WeedBudz Is Turning 4 and DJ Matt Perry Goes To Kenya

We are incredibly grateful to all of you that have been with us from the beginning and we welcome those of you whom are just joining our journey now. Weedbudz started back in 2018 and has gone through some re-branding and development to become the show it is today. Now, members of this team have gone on to open the recreational cannabis store in northern Maine, known as BUDZ EMPORIUM, paying homage to WeedBudz and the Budz Brands eco-system.  Be sure to check out the new store in the Katahdin Region, located at 1995 Medway Rd, Medway, Maine.
Now, our humble studio has grown and we have a team of 5 incredible people, that also help others produce their very own podcasts on various topics and themes. One constant in all of our production is our Genius Audio Engineer and  artist, DJ MATT PERRY. 

Matt and his family recently took a trip to Kenya and shares that experience with us here today. I have never peen to any part of Africa and I loved watching Matt’s videos and posts while he was away. A remarkable experience that he shares with us and to do all of that traveling with a toddler can only make for some awesome stories, be sure to tune in and join us!


Host: Ry Russell
WeedBudz Radio

Matt and Ry getting ready to record!


Welcome to WeedBudz Radio.

They’re going into year 4 of WeedBudz.

It’s crazy to think about.

November 2019 is when we rebranded to

WeedBudz Radio and Matt joined the team,

and it’s been craziness ever since.


The WeedBudz family is incredible.

It’s such an honor.

Thank you, Ry for bringing me on board.

And I’ve had a blast working, doing creative work for the

podcast and helping to write some of the music that you

hear on the show and create some of the vision.

So it’s a fun experiment.

And WeedBudz Radio is obviously owned by the RyzAbove

Media Group, which Matt does all of the

sound engineering for our clients as well.

And we’ve got a few new ones coming onboard.

And Matt is brilliant when working with clients.

He hears exactly what they’re thinking

and puts the best sound together.

So it’s been a lot of fun to obviously produce

WeedBudz Radio, and it’s great to be back, and we’ll

talk about our hiatus and everything else that’s happened in

the last year or so, but it’s been a lot

of fun and exciting to bring on new partners and

new shows into the RyzAbove network.

What is it like when a client reaches out

to you from RyzAbove and just explains to

you kind of a vision for a show?

How does that process work for you?

Because for the rest of us, it’s just magic.

Well, creating a podcast and all the cool things that

we’ve done at RyzAbove, really, it reminds me of,

like, a blank canvas, and you have to start with

the right color paper because you might want to paint

on a normal square or rectangular piece of white paper,

or maybe you want to have, like, a multicolored paper

you’re going to start the painting with.

So I try to allow whoever the client is

ultimately to create the vision, and then I’m just

translating it rather than creating it myself.

I feel more like I’m translating the vision and

helping navigate the difference between words and sounds.

I remember when Christina joined us, and

if you haven’t checked out the Christina DiArcangelo

podcast, you definitely should.

She called and said that she spoke colors to

you, and all of a sudden, you put together

this amazing sound, and I wasn’t surprised at all.

But it was just exciting to see when her

excitement as getting ready to launch a show is.

But it really is magical.

She’s like, I like blue and pink and green.

I love people, and I have a

nonprofit, and this is just my world.

And she was like, he only needed me for,

like, ten minutes, and then you send me this

sound back, and it’s like, that was it. That was it.

I just didn’t know it.

It so super cool, man.

And I appreciate what you’ve done for WeedBudz Radio

and helping us get to where we

are today, because I would have thought we

made it like 15 episodes when we started.

I never would have thought we’re coming up on 100.

So thank you.

And then, of course, thank you for the work that

we’re doing to help other people envision their own shows.

This guy.

Ry before we get into too much, tell us a

little bit about the new shop you’ve opened up,

because I am so hype on that.

And I believe we have some

excellent products downstairs as well. Oh, yes.

So it’s been a crazy year, as many of you might know.

I think last July was our last episode of last season.

We had to cut it short because

we were working on some crazy projects.

And ultimately it was time to utilize the

knowledge that we’ve learned with all of you

and talking to the incredible people that we’ve

spoken to over the last few years.

I really felt like maybe it was foolish,

but I felt like I could do it.

I felt like I could open a dispensary.

I obviously had experience in retail in that kind of community

setting with the Saco Drive-in, and I don’t know, it’s in

my bones, I felt like I needed to do it.

And we had an incredible team that if it

wasn’t for them, it never would have gotten done.

Licensing as hard as everybody tells

you it is, it’s harder.

And so I’m just super grateful for

everyone that was involved with this.

But we opened Budz Emporium in Medway, Maine.

It’s in Northern Maine.

