Reward of Doja (GoD) is a women-of-color-created cannabis equity brand—specializing in honoring the vibe of “all beings and all issues.” GoD’s terpene-rich phenotypes may be discovered at many dispensaries all through higher San Francisco and Los Angeles, or by way of numerous supply providers within the Bay Space. GoD Curator Nina Parks enjoys being a steward of sacred plant medicines and the Divine Female—for her, it’s a calling.
GoD curates small-batch hashish grown by farmers from throughout California who select to domesticate below processes utilizing love and intention. You will discover strains corresponding to HER-lato, grown by Rising Tree Farms in Grass Valley, or Michelle Obama Kush, grown by a woman-owned cultivation web site in Salinas Valley.
The model got here collectively in 2020, when Parks was impressed to start out a enterprise regardless of the percentages. Shelter-in-place orders have been nonetheless in impact then, however it offered a singular window of alternative for some folks, corresponding to in Parks’ case. “[I] simply occurred to know at some point,” Parks advised Excessive Instances. “I awakened now, and I had a imaginative and prescient.”
Parks’ journey within the hashish area started as she rolled out her brother’s model, Mirage Medicinal. “Properly, first off, my birthday is 4/20,” she stated. “I used to be simply type of born for this shit, proper? It truly began making a variety of sense too when individuals are like ‘you’re stoned on a regular basis.’”
When folks continually requested Parks about her birthday, becoming a member of the hashish business simply appeared to make sense.
Parks grew up deeply embedded on the earth of avenue artwork—being uncovered to artwork and streetwear whereas she was using the bus all through San Francisco. One of many issues she likes most about residing in a metropolis like San Francisco is that you simply get to watch the ebb-and-flow of the human expertise.
“I used to be studying Jay Z’s guide the opposite day, Decoded,” Parks defined. “And like, he’s speaking about Basquiat. And his reverence for him and the way, despite the fact that they dwell very completely different lives, all of them heard the identical sirens.”
Parks was intrigued how folks all stroll the identical streets and with so many various universes in a single densely-populated city area. A part of that aesthetic included warehouse events, folks creating, folks with cameras and documenting life. So, for Parks, she began off as a avenue photographer.
There’s at all times one thing happening within the San Francisco space. To not point out the wealthy hippie tradition in San Francisco—from the bohemian tradition of locations like The Fillmore, or the opposite areas within the Bay Space which have an progressive, artistic vibe. San Francisco is a spot that has the flexibility to offer the area so that you can end up. “We’re not going to guage you when you come into a gathering smelling like weed—like half town smells like weed. It’s not the identical,” she stated. “In case you go away San Francisco, we aren’t the identical.”
A part of the approach to life within the metropolis is reaching the shoreline to have the ability to witness the sundown or discovering a very good peak to roll up and spark up a joint. GoD exudes town’s magic. “With Reward of Doja, the purple on the packaging itself is de facto there to stimulate the creativeness,” Parks stated. “The sundown on the highest of the jar may be very a lot an homage to thatؙ—that second between mild and darkish when the whole lot is simply lovely. Then the area on high of the jars, for folks simply to jot down one thing out. Like I stated, I got here from graffiti tradition and when you didn’t know the right way to write, you didn’t have a reputation, you recognize? That’s simply one thing that’s simply being misplaced. Folks don’t even train handwriting at school anymore. I do know, this is sort of a lengthy strategy to get to love, the place I’m going with a model.”
Parks was in her twenties when she was in a position to witness graffiti develop from its definition as a “hooligan exercise” into the positive artwork area. She noticed so many comparable issues that have been occurring within the hashish area when it was within the pirate-like, Wild West period. As a photographer in San Francisco, that vibe is one thing that Parks doesn’t need to lose. She at all times been documenting the issues round her, corresponding to civil protests with reference to police accountability.
Parks was additionally a case supervisor and fulfilled many different roles. As a middle-class combined child, she had the privilege of with the ability to transfer by way of many, many various areas. “What I realized although, is that weed related all of it,” she stated. “In each single area that I went into, like weed related at both finish or the start. So, if I needed to be in a membership, and I needed to love shoot a live performance, identical to nicely, shoot some fire-ass weed over to the bouncer and also you may simply make it if it’s good shit.”
When Parks began operating the supply service, the satisfaction got here from with the ability to convey anyone help for his or her reduction. It meant that an individual who was chronically sick with a bodily ailment wasn’t any bit extra essential than the one which had the psychological, emotional ailment that simply wanted anyone to speak to.
