there were external circumstances that contributed. If you shift responsibility to someone or something else, you will remain stuck in a rut because “it’s ____’s fault!” It doesn’t matter whose fault it is. When you shift responsibility, you give up control of the situation. Don’t be afraid to take risks or make important decisions. Don’t be afraid to mess up, even though it can be “scary” to take responsibility for your actions. It’s even scarier what you may have missed by acting out of fear. So, when there is a problem, don’t ask yourself who is to blame. Instead, ask yourself: “What could I have done differently?” This shifts the focus onto your control of the situation instead of feeling like a victim.

Accept Yourself and Your Circumstances –  Accept responsibility for who you are right now. It’s not other people who made you the way you are, but only your own thoughts and actions. Sure, many of those thoughts and actions were conditioned in you by your family, society, friends, or any other external influence. But it is you alone who had the thought or performed the action. And it is you alone who must take responsibility for them. You don’t need to be happy with your situation or your life as it is, you just need to accept yourself and the fact that you are the one who got yourself there. While negative circumstances may have had a significant impact on you and you may have experienced huge amounts of social conditioning, dwelling on them or blaming others won’t help you improve your situation. Only through accepting personal responsibility can you move forward.

Forgive Yourself  – People make mistakes. It’s inevitable. You do it. Other people do it. Everyone does. You must learn to both forgive yourself and to forgive other people for any mistakes. If you mess up, don’t beat yourself up over it.  Just take responsibility and move on.

Taking responsibility for your life can be a very challenging and lifelong process, but it is necessary if you want to truly be happy. You cannot possibly live authentically to your own values without taking responsibility for your own life.



Students and Instructors: Own Student Success

As a long time educator I often think “Wouldn’t it be great if our students came to class prepared?”.  Not just having read the assignment, but mentally prepared as well — alert and ready to debate, challenge, interact, and contribute? studentsuccess-yes-you-can

Unfortunately, it often seems that when students walk into our classrooms their brains are set on the lowest possible setting. One reason students may not feel compelled to prepare (or be in the proper mindset for learning) is that they don’t mind being shortchanged. In our consumer-driven society, where more is supposedly better, education is the one area where people are content to settle for less or expect to be passed on without much effort.

Are there some things we can do to get our students to read the assignment, come to class ready to participate and be responsible learners? Absolutely! Not only are there things we could be doing, we should be doing them, according to Marcia Magolda in her article “Helping Students Make Their Way to Adulthood: Good Company for the Journey” (2002). Magolda believes that instructors are in a unique position to help students learn two important lessons: (a) to be less dependent on external authorities, and (b) to take ownership and responsibility for their own lives.

So, whose responsibility is it for learning to occur in the classroom? The responsibility belongs to both the instructor and the students. Responsibility can (and should) shift, depending on the time in the semester and the level of the students. Instructors may take more of the responsibility at the beginning of the semester. As the class progresses, they can slowly relinquish control and prepare their students to take over, so that by the end of the semester, the students are shouldering most of the responsibility.

Successful students exhibit a combination of successful attitudes and behaviors as well as intellectual capacity.  The following are tips that we as educators can share with our students, as well as students can use to have a more successful learning experience:

Successful students . . .

1) . . . are responsible and active. Successful students get involved in their studies, accept responsibility for their own education, and are active participants in it!

Responsibility means control. It’s the difference between leading and being led. Your own efforts control your grade, you earn the glory or deserve the blame, you make the choice. Active classroom participation improves grades without increasing study time. You can sit there, act bored, daydream, or sleep. Or, you can actively listen, think, question, and take notes like someone in charge of their learning experience. Either option costs one class period. However, the former method will require a large degree of additional work outside of class to achieve the same degree of learning the latter provides at one sitting. The choice is yours.

2) . . . have educational goals. Successful students have legitimate goals and are motivated by what they represent in terms of career aspirations and life’s desires.

Ask yourself these questions: What am I doing here? Why have I chosen to be sitting here now? Is there some better place I could be? What does my presence here mean to me? Answers to these questions represent your “Hot Buttons” and are, without a doubt, the most important factors in your success as a student. If your educational goals are truly yours, not someone else’s, they will motivate a vital and positive academic attitude. If you are familiar with what these hot buttons represent and refer to them often, especially when you tire of being a student, nothing can stop you; if you aren’t and don’t, everything can, and will!

3) . . . ask questions. Successful students ask questions to provide the quickest route between ignorance and knowledge.