I mean, there’s definitely more North you can

go before you hit the Canadian border.

I think we’re like 52 minutes or so from the border.

It’s pretty far up there, Bob.

It is far up there, and you can’t get there

from here, but it’s a great little humble shop.

It was definitely a labor of love, and we did it.

And it’s part of that Budz

brands ecosystem that we’ve cultivated here.

We’ve released the Budz Reserve Delta-8 products in a

couple of markets last year, and now we have Budz

Emporium and WeedBudz and potentially some other exciting Budz

brands type of things coming down the pipe.

But those will be for a later date.

So if you are ever finding yourself in

Northern Maine, specifically in the Katahdin region, which

is the largest mountain in Maine and the

peak of the Appalachian Trail, so beautiful.

Camping, hiking, rafting, skydiving, all of the recreational

activities that there is to do, you can

do it in the Katahdin region.

And we were, I think, the first recreational cannabis

store North of Bangor and the only one in

the Katahdin region, and just so excited about it.

So I definitely encourage you, if

you’re in Maine, make the trip.

We are in Portland at the Nest Matt’s and

his team’s studio space, which is different than Breakwater,

where we started back in November of ’19.

But drive on up.

And if you aren’t in Maine.

Come visit. Summer is here.

It is the most beautiful state in the summertime.

I think that’s what every Northern state says.

If you enjoy some space and peace,

there is a lot of that here.

So I think the Mainers are very cool and relaxed and

it’s just a great place to come, like spread your wings.

And we’re a service industry

state, we’re a tourist state.

And so you’re right, I think we

are well positioned to be nice.

Some of it might be commercial, especially during

the summer when it gets super busy.

But it’s lovely.

The people are great.

It’s a beautiful place to come visit.

And I know some of my friends out

in California that have come to visit.

They’ll tell you now, but Maine has some of

the best cannabis in the country by far.

Oh, yeah, Maine is a great place, man.

Come check it out.

We would love you to visit. Absolutely.

So Budz Emporium


Check it out.

But that’s really what I’ve been working on for

the last year and I’m excited to get WeedBudz

into its next season and its next evolution.

I feel like every year we learn some new

stuff, we entrepreneurially, play in some new stuff and

really explore this industry as deep as anyone can.

Really. Enough about the Emporium.

But what I really want to talk about today we

did the recap, but I want to recap what the

DJ has been doing for the last year and share

a little bit about not just the journey he’s been

on, but the journey he just came back from.

And so Matt, you’ve had a wild

year since we last took a break.

So would you share with all of our buds

what you’ve been starting up in your life?

Well, I have a beautiful family, which is amazing.


And we got to visit Kenya and

had the experience of a lifetime.

We got to explore the Ngong Hills

over outside Ongata Rongai

So wait, how old is your son

when he gets to go to Kenya?

Yeah, he’s a year and a half and he’s

running around just living life, making friends already.

And such a lucky guy.

Oh, yeah.

So why did you go to Kenya?

What was the purpose of the trip?

I think a lot of it has to

do with exploring and expanding your perspective as

well as exploring and expanding your business.

Because those things both together can grow

harmoniously and it doesn’t have to be

like personal growth or business growth.

They can both happen together.

And that’s how that trip felt.

And I really liked that experience.

I mean, Kenya is really beautiful.

There’s a lot of fun things to do and

beautiful wildlife and the people are so humble.

Did you have any, I suppose, preconceived notions

of what the experience would be like?

I guess take me two days.

I think I saw you was it the day before

your flight or two days before your flight either way.

Before I left?

Yeah, right before you left.

What were you expecting at that point in time?

And then we’ll talk about, like, after you landed.

I definitely expected it to be a lot

more hot and it was very comfortable weather.

I also expected maybe just a different energy, I guess.

I can’t explain it in words as much

as, like, I really miss listening to Afrobeat.

And the music is just so incredible.

And we had a bunch of dance parties with our family.

Nice, super fun, and just got to

work hard for your water, really?

For sure, man.

It’s hard to find clean water, especially

there’s a lot of hardship over there.

I think there’s a lot of beautiful things happening,

but there’s also definitely a lot of people struggling.

It’s just like any place else in the world.

There’s beautiful places and

there’s really hard places.

You know what I’m saying?

Was that a surprise to you?

Were you expecting some of those challenges for the communities,

or was it I’m just trying because when I picture

it anyway, when you mention that you’ve kind of seen

documentaries, it is hard to get water.

It’s hard to find clean water.

You just walk down the street and pay a

couple of bucks and fill up your tank.

But you can’t drink the tap

water like you can in Maine. Really?

And the well water, you probably can’t drink either.

You have to at least do more

filtering and boiling on your own end. Okay.

