Portrait photo of three women outside hugging and smiling after the recording session of episode 2 of Roots & Reefer, a cannabis educational podcast sponsored by The Source medical marijuana dispensary in Rogers, Arkansas.Portrait photo of three women outside hugging and smiling after the recording session of episode 2 of Roots & Reefer, a cannabis educational podcast sponsored by The Source medical marijuana dispensary in Rogers, Arkansas.

Roots and Reefer Episode 2: Sentimentality in Cannabis Cultivation with Arianna Pascoe

Listen to this Roots and Reefer Podcast episode on Spotify
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Lead Grower at The Source shares her cannabis cultivation journey.

A cartoon version of a woman with white skin and silver hair and pink glasses next to a woman with brown skin and big, black hair. The women are wearing earrings in the shape of marijuana leaves, and the text, Roots and Reefer is in the green, yellow, red, and black background.

On this episode of Roots & Reefer: “It was two months in, and she just flourished. And not only did I give her attention every day, I would walk in every morning and be like, ‘You are a queen.’” — we're interviewing Ari Pascoe, lead grower at The Source.

This is Roots & Reefer, your source for education, inspiration, and destigmatization. 

[Wendy]: I'm Wendy Love Edge.

[Rochelle]: And I'm Rochelle Bradshaw. 

Rochelle, we made it to episode two.

[R]: Hey, some of them didn't believe in us, but God did. 

[W]: Always. What have you been up to? Anything exciting? 

[R]: Yeah, for sure. I've been playing some music. I'm getting ready to go on tour. And I've been harvesting. 

[W]: Nice. 

[R]: So weed and music, that's my life.
[W]: They’re kind of intertwined because you're not just touring. You're touring with Stephen Marley. 

This is true, and I'm not just harvesting. We're harvesting In The Flow.
[W]: Yes, right. Boutique cannabis. Craft cannabis.

[R]: Craft cannabis, only the best. We've got some Peach Crescendo, Donny Burger, Danky Kong, just good stuff.
[W]: I saw your photo on The Source website, and on the new app, and you were tending to the plants. 

So what do you do in the grow part of the operation?

[R]: First of all, I am humbled. I’ve never been a part of that process before. So what I do, I'm not only a patient consultant at The Source. I'm helping to tend to our babies in the grow. So from start to finish, I'm an assistant. I don't know anything about growing weed, okay? [laughter]
[W]: But you’re learning. And that’s a beautiful thing that The Source takes talented people, and you start off doing one thing, and they realize you have other talents and interests, and embrace that, and their employees. You don't see that very often.

[R]: No, you do not. We love The Source, and I'm not just saying that because I work there. 

It's a great environment, and the one thing that’s the most important thing that I take away from working there is the educational part.

lt is stressed, and I love to learn. We're constantly learning more about cannabis, and its properties and all that good stuff, so we can impart that on our patients and help them to make better choices. 

[W]: And you get to be around the plants. I think one of the things that I loved about touring The Source when we were formulating this podcast and thinking about it was visiting the grow because I don't get to do that anymore. I'm from Massachusetts, and was really a big part of the growing industry there. I was excited to see full legalization come in. 

I was one of the first people that held card only events in Massachusetts. There was opportunity to do that, and also to spend time with the plants. I don't think people understand what that feels like. I don't know if I can even describe it. It just hits your heart and you feel connected to them.
[R]: It's true. It's just like when you have your little garden in your backyard. I love going out, talking to my garden and singing to my plants. 

[W]: Well, we have a wonderful guest. I can't wait to learn more about growing today.
[R]: Oh, yes. She's my friend and co-worker, and I love her to death. 

[W]: Her name is Ari Pascoe, and she's one of the lead growers at The Source.

This is episode two. We are calling this episode "Sentimentality."

[W]: Joining us now is Ari Pascoe. Ari was born and raised in Northwest Arkansas, although neither of her parents are from here. She has a bachelor's in Human and Environmental Sciences, and she is one of the three lead growers at The Source. Welcome to the show. Ari,
[Ari]: Thank you so much for having me.
[R]: Welcome, Ari.

[W]: It's so great to have you here. 

[R]: So, the big question: 

Why cannabis? Why are you in this industry?