In addition to securing knowledge you seek, asking questions has at least two other extremely important benefits. The process helps you pay attention to your instructor and helps your instructor pay attention to you! Think about it. If you want something, go after it. Get the answer now, or fail a question later. There are no foolish questions, only foolish silence. It’s your choice.

4) . . . learn that a student and a instructor make a team. Most instructors want exactly what you want — they would like for you to learn the material in their respective classes and earn a good grade.

Successful students reflect well on the efforts of any instructor; if you have learned your material, the instructor takes some justifiable pride in teaching. Join forces with your instructor, they are not an enemy, you share the same interests, the same goals – in short, you’re teammates. Get to know your instructor. You’re the most valuable players on the same team. Your jobs are to work together for mutual success. Neither wishes to chalk up a losing season. Be a team player!


 5…. don’t sit in the back of the classroom. Successful students minimize classroom distractions that interfere with learning.

Students want the best seat available for their entertainment dollars, but willingly seek the worst seat for their educational dollars. Students who sit in the back cannot possibly be their professor’s teammate (see no. 4). Why do they expose themselves to the temptations of inactive classroom experiences and distractions of all the people between them and their instructor? It is a sure bet to assume they chose the back of the classroom because they seek invisibility or anonymity, both of which are antithetical to efficient and effective learning. If such students are trying not to be part of the class, why, then, are they wasting their time? If you find yourself in this situation, ask yourself if there something else you should be doing with your time?

6. . . . take good notes. Successful students take notes that are understandable and organized, and review them often.

Why put something into your notes you don’t understand? Ask the questions now that are necessary to make your notes meaningful at some later time. A short review of your notes while the material is still fresh on your mind helps your learn more. The more you learn then, the less you’ll have to learn later and the less time it will take because you won’t have to include some deciphering time, also. The whole purpose of taking notes is to use them, and use them often. The more you use them, the more they improve.

7) . . . understand that actions affect learning. Successful students know their personal behavior affect their feelings and emotions which in turn can affect learning.

If you act in a certain way that normally produces particular feelings, you will begin to experience those feelings. Act like you’re bored, and you’ll become bored. Act like you’re disinterested, and you’ll become disinterested. So the next time you have trouble concentrating in the classroom, “act” like an interested person: lean forward, place your feet flat on the floor, maintain eye contact with the professor, nod occasionally, take notes, and ask questions. Not only will you benefit directly from your actions, your classmates and professor may also get more excited and enthusiastic.

8) . . . talk about what they’re learning. Successful students get to know something well enough that they can put it into words.

Talking about something, with friends or classmates, is not only good for checking whether or not you know something, its a proven learning tool. Transferring ideas into words provides the most direct path for moving knowledge from short-term to long-term memory. You really don’t “know” material until you can put it into words. So, next time you study, don’t do it silently. Talk about notes, problems, readings, etc. with friends, recite to a chair, organize an oral study group, pretend you’re teaching your peers. “Talk-learning” produces a whole host of memory traces that result in more learning.

9) . . . don’t cram for exams. Successful students know that divided periods of study are more effective than cram sessions, and they practice it.

If there is one thing that study skills specialists agree on, it is that distributed study is better than massed, late-night, last-ditch efforts known as cramming. You’ll learn more, remember more, and earn a higher grade by studying in four, one hour-a-night sessions for Friday’s exam than studying for four hours straight on Thursday night. Short, concentrated preparatory efforts are more efficient and rewarding than wasteful, inattentive, last moment marathons. Yet, so many students fail to learn this lesson and end up repeating it over and over again until it becomes a wasteful habit.

10) . . . are good time managers. Successful students do not procrastinate. They have learned that time control is life control and have consciously chosen to be in control of their life.

An elemental truth: you will either control time or be controlled by it! It’s your choice: you can lead or be led, establish control or relinquish control, steer your own course or follow others. Failure to take control of their own time is probably the no.1 study skills problem for college students. It ultimately causes many students to become non-students! Procrastinators are good excuse-makers. Don’t make academics harder on yourself than it has to be.


Ritualize: Deep Focus for Learning

As an educator I often think about how I can help my students be more successful learners. To do so, I usually start to with how I learned the concept or skill, and give suggestions from my experiences or the experiences of others.


Three years ago I started taking piano lessons. Starting with the first lesson I found this a very humbling experience. Learning to master a complicated skill that takes all parts of your brain to work in unison is very challenging. My piano instructor will tell you I am a diligent student and dedicated to learning my craft. She also is constantly telling me to slow down and focus on small parts of the piece I am learning. When I make mistakes I am imprinting them on my brain and will then have to unlearn them.