And the water in Mumbasa was so bad.

But Mumbasa was amazing.

We took a train from Nairobi to Mumbasa, which

is an island off the coast of Kenya.

And yeah, that place, the water

the ocean is so healing.

That’s a great place for some healing.

And it’s so warm.

And you can drink coconut water on the beach.

It’s so good.

Is it like fresh coconut water? Oh, yeah.

You see the coconut trees right there?

It’s so much fun.

And got to swim in the ocean.

So, like, warm ocean.

Was it like, green or, like, blue?

What was the water like?

It was like a darker blue, for sure.

Where I was, at least there was a lot of waves. Okay.

Like nice waves and a lot of healthy seaweed.

You know what I mean?

It was like, very healthy ocean. Yeah.

So I know you did, you went out

and I know you enjoyed the music.

So tell us about what the nightlife was like, what

the music was like, what the food was like.

So the nightlife was for me, it was spent,

like, hanging out at home with the family.

And we did a lot of our traveling during the daytime.

We went to a couple different animal sanctuaries.

We went to an animal orphanage called the Nairobi

Animal Orphanage.

And they’re, like, taking care of, like,

orphaned animals or animals with challenges that

would leave them dead in the wild.

And it’s just freaking awesome place.

Like, so cool.

And that was the beautiful lion that

you posted on your Instagram story.

Oh, yeah, the lion, man.

It’s a really fun place.

I got the pet a leopard there.

I don’t know if you’re like,

technically, but it was very enjoyable.

And our family in Kenya is like, so kind, and

they took us around anywhere we wanted to go.

Just like the traffic is rough for sure. Really?

I never would have expected that traffic, bro.

It’s super rough traffic.

And the buses or the matatus are savage over there.

They do not mess with the matatus, man.

Telling you right now.

So what’s the population?

Nairobi’s is huge.

We didn’t even really explore Nairobi that much.

We kind of explored Rongai,

which is outside of Nairobi.

And I mean, I don’t know the population.

There’s a lot of people that live there.

It’s probably maybe similar to the

size of Westbrook or something. Okay.

I don’t know. To be honest.

I could be totally wrong, but it’s pretty big.

Yeah, it’s a pretty big suburb outside of Nairobi.

And there’s only one road to get there, but it’s

like one of the main suburbs outside of the city.

And there’s a lot of Maasai.

The Maasai people live up there and they

have, like, beautiful land that they raise their

cows on and live life very, like, organically.

Yeah, it was cool, man.

There’s a big, big market there of fresh

fruits and vegetables like a mile long every

day from sun up to sun down.

But you are in heaven. Oh, yeah, man.

You can eat your watermelon, your pineapple, apples, oranges,

lemons, whatever you need, they got over there.

I promise you that it’ll be fresh.

And how does it compare? Sugar cane?

Our produce? Better. Way better. Yeah.

Like, how funny is that?

You think you live in America, you got good produce.

I don’t think so, man.

Our soil is fucked over here.

We’ve been poisoning our soil for years.

Look at the research with the DDT and everything.

They’ve been spraying for years.

And over there in Kenya, I don’t think they

have like, mass pesticide stuff sprayed like that.

So it tastes really good.

And there’s just a lot of fresh vegetables over there.

I know people can get good veggies over here too.

But seriously, guys, we fucked up our soil, okay?

We need to fix our soil in America.

Guys, we’re fucking up our soil.

You guys want to live in an arid country?

That’s where we’re going towards. Yeah.

And then we create. America is going to be the

biggest desert on the planet. Just watch.

Then we create new chemicals to fix the soil, and then

we create new chemicals to fix that after the next one.

What were some of the other meals?

What are some traditional meals that

you would find in Kenya?

In the morning, I have Kenyan tea, which is

very similar to, like, chai tea with milk and

water mixed with a bunch of black tea, spice

tea, and best sweetened with some sugar. Sugar? Yeah.

Oh, really good sugar.

Or you just have it with you,

make like, a fresh tea in the morning and have

some Mandazi and the Mandazi is kind of like fried dough.


It’s like little fried doughs. They’re very good.

Who doesn’t want fried dough? Yeah, yeah.

Oh, and we would cut up, like, a big

watermelon and a pineapple, eat that all morning.


And maybe have some, like, porridge.

Oatmeal, okay. That’s so good.

All right, how about lunch?

Lunch would probably have some Nyama Choma. What’s that?

Which is just grilled meat, really.

And have it with maybe some Chabadi, which

is like a flat bread, kind of.

And it’s very delicious and savory.

Is it, like, Naan?

It’s more like a wrap. Okay.

Yeah, it’s like we call wrap.

And then maybe have some Kachumbari in there, which

is, like, chopped up tomatoes and onions and cucumbers.