[A]:  Well, just like probably all of you, I started kind of young, as far as partaking. [laughter] So I enjoyed it from a young age, but I also grew up seeing how much it helped my grandfather. He struggled with just about any ailment you could possibly have: Lyme disease, cancer, degenerative disc disease. He used it as medicine, and I always saw how pain relieving it was for him, but also how happy it made him because when you live a life full of pain, it can really just bring you down. It's hard to be happy when you're constantly feeling that, and that was one thing he was; he was constantly happy, jovial, and in good spirits all the time. 

[W]: Well, what a great foundation for you to see that it truly is medicine. 

So in your role at The Source, what does a day look like? What do you actually do there?

[A]: So, we have a small staff, which I love, and we're all very close, which I love. We all do everything. The more executive type work but also the more hands in the dirt, hard labor type work, too. I love that because everyday, it is something new; it doesn't get monotonous. 

Portrait of two women dancing in an indoor, boutique cannabis grow room at The Source Cannabis Dispensary, Grow, and Lab in Rogers, Arkansas. The women are smiling while dancing. Behind them are several tall cannabis plants ready for harvest.

First thing I do when I get there is take a deep breath, and just really take it in because I just I love what I do. 

I'm super appreciative and grateful for being there. My favorite thing to do, as far as growing goes, is the watering. It's peaceful. We will go into this little sidenote: there's a study that I'm super interested in that I've learned about where there's been research done where if you put intentions into water, it holds it. 

Water is a conduit, so it holds energy. 

So what you put into it, it holds it, and it nourishes what you then put that water into, whether it's yourself. I'll do this at home with my Brita. For myself when I drink it, and for my guests when they come over and drink it. There's love and intention put into that. And there's been research done on it, which it's really fascinating. 

I tell all my co-workers, if they're mixing the nuts (nutrients) that day, that's an ingredient as well. Then, as we water, that's my thought the whole time. So if I come into work in a bad mood, because of outside of work issues, it's really meditative for me, and I know for all my co workers, it's a very meditative process.It clears my mind

[W]: I was thinking that the watering itself is a meditation, so I love that you care so much about your intentions. It shows in the medicine. I said already earlier in the episodes, how much the quality is so much better in this boutique brand, In The Flow, than I've seen anywhere else in Arkansas. 

[A]: I love to hear that, and I really hope that that's why. [laughter] Well, genetics has a huge part. We are so grateful for the genetics we get from In The Flow, from our consultants out of Colorado. 

[W]: Wonderful. 

Portrait of a woman hanging a large plastic bin full of large marijuana stems and leaves on a scale that hangs from a chain. The woman is inside of an indoor, boutique cannabis grow room at The Source Cannabis Dispensary, Grow, and Lab in Rogers, Arkansas.

So you start watering and then what do you do next? What's the rest of the day like?

[A]: Watering is usually what happens first, whether it's veg or flower depends on the light cycle. We prefer when the lights first come on, that's when you water because then they have the whole day to kind of soak that in. At night, they don't drink as much. Watering is usually one of the first things we do, mixing our nutrients, then watering. 

Then there's so many other little things that go into it, like vacuuming the drip pans, setting everything up and taking everything down, as far as the hoses and the pumps, and everything like that. But day to day other tasks, refilling reservoirs for the water, which takes 11 minutes per res, and we’ve got eight of them, so it takes a while. 

We like to multitask, so we'll start filling a res and then we'll run and trim.

Or we'll start filling the res and then we'll clean up something that we made a mess of. There's just so much that goes on constantly, and because I have such a great team, we're really good at working with each other and around each other. 

Other things we do, we adjust par, which is the light intensity. 

Picture shows a woman and a man holding scissors and carefully trimming marijuana plants, it’s Ari Pascoe and her co-worker Jonathan Thompson. They’re inside of an indoor, boutique cannabis grow room at The Source Cannabis Dispensary, Grow, and Lab in Rogers, Arkansas.

As they grow bigger, stronger, older, they need more intense light. 

We change spectrums on the light, depending on the cycle that they're in. We
do so much.

[W]: So you're caring for the plants really throughout the day.
[R]: Checking the air quality and all that.
[A]: Constantly. The biggest thing too is there's so many environmental factors. Another reason why I love my job, what keeps it so exciting and fun, is there's constantly obstacles arising. We fix one thing or we figure out what this problem is, and we're like, “Yes!” We're rejoicing. Then as that's happening, there's something else going on that we soon realize, but it's fun. 