Brain Based Learning 

As an educator I understand in theory how the brain works when learning. I prepare lessons that engage different types of learners and create activities that help the learning move from the working brain, into the long-term memory. As a learner, it is not that easy. You have to understand your learning style (Visual, Aural, Read/Write, Kinesthetic) and include activities in your study routine that fit with how you best learn. I am a multimodal learner, having two learning preferences, Read/Write and Kinesthetic. When I play the piano I am addressing my kinesthetic learning preference. Recently my instructor added more written activities to help me get past a difficult part of the learning. By addressing my Read/Write learning preference, I was better able to apply what I learned when I sat down at the piano.

Deep Focus

Recently a colleague recommended that I read Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World. This books covers different approaches to spending time in deep focus. One of the approaches, Ritualize, I have always found very useful for students. This involves a regular schedule and approach to  learning. For instance, each morning I have coffee, take a walk, and then sit down to an hour of focused piano practice. There is no one correct deep work ritual. The right fit depends on both the person and their circumstances.  For instance, you might prefer to wake up early and study for an hour or two before the kids are awake, or maybe you are better at night. You will have to see what works best for you. The important point is do it every day, or on a regular schedule. This will not only help you to focus your study, but also prevent cramming for exams or waiting to the last-minute for assignments.

I don’t think I will ever stop learning or helping others to learn. What  I will do is share the importance of a regular, focused, study ritual and how it is important to your success. Happy learning!


Your Externship: Consider it a long interview.

According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, the first known use of the term “externship” dates back to 1945. However—until recently—most students were entirely unfamiliar with the concept. And many people still don’t know what they are, or why they’re important.observership-vs-externship

According to Dana Bernard, CEO of The Learning Oasis, similar to an apprenticeship or internship, an externship is typically a training program offered by educational institutions and private businesses that give students brief practical experiences in their field of study.

Are externships important?

Bernard says they are critical. During their externships, students will often become involved in projects, sit in on meetings, and meet other members of the organization, she says. “Not only do students get to see the career area first-hand, but they also have the opportunity to ask their host and others questions that they have about the role or industry, through informational interviewing. This allows the student to get a true picture of the context of the work, real-life challenges, and the structure of a typical work day or week.”

Developing a network of professionals in the new career field is important as you begin a job search; and in fact, a career network is something that you should develop and maintain throughout your entire career.  At your externship you have the opportunity to meet people who are currently working in the field you want to enter. Be sure to make a good impression on the people you meet, and demonstrate your commitment through hard work. Get to know the names of your co-workers, and ask for their contact information so that you can keep in touch with them after your externship is over. The more people you know, the more likely you are to hear of job leads and other professionals opportunities.

With these benefits in mind, there are many reasons to take your externship seriously. Best wishes on this first step into your new career!

Skills to Pay the Bills

maxresdefaultAre you really ready to work? Today a large percentage of people preparing to enter the workforce are significantly lacking in the “soft” or workplace readiness skills — such as teamwork, decision-making, and communication — that will help them become effective employees and managers. In a Job Outlook 2015 survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE), the top characteristics looked for in new hires by 276 employer respondents were all soft skills: communication ability, a strong work ethic, initiative, interpersonal skills, and teamwork. In addition, the Indiana Business Research Center (IBRC) found that while credentials (degrees and certi cates) are important, it is the development of soft skills (those that are more social than technical) that is critical to developing a strong, vibrant workforce.

But what does “workforce readiness” mean? And why is it important? Workplace readiness skills are important because they ensure workers have the basic academic, critical thinking and personal skills necessary to maintain employment. Academic skills such as reading, writing, basic math and communication skills are essential for optimal job performance. The ability for employees to think and make sound decisions is essential. Further, workers who possess personal qualities such as punctuality, work ethic and a friendly and cooperative attitude perform their jobs honestly and have respect for their co-workers and superiors.

Both employers and employees benefit from workplace readiness training. Workers who possess job readiness skills are better equipped to succeed because they have what it takes to perform job duties. Workplace readiness skills also give employees the confidence and proficiency to pursue advancement opportunities. Employers who hire skilled workers realize an increase in productivity because employees perform their jobs correctly, complete work on time and achieve company goals and objectives. Hiring skilled employees also minimizes employee turnover because workers recognize advancement opportunities.

The Learning Oasis supports career training programs at Community Colleges and Adult Education Centers, throughout California. Each career training program includes comprehensive training  in the workplace readiness skills that prepare the graduate for the 21st century workplace.