That would be really good.

Like, you kind of, like, roll it up like a little wrap

or eat it with scoop it up, like chips or something.

Or, like, Angelica probably my wife probably

had just more fruit, like apples.

And I made, like, a homemade pasta sauce

one day for everybody, like, Italian style.

Shout out to all the Italians out there.

Christina is definitely happy. Yeah.

Fresh tomatoes, fresh onion, fresh zucchini.

Made a really good sauce.

How about dinner? Now I’m starving. Oh, yeah, right.

Dinner you got to have Ugali.

Everybody’s having Ugali, which is, like, corn flour, like

a big, soft bread, basically, kind of like thing.

And then you dip that in with, like, a good

stew or some more Nyama Choma, grilled meat, and add tomatoes.

Maybe make some Samosas, which I think

everybody knows what Samosa is over here.

It’s like a deep fried meat dumpling, but

it’s not like an Asian meat dumpling.

I think it’s actually from India.

I don’t think that’s a Kenyan food.

I think so too, but there’s a lot

of mixing of the Middle Eastern food with

the African food, and it’s so good.

I maybe saw one Italian shop, so maybe

I’ll go open up a pasta shop.

Just kidding. I’m not going to do that.

But it was really good, and Angelica’s family cooked us

amazing food all the time and just really made sure

there were, like, fresh food, fresh vegetables every day.

Like, avocados are in season right now, so they’re

super tasty and, like, just delicious avocados, man.

Just the delicious you’ve ever had.

I was thinking about when you were talking about that.

Just when I went to Hungary, and the family that

I stayed with there, and obviously the family you stayed

with was your family, but the family I stayed with

there, it was similar in terms of, like, every morning,

the mother or father went to the market and it

was fresh bread and fruits and yogurt and lunch.

They would almost get the items to prepare

the meal before the meal, rather than going

to the grocery store on Sunday and getting

food that’s preserved for a long time.

As you’re talking about fresh, fresh food.

Yeah, it doesn’t get much better than that.

Obviously, you are a music guy, so tell us

about what the music is like in Kenya.

Well, it’s definitely the type of vibe.

It’s the Afrobeat vibe, where it’s

just all about the one, right. In America.

And the hip hop is more about the

one, two, you know what I’m saying?

How you swing your hips. Yeah.

A little bit of dancing, but super hard.

And I love that song.

There’s just a lot of really

good music going on over there.

We listen to, like, a lot of Afrobi.

We also listen to Rumba and church

music, really, which I love church music.

Personally, I think church music is, like, so

good when it’s like you got all the

choir singing and man, I love church music.

I love choir music.

And my dad’s dad and mother, my grandfather and my

grandmother were both Episcopal ministers, and I loved growing up

in the church and listening to the choir.

There’s definitely some choirs that I won’t

name which ones that I’d prefer over

others, but a really good choir.

There’s just something so beautiful about it.

And my grandfather, his voice, his speaking voice

was powerful enough that his singing voice, it

elevates the entire church and just echoed.

So it’s beautiful.

And I can only imagine what it was like there. Oh, man.


Big, huge churches.

Crazy churches, man, people are getting

demons exercised out of them.

Shoo demons you run.

Is it like a theatrical type of experience, or

is it kind of traditional in terms of, like,

a sermon and a prayer and a song?

I think you’re going to get all

those variations, but there’s probably more dancing.


And more just like kind

of like excitement and movement.

Whereas I grew up in a Catholic church, right.

And so you sit there with your legs

crossed, basically, and don’t say a word.

So that was a different experience, for sure.

But religion is the same everywhere, all over the world,

and I think we’re all praying to the same thing.

So it doesn’t matter ultimately what your religion is.

I love that.

So what would you say was your biggest takeaway?

Be grateful for the job that I have and

be grateful for the fresh water that I have. Right.

And those things are, like, a lot

of life, you know what I’m saying?

And also just be a little more happy

because of those things, of being grateful.

I heard Bradley the other day talk to some

individuals and said, if I gave you a million

dollars right now, what would you say?

And the individual said, I would be super grateful, and

if I gave you $10 million right now, but you

don’t wake up tomorrow, what would you do?

Share with my family.

I said the same damn thing.

Isn’t everybody going to do that?

That’s interesting.

So they all said, no, I wouldn’t take the money.

I want to wake up tomorrow.

I wouldn’t take the 10 Million.

I said the same damn thing.

I got people that like, $10 Million.

Take one for the team, I guess. I don’t know.

Maybe if the offer was real, I might rethink it.

But I thought the same thing you did, but I

guess most people would say, well, no, I’d like to

wake up tomorrow, so I don’t want the 10 Million.

