The ‘People of Cannabis’
With 420, Twenty Twenty having just passed us, we wanted to share something that made us smile. Our mate Will at Ballin’ On A Budget Media celebrated the Australian cannabis community on Monday in socially distant style; conducting interviews that explore how cannabis – and the culture surrounding it – is of deep, life-altering importance to people who work in the industry.
The Craze Co
Why do you love cannabis?
She’s the mistress who never mistreats.
You’ve been involved with a lot of exciting events in the Australian cannabis space. What are you excited for in 2020?
2020 has been a big year for me. I am now a prescribed patient and therefore a lawful consumer; It feels like the weight of the world has been taken off my shoulders. It’s a new era!
At 1:30pm today (April 20, 2020), I will be premiering a short documentary about the process of obtaining medical cannabis in Australia. Watch it here.
Tell us a bit about ‘Who Are We Hurting’ and the 420 stunts.
‘Who Are We Hurting’ is a series of projects that I hold close to my heart. These projects – which have included PR stunts on 4/20 for the past three years – encompass my love for art and have been the medium used by myself and the rest of our team to ask the self-titled detrimental question: “Who are we hurting?”.
These projects have received widespread media attention; and with legislation moving in our favour, I feel that our team and all of the other activists around the world are influencing change and improving the quality of life for all!
Do you think art is good for promoting social issues like cannabis legalisation? Why?
Art is good for everything! As an artist I just do what I know, good art creates and captures emotion and this is an incredibly emotional topic for me.
Aussie Ganjapreneur Will Stolk
Why do you love cannabis?
I’ve had a love for cannabis since I was 15 years old. I first started smoking it while I was at a ski training camp in Whistler, Canada.
Cannabis has, and always will be, one of my greatest joys in life. It makes every single thing in my life better: sex, skiing, surfing, travel, eating, going to the gym. It has also given me almost my entire friend group.
Everywhere I have travelled – whether chasing snow, waves, or women – I am always looking to get on. Being the cheeky and outspoken character that I am, I usually always meet the local guy who runs the scene and they become my new best friend.
This has translated into making my core group of lifelong friends, who are all bosses of the highest order. I thank God that the cannabis plant was created; without it, I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in right now.
Tell us a bit about what you’re doing in the cannabis space right now.
I’ve been involved with launching a few cannabis companies in the US, including a weed dispensary (working on the second one and a distribution company at the moment). We also invested and co-founded a CBD company for pets called Inspired Paws, providing full-spectrum hemp oil for pets.
Now that stage one is done, we are launching two new companies in the coming months. One will be a Californian-based lifestyle-focused Cannabis company called Fully Lit, which will be in line to compete with the giants of the industry like Dan Bilzerian’s Ignite. Starting with edibles, we will be focused on making the best tasting and quality THC Gummies in the world, then expanding into other fields of cannabis as time goes on.
We are also launching a health and wellness brand called Byron Bay Biologicals (with the sub-brand of Byron Bay CBD), producing an array of organic Hemp and CBD health products; from tinctures to sports and pain relief creams, and beauty products. Our aim is to make Byron Bay Biologicals the premier brand in the cannabis health space.
Considering that I live in the northern NSW area, a place that exudes a hippie vibe of spiritual tranquility with the best that nature has to offer, our products will reflect this and take that same vibe and spirit to the world.
I’m looking to move to America part-time later this year, in order to fully realise the dreams we have. Other than that, we have some future plans for farming and manufacturing facilities here in Australia and abroad, and some secret technology that could potentially revolutionise the extraction side of hemp, CBD, and cannabis. But these projects are top secret, and I am not at liberty to discuss them yet!
What cannabis event are you most excited for in 2020 and why?
I am really excited for the HHI expo in Canberra which is on April 18th and 19th. (Sad… this event was postponed. Damn COVID-19!)
Cannabis has become legalised in Canberra recently for personal use, and we really commend the ACT government for going out on a limb and standing firm against a lot of opposition to legalise something that should’ve been legalised a long time ago, even if it’s just for personal use. This will be the first time the Hemp and Health expo has been to Canberra, and following the legalisation, we hope this will be the greatest expo for cannabis and hemp downunder. We work closely with Michele and her team at HHI, and really commend their effort in exposing hemp to the Australian audience. Without them we wouldn’t be in the position we are now, so hats off to her and her team for their tireless work and effort. We still have a long way to go, but after all the protests and stunts we have done such as the “Who Are We Hurting?” collective, it’s great to finally see some results. Hopefully this will set a new trend for the future of cannabis in Australia.
