Washington State cannabis advocate Leslie La Duke Banionis is a modern-day apothecary, making remedies for herself, while teaching others.
When Washington State voted to legalize cannabis for adult use, its medical program was put in jeopardy, with caregivers pushed out of the proverbial driver’s seat as legal remedy makers for many in their community.
The caregiver cooperative model often began with friends, family, and neighbors as an affordable healthcare option, with its patient base growing as people heal. This model ran smoothly for decades under the compassionate care program that began in California and was then practiced in many medically legal states. The program is now fading as recreational weed makes its home in pricey dispensaries—pushing many patients back into an unregulated market.
Apothecary was the method of healing for thousands of years, using plant-based remedies, gradually replaced by the late 1930s, with synthetic, patented pharmaceuticals. Those who practice apothecary, like Banionis, have continued to make remedies, sharing recipes on social media, now forced to teach, rather than care for patients. If they have the wherewithal and funds, caregivers are now creating their own brands or working for larger, licensed companies.
Under the name Stella Maris, Banionis, with her business partner, producer, and processor Matthew Wonson, bypassed the pricey cannabis market altogether, looking beyond cannabinoids. Using other beneficial terpenes, they created High Seas Beard Balm, with compounds such as Beta-caryophyllene (BCP), said to be as potent as CBD, binding with CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system in the same way as cannabinoids do.
And though Banionis, a mother of three, says she ingests her own homemade edibles more often than smoking, her stash box is an impressive mix of flower, hash, concentrates, tools, and functionality. Her stash is housed in an impressive multi-tiered maple box, created by Washington …
Author: Sharon Letts / High Times