Parks began studying extra about cannabinoids, terpenes, the entourage impact, flavonoids, and she or he knew that she wanted to proceed to expertise this. “I had the chance once I was rolling out my brother’s model, Mirage Medicinal, to curate these menus. It was one of the best factor ever to only scent hella baggage of weed.” She went on to elucidate how figuring out the flavonoids has helped to promote hashish over the cellphone. “They’re like, ‘What you bought?’ I’m like, ‘Whoa, what are you in search of?’ And also you simply go down the entire adjectives record. The entire similes record. How else do you promote weed on the cellphone?”
Then life occurred, and round 2017, when Parks’ father handed away, it was a large problem for Parks to maintain doing what she does. Her father additionally didn’t go away a will. Her complete life needed to pivot to cleansing up 64 years of his life, primarily, she stated.
When Parks lastly got here up for air, she needed to know what it was going to appear to be, and what it’s that she needed to create that might add some worth to the area.
“The plant desires you to play together with your creativeness. The plant desires you to play together with your senses and nonetheless type of be there. Reward of Doja and the way in which that the model is rolled out, it’s very particular to completely different terpene profiles. So, you may get a number of jars [of] no matter flavors that I’ve; you’ll study the plant by way of it. By way of that, you get to determine, very like how in Harry Potter the wizard goes to the wand and the wand begins shifting and chooses the wizard—the weed ultimately chooses you. You discover the one which connects together with your endocannabinoid system. Some individuals are simply buying [based] on the THC content material and it’s identical to, ‘oh, it’s possible you’ll simply be fucking your self up on it,’ you recognize?”
GoD continues to be in its infancy however Parks has plans to develop it into a spot the place folks can come to have a complete plant expertise and find out about it. She would love to have the ability to spotlight the terpene profiles, spotlight the territory that it was grown in, and spotlight the rising processes that these cultivators actually put their coronary heart in.
Parks is at all times on the hunt for brand spanking new phenos. She’s additionally enlisting the assistance of her associates as a result of she does have her personal particular terpene profile. You’ll discover a variety of limonene, lemony-like flavors, as a result of Parks likes that stage of consciousness related to these strains.
For the Folks, By the Folks
Parks grew up saturated in California’s dispensary life: infinite wellness facilities. That’s how she grew up understanding the plant. “Individuals are chronically sick for a plethora of various causes; that could possibly be the whole lot from bodily ailment to, like, psychological well being. Additionally it was just like the veterans that basically stood up and have been like, ‘We’d like a spot to be.’ That’s how all of those dispensary areas and smoke lounges truly have been in a position to pop up. We’ve got that consciousness right here.”
The cannabis industry grew out of the hippie motion—the free-loving, the ‘rattling the person,’ anti-capitalist area.
Parks’ artwork and activism has at all times been entrance and heart. “I battle actually laborious with the enterprise area as a result of my thoughts doesn’t truly work in that means,” she stated. “The place I’m like, ‘how am I going to squeeze each bit out of my backside line?’ Nonetheless, I’m additionally like, nicely, I positively must ensure that I will pay folks nicely as a result of the Bay Space shouldn’t be a straightforward place to dwell.”
When Parks began promoting weed, and never simply with the supply service, however taking part in brokering, it lastly opened the doorways to monetary freedom. She felt like she earned it and wasn’t simply being plugged into anyone else’s machine.
“I can’t full my dream with out being in an area the place we’re serving to different folks’s goals additionally,” Parks stated.
That’s what it’s like at an area fairness distro, so after Parks left the supply service, she plugged into native fairness distro with Ramon Garcia, Morris Kelly, Ron Brandy, and Nancy Doe. “It’s like Black and Asian men and women, you recognize, it’s range,” she stated. “The world is on the market yelling and creating all of those divisive separations.
On GoD packaging there’s somewhat trademark, signifying fairness commerce. The fairness commerce signifies that GoD qualifies for fairness in its native jurisdiction. There are provisions for native, state, or nationwide fairness certification.
“So I qualify in my jurisdiction and I’m dedicated to serving to the trigger transfer ahead,” Parks stated. “For me, additionally, as a enterprise proprietor, that’s been the whole lot, as a result of working with of us, like extra set-up SF routes, like seeing his hustle […]”
Parks desires to realize visibility and be represented in a means that’s significant within the area that we’re in. That may be an uphill problem as a result of getting shelf area isn’t simple.
“[I’m] so blessed to have the ability to be rolling out at a Excessive Instances retailer, with the ability to see DIOS on the ground, too, and see them represented […] It’s phenomenal, you recognize, to have the ability to see it represented that means.”
Whereas different individuals are targeted on points corresponding to merchandising and enlargement—Parks is looking for a extra natural expertise. Simply seeing the development and being part of it’s what she believes will result in stability. “You’ve received to have stability,” she stated.
Learn this story initially printed in Excessive Instances November 2021 Concern in our archive.
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