I've never done this before. I've always wanted to, ever since I was super young. This has always been kind of a passion and dream of mine.

[R]: You just wanted to grow weed. [laughter]

[A]: Yes, that’s all I ever wanted, all I ever wanted in life. [laughter]

That's another reason why I'm so grateful. It has been a dream and a goal for so long, and just to manifest it and to have people around me to support me to get me to this point. It's a dream come true.

[W]: Fantastic.
[R]: Do you want to tell us about one of your favorite strains that we grow [by] In The Flow? I know, we grow high terpene strains. Let me ask you that again. 

What is a high terpene strain?

[A]: Terpenes are the aromas, the repellents, or the attractants in a plant. There's lots that go into the nutrients you give them or the attention you give that will make those be more excessive. And genetics also is a great part of it. 

So they'll secrete oils, and you can visibly see that, but you can also, absolutely, physically feel that. Some strains if you're up pruning, which is picking the [dead] leaves off that are clogging up certain areas, your gloves or your hands will stick together at some point, quickly. Depending on the cycle too, and the stage that it's in, towards the end of flower, you touch one leaf, your fingers are sticking together. 

So coconut oil is a great way to immediately remove that and lubricate and nourish and moisturize your skin.

[R]: Perfect. 

Portrait of three people from the waist up. A woman wearing a baseball cap stands in the middle with her arms crossed, and on both sides of her stand two men. All three people are smiling. In the foreground and background, marijuana is hanging to cure at The Source, a boutique cannabis grow, dispensary, and lab in Northwest Arkansas.

So which one is your [favorite strain]?

[A]:  My favorite strain so far — it changes, depending on who I am that day or how I'm feeling that day or my environment, my surroundings, but so far, I guess I have two. 

Donny; I love the sensation of Donny. Being super high THC, it kind of made me nervous at first. A lot of the time really potent, really high THC products can make me really shaky, a little jittery, and it's not my favorite type of feel. Even though overall I feel great, but just a physical symptom of that for me, I can get a little jittery. 

So I was a little nervous to try Donny, but it did the absolute opposite for me. I was just like, “whoa.” I'm not used to that. When you have low expectatio–, not even low expectations because I didn’t have low expectations, but going into it thinking, being a little anxious about it and getting a complete opposite result. It made it even better.

[W]: It took you by surprise.

[A]: Yeah, [it was] super relaxing, super social. I love indicas; they kind of work adversely for me than they do a lot of people so they make me energized and social and excited and happy.

Sativas tend to kind of, not bring me down but kind of make me lag or make me tired. 

[W]: Everybody's different.

[A]: That's something we stress, too, because I was a budtender for the first couple of years. 

That was something I always reiterated with patients is that we are all so unique. 

Our chemical makeup, our endocannabinoid system, are so unique to us; none of us are the same. At all. No one on this planet is the same, everything is different about us. So the way we react to these chemical reactions is a complete different experience than anyone you know, which is special.
[W]: So that's one of your favorites. And you have another one.

[A]: It is. I would say there's more sentiment, there's more emotion when it comes to the strain, Modified Grapes. That was actually the first strain I tried of ours. I chose to try that first for sentimental reasons. 

We had one of our plants in our first round, one of our first clones of Modified Grapes was a runt, and she would not grow. 

So we supervise; we veg for three months so we've got time to grow. And she was not growing. Everyone else was like, “Well, we don't necessarily need her; we could just toss her.” I was very adamant about why. I’m like, “We only have 50 right now, and we can only flower and harvest 50 plants at a time.” 

“There's no reason; we don't have to get rid of it. It's not like we have too many plants.” So I put my foot down. They're great at listening to me. [laughter] I’ve got those boys wrapped around my fingers. 

So she was a runt, and she didn't grow for two months in veg. 

She did not grow, but all of her sisters grew around her. So I would raise her higher and higher. I'd put pots underneath her to raise her because we still want her to meet the same par, the same light intensity. I would raise her as her sisters grew, and it was two months in, and she just flourished. 