At the end of the day, we

need to relearn gratitude every damn day. I do.

Maybe it’s a me thing, but I have to relearn it.

Every day.

I feel like I wake up with it, and I know

it, and by freaking lunchtime, I need to relearn it.

So I think that gratitude is something that we can take

away from big moments like this, and we also need to

figure out how to keep it in our brains.

So that’s definitely something I’m

working on this year.


The gratefulness will expand your mind, for sure, and

I’m very grateful for having a space as well,

like, being able to create content in a studio

and work with artists that you’re passionate about.

A lot of us are living in our

dreams, and we just don’t even realize it.

So it’s very easy to just be ungrateful.

So I’m working on it, you know what I’m saying?

We’re all working on it.

It’s all good.


We’re living in our dreams.

How much time do we spend wanting

something different than where we are?

And we get there, and I’d go back, I could think of

plenty of times or plenty of places I’d go back to, but

I also really do appreciate where the hell I am today.

That’s why I’m saying we got to fix our soil, guys.


I’m just saying we got to fix our soil.

It makes a big deal for the cannabis

crops, makes a big deal for spinach.

Grow indoors, tomatoes.

If you grow indoors, it still makes a big deal.

It’s going to be harder and harder

to find good soil from organic farms

or places where the products aren’t flooded. Hydroponics.

You got to get the resources from somewhere.

Are you going to fly over

to Africa and get the resources?

What are you going to do? You know what I’m saying?

Come on.

We can fix our own resources here

and then stop stealing from Africa.

We can do better.

Yeah, we can do better, guys.

Fix our soil.

Launch a campaign right now. WeedBudz.

Let’s fix the soil, man.

Well, before we wrap, I don’t know if you remember,

I think it was 2 or 3 years ago, right,

when we started investing in some of the sustainability projects.

And there was some sort of political meeting where

there was like 4 officials from the US, like

4 officials from Europe, 7 from Asia, 1 country

specifically, and one representative from Africa.

Guess where the trash was going

at the end of that meeting?

There’s no power, there was no negotiation, there was

a bully moves and basically put the representative in

a position where resources would be withheld if they

didn’t agree to build a landfill.

They had one rep and all of these other people.

Can you imagine?

And I’m sure he was a professional individual,

but can you imagine that’s intimidating for anybody,

especially when you have a community of individuals

that needs every Dollar coming in?

Yeah, I mean, man, some deep problems, but I

think we can all do something to help.

And I appreciate WeedBudz for opening my mind and

I think that’s going to just help with everybody.

If we can listen a little more

than we speak, we’ll all be good. Yeah.

And speaking of gratitude, I just want to express my

most sincere gratitude to all of you because truly, when

the WeedBudz started in 2018 or 2017 and we grew and we got

to the place, we needed to rebrand and that was

risky and scary and intimidating, and we did that together.

And I really appreciate I’ll never forget you, me and

Angelica at Sobago talking about it and having the realization

that we had worked with each other in a past

life, literally not a metaphorical past life, which we very

well may have, but in a previous career life for

both of us had worked together.

And when it was time to find the best audio

engineer in the state of Maine, the best filmmaker in

the state of Maine told me it was Matt.

And we started working out of

Breakwater Studios in South Portland, Maine.

And for me, that was such a massive step

up from my Yeti microphone in home studio and

to see where we are 4 years later of

work and cultivating a community that has been loving

and supportive and inspiring, to continue producing shows, to

continue growing the ecosystem that which we’ve cultivated here.

And I remember being like 15 episodes in and saying

to Matt, I don’t know where we go from here.

We’ve had brilliant minds already.

We started at BizCon and had Leafly and Weed

Maps and just some other really great pioneers of

different spaces and Chris Crane, just people who pioneered

different sectors of this industry to now being in

a position to pioneer some things ourselves.

So thank you all so much for joining us on

WeedBudz Radio and we are excited to launch into our

next season and we have some amazing guests coming up,

so stay tuned and be sure to follow us at

weedbudzradio.com and on Facebook, Instagram, everywhere else.

And Matt, thank you so much.

I appreciate it.

Man, this guy. Ry.

What an amazing human.

I love you, bro.

Love you too.

Signing off.

WeedBudz Radio. Peace.

Host of WeedBudz Radio to open Budz Emporium Adult-Use Cannabis Store in Medway, Maine.

Recreational Cannabis Store opening in Medway, Maine.

