Member Spotlight – September 7, 2019
1. John Kingsbury, Cannabis Patient, Advocate and Activist
Our first member spotlight today is John Kingsbury, Cannabis Patient, Advocate and Activist.
Where is John today?
I asked John what inspired him to become involved in the Cannabis Industry. He shared that he
became an authorized patient around 2009. He became involved in policy activism during the
2014 discussions surrounding the so-called Cannabis Patients Protection Act. There he began to
hear government entities and business hopefuls talk about people like John as probable
“fakers” and likely involved in criminal activity. Patients who needed to be on the equivalent of
a sex offender registry in order to be able to find what John called “sub-appropriate access” to
cannabis. At that time, John lacked knowledge about how public policy was made, but he was
incensed (and somewhat afraid) of what he was seeing unfold, so he became active in the
cannabis movement. That was back in the beginning and he just hasn’t stopped. But he says he
is “Hopefully, smarter than I was back then.”
I joined the Cannabis Alliance because patients need allies and there is strength in numbers.
Engaging with a group like the Cannabis Alliance means accessing a broader base of knowledge,
experiences and perspectives from other members and it also provides access to tools.
John says a related question might be "Why did I join the Cannabis Alliance" over some other
organizations. The answer to that was easy: diversity. A more diverse organization means a
broader group of skills and knowledge to benefit from. It means having the potential to
become smarter. In his role as medical advocate, he knew he needed to participate with a
broader base of allies rather than remain within his circle of patient activists. His needs are not
the same as a producer's or processors, but they can and often do share common cause.
John says “We all want patients to be able to find appropriate access within the 502 market, if
that is his or her choice. So a licensee may want to understand the reasons why patients are
staying out of the market in such large numbers. A licensee may want to understand what
"appropriate access" means to different patients. I may want to understand why appropriate
products remain so scarce, or why budtenders do not seem well-equipped to help people like
me. I need to understand what barriers are keeping medical-quality products out-of-reach of
patients, and how that might be remedied. Having open conversations with licensees helps me
better understand what the solutions might be. Patients are some of the highest-volume, most
regular consumers there are.” John asks why the current system isn’t able to serve patients
adequately. Why are patients seen as a footnote in public policy? Whether you are a patient
or a business, it is a common cause to identify the barriers and to try to fix them.
John believes that the Cannabis Alliance has the diversity of experience that comes from a
broader membership, the regulatory and legislative expertise, the demonstrated ethic, and the
commercial interest, to find out how we can all work together to create a system that works for
John wants other Cannabis Alliance member to know that cannabis patients are real people,
with real needs, whose quality of lives are benefitting enormously from cannabis as a form of
medical therapy. Patients are grown-up, autonomous adults who do not need the government,
or the recovery industry, or business interests, to tell them what works best for them. They
may need help with some things, but they must have the right to manage their own care in an
appropriate manner in consultation with their doctors.
John says that being well-educated about the cannabis industry helps in a thousand ways and it
helps in one over-arching way. Activism is largely about prospecting and looking for
opportunities. It is about finding common-cause with a broader community. It is about finding
ways forward that benefit everyone, wherever that is possible. Being effective means
constantly learning and challenging one's own pre-conceptions. That is only possible in a broader community among people who know their businesses well, and who can act as
resources, as well as learning from different experiences. It comes from discovering common
cause that we did not know was there. It comes from discovering resources that we did not
know existed. Because we do not always know where the next bit of insight or tool will come
A big Alliance thank you to John Kingsbury, Cannabis Patient, Advocate and Activist
2. Trail Blazin Productions, Spotlight presentation links:
Our second member spotlight today is Trail Blazin’ Productions and Danielle Rosellison. Where
are the team members from Trail Blazin’ Productions? As many of you may remember Danielle,
owner of Trail Blazin’ Productions also recently served on The Cannabis Alliance Board as Board
President until this past spring and is currently an adjunct Board Member.
Trail Blazin' is a local producer/processor business venture started by local Whatcom County
professionals that were looking to meet the demand for legal cannabis while maintaining a safe
environment and following the letter of the law. Trail Blazin’ cultivates, processes and packages
award winning, pesticide free, sustainably grown cannabis. We grow with LED lighting and
American Made nutrients.
I asked Danielle what inspired her to become involved in the Cannabis Industry. She said: My
dad was one of the 22 veterans that commits suicide every day. His growing and consumption
of cannabis was a constant throughout our lives. I always thought people who "did drugs" were
bad people. But the first time I tried cannabis that all changed and I remember consciously
thinking "Oh my God, what else is the government lying to me about?" Cannabis completely
changed my view of authority.
When the 502 system began, Danielle immediately started researching local industry
associations to join. The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) was easily found, but
she wanted a local industry group. NCIA introduced her to the Coalition for Cannabis Standards
and Ethics (CCSE), but CCSE wasn't quite ready for 502 when she originally contacted them. AC
Braddock, Rachel Kurtz and Danielle were part of many conversations about creating their own
association. However, those talks split because they had a difference of philosophy. Part of
that group became Washington Cannabusiness Association (or WACA) and another group
created their own association called the Washington Federation of Marijuana Businesses, which
was completely focused on data. They surveyed the industry and presented outcomes to the
legislature. At that time, the "alphabet soup" of local cannabis industry associations had begun
(CCSE, Washington Marijuana Association, WACA, CAUSE-M, WAFMB, NW Producers
Processors and Retailers). Recognizing that they were stronger together, 5 of the 6
organizations joined together and created The Cannabis Alliance. Danielle was invited to be an
adjunct member of the original Cannabis Alliance board.
Danielle and Trail Blazin’ Productions want other Cannabis Alliance members to know that Trail
Blazin' is exactly who they say they are. They are the leading edge! They are always the Trail
Blazers. They are the only cannabis farm that certifies ALL of their products as medical
marijuana and has since the beginning of 2018. They are DOH Compliant, Tested with
Confidence and their LCB enforcement officer says that they have the cleanest grow he's ever
seen. They invite you to go to their website and take a virtual tour of their facility.
I asked Danielle how does being well educated about cannabis help you succeed and serve in
this industry? As a certified teacher with a degree in education Danielle says she is passionate
about education period, in whatever industry or personal growth adventure you're on.
A big Alliance thank you to Danielle Rosellison and the team at Trail Blazin’ Productions.