The Road Goes on Forever…

And the party never ends…lyrics from a great song by the even greater Robert Earl Keen. Life is always a journey, and I am realizing that the more we look at that journey as a marathon party, we can make the ride a lot more fun. We can also choose the people we want to party with when we realize that it’s our party and we can do what we want. Before that happens, we spend time and energy on believing we are on some scary rollercoaster we did not want to go on with any of these people in the cart. Now, a rollercoaster may be some folks idea of a party, so we can use that too.

Imagine each time the roller coaster stops, or everyone at the party wakes up from the night before, you can switch out the people on your cart or in your party. If you really feel that this is not your party or your ride, then you can be the one to exit and find another event or attraction with other people who feel more into your vibe. Rather than saying life is one big party, fun all the time, it is probably more like the rollercoaster because of the ups and downs, people screaming, fainting and exhilaration from fear and anticipation followed by relief of not dying and for some a feeling of accomplishment for riding the thing.

Where I am going with this, I suppose is that sometimes we all come to a point in our life when we decide that we are going to ride the rollercoaster on purpose, with joy, and make sure that our favorite humans are invited to our own party at the entire themepark of life. When the ride ends we can share the memories and feel the bonds created by our good times and the hard ones too. Feeling Philosophical and sentimental and excited for the new year’s Blessings.

Free 2b Sandy in 2020 and beyond!

Tales from the Roads…June 20, 2019

Starting a new business in the cannabis industry can be challenging…from filing required government forms to (barely) opening a business bank account, the road to canna-business is a newly paved one in Arkansas. In some areas, it may still be a red dirt road.

It started several years ago with a dream of living in a medical cannabis state and building some kind of business in the industry that fuels my passion. Yet as caring for my aging parents became my full-time focus it seemed the dream was left in the background, leaving my home state and the advocacy groups I had worked with. Then suddenly I found myself in the perfect position to make my vision a reality.

I began by getting my Arkansas Medical Marijuana ID Card, realizing that I needed to be a patient for my own health as well as to be better able to help my customers navigate the system. Meanwhile, I read everything I could find on the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment and the state government pages about starting a business in Arkansas. The Small Business Administration website is very helpful as well.

So I filed registration papers with the Arkansas Secretary of State; the online process and customer service is excellent! Applied for and received the Federal Tax ID number and tried to apply for a State Sales Tax and Use permit only to find that the services are not taxable.

Next, I go to my local bank where I have my personal checking account and ask to open a business checking account. When the account representative asked about the type of business and I mentioned cannabis, we had a little ado for a minute while she had to call the corporate office and get approval. They said to fill out a form and they would get back to me within 10 days with a response. Ok, no problem, so I go to leave and before I exit the parking lot the corporate people call me…the most important question was if we would be handling marijuana directly – the answer was no, so he said the account was approved!

At this point I contact my insurance agent for information on whether I need commercial auto insurance to provide rides to the cannabis dispensaries and doctors – yes, they said, and that was “not a direction we want to go” at Allstate Commercial. Ok then, I asked my agent if Allstate would still cover me on the way to the dispensary as a patient, with a smiley. She assured me this was the case with another smiley and referred me to a local independent agent who might be able to help.

The poor man was almost embarrassed to give me the quote, after he got 6 declines and 3 offers, and the lowest exceeded my budget by about 90%. So, this pointed me in a different direction and required some reconfiguration in my brain and on the website that I’m building to launch Country Roads Care LLC.

Even with the help of a website builder program like SquareSpace, which is awesome, there is a lot to learn if you have never built a website before. Currently working with Stripe, the payment processing people, to see if their guidelines will allow our cannabis-related business to use VISA/MASTERCARD payments on the site…word on that later.

It’s fun and frightening and interesting and frustrating and invigorating and exhausting all at the same time trying to birth this baby called Country Roads Care LLC – just thought that I would share a little about my experience for those of you out there who also have a dream of starting your own canna-business.

CountryRoadsCareLLC.com will provide a platform for patients, caregivers, and support businesses to share and disseminate information in this new frontier. From the Resources Page to the Community Forum (Blog) to the MarketPlace, the site will have something for everyone.

I’m looking forward to all of the awesome things we can do together in the spirit of the cannabis plant!

Sandra

May 13th, 2019 – An awesome day to remember!

The dawning of a new era became real for me today as I stood in line for 5 hours with other patients waiting to enter the Green Springs Medical Dispensary in Hot Springs, Arkansas to buy legal medical cannabis. Yes, yes, yes! Legal. Medical. Cannabis. The people in line passed the time by sharing stories of hope, dreams and tragedies – drinking water bottles handed out by dispensary employees as the first really warm day of Spring beat down.

Later, arriving home and enjoying the quiet beauty of the sunset on my porch in the Ouachita Mountains, there was no denying the gratitude I felt for the blessings of natural medicine and a state government that, however haltingly, has implemented a program for people to access the benefits of this amazing plant medicine.

Most of all though, for the first time since 2016, when I first received a Medical Marijuana Patient Card in California, I felt a sense of LEGITIMIZATION. An abiding feeling of peace and freedom to heal myself in the manner that feels best to me, the relief from feeling like a criminal or a “bad person” for needing the relief provided only by this medicinal plant.

So, to all of my fellow patients, especially my new friends from the waiting line, ENJOY! The new world is begun and the best is yet to come.

Free 2 Be Sandy!