Host of WeedBudz Radio, Ry Russell and members of his team and family have worked incredibly hard to open the very first Adult-Use Cannabis store in the Katahdin Region of Northern Maine. This is a recreational marijuana store meaning that any individual over the age of 21 is permitted with valid form of identification. There is no medical card required to shop at an adult-use store. The team states that they are eager to expand their offerings and work with a large number of Maine Craft Cultivators and Processors in order to deliver the very best products available. Stores like this take a lot of pride in the testing that is required of each and every product that takes up shelf space, ensuring only the best quality products are served to their community. The store is located at 1995 Medway Rd, Medway, Maine; immediately off of I95 for quick and easy access to and from the highway. This store is NOW open 7 Days a Week from 10am to 7pm. Visit their website https://budzemporium.com/ for specials and menus and information. You can reach the BUDZ by calling or texting 207-723-1634 with any questions or at BudzEmporium@gmail.com.

Curaleaf Maine opens their first Adult-Use Location in South Portland.

Ry Russell and WeedBudz Radio help celebrate Curaleaf joining the South Portland, Maine community with a beautiful new Adult-Use retail establishment.

The WeedBudz Radio team was on the road yesterday for a wonderful grand opening celebration for Curaleaf in South Portland. This retail location is the first adult-use store for Curaleaf in the State of Maine. Located right across from the Maine Mall, behind Panera Bread and Dunkin Donuts it is very easy to get to, ample parking, and if you’re hungry there is plenty of food establishments around. The Curaleaf team kicked off the celebration with a $2,500 donation to Black-Owned Maine, whose “goals include rebranding Maine as a warm, inviting home to black entrepreneurs, land and homeowners, tourists, and cultural influencers.” After everyone had time to connect, and enjoy some Holy Donuts (pomegranate is by far the best) we toured the beautiful new showroom, made our purchases, and said our goodbyes, until next time! For more information on this location, address, hours of operation, or questions, visit https://curaleaf.com/dispensary/maine/curaleaf-me-south-portland/info

Ry Russell (Left), host of WeedBudz Radio with Ethan Hogle, Production Manager at Curaleaf in South Portland Maine. Photographed by Benjamin Moore (@activebeergeek)
Ribbon Cutting for Curaleaf Maine in South Portland. Address: 343 Gorham Rd, South Portland, ME 04106
Ethan prepping the shot for Ry and Abby to go live.

Questions / Comments

Season 2 of WeedBudz Awards and our WeedBud Maine 420 Recap

Season 3 of WeedBudz Awards Live Now! Nominate Now!

This year on 420 (April 20th, 2021) we celebrated by delivering WeedBudz Awards Season 2 to their amazing recipients in the great state of Maine. We had an absolutely amazing time celebrating the Maine cannabis community and we documented our journey in the video above so you could be a part of the special day as well.

We started our day in Southern Maine at High North where we had the privilege of honoring their budtender Riko, with the WeedBudz Best across America Budztender of the Year! Congratulations Riko for your commitment to excellence and service within the Cannabis community here in Maine and for setting an example to those across the country!

We then ventured up the hill to Grass Monkey and across the street to Highly CannaCo. Our last stop in South Portland, Maine was to crash the Seaweed Companies segment on Channel 8 WMTW to celebrate their live resin cartridge.

We left South Portland and journeyed to Wellness Connection or Portland Maine and then of Gardiner where we awarded Matt with WeedBudz best of Maine budtender. After Matt left to go see a Red Sox game we took our talents to Woolwich where we had one of the most fun stops of the day. Unfortunately, we had just missed Sayra but we were lucky enough to share some laughs and celebrate with Fred (Sayras dad) along with a few other family members. This is such a beautiful family business if you find yourself in Woolwich, Maine, be sure to stop by Farleys Cannabis Farm.

In order to celebrate the best edible and beverage product in Maine, we needed to drive to Lewiston so we could meet Phil and the incredible kitchen team at Small Batch Maine. If you are looking for a delicious and refreshing beverage you absolutely must stop at Small Batch Maine. From Apple Cider to Lemonade their seasonal beverage assortment is out of this world!

Our final stop of the day was at Highly CannaCo where we got to celebrate one of the very best brands in Maine with our friend Jennifer. Jennifer also accepted the awards on behalf of Derek who is a cultivation mastermind for Highly CannaCo and produces some amazing products!

After an early morning and long fun day driving across the state, Ethan and I finally made it back to his home in Millinocket to unwind and enjoy the day, ourselves. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to be a part of a day like this and to celebrate those individuals that do amazing work in order to best serve their community and showcase the very best this industry has to offer.

At last, I want to thank you all personally for the opportunity to be a part of your community and for allowing me to use this platform in order to best document the history this industry is making each and every single day. Sincerely, Ry Russell

WeedBudz Awards Season 3 is now open and accepting nomination! Click Here Now!

