Yes We Cannabis

Teacher starts “The People’s Weed Company”

One of the most unique weed companies in town doesn't sell weed at all. The People's Weed Company is a local startup that focuses on teaching the average person how to cook edibles in a way that most efficiently gathers the health benefits of marijuana.

"The essence of this is that you're becoming a citizen scientist," says company founder Mary Wallace. "My interest is helping your average, everyday people enjoy edibles."

Wallace started the company to fix multiple problems she saw in the current MMJ edible market. She says the way most dispensaries cook their marijuana removes the "entourage effect" and strips health benefits.

"Really, the best way to get the health benefits of marijuana is edibles," Wallace says. "But a lot of edibles are sugar-laden junk, and they're prohibitively expensive."

The People's Weed Company's sole current product is a cooking manual detailing best practices, portion sizes, decarbing methods, terpene mixtures, strain benefits and more. The manual, based on years of research, also includes information on mixing in other herbs, such as lemon and basil, to enhance terpene effects. With this low-heat cooking method, Wallace says users can get the most out of whole bud marijuana, and save money from buying manufactured edibles.

"The plant is intended to be eaten whole-bud, and I'm convinced of that," Wallace says.

Wallace says using whole bud also maintains the "entourage effect," a term embraced by cannabis enthusiasts who say the organic compounds that naturally occur in marijuana, such as cannabinoids and terpenes, behave synergistically to enhance health benefits and effects. Many edible manufacturers instead extract the marijuana's THC and add terpenes back into the edible afterward.

"I don't think all the medicinal properties in weed can survive that deconstruction and putting back together," Wallace says. "If you extract the THC, it's like you've broken the plant."

Additional goals of The People's Weed Company include establishing Tucson as a "premier medical marijuana destination," teaching people the power of medical marijuana to fight opioid addiction, and forming a strong community around medical marijuana to fight for legalization.

"If I get a handful of people happier because of this, I'll go to sleep good," Wallace says.

Proudly founded by a "teacher, nurse, Muslim, economist" and more, The People's Weed Company also seeks to remove the stigma associated with using medical marijuana among professionals. This stigma impacts the other founders of The People's Weed Company, who all wish to remain anonymous. This goal is especially personal to Wallace, who is an MMJ card holder and has faced discrimination for that fact during her job as a local economics teacher.

"Being public with that card is painful," Wallace says. "It'd be easier to hide, but that's not how I live. In a couple of years, it won't be that big of a deal, but it is right now. That's why I'm public with it, to show people you don't have to hide."

Wallace's history with edibles started as a way to deal with pain in her feet, which are damaged from polio. The pain from standing all day as a teacher was enough to almost make her give up her education career. But through her marijuana research and custom cooking methods, she is able to manage the pain.

"Now, I'm pain-free all day. This stuff is astonishing with how much pain relief you get," Wallace says. "It's medicine. It's truly medicine."

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