It’s going to be 4/20 for a whole month this year. How will you celebrate?
I am launching my new Willy’s World podcast on this day, so I will probably celebrate by smoking a lot of green organic cannabis and hanging out with a group of like-minded individuals.
You co-own a cannabis dispensary in the US. Is there any interest in the market down here? Do you think we’ll be seeing dispensaries in Australia any time soon?
I’ve been hearing a lot of good things in the USA, and a lot of people in the cannabis industry are predicting a potential huge boom for the Australian cannabis industry.
I personally think medical dispensaries will soon become a more common sight before recreational ones do. I know that there are a few on the Gold Coast popping up, as well as in Sydney and Melbourne (and hopefully in other major cities around Australia).
I am of the opinion that the Australian government is currently sucking on the tit of the massive billion dollar pharmaceutical industry, and they don’t want to legalise cannabis in Australia. Until this changes, I don’t see it becoming legalised here. But I have hope for the future!
The only way to initiate change is to get the politicians to actually care about what people think, and tell them that if they don’t change their laws they will lose their place in the government because we, the people, will vote them out. There must be power to the people. So instead of talking about it, write to your local member of parliament, go to protests, talk to your neighbour. Cannabis is the God plant – spread the word!
Why do you love cannabis?
Cannabis helped my partner overcome her bowel disease, placing it into remission in a very short time. In my travels, I’ve been fortunate to witness what cannabis as a medicine can achieve for those who need it. From a recreational point, cannabis is a very safe way to relieve stress and anxiety compared to more legal activities. Cannabis is a lot of fun to consume with like-minded people and I’ve never seen anyone be aggressive when consuming cannabis alone, which is why I love the plant.
You’ve been a big part of the cannabis scene down under for a long time. Where do you see it going over the next 5 years?
We have made small steps in the last five years towards legalising cannabis: small steps but steps forward, regardless. Hopefully our Australian government can work towards legalising the plant. Approaches like the Colorado dispensary, Netherlands café or Spanish Canna Clubs would be perfect for ensuring easy access to cannabis for those who truly need it… but unfortunately I can’t see that happening in the next five years.
On the other hand, CBD (cannabidiol) – which has some excellent health properties – is being legalised around the world, before anything containing THC. I would expect Australia to follow and allow easy, non-restricted access to CBD tinctures, edibles and topical balms in the next couple of years. Maybe after that, we will see more relaxed laws regarding THC extracts and THC dominant flower here in Australia.
What are you most excited for in 2020 regarding cannabis?
2020 has seen some larger and exciting steps towards legalisation, especially when comparing this year with the past 10 years. Canberra now allows the legal possession of up to 50g of cannabis, and two plants per adult per house (with a maximum of four). Hopefully other states will recognise the benefits and follow suit.
You travel to cannabis events around the world. Where’s a place where the cannabis culture really stood out to you?
There are so many good international cannabis events worth attending around the world. Some of my favourites are Spannabis (Barcelona), Mary Jane (Berlin), Champs Trade Show (USA), MJBiz (Las Vegas), Expo Weed (Santaigo) and Product Earth Expo (United Kingdom). All are worth going to with friendly people, excellent quality cannabis products and medicines. Recreationally, Europe has awesome cannabis scenes in a lot of countries. The Spanish Cannabis Clubs and café’s in Amsterdam are definite standouts. Also, walking into a dispensary in the legal states of the USA is always an experience.
What are some things you love to infuse with your MB machine? Do you have a favourite recipe?
With the MagicalButter machine, you can pretty well infuse any meal with a botanical infusion that comes to mind in some way. Whether it’s a sauce for your hamburger and chips, a healthy infused vegetable soup, a cocktail or mocktail to drink, a topical balm for pain relief, even a basic and simple infused salad dressing, you can infuse create extraordinary meals and topical lotions at home, safely and consistently using the MagicalButter MB2e.
As I travel a lot, I prefer to make smaller, more concentrated edibles like flavoured Gelatin Gummy Bears or “Gummies”, which can be consumed easily and discreetly. When I’m home, infused pastas and the classic cakes/brownies with a little ice cream is a tasty way to feel the effects.