Maryland’s 2021 Cannabis Legalization Conference


Luke Jones, Director
Maryland NORML202.285.3199 Luke.MDNORML@gmail.com www.marylandnorml.org

Maryland’s 2021 Cannabis Legalization Conference Draws National Attention

Conference to address cannabis policy reform priorities for the 2021 General Assembly.  

ANNAPOLIS, MD 02/01/2021 – The Maryland state chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (Maryland NORML) is hosting the second annual state-wide conference for advocates, legislators, regulators, industry professionals, and cannabis consumers to discuss marijuana law reform priorities. This year’s conference is free, virtual, and appealing to a national audience interested in understanding more about Maryland’s plans for a legal, regulated adult use cannabis market.

“The marijuana prohibition policy is overtly racist, and fifty-seven percent of drug related arrests in Maryland are for marijuana; there can be no police or racial justice reform without full marijuana legalization. The harmful legacy of this racist policy is too costly to extend into another year of disproportionate police discretion.”

– Luke Jones, Director Maryland NORML

According to Maryland’s 2019 Uniform Crime Report, our police record more than fifteen-thousand marijuana possession arrests and nearly two-thousand arrests for marijuana sale or distribution each year – almost two marijuana arrests every hour, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – even though possession of less than 10 grams of the popular plant was decriminalized in 2014.

“Arresting people for marijuana possession serves no public interest and imposes significant burdens on Maryland families, their communities, and state resources,” said Maryland NORML Director Luke Jones, the conference organizer. “As Maryland moves closer to launching a legal commercial market for adults who choose to use cannabis responsibly, the practice of arresting people for marijuana possession makes no sense – especially while lawmakers are trying to find ways to automatically expunge most of these arrest records.”

“Considering the racist origin, intent, and effect of our prohibition era laws, the time to legalize marijuana use and possession by adults is long overdue.” – Luke Jones, Director, Maryland NORML

The Maryland Cannabis Policy Conference is free, online, and features an impressive lineup of speakers, including Delegate Jazz Lewis (D, Prince George’s County) and Senator Brian Feldman (D, Montgomery County) who are leading Maryland’s cannabis policy reform efforts in Annapolis. According to NORML, the legislation introduced by Del. Lewis would establish the most social equity conscious cannabis program in the country. “I would like to acknowledge both Sen. Brian Feldman and Del. Jazz Lewis for leading efforts in the state legislature to adopt a responsible version of Marijuana legalization. I have reviewed the draft language for this proposal they are pushing and want to especially note the strong social equity provisions to ensure that those communities and individuals that were most impacted by marijuana prohibition will be assured an opportunity to participate in the legal market. I expect your social equity provisions may prove to be a model other states will wish to mimic.” – Keith Stroup, NORML founder and legal council

Organizers designed the Maryland Cannabis Policy Conference to help attendees prepare to be effective policy reform advocates during this year’s cannabis legalization lobby campaign, which takes place virtually on February 9, 10, and 11. As of publication, more than 150 voters from 40 of Maryland’s 47 senate districts are pre-registered to lobby their elected representatives to end marijuana prohibition in Maryland during the current legislative session.

Judy Pentz founded Maryland NORML in 2014 and achieved the coveted “chapter of the year” award from the national organization one year later. “Elected officials work for us, and the people are ready to see this policy change. Meeting our representatives on zoom this year can make a real difference – people need to make their voices heard in the Annapolis.” – Judy Pentz, former Director, Maryland NORML

In addition to Sen. Feldman and Del. Lewis, other speakers include some of the most impactful voices for marijuana policy reform in Maryland: Sen. President Bill Ferguson (D, Baltimore City), chair of the General Assembly’s powerful Finance Committee and Marijuana Legalization Work Group; Sen. Will Smith (D, Montgomery County), chair of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee; Rajani Gudlavalleti, Director of Mobilization, Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition; Martin Mitchell, President, Prince George’s County Young Democrats; and Eric E. Sterling, Criminal Justice Policy Foundation (retired).

The quality of Maryland’s proposal to end marijuana prohibition, legalize responsible cannabis commerce, and target cannabis tax revenue investments to communities most impacted by prohibition has gained national attention. In addition to NORML founder Keith Stroup, Maryland’s 2021 Cannabis Policy Conference features Steven Hawkins, Executive Director, Marijuana Policy Project, Adam Eidinger, Social Action Director, Dr. Bronner’s, and Steve DeAngelo, an international cannabis reform leader.

The full Maryland Cannabis Legalization Conference 2021 agenda is available on the Eventbrite conference registration page.

Marijuana is legal for adults to buy and use in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, and Washington. Marijuana is also decriminalized in the District of Columbia, but Congress has prevented the District from establishing a legal commercial market.