Not only did I give her attention every day, I would walk in every morning and be like, “You are a queen.” Comparison kills; you can't compare yourself to anybody else, and it's hard not to, just human nature. So I would constantly remind her that, “Your sisters, they are queens as well. But just because they've grown and they're robust and stronger doesn't mean that you don't have all these other values and virtues.” 

Every morning, we had affirmations together. And it wasn't just me. One of our co-workers, Brandy also completely nurtured her as well. She didn't work in the grow at the time, but she would make it a point to come back there, if not every day, every other day, just to join in on the affirmations. 

Then two months in, she flourished. 

It got to the point where she actually was, don't quote me, but I think she was the heaviest when harvest came, as far as wet weight, but she was also the tallest. I know that for a fact she was the tallest. Everyone was like, “This is crazy.” 

[W]: You should never underestimate the power of positive thinking and nurturing. The fact that she came in with more challenges, but she rallied.
[A]: As women do; women struggle through a lot. We know we go through a lot. I chose her to be the first strain of ours that I smoked, and it was just an overpowering, overwhelming experience. I smoked it at home by myself; it was just, we like to use the word, sentimental.

So is the grow organic? Can you say you're creating organic products?

All the nutrients we use are, as far as I know, as organic as you can get. We use really high grade nutrients. All the sprays we use are organically derived concentrates from other plants and such. There's a lot of rules and regulations about what you can spray and what you can't spray, and we do strive to be more organic, more sustainable, eco friendly kind of products because we all prefer that. The food we eat, we'd rather be organic, not sprayed with all these crazy pesticides. Similar thing. 

[W]: Yeah. People are ingesting this essentially. Right? 

[R]: And it’s medicine. 

Image shows marijuana fresh after harvest hanging from metal rods at the stem to cure and dry in The Source Cannabis Arkansas’s cure room facility in Rogers, Arkansas.

So Ari, I know, us, we at The Source, in the grow, we call ourselves a boutique grow; what does that mean?

[A]: Boutique cannabis allows us to grow on a more intimate level. We have less plants; we're not mass producing like most cultivations do in most states. We have the opportunity to grow to a smaller scale, and that kind of allows us to be more intimate, more hands on, more sentimental. [laughter]
[W]: You have time to nurture the runts.
[A]: We’re not rushed, so we do super veg. We've got three months in veg. An average normal way of growing: it’s two months veg, two months flower. We, three months veg, sometimes longer. If things need to be pushed back, we have that ability to do that, and it just grows stronger, bigger, happier plants. It's just a lot more one on one. We have that ability to build relationships with a smaller group of beautiful ladies.

Would you say we have better flower?

[A]: Well, yeah. [laughter] I think that we can all agree that that is the case.

[R]: I think so. I think Wendy will agree with you.

[W]: I agree.  

[A]: At the same time, going back to when you grow your own vegetables in your own garden, it's a different taste, a different nourishment.
[W]: It was so disappointing when the initiative with grow was not passed in Arkansas. But it really warms my heart to know that you're so nurturing and caring. Your team must be, as well.

So at least we know, when we go to The Source, we're getting something similar to what a home grow would be like, where you're really nurturing the plants and care about them and then using the medicine for yourself. 

I don't think that legislators really understand the value in that, the medicinal value. But at least we really have the next best thing with you running this grow.
[A]: Thank you so much. Yeah, I'm honored to be able to provide this experience for people I love and for our patients. I truly am honored.
[R]: I second that. I like to call our flower…, I tell people we do “farm to table,” right? We do farm to table, and we don't hold on to it for too long. We harvest; you're gonna get it soon.
[A]: I want to add one thing to Rochelle: I love you. You are my queen, and having you back there helping us, I'm so grateful for it. I know that our plants love you. We both agree that talking to your plants is important. 

My grandma told me that my whole life; she ingrained it in me. When I watch you in there, I watch you sing to them; I watch you dance with them. I love it, and I know that they do, too. I admire you and  it’s such joy to have you back there when you're able to.
[R]: Thank you, and I am so proud of you, just watching you grow in the grow. [laughter]

[W]: Well, do you have anything you'd like to add for our listeners that they might want to know about the grow process or the plants or anything that you'd like to add?
[A]: Just that we all put so much into this and to hear their feedback, it's really important to us. Come get on our website, post reviews, whether they're good or bad. We like the feedback. And we listen and we take that to heart. If there's something you're unhappy with, we want to know, so we can work around that or figure out how to fix a problem. Grow with you, for us, and as well as positive feedback because positive affirmation is good for all of us. 

