Meet Our Retailers: Mankind Cooperative in San Diego
Marley Natural loves our vendors, so this week we’re highlighting one of San Diego’s finest — Mankind Cooperative. Not only do they carry Marley Natural’s full range of flower, pre-rolls and concentrates, they are also active in supporting San Diego’s Veteran community. We spoke with Cathy and Zack, to hear how cannabis enhances their experiences and where they see the future of the herb.
Hi Zack, thank you for speaking with us. How did you get into the cannabis industry and what you do at Mankind Cooperative?
Zack: I got into this industry because I've always been passionate about cannabis. I believe in its medicinal properties, as well as it's enjoyable, so I wanted to be in the industry. I'm the restock clerk. It's my job to bring products from the back to the floor, make sure the whole store is well-stocked, everything looks pretty, all the prices are correct, all the SKUs are correct, that kind of thing.
You’ve got an important role. What is your favorite Marley product, and why?
Zack: I like the studio flowers, just because they're awesome. They smell great. They taste great. Makes my whole house smell good, so I love it.
Awesome, Studio it is! What is the coolest place that you've ever medicated with Marley?
Zack: I like to take my vape chamber with me when I go hikin, because it's not causing a spark. I'm not going to cause a forest fire. It's easy to medicate on the go. You don't have to worry about a lighter or anything, so when you're charging up a mountain, it's nice to just be able to take a little puff here and there and keep going.
Okay. How do you feel like that medicating with Marley during your hikes enhances them?
Zack: I think you enjoy nature and your surroundings a little bit more. You take a minute to stop and look around, take a little puff, and just realize where you are. You know?
Oh yes we do. Why are you an advocate for the herb?
Zack: I believe it's a non-toxic way to treat many illnesses. My mom was taking Ambien, and it tricks your brain into turning off and you don't really get sleep. You're just kind of comatose, and that's not healthy sleep. It affected every aspect of her life.
Now that she's off of those terrible chemicals, she's much happier. She's like a whole new woman. It's really cool. I was able to get my mom off of years of using Ambien with just cannabis, so I think it's better for us than a lot of the things we consume on a regular basis. I think it's the way of the future.
What strain is she smoking?
Zack: She doesn't smoke. She doesn't really like the taste of cannabis, which was kind of a tricky obstacle to get over, but she does vape, so that helps.
That’s great to hear. And last, but not least — where do you foresee the future of cannabis? Imagine 20 years into the future, what would be your ideal vision of cannabis?
Zack: I think it'll be a lot more widely accepted. It will be the same way we see beer. There will be events, you'll be able to go to a football or a basketball game, and they'll have a place where you can smoke, vape or something like that. I think it would be cool.
I also think the prepackaged stuff is the way of the future, as far as companies taking it upon themselves to say, "This is what I want our product to look like on the shelf. This is what our product will represent. We want consistency." That kind of thing is the future. We're getting there.
Great, thank you Zack! Alright Cathy, on to you. Thanks for speaking with us. Let's start at the beginning. How did you get into the cannabis industry?
Cathy: I got into the cannabis industry about ten years ago because of my younger son, James. I was into holistic health and James owned Body Mind College. I worked as a biofeedback practitioner. He said, "Mom, you know, this would be a really good business. I think you're going to love this herb, and I think it would help people." I'm like, "Okay."
Being a professional ice skater for all those years, I was on the tail end of the hippies, but I wasn't really doing the hippie thing because I was an ice skater. I was very focused. So, I knew nothing about cannabis but I went out and I learned. We opened up a shop ten years ago, and I love it. I'm amazed with how natural, healthy and wonderful this plant is, so I'm a big fan.
What is your role at Mankind Cooperative?
Cathy: I am the marketing director. I love helping promote medical marijuana. I think it's wonderful, and we have a whole Veterans program. We're reaching out, now, to Veterans. You interviewed Sean, who loves Marley, so we like to help the Veterans. We do a lot of the outreach for people who might not know this is an alternative for them. You know, if they have PTSD, pain, anxiety — we want people to know they can check us out. It's worth it.
Have you ever used cannabis to enhance your skating?
Cathy: Back in the day, no. I was very focused. As the top half of the pair team, so I'm balanced on one hand upside down going 50 miles an hour. I don't even want to breathe. So no, never tried it. But now, I'm thinking of going skating just for fun. For the fun and the creativity, I think that would be good. For competitive pair skating, nah, I don't think so!
Yeah, definitely play it safe for pairs skating!
Cathy: But at this point, I'd be like, "Boy, I really feel the music." The creativity part would be awesome.
What about any ice skating injuries, anything like that? Do you use cannabis to help medicate?
Cathy: Yes. Absolutely. I have a lot of problems with my neck from quite a few death spirals, and I find the CBD pre-rolls very effective. I love the CBD, particularly being a lightweight. I can only take two puffs of the Sativa or Indica. With the CBD, I can do four puffs. It tastes great and I get an uplifted mood. It helped my neck, so I did a yoga class. I haven't been able to do a lot of chaturangas because they hurt the heck out of my neck. But CBD Marley pre-rolls are very good for yoga.
Oh, perfect. Speaking of Marley pre-rolls, I've heard you're quite a fan. Why do you love them so much?
Cathy: I love the natural paper. I love how it's not bleached because I have autoimmune issues. I like that papers don’t run. You have a joint and it's perfect. They’re so well-made. I like the little tin and how it fits in your purse. I’ll take two puffs of the Sativa, and then I can put it out and put it back in my little tin in my purse, and then an hour or two later, I can re-light it and do it again. I like how Marley Natural is natural, smooth and safe. And you know, it's Bob Marley. You guys care. It's not going to have any chemicals in it that would be bad for a weakened immune system.
Yeah, speaking of autoimmune, you mentioned that you have autoimmune issues. How do you use Marley to medicate? Is it safe for autoimmune disorders? How does it help with yours?
Cathy: I'm glad we're finally getting to study these things. It used to be, to study medical marijuana you had to say you were looking for what was wrong with it. Literally, that was how you funded a study. Now we can actually look at how cannabis helps. The CBD has absolutely helped to get your shoulders off your ears. To me, the Sativa's definitely uplifting. I love the Indica for relaxing muscles afterwards, so I find it to be very useful. Then, you're not getting the side effects from other drugs. I mean, the options they would give me would be pills, which all have side effects. Here, I smoke this, and I have no negative effects. In fact, I have good side effects from the endocannabinoid systems. So yeah, love it.
We love to hear it. What is your favorite Marley strain, and why?
Cathy: Definitely one of the Sativas. I’ve been smoking a Jack Herer cartridge lately.
Let's talk about your Veteran work. Mankind Cooperative is in a heavy military area. What are some things you offer Veterans and why should a Veteran come check out Mankind Cooperative when he or she might be offered pharmaceuticals instead?
Cathy: Thank you for that. We want to attract Veterans so they can see the pills with all of the side effects aren't working. An estimated 22 Veterans kill themselves every day. That is totally unacceptable. Cannabis uplifts the mood. It can help take away fear and PTSD. I've watched Veterans change immediately from smoking cannabis. We want them to come in. We do a lot of special events for Veterans. Anything we can do that will help the people who make it possible for us to enjoy this plant.
Last question. I'm an advocate of the herb because?
Cathy: I have seen so many people find relief from pain. My hubby takes RSO instead of a whole bunch of pills they gave him for hip replacement. The herb is fun and lovely and wonderful.
If you’re in San Diego, stop by Mankind Cooperative at 7128 Miramar Road, #10, San Diego, CA 92121. Also make sure you’re following them on Instagram at @mankindcoopsd.