The Heart of a Champion with Tyler Dodd

Our next guest, Tyler Dodd, has had an extraordinary journey from homelessness to entrepreneur. Once, finding himself on the streets fighting for survival, and now finding himself in the Cannabis Industry fighting for his piece of the pie. When the Cannabis Industry was knocking on Oklahomas’ door, Tyler knew this was his opportunity. Tyler decided to jump in and get himself a cultivation license and from there became invested in other businesses and brands like Cookies and Tyson Ranch. Join us!

Guest: Tyler Dodd
Connect with Tyler on Instagram
Oklahoma Non-Profit Partner https://www.coffeebunker.org/

Host: Ry Russell 

Support the show (https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/ryzabove)

Have a question or want to connect with a guest? Fill out the form below!

From Seed to Success with Master Grower, Ryan Douglas

There are many disciplines of the Cannabis industry that requires much education to really be considered a master and we would consider growing to be one of those disciplines. When we think about growing Cannabis, to some, it could seem like you plant seeds, and eventually, you will grow some flower. However, most of us know this is knot the case. When our friend, Tess Woods, from Tess Woods PR, called and asked if we would be interested in meeting a Master Grower, of course, we jumped at the opportunity. We are super excited for this episode where we get to learn from the Master Grower of the flagship subsidiary of Canopy Growth Corp, Tweed Inc.  Ryan Douglas, has spent much of his adult life studying plants and building businesses and you do knot want to miss our chat! Ryan published a book titled, From Seed to Success to help us budding cannapreneurs make sense of growing operations and also break things down in a very digestible way. In this book, Ryan provides many amazing resources for prospective growers and entrepreneurs looking for help building their Infrastructure and developing the overall strategy.

Join our Chat and to purchase Ryan’s book please follow the link directly below!
Buy Now: From Seed to Success by Ryan Douglas

Guest: Ryan Douglas
 From Seed to Success by Ryan Douglas

Host: Ry Russell

Support the show (https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/ryzabove)

A New Year in Cannabiz with Peter Vogel and Leafwire

Back in July of 2020, we were first introduced to our friend, Peter Vogel, and his Leafwire platform. We learned how to utilize the platform for Cannabis Industry networking and have made a lot of new friends. We have also found some of our most favorite guests due to networking on the Leafwire platform. Now as we look to conclude 2020 and gear up for a crazy 2021 business climate we thought It would be a perfect time to follow up with Peter and see what is new with Leafwire and also breakdown some ways we Cannapreneurs can get ready for business in a new year!

Be sure to check out Leafwires’ crowdfunding campaign at https://www.seedinvest.com/leafwire/seed
Become a Leafwire investor today!

Guest: Peter Vogel

Host: Ry Russell

Support the show (https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/ryzabove)

Medical Marijuana Practitioners with Joseph Sorbello PA-C

On this episode of WeedBudz Radio, we had the tremendous honor of meeting up with Joseph Sorbello PA-C, a Medial Marijuana Professional that not only helps individuals obtain a Medical Marijuana Card in the state of Maine but also does so in a refurbished ambulance. When our host, Ry, moved back to Maine, Ry had to trade in his Ohio Medical Program Card for a card in his home state of Maine. Having gone through a challenging process in Ohio, Ry was surprised how effective and efficient the process was not just in Maine, but with Joseph specifically. Ry explained how Joe makes everyone feel safe and comfortable, which is critical when working with patients, of course. Joe, also makes sure that you feel comfortable exploring products and safely consuming them. Ry could not say enough about how awesome Joe Sorbello is and how cool his mobile unit is and we were so grateful Joe joined us for this awesome episode of WeedBudz Radio, Join us! 

Guest: Joseph Sorbello PA-C
Medial Marijuana Practioners

Host: Ry – WeedBudz Radio – KnotPlastic.com

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From Big Box Retail to the Greenhouse with Taurin Lyons

As the Cannabis industry continues to grow rapidly, we find more and more job openings looking for all-stars to fill in the gaps. Our host, Ry Russell, loves seeing people make the jump from “traditional” industries into the Cannabis sector. In this episode of WeedBudz RadioRy asked, Taurin to join the show and share his experiences making the shift from Luxury Retail to running a  Cannabis dispensaryTaurin is a legend in retail and he made the brilliant pivot into Cannabis, and he is bringing those skills and Industry-leading customer service to this field. Ry along with dear friend and partner; Melissa Stapley of Pro 9 Ventures and MJ Hybrid Solutions had the pleasure of visiting Taurin, in his element at the beautiful Skokie, Illinois Greenhouse.

Tune in and join us!

Be sure to visit Pro 9 Wellness for all of your recovery and athletic CBD needs.

Guest: Taurin Lyons

Host: Ry Russell

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