[W]: Thank you so much for joining us. 

[A]: Thank you so much for having me. This was a lot of fun. 

[R]: Thank you so much. 

May The Source be with you!

It's time for a truth nug.

Is my information private with the Arkansas Department of Health in the medical marijuana section? 

Yes, it is. Your information is protected, medical information. It is private, 100%. Not even law enforcement can obtain this information. They only are able to see that you have a card, not what you've bought, not how much you've spent. None of that; Everything is private.

Photo depicts Arkansas Roots & Reefer educational cannabis podcast hosts interviewing grow lead at The Source Cannabis Dispensary and boutique grow, Ari Pascoe, sitting around a wooden table at a home in Northwest Arkansas. Behind the three smiling women are large windows giving us a view of a lush summer forest.

Rochelle, I think it's time to go to work.

[R]: Is it time to smoke?

It's time for a strain review.

[R]: I think I want to try this one with Ari. I know you have some sentimental connections to this strain in particular, and we want to get into that as we toke.
[W]: Yeah, so it's called Modified Grapes, and this was one of the plants that you nurtured, right? The runt. 

Close up picture of bright green and yellowa trimmed marijuana bud surrounded by the tastes and terps that it embodies: cloves, rosemary, parsley, and a a slice of lemon.The items are portrayed on a white background. This marijuana bud is of the cannabis strain Modified Grapes, which has genetics from In The Flow Boutique Cannabis, and it is grown in at The Source Craft Cannabis Company in Rogers, Arkansas.

[A]: The runt, yes. The baby in the group. 

[W]: So Modified Grapes has caryophyllene, limonene, and myrcene. It's an aromatic blend of grape, honey, and berries, and delivers an uplifting, creative, and social high. Should we do it?

[A]: Let's do it. 

[R]: Let’s get social guys. 

[W]: Hmm, that's a really light flavor. It's funny because it says it's really aromatic, but I'm getting a very light flavor that I can't fully describe really. What do you think, Ari? 

[A]: So you're gonna like this answer because I have this, I don't know, “condition,” where it all tastes like pretzels to me. 

[R]: Whoa. Do tell.

[A]: It has always been like that, since the moment the first time I smoked. I just don't get the flavor. So I guess I'm not a connoisseur because I don't taste it. I don't know. I can't smell very well either so I think that correlates with taste. I mean, I can definitely smell our strains because it's undeniable.
[W]: I really taste the limonene, but it's very light.What do you think, Rochelle?
[R]: I agree with you that the limonene stands out to me, like a super light citrus undertone. But I’ll  tell you what, when we're harvesting the Modified Grapes, which we did a few days ago… the fragrance. This thing smells grapey.
[W]: I do not taste grape. Do you taste grape?
[R]: Maybe it's the paper. I just did. Pull a little harder. 

[W]: When I put my tongue on the roof of my mouth, I get more flavor. Probably because I'm getting the aroma from my nose, right? When I press my tongue up there. When I do that, I do get a hint of grape. Just a hint. It's interesting, though, because they're so aromatic when they’re growing. 

[R]: Yes, they are like that. And this one is an indica-dominant hybrid, 80/20 I believe. But tell us about… you mentioned your story about a little runt. What was her name? I’m sure you gave it a name. 

[A]: So her name is and will always be Susie. I don't take credit. It's actually Brandy, one of my co-workers. And it's spelled “S-I-O-U-X-I-S-E.”

[R]: Like the Sioux. Did you smoke, Siouxise?

[A]: I did. [laughter]

[W]: You cut her down and you smoked her.

[A]: She was honored to give herself to us.
[R]: She was wonderful. So to get to our delightful, lightly flavored Modified Grapes, we crossed Purple Punch with GMO, and GMO cannabis is not what you think; it's not genetically modified. It is garlic, mushroom, onion or GMO cookies. Or garlic cookies. 

[W]: You learn something new every day. I did not know that, and when I ever would see GMO on a strain, it was a turnoff to me.
[R]: Same here because I just assume that it was genetically modified, which beer are genetically modified strains, but this is not one of them. Because, In The Flow, we don't grow like that. 

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